New Surface Pro Has a Hibernation Problem

Posted on July 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 88 Comments

New Surface Pro Has a Hibernation Problem

It looks like Microsoft has a new Surface reliability problem on its hands: According to hundreds of customers in its support forums, the new Surface Pro spontaneously shuts down, even when the device is in use.

Only a few readers have contacted me about this issue directly, and, to be fair, most of them were actually just curious if I had experienced the problem. I have not, and I used the new Surface Pro exclusively for a full week in The Netherlands, and in testing before and after that trip.

So I’m going to guess that this problem doesn’t impact all Surface Pros. But then that’s what makes reliability issues like this so painful: You never know what you’re going to get. With the infamous Skylake-based problems in Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, one’s results were equally sporadic, with some people having nothing but problems and others reporting problem-free usage. (I had issues with all three Surface Books I tested, but my Surface Pro 4 never had any issues.)

Anyway, as Woody Leonhard and others have reported before me, the new Surface Pro is suffering from a number of complaints in Microsoft’s support forums.

“For some reason, my new Surface is shutting off randomly,” one user reported. “I check the setting and a few other things but [it] still randomly turns off without warning. I’m losing some of my school work because of it.”

To date, almost 300 people have confirmed that they’re seeing the same problem. But according to Microsoft, the Surface Pros are hibernating, not shutting down. That should at least help with data loss.

“We are aware of a small group of customers reporting a scenario with their new Surface Pro in which the device inadvertently hibernates,” a Microsoft statement notes. “We are investigating this issue.”

Microsoft MVP Barb Bowman recommends that customers who experience this issue return the device now, while it’s new. And she’s got a point: Microsoft hasn’t exactly done a great job fixing previous Surface issues.

“It has historically taken Microsoft months and months to identify issues and come out with a fix,” she writes. “[If you don’t exchange the device now] 6 months down the road, Microsoft will exchange for a refurb if they determine it is a hardware issue and the quality of the refurbs has not been consistent.”

“These devices should just work properly out of the box,” she adds. I can’t agree more.


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