I Love You But You’re Going Back – Replace My Surface Pro 3

surface laptop

Why I Decided to Replace My Surface Pro 3:

Return the Surface Pro 3

Our Surface collection

I’ve had my Surface Pro 3 for nearly a month and I love the technology behind it. I have to say that Microsoft came up with something very innovative with the newest Surface line, but unfortunately after trying it for several weeks, I’ve decided to return and replace my Surface Pro 3 with a new one.

Why? – you may ask

Well, it’s no secret that I love my Surface tablets, yes I have all four (Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3), but I have come to the conclusion that my new Surface Pro 3 is simply… defective – and if it’s not, then Microsoft has a serious problem on their hands.

As I wrote in my post on Surface Pro 3 Wi-Fi Problems, I have been experiencing continuous network slow-downs and several Blue Screen of Death errors. I was really hoping that the last two weeks of Microsoft updates were going to take care of the problems I was seeing but unfortunately the issues only improved for a couple of days and then gradually became worse again.

Although Wi-Fi problems may not seem like such a big deal, to a device that is completely web based they are totally detrimental.

Yesterday, the final straw was when after a short sleep (standby), my Surface Pro 3 lost all connectivity to the network. I mean, as far as the Surface was concerned there was no installed network card to use to connect to WiFi – PERIOD – see pictures below.

sp3-network-adapt

Obviously, I hadn’t reached in and ripped out the network card to get this message; so, as you could imagine I was a bit frustrated. Fortunately, I was able to get the Surface to recognize the network card after a reboot.

However, by now my patience had ran out and I contacted Microsoft for support. Below is a transcript of our chat conversation and their decision to replace my Surface Pro 3. I am quite proud of myself for being very patient with the (obviously junior) MS tech.

We essentially repeated the reset of the Surface, which I had already done once before, but perhaps she didn’t believe me. The whole chat took well over an hour! – sigh.


  • Info: at 10:33:18 Thank you for choosing Microsoft Surface. An Answer Tech will be with you shortly. info: at 10:33:22 Privacy Statement You are now chatting with ‘Kelsey’.
  • Kelsey: at 10:33:25 Hi! Thank you for contacting Microsoft Surface Chat support. This is Kelsey. Kelsey: at 10:33:31 Am I chatting with Joanna?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:33:36 yes
  • Kelsey: at 10:33:46 Thanks. How are you?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:34:02 I’ve been better. lots of problems with my SP3
  • Kelsey: at 10:35:27 Oh my! I am very sorry to hear that. I apologize for the inconvenience these SP3 issues has caused you Joanna. We can work together to sort this out. Just to set expectations though, we may need to have your device replaced if needed.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:36:17 That’s fine. So, since I’ve had the device, I’ve had 5 blue screens of death, each one was when I was doing something network intensive, like syncing OneDrive. I’ve consistently had reduced network speeds as well on multiple wireless networks. I can’t seem to get more than 1/3 of any networks normal speed
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:37:09 I’ve downgraded my drivers at first, it didn’t help. I’ve then installed the latest updates from last week and again this WEd. – also didn’t help
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:37:30 and now I am having an additional problem – my device will go to sleep and when it wakes up, I have no network drivers or Bluetooth at all – nothing shows in device manger and the only thing I can do is restart
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:38:16 this is very, very annoying and my device is becoming unusable. between my husband and I, we have all 4 version of the Surface and the SP3 is the only one with these crazy issues
  • Kelsey: at 10:39:53 Thank you so much for the information. Before we proceed, may I please have the serial number of the device?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:40:21 ***************
  • Kelsey: at 10:40:33 Thank you very much.
  • Kelsey: at 10:41:11 Have you tried to reset the Surface Pro 3 as well?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:41:26 yes, I did that about a week ago and I’ve also deleted my profile and started over
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:42:11 but the problems persist all on profiles set up on the device
  • Kelsey: at 10:43:09 I see. Thanks for the information. Please give me few minutes to check on the account first.
  • Kelsey: at 10:45:54 Thank you for patiently waiting.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:46:01 no prob
  • Kelsey: at 10:47:14 Are you able to use the Surface without any issues while browsing the internet or using apps?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:47:53 sorry? the internet gets very very slow. so no.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:48:16 most apps I use are web related like Kindle books and such
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:48:48 so, I’m not sure how to answer your question
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:49:08 I can’t use OneNote most times either which I need for taking notes.
  • Kelsey: at 10:50:08 Oh! But the rest of your wireless devices at home can use the internet without any issues (like disconnecting at times). Correct?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:50:36 correct. the Surface 2, RT, and Surface Pro 2 get great network all the time
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:50:45 at work, home, and cafes We’ve tried networks with 2.4 and 5Ghz routers and it makes no difference
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:51:31 the SP3 does not like any of them
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:51:57 I’ve tweeked the wifi channel settings, even though the other devices are fine but that didn’t help either
  • Kelsey: at 10:53:05 You mentioned earlier that you have downgraded your drivers, do you mean that you have uninstalled and reinstalled the network adapters?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:53:57 that was like the first week I had the device – yes. This was recommended on the forum. Since then I’ve reset the device and installed all the latest updates
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:54:53 This weeks’ update seemed to have made things worse though because I’ve never lost all my network settings before, it just started since Wed. Kelsey: at 10:55:50 Is the device able to detect your wireless network as of the moment?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:56:26 let me check
  • Kelsey: at 10:56:35 Thank you.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:56:47 yes
  • Kelsey: at 10:57:59 Alright. Let’s try to replicate the issue. Please try to sync One Drive or anything that is network intensive. I would like to verify if the issue occurs randomly.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:59:00 OK, I will run a speed test
  • Kelsey: at 10:59:04 Thank you.
  • Kelsey: at 10:59:24 Please give me an update from time to time. I’ll be here for you.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:59:38 so, I can tell you already it’s running slow
  • Joanna Rolston: at 10:59:55 I’m on a 100mbps network and I’m getting no more than 35m down
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:00:21 so, that’s symptom number one I described earlier
  • Kelsey: at 11:00:24 Alright, thanks. Are you using a different Surface or computer to chat?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:00:33 yes, my desktop
  • Kelsey: at 11:01:01 Great! Please proceed with replicating the issue.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:04:20 it is still syncing but it is still slow
  • Kelsey: at 11:04:53 Okay, thank you. Let’s wait for awhile and check if it goes to the bsod page.
  • Kelsey: at 11:07:43 Excuse me. How is it so far?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:07:59 there is no change
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:08:04 what are we waiting for?
  • Kelsey: at 11:08:28 It didn’t go to the bsod screen. Correct?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:08:45 no, that is random. only happened 5 times in 3 weeks
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:09:00 it is just consistently slow
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:31 Alright, let’s try the automatic repair. Please follow these steps:
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 1. Turn off the device by holding power button down for 6-10 seconds
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 2. Tap the power button to turn it back on.
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 3. Once the surface logo appears, wait for circling dots to appear and then hold power button down for 6-10 seconds to turn device off again.
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 until the surface logo appears with words underneath saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 5. Recovery mode will start.
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 6. At the Bitlocker screen, tap “skip this drive”
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 7. Tap advanced options Kelsey: at 11:09:44
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 8. Tap Troubleshoot Kelsey: at 11:09:44
  • Kelsey: at 11:09:44 9. Tap Refresh
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:10:28 Ok give me a min
  • Kelsey: at 11:10:33 No problem.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:12:44 the circling dots never appear on step 3
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:12:48 it just boots up
  • Kelsey: at 11:13:16 Please try a few more times.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:16:12 I got a screen saying RECOVERY Joanna Rolston: at 11:16:22 it says that windows’ didn’t load correctly
  • Kelsey: at 11:17:44 Please choose the Advanced repair options and do you have any bluetooth devices connected on the affected Surface?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:17:59 just the pen?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:19:05 do you want me to refresh or reset?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:19:13 As I said, I’ve done the reset already once, btw
  • Kelsey: at 11:19:18 Alright, the pen just enables the blutooth if the tip has been pressed. Please tap on Refresh.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:20:07 ok, it’s refreshing
  • Kelsey: at 11:20:38 Great! Then please do another speed test once the device is up.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:21:08 it’s only at 12% so it may be a while
  • Kelsey: at 11:21:22 No problem. Thanks for the update.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:23:34 btw, was there a reason why you had me shut down this way? I’ve always done refreshes via the update and recovery setting on the Surface
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:23:47 like here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/restore-refresh-reset-pc
  • Kelsey: at 11:24:36 Yes. This so we can get to the blue recovery screen.
  • Kelsey: at 11:24:44 Did you purchase the Surface online though?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:25:15 it is still working on it – 88%
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:25:33 how is that method different from the manual recovery initiation?
  • Kelsey: at 11:26:34 The steps I gave out are for the automatic recovery screen since the manual recovery initiation does not seem to work.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:27:23 it is now initiating
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:28:04 I will say though that I went through this once already and it improved things for a day or two but everything went back to the same speed problems. so, I’m not sure how this will help
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:30:42 just ran the speed test again
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:30:55 It is now even SLOWER! only getting 5% of my network speed!
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:31:16 100mbps network, I’m getting 4.19mbps down – OMG!
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:31:47 my Apple sitting on my desk is getting 97Mbps right next to the SP3
  • Kelsey: at 11:35:02 Thanks for the update. It looks like this issue is from the hardware since the problem still occurs even after an automatic refresh. I really appreciate your time, patience and cooperation on troubleshooting with me. Since the issue is still there, it will be best if we have the device replaced. Retailers, have their own returns/replacement policies but you can also process a replacement online through myservice.surface.com
  • Kelsey: at 11:35:42 If you process the standard replacement request online, you will receive the shipping label and instructions within 24 hours from the moment you sent in the request.
  • Kelsey: at 11:36:11 The standard replacement online has no additional charge since your device is still under warranty.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:36:18 ok, let’s do that
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:36:30 how do I process it online?
  • Kelsey: at 11:37:02 Please log in to the online service center:
  • Kelsey: at 11:37:20 Link to: Surface Online Service center Joanna Rolston: at 11:37:52 I’m already there
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:37:55 next?
  • Kelsey: at 11:38:03 Then please register the device. Then proceed with selecting “Problem with a device or cover”.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:38:46 already done I had to do that to chat with you
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:39:18 when I go thru the steps it says the service is unavailable and to contact support, which is what I did by chatting with you
  • Kelsey: at 11:40:18 I see. I’ll take note of that so our engineers can go ahead and repair the site. For the meantime, I’d love to work on processing the replacement request on your behalf.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:40:47 ok, great. what do I need to do?
  • Kelsey: at 11:41:35 Please verify the shipping address and the email address where the shippping label/instructions will be sent to so I can process it here on my end. J
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:41:58 **** **** St,  *** ****** MI ***
  • Kelsey: at 11:42:52 Thanks. The account is under Tim Rolston. Will it be okay to send the device under his name?
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:43:02 yes, that’s my husband
  • Kelsey: at 11:43:14 Thank you.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:43:34 so am I all set then?
  • Kelsey: at 11:44:06 Just to set expectations. We will ship a replacement to your shipping address within 5-7 business days from the day you sent in the defective device. Oh! Please wait. I will give you a confirmation number once I am through.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:44:26 ok
  • Kelsey: at 11:44:38 Thanks. Please give me a moment.
  • Kelsey: at 11:45:13 Should we email the shipping label to: *******@outlook.com
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:45:21 yes
  • Kelsey: at 11:45:40 Okay, thanks. I’m almost done.
  • Joanna Rolston: at 11:47:29 I need to leave, can you send me the info via email please
  • Kelsey: at 11:47:57 I understand and yes I can give you the confirmation there.
  • Kelsey: at 11:48:47 Here is the confirmation number: 125******3 as reference for the order.

network-sp3-apple

Side-by-side speed test after the chat

OK, that was a bit painful and I don’t think I couldn take any more of it. If you read to the end, then you are a trooper!

In any case, the Surface Pro 3 is going back on Monday and I am anxiously awaiting getting my hands on a new one and really crossing my fingers that the weird problems plaguing my current unit will be gone.

As always, I will report on how it’s going once I receive it.

You may also like my posts on my favorite mouse for the Surface and how to get hardware support from Microsoft.

Joanna-

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