For nearly two decades, Wake-on-LAN (or WoL for short) has been a feature included in many wired network adapters since its introduction by the Advanced Manageability Alliance. As the name implies, the feature allows specific computers to be woken up by sending a "magic packet" containing the target computer's MAC address. Needless to say, WoL has been of great value to administrators needing to access machines remotely by removing the need to be physically present to switch on computers that are asleep or shut down.
Curiously, up until now, WoL has been an absent feature of Microsoft's Surface range when connected to a wired network connection using a Surface Ethernet adapter. However, the company has now filled this gap, specifically for the following devices:
- Surface Book
- Surface Pro 4
- Surface Pro 3
- Surface 3
- Surface Ethernet adapter
- Surface Dock
- Surface Docking Station for Surface Pro 3
In order to enable WoL support for Surface devices, an updated driver for the Surface Ethernet adapter, Surface Dock, or Surface Docking Station, included as part of the Surface Tools for IT package, is required. It's also worth noting that WoL will also only work when the Surface is connected to AC power, likely to conserve energy while running on battery power.
Once complete, Surface devices can then be managed using tools such as Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager or third-party apps designed to generate the required magic packet to wake up each computer.