Recommended switch procedure before exchanging your Surface?

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 2' started by beq, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. beq

    beq Member

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    I understand that we should reset our old SP2 to factory default before exchanging for replacement (PC Settings -> Update and recovery -> Recovery -> Remove everything and reinstall Windows).

    My old SP2 has up-to-date hard drive backup imaging, but this time I've decided to just re-install my software on the replacement unit from scratch.

    Anything else I should do if I want the new unit to be a drop-in replacement (same name and everything)?

    Won't the Windows Store still list the old SP2 under its list of authorized machines? Should I deactive the old unit from Windows Store before wiping it?


    P.S. Subscription software like Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud should be easy enough to deactivate the old machine and install on new one (even after the fact). Must still take care to deactivate software with old-style product keys though (like ShadowProtect).
     
  2. beq

    beq Member

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    Should I rename my old SP2 before wiping it (ex. "Surface-2000" to "Surface-2001"), so that I can then name the replacement unit as the new "Surface-2000", and not have to worry about my online accounts listing two instances of "Surface-2000" with no way to tell which is the new machine?

    For example I remember Windows Store had listed two machines that I had named identically, and I had no way to tell which was for the old machine that I could remove...
     
  3. beq

    beq Member

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    How often does Windows 8.1 sync your system settings and data to SkyDrive?

    With Apple, they tell you how often you can expect iCloud to back up your iPhone/iPad (IIRC, it's once a day, when plugged in to AC power). You can also go to the iCloud settings and perform a manual (incremental) backup at anytime. So when you wipe or exchange your iPhone/iPad, you know that your most recent stuff is already backed up (and iCloud does back up everything on your device, but that's a different topic).

    Anyways, I couldn't seem to find a way to manually trigger a SkyDrive sync/backup on my SP2, and I have no idea how often this is performed automatically. Does anyone know?


    I just found out when restoring from the SkyDrive today, that the Start Screen tile changes I had done last night apparently didn't get a chance to be synced. Then I discovered that the Windows Mail app didn't have the 2-3 mail accounts I had set up a few days ago, but for some reason it still had an older Exchange Online mail account that I had set up and already removed 1-2 weeks back!

    Worse, not all my system settings (as can be found in PC settings and Control Panel) were restored, so I still have to go through all the settings pages to double check by hand. For example all my power settings were reset to default (even though I had set it to not turn off when plugged in, lowered brightness to 30%, etc). Also gone were my custom lock screen settings, some SkyDrive settings, my privacy settings (the apps I had given location/webcam/microphone access were disabled again), etc, etc.

    Sadly, the result doesn't give me a lot of confidence in how frequent, complete, and rock-solid reliable the SkyDrive backup is :(
     
  4. beq

    beq Member

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    Another problem: I'd bought/installed ~300 Metro apps since getting our SP2's, but did so under a separate Windows Store account (shared with my family), which is different than my primary Microsoft account. So each family member uses his/her own Microsoft account, but for Windows Store I logged everyone's computers to a shared family account.

    Well upon restoring from my SkyDrive backup today, it seems the Windows Store had reverted back to my primary Microsoft account with no hint of the other account's presence (not sure if this is by design or a bug?).

    As a result, despite the SkyDrive restore process saying something about re-installing apps, none of my Metro apps actually got re-installed (other than the initial 23 apps that already came with the SP2 out of the box).

    What's strange is that all the app tiles are there on the Start Screen, mostly grouped and laid out as how I had left them. But underneath all of tiles/icons it just says "Install". If I click one, it'll give me an error then display an 'X' on the corner of that tile. Strangely when selecting those apps, the purple bar on the bottom still gives the option to "Uninstall" instead of "Install" -- I guess it's just referring to the actual icon/tile.

    I had to go to Windows Store to log back in to the family account, but even then I still had to tap those ~300 tiles/icons by hand, one by one, to re-install. And the ones that already got an 'X' still couldn't install until I opened the Windows Store and to do an app "repair".


    Anyways, I just checked a few of these apps after having been re-installed. At least many of them seem to have retained their app data/settings. For example the Dropbox Metro app was still logged in to my account, etc. But at least some of the apps/games appear to have lost their in-app purchases. My expectation/hope is that I'll just have to click on a "Restore purchase" button inside each app, or at worst try to purchase the same IAP's again at which point I should get some sort of disclaimer that I had already purchased. Then again, in my experience some of those "coins" purchases in games have different behavior (some let you keep buying same coin packs again and again -- this is actually a whole other issue that I've been keeping notes on and may post about in the future)...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
  5. jefhart

    jefhart Member

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    When I got my replacement I just logged in as myself and it re-downloaded all the metro apps under my account and my Skydrive restored itself. Somehow the store knew the difference between my new device and the old one and I never had any problems. It sounds like using multiple accounts is causing your particular problem.
     

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