Microsoft provides fix for battery issues found by some Surface RT owners

A number of people who own the original Surface RT tablet (now known just as Surface) have not had a lot of luck when it comes to updating the tablet to Windows RT 8.1. Microsoft pulled that update from the Windows Store a couple of days after it was released because it was bricking some Surface RT devices. Microsoft put the update back in the store earlier this week.

Now, Microsoft has stated that some owners of Surface RT have experienced a decrease in the tablet's battery life after installing the Windows RT 8.1 update. This is apparently affecting just the owners who had downloaded and installed the preview version of the OS before the final version was released.

In a page on the Surface website, Microsoft says:

During the update, the wireless adapter power policy isn’t migrated. Instead, the power policy is set to a default value that consumes more power both during use and in the connected standby state.

The good news is there is a fix that Surface RT owners can do on their own to restore the battery life back to normal, which is posted on the same page. The bad news is that it's rather complicated. Here's the full procedure:

  • 1: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Search.)
  • 2: In the search box, enter command prompt.
  • 3: Touch and hold (or right-click) Command Promptto bring up the context menu. Tap or click Run as administrator.
  • 4: On the User Account Control dialog box, tap or click Yes.
  • 5: At the Administrator: Command Prompt, enter the following: powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3
  • 6: Then enter powercfg -setactive scheme_current

Remember, this is just for Surface RT users who installed the preview version of Windows RT 8.1 and then installed the final version. If you own one of these tablets and never bothered to download the preview build of Windows RT 8.1, this workaround does not apply.

Source: Microsoft via The Next Web

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17 Comments

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It works!, after one night and using it mildly it just drained 10%, before it would have been like 40-70% in standby and no use.

Done, can't see why they didn't push this out in a patch..

RT has progressed really well. The only things I miss are a lightweight desktop music player (ie winamp lite) and Chrome or Firefox. Sadly, none of these will ever happen.

After installing 8.1 Preview and 8.1, battery always drained 20% over 5-7 hours on connected standby. After doing this battery fix. I tested it overnight, just drained 1% over 6 hours.

I thought my battery was draining quicker than before but it didn't seem too extreme. Followed the instructions just in case

Just did this on mine.. Is it supposed to give you any sort of reply when you type these things in? Or just goes to the next command?

Good thing Microsoft has started to focus on consumer devices, i'd hate to see the enterprise version of the command: powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3

lkernan said,
powercfg -setdcvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT 19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1 12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a 3

Looks pretty consumer oriented. It's only one straight forward command…

/s

MFH said,

Looks pretty consumer oriented. It's only one straight forward command…

/s

Actually, it's not that bad.

1. Right click start button, left click Command Prompt (Admin)
2. Copy command #1, right click command prompt window, click Paste, and enter.
3. Copy command #2, right click command prompt window, click Paste, and enter.

It takes just moments to put it into a batch file, but then people would all have to check it, suspecting something bad...

Oh, and it's quicker if you open the web site in the desktop browser

In anyway reviews are reporting 11 hours of battery back up with wifi, video and general working before plug in is needed. Even if it gives less by 10/20 even 30%, still its way more than what an android tablet would offer with similar usage !!!

that's a wow..

I was wondering what was going on with this... finally! Loving the Windows RT 8.1 update on my Surface. Seems like it's made things run smoother, just had this battery issue.