Posted by: kurtsh | November 14, 2012

HOWTO: Backup your Surface’s recovery partition… & recover an unbootable Surface

imageYour Surface has its OS on the local store along with its configuration and updates.  You didn’t install the operating system of course so you have NO install media to start from if your Surface storage gets corrupted, won’t boot, and you need to revive it.

Q: So what do you do if you need to “recover” your Surface if the system software is damaged & you can’t boot?

The answer is:

  1. Create a bootable USB driveUse the “Create a Recovery Drive” app on your Surface (Search apps to find this) to backup the Recovery partition beforehand to ensure you can always get back to a pristine device.
  2. Boot up on the USB drive when you need to recover.  To boot up on the Recovery drive:
        1. Hold “Volume Down” & simultaneously press/hold the Power button for 5 seconds
        2. Release the Power button but keep holding down the “Volume Down” button
  3. OPTIONAL:  Backup your Bitlocker Recovery Key so that you can crack the encryption on the storage drive when you need to completely recover the system partition.  Use “Manage Bitlocker” app on your Surface (Search apps to find this) and have the Bitlocker Recovery key saved to your new recovery USB drive.

The rest is pretty self-explanatory but I’d suggest reading’s post because they’re really good.

(Admittedly, this kinda pisses me off because I was halfway through writing a post on this exact topic but the guy at did such a damned good job on the topic – including a video tutorial (!!!) – there’s really no point in me finishing mine.  Damn you, ShinySurface! Smile)


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