Microsoft Preps Software Update For Annoying Surface Book Screen Flickering

If you're one of what Microsoft classifies as a "small number of customers" who own a Surface Book that exhibits screen flickering, good news, a fix is on the way. Exactly when the fix will come isn't known, nor did Microsoft say what's causing some Surface Book displays to flicker, though some good old fashioned trial and error reveals that it might be related to Hyper-V. More on that in a minute.

There are several reports from Surface Book owners of the annoying phenomenon, some of which took videos of the screen flicker. Most of those with units affected by the issue note that it occurs whether the display is docked into the keyboard or separated like a tablet.

Surface Book

"Just got my unit, i7 512GB. Applied all the updates (including the recent firmware). My screen keeps flickering on/off, whether or not the screen is docked," a user wrote on Microsoft's support forum. "I've tried resetting but the issue still persists. It also seems independent of running apps or focused windows. Adjusting the brightness doesn't resolve the issue."

Microsoft said it's "working hard to resolve" the issue and will dole out a fix via Windows Update, but didn't provide any clues as to the underlying cause. One user on Microsoft's forum said he spoke with customer support, which in turn told him that the "engineering team is aware of the issue" and that "devices are not defective and don't need to be returned."

Some users note that disabling Hyper-V solves the problem. To do so, you need to type CMD in the search bar and then dism.exe /Online /Disable-Feature:Microsoft-Hyper-V. Of course, if you're a developer or home user who needs Hyper-V, the temporary solution won't do you much good.

The Surface Book is a high-end laptop from Microsoft with a discrete GPU option. Microsoft's aim is to do for laptops what its Surface Pro family has done for tablets. Pricing for the Surface Book ranges from $1,499 for an entry-level model to $3,199 for a maxed out configuration.