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Microsoft's fixing one of the top complaints of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book users

Best Windows Laptop
Best Windows Laptop

Microsoft is set to release another fix for the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book sometime this afternoon. The new driver addresses what is easily one of the top complaints about these devices (and any new Skylake laptop), which is the display driver crashing.

In the Microsoft support forum, Joe (MSFT) responded in numerous threads about the news.

The new driver will reportedly improve the situation for the following error:

"Display appears to hang, and then you will get a message that the display adapter has reset. Usually happens in certain scrolling situations on web pages."

The problem is seen on more than just Microsoft's devices as new Lenovo, HP, and Dell laptops utilizing refreshed Intel Skylake processors also suffer from the same driver crashing. That leads us to believe this is both an OS and driver issue that Microsoft and Intel had to solve across the board.

Update: The new update is live under Windows Update! The Intel display driver is now at version 20.19.15.4326. We'll be looking out for any further changes once Microsoft posts the information.

Update 2: The following updates will be listed as "System Firmware Update – 12/3/2015" or "System Hardware Update – 12/3/2015" within the Windows Update History.

  • HD Graphics 520 driver update (v20.19.15.4326) improves display stability.
  • Surface Display Calibration driver update (v1.1.381.0) supports compatibility with the updated graphics driver.

Source: Microsoft Community; Thanks, Kevin, for the changelog tip

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

98 Comments
  • That should please a lot of people lol
  • Absolutely! Hope the driver works.
  • It's been installed for about 10 hours and I've been using it for 6 and no crashes yet.  Gaming seemed a bit less powerful, but I'm going to give it a good session after work with Batman Arkham Knight, Tomb Raider, and Sins of a Solar Empire (With STA3 Mod) for a good analysis. So far though it's been a better experience.
  • I've been running it on my Surface book for about 24 hours now and I've had it happen once. So it looks like it is definitely an improvement, but it can still happen.
  • Woohoo!
  • It's about time :-)! This is definitely annoying and I'm glad they are fixing it but I'd really like it if they fixed the constant (almost once a day) BSOD I'm getting on my SB.
  • And the "perma sleep" bug. I have to to a soft reset each time.
  • You what? Damn that's just wrong on such an expensive machine.
  • The thing is that the expense of the machine doesn't go into additional bug testing. It goes into the material and the cost of goods. They probably even try to save money by skimping on testing when it comes to expensive goods.
  • Luckily its happening less often now. It used to happen daily.
  • Daily for me :/
  • hate that bug especially since that problem existed on my RT.  I changed the power options so the power buttons hiberates and enabled hibernation timer settings. Takes marginally longer to get into the PC but the issues with perma sleep are basically gone.
  • I have a dell (2 in 1), and this is my top complaint, my second complaint would be losing the wireless card every 2 hours (i have to reset it to make it work again) when those two are fixed, then i will be reliefed.
  • then tell these to Dell to fix the bug on their wireless card. :)
  • Exactly! Every freaking day! Just got one after installing this update. Crossing my fingers.
  • Yay! Now, fix the battery life and the extremely slow wake up time (from sleep) and it'll be a decent tablet
  • Because 3 seconds to wakeup is just agonizingly slow and kills your productivity.
  • I mean most tablets wake up in the time frame you mentioned, but when it takes almost a 2-3 mins to wake up, I think it's a bug...
  • They need to fix the bug, but try waking it up with your keyboard active ir disconnected, not folded back. It fixed the wakeup time for me.
  • I think I've observed similar pattern.
  • This works for me.
  • Yeah, it's a known issue that if your keyboard is folded back, the SFP4 will wake up slowly from sleep. It's so easy to reproduce that I am surprised they still haven't fixed it, but the workaround is simple enough.
  • I agree! I do remember on my SP3 when I first got it, the battery life was not good either. I believe it was a December update that solved the battery issue and got the battery life up to par.
  • How about updating the Surface app so we can reassign the pen buttons? Basic stuff.
  • Do other touch pens have this option? Just curious.
  • I believe the Surface Pro 3 pen had the option. But I think it was added later. May be more difficult to do than we think?
  • Surface/Surface Book only or a driver fix in general? The article talks about other devices, but the title indicates only Surface Book|Pro 4. I see this on other computers, a Dell laptop with Intel graphics and a Desktop with NVidia. I am just about to revert the laptop back to Win8 because of it.
  • Probably only on Surface line, it would be hard to imagine Microsoft releasing a driver update for Dell hardware. and it would be called different, it would be like "Intel blabla" instead of hardware update. But then I think, just as Microsoft solved this, it should be Dell taking care of their hardware, they know their hardware and they have the access to Intel drivers to fix whatever Intel breaks on a specific device. like on this dell laptop, it had nice Windows 10 driver that fixed the flickering and Microsoft had a newer generic driver that would make the flicker happen again so I had to hide it, but the one on Dell site worked.. so whatever Dell changed on the driver was good for the laptop I installed windows 10 on, while the newer one on WU was causing issues.
  • We have seen this before, NVidia driver updates going out over WU so I can see an Intel Driver being released also. But from the wording, it sounds like a driver and Windows bug fix. Just hope it fixes all Win10 installs, not just Surface. The other devices have the driver restart bug and get into a loop until you need to pull the plug/hold the power button a couple times a day.
  • Well it is the same driver version as the Intel 520 beta you can download from their site, so I am guessing that this driver will be pushed out to all laptops soon.  Not the cailbartion part however.
  • Great! This is my main complaint. Some days I get this repeatedly - its very annoying.
  • My Surface 3 had a display driver update earlier today too.  Not sure how related it is, as I don't know what GPU is in the S3.
  • after novermber update it is crashing in Surface PRO 3 also.  
  • Install the latest driver from the Intel website (you'll have to do it manually through Device Manager), it fixed the issues for me.
  • How are the fans going for you after this update 
  • I couldn't notice anything out of the ordinary.
  • Same issue on surface 3
  • Oh! Finally!
  • Its another Intel shoddy driver drama, have had this also since day one on my Surface 3 running Windows 8.1.
  • Lets see if this helps. And if the Intel 520 driver that constantly keeps my SP4 from going to connected standby is resolved as well.
  • Already tested -  No.... still 3-4%/h drain... Unacceptable.............. TOTALLY unacceptable... I'm debating returning my SP4 because of this battery life. I left my charger at work, and it was at 100% when I shut down. I came home, read the that there was an update, updated the device, and let it sleep for a total of 3 hours, and I'm at 72% battery... For about 20 minutes of actual usage. I love my SP4. I don't want to return it! It's a gorgeous piece of hardware and I loved my SP2.... But this battery issue is HORRIBLE. I know it's not only mine, because this is actually my second SP4! Arg! I still have another 15 days to decide....
  • apart from the drain the driver still crashes occasionally so nothing was actually fixed, things were "improved"
  • Well I'm getting 9% battery drain an hour on sleep. The Intel 520 driver and CPU0 state are the main culprits as shown in BatteryStudy. Was also sick of it, but its clearly a software issue, so I'm hopeful they'll fix it. I love my SP4 too, but sleep isn't really relevant to me so I set the lid to sleep and power button to hibernate on battery. I figured if I'm going to just not use it for a few hours, I'd rather hibernate the thing.
  • Jesus thank you. Sooooo annoying
  • I dont think I got a display driver error or crash on my SB.  
  • Do you use Edge? That seems to be the most common trigger for the crash.
  • Really need to know if this works for SP3 as well as the EXACT same behavior is happening there as well. This is not just a skylake issue.
  • Try and install the latest driver from the Intel website (you'll have to do it manually through Device Manager), it fixed the issues for me.​
  • Seems to have fixed my SP4.
  • I just got the update. Quicker than I expected! But it's not that big a deal as even though it occasionally said the display driver crashed and restarted but nothing visual happened
  • It's the same driver intel released in beta since 11/18 sadly
  • HGmm, and here I was thinking the biggest problem with the SB and SP4 was the kidney-sellingly high price.
  • You only need one, go spoil yourself.
  • This happens with Dell Venue 11 too (Core M Broadwell) and I received an update today...
  • Now if only "journalists" who docked the Pro 4 for this reason would update their review or update them....
  • No love?? what about the other surface lines???
  • Exactly! Why only fix the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book... the other Surfaces lines have the same problem! 
  • I don't have that issue on my Surface Pro 2, so perhaps it's only a Pro 3 issue...
  • I had very few problems on my SP2.... I've had it for 2 years now .... And my new SP4 causes more headaches than I'm possibly willing to deal with.... For this kind of cash, I'm not sure I'm willing to deal with it anymore :( 
  • Beta driver from intel already fixed this for me.
  • Hope it is available on my XPS 15 too. My one and only complaint so far.
  • I figured the most annoying is the massive drain while in sleep mode...guess not. 
     
  • Or sleep of death
  •  I’m starting to think it wasn’t the hardware manufacturers fault after all. MS has no excuse anymore. 
  • Read again. You won't even start thinking it wasn't ... ;)
  • Yeah. It does implies with Intel's graphic card driver. Without their interference, Microsoft can't solve this.
  • Yeah, this happens all the time with my HP Envy 13T x2.. Would be nice to see this issue go away. ;-)
  • I installed the update on my SP4, rebooted, and 15 minutes later the graphic card driver was reset again during webbrowsing on Edge. It hasn't fixed anything apparently. It happens a couple of times a day normally, no biggie since it doesn't hang or crash the pc, just gives you the notification the driver was reset.
  • Don't use edge. Use any browser and disable hardware acceleration
  • How is it both a driver AND OS issue?  Its pretty clear that this is yet another written-by-monkeys driver from our 'friends' at intel with their practical monopoly that absolves them of doing ANYHTHING to support their overpriced products.
  • Still happening on sp3 too
  • What about the sleep of death
  • Wait. 3 generations later they still have the display driver issue my Surface 2 has? Come on!
  • This was an issue on the Surface Pro 3 as well... One other thing is the resources Edge uses when accessing the Windows Central site.  It is absolutely crazy!  I have seen a single page account for over 20% of CPU resources as well as nearly 2GB of memory!  That's why my fan is hollering! This appears to occur everytime I open an article on the Windows Central site.  Firefox handles this fine, but I really like the touch features in Edge. Anyone else experiencing this?
  • I have this exact same issue on my SP3  On google result page: 1% CPU usage Windows Central: 33% (!!!) CPU usage.    Remarks:  CPU usage goes down to 0% as soon as I reduce the page Google Chrome has no issue handling Windows Central, in spite of is super bad CPU usage. Edit: I have an SP3 i5, I still have the display driver issue
  • Yeah! Thanks to the people who fixed this.
  • Over the weekend I upgraded my SP3 graphics driver directly from the Intel site to 20.19.15.4300​. Since then I haven't had a single crash. I does not appear to be a MS hardware specific problem, more of a MS OS / Intel Drive issue. In other words, don't blame the Surface hardware, blame the November Windows 10 update, they must have changed something that caused a problem for the Intel drivers.
  • Could you please provide a link to the intel website so i can download this driver ? I work with my W10 computer and it's crashing constantly, even more so when I an connected to a secondary monitor
  • I am using a Dell Laptop. I received the cumulative update but it did not bring the Intel display driver with it. I had to go to device manager, select the display driver with a right click and choose update driver. Hope this helps anyone who is getting the diplay driver crash.  
  • I am using a Dell Laptop. I received the cumulative update but it did not bring the Intel display driver with it. I had to go to device manager, select the display driver with a right click and choose update driver. Hope this helps anyone who is getting the diplay driver crash.  
  • i was gonna buy a surface pro 4 what after this and seeing other articals i think im just gonna stay with my mac less problems  
  • Well it doesn't fix the problem with the entire screen flickering and going black when playing Pandora in Edge on a Surface Book. (Same problem with the Groove web player.) What is interesting is that if you scroll the screen comes back on, but once you stop scrolling it goes black again...
  • Just had the display driver issue again - post update Surface Pro 3.
  • English is not my first language, but I can say that "to improve" can have very wide meaning, and for sure it does not mean "to resolve"...
  • If only they fix the other annoying bugs. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Ihe problem is Intel is the only player in the market. If you want to get a combo CPU/GPU chipset, the only real option is Intel. AMD doesn't have a viable alternative. Nvidia only makes discrete solutions in the PC market (all their other ventures in the PC arena have failed) so that adds additional cost to the above Intel choice and thus remains a luxury item for those that can afford it and whether it makes economical sense for PC vendors to provide it as an option. So we're at the mercy of Intel writing a decent driver for their hardware.
  • Got my cumulative update for SP3, which was supposed to fix my Graphics driver crashing.... And now my screen flickers all the time as if auto brightness was on. I'm starting to have had it with MS and their crap! How can i work with this????
  • Where was it ever said the cumulative update would fix those issues? Also, have you tried the latest graphic drivers directly from the Intel website?
  • This same thing has happened on my SP3 Pro since the cumulative update before 1511. I think this is an OS issue also. I hope we get a fix for it too. 
  • Bad news ladies and gents. Its still a problem on my SB i7.
  • I'm still having the same issues on the Core M3 SF. Sigh
  • Never happened on my iPad or MacBookPro. 
  • Because they have old chips and do not use Skylake. 
  • Yea, I don't think this was 100% fixed with that last update. Still seeing occassional display driver crashes randomly. Might be another issue, but it's a basically stock i7 SP4.
  • Since last week I haven't seen the display crash message, apparently the update solve that priblem. But still when I lower the brightness of the screen to less than 15% I can see the screen sort of blinking (SP4/ i5/ 256). Does anybofy else have this problem? cheers P.S. I just hope they fix the wake-up issue soon becayse it really drives me crazy. I just wanna close the cover and open it and see that the system comes up.
  • So far no BSOD or Driver bug since the update! THANK YOU!!!  
  • Wow! So many bugs still need squashing. Keep appreciating my choice to stick with my Surface Pro 2...
  • **** Surface Pro 4. Have spent 3 non-productive days trying to get this new computer to work. Serious problems with it crashing after 10 minutes requiring a re-boot to have to do the same every 10 minutes. It worked better before the big MS update of December 2, now it is a worthless and incredible tool of time wasting frustration. DO NOT BUY ONE until MS fixes this. The people at 2 MS stores did not even know how to fix it other than reloading the operating system which required reloading all software and data. Everyone is in the dark. I am running standard Office and Adobe, nothing unusual. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    RL