02-19-2014 01:40 PM
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  1. coip's Avatar
    I love my Surface RT. I bought it as soon as I could (about 6 months ago) and subsequently convinced 6 other people to do the same. The problem, though, is that sometimes the Surface RT just freezes up: if on the home screen I can't swipe around or open apps or even swipe to charms to shut down properly, forcing me to forcibly shut it down by holding the power button down. It became so persistent that I talked with Surface support online several times. We tried refreshing the tablet, then we tried a clean re-install, but the problems persisted, even after the RT 8.1 upgrade. Support was certain that I had a defective unit and had me send it back and gave me a replacement. Well, the same things are happening with my replacement too, and I've had several of the people who I convinced to buy one too also complain to me about things freezing up, or being unable to open apps, etc., so now I feel guilty for convincing them to buy one (even though I still think it's the best tablet out there--well, obviously Surface 2 is better now, but you know what I mean: basically I think iPads and Android tablets are crap. Is this just the way Windows RT runs on Surface RT's outdated processor? When it works it works well, but whenever it doesn't work it is really embarrassing and frustrating.
    12-26-2013 10:21 PM
  2. Simon Tupper's Avatar
    I love my Surface RT. I bought it as soon as I could (about 6 months ago) and subsequently convinced 6 other people to do the same. The problem, though, is that sometimes the Surface RT just freezes up: if on the home screen I can't swipe around or open apps or even swipe to charms to shut down properly, forcing me to forcibly shut it down by holding the power button down. It became so persistent that I talked with Surface support online several times. We tried refreshing the tablet, then we tried a clean re-install, but the problems persisted, even after the RT 8.1 upgrade. Support was certain that I had a defective unit and had me send it back and gave me a replacement. Well, the same things are happening with my replacement too, and I've had several of the people who I convinced to buy one too also complain to me about things freezing up, or being unable to open apps, etc., so now I feel guilty for convincing them to buy one (even though I still think it's the best tablet out there--well, obviously Surface 2 is better now, but you know what I mean: basically I think iPads and Android tablets are crap. Is this just the way Windows RT runs on Surface RT's outdated processor? When it works it works well, but whenever it doesn't work it is really embarrassing and frustrating.
    Weird. My biggest complaint is IE11 it freezes several times a day.
    12-26-2013 10:43 PM
  3. coip's Avatar
    Weird. My biggest complaint is IE11 it freezes several times a day.
    So no one has ever had problems with the Surface RT itself freezing, requiring forced resets? It seems unlikely that I received two defective units in a row, but if that's the case, that would be ideal so that I could send it back in and get a new one again which, I would hope, runs smoothly.

    These freeze up problems honestly didn't happen until I added a second account to the device. The hard drive is nowhere near full or anything like that, but it doesn't seem to handle switching users well.
    12-28-2013 04:23 AM
  4. Ian Too's Avatar
    I have experienced freezing on my RT, but nothing on the scale you are having.

    My biggest gripe is that the device often doesn't start up quickly upon hitting the windows key on the front, the haptic response is there but the tablet doesn't awaken until several more touches on the windows key.

    Other than that, my experience with the Surface has been exemplary and I'd happily recommend one to anyone, even at the higher price. You get what you pay for.
    12-28-2013 05:18 AM
  5. jimkraz's Avatar
    My RT has never frozen in many months of use, either before 8.1 or after, so it may be a problem with adding the second account, or, another faulty unit.
    12-28-2013 03:07 PM
  6. coip's Avatar
    Yeah, actually, I wrote about these problems back in September too. Sigh.
    12-28-2013 10:28 PM
  7. rmeigs's Avatar
    The problem, though, is that sometimes the Surface RT just freezes up...
    These type of issues are such a downer. Have you checked the Task Manager to see if you have a Process or App that is hogging the CPU?

    I've had my RT for a long time and never had any issues.
    12-28-2013 11:14 PM
  8. coip's Avatar
    These type of issues are such a downer. Have you checked the Task Manager to see if you have a Process or App that is hogging the CPU?

    I've had my RT for a long time and never had any issues.
    I checked the task manager for running apps and processes for both users and didn't find anything abnormal. Usually when I first sign in it takes like 10-15 seconds for the start screen to fully 'kick in' to the point that I can actually open an app (usually I'll just tap, tap, tap the app and nothing will happen) so I thought maybe it had something to do with startup processes, but those don't seem to be in the Task Manager like they are in Windows 8.
    12-29-2013 01:31 AM
  9. badcat's Avatar
    I've had trouble with Metro IE freezing and choking. Browsing this site with it is painful. Never had any issues with the Surface as a whole. I did have some minor issues when I first got it. I ran all the updates and it ran a little sluggish so I did a reset and it's been fine since.
    12-29-2013 01:12 PM
  10. rmeigs's Avatar
    ...so I thought maybe it had something to do with startup processes, but those don't seem to be in the Task Manager like they are in Windows 8.
    Try checking here where "?" is your user name: C:\Users\?\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    12-29-2013 03:48 PM
  11. Brad and Ellen's Avatar
    I checked the task manager for running apps and processes for both users and didn't find anything abnormal. Usually when I first sign in it takes like 10-15 seconds for the start screen to fully 'kick in' to the point that I can actually open an app (usually I'll just tap, tap, tap the app and nothing will happen) so I thought maybe it had something to do with startup processes, but those don't seem to be in the Task Manager like they are in Windows 8.
    Hey there,

    That doesn't sound like normal behaviour to us. After we log in, the start screen immediately populates and we can tap apps immediately and have them open. There is no waiting 10-15sec or any lag. I know that doesn't help with your issue, but it may provide a comparison to your issue. Also, we have never had our Surface lock up on us, not even the ie11 issues some people report and we have had ours since 1 week after launch.
    12-30-2013 08:31 AM
  12. 11B1P's Avatar
    So no one has ever had problems with the Surface RT itself freezing, requiring forced resets? It seems unlikely that I received two defective units in a row, but if that's the case, that would be ideal so that I could send it back in and get a new one again which, I would hope, runs smoothly.

    These freeze up problems honestly didn't happen until I added a second account to the device. The hard drive is nowhere near full or anything like that, but it doesn't seem to handle switching users well.
    It may be an app you have installed. You could try and uninstall any apps you've downloaded and install them back one at a time. Test in between each app.
    12-30-2013 08:36 AM
  13. 11B1P's Avatar
    My biggest gripe is that the device often doesn't start up quickly upon hitting the windows key on the front, the haptic response is there but the tablet doesn't awaken until several more touches on the windows key.
    I have had that too. Seems to me that it needs a harder push on the Windows key.
    12-30-2013 08:38 AM
  14. coip's Avatar
    Try checking here where "?" is your user name: C:\Users\?\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    I used Run to get here but the folder is empty...
    01-03-2014 12:19 PM
  15. prlundberg's Avatar
    Are you using a cloud service that is updating in the background? Or a large amount of Live Tiles?

    I have had occassional sluggish performance but the reason has typically been obvious, like too much stuff eating up the memory or updates running. I have 4 users set up, 2 local and 2 Microsoft, and while switching between them isn't lighting fast, I wouldn't call it troublesome.

    I have also had occassional freezes requiring a reboot. Nothing constant though, and a whole lot less than I've experienced with Android.
    01-03-2014 01:09 PM
  16. coip's Avatar
    Are you using a cloud service that is updating in the background? Or a large amount of Live Tiles?

    I have had occassional sluggish performance but the reason has typically been obvious, like too much stuff eating up the memory or updates running. I have 4 users set up, 2 local and 2 Microsoft, and while switching between them isn't lighting fast, I wouldn't call it troublesome.

    I have also had occassional freezes requiring a reboot. Nothing constant though, and a whole lot less than I've experienced with Android.
    I use SkyDrive. I have 54 apps pinned to start. Perhaps remove some of them or disable live tiles?

    I talked to Microsoft tech support today and their solution was to do a hard reset and re-install my apps one by one to determine if one of them was problematic. I explained that that simply was not time feasible, as it would take takes to 'test' each app, with dozens of apps across two accounts, it would take weeks or months. They agreed and then said the next option, since I've already checked for updates, done a soft refresh, done a hard refresh, etc. is to send it in and get a replacement. I explained that I already have done that and that this is the second device. They said it is possible that I got two defective devices and that the third one might work out. I told them I'll think about it, as it's a huge nuisance to keep replacing the device and resetting it up (set up the user accounts, download the apps, install all the updates, then install RT 8.1, put on a new screen protector, etc.). Any other ideas? I really don't want to send it in again.
    01-03-2014 03:16 PM
  17. prlundberg's Avatar
    I use SkyDrive. I have 54 apps pinned to start. Perhaps remove some of them or disable live tiles?
    Well, I know it seems like tiles don't update until I turn it on, so if you have a lot of them I'd imagine that could make it sluggish upon startup. I turn off most of my live tiles because I find them distracting and get annoyed when I can't go directly to a story or message they display.

    Also if you allow most of your apps to run in the background, and they are constantly updating, that could be an issue too.

    I sync a lot of my drive with Skydrive and when I add a lot of stuff it can kill my battery and degrade performance while it syncs to or from the Surface. I also know that on a PC when you boot up Skydrive is a resource hog. I haven't seen that so bad on my Surface, but it could be a factor.

    I don't know for sure these things would cause the problems you describe but it would seem to make sense.
    01-06-2014 10:43 AM
  18. mrpuny's Avatar
    I have an original Surface - pre-ordered and received on launch day. I did start having problems that sounded somewhat like you're describing back on 8.0 during the spring of last year: horrible lagging, freezing, needing to shut down with the power button, etc. It got so bad I was convinced there was a hardware problem, but I decided to try a refresh first. Actually, I couldn't get the system to do a refresh, and it was becoming so unstable that I just decided to do a scorched earth reset. After that, it seemed to be working OK, and since I had blown everything away and was starting fresh anyway, I went ahead and put the 8.1 preview on it. Ever since, it's been working well up to and including today on 8.1 RTM. It's never been a speed demon, and it does get a little laggy at times, particularly in metro IE, but never freezes or has any significant delays in operation. (And I've got 2 other accounts on it for my sons, though to be honest, they don't use it much.) Plus I have 61 Metro app tiles pinned to my start screen as well as some additional IE shortcuts and the Office app tiles.

    As a second data point, I picked up one of the cheap refurb units off eBay for my mother and set it up for her, with accounts for both of us so I could handle running all the updates and the 8.1 upgrade. It's running just as smoothly as mine.

    Now I realize you've done refreshes, resets, and got a replacement device, so obviously whatever had happened to my Surface last spring isn't relevant to your situation. However, it's interesting to me that what should be essentially identical devices should be acting so very differently. Since none of the other suggestions seem to be helping, I'll throw out some that may be a little off the wall, but might not be entirely useless. I've numbered these to separate them, but they're not in any particular order.

    1. You mentioned that you thought the slowdowns didn't occur until after you added multiple accounts. Does the system seem slow if only one account is logged in? In other words, does just having another account make your surface run slow or does another account have to be logged in at the same time? Does deleting the other account(s) make the problem go away?

    2. Have you checked memory usage in Resource Monitor? When the Surface is acting slow, is there free physical memory? Some of the problems you describe sound like what can happen in Windows if it starts swapping heavily.

    3. Is your Surface always connected to a particular wifi network, like your home network? If so, can you try connecting to a different network? (A neighbor's wifi, or someplace with free wifi?) I've seen cases where a router starts having subtle problems due to being in the initial stages of failure or just going dumb and needing a reboot. However, most devices will still connect OK, but one will be a canary in the coal mine and suffer drop outs or slow speeds long before the others. In particular this happened to me with an older cheapy laptop at home that started having abysmal network performance with its built-in wifi. As a test I plugged a USB wifi dongle in and that worked fine. I figured the built in network adapter was dead, but it wasn't worth trying to fix it. A few weeks later, however, nothing could connect to the wifi network. After replacing my router, everything worked again, including the laptop.

    4. Do you have an SD card installed? Are you doing anything hacky with it, like the old 8.0 workarounds for the libraries, or some of the hacks for moving user accounts? If so, can you undo those and see if the problems go away? Even if you're not doing anything non-standard with it, have you tried removing it to see if that would help? (I have seen other device wonkiness tied to problems with SD cards.)

    5. Have you tried running any benchmark utilities just to see if there's something obviously wrong in terms of performance? I'm thinking something like PC Benchmark for the Surface hardware or Network Speed Test for your network performance. Just something to maybe help narrow down where the problem could be.
    01-07-2014 08:59 PM
  19. thomasdtran's Avatar
    I think I found the problem. Go to Task Manager, I would have no apps running, but the apps I opened before are still listed under task manager. This is probably the cause of the slow downs. Once I End Task all the apps that are no longer open, performance is back to being great.
    01-09-2014 07:21 PM
  20. Siah1214's Avatar
    I think I found the problem. Go to Task Manager, I would have no apps running, but the apps I opened before are still listed under task manager. This is probably the cause of the slow downs. Once I End Task all the apps that are no longer open, performance is back to being great.
    To close an app without using task manager, when you swipe the app to the bottom of the screen, hold it there for a few seconds til the app icon flips.
    01-09-2014 07:35 PM
  21. thomasdtran's Avatar
    To close an app without using task manager, when you swipe the app to the bottom of the screen, hold it there for a few seconds til the app icon flips.
    Sorry I wasn't clear. I did close the app swiping down. When I swipe from the left no apps are open but when I check task manager it is still listing the apps I had running previously.

    This is whenever I notice my Surface running slow.
    01-10-2014 09:07 AM
  22. tdasw97's Avatar
    To completely close an app in Windows 8.1 swipe from the top of the screen and then hold it down once it's close to the bottom screen for about 3 seconds until it flips.
    iamtim likes this.
    01-10-2014 11:18 AM
  23. Siah1214's Avatar
    Sorry I wasn't clear. I did close the app swiping down. When I swipe from the left no apps are open but when I check task manager it is still listing the apps I had running previously.

    This is whenever I notice my Surface running slow.
    You're not listening to me or you only read part of my post. Swipe from the top, then hold it at the edge of the screen until it flips. When you see it you'll know what I'm talking about.
    A few seconds after the app flips it will disappear from task manager. That's how you permanently close an app on Windows 8/RT. You don't have to use task manager.
    01-12-2014 02:53 PM
  24. thomasdtran's Avatar
    You're not listening to me or you only read part of my post. Swipe from the top, then hold it at the edge of the screen until it flips. When you see it you'll know what I'm talking about.
    A few seconds after the app flips it will disappear from task manager. That's how you permanently close an app on Windows 8/RT. You don't have to use task manager.
    I got it now. Sorry about that.
    01-12-2014 04:37 PM
  25. calfee20's Avatar
    To close an app without using task manager, when you swipe the app to the bottom of the screen, hold it there for a few seconds til the app icon flips.
    Thanks this is the kind of info that keeps me reading this forum all the time..........calfee
    01-14-2014 10:21 AM
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