Surface Pro 7 Hardware Faults After 5 Weeks And Inability to Get Anything But Another Faulty Replacement


I purchased a Surface Pro 7 Core i7 last August on the Microsoft Store but after just 5 weeks it started throttling the CPU which became so severe it was running at just 0.4GHz (even reading 0GHz on occasion in Task Manager!) and I couldn’t even participate in a video call over teams as the whole thing was grinding to a halt (aside from the loud fan noise make it hard for people to hear me too) and the whole thing was almost to hot to touch.

I was offered a refund but was then told a mistake had been made and I could only have a like for like replacement and was assured this was a very uncommon hardware defect. It took over 6 hours dealing with support people to sort this out across a few days.

The replacement came last November but it has followed exactly the same trajectory and after 5 weeks it began to experience the same slowdown and it has run as low as 0.4GHz too although not as often.

The problem is a hardware issue and Throttlestop diagnoses this as BD PROSHOT which basically just means the whole device is too hot so it goes into a kind of panic mode where it cuts the CPU power down so low you can’t use the device. It throttles all the time but the amount varies.

Microsoft will only offer me yet another replacement but I can’t see this making any difference (only in the short term perhaps).

I would accept just about any other device at this point as just need something that works so have requested a refund, Microsoft Store Credit, a Surface Pro X even but they have refused everything but giving me another identical Pro 7.

I’m hoping perhaps Paul or other Microsoft-related people might see this as I cannot justify/afford to buy another device and I have been very disappointed with the device and level of support I have received and it has made the past few months very frustrating trying to work from home on this thing.

Now with just a few browser tabs, Outlook and an FTP upload going the fan is blasting out and it is running around 0.9GHz.

I really regret buying such an expensive high-end device at well over £2,000 (after adding dock, keyboard, pen) where I can barely type emails in Outlook or use screensharing whilst in a Teams call and I have been suffering with this device now since shortly after purchase and wasted hours pointlessly following instructions to format/reinstall etc. My older Surface Pro 4 was much much faster.

Running VMs or anything else I planned to do with this device (and could do happily on the Pro 4 are out of the question).

Comments (16)

16 responses to “Surface Pro 7 Hardware Faults After 5 Weeks And Inability to Get Anything But Another Faulty Replacement”

  1. longhorn

    Since devices generally are thin and easily overheat/throttle these days, my idea has always been that unless it's a gaming rig with adequate cooling a Core i5 is preferable to an i7.

    If your only choice is a replacement I would go for an i5, even if that means you lose some money. At least that should give you a device that is usable for everyday tasks.

    Putting an i7 in a tablet, I don't even know why they bother doing that since both the battery and the screen will be close to the CPU.

    If you want Core i7 performance, go for the laptop form factor which can offer better cooling.

  2. drb1979

    Based on the GBP sign quoted in your post I assume you in the UK?

    If so, you're entitled to a full refund under UK consumer law. If they wont budge, take it to small claims.

  3. interloper

    Apple have an excellent page on their web site which sets out the UK consumer laws mentioned by @drb1979 clearly (which obviously also apply to Microsoft or any other manufacturer). This part in particular is pertinent:

    "A consumer is also entitled to withdraw from the contract by returning the product in exchange for a full refund if the consumer rejects the goods within 30 days or if the product does not conform with the contract after one repair or replacement."

    Since OP has already received a replacement, they are entitled to a refund under law as their replacement fails the following criteria: The goods will be of satisfactory quality.

    • robinwilson16

      In reply to Interloper:

      Thanks this is really helpful and I wasn't aware it was part of law although I know shops such as John Lewis are normally excellent for handling returns.

      I have responded to them with a link to the Apple statement and I was also able to track down this clause in the official Consumer Rights Act 2015 based on what you said: https:// (part 1, chapter 2, point 24).

      Hopefully this will encourage them to do the right thing.

      If not maybe I can rant on Twitter!

      • interloper

        In reply to robinwilson16:

        Be sure to say you are exercising your statutory legal right to a refund. This usually pricks up the ears as opposed to the regular return/refund process.

        • robinwilson16

          In reply to Interloper:

          Thanks, it does seem bad that you have to fight for your rights with such a big company. When my older Surface Pro 3 was showing a thermometer icon on the screen after just under 2 years John Lewis just gave me a refund as soon as I showed them the device. Compare this to Microsoft Store where it took me over 6 hours on phone and chat last time to get the device exchanged last time being given conflicting information and getting put through to closed depts in the USA and dead lines. They don't seem to care about customer service.

  4. paradyne

    Microsoft will only offer me yet another replacement but I can’t see this making any difference (only in the short term perhaps).

    This would imply that 100% of Surface Pro 7 users are having this issue after a couple of months. Yet your post is the first I've noticed on here about it and they've been on sale in multiple countries for over a year.

    I'm not saying it isn't really annoying, but so far it strikes me as just very unlucky. I've had many surface models and I did have a screen issue once (SP5 I think) that took two replacements to resolve and then it was fine.

    • robinwilson16

      In reply to paradyne:

      I think it is a combination of being unlucky and possibly the way I use the device as sometimes work very long hours with the device (up to 17 hours per day on occasion - excessive I know!). If you search for Surface Pro 7 and BDPROCHOT or Throttling there a number of articles with 2 at the start where 100 people say they are having the same issue across the two posts. It seems to mostly trigger when the device is connected to the dock and 2 external 24" monitors (even upgraded the monitors but is the same - wasn't really expecting that to make a difference)

      • paradyne

        In reply to robinwilson16:

        Ah, interesting. I did have a Pro 6 for a while and used that with a dock too. And I did have a few instances where the maximum clock speed dropped really low. It didn't correlate with overheating instead it seemed to be from leaving it connected to the dock for a long time with multiple sleep cycles. Unplugging didn't reset it. I think it was some combination of hard reset and using a regular power adapter that would release the 'lock' again. I always assumed it was a firmware issue not hardware since it could be reset. It was a few years ago now so I can't remember all the details but I think I stopped leaving it connected to the dock so much. I'm sorry I really had forgotten until your comment about the dock jogged my memory!

    • interloper

      In reply to paradyne:

      I think it's very easy to be unlucky with Surface devices as the QC is very hit-and-miss. I've had multiple faulty devices, including a Pro 5 with a detached screen and a Book 2 where the entire main tablet portion was visibly bent - both out of the box!

      • robinwilson16

        In reply to Interloper:

        It does feel they are still perfecting them with one of the main issues with the high end Pros being cooling. I have read about the warped devices out of the box but luckily not had that issue myself. It seems the Pro 3s had little/no throttling so they just overheated and shut down showing a thermometer icon on the screen. The Pro 4s had more throttling but also attached the heat sink to the battery pack, directing a lot of the heat there which led to batteries warping and pushing the screens off. On the Pro 7s they have stopped doing that but the devices throttle much more excessively instead. I was able to repair one overheating Pro 4 with a blown battery that had smashed the screen by replacing the battery/screen and then applying new thermal paste onto the CPU which brought temperatures right down and stopped the throttling. Had to replace the WiFi antenna with tin foil too as when the screen came off it damaged the old one.

      • navarac

        In reply to Interloper:

        QC has been hit & Miss with Windows 10 updates in the past as well. Having said that, I have i5 SP3 still running fine, albeit with Linux on it!

  5. robinwilson16

    In reply to lvthunder:

    I have in fact had issues with previous Surfaces including a Surface Pro 3 Core i7 which liked to shut down randomly and show the thermometer icon and refuse to turn on until I left it for a little while and a Surface Pro 4 where the battery expanded and burst out of the device and was told it was a risk to life and to dispose of it quickly. I can't believe really that I was silly enough to buy yet another but I do like the form factor but you're right a Core i5 would have been less likely to overheat.

  6. PanamaVet

    Microsoft has a habit of abandoning hardware products that bars me from putting myself at their mercy again.

    I stopped about the time they cashed in on mercy. Sorry to hear they still do that. Some would say that is okay, they are in the business of making money.

    What is the dollar value of obeying the law? Can a simple complaint to the EU force their hand? I hope to get some answers here soon.

  7. dhymers

    the Issues raised by RobinWilson is not an isolated incident. We’re a business in London which has bought around 250 new Surface Pro 7+ devices with an i7 processor and I’d say at least 10% of the devices have displayed this issue with the Prochot flag being enabled, often when the Surface pro has been turned on when it’s cold. Whenever we report the issue to Microsoft they replace the device straight away and they have acknowledged it as a known issue, but there’s no fix. Using Throttlestop you can disable the flag temporarily to speed the machine up, however once the machine is rebooted the CPU again gets throttled to 7% and the machine is unusable.

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