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Report: Windows Update Causes Wi-Fi Issues for Surface Devices

Some Surface owners are reportedly having issues connecting to some Wi-Fi networks. Windows Latest today reported that Surface Book, Surface Pro, and Surface Laptop owners have been unable to connect to Wi-Fi networks using the 5GHz band after installing a recent update.

Surface owners have taken to Reddit, the Microsoft Answers forum, and presumably every other social platform to complain about these issues. (Remember that these platforms are officially customer support portals now.) The problems seem to have started after those people installed a Surface update released on July 31 that--in an ironic twist--was specifically meant to improve Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

The update included two new drivers: the "Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Bluetooth – 15.68.17013.110" driver for Bluetooth and the "Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. – Net – 15.68.17013.110" driver for Wi-Fi. Both are simply meant to improve connectivity for their respective wireless protocols. It's not clear if the problems affecting various Surface models were caused by the drivers themselves or by something else in Microsoft's update.

What is clear is that people are receiving "Unable to connect to this network" errors when they attempt to join 5GHz networks after installing this update. They can still connect to networks using the 2.4GHz band, which means they can still access the internet, but it's not ideal. (A quick refresher: the 2.4GHz band offers better coverage than the 5GHz band in exchange for having limited bandwidth that leads to reduced transfer speeds.)

We've reached out to Microsoft to learn more about this problem and will update if the company responds. In the meantime, this seems like yet another mark against installing Windows 10 updates right away. It should've been an easy win, but instead it's the latest example of problems caused by Windows 10 updates.