Introduction

The Surface Pro 4 comes equipped with an M.2 Samsung SSD. Here's how to replace it if it fails or if you want to upgrade.

Make sure the device is turned off before you start working on it.
  • Make sure the device is turned off before you start working on it.

  • If your display is cracked, cover it with strips of packing tape to contain any glass shards and prevent injury.

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The display is strongly glued to the frame of the device.
  • The display is strongly glued to the frame of the device.

  • To remove the display, first soften the adhesive by applying heat. You can use a heat pad, heat gun, or iOpener. In a pinch, a hair dryer can also work.

    • Be careful when using a heat gun, as too much heat can permanently damage the display.

  • Steadily and evenly heat the perimeter of the display until it's too hot to touch, and try to maintain that temperature for several minutes—but don't overheat it, or you may damage the display.

Instead of heating the glass directly, apply a light amount of heat to slightly soften the adhesive as you go and use a all metal xacto knife. Heat the knife blade directly and cut through the foam inside like butter. Stop every 3 inches and place some paper or spacer to keep the glass off the foam. Start at the top right or left side where there is an indent. On the bottom and side only need to go in 1/4”, top more like 1/2”.

Ken Richards - Reply

Use a suction cup or an iSclack to pull up on the glass and create a slight gap between the glass and the metal frame. If your display is badly cracked, a suction cup may not adhere. It may help to first cover the display with a layer of packing tape. Alternatively, you can superglue your suction cup to the display. Insert an opening pick into the gap.
  • Use a suction cup or an iSclack to pull up on the glass and create a slight gap between the glass and the metal frame.

    • If your display is badly cracked, a suction cup may not adhere. It may help to first cover the display with a layer of packing tape. Alternatively, you can superglue your suction cup to the display.

  • Insert an opening pick into the gap.

    • There are tabs on the upper right side and upper left side where it is easier to get a tool under the display.

  • Slide an opening pick around the sides and bottom of the display to cut the adhesive. Apply more heat as needed.

    • Work carefully—the glass is thin and will crack easily if you try to force it.

  • Separate the top edge last. There are antennas on both sides, so be careful not to damage them. If needed, you can use a bit of isopropyl alcohol to help weaken the adhesive.

Do we need to glue the screen back on? How do we do this? What do we use? Thanks for this tutorial. I wonder if it's necessary to completely unplug the screen when replacing just the SSD

mujzjiggy2k1 - Reply

They mention separate the top edge last to prevent antenna damage. I tried to be very careful but still ended up damaging 1 of three antennas. The antennas are directly under the glue and aren’t really that fragile. They key is heat. I was trying to be careful that the glue wasn’t hot enough anymore. If the glue is nice and soft it’ll easily separate from the antenna. Too cold and the antenna will stay with the screen…

tgruetzm - Reply

Attach a suction cup to the front of the display. Using the suction cup, pull the display and base apart. You may need to hold the base in position with your hands.
  • Attach a suction cup to the front of the display.

  • Using the suction cup, pull the display and base apart. You may need to hold the base in position with your hands.

  • It is usually better to place the suction cup on the left or right side of the screen, rather than in the center. This provides more leverage when removing the screen.

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There are two display cables connecting the body to the display. Disconnect the cable on the right by putting a plastic opening tool under the edge of the connector and prying it up.
  • There are two display cables connecting the body to the display.

  • Disconnect the cable on the right by putting a plastic opening tool under the edge of the connector and prying it up.

You can disconnect from the lcd rather than the motherboard, each cable has an EMI shield, a metal cover, over the connector, and the shield must be pried off first, then they disconnect easily by just prying up on the connectors

Glen D - Reply

The connection for the strip on the left is covered by a lightweight metal casing.  Pry around the edges of this case with a plastic spudger. Once it is loose, pull it off. Unplug the connection with a plastic opening tool. Unplug the connection with a plastic opening tool.
  • The connection for the strip on the left is covered by a lightweight metal casing. Pry around the edges of this case with a plastic spudger. Once it is loose, pull it off.

  • Unplug the connection with a plastic opening tool.

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  • The display should now be free of the body of the Surface Pro. Lift it up and away from the rest of the device.

  • Before installing a new display, check it carefully to see if any parts need to be transferred over from the back of the old display to the new display. In particular, you may need to transfer over the NTrig board in the corner by disconnecting the two attached ribbon cables and using heat and gentle prying to carefully separate the glue securing the board.

  • To replace the adhesive securing the display, carefully remove any old adhesive from both the device and the back of the display. Clean and prep the surface with isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth, swiping the cloth in one direction (not back and forth). Apply a strong double-sided tape, such as 2 mm Tesa 61395.

I've done many phones and ipads in the past. I did 2 of these in a row. Both screens were broken before hand but I was unable to remove either of them completely without leaving fragments around the frame. This would suggest that replacing the drive on one with a good screen will require a replacement of the screen too. Do not put a tool into the speaker areas as it mushes up the screen and requires you to glue the screens back in. The screens I purchased did not have adhesive with them so you need to apply that before plugging the screen back in. I ran 1 or 2 stips of 2 mm tape depending on the with of the contact area. There was a metal cover over the right hand connector on mine. I found the metal covers easier to remove with a dental pick which I inserted into the small holes on each tab then levered up. You have to transfer a small board over to the new screen which requires heating. Make sure to connect the LCD to that board before sticking it back down. Ken Davison meditlondon.com

ken - Reply

What adhesive do you recommend?

Chris P -

3M 9448A Double Coated Tissue Tape I just did my 3rd (10 min…I don’t think so) especially if display is shattered, this last screen came with tape strips and the backing looks exactly like this one I posted same color and lettering, its very mushy, rubbery make sure screen is perfectly aligned because once this stuff sticks thats it, no adjustment possible. I used a paper cutter the guillotine type to make the different widths from 1/4” strips.

Ed tabickman -

It took 1.5 hours to do the second one.

ken - Reply

Use a blue plastic opening tool to pry around the edges of the metal shield covering the SSD drive. Use a blue plastic opening tool to pry around the edges of the metal shield covering the SSD drive.
  • Use a blue plastic opening tool to pry around the edges of the metal shield covering the SSD drive.

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Remove the 1.0 mm Torx T4 screw holding down the SSD drive. Remove the 1.0 mm Torx T4 screw holding down the SSD drive.
  • Remove the 1.0 mm Torx T4 screw holding down the SSD drive.

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Use a blue plastic opening tool or spudger to lift the SSD drive slightly and grasp it with your fingers. Pull the drive down towards yourself to remove it from the device. Use a blue plastic opening tool or spudger to lift the SSD drive slightly and grasp it with your fingers. Pull the drive down towards yourself to remove it from the device.
  • Use a blue plastic opening tool or spudger to lift the SSD drive slightly and grasp it with your fingers. Pull the drive down towards yourself to remove it from the device.

Hi, what kind of hard drive should i get if I were to replace the one that comes with the surface pro 4?

Raymond Cabral - Reply

What do you mean follow the steps in reverse? What about the adhesive?

LIQUID SNAKE - Reply

I am also waiting for this answer. I want to buy the SSD for my SP4, but what do you use for an adhesive when putting it back together?

Jay See - Reply

Same as others. I have i5/8GB/256GB model. Same question about the adhesive and which exact SSD replacement.

Anthony Raynor - Reply

Hallo, ich habe mein Surface pro 4 128gb erweitert durch eine samsung nvme 512gb Disk. Jedoch bootet das Surface nicht von der neuen Platte. 1.versuch war direkt neu installieren

2. Versuch war wiederherstellungslaufwerk

3. Versuch war clonen

Nichts davon hat geklappt. Hat jemand ne Idee?

Christian Schmid - Reply

Erl. Ihr benötigt die samsung pm951 oder pm961. Dann klappt es. :-)

Christian Schmid - Reply

So, the drive in the picture is an m.2-sata (micro sata 2 drive).

Most drives today are SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment)

I haven’t tried this yet, so I’m assuming that the glue would be reheated, screen replaced, and cooled down.

But one of the steps recommends TESA tape, the only thing I can imagine this would be used for is reattaching the screen.

Tesa 61395 Tape

Good luck.

karlthestrong - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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Can you add more SSD to the SP4??

dudu93lokao - Reply

Where can I buy a 1T that is compatible with it?

izou1838 - Reply

You can probably replace it with any 1TB NVMe M.2 SSD you find at any retailer. You can find plenty of those on Amazon.

Tip: Look for the performance models, such as Samsung PRO or similar.

Nmindz -

I would love to upgrade my storage while repairing my broken screen, does anyone know of which sdd would be compatible with my i7 8gb ram 256ssd right now? Does it have to be a samsung ssd or are there other options. Fairly new to computer repair here so would love some experienced advice thanks !

I would prefer a 1TB if possible but would settle for a 512 also.

bthonre - Reply

@bthorne As long as it's the same connection (not sure, but maybe you should look for NVMe M.2 SSD) it should work without problems. You should run a quick search on the internet to check if anyone has found some sort of "blacklisted" parts (some vendors such as Lenovo used to place some code in their firmware which would prevent the computer from booting with a "unauthorized" wireless card for example.).

However I think this is not the case with the Surface Pro 4 or the world would be at rage right now. Just look for any size NVMe M.2 SSD you think it would be fit (if you can afford, look for performance models such as Samsung PRO, there's a huge difference from the cheaper ones.). Hope it helps!

Nmindz -

That's a great instruction. BUT you need to make sure, that the glue is cut thoroughly at the upper edge. Between the glue strip and the aluminum body, there are some antennas, that will break as you lift up the glass. If the unit is shot anyway and you need to rescue the SSD, it's not a problem.

Steffan Diedrichsen - Reply

Arent we voiding the guarantee by opening the device this way?

soklamomail-facebook - Reply

how can i put it back after swaping ssd? espcially screen? do i need to buy some kinda specific glue? to put it back? or just put it pack and heat it once again make it attatched?

jackie kim - Reply

Of course. But then if you're reading this and considering doing it, this won't bother you.

chris.sandi - Reply

I want to buy the SSD for my SP4, but what do you use for an adhesive when putting it back together?

Jay See - Reply

I was using my SP4, it froze and on reboot OS drive is not recognized. Pretty much same questions as others. When reassembling

do you use more adhesive or simply reheat existing adhesive.

Anthony Raynor - Reply

Soooo? For those who did replace the SSD/Screen, did you put new glue back on, and if not, any troubles so far regarding the screen?

Daniel - Reply

I cleaned off the glue and applied Tesa 61395 tape and it seems to sit flush and work fine with the exception of the pen. Not sure what I did wrong.

EDIT: The problem with the pen was the pen itself, not the digitizer. I twisted the pen a bit and it works now.

Albert Armea -

Used 2 sided tape made for just this purpose. Make sure you get all the old tape/glue off. Put the tape on the back of your screen and not the body of the computer. You will not put any by the sensors or the camera's. Amazon sells the tape.

Eric Resnikoff - Reply

Which Tape should I Buy?? I see 100 different tapes out there . They go from 2mm-10mm ...

Melvin - Reply

Is there a way to pull the drive out and read it with an external adapter? My SP4 is dead and I want to get some data off the drive. Any recommendations on external adapters I can plug this into and then use a USB3 connection to read the data off of it?

Terry Gore - Reply

There is no USB Adapter for NVME SSDs yet, so you’ve to use an PCI-E Card to read it on a computer.

Dub -

of course there are USB Adapters… here is one sample:

https://www.amazon.com/ZTC-Enclosure-Ada...

When I buy upgrades for the macbook air, they include the usb adapter.

https://www.amazon.com/Transcend-JetDriv...

Alex Hernandez -

Nope, that USB-Adapter is not compatible with that drive. It's a M-Keyed NMVE M.2 SSD which are not supported for those/that adapter. It's mentioned in the discription, too.

Robert -

Has anyone already managed to get off the display ? I have tried with a hairdryer but display sticks heavily, no progress.

Br, Oliver

Oliver - Reply

The toolkit you offered to fix this was a waste. It didn't even include a T4 screwdriver which is needed for the hard drive screw. Luckily I had one... Also, I found your microwavable heater pop to be useless..... The only way I could heat the glue enough to get the screen off was with a heat gun. Getting the screen off is arguably the hardest part and you don't show any videos (SP3 included) on how to do this.

Terry Gore - Reply

Hi Terry! Thanks for your feedback. This guide was written by one of our awesome community members who documented their repair process to help others learn and have an idea of what to expect when they attempt their own repairs. As such, it's possible for some steps along the way to be missing information that might be critical for others, or some recommended tools might be missing from the list. Our guides are Wiki based, however, so you are able to submit changes to a guide if you feel that it is lacking or incorrect. We've gone ahead and added the Torx T4 screwdriver to the list of tools useful for the repairs.

As a suggestion for the future, instead of leaving a comment at the bottom of the guide, you can add your own comments onto the specific step you're referring to (particularly ones you feel are difficult or worth adding additional caution to). This will give other users the ability to check each step of the guide for additional information that other users find pertinent.

Kadan Sharpe -

What is the heating settings of the heat gun (please specify in °C or °F) you suggest?

n.carandini - Reply

The iFixit guitar picks slid through the glue easily enough once I held the display edges at around 100 C for a few minutes, but I still needed to use some force to actually get the display off. You might actually need to get it hotter - I wasn’t able to get an iSclack working at all, and I ended up tearing one of the antennas, though WiFi seems to be working fine still.

Albert Armea -

Can somebody reply on the kind of tape we need? Many asked and only one reply but in a too vague way. Any link to an Amazon page?

n.carandini - Reply

@tpcware Tesa 61395 should work fine—it’s strong, thin, and very widely used for electronics applications like this. Custom-cut strips in the correct shape would be better, but I’m not sure whether any are available. Be sure to remove all the old adhesive and clean the surface with a bit of isopropyl alcohol before you apply the new tape.

Jeff Suovanen -

Managed to break one of the display cables, the one on the left. Any ideas if I can find it as a replacement part? Thanks!

Vlad R - Reply

The iSclack and iOpener method didn’t work too well for me - the iOpener was not able to get the glue hot enough for the iSclack to create any gap. I had much better luck with a heat gun and guitar picks starting from the speaker grilles. At the end of the process, the SSD works but for some reason the pen doesn’t. Any suggestions on what I should try to get the pen working again?

Albert Armea - Reply

Update: the issue with the pen was the pen itself! I twisted the cap a bit and now everything works great.

Albert Armea -

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