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New Surface firmware/driver update knocks out Wi-Fi on some systems

Microsoft released a big bunch of Surface firmware/driver updates last week and the complaints are rising.

I’m seeing various reports like this one from sleong261 on Reddit:

I updated the wifi driver to “Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Net – 15.68.17013.110” [on my Surface Book], and after that update, I can’t connect to a 5GHz wifi connection, I can only connect to 2.4 GHz. When I try to connect to the 5GHz, it says: “Unable to connect to this network.” Uninstalling the wifi driver, and restarting the device did help me get the 5GHz connection back to my Surface Book, but when i decided to try to install the same driver again, and try to connect to 5GHz again, the same “Unable to connect to this network” appears.

Looking at the Surface firmware/driver updates, I see there were new “Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Net – 15.68.17013.110” drivers for:

  • Surface Pro (5th gen)
  • Surface Pro 6
  • Surface Laptop (1st gen)
  • Surface Laptop 2
  • Surface Book
  • Surface Book 2

Not surprisingly, there are problem reports now online for almost all of those Surface products. Several of the reports say that Wi-Fi fails entirely, at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. One report says that the companion Bluetooth driver, Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Bluetooth – 15.68.17013.110, causes problems as well.

This is particularly odd because the same driver went out to beta testers in the Win10 Insider Fast Ring (version 20H1) build 18936 almost a month ago. In the announcement, Dona Sarkar says:

With the latest driver update in the Windows insider rings (Marvell 15.68.17013.110), the following Surface devices will preview the phone screen feature – Surface Laptop, Surface Laptop 2, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 5, Surface Pro 6, Surface Book, and Surface Book 2. If you have one of these devices, give it a try and let us know what you think! 

What the beta testers think isn’t all that positive. I see two entries in the Feedback Hub for Wi-Fi connection problems with 15.68.17013.110, one with five upvotes, the other with 10. Microsoft, of course, says, “We got this feedback.” But it somehow neglected to fix the driver before releasing it to all modern Surface owners.

It appears to be an intermittent bug. I don’t see any pattern yet in which machines get bit and which get spared. 

Microsoft, of course, has not acknowledged the problem, other than the “We got it” in the Feedback Hub.

Thx @barbbowman.

Have a recent Surface machine? Can’t get WiFi? Leave us details on the AskWoody Lounge.