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Factory reset on Surface Pro 2017?


Active Member
tl;dr: Is there a true factory reset available on the SP2017? If not, is there any reason to keep that 1.3GB "Windows RE tools" partition? I could put those bytes to better use.

The long version:

This past week about every other day the computer would boot into Repair mode, which would fail unless I specifically chose to fix Windows Startup. So, I decided to do a factory reset and start over.

There were two options at Settings > Update & security > Recovery > Reset this PC > Get started:

- Keep my files - Removes apps and settings, but keeps your personal files
- Remove everything - Removes all your personal files, apps and settings

I chose "Remove everything." What a blooming mess. It was not a factory reset. Instead all it seemed to do was remove installed apps & settings. PLUS it made a mess of Windows. Just a few random samples:
  • Couldn't access Display setting by right-clicking on desktop. Error message about some app (or file?) not being found.
  • Couldn't access Control Panel from Windows search.* It provided a result for Control Panel, but clicking on it (or pressing <enter>) did nothing
  • Couldn't access User account settings. Like with Control Panel (and other items) it showed up during Windows search, but clicking on it/entering did nothing
There were all sorts of things that didn't work, or didn't work properly.

After downloading Windows ISO, I nuked the C: partition, and reinstalled. All the Surface-related features installed/updated with the first round of Windows Update. Hence my question if there really is any value to keeping the Win RE partition.

*FWIW I could access Control Panel by accessing "Programs and Features" via Windows search, and then clicking the back arrow at the top of that window. So, there was nothing in my permissions that prohibited access to Control Panel per se, just that I couldn't access it via Windows search directly.
The Win RE partition is part of GPT boot partitions just like some partitions that you need to keep back when MBR was the common so you can't remove that partition.


Active Member
So even if I totally wipe all partitions from the SSD and install a fresh version of Windows, it will create the Win RE partition?