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I HATE SURFACES SO FRICKING MUCH. OK, sure they're decent when they work. But the problem is that half the time our Surfaces here DON'T work. From not connecting to the network, to only one external screen working when docked, to shutting down due to overheating because Microsoft didn't put fans in them, to the battery getting too hot and bulging.... So. Many. Problems. It finally culminated this past weekend when I had to set up a Laptop 3. It already had a local AD profile set up, so I needed to reset it and let it autoprovision. Should be easy. Generally a half-hour or so job. I perform the reset, and it begins reinstalling Windows. Halfway through, it BSOD's with a NO_BOOT_MEDIA error. Great, now it's stuck in a boot loop. Tried several things to fix it. Nothing worked. Oh well, I may as well just do a clean install of Windows. I plug a flash drive into my PC, download the Media Creation Tool, and try to create an image. It goes through the lengthy process of downloading Windows, then begins creating the media. At 68% it just errors out with no explanation. Hmm. Strange. I try again. Same issue. Well, it's 5:15 on a Friday evening. I'm not staying at work. But the user needs this laptop Monday morning. Fine, I'll take it home and work on it over the weekend. At home, I use my personal PC to create a bootable USB drive. No hitches this time. I plug it into the laptop and boot from it. However, once I hit the Windows installation screen the keyboard stops working. The trackpad doesn't work. The touchscreen doesn't work. Weird, none of the other Surfaces had this issue. Fine, I'll use an external keyboard. Except Microsoft is brilliant and only put one USB-A port on the machine. BRILLIANT. Fortunately I have a USB hub so I plug that in. Now I can use a USB keyboard to proceed through Windows installation. However, when I get to the network connection stage no wireless networks come up. At this point I'm beginning to realize that the drivers which work fine when navigating the UEFI somehow don't work during Windows installation. Oh well. I proceed through setup and then install the drivers. But of course the machine hasn't autoprovisioned because it had no internet connection during setup. OK fine, I decide to reset it again. Surely that BSOD was just a fluke. Nope. Happens again. I again proceed through Windows installation and install the drivers. I decide to try a fresh installation *without* resetting first, thinking maybe whatever bug is causing the BSOD is also deleting the drivers. No dice. OK, I go Googling. Turns out this is a common issue. The Laptop 3 uses wonky drivers and the generic Windows installation drivers won't work right. This is ridiculous. Windows is made by Microsoft. Surface is made by Microsoft. And I'm supposed to believe that I can't even install Windows on the machine properly? Oh well, I'll try it. Apparently I need to extract the Laptop 3 drivers, convert the ESD install file to a WIM file, inject the drivers, then split the WIM file since it's now too big to fit on a FAT32 drive. I honestly didn't even expect this to work, but it did. I ran into quite a few more problems with autoprovisioning which required two more reinstallations, but I won't go into detail on that. All in all, I totaled up 9 hours on that laptop over the weekend. Suffice to say our organization is now looking very hard at DELL for our next machines.

Comments
  • 3
    Buying Microsoft's consumer targeted flagshit devices for business was definitely a poor decision. But then again, so is using windows for dev in 2020.

    Honestly, given how fragile they are, I'm surprised someone ok'd it at a business at all. Most employees don't take care of company hardware at all.
  • 2
    @SortOfTested It's not for dev. We do require Windows at the org. But unfortunately the decision to go with Surfaces was made before I started here. But yes, we've got several users with cracked screens, etc.
  • 1
    @SortOfTested That said, we are scheduled to replace our Windows-only ERP next year. So at that point...... Hoooo boy *rubs hands*
  • 1
    Glad you got it to work in the end, proves your worth. I think Microsoft should be ashamed of this, and I'm a Microsoft fanboy.. shipping with bsoding drivers should be a thing of the past. Rip xp, stay dead please (bsoded with various onboard ac97 soundcards. And lets not forget it required floppy disks for sata drivers)
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