Windows 10 build 14915 breaks WiFi on older Surface Pro devices

If you're a Surface Pro 1 or Surface Pro 2 user and planning on upgrading to the latest Insider Preview build, we've got some bad news for you. Build 14915 is breaking the WiFi adapter on a number of older Surface Pro devices, and it doesn't look like there's a fix for it.

A number of Surface Pro 1 and Surface Pro 2 users, including me, are experiencing this issue. Some users have said that reverting back to the previous build fails too, so the only real fix right now is to clean install a production build.

See more

Microsoft engineers are aware of the problem, and say they are looking into getting this fixed in upcoming builds. In the meantime however, it is advised you do not update to this build if you are using a Surface Pro 1 or 2. If you have upgraded, you may have luck in downgrading back to your previous build. If not, reinstalling a clean version of Windows should do the trick.

If you've encountered this issue, make sure you let the Insider team know via the Feedback Hub.

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • Ouch, this is major. It's the perfect example of the risk that comes with getting into Insider builds, especially the Fast Ring.
  • At the same time, though, it's this kind of voluntary participation that helps draw attention to problems like this. Resolving them is a bit of a pain if the problem is affecting the only network connection available on a device (as it is in this case if the device owner does not have an external wired network interface / dock).
  • Yeah, that's what I thought, it's hard to solve this time. I hope there are few affected and can work it out fast enough. I have a lot of respect for those who take on the role of Insiders, I was in the program until I got my new phone, and it was a rollercoaster of emotions. But it adds a lot of value to the process.
  • It's the reason why I'm in Fast Ring on Surface Pro 1 (and I have this issue too...) and I'm in slow ring on Surface Pro 4, and Release Preview ring on my main PC and Phone.
  • You are seriously not at all allowed to complain about any bug if you are in the fast ring.
  • Unless complaints are being submitted through the feedback hub so Microsoft can be notified it's happening.
  • Right. So I'll use my internet connection to complain about my device no longer having an internet connection. 
  • Well, use Feedback Hub on another device. If you have Fast Ring on your only device, that's an entirely different issue and let's just say the issue doesn't lie with Microsoft.
  • How does the issue not lie with Microsoft?  What do you mean?
  • It is stated pretty clearly that the insider previews are not intended for your primary devices and to be installed at your own risk.
  • to fix not having an internet connection you need to use your internet connection to download a production version that still has an internet connection, this will wipe everything, but eventually there will be a simple fix for no internet connection that you will be able to download with your internet connection  
  • Actually, you could use the deployment tool to download it via another machine onto a flash drive and install it that way.  I had to do that on the NextBook 10.1 I'm testing Windows 10 on.
  • Just roll back to the previous version. No internet required for that.
  • Yes, download it to a USB with with another computer, and then plug that USB drive into your Surface to run the update. You could also download it to your phone and plug that into your Surface to get the file. It's definitely an inconvenience, but fast ring users did knowingly sign up for bleeding edge, very buggy updates.
  • Right... but it's definitely not something you'd expect to happen with a Microsoft hardware device -- very representative of the disconnect between departments and overall lack of QA.
  • No it isn't! It's a sign that MS aren't testing on older devices, in particular, Surface Pro 2. This issue would've have been known otherwise, since it knocked out Bluetooth also. Having said that, I'm not an Insider on PC anymore. Reset the networking didn't work, rollback to previous build, didn't work. Clean install to latest stable release was the only fix, so staying on the current build cycle from now on.
  • I thought about joining the insider program on my SP4, but buggy updates like this are why I decided long ago not to. I'm on the release preview ring on my phone. So far only 1 buggy update, but I was still able to use my phone.
  • It's not just insider builds. Microsoft has regularly broken Wifi on my Surface Pro 1 in recent months. I have lost hours just getting my wifi back. One time, the local Microsoft store didn't know how to fix it and I was close to buying a new Surface. The store in another town happened to know what to do. I'm keeping a close watch now to be ready to roll back any updates, if needed. The storyline of "Apple works because it's a walled garden but Microsoft supports hundreds of thousands of different possible configurations with Windows" doesn't sound near as convincing when Microsoft can't even keep their own tablets from experiencing as pathetic errors as an inoperable wifi adapater. (Should I really have to watch the Wifi icon with agony each time I restart my Microsoft-created computer hoping I'll still have connectivity?)
  • Ouch indeed I reported this on feedback hub already
  • Ran into a similar issue on an older laptop / tablet (from 2007). Not quite the same, but it took a bit of repeated tickling of the "Troubleshoot network issues" link to get it to finally kick into gear.
  • Sadly it would not work :( I tried reinstalling WiFi and do the surface firmware all with no luck, I have a usb to Ethernet adapter to try everything!
  • OneCore! They're working on OnECore. That's why this kind of things can happen. Well, this kind of news reminds me of early RS builds.
    Many people out there who know less about tech only interpret this kind of stuffs they found on internet as 'Win10 s**k'.
    That was how I was too before joining here. I'm happy I'm here...
  • Windows 10 far from sucks and I know these things happen when making major changes under the hood.
  • I knew.
  • Yep, got burned by this on an SP2.  I made the mistake (after the fact) of deciding to do a refresh - but after doing that rollback was no longer an option.  Downloaded the SP2 firmware/driver pack and tried to manually install stuff, but WiFi would still not work.  IMHO its as if this build broke enumeration big time since Ethernet and BT are TOTALLY missing from device manager!  No unknown devices, no other devices, no yellow bangs - they are flat out missing.  My SP2 is a POS anyway, so I still haven't decided if I'm even going to bother with a fresh install from USB media - I might just junk it
  • Does the SP2 even have Ethernet?
  • If you buy a USB-to-Ethernet adapter yeah, but otherwise no, the surface line (and most thin laptops) are wifi only
  • If you're binning it I'll have it, for free of course ;)
  • I will wait for a further update I have a USB to ethernet connection it is not my main pc anyway
  • Happened here on Surface Pro 2. What a pain.
  • Yeah mine did too
  • My original Surface Pro, which I use as a fast ring testbed so I don't put my more recent devices at risk, had this problem. The troubleshooter said Marvell AVASTAR processes were not functionig (or some such phrase). Wireless connectivity was reestablished by rolling back to 14915. I encountered no Wi-Fi problems with 14915 on my HP Stream 8 or on two phones -- a 930 and a 950XL. --------- EDITED to fix typos. (And then edited again.)
  • Build 14915 isn't just terrible on surface pro 1 & 2 all 3 of my pcs are now unusable and need totally fresh installed as you cant see ANY fonts at all on this build on any of my pcs so u cant even revert back to previous build. I have provided screenshots and feedback in the hub but had to send the feedback using my phone as I couldn't do it on any of the pcs as they are that unusable.
  • I could do the roll back. Had you removed the Windows.old folder?
  • No but you cant read any text as it shows as white bars only no text is readable in the whole OS so its a press and guess game. Nah reinstall was far easier to do. Also when I booted from my install media it got past the loading files bit then I got a message box saying " windows has detected that you have booted from an installation media while in process of a upgrade. Please press yes to continue the upgrade process or no to continue the fresh install" This is the first time i have ever seen this message. And yes I did try first to do the upgrade in case pressing it fixed things but it didn't so I pressed No the 2nd time round to continue the fresh install.
  • Yes, I have the same problem on my dell desktop cant navigate the system fully. All I can see is White squares and blank spaces. Don't know im clicking on the screen. Thought is was only me.
  • Time to upgrade then, eh?
  • Same happened with me I rolled back thanks to windows.old files
  • Oh no! My surface pro downloaded this update last night... Is there a way to delete the update before it restarts and installs it?
  • You can try the option to "Stop Insider Builds" (which gives you the option of taking a temporary break from new builds) and if that doesn't stop it installing, then just let it go ahead and once done, simply roll back to the previous build (14905). Then, after rolling back, give it the "Stop Insider Builds" treatment. Keep an eye on the feedback hub for news of a fix and then click resume to get back in the program instantly.
  • You can't change Insider settings on 14905
  • That's true... I'd forgotten about that issue :)
  • TRY THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! When the install starts turn off the power during the first bit of the install to make the install fail, and automatically roll back. If you make it fail during the first few %, it's when its copying files and not doing anything important it should return to windows saying install failed in the safe os phase. Note, you may need to interrupt it 2 or 3 times to actually make it fail. Before doing this, if you can download a copy of the anniversary edition install just in case things go wrong.
  • Yep, I had to do an ISO install on my SP2 because rollback failed. I'm gonna sit out Redstone 2 for a while. I can handle a buggy experience. I cannot handle failed hardware.
  • Also broke access to network shares that use anonymous login, both for Samba shares and other Win10 machines. Did it on two of my machines so I had to roll them both back.
  • That is actually a Good Thing.
  • It's quite obvious that MS has 0 in house QAs nowadays.
  • Yep,  if there were any IN HOUSE QC people at microsoft,  this would not even make it to fast ring.  
  • Except you can't change Preview settings on the prevous build either so it's a vicious circle, I just have 905 with airplane mode on now waiting on a new build  
  • Amateurs at Redmond!
  • I think every new version of any software is supposed to keep what is good (and working) from previous versions, then add some new stuff. But with Windows is not the case. Specially with basic features like WiFi. But since Windows is now a "Service" (a diplomatic word for "eternal beta"), it's ok to always have bugs, even for official releases.
  • This is an insider build. This stuff happens, and it's good that it does.
    Yes, there are still too many bugs on windows, but hopefully this won't be one that makes it to release.
  • I know this is a Insider Build, but we're not talking about some special-purpose hardware, WiFi is basic stuff, like the hard drive or the screen. It's like Toyota's testing a prototype car, but it forgot to include steering wheel, is that ok just because is not a production car?  
  • Well wifi for the OS isn't broken, it's wifi specifically for the surface line that's broken. Which means that it's a very specific hardware or driver issue. So not a big deal and something that happens. Just more public and noticed since surface has always been plagued with this kind of crap, and it's microsoft's own computer.
    I'd totally expect a prototype car to not have a steering wheel XD
  • Funny thing is that it's Microsofts own hardware.  that is inexcusable.  If it were drivers for a toshiba notebook or something..yeah,  but your own hardware that supposedly the "development team" used to code...come on!  terrible.  
  • Well if the dev team is using Surfaces, they would using 3s, 4s, or Surface books. Probably why it wasn't caught. They're probably also virtualizing a lot of stuff. I think only the surface team actually uses surfaces to build things, but obviously I don't know because I don't work there. But at the end of the day, this is the reason that the preview program exists, and it's not my job to freak out about it unless I'm on the preview program or working for Microsoft, of which I am currently neither. My schoolwork is more important for me to worry about.
  • I would make sure it worked on older MS devices too.  Unitl "offically unsupported,  Apple tests its OS/updates on all older machines".   Now,  if it was an off brand device....yep,  updates can break things,  but not on your own supported devices...DON'T MAKE SENSE.  Just shows the mentality of the Microsoft core at the moment.  They could have AWESOME stuff,  but they don't think.  They just want to rush "the latest update"  out to keep the whiners quiet instead of waiting for a few weeks,  do some in house testing,  and then push out a polished product.  Thats what a real quailty control team would do....but oh yeah,  Satya fired all of them!
  • This is them testing the updates on older devices though. That's the point of the fast ring. Stuff hasn't quite been tested on everything yet, versus the slow ring. They're just doing it in a more public way than apple, who has a beta program I think, but I don't know how bleeding edge their previews are. Also not sure why everyone wants to blame Satya around here. He might not be perfect, but there are thousands and thousands of people who work for Microsoft. Lot more people to blame for anything that goes wrong than just one person.
  • The roll back did the job for me. Back to the 14905 version and the WiFi works.
  • This is a slightly off topic thought:
    As someone with an SP4 who is really not a fan of the Marvel wireless adapter, I am really curious to see if they will continue to use in with the coming models of surface line. Because it really does suck. I never automatically changes frequency bands between 2.4 and 5GHz, even though it's supposed to with an auto setting. And the Bluetooth part of the chip can be a bit shaky at times as well, although it seems pretty stable for now. Wish they would look into other options and just spend a little bit more money, or maybe Marvel could poach some engineers from QUALCOMM or Broadwell or Intel.
  • Ergo the "Revert" button - which I used to great effect on my Surface Pro (1) last night. 
  • I had this on 14905 on my Samsung RF710. Am hoping this build fixes it.
  • It's also done same on L950
    Wifi keeps going off and being unable to connect to my home broadband
  • Well, lesson learned here. I like fast ring, but I will wait a day or two, before upgrading next time, just to make sure there aren't any issues that will keep me from being able to use my SP1. I went out and bought an USB to Ethernet adapter but, there goes my portability, for now. Hopefully, there will be a fix within the next week or so. I tried going to the manufacturer of the Wi-Fi adapter to see if I can download the driver. The driver on the hard drive appears to be corrupt or otherwise broken. When I select the option to reinstall it, it gives me an error, stating something to the affect of not being able to install driver. I figured, if I could find it on their site, it might resolve this issue. The driver isn't readily available for download. I contacted support to see if they can help. Maybe, they will email a link ir something to the proper driver download. If so, and it works, I will post the link.
  • I have had insider build on for some time, but has since turned it off again. But I have experienced this error today on my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro! I got it working again, by installing network driver from Lenovo website. How can this happen when turned it off and got build number 14393.105 installed?
  • Ok we all know the risks of being a fast insider. But, side note is it really wise to run the preview on 1 & 2 Surfaces?
  • Sadly got hit with this. Was time to start fresh anyway, been a while.
  • I'm getting this with a usb wireless adapter. I plugged in my old one and that worked.
  • Definitely broken on my SP4. Only stays connected for a minute, max, then disconnects.
  • Wifi was already broken on SP2 - if you had enabled Bluetooth at the same time...some moron decided to use the same frequency for both and both interfere with each other!  I ended up complaining to MS and got a refund after 12 month period, they know its a hardware issue that couldnt be fixed with an update.  This is a trend that continues in many tech companies, by the time they figure it out they dont bother releasing a fix as its time to focus on the next version.
  • This happened on my SP2. Happily, rollback to previous version took care of it.
  • Yep same for me on SP2. Roll back worked.
  • This happened on a clone pc, with tp-link usb wifi adapter. Had to rollback.
  • same here, went out and splurged for a new usb wifi with legit win10 drivers to see if it'd fix the issue, it didn't, rolled back.  wifi back up & runnin. might keep the new 1200ac adapter tho 
  • Dumb question, but how do I roll back my Surface Pro 2 from this latest build?  
  • Settings --> Update & Recovery --> Recovery --> Go back to earlier build
  • "Settings->Update & Recovery->Recovery->Go back to an earlier build" worked for me.
  • Did you do that *before* restarting? Or after that?
  • Thanks to you both.
  • Does Microsoft even know wot there doing!!!
  • Seems like they get something new working and break something that was working. Something is going wrong when compiling the new version causing it.  Many people working on different items, but not conversing them.
  • I have the 950 XL and noticed after returning to my house the WiFi showed not available. I rebooted the phone and was able to get it back.  Also noticed on the phone that the photos live tile doesn't show the picture slideshow, I did a soft reset and was able to get it working, however it didn't work very long, before it quit working again.  The PC has the same build, 15915 and the photos live tile works.
  • OMG! I've updated yesterday on my Surface Pro 2, but was holding back the restart. Time to get a no-break device to hold it till next week at least when I hope there's an update for that.
  • oh sure, I will let them know on the insider hub..... oh wait, I can't get on the internet!
  • My Surface Pro 1 was diabled by this update as well - Killing Wifi and BT both makes it especially painful. Luckily, reverting to 14905 did the trick for now.  
  • Using a USB wifi adapter (Linksys ac 1200) on my surface pro 2 as a work around. Looks like the problem only affects the some drivers.
  • I can report that the wireless and bluetooth are working on the new 14926 build for the Surface Pro 2. 
  • So is there a straightforward way to go from 14905 directly to 14926?
  • Yes. I rolled back out of 14915. Waited till 14926 was released and installed it. Everything was fine.