Microsoft blocks Windows 10 May 2019 Update on the Surface Book 2

Issues with the discrete GPU may cause the dGPU to vanish from the Surface Book 2's Device Manager, or simply prevent games from opening.

surface book 2 broforce can not open
Mark Hachman / IDG

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It’s not every day that Microsoft can’t work out a bug on its own hardware, but that’s what has happened with the Microsoft Surface Book 2: Microsoft has blocked the devices from updating to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

Microsoft says the root cause is issues with the discrete GPU inside the notebook. Two things may happen, Microsoft said in a support note: Either Nvidia’s discrete GPU may disappear from the Device Manager, or games that require the discrete GPU may simply refuse to open. A Surface Book 2 evaluation unit issued to PCWorld by Microsoft experienced that problem, refusing to play the game Broforce, as evidenced by the screenshot that accompanies this story.

Microsoft said it's applied a “compatibility hold on Surface Book 2 devices with Nvidia dGPUs from being offered Windows 10, version 1903, until this issue is resolved.” If you’re like me, have already updated your Surface Book 2 to the May 2019 Update, your only recourse is to sit tight and not update until Microsoft confirms the issue has been resolved. Microsoft plans to include a fix in an upcoming release, the company said.

Unfortunately, we’ve had some issues with the Surface Book 2. The discrete GPU apparently failed, after emitting an unusual amount of heat. Microsoft support said that it believes that the thermal paste connecting the discrete GPU chip to the heat sink failed. Then, of course, there was the original power problem that cropped up in 2017. 

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