Surface Pro 3 MSI Now Available


 

Hi all, this is Joe with the Surface Engineering team that is responsible for creating and delivering the updates to Surface Devices.  I am excited to announce that we have a solution for customers that can't or don't use Windows Update and for customers that need to do a mass deployment of Surface firmware and Driver Updates. We now have a Windows Installer (MSI) option available.

Why did we do this?  Are you getting rid of Windows Update?  

The goal was to address a common scenario for customers that rely on Enterprise deployment solutions such as System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to deploy software updates.. There is not a change in our update strategy, it is an additional option for our large customers.

Windows Update will remain in place for customers to use as it has functioned prior. The MSI package is an additional option that we are enabling in response to the growing need of our customers that are remotely managing devices.

What does it do?

This should read what does it do in detail? For starters it installs all firmware and drivers that have been updated since the device launched with the exception of the touch firmware (More that in a minute).

This package contains the latest drivers and firmware specific Surface Pro 3. It will first check to see if the device is a Surface Pro 3 and if it is it will allow the MSI package to install. It then copies files to the \Windows\temp and installs all of the drivers and firmware that this package contains using DPinst.exe.  It also adds an entry "Surface Platform Installer" to Programs with a version number.  Updates post January 2015 will re-use the same entry and simply update the version number. The version number is essentially a date starting with the year. This feature is there for software inventory purposes.

This MSI package is very “generic” in the fact that it does not contain a lot of custom actions. This is by design so we don’t have to worry about the breadth of deployment software idiosyncrasies and a lack of a bootstrap to preserve the standard MSI switches. A reference of the MSI command line switches can be found here. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/227091?wa=wsignin1.0

What does it not do? 

The package does not check power state as a condition of launching and executing. However our UEFI firmware update does check the power state. If the UEFI is not updated it goes into the standard algorithm which tries on 2 subsequent reboots and if the power is above 25% it will apply the update.

It also does not update the touch firmware at this point and that is intentional as most machines are up to date with the touch firmware we want them to have. The latest and greatest touch firmware for Surface Pro 3 is 426.27.66.0. The main reasons we didn’t upgrade the touch firmware are outlined below.

  • This update takes a comparatively long length of time relative to other Surface Updates.

  • Yes, it takes a long time…

This installer does not address the scenario of building a Surface image from scratch.  You still need to go to the download center and get the Surface Driver package if you are building an image starting from a base Windows image. For example. The SATA controller driver has never been updated since launch, so it is not in the MSI but it is in the drivers and firmware package on the download center if you are building an image.  That is the current design and the intent is to mirror what is offered by Windows Update.

Where can I get it?

You can download the MSI from the Microsoft Download Center here – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38826

Cheers

Joe Eldridge


Comments (1)

  1. Matt E. says:

    Very nice. To bad that when you try running this on a Surface Pro 3 it tells you "This is not a Surface Pro 3. Please select the correct device and try again". I have to say, I am absolutely staggered that Windows 10 runs so badly on Microsoft's own hardware.
    I have a log full of nothing but errors (Source: Apps) on a clean install on a Surface Pro 3. I was hoping this would fix them as they are fundamental errors in Microsoft subsystems, but apparently Microsoft can't even detect if you are running their own hardware
    properly. Thanks for trying anyhow. I went from being a huge supporter of the Surface to telling people not to buy it because Windows 10 runs so badly on the Surface it is unusable.

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