Surface Pro – Sleep oddities

No, this isn’t a post about me sleeping with my Surface Pro! My wife probably wouldn’t like that too much.

No this is a post about problems I seem to be having with this thing going to sleep. So, as a desktop replacement, it’s been pretty good so far. I’m still looking for a good way to split off the mini Display Port to two DVI monitors… I’m a dual 24″ monitor type of worker when I’m in the office. Using one and the Surface screen for work is not the best arrangement for me. But with that aside, I’ve been very happy so far.

I have noticed though that at times, when I go away from my desk, after hitting Windows Key + L to lock my screen, if I’m gone for more than just a minute or two, the SP seems to go into a deep sleep almost like hibernate mode – even when plugged into wall power. I’m a DBA, and I use SSMS all day long to interact with my SQL Servers… I try not to RDP to them to do work, unless I have OS level work to do. So, I might need to kick off a backup on a large DB that might take 30 minutes or longer to finish. I launch SSMS and run my TSQL command, all good. However, during the duration, if I lock my SP and then go to the rest room, and come back, I log back in, and my wireless connection is dropped… ergo, my backup has failed and I have to kick it off again.

It seems to me that perhaps there’s a proximity sensor on this thing, kind of like the XBOX Kinect camera that knows not only that I’ve locked my SP, but also that I’ve walked away, and it decides to override my power configuration and take a nap. That’s not a good thing… if I wanted to have to use a VDI type interface for all my work, I’d work off my Android phone with a Blue Tooth Keyboard, Mouse, and Micro HDMI to my monitor. If I can’t keep this thing running while on house power while I lock it, and go to a 30 minute meeting, it’s not useful as a workstation replacement. Off house power, I get it… but on it, let me decide – I am still a user, right Redmond?

How I upgraded from Windows 8 Release Preview to RTM

I have been dabbling and playing in Windows 8 since the first Release Candidate was out. I like it. Of course, on my laptop I have installed Classic Shell which brings back my familiar Start Menu and Desktop. Metro seems ok for tablets, but for a Keyboard and Mouse setup, it drove me nuts.

Anyway, to the meat of the post here… When the RTM was released to MSDN yesterday I downloaded the ISO. I then mounted the ISO natively in my Windows 8 Release Preview install and ran Setup. I tried the upgrade path, the selection was available. After a couple of steps I was presented with the “This is not an available upgrade path, please visit http://noupgradepathforyou for more information”.

I decided to try the Windows 7 work around for this. This means mounting the iso in Read / Write (I just copied the already mounted iso to a new folder) and then modifying /sources/cversion.ini. I changed the values of MinClient and MinServer to 7100. I then ran Setup from that folder, and my upgrade was successful.

Now, keep in mind, that this is not supported, and could end up with a catastrophic failure if some bits are not properly upgraded. But 12 hours in, and things seem stable.