Clean Install of Windows 8.1 on SP3

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Gurvinder Parmar, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Gurvinder Parmar

    Gurvinder Parmar New Member

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    Hi everyone, I'm new to the forum but it's nice to see a place where people are talking about the Surface tablets. I just bought a Surface Pro 3 last week ago over the Dell Venue Pro 11. I have finally made the switch over to a tablet over traditional laptops. Being an IT engineer, I wanted to run 8.1 Enterprise on it for Direct Access capabilities on my work network. The process was actually quite simple. I only had to disable secure boot in the UEFI BIOS and then used a bootable flash drive that had my copy of 8.1 Enterprise on it. The installation went very smooth and fast using a flash drive. I downloaded the June 2014 driver pack from Microsoft but only needed the wireless driver because as soon as I was online, Windows Update installed the firmware package for me.
    Anyone who is looking to do a clean installation, please follow the below steps and your SP3 will run as fast as it did the day you got it. Make sure you use Rufus's utility and NOT the ]Microsoft windows 7 USB/ISO tool. The Surface Pro 3 uses a UEFI BIOS so you will need a UEFI bootable .

    1 - Download Rufus's Utility at http://rufus.akeo.ie/

    2 - Have your Windows 8.1 Installation DVD in your (can be any version of 8.1)

    3 - In Rufus's utility, under device, select your flash drive (4gb or higher). **This process will erase the flash drive

    - Under Partition scheme and target system type, choose GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer
    - Under File System, choose FAT32
    - Under Cluster size, choose "default" or 4096 bytes
    - Under Volume Label, write anything you like or leave the default
    - Under Format Options, leave check device for bad blocks unchecked and CHECK the next three options.
    - Those options are Quick Format, create a bootable disk using : ISO Image & create extended label and icon files

    4 - Click "Start" and wait for the to get created. this process can take up to 10-15 minutes depending on your system so be patient!

    5 - Once the flash drive is created, plug it into your Surface Pro 3's USB port and start the booting process to the

    Secure Boot MUST be disabled on your Surface Pro 3 to be able to do clean installs. To do this, turn your tablet completely off. Hold the Volume UP button and press Power. You can let go of the power button but keep volume up held. This will take you to the UEFI BIOS screen. Here you can disable Secure Boot. Once disabled, simply follow the instructions on this link from Microsoft on booting to that you created

    After you tablet is up and running again, you can simply go back into the UEFI setup and enable Secure Boot again and encrypt your hard drive using Bitlocker.

    ***Note that you don't need to do this to install Windows 8.1 Enterprise like I did...any retail version of Windows will work. You should be able to create a media tool (DVD or Flash) and as long as it's Windows 8.1 Pro, you shouldn't even have to activate it afterwards since that's what comes with the SP3 out of the box. This is a great way to create a installation flash drive that you could then use after 6 months or a year if your tablet is loaded with a lot of software and you just want to do a clean new install again.***
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
    wditters, MadCruzer and unruledboy like this.
  2. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

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    Excellent guide!
     
  3. Gurvinder Parmar

    Gurvinder Parmar New Member

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    Thank You...figured people should know how to do a clean wipe and re-installation on their Surface tablets just like people do on their laptops and desktops. The installation took me like 10 minutes or less...I was surprised at how fast it went...the surface tablets are quite fast machines.
     
  4. megatronium

    megatronium Active Member

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    Just for giggles: Is it possible to install Win7 on a SP3?
     
  5. Gurvinder Parmar

    Gurvinder Parmar New Member

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    I don't see why not...the UEFI flash drive utility supports Windows 7...although I don't know if you would really want Windows 7 on a tablet with such a high resolution...but you should be able to do it...driver support is another issue but we won't know until it's attempted...if I have time on the weekend, I may give it a shot and see how it turns out for you :)
     
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Your biggest issue will be drivers, Windows 7 doesn't support TPM 2.0 nor the AC WLAN, also the Firmware is locked for Windows 8.x so you would need to disable trusted boot...
     
  7. Stefan M

    Stefan M New Member

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    Excelent guide. W8.1 on my new SP3 purchased from Canada could not be activated. It had an error code and activation was not possible (Try again later).
    I tried all the troubleshootings available on the internet: time zone update, troubleshooting Windows update, SLUI 03, SLUI 4, reset, restore, reinstall etc. I tried all the steps also with Microsoft support. after several day of frustration, I made a replacement request via the support and a last attempt before shipping my shiny new device back to Microsoft: I made a fresh install from a bootable USB with a W8.1 version that i downloaded from the internet. I followed Gurvinder Parmar tutorial and everything worked well -except the driver for the WIFI :) for which i had to make a manual install. The activation was instant after the SP3 was online. The version was a little bit 'rusty' at the beginning, but after several updates - everything seems to work well. If anybody have similar problems with W8.1 activation please pm me.
     
  8. phositadc

    phositadc Member

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    Stefan, can you run a powercfg /sleepstudy report and see if your computer hibernate after 4 hours idle like it is supposed to? I did a clean install of Win 8.1 and, although everything else seemed to work fine, the SP3 did not automatically hibernate after 4 hours the way it does on a stock install.

    The powercfg /sleepstudy will show you whether it is hibernating properly...
     
  9. Stefan M

    Stefan M New Member

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    thank you for the input.
    Attached is the report (i changed the extension for upload) after almost a full cycle of battery. How do I read it?
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Deryl McCarty

    Deryl McCarty Member

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    Ctitanic...you may want to put this on your Tips and Tricks page - its worth saving, especially when Win9/'Threshold is in its TechDev or general preview stage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014

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