Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

So, Microsoft released Version 1.0 the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit and, let me tell you, if you own a Surface you need to know about it.

Basically, the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit runs your Surface through a series of tests. These tests are designed to cover everything from making sure the latest patches and drivers are installed, to checking every key on the keyboard, and everything in between.

The toolkit comes as part of the Surface Tools for IT which is a set of programs designed to help IT professionals deploy and maintain Surface devices in a business environment. However, the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is simple enough that anyone can use it (even if you don’t have a lot of IT savvy).

As such, I would recommend that everyone who owns a Surface downloads a copy and keeps it tucked away in a folder. That way, even if you’re not having a problem at the moment, you can easily test your hardware in the event something starts acting up.

It’s also a great tool to have on hand, if you’re planning on buying a used Surface. Just copy it onto a USB drive and run it against the Surface before you hand over your cash.

Surface Diagnostic Toolkit: Getting It

To get the toolkit, just follow these instructions:

  • Go to Microsoft’s Download Center and click on the Download button for the Surface Tools for IT.
  • Next, make sure the “Surface_Diagnostic_Toolkit_v1.0.88.0.zip” file is checked then select Next.
  • Open the zip file and save the Surface_Diagnostic_Toolkit_v1.0.88.0.exe file to your desktop.

Note: Depending on when you’re reading this, the “v1.0.88.0” portion of the file names may be different depending on if/when Microsoft updates the tool.

Surface Diagnostic Toolkit: Using It

Now that you have the toolkit, the next step is to run it. If you do all of the tests, it will take about 20 minutes and since many of the tests require you to interact (disconnect power, type on the keyboard, etc.), it’s not something you can just kick off and come back to later.

However, the tool does give you the option of selecting which tests to run; so, if you are suspecting a problem with the dGPU on a Surface Book, you can run just that test without the need to do every other test (which can be a bit tedious).

Running the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit:

  • Make sure you’re logged in with admin rights.
  • Run the Surface_Diagnostic_Toolkit_v1.0.88.0.exe program.
  • When the EULA widow appears, select the Proceed button.

  • Next, the “Welcome” screen will appear. From here, you can select to run all tests or select which tests to run. For this example, I’m going to select the Select Tests option.

  • From the Select Tests window, make sure only the tests you want to run are selected. You can use the Uncheck All option to clear all of the tests (which will be selected by default). Once you’ve selected the tests to run, select the Run Tests button.

At this point, the test(s) you selected will begin running. All you have to do is follow the on-screen instructions.

As an example, here is the Integrated Keyboard Test screen:

During this test, you need to manually hit every button on the keyboard which will turn them from grey to green in order to show that they are working properly.

Also, you can hit the Skip Test button during any test to skip it and move on to the next test.

While it would be nice if more of these tests were automatic, the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit does the job of checking out pretty much everything that can go wrong with a Surface tablet or Surface Book.

Tim

Troubleshooting Miracast on Surface Tablets

If you have a Surface tablet (except for the Surface RT), one of the cooler features it offers is built-in support for the Miracast protocol. If you don’t know about Miracast, it basically lets you send video and audio to a compatible TV or projector wirelessly.

It’s awesome when it works but, what about when it doesn’t?

With that in mind, I’m going to cover some advice for troubleshooting Miracast on Surface tablets. Continue reading Troubleshooting Miracast on Surface Tablets

MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep

Applies To: Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface 3, Surface Pro 1/2/3

So, more than a few folks have contacted me with a problem where the MicroSD card was unmounting after their Surface went to sleep.

For the longest time, I gave them some advice but, having never experienced the issue myself, I hadn’t had the opportunity to really dig into it and come up with troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem.

Fortunately (although I didn’t think so at the time), I recently had the problem happen to me on my faithful Surface Pro 2 and finally had the chance to deal with this MicroSD card unmounting problem first-hand. Continue reading MicroSD Card Unmounting After Sleep

Fix Windows Store Problems on Your Surface

In this article, I’m going to cover how to fix Windows Store problems on your Surface.

Windows Store problems usually result in you either not being able to connect to the store or not being able to download/install the applications.

If that sounds like the issues you’re having then this article should be a great help. Continue reading Fix Windows Store Problems on Your Surface

High CPU Usage Could be a Runaway Process

If your Surface is acting slow or getting hot when you’re not doing anything intensive, it could be due to a runaway process.

A runaway process is a process that is consuming increasing amounts of CPU, which in turn, causes your Surface to have fewer resources available for other (critical) processes. Worse yet, the runaway process can also cause your battery life to be impacted, see post Why My Surface Does Not Sleep. Continue reading High CPU Usage Could be a Runaway Process

Troubleshoot Surface Pro 3 SSD Speed Problems

If you suspect you’re having speed problems with your Surface Pro 3’s hard drive (Solid State Drive or SSD), you can confirm it by running a simple test. Normally, I’d recommend utilities from the drive manufacturer for these types of tests but, unfortunately, Surface Tablets come with drives from at least two different manufacturers (Hynix and Samsung).

To make things extra complicated, Samsung makes a utility for SSDs called Samsung Magician but, Hynix doesn’t provide anything. Continue reading Troubleshoot Surface Pro 3 SSD Speed Problems

How To Troubleshoot Surface Battery Drain Issues

Here’s the scenario…

You got a new Surface a few months ago and it was awesome! The battery life was good and you were happy with it. However, lately, your Surface battery life seems to be shorter than it was and you have no idea why.

In this post, I’ll go over a series of steps you can take to try to troubleshoot your battery drain issues.

This isn’t the first time we’ve touched base on Surface battery issues, in the past Joanna and I have covered individual things you could do to figure out what’s going on with your battery but, now I’ll cover a more complete process for troubleshooting (and hopefully, correcting) battery issues with your Surface tablet. Continue reading How To Troubleshoot Surface Battery Drain Issues

Free Up Space on Surface Tablets with OneDrive Options

NOTE: This Doesn’t Work If You Upgraded To Windows 10.

A while back, I did a series of posts on how to free up space on Surface tablets (PART1, PART2, PART3). It’s been a popular series and has helped a lot of people.

However, since then, Microsoft has been making improvements to Windows and now there are a couple more things you can do to help free up space on your Surface tablet that weren’t covered in the original series.

  • Set OneDrive files to Online-Only so they don’t take up as much space on your hard drive (they will still take up some but it will be just a tiny fraction of the original amount)
  • Move your OneDrive files to a Micro SD card, so they don’t take up any space on your internal hard drive

Continue reading Free Up Space on Surface Tablets with OneDrive Options

Surface Pro 3 not charging? Try these fixes

Is your Surface Pro 3 not charging like it should? And you don’t have any idea how to go about fixing it? This post should help.

I created the troubleshooting guide below to step you through the process of identifying and correcting charging issues on your Surface Pro 3 tablet.

Oh, and if you don’t have a Surface Pro 3, don’t worry we have you covered too – with just a bit of modification, many of these steps will help you regardless of the Surface model you have. Continue reading Surface Pro 3 not charging? Try these fixes

Troubleshoot Surface Type Cover Touchpad Issues

We did a post on Keyboard Problems with Surface Tablets a while back but we were focused on the type and touch keyboards as a whole. However, lately, some folks have been reporting problems in various tech forums stating that their keyboard is working fine but the track pad is not.

If you’re having Surface type cover touchpad issues and already tried the steps outlined in the keyboard problems post but the problems persist, this post will help you out. If you haven’t tried the above steps yet, follow the link and try those first.

OK, let’s get to the meat of this post. I’m going to lay out, in order, the steps you should take to identify and correct your Surface touchpad issues. Continue reading Troubleshoot Surface Type Cover Touchpad Issues