Archive

Archive for February, 2015

Surface Pro 3 can’t connect to Microsoft wireless display adapter (MWDA)? Here’s how to fix it.

February 6, 2015 16 comments

I have a Surface Pro 3 and love it. Its what I’m using right now to write this post. The keyboard gets kind of funky but is significantly better than the previous Surface Pro keyboards and the mouse is quirky at times… however I overall really like it. I’ve been giving a lot of presentations lately and at work the computers are unfortunately locked down. I like to add some neat content to my Powerpoint presentations through add-ons and plugins, thus my ability to use my presentations on work computers means they are less neat because I can’t take advantage of features like viewing a live web page in the presentation (think live-audience polls). So I had a $15 coupon to Microsoft.com and I decided to use it to purchase the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, which is dubbed in all the support articles for it as MWDA. I received said product about 3 days after ordering, plugged it in, my Surface Pro 3 saw it, clicked connect, heard a ding….. then nothing. The display on the tv went back to its normal “ready to connect” wait screen.

MWDAConnectScreen

UGH! Really? I went to support websites and followed tons of instructions ranging from uninstalling the adapter to installing all the latest updates. I DID NOT refresh my PC though. I’ve done that before, it went fine, but I’m not all about re-installing all the programs again, especially when people are saying that the refresh did not fix the problem.  It turns out that the January 2015 firmware update for the Surface Pro 3 broke the MWDA something-or-other connection, as many people complained that it worked before the January update. This left me disgruntled that the January update was obviously a step back. But hey, it happens, whatever. I did however find a small blurb on page 2 of a support thread that DID work to remedy this annoyance!

Step 1: download the Surface Pro 3 – January 2015 drivers ZIP file… not the MSI file
Step 2: extract the folder to location of your choice (probably the desktop)
Step 3: open Device Manager (swipe out the Charms menu>Settings>Control Panel>type in Device Manager in the search area>Click Device Manager
Step 4: expand the Display Adapters
Step 5: right click on Intel(R) HD Graphics Family and uninstall (may not need to uninstall, but its what I did and now it all works)
Step 6: reboot
Step 7: computer will re-install what it needs to function and turn back on, this is fine. Then go back and do Step 3 again to get back to Device Manager
Step 8: expand Display Adapters again, right click on Intel HD Graphics Family, and click “Update Driver Software”
Step 9: Select “Browse my computer for driver software” and navigate it to the Intel\Graphics folder of your extracted January 2015 driver zip file.
Step 10: Click Next and continue following the prompts to complete driver update.
Step 11: reboot for good measure

After you complete all these steps, reconnect to the MWDA and now it should work! Genius! And it only took me 3 days to find the small blurb that mentioned these instructions. Luckily I didn’t refresh or I would have been livid. Cheers! Let me know if you have any questions!

Side note: go to the Windows Store app and download the Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter program, it lets you put a password on your MWDA as well as rename it, control overscan (in case the screen extends beyond the limits of your tv), and put a PIN on the MWDA to prevent people from hijacking your presentation. ;)

Update 1: I did a bit of further reading, and it turns out that some users have had success simply uninstalling the drivers for Intel(R) HD Graphics Family and rebooting. So that may be all you need to do! I’m still leaving the above instructions though, just in case.

Updated 2: Added the link to the drivers in Step 1, sorry that I didn’t have that linked earlier!