Q: Can anything be done with a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet computer that has small glitches everywhere? They include the keyboard not working, the touch screen pen not functioning and the screen freezing. All of the problems are intermittent, but new issues seem to pop up regularly. The tablet has been this way since it was new, and I’ve almost given up using it.
Greg Braun, Leander, Texas
A: You’ve only scratched the surface of problems with Microsoft’s Surface Pros and the screen cover/keyboard.
The Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 have generated complaints that the devices stop working (resulting in the screen freezing), or have problems with wireless connectivity, screen-rotation, charging the main battery, keyboards and electronic pens. Some of these problems can be fixed with Microsoft software updates. Lists of glitches and potential fixes can be found at tinyurl.com/gsy8k82, tinyurl.com/ha5r996 and tinyurl.com/hy2dwtl.
Here are some suggestions about the problems you’ve raised:
Keyboard: If the keyboard doesn’t work, disconnect it, then reconnect it. Also make sure you have the latest software and firmware updates for the keyboard (firmware is a type of software that is stored on special memory chips). The updates can be obtained through the “update and recovery” portion of the settings app.
Pen for touch screen use: If the pen doesn’t work, try replacing its three batteries (two coin cell batteries and an AAAA battery). Alternatively, try re-establishing the pen’s Bluetooth wireless connection to the computer. You may also need software updates. For details, see tinyurl.com/j22npsg.
Screen freeze – The tablets sometimes stop working for reasons that aren’t clear. If it happens, try to force the Surface Pro 3 to shut down (see tinyurl.com/z6nw57o), then restart it. Also, update your software.
Q: I’ve purchased some music for my seventh-generation iPod, but my Windows 10 PC doesn’t recognize the iPod. I uninstalled and reinstalled the current version of iTunes, but it didn’t help. What can I do?
Marsha Nelson, Redding, Calif.
A: Your PC needs a “software driver” that will enable Windows 10 to work with your iPod.
To install it, connect your iPod to the PC via cable, then type Control Panel in the search box at the lower left of your screen. At the upper right corner of the Control Panel, make sure that “view by category” is selected. Click “hardware and sound,” then select “devices and printers.”
Find the icon for your iPod, right click and choose “properties.” Click on the “hardware” tab at the top of the resulting menu, then click “properties.” In the next menu, click “change settings.”
At the top of the next menu, select the “driver” tab, then click “update driver.” In the resulting menu, click “browse my computer for driver software.” In the box below “search for driver software in this location,” type (without quotation marks) “C: 1 / 4Program Files 1 / 4Common Files 1 / 4Apple 1 / 4Mobile Device Support 1 / 4Drivers.” Click “next” and then “close.”
Your PC should now recognize your iPod. For details, see tinyurl.com/qxojbeb.