Surface pain-problems with 2 in 1’s

I have a Surface 3 and a Surface Book (original) .

I have constant problems with my Surface 3 power. The battery stops chareging and I have to put the tablet away until it recharges.A pain

I have recently had issues with it connecting to the Wifi, which is irritating if I want to watch a film.

Today though, my Surface Book, which is my main PC died on me. The Screen release light was on and it wouldn’t charge, so while playing around with trying to fix it the battery died and I was stuffed. A lot of current work was on there and I couldn’t access it.

It has been playing up for a couple of weeks as it tries to install an update and hasn’t been able to do so. I leave the machine on and it spins at 0% and does not update at all. I have tried several solutions as per posts on the subject.

Also, I started to note a new feature in my File Explorer, in the top right corner of some files and foders there are small blue arrows pointing towards each other. I have since found out that this means the file/folder has been compressed. ???? What happened????

Apparently, when windows tries to install an update and there is not enough room, it compresses files and folders so that it has room to do this. It sort of makes sense, but you’d think they would tell you either 1/ That you needed to make more space , or 2/ That they would hopefully “temporarily” compress some files folders to allow for the update to be installed.

Well that didn’t happen. I only found that out about that as I was trying to solve getting my main computer up and running.

Another thing I learned was that for the Surface Book, you can charge just the tablet from underneath. As I never remove the tablet from the keyboard I wouldn’t have noted that but on all the videos that i watched only one on unboxing the Surface Book showed that.

The issue with the surface book was the tablet release button was red, so you couldn’t remove the tablet part. The keyboard was dead, so you had to use the on screen keyboard to type anything, the mouse still worked.

Anyway, there is a mechanical way to get the tablet away from the keyboard. On either side of the tablet, 6 vent holes up from the bottom (base where it meets the keyboard) you can push a Paperclip (make sure it’s a strong one, the thin ones don’t work very well) up at an angle of about 45 degrees and you will feel a spring that if you push back will release the tablet on that specific side. You have to do it both sides. I found that I could release one side, but then the other side wouldn’t release, so I had to gently lever it off.

the paper clip pushes up at 45 degrees and goes in about 30mm before contact with spring in 6th vent up from bottom

It took a long time to click with me that you it was so you could charge and run the tablet on its own. I was a bit slow on that. But once I plugged it into the bottom of the tablet I could re-boot and start to fix the issues.

you can plug the charger into the bottom of the tablet screen of surface book. I didn’t realise as I only use it as a laptop. There is a battery in the tablet part as well, so that gets charged so that updates and fixes can happen.

Installing updates

Day 2. After recharge it still has same issue. No keyboard , so after fluffing around for a while I thought I’d focus on getting the update install correct. I found this article and followed the steps for cleaning out directories and starting install again. So it finds the updates, downloads and then tries to install. I thought I’d done this successfully yesterday but it stopped at 62% in the install process. Even after running verifying file commands (that said it was fine) it didn’t install. This time I’ve turned off Norton, and am currently waiting for the install which is at 12%. The file sizes are big, about 7-10 Gb, so it takes a while to delete the current ones, never mind downloading over wifi.

Fail & dead battery

At the end, the battery in the keyboard is dead. I’ve ordered another from Ali Express ($55 US- and has to come by sea) and tried to take the back off but broke a component connector to USB connection prising it open (using an Iron to warm the Glue). As the computer is old the silicone/glue was pretty hard to get off. Anyway sitting waiting for the battery now.

The tablet part does not have any connectors apart from headphone jack, so can only communicate to other devices via wifi. Also the power is in the connection to the keyboard, so you cannot use the keyboard as a stand to set tablet position, so a rather heavy tablet that you have to lean up against something to use.

I initially thought of getting another book so I could switch the tablets over, but was unsure if a i5 tablet setup would be the same as mine, so looking on TradeMe I considered it, then thought it is a pretty crappy design if a part fails, you cannot use it in another mode, so have opted for getting a Surface Pro, which is cheaper and seeing if that can do my drawing tasks, worth a test, I’ve been pretty happy with my Surface 3 overall.

End comment

The Surface Book has been a trusty stead and I’ve enjoyed using it, I’ve cracked a couple of keys on the keyboard and have sellotape over them, the Ctrl key and the Right Shift key. But seriously unimpressed with lack of flexibility oif battery fails in Keyboard, no ports, no access to ports and not being able to use keyboard as a stand. Crap design. Very disappointing.

As I said, I need an i7 and about 16 Gigglies of RAM and the Surface Pro’s use these, so I’ll try one of those instead. The pain is I’ve got to reload all the hardware and get all the files off the Book, but after its fail I’m prepared to do that. Am getting one from Amazon, far cheaper than in NZ and its stopped at customs, so I’m awaiting delivery. Then a long time to load up software, still, a clean computer to start off with.

When battery comes I may be able to resurrect the Book, but that is for another day.

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