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Unstable network connection on Surface 3, Win8.1, and Aukey/ANKER USB3 Hub with GBE, VL812-B2 + RTL8153

    Question

  • I was hoping someone here might be able to help...

    In adding functionality to the Surface 3 tablet using the full size USB port, when I add a 3 USB 3.0 + 1 Gigabit Ethernet adapter to the tablet, there seems to be connectivity issues with both the USB hub and Ethernet link.  I spent basically all day yesterday trolling forums and manufacturer sites looking for a solution, and banging hardware, nothing that solves it.

    USB 3.0 Hub adapter with GBE, VL812-B2 (FW ver 0BE1) and RTL8153 chipsets from two manufacturers, Aukey and ANKER

    I plug it in, Windows 8.1 finds the devices, installs both Generic USB Hub and Generic SuperSpeed USB Hub, and the Realtek GBE Ethernet Controller and I let the driver installs finish.  When I connect ethernet cable, it links up and I can browse a local server.  When I try to transfer large files or view a streaming video, or even just access the web, within 5 minutes or so the Ethernet connection drops.  Initially it gave me a Code 10 device failed to start on the GBE, but after uninstalling and reinstalling the xHCI Root Hub & USB 3.0 Controller devices from Device Manager (inside the Surface 3), I no longer get the failed to start, but still lose Ethernet, typically with a 0x8007003B: An unexpected network error occurred.  The connection can only be reset by unplugging and replugging the Cat6 cable.  If I attempt to disable/enable the GBE in Device Manager to reset, it hangs until I unplug the cable.

    Other things I tried yesterday...

    - flashing new firmware to the VL812-B2, both rev 9091 and 9101 - no change

    - testing 4 sets of Realtek drivers, from 8.10 to 8.28 (newest directly from Realtek website)

    - uninstalling and force installing Intel USB 3.0 xHCI and hub drivers, unsigned driver mode, designed for Win7/8 (had to add 8.1 section to INF to get it to install)

    These chips seems like the bread and butter for compatibility, so I don't want to just start randomly ordering other hubs with other chipsets trying to get this to work.  I've read there may be Win8.1 and USB3.0 stack issues with downstream USB3.0 hubs, I've loaded all Microsoft firmware and hardware updates as of today, including the 1/19/2016 updates that might affect this.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    ----------------------------

    update 1/30/2016

    OK, so after I got the Surface 3 Firmware Update 1/19/2016 in on 1/28 and rebooted, the Intel USB 3.0 Controller Adaptation Driver changes in Device Manager to Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host Controller -0100 (Microsoft).  After I install the Surface 3 Hardware Update 1/19/2016 on 1/29 and reboot, the Surface reports "configuring your devices" during startup and the eXtensible Host Controller changes back to Intel(R) USB 3.0 Controller Adaptation Driver.  I again remove all networking devices related to the HUB+GBE and the USB resource chain entirely (Host controller and xHCI HUB), shutdown the Surface 3, wait, restart.

    Coming back up, everything installs and now the VL812-B2 hub and RTL8153 Realtek GBE are working without error.  I can stream video, web surf, and file transfer (50GB total) with no errors or disconnects.

    Does anyone know what specifically was in the "System Hardware Update - 1/19/2016"?  I can't find anything about it, just the Firmware one, minus a lot of complaining about Surface pen issues with these two updates (and I'm not using a Pen so I don't really care).

    Friday, January 29, 2016 1:48 PM

All replies

  • Hi Roger,

    Thank you for your question.

    Did the issue solve?

    As I am concerned, it could be cause the driver of HUB and GBE, it will re-install the driver after you add it back. So if there are any similar issue in the future, we suggest you re-install the driver and update Windows Update to the lasted to check if the issue persist.

    If there are any issues in the future, welcome to our forum to get help. 

    Best Regard,

    Jim Xu

    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help, and unmark the answers if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Jim Xu
    TechNet Community Support


    • Edited by jim-xu Monday, February 1, 2016 7:36 AM
    • Proposed as answer by jim-xu Thursday, February 4, 2016 9:19 AM
    • Marked as answer by Michael_LSModerator Friday, February 5, 2016 9:01 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Roger Clark Consulting Friday, February 5, 2016 10:06 PM
    Monday, February 1, 2016 7:35 AM
  • The connectivity issue and hardware instability seems to be fine so far with the fix outlined in my UPDATE, the problem is we need to do this update on many identical Surface 3 systems, and not all are pulling the firmware and hardware update even after multiple checks for updates.

    I see the contents of the 1/19/2016 update now at https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/install-update-activate/surface-3-update-history?os=windows-8.1-update-1 but it is still rather non-specific regarding issues that would affect the USB 3.0 port compatibility and reliability.  Any further info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Friday, February 5, 2016 10:06 PM