Wake On LAN (WOL) Support for Windows 10 Surface devices


Microsoft has recently announced the support for Wake on LAN for Surface. With this, the Surface devices connected to wired Local Area Networks with a Surface Ethernet Adapter or Surface Dock can be powered on remotely. The feature lets you wake up your docked or connected device from Standby thus letting the updates and maintenance work take place. This feature will let in management solutions like the System Center Configuration Manager to automatically schedule and perform periodic maintenance. In essence Wake on LAN is a token ring computer networking that lets the computer to be turned on or off via a string of network messages.

Wake-on-LAN is a protocol for remotely waking computers from a low power mode. When a network adapter detects an Ethernet packet or a WOL event, the Wake-On-LAN (WOL) feature will wake up a Windows computer from a low power state. In Windows 10/8, Microsoft changed the default behavior of how the computer responds to WOL events.

Wake on LAN for Surface devices

Surface devices that are running Windows 10 version 1607 and up can use the Surface Ethernet Adapter and can connect to the wired network. Unlike the wireless networks with the Wake On Lan you can remotely wake up the machines are perform the maintenance and also try enabling management solutions. The best part is that this can be done even if the device is shut down. For instance, one could simply deploy an application to Surface devices which are docked with a Surface Dock or Surface Pro 3 Docking Station.

Enable Wake On Lan support for Surface

The first prerequisite and the most important one for is that the Surface device should be connected to AC power in order to support WOL. Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface Ethernet Adapter, and Surface Dock work are compatible with the WOL.

In order to enable the WOL one also needs to install a specific driver for the Surface Ethernet adapter and since the driver is not bundled along with the standard driver and firmware pack for Surface, you will need to download and install it separately.

However, the Surface WOL driver can also be downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center. Once downloaded you can simply run the application or instead deploy it to the Surface Device with the System Center Configuration Manager. If the Wake on LAN is an important feature for you can try including the same in the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT).

The Surface WOL adheres to the WOL standard and the device is usually woken up with the help of a special network also commonly referred to as the magic packet. However, to send the magic packet you need to be aware of the MAC address of the target device and the ethernet adapter, this is because the magic packet doesn’t use the IP network protocol.

Read: How to enable Wake-on-LAN in Windows 10.

Most of the management solutions including System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Store apps, PowerShell modules, third-party applications and other third party solutions let you send the magic packet to wake the device. Furthermore, in case the device has been woken up by the magic packet and the application is not actively preventing sleep on the system then the device will return to sleep, states TechNet.