Some Microsoft Surface Pro owners still dealing with WiFi issues

Microsoft released its first software update for the Surface Pro tablet earlier this month. Part of the update's release notes stated that it was supposed to improves the tablet's WiFi features for "better roaming and improvements to 'Limited' connectivity scenarios". As it turns out, a few Surface Pro owners are still reporting problems with the tablet's WiFi connectivity.

The issues started being reported in the Microsoft Community support forums soon after the launch of the Surface Pro in February. Even with this month's patch update, some owners wrote in the forums that they are still having problems with limited WiFi connections. One forum poster wrote, "Since the update I still have connection issues on my N network. It does not say limited connectivity but it acts the same as before. I have to disconnect and re connect for it to work again."

Microsoft seems to be aware of the continuing WiFi problems that some Surface Pro owners have reported and posted this update to the forums:

Sorry to hear that the March firmware did not resolve the Limited WiFi issue. Continued wireless updates are planned in coming months, please keep checking Windows Update during the next Patch Tuesday cycle.

Source: Microsoft Community
Via: WinBeta.org

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I have an active thread here: http://answers.microsoft.com/t...521b-486e-923d-b02c44b6bbee

I have a Surface Pro and recently purchased a dual-band Wireless N router. Installed DD-WRT on it and the Surface Pro will NOT connect to the 5 GHz connection (Wireless N only), only the 2.4 GHz connection (Mixed mode). It works fine on the 2.4 GHz connection (apart from the occasional Limited Connectivity issue, which gets resolved with a reboot).

All my other N-compatible devices, i.e., my Lumia 920, connect to the 5 Ghz connection just fine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

My first Surface Pro had wifi issues, but it also got the occasional BSOD and keyboards stopped working on it, exchanged it with a new one and no problems since.

Microsoft has updated many times but same problem still on Surface RT... The only trick I've found is to set registry with use40mhz key to force wifi on G, and limit band. This trick works perfectly, Surface connects everywhere with not any problem, and Wifi G isn't so limitating.
But I still waiting for a real fix...

Wireless wookie said,
Microsoft has updated many times but same problem still on Surface RT... The only trick I've found is to set registry with use40mhz key to force wifi on G, and limit band. This trick works perfectly, Surface connects everywhere with not any problem, and Wifi G isn't so limitating.
But I still waiting for a real fix...

40mhz with WiFi G? I thought only N could use different bands or am I getting confused.

@-Razorfold

The reported fix is the registry setting "AutoUse40Mhz" and it has to be set to "0" (disabled). This forces Surface to use the older 20MHz channel width.

From what I understand this issue stems from people having weak connections and lots of interference, something that is not easily fixed with software. Most people's environments will have much more optimal conditions.

mnl1121 said,
From what I understand this issue stems from people having weak connections and lots of interference, something that is not easily fixed with software. Most people's environments will have much more optimal conditions.

Not sure where you're getting that information from that it's weak connections/lots of interference. I sit under my access point at home and have the issue. If it were weak connections/interference I would expect to have problems with all of my other wireless devices and I don't. It's just with the surface pro.

Right now my only resolution seems to be to power cycle the device a couple of times. When it happens to me I can't even reconnect to the wifi - have to shutdown first. When i got my first surface pro it took an hour to get connected to my wifi even after multiple reboots. Took it to my job and couldn't connect either and when I got back home it was finally working.

I should add that my personal thoughts is that it's something with WPA2. It's used in most locations I connect to though but I do know some devices have problems with WPA2-TKIP - just doesn't connect right. I've tried Meraki, Cisco AP(1130?), Linksys, and Belkin all with WPA2. Didn't dig any deeper yet to try some wifi without it enabled but it's easy enough I can try that later and report back.

What's strange though is the fact that we've all seen it work (those of us with Surface) - and when it is working it works great. Just not sure why periodically it just quits.

@Tarrant64
mnl1121 clearly doesn't understand the issue, hasn't researched anything, and is making up his own hypothesis.

From the Microsoft support forums, it definitely seems to be isolated to 802.11n. I've seen a few people reporting that the problem can be fixed if you modify the registry to force Windows to use 802.11g speeds. I have not tried it myself.

I have seen people reporting problems with both WPA and WPA2. One person even reported that he fixed the problem after switching TO WPA2. It's hard to say what's accurate.

Personally, I have the issue with 802.11n using WPA2/AES. I have not tested other encryption options because, honestly, I'm not willing to degrade my network security for a bug in one single device.

For me, the connection comes and goes inconsistently. It can happen when I'm only 3 feet away from either of my access points. It can happen in the middle of browsing websites. It can happen after waking it from sleep. Sometimes it's just fine though. Disabling the power saving options doesn't seem to help either.

I'm still dealing with it an am active in that thread on the MS support site. Happens most when the surface is attached to N networks, happens rarely on 2.4GHZ networks.

On N networks you can expect to get limited connectivity a few times an hour on 2.4 ghz networks maybe a few times a day.

It has to be a driver issue of some type on the surface or the Win8 build on the surface.

my pro works just fine. only issue I see is the wifi says limited for about 20 sec. when I wake it but then it connects and I am good... the surface rt seems to connect right away after several updates MS did to it..

I did not have any issues until the last update now I'm finding that while connected my internet would go to limited, I would need to disconnect and reconnect.

It happens and sometimes just the hardware is not working the way it should.

My iPad 3 worked until they updated to 6.1.2 and then the LTE was consistently going to 3G. Replaced 3 new iPads(iPad3) and still a problem. Apple told me it was LTE and Verizon and they have done all that they can. I told them to upgrade me to the iPad 4 to see if the issue is resolved. They told me no it won't resolve the issue as they use the same hardware. I told them I don't think so and they said it does.

The store manager in an attempt to help me out offered me a credit back minus $50.00 for the iPad3 for an iPad3 that was over 9 months old. Since Apple won't let them replace it with a newer(upgraded) model. Like for like they said. Well iPad4 is the replacement for iPad3.

Anyways I got the credit purchase the iPad 4. Switched the SIM(Which they said was to blame as well or that Verizon didn't provision me correctly) and Voila - LTE hasn't dropped to 3G yet when I am in an LTE area.

Told the manager this and told Apple this. Wanted to tell Apple to shove it. Well I kind of did do that.

My point is that people need to try different settings on the router, use another WIFI stop to see if it is their surface or their router or something inbetween.

When you do this technical support can piece it together better and help out or say hey you have done all that you can and we have done what we can. Let's replace the Surface.

This process has helped me since I starting troubleshooting electronics over 25 years ago.

Eliminate your wifi as the problem by connecting to other wifi's. If the problem still happens then you can say hey Microsoft. I went to Starbucks, my friends house, my other friends house and all have the same problem. You help them eliminate that it could be on your side.

remixedcat said,
anyone try using a USB adapter to see if it helps??? I wanna get one of these but I don't want any wifi issues.

I'm sure using an external adapter would resolve the issue. Keep in mind that this is small number of users, and doing a reconnect fixes the issue for a while.

If few users are having the issue, what exactly is the problem? We use a Meraki based access point at my work and I have a linksys at home. For those having issues, what devices are you connecting with?

Surface Pro owner here for almost a month. So far, no problems connecting to any of the wireless APs in the office, at home, and on the go.

I've never had an issue with my Surface. This issue stems from people having weak connections and lots of interference, something that is not easily fixed with software. Most people's environments will have much more optimal conditions.

@mnl1121

Inaccurate assumption. Perhaps you should consider the possibility that this issue only affects certain configurations.

Personally, I happen to have a dual band 802.11n router as well as a second 802.11n repeater with OpenWRT using WPK2/AES encryption. The router and repeater are positioned in separate corners of my house and connected on a Gb network for maximum coverage. Every once in awhile I scan all wireless channels in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz ranges to ensure I have the least possible interference and maximum possible speed. I have never had any issues with any wireless devices (laptops, iPods/iPads, cell phones, a TV, game consoles, and handhelds).

However, my Surface Pro periodically loses network connectivity. I say "loses network" because it does not drop the connection and it still shows good signal strength. The problem is that it always says the connection is "Limited" and, while it still has proper DHCP assigned lease information, the "network profile" is not correctly identified.

Just because you haven't experienced a problem first hand does not mean it doesn't exist.