Surface Dock firmware updates don't work with Surface Pro X

Surface Pro X installation error
Surface Pro X installation error (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Surface Pro X owners can't update their Surface Dock firmware.
  • The issue comes down to a lack of ARM64 support for the Surface Dock's update package.
  • Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 were the last devices to get official support with a Surface Dock update.

If you're using a Surface Dock with your Surface Pro X and can't update the firmware, you're not alone. In a Reddit thread discussing issues with the Surface Dock and Surface Pro X, a user pointed out that the firmware for the Surface Dock can't be updated via Microsoft's ARM tablet. The reason comes down to a lack of ARM64 support by the update package.

If you download and attempt to run the latest firmware update package (opens in new tab) from Microsoft's support site, you'll be greeted with the following error message on a Surface Pro X:

This installation package is not supported by this processor type. Contact your product vendor.

We've tested this out on a Surface Pro X and received the same error message cited in the Reddit thread.

The only way around this is to use another Surface to install the firmware update before resuming using your Surface Dock with the Surface Pro X. The last devices to gain official support with a Surface Dock update were the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3, according to Microsoft's release notes (opens in new tab).

This is an area where one would expect Microsoft to maintain compatibility across its whole Surface lineup, but it appears support for ARM processors either slipped by or there's some other technical limitation. In the meantime, it's a strange inconvenience for anyone already using a Surface Dock with their Surface Pro X.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • That's ironic. Two Microsoft products that don't support each other... You would've thought that Microsoft would release arm64 versions of their own software before the release of their flagship arm device to set a good example and provide the best experience possible, but I guess that's not their priority. :(
  • lol the fact that they're Microsoft products does not mean they aren't subject to basic laws of computing...the update package for the Surface dock needs to run on the computer's CPU and if it's compiled to a binary (x86) that is not compatible with the Surface Pro X's cpu (ARM), it won't run, period.
  • My point is that it's ironic that they haven't recompiled it for arm in preparation for their flagship arm device. Unless they've got inline assembly or something it shouldn't be much more than a small config change in visual studio.
  • I agree entirely. There's no excuse for a company with the manpower and resources like Microsoft to change the config settings in Visual Studio or at least a few tweaks to ensure this runs on ARM64 lol.
  • Not to change the subject, but I really like that wallpaper.