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How to use your Surface Go as secondary screen for any other Surface device

1:13 pm in HDMI over Wi-Fi, Miracast, second screen, Surface, Surface Go, Surface Laptop, Windows 10 by Wim Matthyssen

At home or in the office I always use at least two screens. This significantly improves my multitasking experience and productivity when working with several apps or applications. So that when I need to take some screenshots or just when I am reading technical documentation while doing research, I do not always need to switch between all the different tabs (Windows + Tab key) to open a specific app or application.

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When working remotely I most of the time use my Surface laptop, which works like a charm most of the time, but working on one screen isn’t that convenient when writing technical documentation or a new blog post.

Because carrying and extra monitor with me in my laptop bag is not really an option , these days I use my Surface Go (also works with any other Surface or Windows 10 device) as my secondary screen without the need for any third-party software due the Miracast built-in feature in Windows 10. Thanks Peter De Tender (@pdtit) for the great tip!

Miracast is a standard for wireless connections which allows users to wirelessly share multimedia (seamless display), including high-resolution pictures and high-definition (HD) video content between Wi-Fi devices which support Miracast, even if a Wi-Fi network is not available. It was introduced in 2012 by the Wi-Fi Alliance and it can roughly be described as HDMI over Wi-Fi, replacing the cable from the device to the display.”

Configuration

On the Surface device, in my case my Surface Go, which you want to use as a secondary screen, click on the Action Center icon on the lower right side of your taskbar and then click the All Settings tile to open Settings.

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Click on System.

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On the left column, select Projecting to this PC. Then configure it as you prefer. For example you can set it up to require a PIN for pairing.

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Go to your primary device, in my case my Surface laptop and click on the Action Center icon and select Project, or simply press the Windows + P key.

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Select Extend (or Duplicate) and at the bottom click on Connect to a Wireless Display. On the CONNECT page select the other Surface device (for me my Surface Go).

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Now a Connect blade will popup on your secondary Surface device (Surface Go). Select your preferred setting (Always allow or Allow Once) and click on OK.

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If you have configured to use a PIN, the PIN will be shown on the secondary Surface. You now need to type in this PIN in on the primary Surface before clicking on Connect.

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If all goes well, you should now have your secondary Surface connected as an extended (Connected – Extend) screen.

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That’s all it takes to use your second Surface as an extra screen. I always use two Surface devices, but like already said before, this should also work for any other Windows 10 devices. I hope you will give it a try.

Wim Matthyssen (@wmatthyssen)

Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter won’t connect with Windows 10 laptop running Hyper-V

8:35 pm in Client Hyper-V, Hyper-V, Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter, Miracast, Wi-Fi, Windows 10 by Wim Matthyssen

When delivering workshops at customers most of the time I use my Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter to show my presentations or demo’s on a big screen.

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Normally, I only just need to plug in the USB and HDMI connectors from the Wireless Display Adapter to the HDTV, monitor or projector, and click Connect on the Windows 10 Action Center. My display adapter is then listed as on option and I only need to click on it to extend or duplicate my laptop screen. It is so easy and connecting with a Windows 10 device could not be quicker.

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However last week while preparing a new Azure workshop, making a connection to my home TV did not go that smooth as usual. When I tried to connect to my display adapter, making a connection took a long time and at the end the message “Couldn’t connect” popped up while the TV was still showing Connecting.

 

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After troubleshooting for some time and checking the usual steps (check adapter’s firmware, check Windows Updates, reset the adapter …) I finally figured it out. When making a connection the Wireless Display Adapter uses Miracast, a wireless technology, which makes communication between devices possible on either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless frequency bands. The display adapter itself, even if it looks like a sort of HDMI to USB cable, has a full Wi-Fi card and antenna on board which it uses to connect to the wireless adapter on your laptop.

That is where my connection problem was situated. I do a lot of research on my laptop with the use of Client Hyper-V, which enables me to run all sorts of virtual machines (VMs) for testing purposes. For connecting some of those VMs to the Internet, I make use of an internal virtual switch, which uses a shared connection (Internet Connection Sharing) on my wireless adapter.

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However, this Windows service causes some changes in the way the wireless adapter works, which in normal circumstances does not disturb anything, except when you try to connect to a Wireless Display Adapter.

So, after removing this sharing option, the Wireless Display Adapter connected as easily as before.

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Conclusion

A Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter strongly depends on the wireless adapter in your device to setup communication. Any issues or changes to the wireless adapter in any way can cause connecting problems. If you still want to use Client Hyper-V on your Windows 10 laptop and connect your VM to the Internet with the use of your wireless adapter, I suggest to create an External virtual switch which connects to it. Do not forget to allow the management Operating System to share the wireless network adapter. This setup does not seem to disturb the connection with a Wireless Display Adapter.