Surface Ethernet-Driver crashes virtualization

It seems that the newest Ethernet drivers are causing problems with Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book, if virtualization is used. Here are the details.


A user reported this issue with Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Microsoft Surface Book at German site Dr. Windows. After installing VMware Workstation Pro 12.5 on these machines, the user had crashes after switching the Surface to standby connected to a dock. The first attempt, that it's a hardware issue, was proved wrong (a new machine send from Microsoft had the same problem). After uninstalling VMware Workstation Pro 12.5, the issue was gone – so the user assumed first, it's a VMware issue. But after switching to Hyper-V, the crashes in standby mode was back.

Investigating the issue brought the user to the root cause. It was the Surface Ethernet Adapter driver. Installing the newest driver (dated November 15, 2016), the crashes in standby occurs. After going back to Surface Ethernet Adapter dated July 1, 2016, standby works with VMware Workstation 12.5 and also Hyper-V. So it seems, that the Surface Ethernet Adapter driver dated from November 15, 2016 is causing this issue.

Tip: You can use the tool mentioned in my blog post How to block Windows 10 updates to prevent auto-update the Surface Ethernet Adapter driver.

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