Major PC makers such as Lenovo, HP, and Dell provide their customers with special software utilities for troubleshooting, support, and driver downloads. But Microsoft doesn’t do this. Instead, Surface driver downloads arrive via Windows Update alongside those for Windows. And for troubleshooting and support needs, you will need to find, download, and install the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit.
“Part educator, part detective, and part doctor, the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit guides you through a set of software repairs and hardware diagnostics to quickly and efficiently uncover and resolve issues you are experiencing on your device,” the app description notes. “Use this app to look up information about your device, repair common software issues, and validate your Surface hardware. The Surface Diagnostic Toolkit is the best place to start troubleshooting, and [it] will guide you to the best support avenue for the quickest resolution, so you can get back to turning ideas into actions and accomplishing more with your Surface.”
I recommend you install this application immediately: You want the Surface Diagnostic Toolkit on your PC before there is a problem. Assuming you’re using a Surface 3 or newer, you can download it from the Microsoft website. Or, if you are still using Windows 10 in S mode, which I do not recommend, you can find a version in the Microsoft Store instead.
The Surface Diagnostic Toolkit works a bit differently on each Surface PC because it actually tests all of the unique features on your particular model. For example, on Surface Book and Book 2, the troubleshooting wizard steps you through each usage mode—laptop, tablet, studio, and view modes—with and without attached power.
In addition to the tests, you can also view system information—serial number, device model, Windows edition, OS build, and much more—and access telemetry panel that logs the results of each test run.
Why isn’t this crucial utility just included with your Surface PC? I have no idea. But at least you can get it now and prepare yourself for any future issues you may have.
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