Export (0) Print
Expand All
2 out of 14 rated this helpful - Rate this topic

Troubleshooting Surface Hardware Issues

The status lights are a good first item to check when you encounter Microsoft Surface unit issues.

Issue: The Status Light Appears

A status light is embedded in the clear ends of the Microsoft Surface tabletop to indicate system health.


Status light display Condition Remedy

Red blinking

The projector fan failed.

Call an authorized technician.

Red blinking

The ballast fan failed.

Call an authorized technician.


The lamp fan failed.

Call an authorized technician.


The lamp reached a critical high temperature.

Call an authorized technician.


The OSTAR module reached a critical high temperature.

Call an authorized technician.


The ballast reached a critical high temperature.

Call an authorized technician.


The projector reached a critical high temperature.

Call an authorized technician.


The lamp thermal cutout switch was activated.

Call an authorized technician.

Orange blinking

The lamp assembly cannot light.

Replace the lamp assembly.


The lamp door switch was activated.

Call Microsoft Surface Customer Support.


The Microsoft Surface unit is in cool-down mode.

No action required.

Rhodamine (Pink)

The Microsoft Surface unit is starting up.

No action required. However, if after 10 minutes the display is still blank, restart the unit.

Rhodamine (Pink)

The projector is blanked to temporarily hide the Windows user interface.

No action required. However, if after 10 minutes the display is still blank, restart the unit.

No display

Default (none of the preceding conditions).

No action required.

SCM Status Indicator Lights

The SCM status indicator lights are three LED lights that are located in the I/O connections of a Microsoft Surface unit, next to the USB ports. (These lights differ from the status light in the tabletop that is described in the preceding section.) To expose the I/O connections, you'll need to remove the end panel by using a Phillips screwdriver. (This panel is the only customer-serviceable panel on the unit.)

The three SCM status indicator lights display the following combinations to indicate the status of the Microsoft Surface unit.


Display SCM microcontroller state

SCM lights - Blue SCM lights - Blue SCM lights - Blue

The main board and projector are off, and SCM is running on standby supply.

SCM lights - Blue SCM lights - Pink SCM lights - Blue

Fans are started at full speed for 2 seconds, ATX lamp power is now turned on, and IR LEDs are turned on.

SCM lights - Pink SCM lights - Blue SCM lights - Pink

The lamp start sequence begins. The lamp must ignite and be stable for 4 seconds before advancing to next state.

SCM lights - Pink SCM lights - Pink SCM lights - Pink

Send I2C commands to initialize projector and get the parameter from EEPROM.

SCM lights - Green SCM lights - Green SCM lights - Green

Normal running mode. Fan speed and temperature are monitored. If temperature sensors are installed, the fan speed is variable. Otherwise, the fan speed is full.

SCM lights - Yellow SCM lights - White SCM lights - Yellow

The unit’s power button is disabled to prevent tuning on the projector lamp before the 30-second cool-down requirement is satisfied.

SCM lights - Blue SCM lights - White SCM lights - Blue

Cool-down continues, but the power button is now enabled, and the system can be restarted. Approximately 90 seconds will pass before the unit returns to STATE_IDLE_OFF.

SCM lights - Green SCM lights - Yellow SCM lights - Red

The unit is performing a 3-minute delay to enable the user to take action before the SCM shuts down the system.

SCM lights - Red SCM lights - White SCM lights - Red

If a user shuts down the system, this state is entered to force the cooling of the projector lamp.

SCM lights - Yellow SCM lights - Red SCM lights - Yellow

If a user does not shut down the system in 3 minutes, the SCM enters this state. The computer main board is shut down, and the projector is turned off. The projector lamp is cooled for 30 seconds.

SCM lights - Red SCM lights - Red SCM lights - Red

The unit is off because of an emergency condition. To restart the unit, remove and reconnect power to the unit.

Issue: The Microsoft Surface Unit Unexpectedly Displays the Out-of-Order Screen

  • Check the OutOfOrder and OutOfOrderMonitorevent logs for more information.

  • Check to see whether a script is running or if another administrator has remotely logged on to the Microsoft Surface unit.

  • Check the Loader, Shell, and VisionSystem event logs.

Issue: The Microsoft Surface Unit Screen Is Blank

  • Unplug the unit from the wall, remove the lamp enclosure, and inspect the lamp for any damage. If the lamp is clearly damaged, contact the Microsoft Surface Support team for a replacement bulb. If the lamp is not damaged, put the lamp enclosure back in the unit and securely attach the lamp access door. Try turning the unit back on and check for video output.

    The lamp access door is located in the middle of the I/O connections. This door is secured by two spring-loaded thumb screws (older units might have two Phillips screws) and it is labeled as the lamp access door. The back of the lamp access door includes two protruding rods that line up with two holes in the I/O connections. Each of these holes includes an interlock switch. For the unit to work correctly, the lamp access door must be securely in place and flush against the I/O connections so that both interlock switches are engaged. You can remove the lamp enclosure after you remove the lamp access door. The lamp enclosure is secured by two spring-loaded thumb screws. After you loosen the thumb screws, you can remove the lamp enclosure by putting your fingers in the slots in the enclosure and pulling it straight out. For more details about how to access the lamp enclosure and replace the lamp bulb, see "KB: Replacing the Projector Lamp Assembly.”

  • Turn the unit on and check the SCM status indicator lights. Watch these lights as the unit starts to see whether the lights display a delayed Pink-Pink-Pink combination or if they display a Green-Yellow-Red combination. If you see either of these light combinations, check the lamp access door and make sure that the appropriate interlock is engaged when the lamp door is closed.

    When a Microsoft Surface unit is turned off, the SCM status indicator lights display Blue-Blue-Blue. When the unit is turned on, the SCM status indicator lights display a startup sequence of Pink and Blue combinations. During a typical startup sequence, the SCM lights display Pink-Pink-Pink for approximately 3 seconds. If the SCM lights stay Pink-Pink-Pink for 30 seconds or more, the problem might be the bottom interlock switch. If the SCM lights display Green-Yellow-Red followed by Pink-Pink-Pink, it might be a problem with the top interlock switch.

  • Attach an external monitor to determine whether the unit is turning on and starting the Windows Vista operating system properly. If the Windows Vista desktop does not appear, there might be a configuration issue. Check the display settings to make sure that Windows Vista detects the Microsoft Surface screen and is configured to extend the display to the external monitor.

  • If you have another Microsoft Surface unit, remove the lamp enclosure from that unit and test it in the non-functioning unit.

  • For replacement parts and disposal information, contact Microsoft Surface Support.

Did you find this information useful? Please send us your suggestions and comments.

© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Did you find this helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback

Community Additions

© 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.