Surface Pro 3 won't turn back on! - possible solution when all hope is lost.

mikeychen

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My SP3 mysteriously stopped working yesterday morning. (Keep reading to the end for the solution that worked for me and maybe you too!)

It was fine the night before. The kids were playing roblox and put it back on the charger when they finished and went to bed.

I spent the morning attempting to reboot the SP3. I thought maybe my charger wasn't working even though I did see a white LED light on the adapter that connects to the Surface. I tried the hard reset, the 2-button reset, every combination of the volume up and down with the power button.

I checked my receipt to see if I was still under warranty. I purchased the bundle (SP3 128G with cover and pen) from Costco on Feb 15th 2015. MS gives 1 yr warranty, but Costco extends to 2. Guess what? the extended addl 1yr from Costco also ran out.

I when over to a nearby MicroCenter in Flushing,NY and asked the repair tech to let me use his SP3 charge cable. The guy was nice and said ok. I was half expecting to get kicked out. So, I sat there for 10 min with my SP3 and a store charger - trying to reboot, reset, etc... Nada. I thanked the guy. Will definitely come back to by something from them. They were so nice.

Came home yesterday very disappointment and checked the forums for more tips. Tried the freezer (with zip lock bag) trick. Didn't work for me as other claimed it worked.

Finally, this morning, I caved in and call MS support. The tech said she would charge me $30 for a remote over the phone trouble shooting. I declined as I've tried everything I've found on the internet. Instead, I scheduled app with the MS store support in Garden City, NY (Roosevelt Field Mall).

I had the first or second app: 11:15am. The tech, I think his name was Adam, young guy in his 20's. I told Adam my issue and that I've tried everything. I even had a USB LED light to show that the battery in my case wasn't the problem. The USB LED light lit up for a few seconds when I pressed power. He said the problem was internal hardware and they there was no way to fix it. Since my SP3 was out of warranty, the only solution from MS was full replacement for $500. But, since I needed my files, a replacement won't do me any good. So, the only other solution was have it sent to a third party data recovery place for $1000! They would basically destroy the SP3 and MS would then be unable to replace it.

Talk about bad options. Neither one seemed practical. I asked Adam if he's seen this type of problem with any of the Surfaces before. He said maybe one or twice before. I was about to leave when another guy walked with his Surface, sat down next to me and said his Surface won't boot up. I looked at Adam and I didn't believe this was a rare issue with the Surface. MS probably train their techs to say that because they don't want a class action law suit on their hand.

Anyway, just before I left, Adam, did say something, almost accidentally that I picked up. He said some guy had used a rubber band to hold down the power button for about a day and eventually the Surface woke up from sleep.

When I came home this afternoon, I was sure I had a $1100 paper weight with me. With nothing to lose, I took out some rubber bands and popsicle stick. I placed the popsicle stick flat against the power button and used the rubber band to apply pressure to keep the power button depressed the whole time. I can see the USB light connected to my Surface coming on and off as the power cycled. No sign of the Surface waking up.

Came back from dinner (that's 5 hours later) and noticed the USB light didn't come on and off any more. But still no sign the Surface was back. My 8 yr old sons comes into my office sees the contraption and says "what's this" and pulls the popsicle stick off the Surface. I wasn't even paying attention.

Lo and behold! the F---ing Surface logo flashed on the screen and booted up!!!!!
I immediately plugged in the charger and a backup HD and copied all my files! (reminder to self, do it daily, at least weekly). I gave the kid $100!

Adam, when I come back to the MS store next time, you're getting a gift card!!!!
thank you!!!
 

Chemy JMHT

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That's an horror story with a happy ending and also a "morality" of it, always backup!

I think maybe the problem is related with the memory or the capacitor doesn't get discharged properly, I can't ensure that but in some desktop PCs you can short circuit or discharge some parts, like the RAM, but again not sure what was happening there with your Surface Pro.

It's nice you shared this so other can try it.
 

theroundheadedkid

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WOW! The rubber band trick worked!!! I feel like I resurrected it from death.

My thus far reliable 3 year old Surface Pro 3 suddenly would not power on. I tried all the button combinations on Microsoft suggested. But still wouldn't boot up. The screen stayed black. All that happened is that the charger light would just go off about the time the Surface logo should appear. The light would stay off until I detach the charger and then re-attach. I have a second charger and it had the same behavior. From reading this post, I double wrapped a rubber over the power button to keep the power button pressed down. The charger light would repeatedly turn off and on every 15 seconds or so. After about 4 hours of this and after returning from lunch, the charger light stayed on. So I removed the rubber band, pressed the power button normally and then the Surface logo came up with "Automatic Repair". It booted into repair mode. I choose the continue to boot option. Then it went to my normal windows 10 logon screen. It worked ok for a few minutes before it did a sudden power outage. Oh no maybe it is still broken I thought. I powered it on again. After a few minutes, I noticed that the fan was on full blast and the back upper right quadrant was very hot. I wasn't doing anything CPU intensive. It had never done that before. Quickly I did a normal shutdown. After a few minutes to cool down, booted it back up. I open up task manager to keep an eye on the CPU usage percent. This time all seemed normal. No sudden power outages. So far so good. Maybe it needed a normal shutdown. For good measure I've disabled hibernation and sleep mode. So it is either fully on or shutdown.
 

the whole taco

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so, anyone found a permanent solution for this?
and/or do we know the real cause of the issue?

my i5 Pro 3 8g/256g can either not wake up, not boot, or just die mid session every few days.
can take several hours of different key combos to get it to boot. sometimes it comes up with what appears to be a basic startup screen (sort of bios looking).
sometimes when it reboots the time is wrong, but not usually.
usually it remembers where I was and restores apps.
sometimes the screen saver is not the one I normally have when asking for pin/password.
other odd symptoms are:
  • the update notifications seem a bit out of sync when I check, says required but then says none.
  • when I check the backup (file history) it seems to have been doing that when it has died (if connected to dock)
  • if I try and go into Update & Security icon it can take forever to acknowledge


I tried powercfg from the command line and it would not execute it so have just set screen/sleep to 'never'
 

SurfaceNovice

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I was experiencing the same thing...no turning on at all even after trying all of the tricks...hold down power button then hold down power button and volume up while standing on one leg with my tongue out. Anyway, desperate I went to the internet and found a solution that worked. I did not see the rubber band method or I would have tried that first. What I found was to wrap the Pro3 in Ziploc bags and saran wrap and freeze for two hours and then thaw for two hours. I know, I know. I was skeptical but it actually worked. I am so grateful to the person who posted the fix. Backing up my data now.
 

Brianne Beatty

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Mine just made a sound that sounded like an electronic that finally died when it's gotten wet and then shut off. There was no sign of life, other than the light on the charging cable indicated connection. I just about cried since I was in the middle of typing a paper for class that's due at midnight.

This original post mentioned depressing the power for-like-ever which I didn't have time for .. So I started talking to it .. I know that's not a solution but I was losing my $&!t so I might as well play the part right ..

Not sure which is the actual solution but I held my power button for about 60 sec, let go tried again for what felt like 2 min, let go, then I double tapped the power button and held again for about 10 sec and it powered back on!

It did a windows update and came back to it's little peppy self.

Like I said, not sure if I actually did anything that may be helpful, but comment here if you find the same weird double tap, hold power button thing helped.

SurfacePro3 owner
 

syed mehdi2

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Thanks, just wouldn't turn after I left it on having been working for an hour or so, was plugged in all the time. Tried the power button with the hard reset etc, nothing doing. Then tried your60 secs, then 2 minutes, was probably in the end of 2 minutes when it just powered on, have just backed it up. Thanks again.
 

philaussie

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I have purposely signed up to this site so that I can reply and thank you for the rubber band trick. It really works!!! I was so close to sending my surface pro 3 for replacement. This saved me lots of $$$. Thank you!!
 

roam92

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Unbelievable, this trick worked! I thought it might have been a joke.

I had tried everything else and nothing fixed my Surface Pro 3. It would not turn on, no matter what I did. I was starting to think I had a $1000 brick on my hands. Then I stumbled onto this thread and thought I had nothing left to lose.

I tried keeping the power button depressed with a strong rubber band and popsicle stick for about 15 minutes, but my SP3 still wouldn't respond or turn on. I could see the power light cycling off regularly though.

So I just left the thing wrapped up with the rubber band overnight and forgot about it. As a last ditch, I tried turning it on once again this afternoon (the next day) and... incredibly, it turned on like normal and works perfectly again!

Thank you so much mikeychen for posting this! I have no idea why this happens but Microsoft absolutely needs to address it. It's simply wrong. Most people will have no clue what's going on, or how to fix it. But hopefully more people will find this thread! (needle in a haystack)
 

roam92

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Takeaway – DO THIS! :

With nothing to lose, I took out some rubber bands and popsicle stick. I placed the popsicle stick flat against the power button and used the rubber band to apply pressure to keep the power button depressed the whole time. I can see the adapter light connected to my Surface coming on and off as the power cycled. No sign of the Surface waking up.

Came back from dinner (that's 5 hours later) and noticed the adapter light didn't come on and off any more. Lo and behold! the F---ing Surface logo flashed on the screen and booted up!!!!!

I immediately plugged in the charger and a backup HD and copied all my files! (reminder to self, do it daily, at least weekly).
 

bentolila

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I created an account today on this forum to literally just express how thankful I am to have read your post! :)

After experiencing the exact same issues mentioned here, I tried the "rubber band" trick, 5 hours later, worked!!

So, thank you thank you thank you!
 

crews09

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Thank you, thank you, thank you Mikeychen. Despite the lack of complexity of the Popsicle trick I tried it using an emery board and rubber band on Surface Pro 3. Closed the keyboard and left the unit for about three hours. Before doing this it was a brick. None of the tricks such as hard boot etc. caused any response at all. Only the power cord blinking light every 8 or so seconds.After removing the rubber band and emery board I opened the key board and the screen came up to something like emergency repair. It then asked me if I wanted to restart or go to other options. I restarted and as of 24 hours later it is still working fine.
Crews 09
 

Ruckenfigur

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I can’t believe it. I had given up all hope and then stumbled upon this thread. Rubber banded for 15 minutes and my SP3 is now back to full functionality. Unreal.

THANK YOU!!!
 

Megan1211

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Re: Surface Pro 3 won't turn back on! - possible solution when all hope is lost...

I’m trying this now!! It’s been almost 2 years now of trying every little thing possible to get my $1000 paperweight to work again. I’ve been able to get it to turn on a bunch of times, changed settings to either shutdown or stay awake instead of sleep or hibernate, and I’ve managed to get most of my files off, but it will never just stay on and let me do what I need to. I’m really hoping that this works, after 2 years I’m just glad I’ve been able to find a thread of other people who have had success with my problem! Thank you, mikeychen, I really owe you for this one (hopefully!).

My SP3 mysteriously stopped working yesterday morning. (Keep reading to the end for the solution that worked for me and maybe you too!)

It was fine the night before. The kids were playing roblox and put it back on the charger when they finished and went to bed.

I spent the morning attempting to reboot the SP3. I thought maybe my charger wasn't working even though I did see a white LED light on the adapter that connects to the Surface. I tried the hard reset, the 2-button reset, every combination of the volume up and down with the power button.

I checked my receipt to see if I was still under warranty. I purchased the bundle (SP3 128G with cover and pen) from Costco on Feb 15th 2015. MS gives 1 yr warranty, but Costco extends to 2. Guess what? the extended addl 1yr from Costco also ran out.

I when over to a nearby MicroCenter in Flushing,NY and asked the repair tech to let me use his SP3 charge cable. The guy was nice and said ok. I was half expecting to get kicked out. So, I sat there for 10 min with my SP3 and a store charger - trying to reboot, reset, etc... Nada. I thanked the guy. Will definitely come back to by something from them. They were so nice.

Came home yesterday very disappointment and checked the forums for more tips. Tried the freezer (with zip lock bag) trick. Didn't work for me as other claimed it worked.

Finally, this morning, I caved in and call MS support. The tech said she would charge me $30 for a remote over the phone trouble shooting. I declined as I've tried everything I've found on the internet. Instead, I scheduled app with the MS store support in Garden City, NY (Roosevelt Field Mall).

I had the first or second app: 11:15am. The tech, I think his name was Adam, young guy in his 20's. I told Adam my issue and that I've tried everything. I even had a USB LED light to show that the battery in my case wasn't the problem. The USB LED light lit up for a few seconds when I pressed power. He said the problem was internal hardware and they there was no way to fix it. Since my SP3 was out of warranty, the only solution from MS was full replacement for $500. But, since I needed my files, a replacement won't do me any good. So, the only other solution was have it sent to a third party data recovery place for $1000! They would basically destroy the SP3 and MS would then be unable to replace it.

Talk about bad options. Neither one seemed practical. I asked Adam if he's seen this type of problem with any of the Surfaces before. He said maybe one or twice before. I was about to leave when another guy walked with his Surface, sat down next to me and said his Surface won't boot up. I looked at Adam and I didn't believe this was a rare issue with the Surface. MS probably train their techs to say that because they don't want a class action law suit on their hand.

Anyway, just before I left, Adam, did say something, almost accidentally that I picked up. He said some guy had used a rubber band to hold down the power button for about a day and eventually the Surface woke up from sleep.

When I came home this afternoon, I was sure I had a $1100 paper weight with me. With nothing to lose, I took out some rubber bands and popsicle stick. I placed the popsicle stick flat against the power button and used the rubber band to apply pressure to keep the power button depressed the whole time. I can see the USB light connected to my Surface coming on and off as the power cycled. No sign of the Surface waking up.

Came back from dinner (that's 5 hours later) and noticed the USB light didn't come on and off any more. But still no sign the Surface was back. My 8 yr old sons comes into my office sees the contraption and says "what's this" and pulls the popsicle stick off the Surface. I wasn't even paying attention.

Lo and behold! the F---ing Surface logo flashed on the screen and booted up!!!!!
I immediately plugged in the charger and a backup HD and copied all my files! (reminder to self, do it daily, at least weekly). I gave the kid $100!

Adam, when I come back to the MS store next time, you're getting a gift card!!!!
thank you!!!
 

dcdear

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Sep 25, 2018
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I can't believe it worked! I too made and account just to thank you for posting this.
I even checked after leaving the elastics and choptsick for 3 hours. Nothing - left it on overnight and
BOOM - it booted up like nothing had ever been wrong!. THANKYOU!
 

BPLD

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Wow, thank you so much for sharing :) And all the other people above for confirming, otherwise I might not have tried...
I just revived my SP3 Ci5 with this trick! I had back-ups, but it was the second Surface device to die on me like this in six months... Which started to become a bit of an expensive trend :-O

Now to see if I can revive the previous device as well using this trick...

Bert
 

jrw113

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An hour ago my son came and told me his SP3 was broken, that it wouldn't turn on. He had tried all of the tricks listed on the web without success. I also tried all of the tricks listed and still no luck. I started looking for some place we could take it to to get it checked out and found numerous listings saying SP3 repairability was low. I stumbled across this listing and found the rubberband and freezer tricks. Figured we should give them a try. Used the rubberband trick and after only a couple minutes the screen flickered to life and we were able to get the SP3 to boot up and start. He is now in his room saving all of his work.
 

Zoha Kamali

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Fantastic! I had the same problem with my SP3 and tried the rubber band solution...after 8 hours I didn't get any sign of success and disappointingly plugged it out and removed the rubber band and decided to take it somewhere for repair...but suddenly when I pressed power button it turned on! It was one of my best and one of my worst days simultaneously... As the issue appeared at morning and solved at night! Many thanks to mikeychen and also thanks to all others who left their experiences here!
Good luck
 

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