Microsoft this week released a new Microsoft Surface Dock Firmware Update tool that supersedes the previous tool.
“Microsoft Surface Dock Firmware Update [is] newly redesigned to automatically update Surface Dock firmware while running in the background on your Surface device,” the Microsoft Docs website explains. “Once installed, it will update any Surface Dock attached to your Surface device.”
If only it were that easy.
This new tool, called Surface Dock Firmware Update, replaces the previous Surface Dock updater, which was called Microsoft Surface Dock Updater. (Yes, the old tool had an “r” at the end of its name and the new one doesn’t.) The old tool was previously available only via the Surface Tools for IT download package. (From what I can tell, that’s still true, but whatever.) The first version of this new tool is called Surface_Dock_FwUpdate_1.42.139_Win10_17134_19.084.31680_0.msi. Simple, right?
Wait, it gets worse.
According to Microsoft, to correctly install this tool and the latest firmware update for Surface Dock, you need to give the background service several seconds to check for updates; no prompt is provided. Then, disconnect the Surface Dock from the Surface PC and wait for 5 seconds before reconnecting. “The Surface Dock Firmware Update will [then] normally update the dock silently in background after you disconnect from the dock and reconnect,” Microsoft says. “The process can take a few minutes to complete and will continue even if interrupted.”
Yes, that’s the automatic process. If that’s not complicated enough, however, you can manually update the firmware instead. And this is where things get really crazy.
“Reconnect your Surface Dock for 2 minutes and then disconnect it from your device,” Microsoft explains. “The DisplayPort firmware update will be installed while the hardware is disconnected. The LED in the Ethernet port of the dock will blink while the update is in progress. Please wait until the LED stops blinking before you unplug your Surface Dock from power … You will need to disconnect and reconnect the dock twice before the update fully completes.”
<p>I had two of these docks and both were simply terrible, very unstable and constantly getting “confused” when used to dock my surface pro to a desktop set up. They we’re so bad I ended up buying a dedicated desktop set up 6 months ago, and now my surface gets much less used. </p><p><br></p><p>Considering the cost of the docks I’d have been better buying something from Lenovo or Anker, but I kept one so will see if these updates make it better, but I think my days of using a surface device as my only go to device/desktop are over.</p><p><br></p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#469432">In reply to captobie:</a></em></blockquote><p>Out of interest which surface type/ model do you dock? I ask as I docked an SP3 and SP5. I thought for some time that the problems must be surface firmware related, but after ditching the docks and using the SP5 on its own via WiFi I realised it was fine and the docks were the problem </p>