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On January 22nd, Microsoft rolled out a huge firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 and the Surface 3 devices. At face value, it appeared as if Microsoft fixed numerous issues that have been plaguing the two devices over the course of the past several months. Unfortunately, it appears new headaches have been created by the firmware update.

In a post on Microsoft’s support forum, one Surface Pro 3 owner stated he was facing blue screens and other annoying headaches caused by the firmware update. Further replies to the support thread indicated he was not alone in this unfortunate experience.

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I updated the January firmware update for Surface Pro 3 and ran into the following problems after the update was successfully installed:

– Reboot into a black screen: After hitting the reboot button the machine shuts down but do not come back. I have to long press power button for 30 seconds and use “power + vol-” buttons to turn the device back on. Pressing the shut down button will also cause the same. A single click on the power button just won’t boot up the device normal (interestingly it will boot up if I press the power button and leave it for 5 minutes).

– Wake up from sleep randomly: After I press the power button and put the device into sleep, it wakes up automatically (and randomly) and stay in lock screen. (Wifi on, Bluetooth off, All accessories detached)

– Surface App mapping not working: the app does not control the device.

– Occasional BSOD ends in “DRIVER_POWER_STATE_failure”

– Not all drivers are up-to-date as described in the SP3 update history page.

It seems the Surface Pro 3 will experience random reboots, unnecessary blue screens, and other issues caused by the Surface Pen driver, as indicated by one owner in the support thread. Apparently rolling back the Surface Pen driver resolves this issue.

The BSOD seems to be something to do with the Surface Pen Driver as the additional information shows “0x9F_3_SurfacePenDriver!Unknown_Function” and “0x9F_3_POWER_DOWN_SurfacePenDriver!Unknown_Function”

Rolling back the “Surface Pen Settings” driver in device manager > human interface devices seems to have stopped the BSOD.

Rolling back that driver seems to have helped with sleep and battery life issues I was having since the 19/01/2016 firmware update too.

Running Windows 10 10586.63 and the firmware update shows as successfully installed.

Edit: Just to double-check, I’ve let that update reinstall and yep, all the issues came back with it.

If you are facing the same issues after installing the January 2016 firmware update for the Surface Pro 3, simply rollback your Surface Pen driver in the Device Manager. Open up the Start menu and type Device Manager, then hit enter. Once Device Manager opens up, go into Human Interface Devices and right-click on Surface Pen Settings. Select Properties, go into the Driver tab and rollback the driver.

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Let us know in the comments below if you have experienced any issues with the January 2016 Surface Pro 3 firmware update. If you are on a Surface 3, let us know if you have the same issues too or if you are unaffected.