Delirium Tremens on Surface Pro 4 display

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
I have recently noted a "blurring" of text on a range of windows and applications on my Surface Pro 4 running Windows 10. Coincidentally I recently had my eyes tested and a new pair of specs prescribed. I was on the verge of returning to the optitcian when looking close at the display I realised that it was not just the text but the entire display which was "shaking." less than a millimetre and fast enough to give an impression of the display being blurred or out of focus. Now I've googled the issue I find it is a common prob which has given rise to a large number of wide ranging diagnoses and "suck it and see" solutions (not least of all from Microsoft themselves who along with many pundits seem to be scratching about for an explantion and a solution. I am growing tired of searching and trying to find a definitive solution amongst the growing number of guesses - does anyone know of one?
 

ussnorway

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
I'd reinstall the factory image... that will tell you if the issue is hardware or software (i assume software first) but I'm the guy that needs to know these things... most people just ask for their money back
 

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
I'll give it a go. I'll try running under the factory image with no internet connection to corrupt it with sneaky updates It may satisfy my curiosity but not my dissatisfaction with what seems to be a fundamentally flawed supposedly flagship product which its manufacturer seems unable to even determine whether the the cause be hardware, applications software or drivers!
 

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
That's something I haven't previously seen recommended but I've just tried it. It was set at 200 (recommended) and I dropped it to 150 - seemd to sort the problem but produced rather small text. Changed it to 175 and still seemed ok although still rather small text. But then here's the funny thing, changed it back to 200 and still seems ok! The problem only ocurred when just looking at a display, it stopped for a few seconds when clicking the mouse then came back so I'll leave it back on 200 for a while and see how it goes.
 

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
This is getting more and more crazy. The reason the problem seemd solved when I changed the DPI scaling was that I tried it whilst I was on this page. And this page isn't affected by the problem so it appeared to be solved. Other pages in these forums are affected (such as the topic listings) as are most other pages and program windows but not ones from which posts are displayed (such as this one). I have also noted that the problem is not "shaking" but the entire display is being replicated just a fraction below. The effect is cancelled when the mouse is moved only to return a few seconds later whilst the mouse is left untouched.
 

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
I shall try it once I've secured everything for recovery. First thing I did when I bought it brand new was make a complete Macrium Reflect copy of the entire hard drive. I then repartitioned the drive to create a smaller drive C and a drive D for data. I make regular Macrium images of drive C and maintain backup copies of the entire D drive on external hard drives. Once I ensure that everythingthing is 100% backed up and secure I'll run the recovery from the original Macrium image after which I can run a factory reset. If that sorts it then I'll back up the drivers for the display adapter, run a Macrium restore of derive C and copy all my data back from the external drives and finally install the display adaptor driver. I think I've got everything thought through . . .
 

ussnorway

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
another option is to replace the hdd with a fresh one and put your backup image on that... worse case senario then is you just put the current hdd back in and nothing has changed
 

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
The hdd" in the surface is a virtually inaccessible ssd so just went through all my security and backup procedures and recovered my system completely back to factory. Whilst running the Macrium Reflect recovery booted from a Windows PE environment from a USB stick I was very dubious about succeeding as the Macrium Window under WinPE showed the same display corruption. My fears were confirmed when I booted the factory image and no change.

Before starting all of this early this morning I decided to use the early morning late Autumn Englis temperature of 6 deg C to check if the problem was down to overheating but still no change - and I leapt uo to get the central heating back on!
 

patcooke

Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Microsoft MVP
Finally decided after trying display tweaks, resets, booting other systems from a usb stick, running in safe mode - the problem never goes away - allpointing to a hardware problem methinks so my surface pro 4 is now winging its merry way to MS, Germany under warranty. I've been very impressed by the support routes offered by MS and the ease of the MS online system for submitting devices for warranty repair/replacement. I'll keep you posted.
 

ussnorway

Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
on the bright side... it didn't blow up in your pocket
sorry thats in poor taste but I still had to say what we are all thinking:cool:
 
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