Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit helps you test the hardware

Microsoft Surface devices have been known to be the perfect laptop replacements. If you are a Microsoft Surface device owner, then here is a great Diagnostic Toolkit to help you check the health of your device.

The Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is a lightweight, portable diagnostic tool that runs through a suite of tests to diagnose the hardware of Surface devices. Weighing less than 3 MB, the tool does not require any installation and can run from a USB stick or over the network. Moreover, it runs a comprehensive series of tests covering all hardware aspects of your device to bring out any errors / issues that a user may not be aware of.

Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

Running the Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit requires the user’s attention and the diagnosis process is a hands-on activity. While running various test sequences you would be prompted to respond with certain actions or observe the outcome of the test, and then click the applicable “Pass” or “Fail” button.

The Pre-requisites

Before starting with the tests, ensure that you have arranged the following,

  • An external display with the appropriate HDMI or DisplayPort connection
  • A Bluetooth device that can be put into pairing mode
  • A MicroSD or SD card that is compatible with your Surface device
  • A Surface Pen
  • Room to move the Surface device around
  • External speakers or headphones

All above Pre-requisites would be required to test various hardware components of your Surface device.

Hardware Tests performed by the Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

Here is a look at the various hardware tests that are performed using the Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit. Users must note that not all tests are applicable to every device, hence the selection of test should be done based on the device. Users can pick and choose individual tests suiting their devices as mentioned below.

Windows Update

This test checks for the latest Windows updates, including drivers and firmware for the Surface device. You will be prompted to restart the device if required by Windows Update and then you need to restart the Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit again.

Device information

As the name suggests, this test brings out basic system information such as device model, operating system version, processor, memory, and storage. The Device ID is recorded in the name of the log file and can be used to identify a log file for a specific device.

Type Cover test

This test checks for the proper functioning of the keyboard and touchpad while Type Cover is on. The cursor should move while you swipe the touchpad, and the keyboard Windows key should bring up the Start menu or Start screen to successfully pass this test.

Integrated keyboard test

This test is similar to Type Cover test with the only exception that here the integrated keyboard in the Surface Book base is tested rather than the Type Cover. Users must note that this test is only applicable to Surface Book and requires that the Surface Book be docked to the keyboard.

Battery Tests

Under Battery tests, there are 4 different tests as mentioned below.

  • Battery Health test : Checks for health and estimated runtime after the battery is discharged for a few seconds
  • Canvas mode battery test : Applicable just for Surface Book, this test requires the device to be used in Canvas mode. Here, the screen is connected to the keyboard so that when the device is closed, the screen remains face-up and visible.
  • Clipboard mode battery test : Applicable just for Surface Book, this test requires the device to be used in Clipboard mode. In clipboard mode the Surface Book operates from an internal battery that is tested when the Surface Book is disconnected from the keyboard.
  • Laptop mode battery test : Applicable just for Surface Book, this test requires the device to be used in Laptop mode. In laptop mode the screen will face you when the device is open and the device can be used in the same way as any other laptop.

Discrete graphics (dGPU) test

Applicable just for Surface Book models with a discrete graphics processor, this test is used to check the functioning of the cooling fan.

Muscle wire test

To disconnect the Surface Book from the keyboard, software must instruct the muscle wire latch mechanism to open. This is typically accomplished by pressing and holding the undock key on the keyboard. This test sends the same signal to the latch, which unlocks the Surface Book from the Surface Book keyboard. This test is applicable just for Surface Book models.

Dead pixel and display artifacts tests

This test checks for malfunctioning pixels in your Surface device.

Digitizer Tests

The digitizer tests are further classified into different types are given below,

  • Digitizer edges: This test is for checking the proper functioning of swipe starting from the edges of the device. In this test, a user swipes in from the left or right side of the screen. This test prompts you to swipe in from the edges of the screen to bring up the Action Center and Task View.
  • Digitizer pinch: This test checks for the proper functioning of the pinch gesture (when you bring two fingers closer together or further apart). This test displays an image in Windows Picture Viewer and prompts you to zoom in, move, and zoom out of the picture. The picture should zoom in, move, and zoom out as the gestures are performed.
  • Digitizer touch: The Surface touchscreen should detect input across the entire screen of the device equally.
  • Digitizer pen test: This test requires a Microsoft Surface Pen and checks for the straight lines when the pen is pressed to the screen. The lines should remain unbroken for the test to pass.
  • Digitizer multi touch: This test is used to check the proper functioning of multi-touches. User is required to place all fingers on the screen simultaneously to perform this test.

Home button test

Also called as Windows button test, this test checks if the Start screen or Start menu is displayed when the Windows button is pressed.

Volume rocker test

This is a volume test and the volume slider should move up and down as the rocker is pressed.

Other tests

Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit performs a host of other tests apart from above. Some of them are given below.

  • Micro SD test
  • Microphone test
  • Video out test
  • Speaker test
  • Bluetooth test
  • Camera test
  • Network test
  • Power test
  • Mobile broadband test
  • Accelerometer test
  • Gyrometer test
  • Compass test
  • Ambient light test
  • Device orientation test
  • Brightness test
  • System assessment
  • Performance Monitor test
  • Crash dump collection.

The Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit can run from the command line or as part of a script.

To download the application go here. It is also available as a part of the Surface Tools for IT. For more information about the tests, visit TechNet.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.