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07/08/13 Power Management and WiFi issues on Surface Pro 3–A way to get a more consistent Wifi Connection
With their release of the new Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has definitely created a winner. This new form factor with a larger LCD, and thinner form factor will be turning a lot of heads. However there seems to be one glitch, WiFi drops. I have had my Surface Pro 3 now for about 2 weeks and during the first week, I was driven crazy with the WiFi, constantly dropping, reacquiring and dropping the connection. It happened enough that I was considering returning the unit, thinking that the WiFi on the system was defective. I also own the Surface Pro 2 and the WiFi on it has been rock solid from day 1. When I checked the WiFi driver for the Surface Pro 3 (S-Pro3) I noticed it was also the Marvell driver, so it’s safe to assume it’s pretty much the same WiFi that is on the Surface Pro 2 (S-Pro2). Net, I didn’t think it was a driver issue.
Microsoft did release a large driver/firmware update on 06/14/14, and my unit was running the 05/27/14 driver/firmware. I went ahead and upgraded that, but it did not really seem to make a difference. Then I learned about Hyper-V
One thing that is different about the S-Pro3 is how Microsoft implemented the Power Management. When you go to Power Management options you will no longer find the “power saver” and “high performance” options. Instead all you will find is the “balanced” option. You also don’t have as many options to fine tune the power management. With the current setup, Microsoft has tried to create a power plan for when the S-Pro3 is running on battery that gives maximum life to the batter, and in doing so, they created a plan that does not give a constant enough power supply to the WiFi, so it momentarily drops thus losing the connection. You can read more about this new power plan design here, Microsoft available power plans.
The key is getting your S-Pro3 to allow all three of the power plans, and do to that, you have to enable Hyper-V.
In this screen shot, you can see I have now enabled all 3 of the power options, which are normally available for all laptop devices. With this done, you can now customize the power options for all 3 plans, especially how much power is given to the WiFi card.
To enable Hyper-V, first go to the main screen of the control panel and select “Programs and Features”, once you have done this you should have a screen that looks like this:
Notice up on the left corner there is a area titled: “Turn Windows features on or off”. Click on this, and you will get this screen:
On your S-Pro3, Hyper-V should be “unchecked”. To enable it, place a check in the box. You will get a few screens showing that you have enabled Hyper-V, and the S-Pro3 will need to reboot once you enable Hyper-V. Once the S-Pro3 has rebooted, you can find two new entries on the main programs screen of Windows 8.1 as shown in the screen shot below.
Notice there is now an entry for “Hyper V Management Tools and underneath it two items are listed.
Now to fix the issue with the WiFi power, just go back to the main screen of Control Panel and select “Power Options”
Once you select this, you now will see all three power options available, 1. Power saver, 2. Balanced, 3. High Performance.
Select any of the 3 options by clicking on “Change Plan Settings” to the right of the power option. This will allow you to bring up the screen where you can alter the plan’s settings which should look like this:
Click on “change advanced power settings: and you will see this screen:
Once you have the smaller screen open, line down until you find the “Wireless Adapter Settings” option, open it and here you now have various options for the amount of power that the WiFi adapter will get, I changed mine to “Maximum Performance”.
Once you do this, your WiFi will no longer drop the connection and the experience of the Surface Pro 3 will be much more enjoyable.
It’s quite clear Microsoft played some games here to attempt to reach the 9 hour battery life claims on the Surface Pro 3. It’s also clear to me that this laptop/tablet did not get tested fully and was rushed to the market, a sign of the times. I believe that Microsoft will attempt a software fix to existing Surface Pro 3 units but more than likely over time they will change out both hardware, firmware and software to tweak this issue. This is unfortunate for the early adopters like myself, since we will never be able to reach the maximum potential of the machine. I understand that hardware and software tweaks will happen in the life of a laptop, but this is a bit overboard to me.
Currently, with Hyper-V enabled, the battery life of my Surface Pro 3 is just about the same as on the Surface Pro 2, around 4 hours of normal use with the screen at 1/2 of total brightness. The Surface Pro 3 has an adaptive brightness feature, that when enabled will not allow the screen to be on Maximum brightness on battery no matter where the screen slider is. Again you have to go back to the Hyper-V settings box and turn the Adaptive brightness OFF.
The fact that Microsoft officially claims that the “only power option for the Surface Pro 3 is the balanced option” is true if you run your machine with Hyper-V off. From what I can tell Hyper-V is unique to Windows 8.1, as I cannot find any such setting under Windows 7 64 bit. With the older Surface Pro 2 you had all three options available, but with HYPER-V OFF. NOTE I WROTE OFF. So something has changed in the layout of the Surface Pro 3.
I have heard rumors that a major update to the power management will happen sometime in the July 15th time frame. I am not sure what this entails, more than likely it might take away the ability to turn on Hyper-V knowing how Microsoft works, so I will pass on that update for a while.
By turning on Hyper-V I have found that the Surface Pro 3 runs much more reliably especially with WiFi connections. It’s pretty clear to me that the “9 hour” battery life is just another marketing ploy and you should not make a purchase decision based on that.
- 03/27/17 Featured Arkansas Photography–Sunset and Moonrise at Calico Rock on the White River March 26, 2017
- 01/04/17 Featured Arkansas Photography–Sunset from Calico Rock on the White River January 4, 2017
- 10/14/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Sunrise from the summit of Mt. Magazine October 13, 2016
- 09/27/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Late afternoon at Roark Bluff Buffalo River September 26, 2016
- 09/22/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Sunset at Calico Rock on the White River September 22, 2016
- 09/21/16 Featured Arkansas landscape photography–6 finger falls on Falling Water Creek September 21, 2016
- 03/27/17 Review of one of my shots from Calico Rock with the Fuji GFX–Great dynamic range March 26, 2017
- 03/23/17 Fuji Sales Managers in the UK are talking up the GFX–A few thoughts March 23, 2017
- 03/22/17 Dpreview takes a 180 degree opinion on the GFX–my thoughts March 22, 2017
- 03/15/17 Fujifilm GFX 50S–An example of excellent Dynamic Range March 15, 2017
- 03/11/17 Feedback on Fuji GFX 50s–A great start for Fuji with Medium Format March 12, 2017
- 10/14/16 Fall starting to show it’s colors in Arkansas, but still a lot more needs to happen October 13, 2016
Featured Arkansas Photography
07/05/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Night skies over the Narrows on the Buffalo River
5 Jul 2012
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon 14mm lens, iso 250, F 5.3, for 35 minutes. Not the easiest place to get to now, due to the flooding that occurred in 2010. The Narrows is a unique part of geography in Arkansas. On one side you have the Buffalo River and off in the distance, […]
09/18/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–The Natural Bridge in Lost Valley near Ponca Arkansas
18 Sep 2013
Taken with a Phase One P45+ in 3 vertical segments to be stitched into one frame, 35mm Mamiya lens, F14, iso50, 3 second exposures with ND filter and CL-PL. Lost Valley is one of my favorite spots in Arkansas to photograph, especially when there is water running in Clark Creek. I would say that in […]
Mt. Magazine morning Vista–12/14/14 Featured Arkansas Photography
14 Dec 2014
Taken with a Phase One IQ260 & Rodenstock 28mm HR lens, with an Arca rm3di, image created by combining 2 nodal pans. Mt. Magazine, which is the highest spot in Arkansas at around 2700 feet, has some wonderful views. One of the best is from from rock ledge below the Lodge where you have a […]
03/10/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Sunset from Flatside Pinnacle
10 Mar 2013
Taken with a Canon 1ds mkII, Canon 70-300 lens, F11, iso 200, Composite shot taken as a manual exposure bracket. If you get a chance to visit this area you won’t be disappointed by what you find. Flatside is the 3rd in a series of pinnacles that I consider to be the gateway to the […]
08/08/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Milky Way over Buffalo Point, Buffalo National River
8 Aug 2016
Taken with a Pentax K1 and 15-30mm lens @ 15mm and F 3.2 ISO 3200 for 2 minutes using the Pentax Astrotracer function in camera. This was my first test for night photography with the Pentax K1, and overall I was pleased with the results from the Astrotracer feature in camera. This photograph is a […]
09/08/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Old car along Hwy 123 near Lurton
9 Sep 2013
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon 24-70 lens, F8, iso 100, taken in 5 exposures then blended together in Photoshop. This is a common site in Arkansas along the old farm roads and forest roads throughout the state. Many times the car is sitting on an old home site and was abandoned when the […]
08/23/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Rocks and Leaves on the Cossatot River
23 Aug 2013
Taken with a Canon 1ds MKII, iso 200, Canon 24-70 Lens @70mm, 1/60th of a second. The Cossatot River is one of my favorite spots to hike. You have all sorts of photographic subject matter to work with. The Cossatot River is in the southwestern corner of Arkansas Ouachita Mountains. You can find some of […]
06/18/14 Featured Arkansas Photography–Early springtime sunset at Haw Creek Falls
18 Jun 2014
Taken in 3 parts with a Phase One IQ260 and Rodenstock 40mm lens, Arca rm3di camera with a CL-PL filter. This image will be featured in my up coming show at Cantrell Gallery. I am featuring locations in Arkansas that I am always drawn back to. Haw Creek Falls, is not the tallest waterfall in Arkansas […]
D800 Reticulation issues during night photography–white dot problems
2 Aug 2013
I have been using the Nikon D800e now for about 10 months in outdoor night photographic work. Recently I have noticed a disturbing issue with the results which I believe look very much like reticulation errors from the old darkroom days. If you over processed a B&W negative during the you could get a […]
08/15/16 A close look at the Dynamic Range of the Phase One IQ100
16 Aug 2016
I have been using the IQ100 now for several months, and have noticed that there are some interesting facets to the dynamic range of this digital back. Lets take a more detailed look at this particular image taken on the Buffalo River, in Arkansas The IQ100 is of course the first 100MP digital camera ever […]
04/25/13 Update to Stretch Relief Article–large Stretcher bars
29 Apr 2013
After working with the stretch relief pliers now for about 3 months, I finally tired them on a wider set of stretcher bars. If you read the instructions on the stretch relief pliers, they imply that the pliers work best with the 1.5 inch stretcher bars. This type of bar has the 1/5 inch width […]
02/12/2014 The First Testing of the IQ250 on a tech camera–Most impressive results in fact it’s game changer
12 Feb 2014
As posted on this site and many others, Phase One, about 2 weeks ago, announced the IQ250, the worlds first CMOS digital Medium format back. The announcement also stunned quite a few folks out there when it was discovered that Sony was the chip being used, not a Dalsa. Dalsa has been the main chip […]
Fuji X-Trans Raw Conversions–Which is best Lightroom or Capture One
27 Oct 2015
In 2015, Arkansas did not present a good color display really anywhere throughout the state. Since July Arkansas has been short on rainfall and the month of September and first half of October no measurable rain fell in the state. Most of the trees just turned brown. There were some spots that held OK color, […]
01/23/14 Drobo does care–A revisit to my original complaints with support for my Drobo 5D
23 Jan 2014
Recently, I wrote a article about the issues I had with Drobo Corp. in regards to the trouble that occurred when I attempted to upgrade the firmware on my Drobo 5D. Not long after I wrote that article I was contacted directly by Drobo by a phone call. They had read my article and were […]
07/17/13 IQ260 Arrives in Little Rock Arkansas–The unboxing
12 Sep 2013
I can remember back when I was a fan of collecting watches, when someone purchased a new watch, they always published an “unboxing”. I never did it for a watch, but did go ahead for the IQ260. I am pretty sure this is the first one in Arkansas and I am very happy to be […]
08/16/16 Capture One “Error when processing a file” in Windows
17 Aug 2016
If you use Capture One for raw processing, over the years Phase One has continued to bring new useful enhancements to this particular software. If you own and use any Phase One digital back you will most likely use Capture One for the vast majority of processing. As these new features roll out, it seems […]