"Sleep of Death" bug hits buyers of Microsoft's pricey Surface Book

Posted:
in iPad edited May 2016
Microsoft's pricey Surface Book laptop is frustrating buyers with crashes, "unplanned shutdowns," overheating issues and a "Sleep of Death" issue that regularly causes machines to become completely unresponsive during sleep. Users complain that Microsoft isn't addressing the problem.




Addison Snell, the chief executive of Intersect360 Research, wrote about his "nightmare" experience with a top of the line Surface Book he paid over $4,000 for, noting for The Register UK that Microsoft hasn't offered a solution and refused to replace or return his defective machine.

Surface Book is a premium priced, more conventional laptop with a detachable screen that Microsoft introduced last year alongside its fourth edition of the tablet-oriented Surface Pro 4.

"Whenever the system goes to sleep for a few hours or more, chances are it's not going to wake up," Snell wrote. "These long sleep periods, such as overnight, usually result in system crashes. The start of my work day, almost every day, involves bringing my Surface Book back from an unplanned full shutdown."

After three months of trying to find a solution for the Surface, he discovered the problem is so common it has a name: "Sleep of Death." Discussion site Reddit has 50 threads about the issue, and Microsoft's own support site returns over 75,000 results when searching for Surface Sleep of Death.

"A simpler search like 'Surface sleep crash' nets even more: 250,000," Snell wrote.




His initial three hour support call to Microsoft, made during the first week of ownership, involved providing a technician with remote control of his machine to perform updates and a reset of his power settings, but didn't fix the problem. Subsequent emails and even tweets to @SurfaceSupport resulted in no replies.

An online chat with Microsoft support was also unable to solve the problem, but when Snell asked for a refund, Microsoft noted that the purchase had now exceeded a 30 day window and that neither online support nor Microsoft Retail were capable of processing returns after that date.

Upon taking the defective Surface Book to a Microsoft Retail store, Snell wrote that his customer service experience as "was friendly and welcoming but immediately took the same stance of sympathetic ineptitude I got elsewhere: 'I'm feelin' you, bro. That sucks. I'm sorry I can't help you. The POS system just doesn't let us do it.'"

Common problem for Windows



Readers commented similar experiences, with one noting "I've had the [Surface Book] about 6 weeks now. As soon as I got it, I started having the Sleep of Death issues as discussed in the article. It did my head in that a $3000 laptop and this could happen."

Others commented that they'd experienced similar problems with previous Surface models, as well as other PC vendors' hardware, such as one HP Elitebook user who wrote "I have had this 'Sleep of Death' bug with Windows 8.1 multiple times, with [Windows] 10 it has also happened this morning. Definitely a Windows bug."

Another noted, "Apple is light years ahead of getting a laptop to resume from sleep using their OS compared to Windows or even any Linux distort I know of. You just have to watch any of their WWDC videos on the subject to see how much thought and work they put into it and getting it to work with newer Intel hardware. If Microsoft is doing the same I haven't heard of it."

The "Sleep of Death" name appears to take inspiration from "Red Ring of Death" hardware issues that plagued Microsoft's Xbox 360, a problem which itself was named after the "Blue Screen of Death" that Windows PCs used to display when they crashed.

iPad Pro also had a wake issue



Apple's new iPad Pro line, which also debuted last winter, exhibited a similar problem for some users where the unit might stop responding and need to be manually powered off. Apple addressed the issue in December's iOS 9.2 update.

In mid May, Apple subsequently released another update, iOS 9.3 which completely disabled iPad Pro models for some users, causing Apple to pull the update.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    65026502 Posts: 254member
    Two phases came to mind when I saw POS.
    calimacky the mackyviclauyyclatifbpai46
  • Reply 2 of 56
    I have a similar  same problem with the POS Lenova Laptop I am forced to use at work. I have narrowed the problem down to it being an issue with the interrupt system in Windows. Basically its defective. What I do is make sure I never open  the display , but only move the attached mouse or  press a keyboard key to make the external display respond. Opening the laptop necessitates a complete hard reboot to get any response from the peripherals because experience (years of trial and error) has told me it thinks there are no peripherals attached when the display is opened up. Those buffoons at MS prolly are still using the desktop Windows kernel with the Surface and trying to get it to work with all that old crappy code. The windows memory Manager is a complete and utter mess of obfuscated code , read: It can't really unfrag its heap or anything else for that matter. Putting a windows system to sleep is akin to death.

      I'd wager the kernal has "forgotten" where the cursor is after sleeping. I bet the memory manager has corrupted the cursor address and so on wake it can't figure out what to wake up freeze, or goes off to some address that leads to a freeze. Do you have peripherals attached.? It might be the same issue. In fact  I have owned several pc laptops over the years and invariably they start exhibiting this behavior.

     I don't know why it is I guess it has to do with crappy HW quality and the kernal Windshit OS. Its hard to believe that MS can still not fix such elementary things like this work. Oh wait, I'm not really THAT surprised there is minimal Quality  Control or basic testing done at MSFT is there, we are beta testers duh. Bill Gates pitched us a POS

    I'm looking very much forward to retiring in one year, so I will never ever ever ever have to use a Windows based computer again. Until then its just the one of many annoyances I have to deal with at the office.

    This problem which  is one of 1000's that Windows has is the reason why consumers are buying macs in droves and moving to mobile devices that actually work. If you think about it. I'm glad that Microsofts Mobile strategy is failing. At least they won't inflct any more damage on the more gullible   users who might fall for their sales tactics!

    I just love it when someone, knowing I'm a techy, asks me to fix some annoyance on their Windows machine and I reply "I stopped using PC's after XP . I moved to a mac, sorry I can't help you!". I never say  , "you stupid fool- you shouldn't have bought that POS cheap garbage in the first place" that would be cruel, I let them figure it out the hard way for themselves- As the original idiot who bought into the surface hype did- I just think it. And he paid $4000 for it lol jeez what a bozo. I don't suppose he will be buying another Surface? HE WOULDN'T BE THAT STUPID WOULD HE?
    edited May 2016 calirobertwalterP-DogNCfotoformatviclauyycchiabadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 56
    AWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwwww! That's too bad.

    They paid for a Mercedes but got a Chevy.
    edited May 2016 caliviclauyyclatifbpai46badmonk
  • Reply 4 of 56
    tbstephtbsteph Posts: 83member
    Today is 5/31/16. This device has been available for well over 6-8 months. These issues have widely reported for many months - long enough for Microsoft to completely resolve them. FWIW, almost all of the issues were related to Intel's Skylake processor.


    Look, I read Apple Insider because I use Mac's (And Windows). Why the writers on the site seem to want to denigrate anything not Apple is ridiculous. Report on AAPL. If I want to read about MSFT, I'll go to Windows Central (Which, by the way,  never mentions either AAPL or GOOG in a derogatory manner.). Grow up!
    techlover
  • Reply 5 of 56
    I have a similar  same problem with the POS Lenova Laptop I am forced to use at work. I have narrowed the problem down to it being an issue with the interrupt system in Windows. Basically its defective. What I do is make sure I never open  the display , but only move the attached mouse or  press a keyboard key to make the external display respond. Opening the laptop necessitates a complete hard reboot to get any response from the peripherals because experience (years of trial and error) has told me it thinks there are no peripherals attached when the display is opened up. Those buffoons at MS prolly are still using the desktop Windows kernel with the Surface and trying to get it to work with all that old crappy code. The windows memory Manager is a complete and utter mess of obfuscated code , read: It can't really unfrag its heap or anything else for that matter. Putting a windows system to sleep is akin to death.

      I'd wager the kernal has "forgotten" where the cursor is after sleeping. I bet the memory manager has corrupted the cursor address and so on wake it can't figure out what to wake up freeze, or goes off to some address that leads to a freeze. Do you have peripherals attached.? It might be the same issue. In fact  I have owned several pc laptops over the years and invariably they start exhibiting this behavior.

     I don't know why it is I guess it has to do with crappy HW quality and the kernal Windshit OS. Its hard to believe that MS can still not fix such elementary school things like this work. Oh wait, I'm not really THAT surprised there is minimal Quality  Control or basic testing done at MSFT is there, we are beta testers duh. Bill Gates pitched us a POS

    I'm looking very much forward to retiring in one year, so I will never ever  have to use a Windows based computer ever again. Until then its just the one of many annoyances I have to deal with at the office.

    This problem which  is one of 1000's that Windows has is the reason why consumers are buying macs in droves and moving to mobile devices that actually work. If you think about it. I'm glad that Microsofts Mobile strategy is failing. At least they won't inflct any more damage on the more gullible   users who might fall for their sales tactics!

    I just love it when someone, knowing I'm a techy, asks me to fix some annoyance on their Windows machine and I reply "I stopped using PC's after XP . I moved to a mac, sorry I can't help you!". I never say  , "you stupid fool- you shouldn't have bought that POS cheap garbage in the first place" that would be cruel, I let them figure it out the hard way for themselves- As the original idiot who bought into the surface hype did- I just think it. And he paid $4000 for it lol jeez what a bozo
    If Microsoft hasn't started writing a new modern OS from scratch by now, they're dead. What amazes me is that it's the most un-secure, buggy OS ever designed, yet hundreds of millions of people use it.

    I moved to Mac in 2001 and have not once had a problem.
    edited June 2016 P-DogNCviclauyycpalominemagman1979redgeminipa
  • Reply 6 of 56
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Imagine if Apple took months to fix a bug? Last I remember Apple having a bug they fixed it within days and the iHaters are STILL mentioning it.

    tbsteph said:
    Today is 5/31/16. This device has been available for well over 6-8 months. These issues have widely reported for many months - long enough for Microsoft to completely resolve them. FWIW, almost all of the issues were related to Intel's Skylake processor.


    Look, I read Apple Insider because I use Mac's (And Windows). Why the writers on the site seem to want to denigrate anything not Apple is ridiculous. Report on AAPL. If I want to read about MSFT, I'll go to Windows Central (Which, by the way,  never mentions either AAPL or GOOG in a derogatory manner.). Grow up!
    I come here because this website creates a balance. You can bet your ass your websites talk sh** about Apple all day.
    Apple has a tiny misstep and it's all over the blogosphere, Microsoft has a sleep of death bug and you can only find the news here and rarely other sites.

    I hope DED keeps writing truth and bringing facts to the Internet.
    mejsricrepressthisstanthemananantksundarambaconstangcorrectionsradarthekatP-DogNCneil andersonviclauyyc
  • Reply 7 of 56
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,142member
    I know two people that own a Surface Pro, and they've both been driven up the wall with major problems with the machine, including not waking from sleep and constant hard freezes. 
    repressthiscalicorrectionsP-DogNCwilliamlondonnetmagelatifbpmagman1979redgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 56
    mac'em xmac'em x Posts: 98member
    Look, I read Apple Insider because I use Mac's (And Windows).

    Why the writers on the site seem to want to denigrate anything not Apple is ridiculous. Report on AAPL. If I want to read about MSFT, I'll go to Windows Central (Which, by the way,  never mentions either AAPL or GOOG in a derogatory manner.). Grow up!
    Did the article say something factually untrue about its subject? If so, what? And if not, then what is this "denigrate" you speak of?

    P.S. "Mac's"?
    calibaconstangradarthekatP-DogNCviclauyycchialatifbpcwingravration almagman1979
  • Reply 9 of 56
    I used to have a Surface Pro 3. Pretty sure I remember having similar wake issues when I was on the Windows 10 Technical Preview. At the time I figured it was just a bug with the preview. Would have to hard reset the thing to get it to respond. Glad I flipped it on eBay and don't have to deal with that anymore. 
    caliP-DogNCviclauyycmagman1979ai46
  • Reply 10 of 56
    runbuhrunbuh Posts: 315member
    cali said:
    I come here because this website creates a balance. You can bet your ass your websites talk sh** about Apple all day.
    Apple has a tiny misstep and it's all over the blogosphere, Microsoft has a sleep of death bug and you can only find the news here and rarely other sites.

    I hope DED keeps writing truth and bringing facts to the Internet.
    If you would extricate your head from DED's bum, you would see the articles that have been posted for MONTHS about all the problems with the Surface Book (and Surface Pro).  Here, LMGTFY
    staticx57
  • Reply 11 of 56
    bdkennedy said:
    AWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwwwwwwwwww! That's too bad.

    They paid for a Mercedes but got a Chevy.
    Paid for a car, got a toilet. 
    latifbpmagman1979
  • Reply 12 of 56
    stanthemanstantheman Posts: 319member
    tbsteph said:
    Why the writers on the site seem to want to denigrate anything not Apple is ridiculous.
    I believe Microsoft compares Surface to iPad in an expensive advertising campaign. This article is no more than a follow-up on that campaign. Truth in advertising, one might say.
    slprescottcorrectionsradarthekatmacseekerchiaspaceraysnetmagelatifbppalomine
  • Reply 13 of 56
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,070member
    cali said:
    Imagine if Apple took months to fix a bug? Last I remember Apple having a bug they fixed it within days and the iHaters are STILL mentioning it.
    Well, to be honest, Apple had major DNS and WiFi issues from 10.8 to 10.10. And I remember their handling of Titanium PowerBook hinge problems all too well. And do not let me get into the severe issues of the single CPU 1.8 GHz PowerMac G5, which btw have never been fixed by Apple. These things do occur. What drives somebody to buy a $4k machine from a company without any hardware expertise or experienced support though... Sleep issues in Windows are nothing new at all either; it has never worked without problems and they happen on all kinds of hardware.
    curt12viclauyycnetmage
  • Reply 14 of 56
    LoneStar88LoneStar88 Posts: 285member
    tbsteph said:
    Today is 5/31/16. This device has been available for well over 6-8 months. These issues have widely reported for many months - long enough for Microsoft to completely resolve them. FWIW, almost all of the issues were related to Intel's Skylake processor.


    Look, I read Apple Insider because I use Mac's (And Windows). Why the writers on the site seem to want to denigrate anything not Apple is ridiculous. Report on AAPL. If I want to read about MSFT, I'll go to Windows Central (Which, by the way,  never mentions either AAPL or GOOG in a derogatory manner.). Grow up!
    No, your rant is ridiculous. I like how DED rips into most anything not Apple. Just look at the byline next time and move along.
    baconstangcorrectionsnetmagemagman1979ai46
  • Reply 15 of 56
    Herbivore2Herbivore2 Posts: 362member
    Sleep issues are why I use a Mac. If I am forced to use Winblows, I install it on the Mac and run the OS in VMWare. Thankfully it is essentially no longer an issue as I use iOS on the iPad Pro which is supported by my company. 

    Surface issues have been ongoing for many months and have even caused a great deal of distress to Paul Thurott the ultimate Windows evangelist. 

    I actually like the Surface Book. However, I would not purchase one because when all is said and done, I would still rather own and use a Mac. If I need Windows there is always VMWare. 

    These days, for what I do, my iPad Pro is sufficient to do all of my computing needs. I am actually thinking of ridding the iMac and MacBook Air altogether. There is only a single reason I don't. There is no simple and quick way to move files off of the iPad without the need for a computer for local storage and archiving on a USB stick.  Also with the large iPad Pro using a thunderbolt to USB-C converter results in incredibly fast media transfers. 

    If some third party or Apple itself fixes this one issue, all of my computing will be done on the iPad Pro. Besides the Apple Pencil is far superior to the Microsoft stylus for drawing or taking notes. 
  • Reply 16 of 56
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    More than 30 years making software and they still can't get Sleep to function correctly. From Sleep killing your HDD in Windows XP to this crap. One of the many reasons I never buy anything made by Microsoft.
    edited June 2016 chia
  • Reply 17 of 56
    suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,758member
    mac'em x said:
    Look, I read Apple Insider because I use Mac's (And Windows).

    Why the writers on the site seem to want to denigrate anything not Apple is ridiculous. Report on AAPL. If I want to read about MSFT, I'll go to Windows Central (Which, by the way,  never mentions either AAPL or GOOG in a derogatory manner.). Grow up!
    Did the article say something factually untrue about its subject? If so, what? And if not, then what is this "denigrate" you speak of?

    P.S. "Mac's"?
    "Macs" isn't in the built-in Android autocorrect dictionary.  ;)
    ai46
  • Reply 18 of 56
    why-why- Posts: 305member
    What an...interesting headline
  • Reply 19 of 56
    Sounds like every single Dell laptop I was ever given at work. I even had one which, right out of the box with no extra software installed, would BSOD whenever you plugged headphones into the docking station headphones port. Quality equipment.
  • Reply 20 of 56
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,591member
    I'm guessing the problem is some weird firmware thing. Probably a bug in whatever they use to decide if the screen is connected or not. 

    And that hinge is bad design.
    ai46
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