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  • Writer's pictureStan Patey

Microsoft 1903 Update Blue Screens Surface Laptops

We support several clients on Microsoft Surface Book 2 laptops with NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processors. These users work with highly resource-demanding design applications and have experienced, poor performance, unresponsive programs, and blue-screen crashes. In some cases, the hardware does not meet the application requirements. Other times the hardware is marginal and becomes overheated when struggling to render complex graphics.

Device Manger, Video, NVIDIA GeForce

On July 12, 2019, Microsoft acknowledged though their release information website that their May 29, 2019—KB4497935 update has serious compatibility issues with their Surface Book 2 laptops configured with Nvidia discrete graphics processing unit (dGPU). In response to this, they have put a “compatibility hold” on updates being rolled out to these laptops. This issue results in the graphics adapter disappearing from the Windows device manager and results in computer crashes.

Microsoft recommends restarting then scanning for hardware changes in device manager to get the display adapter back. That has worked for us, but with limited access to device properties. We have found that downloading and installing the most recent Nvidia driver has resolved the blue-screen crashing.

We also make a point to use the Nvidia Control Panel to prefer the “High-Performance NVIDIA Processor” instead of allowing the system to automatically choose which can result in sending graphics processes to scrawnier on board GPU.

In stubborn cases, we have gone so far as to roll back the 1903 update (when possible) and pause updates in the hope that Microsoft will announce a permanent fix. For this issue to occur on a Microsoft Device is an indication of how poorly these updates are tested before release. Had the problem occurred on some off-brand PC, it would be understandable but, for it to occur on their product is ridiculous.

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