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Can Microsoft make a pen that is 100% reliable?

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
The pen has two independent functions.

Bluetooth connection via the button is not related to the writing function. It is merely a Bluetooth button.

The nib (tip) is detected via an electromagnetic digitizer in the screen. The OEM pen should be the only pen you use for this.
 
OP
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Gizmo2005

Member
Yes. I understand. I also should point out that both are technically OEM pens. Microsoft told me that the old pen I had has two buttons. The new one has one button. So I bought it.

So right now, I've disable the old pen. The new pen is the only one I have and that's the one connected/paired. But it doesn't write. The BT functions on the pen. But it doesn't write. I've removed/replaced the the tip numerous times.
 

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
Okay. I’m sure this is very annoying, so thanks for your patience. This forum is not associated directly with Microsoft, but instead is staffed be enthusiasts, offering help, with a membership doing the same.

The Surface Pen (one button and a flat edge on one side) is a good pen.

Let’s get specific on when it does not write. Never writes? Tablet mode only? When connected to keyboard Base?

Does touch function (finger touch and gestures) work flawlessly?
 
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Gizmo2005

Member
I understand this is not Microsoft Support. You ask. I will answer.

To be honest, since I've had the 'new' pen, it has never worked 100%. There are days where it works. Then a few days later it doesn't. So that's why I said it's not 100% reliable. One day I took it to a meeting with a client, took it out and it wouldn't write. Now I have no way to take down notes. I had to borrow a notebook and pen. How embarrassing.

Yesterday, it wrote fine on (docked and undocked). I scribbled some lines and it didn't miss a beat. So at 5pm, I closed the lid, put it in my bag and went home where it stayed until the next morning. I unpacked, turned on (off sleep) and checked emails etc. Then went to Note and grabbed the pen to take some notes. Nope. Worked yesterday. Doesn't work today. Nothing would write.

Touch functions works fine. I can close out of One Note just fine by using my fingers. One thing I noticed (and might be why I have this problem) just now. I removed the battery from the pen. But in the Settings, it still says "Surface Pen paired..and at 93%". How's that possible? Unless the laptop doesn't provide live real time data. The Pen should be disconnected because the battery was removed.
 

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
Does it always fail at home? Does it always work away from home?

We have had many users discover that poor grounding / fluorescent lighting / nearby electromagnetic interference causes problems with their touch screen and pen. This is most likely in dormitories, apartments, and non-industrial venues with many routers or transformers in close proximity. Only a guess.

By the way, the pen status is only updated periodically, to save energy, so you were looking at its last status.
 
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Gizmo2005

Member
In the past 30 minutes, I did the following:

1. Removed battery from pen
2. Unpaired pen from laptop
3. Uninstalled Display Adapter
4. Restarted laptop
5. Installed battery
6. Re-paired Pen with laptop

Still didn't work. Not sure what I should do. Go to the MS store to have them try it? Then just get a new pen.
 

sharpuser

Super Moderator
Staff member
The pen and digitizer are not driven by the display adapter. Only the display is.

From the Device Manager, remove these devices if you have them, then reboot:

(Human Interface Devices)
- HID-compliant pen
- HID-compliant touch screen
- Intel(R) Precise Touch Device
- Surface Pen Settings
- Surface Tcon Device
- Surface 1832DigitizerIntegration Device

Let us know if this fixes the problem.
 

mmo

Member
Same here! I share your pain! It's unbelievable how often my $2000+ equipment during meetings suddenly turned into a dead brick because the tablet and/or pen suddenly decided to cease working.
Exactly same effect: the pen would not "ink" any more while erasing or pressing the button still works! >:-(

And it's not a device or model thing - I had the same frustrating experiences with Pro3, Pro4, and Pro5 (alias Pro 2017) and with 3 different pens.
I also had tried everything reasonable (reboots, driver reinstalls, batteries, what not). The most reliable (though also not always working) was to "forget" and repair the pen.

Only lately these cases seem to have become very seldom. My guess is that MS ironed out a few bugs in their Bluetooth drivers because since about the same time BT also became more reliable and also stronger!
No really! Until about 1/2 year ago my BT headphone would loose connection if I went away more than 2 meters from my Surface. Somewhen last summer it suddenly reached 10 meters!
So there is hope!
 

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