Surface Pro 2 Chinese edition with Euro recovery + wireless info

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by spinez, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. spinez

    spinez New Member

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    I am posting this here as I have seen a few threads online relating to the Chinese version of the SPro2 and getting English on it. This may help some expats living in China wanting to buy this device but hesitant because of the Chinese software.

    A little background first - I had some issues with my US version. I am on assignment in China for a year so I warrantied it through Microsoft China. I was told that the -only- difference in the two was obviously the OS being in China (can be changed to English) and no TPM. Not a big deal for me, so I went for it.

    I received my replacement yesterday and have spent the better part of a day getting it working.

    I had a Chinese friend help me navigate around the settings and set the system language to English. Easy enough. However, this wasn't good enough for me... a lot of system-type things were in Chinese. For example, the login prompt still had the chinese characters for password and when updating, all of the text was in Chinese (installing update 1 of 24), some options in device manager were also in Chinese, etc... So I went on a mission.

    I ran across a couple of threads on the XDA forum where people were installing European recovery images on their non-European devices. I never saw anyone talking about the Chinese version but thought I'd give it a whirl regardless.

    First, I made a backup of my existing recovery partition just in case something went wrong.

    I then installed a European recovery image and was allowed to set everything to USA English. Perfect. However, I ran into the Cover Telemetry problem in device manager. Still not good enough. I also had horrific wifi performance and device manager refused to let me update the drivers from the January firmware update (more on this later).

    I then found an article on how to open up the recovery image files and integrate the latest driver versions within the recovery image. I did another reset and everything was perfect. Almost. I still had horrific wifi problems (3-4 Mbps) and constant problems trying to stream media. I was about to call MS again and decided to search for my router and problems with slow wifi (both on 2.4ghz and 5ghz channels).

    It turns out, the problem was indeed with my router. I have been using DD WRT on the router for a couple of years (Linksys e3000) and for whatever reason, the Surface Pro 2 was not playing nice with it. I have many other wireless N devices that use it without problems. SPro2 was no dice. As soon as it joined the network, the wireless status on the router dropped from 300Mbps to 6.5Mbps. Ok, more research. I reverted my DDWRT firmware to the factory image, and boom, perfect wireless performance. It's a bit of a buzzkill to not have ddwrt anymore, but I stopped using a lot of the features I installed it for originally, so again, not a huge deal.

    I hope this post is found useful to those seeking to do what I was trying to do with the Chinese edition of the Surface Pro 2!

    TLDR; installing a non-Chinese recovery image on the SPro2 Chinese edition does indeed work and work well. If having wifi problems and using custom firmware on your router, install the factory firmware and see if that helps.
     
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  2. Tsurugaya

    Tsurugaya Active Member

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    Very useful for expats anywhere, this should be in a Viki somewhere.
     
  3. mrharrod

    mrharrod New Member

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    Hi Spinez!

    My wife is buying me a surface pro 2 in China and bringing it back home to the UK soon.
    I would be really grateful if you could perhaps give some specifics on what image you used, how you saved the original image (links etc...)

    Thanks,
    Chris.
     
  4. javispedro

    javispedro Member

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    Did you actually try to.. change the language of the login screen? This can be done from the languages control panel applet (at least from the classic style one), and will change the languages of the login prompt, the text that appears while installing updates, etc.

    The Surface Pro is basically a normal PC, so it's not that surprising you can install a different operating system on it (or in this case, the same). I do not know much about the China situation, but I'm going to bite and say it's quite probable there are no hardware differences at all between all worldwide Surface Pro editions. I seriously doubt the Chinese edition has any hardware difference and specially doubt the TPM's been removed.

    Simply put because that means Secure Boot would be impossible. That would be a _feature_ to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014

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