Download Microsoft Surface Diagnostic Toolkit to fix your device

Giles Ensor avatar. By: Giles Ensor
2 minute read
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Computer problems are usually not that complicated to fix. The real problem is that most people are not that keen to try and fix them, preferring to either call IT or take the offending machine to the local shop.

With the recent release of the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit (SDT), if you have a Surface device, there is now a third option. Let’s have a look at how it works.

Surface Diagnostic Toolkit: What is it for?

First of all, it is worth noting that SDT is only for hardware. It can check things like the screen, the camera, or sensors. It is not for checking the operating system or any software.

It also does not work on Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2, and it only works on Surface devices running Windows 10 or Windows 10 S.

Surface Diagnostic Toolkit

How can I use the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit?

The first bit of good news is the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit doesn’t need to be installed. Download it and you can carry it around on a small USB stick. It was about 3 MB but I believe it has somewhat grown in size to about 25 MB. Of course, if you use your Surface device at work, SDT can be run over the network as well.

As there are different Surface devices, there are also different tests. You have a choice of selecting the tests you want to do, or running all tests. It makes no difference. If SDT runs a tests that is not relevant; for example, checking the home button where no home button exists, SDT will just ignore that test. Obviously, running all tests will take longer than selected tests so that is something you may have to consider.

You need to be there

One note of caution, you actually need to be there and aware while the test is going on. SDT will do an update check at the beginning as well, so you will need to give permission to any software that needs updating.

For tests about the touchscreen, you need to touch the screen. You may also be required to plug in and unplug the device on several occasions. You might even need to do a reset if SDT cannot find/test something that it knows should be there, like the battery.

Wrapping it all up

SDT has been around awhile, and is one of those rare ideas that is not only good but practical. As I said at the beginning of this piece, many users would be just fine tweaking their machines here and there if they had a tool to help them. The Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is just that tool.

You can find the toolkit by following this link.

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