High CPU Usage Could be a Runaway Process

Runaway Process

If your Surface is acting slow or getting hot when you’re not doing anything intensive, it could be due to a runaway process.

A runaway process is a process that is consuming increasing amounts of CPU, which in turn, causes your Surface to have fewer resources available for other (critical) processes. Worse yet, the runaway process can also cause your battery life to be impacted, see post Why My Surface Does Not Sleep. Continue reading High CPU Usage Could be a Runaway Process

VyprVPN Problem on Surface

This post is a follow-up to our earlier post about VPNs where we told you about VyprVPN. We really like Vypr and use it daily (especially now that we’re in Puerto Rico) but recently we’ve experienced some disconnects and at some point the software stopped working. So, we contacted their support and since we recommend VyprVPN, we thought we would share the solution with you. Continue reading VyprVPN Problem on Surface

Troubleshoot Surface Pro 3 SSD Speed Problems

If you suspect you’re having speed problems with your Surface Pro 3’s hard drive (Solid State Drive or SSD), you can confirm it by running a simple test. Normally, I’d recommend utilities from the drive manufacturer for these types of tests but, unfortunately, Surface Tablets come with drives from at least two different manufacturers (Hynix and Samsung).

To make things extra complicated, Samsung makes a utility for SSDs called Samsung Magician but, Hynix doesn’t provide anything. Continue reading Troubleshoot Surface Pro 3 SSD Speed Problems

Turn Off Touchpad On Surface Pro – Tip Of The Week

This week’s Tip Of The Week – How to Turn Off Touchpad On Surface Pro Tablets:

We’ve had some of our readers ask this question, so I thought I’d write it up as a quick tip.

You may wonder: why in the world, would you want to disable the touchpad?

Well, if you’re using an external mouse, for example, you may not want to have the touchpad enabled at the same time. I personally like the touchpad but I’ve heard others say that they don’t and they just want it off, in lieu of the mouse. I usually leave both on because I find that some things are easier to do with the mouse but others work better with the touchpad – so basically, it’s a personal choice.
Continue reading Turn Off Touchpad On Surface Pro – Tip Of The Week

Why My Surface Does Not Sleep – Battery Drain Problems

Is your Surface not entering sleep mode and draining your battery?

What could be the problem?

Remember my post about Surface 2 4G LTE – also my favorite Surface) has been having power\battery drain problems.

I did all the usual stuff to test it, see Tim’s post on how to troubleshoot Surface battery drain problems but nothing clear was coming out of my tests. I even refreshed my baby Surface while in a hotel room (and discovered the OneDrive Sync problem, I talked about in Is OneDrive Sync Hogging Your WiFi Connection?) – still no luck.

So, by the time I went to the Microsoft Retail Store, I was ready to throw in the towel and just get a new Surface 2. Well, I’m glad I didn’t because I finally figured out the problem – let me tell you about it and perhaps if you’re seeing the same thing, it will help you fix your device, as well.

As a last, desperate effort to avoid turning in my baby Surface to Microsoft, I decided to do a little more research on the powercfg command and see what else it can tell me. It turns out that this command is quite powerful and has a ton of “switches” that allow you to find out more about your device’s power consumption than I could have imagined. If you want to see the full list do the following:

From Command Prompt, type:

powercfg /?

You will get something similar to the below list (and it goes on and on and on):

The one that caught my eye was /requests, which shows all power requests from drivers and applications.

Hmmmm…. I thought….that may be useful.

And indeed it was, it finally fixed my problem!

Here is what I did (and what you can do) to figure out why my (or your) Surface does not sleep:

1. Open Command Prompt with elevated privileges

In Desktop Mode, right-click on the Start Button

Chose Command Prompt (Admin)

2. Type the following (exactly, including spaces – you can use a “/” or a “-” before the switch):

powercfg /requests

3. Examine the results for any drivers or apps that are making requests.

In my case, the Nvidia Tegra Audio driver was constantly being used. This was curious as I was not doing anything with voice or audio on my Surface and hadn’t for quite some time. I restarted my Surface and re-ran the command above and got the same result. This told me that there was definitely something wonky about this driver.

4. The fix: issue the following command to tell the system to ignore all power requests made by the audio driver

powercfg /requestsoverride DRIVER nvaenum System

TADA! – That fixed my problem!

You can reverse the last step by issuing this command:

powercfg /requestsoverride DRIVER nvaenum 

And you can view all previously ignored processes by running:

powercfg -requestsoverride

That was it. That is all that it took for my baby Surface to happily sleep again and stop draining my battery. Had I given up on it and taken it to the Microsoft, it would have been for naught because there was nothing really wrong with my device. The problem was a run-away driver in Windows 8+RT, something that is actually pretty common in the Windows environment.

In case you’re wondering, I did test the audio after the fix and while playing a song I ran the powercfg /requests command and the driver did reappear. However, as soon as I stopped playing it, the driver no longer showed – this is normal behavior.

If you’re having similar battery drain problems and your Surface does not sleep, try going through the same steps. You may have a different driver or application draining your battery. If so, simply substitute it for the nvaenum driver I had.

I hope this helps you figure out what’s going on if your Surface battery drain.


Presenting with PowerPoint 2013 on Surface Tablets

The portability and touchscreen on a Surface tablet really makes presenting with PowerPoint 2013 an easy and effective way to convey your points.

Even more, the inclusion of a pen or stylus makes it a great device for presentations. Since PowerPoint comes built-in Windows RT, it’s one of the things a Surface RT or Surface 2 excels at, despite the fact that Microsoft stopping the manufacture of Surface 2 (RT) devices. Continue reading Presenting with PowerPoint 2013 on Surface Tablets

Is OneDrive Sync Hogging Your WiFi Connection?

Is Your OneDrive Sync Choking Your WiFi Connection?

OneDrive Sync Problem – Ridiculously Long Sync Times

Note: this post assumes that there is nothing actually wrong with your OneDrive Sync (that’s a topic of another one of our posts, see OneDrive Not Syncing On Surface), instead it talks about the actual behavior of OneDrive and its effect on your network.

I recently discovered an interesting problem with Surfaces: if you reload your Surface and you have a sizable amount of files on your OneDrive, the OneDrive sync will take hours – even days – to sync up your data between the cloud and your device.

Consider this scenario:

You’re traveling and your Surface is having a problem. Of course, this would be the most inopportune time to have a problem because you depend on your Surface for everything: navigation, work, entertainment. So, what do you do? Continue reading Is OneDrive Sync Hogging Your WiFi Connection?

How To Troubleshoot Surface Battery Drain Issues

Here’s the scenario…

You got a new Surface a few months ago and it was awesome! The battery life was good and you were happy with it. However, lately, your Surface battery life seems to be shorter than it was and you have no idea why.

In this post, I’ll go over a series of steps you can take to try to troubleshoot your battery drain issues.

This isn’t the first time we’ve touched base on Surface battery issues, in the past Joanna and I have covered individual things you could do to figure out what’s going on with your battery but, now I’ll cover a more complete process for troubleshooting (and hopefully, correcting) battery issues with your Surface tablet. Continue reading How To Troubleshoot Surface Battery Drain Issues

Modern Skype Issues on Windows 8

In my most recent post, I did a quick run though on how to use the Modern version of Skype on your Surface tablet. In this post, I’m going to cover some troubleshooting steps to help you if you’re having Skype issues on Windows 8, which is what your Surface is running.

I’m going to be trying something new with my connection issue instructions, though. Instead of the picture-intensive walk-through, I made flowcharts that you can follow to help resolve connection, audio, and video issues with Skype. Also, each flowchart assumes that the problem is on your end.

It’s possible (maybe even likely) the problem is on the other end but, you can’t really do anything about that except send the remote person a copy of the flowchart (or, better yet, point them at https://www.lovemysurface.net). Continue reading Modern Skype Issues on Windows 8