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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
October Sunset on the Buffalo River at Roark Bluff–02/24/15 Featured Arkansas Photography
24 Feb 2015
Taken with an Nikon D810, Nikon 14-24 lens @ 14mm F8, iso 64, 1/3 of a second in a single exposure. This is one of those images that you have to work on a while, then come back to and work it some more and then again and again. I took this shot while on […]
06/29/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Sunrise over Lake Maumelle in Western Pulaski County
29 Jun 2012
Taken with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon 24-70 Lens at F11, 3 exposures bracketed allow for a combination in Photoshop, Iso 100. You have to get up early to catch a shot like this on on Lake Maumelle. I was headed to Petit Jean Mountain to work Cedar Falls but as I crossed western end […]
07/06/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Winter vista of Sam’s Throne
6 Jul 2013
Taken with a Canon 1ds MKIII, Pentax 35mm FA lens, Zork adapter, iso 100, F11. Sam’s Throne is one of the more iconic spots in the Arkansas Ozarks. It’s geology is also a bit unique in that most of the exposed rocks are sandstone. Sam’s Throne is the large hilltop in the left of the […]
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 […]
11/10/15 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Springtime View of Haw Creek Falls
12 Nov 2015
Taken with a Phase One IQ260 and Arca rm3di tech camera/40mm Rodenstock lens This is a typical day at Haw Creek falls, and I was again lucky to be there without anyone else to stand around and get in the way during the shoot. Haw Creek is a lovely smallish creek that runs in the […]
08/21/16 Featured Arkansas Landscape Photography–Storm Clouds over Buffalo Point, Buffalo National River Arkansas
20 Aug 2016
Taken with a Phase One IQ100 and Phase One XF/35LS lens, at ISO 100, F12 for 1/40 of a second on tripod, single exposure. This was taken back in early August 2016 on the Buffalo River in Northwest Arkansas. This part of the river is known as Buffalo Point, and is one of the more […]
01/05/14 Featured Arkansas Photography–Dry Creek Falls in the good times
6 Jan 2014
Taken with a Nikon D1x (remember that camera?) lens most likely Nikon 28-70 at 28mm, F11, for approximately 1 second, iso 200. There are some places in Arkansas that are special for me. Dry Creek (yes that is the name) was one of the best little hidden gems in the Ozarks. This little creek runs […]
09/02/12 Featured Arkansas Photography–Cedar Creek on Petit Jean Mountain
2 Sep 2012
Taken with a Phase One P45+, Mamiya 35mm F3.5 lens @ F14 for 2.5 seconds. When hiking along Cedar Creek one must always consider the views of the creek below Cedar Falls. I like to call this area the rock fall as so many large rocks have fallen down from the area bluffs. The best […]
09/19/14 Phase One Photokina 2014–Summary of Announcements
20 Sep 2014
As the big show starts to wind down, I though it would be good write about what Phase One considered to be significant announcements during the Photokina Photo Expo, current being held in Germany. Phase One Corporation You can list out the major announcements here: The new IQ150 Capture 1 version 8 Enhanced trade in […]
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 […]
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 […]
02/05/16 Featured Landscape Photography–Wintertime on White Oak Mountain near Hector Arkansas
5 Feb 2016
PLEASE NOTE: All of the photography of this website is the property of www.photosofarkansas.com and is copy right protected. Do not copy any of the images on this site to paste on Facebook, Pintrest, or any other website without the permission of Paul Caldwell. Years of time have gone into capturing these photographs, please respect […]
06/15/13 Phase One Back failures using Silver vs Black batteries
7 Jan 2014
As many Phase One users may know the main battery used in most modern Phase One Digital backs, is based on a Canon Video camera battery. In fact in the older Phase One cameras which had the battery external to the back, like the P45+, P65+ etc. you could use Canon’s AC adapter/battery setup on […]
01/04/14 Some issues for IQ260 and IQ280 owners on the Wifi top cover
6 Jan 2014
This only applies to photographers that purchased a IQ260 (possibly IQ280) early in the product life. I would say back to about July to October of 2013. One of the features of the IQ2 backs is the built in Wifi capabilities. When you first get the back, you will notice that the top has a […]
Mounting Canvas to substrate–producing an excellent option for framing a Canvas Print
16 Mar 2015
When print makers think about canvas, they tend to think about stretching. It also means that the print maker has to either pay someone to stretch the canvas or take on the training to learn how to stretch. However it’s possible to produce canvas prints which can can be turned into beautiful framed prints […]
Arca FP (Focal Plane Shutter) Facts and costs overall a bit disappointing
16 Sep 2014
Yesterday, I was very excited by Arca’s announcement of the new FP (Focal Plane Shutter). I knew that this device was in the works well over 10 months but had been asked to keep all mention of it off the web. Arca is a small company based in France, with basically no website, so getting […]