Surface Pro 4 cuts out a second after I power it on

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 4' started by Radge, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Radge

    Radge New Member

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    I have a problem when I try to boot my surface pro 4 and it only gets as far as the surface logo and then cuts out a second later. Here is the history of what happened……….

    A few days ago I used my surface pro to copy a few photos onto the desktop from my iPhone. I am pretty certain I did this using battery power and then just left the surface to go to sleep (without plugging it in again).

    When I woke the surface up (around 3 hours later) it shut down suddenly every time I tried to perform an operation (such as opening a word document).

    I kept rebooting it and windows was opening up but I noticed that the clock was around 3 hours out (and was set to roughly the time the surface would have gone to sleep). When I hovered over the power icon it said “plugged in not charging”.

    I performed a soft re-set ect and the same problem kept happening (every time I tried to open an application it cut out)

    Now I cannot even boot up windows at all. When I press the power button the surface logo appears but the power quickly cuts out. When I try the same on battery power nothing happens at all and I don’t even get the surface logo.

    I have tried 3 new power cables and the same thing happens. I have left it to charge for 4 hours before trying again and the same thing happens. I’ve also tried draining the battery for 24 hours but, again, the same problem occurs.

    I have taken it to a local repair shop and they were unwilling to open the surface up as they think they would break the screen. They did do a voltage test though and confirmed that the machine was receiving the 12v charge.

    Since I was still able to boot windows after this problem first started presenting itself, I am hopeful that the SSD is still intact as I was still able to open files etc, it’s just it kept cutting out. The “plugged in not charging” message I originally saw made me think that the battery needed to be charging for the system to operate, hence I thought this is why it went from being able to load up windows (with the last of it’s charge) to not even getting past the surface logo. I am told, however, that so long as the unit is plugged in it should work whether the battery is being charged or not.

    I have also tried using a recovery USB stick but the machine doesn’t stay on long enough for it to be recognised.

    My main concern is that I have data that hasn’t been backed up so I am reluctant to send the machine to Microsoft as I know they will just automatically wipe it. Does anyone have any ideas as to what might be wrong here or what diagnostics need to be run to see if the machine can be saved?
     
  2. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tried a cold boot (via UEFI screen)?
     
  3. Radge

    Radge New Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply.
    The unit doesn't seem to hold power for long enough to do anything now. I have just tried what you suggested anyway but I can't get the UEFI screen. I did, however, manage to get onto the UEFI screen (by accident) when this problem first occurred (I was trying a soft reset). At the time though I just got rid of it and tried to re-boot again.
     
  4. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay.

    Your Surface Pro 4 may be in a state where the battery charging circuit does not have enough current to operate.

    Here are some ways people have found to overcome this problem: (don't laugh) No guarantees ...
    - Place SP4 in freezer for 10 minutes. Have charger ready. Take out, and attempt to boot while plugged in
    - Leave SP4 connected to charging brick, but repeatedly disconnect power to the brick from the wall (mains power). Using this method, a trickle of charge may enter the battery each time, overcoming some threshold to continue
    - Hold power button down for 25 seconds. Continue holding. Connect and disconnect charger several times. Release button.
    - Use a Surface 12v car adapter charger (no brick) such as this one https://www.amazon.com/Surface-Char...546725231&sr=8-3&keywords=surface+car+charger
     
  5. Radge

    Radge New Member

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    Thanks again for your quick and helpful reply. I've tried the second and third options but to no avail. When you say "repeatedly" and "several times" are you able to say what the minimum should be?
    I've heard similar to the freezer option but less extreme (I tried putting it in a cold room for 30 minutes). Even at that there were warnings about the possibility of damaging the machine so I will probably leave that until I have tried the car charger option, which I have also see banded around as well.
    I think what you are suggesting sounds more plausible than what any of the many local repair shops I've tried have said to me and I will keep going with the second and third suggestions if you are able to help me further by saying how many times I should try each method.....
     
  6. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a colleague who had to do the trickle charge trick continuously for just short of an hour. And by the way, if you get beyond the SURFACE logo screen, don't continue for at least 10 minutes. Allow the SP4 to gain a charge.

    Also, regarding the freezer, if you should take on that mission: Wrap your SP4 tightly with plastic wrap before placing in the freezer. When removing it, unwrap quickly, and try to charge/power up.

    Check this out: Success
     
  7. Radge

    Radge New Member

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    Thani
    Thanks again! I reckon I'm up for trying this!! Can I just ask some further advice as to the finer details......I'm in the UK so we have switches on our mains sockets. When I "disconnect power to the brick", would it suffice just to flick the switch? And would it make a difference if I was using an extension cable with a switch? Also, how long do I leave the power on/off for each flick? As many times as possible within the hour or more of a steady 5 seconds on, 5 seconds off? I've also found this on the UK Amazon site, will it do the job? It says 15V rather that 12V but it's 65W, which I assume will be helpful - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Microsoft-...28546&sr=8-9&keywords=Surface+Pro+Car+Charger
     
  8. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, flick the mains power switch, and wait about 5 seconds per cycle (about twice the speed as you suggest). That should be enough to let the brick transformer power up.

    And, yes, that 15V charger is actually the one I use in my Volvo.
     
  9. Radge

    Radge New Member

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    Thanks again!
    So last night I left it in a cold room (my garage) rather than the freezer but that didn't work.
    Today I tried the switch flicking method for an hour but that didn't work either.
    I've still to try the "Hold power button down for 25 seconds and Connect and disconnect the charger" method. Should I try that for an hour as well?
    The car charger arrives tomorrow so hopefully that will work. If not it may have to be the freezer! There seems to be a lot of success stories online about that method so fingers crossed!
    Can I also ask another question (with a view to maybe taking the surface to another repair shop), can you let me know what I said that made you think the battery charging circuit does not have enough current to operate? Or are you able to explain a but further as to why my symptoms would match this type of scenario? As I said before, it actually sounds like the most plausible suggestion I've had so far but I always like to know the reasons why so that I have something to go on if I need to try different stuff or so that the repair guy can say if he thinks it might be the same thing.
     
  10. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi, @Radge ,

    The "Surface" logo starts up on very little battery power, but right after that, battery levels are checked. If they are too low, the machine terminates the power-on. But that same firmware that checks the battery needs a certain level itself to work properly. You may be in-between realms. A design flaw, most agree, but rare.

    Also, yes, you should try to connect and disconnect the charger for an hour. Long shot. Also, reverse the charger "blade" connector in some tests.
     
  11. Radge

    Radge New Member

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    Thanks once again, all your replies have been very much appreciated and helpful.
    I have just received my car charger and here is what happened:

    - When I plugged it in I got the surface logo but this time the little spinning circle to indicate it was booting up.

    - The screen then went kind of greyish so (after a while) I held down the power button to close it down and then pressed it again.

    - I then got "preparing automatic repair" with the spinning circle again but again it went grey so I powered it down again and then put the original charger back in (the brick one).

    - This time I got the "windows hasn't shut down properly" message so I pressed "ok" to reboot. It rebooted and was then I was presented with the windows screen (showing the date and time from when it stopped working - well around 30 minutes later on I think).

    - At that point I left it for 15 minutes before logging on.

    - I logged on and windows booted up and I could see my desktop (with all my files there).

    - I hovered over the battery icon and it was showing "20% available (plugged in, not charging)" (the day it stopped working it was saying the same but with something like 73%, which was highly unlikely as I had been using it on battery that day).

    - I then removed the power "blade" and the surface switched off straight away.

    - I booted it up again (using the brick charger) and waited for around 15 minutes before trying to do anything. I then plugged in my USB external drive and the machine shut down immediately (so back to the original problem where it was cutting out as soon as I tried to perform any action)

    - I then tried to boot it up with the car charger plugged in and it came up with the surface logo but then went to that grey screen.

    As things stand, I've shut it down again and left it charging using the car charger (for the past 30 minutes or so).

    I don't want to get myself back to the state where it's not booting at all so have come back here for further advice (if you have any!).

    A few things to note, I managed to get it into power saving mode, which may help. I also have a new brick charger (that I haven't used yet) and I have a USB recovery stick. I'll try the new charger but do you think there is anything I can do with the recovery stick? I also remember that in the first instance you suggested a "cold boot (via UEFI screen)". Should I try that now? If so, what do I do??

    Edit: I am able to enter safe mode and have copied all of my data to an external drive! I also have a choice of 3 restore points - 27/12/2018 13:25:59 - Automatic Restore Point - System, 19/12/2018 22:56:30 - Windows Update - Critical Update and 12/12/2018 09:11:30 - Windows Update - Critical Update.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  12. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I believe your USB external drive may be drawing lots of power from the Surface; faster than the battery can charge. So it is a good idea to use that car charger for now.

    For a cold boot (also called a "Two-button reset", do this:

    1. Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.
    2. After Surface turns off, press and hold volume-up button and the power button at the same time, for at least 15 seconds (The screen may flash the Surface logo before 15 seconds, but don’t release the buttons).
    3. After you release the buttons, wait for 10 seconds.
    4. Press and release the power button again, and your Surface will be turned on again.
    You are making progress! Keep at it ...
     

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