Let me initially say that I’ve had issues like this on countless computers, so running into issues like this is not unique to Surface. Last night, my Surface Pro gave me a complete panic attack. It’s my only work device, so I use it all day, every day and literally cannot work without it. While I was working yesterday, I received a battery warning that I was down to 7% battery life even though my laptop was plugged in. I noticed that the white charge light on the cable was not lit, even though it was plugged in. It eventually shut down and would not turn back on.
I assumed it was battery drained, and needed to charge, so I moved it to another outlet and the charge light didn’t light up. I tried to turn it on many times, held the power button for over 30 seconds, tried turning it on normally at least 12 times, basically what many people have suggested, but still nothing. I left it charging while I researched this issue but couldn’t find anything that helped. It sat there charging (without the white charging light showing up) for over 5 hours, so it definitely had enough time to recharge.
I tested the cord on another Surface and it lit up, so I know it isn’t the cord. After 5 hours, it still didn’t turn on, but what I noticed when I was hitting the power button was that there’s a red blinking LED that lights up right under the MicroSD card. It flashed a blinking pattern, so like you see on a PC motherboard, I know that the pattern means something, but no one knows how to find out exactly what the blinking pattern means.
I ended up having to go to dinner for a few hours, so I left the Surface unplugged during that time. When I came back, it still didn’t work, so I decided to call the Microsoft Store to see if they’ve run into this. Also, I’ve read that many people who have had this issue have gone to the store and they were given a new device, so I figured I would start there. The store didn’t know about this issue, however they said if I had my receipt, they would exchange it for a new one.
Unfortunately, this was my internally supplied device by Microsoft Corporate, so I didn’t have a receipt. They said I would have to use our internal help desk, so that’s what I did. Of course, the help desk person wanted to make sure I was plugging in the power cord correctly (seriously!!). I emphatically told him yes and explained all the things I’ve done with it until that point. He asked me to press the power button, which I had done 500 times throughout the day, but did it one more time. To my surprise, it actually turned on and showed the black Surface boot screen and had the circle of dots that follow each other. Figures that would happen when I call tech support…
It then showed “Updating..6%”, then “Updating..24%”, and so on, as if it was rebooting after applying an update. That was very odd, but there was a Windows Update installed the day before. Here are the updates that were installed.
I am not sure if theses caused the issue or if these were just finalizing their installation from the day before.
I don’t know the specific combination of things that worked, but at the bottom are steps that I did that didn’t work at first, but leaving it unplugged for 3-4 hours eventually did allow it to boot up.
Something else I noticed in Event Viewer is an ACPI Error that shows the below text immediately following the reboot after the Surface went dead::
: The embedded controller (EC) did not respond within the specified timeout period. This may indicate that there is an error in the EC hardware or firmware or that the BIOS is accessing the EC incorrectly. You should check with your computer manufacturer for an upgraded BIOS. In some situations, this error may cause the computer to function incorrectly.
When I trace back to the exact time the Surface went dead, there isn’t any indication of something going wrong. It just shows that it was dead for 10 hours.
Here is a good resource to read about others who are facing this issue and haven’t been so lucky to get their Surface back on. In those cases, they had to send them back for a replacement device.
Here are the cliff notes to that resource if you just want to try something to see if it fixes your issue:
1) Press and hold the volume up button for about 15 seconds. Do not let go
2) While still holding the volume up button, press the power button once
3) When/if you see ‘Surface,’ let go of the volume up button
4) Move to the below steps if this does not work
5) Repeatedly press the power button on/off about 30 times
When doing this, press once, wait half a second and press again
6) If in doing the above, it powers on at any time, then you are good to go
7) If it does NOT magically power on, then after the 30th time, press and hold the power button for 30 seconds (1, 1000, 2, 1000)
8) It will not power on when you hold it down most likely but if it does when you let go, you are set
9) If it does NOT power on when you let go after 30 seconds, unplug the power adapter and press the power button once more
10) If it powered on, you are set
11) If not, leave it unplugged for an hour and then try to power it on again. It should now power on
Hopefully you don’t find yourself in this situation, but if you do, try these steps and see if they work for you. It might save you from having to ship back your Surface and wait for a replacement.