Microsoft quietly fixes second Surface Pro 3 battery problem

Microsoft has issued a firmware fix meant to fix a second Surface Pro 3 battery issue affecting some users.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft issued a firmware fix to a second battery issue affecting some Surface Pro 3 devices on Nov. 7.


Officials didn't make much of the update meant to address battery problems experienced by some with Surface Pro 3 devices with LGC batteries. (I wouldn't have seen it without noticing a Neowin post on the fix.) But on Nov. 8, "Greg" a Microsoft Surface Team Forum moderator, let users know that Microsoft had identified a fix for the issue and made it available via Windows Update.

Microsoft officials acknowledged a second battery issue affecting some Surface Pro 3 users in late September. This acknowledgement came after a firmware fix for a different Surface Pro 3 battery issue experienced by some with devices using Simplo batteries. Microsoft issued a firmware fix meant to address those with Simplo devices suffering from extreme battery-drainage issues in August.

After the August fix was provided, a number of users with LGC batteries in their Surface Pro 3 devices began reporting they were noticing battery degradation. Microsoft officials said at that time that the August firmware fix was not the culprit.

The November "System Firmware Update -- 11/7/2016" is meant to fix the problems experienced by those with LGC batteries. Microsoft also published a "Suface Pro 3 Battery FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for the Surface Pro Embedded Controller Firmware Update", which is meant to provide questions and answers about the Surface Pro 3 battery issues users are reporting.

Microsoft officials described the problem as affecting "a limited number of Surface Pro 3 owners" who have found that "their battery can no longer hold a charge, and it looks like the battery capacity has diminished". The firmware update "corrects the logic in the firmware component that functions as the 'fuel gauge' for the Surface Pro 3 batter, so that the actual battery capacity on devices with this particular part is accurately reported", the FAQ stated.

Once this fix is applied to Surface Pro 3, the reported full charge capacity will self-correct over the next several charge and discharge cycles," the FAQ added. Surface Pro 3 users who've installed earlier fixes meant to address battery-discharge issues are recommended to install this November update, as it replaces the one released in late August, the FAQ said. Even those Surface Pro 3 users who have not experienced battery issues should apply the update, Microsoft recommended.

Microsoft officials said this is a problem unique to Surface Pro 3 devices and that other Surface device owners should not experience the problem. Users who paid for an out-of-warranty exchange for the Surface Pro 3 battery issues will get a refund, the FAQ stated. Microsoft officials said they have reached out to those customers and "all refunds were processed in October 2016".

Editorial standards