Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (2023)

  • Article
  • 7 minutes to read
  • Applies to:
    Windows 10, Windows 11

Find out how the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool can help you securely wipe data from your Surface devices.

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser is a tool that boots from a USB stick and allows you to perform a secure wipe of all data from a compatible Surface device. A Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick requires only the ability to boot from USB. To learn more about the data wiping capabilities and practices Microsoft uses during the service process for Surface, see Protecting your data if you send your Surface in for service.

Important

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser uses the NVM Express (NVMe) format command to erase data as authorized in NIST Special Publication 800-88 Revision 1.

Compatible Surface devices include:

  • Surface Laptop Studio
  • Surface Book (all generations)
  • Surface Go (all generations)
  • Surface Pro X (all generations)
  • Surface Laptop (all generations)
  • Surface Laptop Go (all generations)
  • Surface Laptop SE
  • Surface Studio (all generations)
  • Surface Pro 2 and later
  • Surface 3
  • Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise on Surface Hub 2

Some scenarios where Microsoft Surface Data Eraser can be helpful include:

  • Prepare a Surface device to be sent for repair.
  • Decommission a Surface device from corporate or organizational use.
  • Repurpose a Surface device for a new user.
  • Reimage devices containing sensitive data.

How to create a Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick

After the creation tool is installed, follow these steps to create a Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick. Before you begin these steps, ensure that you have a USB 3.0 stick that is 4 GB or larger connected to the computer.

  1. Run the DataEraserSetup.msi installation file that you downloaded from the Microsoft Download Center.

  2. Select Build to begin the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB creation process, as shown in Figure 1.

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (1)
    Figure 1. Begin the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool

  3. Select Continue to acknowledge that you have a USB drive of at least 4 GB connected, as shown in Figure 2.

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (2)
    Figure 2. Confirm USB drive of at least 4 GB is connected

  4. Choose x64 (for 2021+ devices only) for 2021 or newer devices, choose x64 for 2020 and older devices or ARM64 for Surface Pro X from the Architecture Selection page, as shown Figure-3. Select Continue.

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (3)

  5. Select the USB drive of your choice from the USB Thumb Drive Selection page as shown in Figure 4, and then select Start to begin the USB creation process. The drive you select will be formatted and any existing data on this drive will be lost.

    (Video) Securely Wiping a Microsoft Surface using the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (4)
    Figure 4. USB thumb drive selection

Tip

If the Start button is disabled, check that your removable drive has a total capacity of at least 4 GB.

  1. After the creation process is finished, the USB drive has been formatted and all binaries are copied to the USB drive. Select Success.

  2. When the Congratulations screen is displayed, you can eject and remove the thumb drive. This thumb drive is now ready to be inserted into a Surface device, booted from, and wipe any data on the device. Select Complete to finish the USB creation process, as shown in Figure 5.

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (5)
    Figure 5. Complete the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB creation process

  3. Select X to close Microsoft Surface Data Eraser.

How to use a Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick

After you create a Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick, you can boot a supported Surface device from the USB stick by following this procedure:

Note

Surface Data Eraser on Surface Studio and Surface Studio 2 can take up to 6 minutes to boot into WinPE before disk erasure can occur.

  1. Insert the bootable Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick into the supported Surface device.

  2. Boot your Surface device from the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick. To boot your device from the USB stick follow these steps:

    a. Turn off your Surface device.b. Press and hold the Volume Down button.c. Press and release the Power button.d. Release the Volume Down button.

    Tip

    If your device does not boot to USB using these steps, you may need to turn on the Enable Alternate Boot Sequence option in Surface UEFI. You can read more about Surface UEFI boot configuration in Manage Surface UEFI Settings.

    (Video) Securely wipe data using Surface Data Eraser | Microsoft

  3. When the Surface device boots, a SoftwareLicenseTerms text file is displayed, as shown in Figure 5.

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (6)

    Figure 5. Booting the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick

  4. Read the software license terms, and then close the Notepad file.

  5. Accept or decline the software license terms by typing Accept or Decline. You must accept the license terms to continue.

  6. The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser script detects the storage devices that are present in your Surface device and displays the details of the native storage device. To continue, press Y (this action runs Microsoft Surface Data Eraser and removes all data from the storage device) or press N (this action shuts down the device without removing data).

    Caution

    The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser tool will delete all data, including Windows operating system files required to boot the device, in a secure and unrecoverable way. To boot a Surface device that has been wiped with Microsoft Surface Data Eraser, you will first need to reinstall the Windows operating system. To remove data from a Surface device without removing the Windows operating system, you can use the Reset your PC function. However, this does not prevent your data from being recovered with forensic or data recovery capabilities. See Recovery options in Windows 10 for more information.

    Microsoft Surface Data Eraser (Surface) - Surface (7)

    Figure 6. Partition to be erased is displayed in Microsoft Surface Data Eraser

  7. If you pressed Y in step 6, due to the destructive nature of the data erasure process, another dialog box is displayed to confirm your choice.

  8. Select Yes to continue erasing data on the Surface device.

    Tip

    When you run Surface Data Eraser on the Surface Data Eraser USB drive, a log file is generated in the SurfaceDataEraserLogs folder.

Changes and updates

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser is periodically updated by Microsoft. For information about the changes provided in each new version, see the following notes:

3.48.139.0

Release Date: 21 November 2022

(Video) Troubleshoot Surface with the Surface Data Eraser Tool - Remove all Data from your Surface

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes bug fixes.

3.46.139.0.

Release Date: 28 October 2022

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes:

  • Support for Surface Pro 9, Surface Laptop 5, and Surface Studio 2+.

3.45.139.0

Release Date: 7 June 2022

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes:

  • Support for Surface Laptop Go 2.

3.42.139.0

Release Date: 5 October 2021

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes:

  • Separate option for 2021 and support for newer devices including Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro 8, and Surface Go 3.

3.39.139.0

Release Date: 13 April 2021

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes:

  • Support for Surface Laptop 4

2.34.139.0

Release Date: 15 January 2021

This version of Surface Data Eraser:

  • Includes bug fixes

3.33.139

Release Date: 9 September 2020

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes bug fixes and adds support for:

  • Architecture re-design to reduce the need to update with new product releases
  • Notification available for new tool updates
  • Customer content additions
  • Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise on Surface Hub 2

3.30.139

Release Date: 11 May 2020

This version of Surface Data Eraser adds support for:

  • Surface Book 3
  • Surface Go 2
  • New SSD in Surface Go

3.28.137

Release Date: 11 November 2019

This version of Surface Data Eraser:

  • Includes bug fixes

Version 3.21.137

Release Date: 21 October 2019

(Video) How to reset any Microsoft Surface via USB (Bare Metal Recovery)

This version of Surface Data Eraser is compiled for x86 and adds support for the following devices:

  • Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro X, and Surface Laptop 3

Version 3.2.78.0

Release Date: 4 December 2018

This version of Surface Data Eraser includes bug fixes

Version 3.2.75.0

Release Date: 12 November 2018

This version of Surface Data Eraser:

  • Adds support to Surface Studio 2
  • Fixes issues with SD card

Version 3.2.69.0

Release Date: 12 October 2018

This version of Surface Data Eraser adds support for the following devices:

  • Surface Pro 6
  • Surface Laptop 2

Version 3.2.68.0

This version of Microsoft Surface Data Eraser adds support for Surface Go.

Version 3.2.58.0

This version of Microsoft Surface Data Eraser adds support for the following:

  • Extra storage devices (drives) for Surface Pro and Surface Laptop devices

Version 3.2.46.0

This version of Microsoft Surface Data Eraser adds support for Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Version 3.2.45.0

This version of Microsoft Surface Data Eraser adds support for the following devices:

  • Surface Book 2

  • Surface Pro 1 TB

    Note

    Surface Data Eraser v3.2.45.0 and above can be used to restore Surface Pro or Surface Laptop devices with the 1TB storage option in the scenario that the device shows two separate 512GB volumes or encounters errors when attempting to deploy or install Windows 10. See Surface Pro Model 1796 and Surface Laptop 1TB display two drives for more information.

Version 3.2.36.0

This version of Microsoft Surface Data Eraser adds support for the following devices:

  • Surface Pro
  • Surface Laptop

Note

The Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB drive creation tool is unable to run on Windows 10 S. To wipe a Surface Laptop running Windows 10 S, you must first create the Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB drive on another computer with Windows 10/11 Pro or Windows 10/11 Enterprise.

(Video) How to factory reset Surface pro 1-7 and complete data wipe | DT DailyTech

FAQs

How do I use Microsoft Surface Eraser? ›

To erase, flip the pen over and use the top as an eraser. The end of the raised area on the flat side of the pen works as a right-click button in most apps. To right click, hold the button down as you tap the screen with the pen. (In some apps, the right-click button might work differently.)

How do I clear my surface data? ›

Reset your Surface
  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap Settings. ...
  2. Select Change PC settings > Update and recovery > Recovery.
  3. Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, select Get Started.
  4. Select Next, and choose either Just remove my files or Fully clean the drive. ...
  5. Select Reset.

How do I reset my surface without the password? ›

How to Factory Reset Surface Pro without Password
  1. Start your Surface Pro tablet. From the Windows login screen, click the Power icon in the lower right, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click the Restart option. ...
  2. Wait for Surface Pro to restart. ...
  3. On the next screen, click the Reset your PC option.

How do I boot from USB on surface? ›

To do this:
  1. Insert the USB drive into the USB port, and then select Start > Settings > System > Recovery.
  2. Under Advanced startup, select Restart Now.
  3. On the Choose an option screen, select Use a device > USB Storage.

Can eraser wipe a hard drive? ›

Eraser is free software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License. It's comprehensive. Eraser supports deleting files, folders, and whole drives. It's able to erase data on a schedule, and it erases SSDs and mechanical drives.

What is surface data eraser? ›

Microsoft Surface Data Eraser is a tool that boots from a USB stick and allows you to perform a secure wipe of all data from a compatible Surface device. A Microsoft Surface Data Eraser USB stick requires only the ability to boot from USB.

How do I delete all files on my Surface? ›

To erase your data:
  1. Go to Start. and select Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
  2. Under Reset this PC, select Get started.
  3. Select Remove everything.
  4. Select Remove files and clean the drive.
Sep 7, 2016

How do I hard reset my Surface laptop? ›

Force a restart

If your Surface still didn't turn on after charging it and trying the keyboard and tablet shortcuts, you can try to force a shutdown, then restart. Here's how: Press and hold the power button until the logo screen appears (about 20 seconds). See Force a shut down and restart your Surface for more info.

How do you unlock a locked Surface? ›

You'll need a PC running Windows 7 or later or Surface Device.
  1. Visit the page to Download the recovery image for your Surface.
  2. Sign in with your Microsoft Account.
  3. From the list of Surface devices available, select the device that you need a recovery image for. ...
  4. Download the recovery image using the button on the page.
Jan 3, 2021

How do you unlock a locked Surface laptop? ›

  1. Start your Microsoft Surface Go book, press and hold the “Shift” key and “Alt” key, then you will see your screen.
  2. Choose, Troubleshoot >> Reset this PC >> Remove everything.
  3. Confirm your choice and your Microsoft Surface will restart without a password to enter.
Aug 27, 2020

How do I reset my Surface to factory settings without Windows? ›

How to factory reset Surface when locked out of it
  1. Tips: If your tablet doesn't have a physical keyboard, you can hold down the Shift key using the On-Screen Keyboard. ...
  2. Step 2: Wait for Surface restarts to recovery mode, select Troubleshoot.
  3. Step 3: On the next screen, select the Reset your PC option.

How do I force a Surface to boot? ›

Press and hold the volume-up button and the power button at the same time until the screen turns off (about 15 seconds), then release both. The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds. After you release the buttons, wait 10 seconds.

What is the boot key for Microsoft Surface? ›

Press and hold the volume down button, and then press and release the power button. Continue to hold the volume down button as the Surface Pro turns on and begins to boot. You can release once the spinning dots animation appears below the Surface logo on the Surface Pro's screen.

What Cannot be erased using the eraser tool? ›

Unlike in Photoshop, you can erase an image background or anything on an image, the Eraser Tool in Illustrator doesn't work the same. You can't erase a raster image.

Does Eraser permanently delete files? ›

Using the Eraser to permanently delete files

To erase a file or folder, right-click the file or folder, hover over Eraser, and then click Erase. Note: Files deleted in this manner will not be recoverable by Data Recovery software or undelete programs. Click Yes to confirm that you want to erase the selected items.

How effective is Eraser? ›

Eraser is a free data-destruction program that's able to wipe all the data off of an entire hard drive at once. Because it also can permanently delete individual files and folders as well, it's also a great free file-shredder program.

Which erase method is best? ›

Most experts agree that Secure Erase is the best way to overwrite an entire hard drive in a single pass. The very simple Write Zero method accomplishes essentially the same thing, albeit much slower.

Can Eraser be used on SSD? ›

Overview. Secure drive erasure is the process of erasing all or part of a storage device so that the data it contained is difficult or impossible to recover. Standard methods of secure drive erasure do not work with solid-state drives (SSDs).

What does it mean to surface data? ›

Surface data are meteorological data that are measured at the earth's surface (technically, somewhere between the ground level and 10m).

Where is the eraser in Microsoft? ›

Click on the Eraser tool on the toolbar. This is the one just to the right of the tool that looks like a pencil. Click and drag to select the table lines you want to erase. Click on the Eraser tool again (on the toolbar) or press the Esc key.

What is the eraser tool used for answer? ›

This tool is used to remove parts of the active layer or selection. It can be useful when working with multi-layered images as portions of an upper layer erased will allow lower layers to show through.

Which command is used as an eraser? ›

The correct answer is Backspace.

Where is the magic Eraser tool? ›

You can find Magic Eraser under Tools in Google Photo's editing section. Google Photos will look for suggested objects to erase.

How do you activate magic Eraser? ›

Once you've selected a photo, tap on Edit at the bottom. Google may list Magic Eraser as one of the suggested tools, but if not, tap the Tools category and then Magic Eraser. The Pixel will take a moment to scan the image and highlight suggestions for you to erase.

Does eraser erase pen ink? ›

Gum erasers and rubber erasers work best on pencil/graphite, and are not recommended for pen. It's possible to erase ink using a vinyl eraser, but be careful. This eraser is very rough and can easily rub away the paper itself along with the ink you're erasing.

What is the GREY part of the eraser for? ›

The white side erases graphite, and the grey side erases ink. The white side erases graphite, and the grey side erases ink.

How many swipes does it take to finish an eraser? ›

It takes 1300 rubs for a small eraser and 2310 for one big as whole adult thumb sorry if i wasted eraser. :( It took about 12 weeks.

How do I reset my eraser tool? ›

PRO TIP: The Eraser Tool in Photoshop can be reset by going to the Preferences > General > Reset Tools. This will reset all of the Eraser Tools settings to their default values.

Does Windows have an eraser tool? ›

Eraser is an open-source secure file erasure tool available for the Windows operating system.
...
Eraser (software)
Initial release4 September 2003
Written inC#, C++
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows
TypeSecure file erasure
LicenseGNU General Public License
5 more rows

What are the options of the eraser mode? ›

There are three options to choose from when you choose the Eraser tool: the Eraser, Background Eraser, and Magic Eraser.

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