I don’t know about you, but I love my Surface Pro 3. In fact, I like it so much, that I have one in my home office that I bought for my personal consulting business, and I got another one to use at my daytime job, so I actually have two of them now!
Having worked with the Surface for a few months now, I have a couple of tips that I would like to share, in the hopes that they will help someone else.
Can’t get to Sleep?
If you’re a developer like me, and you have a Surface Pro 3, you may have installed Visual Studio. I recently installed some new portions VS2013 and VS2015 (specifically the Windows Phone developer tools), and I starting having issues with sleep mode on the Surface. The Surface supports a “Connected Standby” power mode, which makes it very quick and easy to close the lid of your Surface, then open it and wake it back up again almost instantly.
However, as it turns out, that mode is incompatible with the Hyper-V program, which is installed and required to run the Windows Phone Emulator. Once you install those Windows Phone tools, your “Connected Standby” mode is gone. In fact, if you go to the Power Options screen, you will find that you can’t even set your power button to Standby — because it’s not even there anymore!
Fortunately, there is a solution — there is a simple command that you can enter at the command line
(Note: you must start the command prompt in Administrator Mode for this to work).
To turn this “feature” off:
bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off
If you want to run your WinPhone emulator, re-enable this “feature” with this command:
bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto
Once you do that, the wonderful “Connected Standby” and Sleep settings are back!
My DVD Doesn’t Work!
The Surface Pro does not have a built-in DVD player, and I don’t often use one, but occasionally I do need to read or write to a DVD, so I have a great little external DVD that I bought on Amazon for about $32. However, the first time I plugged it into the USB port on my Surface, it didn’t work, and no amount of persuasion would fix that. As it turns out, the answer was pretty simple. The USB port on the side of the Surface doesn’t supply enough power to run the DVD – all I had to do was to plug the DVD into the port on the docking station and magically everything worked!
If you haven’t noticed, there is NO Print Screen button on the Surface keyboard. This one is pretty simple – press the Fn + Win + Spacebar and you’ll get a Print Screen in the clipboard.
External Touch Screen = Blue Screen of Death
I still haven’t figured out the answer to this one yet… I bought a nice refurbed Acer 23″ TouchScreen Monitor from NewEgg for about $215, and it works great – sort of… It does work really well, except for the fact that when I had the USB plugged in to my docking station and the touch features enabled, I would get random Blue Screen of Death crashes without any warning. I was getting them about once a day before I unplugged the USB cable. Once I unplugged it, the BSOD’s went away. I did look and I had the latest and greatest drivers. I’m not sure what else to try here – I really haven’t taken the time to try and figure this one out. Once it stopped crashing, I just stopped caring (it’s still a nice monitor!)
I hope these tips help you!