How to fix: Failed to Install SurfaceBaseFwUpdateDriver.dll in Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface Docks are commonly used with Surface computers. They improve the overall performance of the computer because they allow you to connect many external devices to the Surface Book. Now, to take advantage of the Surface Docks, you must first install or, in some cases, update the necessary drivers.

One tool that simplifies this process is the Microsoft Surface Dock Updater, which automatically updates the firmware for you. However, one of the problems that users encounter with Microsoft Surface Dock Updater is the “Failed to install SurfaceBaseFwUpdateDriver.dll” error message.

What causes the failure to install SurfaceBaseFwUpdateDriver.dll on Microsoft Surface?

What causes the failure to install SurfaceBaseFwUpdateDriver.dll on Microsoft Surface?

It turns out that the error message cancels the installation, resulting in users not being able to update Surface Dock. Now you can easily update the Surface Dock with another Surface device, but there are still some drawbacks. For example, if you do, even though you update the Dock, you won’t be able to use certain features when using the Surface Dock with a Surface device.

In the case where the two devices are identical, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, if the two devices are different, it won’t work. This is because if you’re using the Surface Dock with the Surface Book, for example, the Surface Book will need a firmware update to get all the enhancements. This firmware update is provided by the Surface Dock Updater tool, which in this case produces an error message.

The reason for this error message is not entirely known, and Microsoft often attributes the problem to faulty hardware, but this is not always the case. It turns out that running the update tool as SYSTEM on your machine can solve the problem in some cases.

This could mean that the problem could be related to insufficient resolutions, according to our assumptions. However, this is not always the case, so it is difficult to determine the root cause of the problem. Nevertheless, we will show you how to fix this error message by listing several methods you can use. Let’s start with this one.

How to fix the “SurfaceBaseFwUpdateDriver.dll failed to install” error message on Microsoft Surface

How to fix the "SurfaceBaseFwUpdateDriver.dll failed to install" error message on Microsoft Surface

Launch the Surface Dock Updater (system)

  • You will need to download the Surface Dock Updater program here.
  • Then download the PSTools package.
  • Unzip the zip file to your PC -> Click Start -> Enter Command Prompt and right-click on the search result.
  • Now select Run as Administrator -> When prompted, click Yes.
  • Enter the following command and press Enter:

psexec -i -s CMD

  • A new command prompt window may open.
  • Then type the following command and press Enter in the new window.


  • The command nt authority/system should appear as a response.
  • Then navigate to the Surface Dock Updater file location on your PC.
  • Now, in the same new command prompt window, type the following command and press Enter: (Be sure to replace the text NameOfInstaller with the actual Surface Dock Updater name).


  • Then close all windows and restart the computer to check the problem again.

Configuring the Group Policy Editor

  • Press the Windows + R key combination to open the Run dialog box.
  • Type Gpedit.MSC and press Enter.
  • This will open the local interface of the Group Policy Editor.
  • Now go to Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Installer.
  • On the right side of the window, select the “Disable rollback” setting.
  • Then double-click it and select Enable.
  • Click Apply and then OK to save your changes.
  • Then restart your computer and look for the Surface Dock update again.

Reconnect the keyboard

Alternatively, you can simply disconnect (reconnect) the keyboard from the Microsoft Surface device. It is also possible that due to a bug in the software, some of the devices are conflicting with the software update of the connected device.

Simply use the Detach button on the keyboard to gently remove the Surface device. Then try updating the Surface Dock firmware using the Updater tool and check the problem.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.