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Flatten, reformat and reinstall Windows

Fourth Protocol

New Member
I've a Surface Pro 2 and want to delete all partitions and reinstall Windows. I created a USB recovery drive thing, restarted Windows using Volume Down + release when Surface logo appears, and find the menus completely unhelpful. I'm asked for a recovery key, which I don't have and don't want - I want a 100% clean, fresh-like-a-baby's-bottom install of Windows.

The other thing I tried was to boot using my Windows 8 Pro install CD(DVD?) I bought for my desktop PC, but it prompt me for my product key. I can't use the key from the install CD because I'm using that on my desktop. The Surface Pro 2 packaging and documentation doesn't include a Windows key. I've read online that the Windows product key is in the BIOS, and automagically appears. It doesn't.

Any ideas how I might get this done? I appreciate any help/pointers.


I think the product key is on the back, underneath the stand. I honestly don't know for sure, because I didn't Look :) Instead I fetched one of several little programs floating around the web that will grab it for you and allow you to save to a file. Unfortunately I can't remember which one I got. The part I DO remember is this link

Things That Might Interest Nerds | Surface Pro: Dump the Factory Image. It?s for the Best.

This is what I used to flatten my SP1 (haven't tried the SP2 yet, I'd rather wait for the official Win8.1 ISO to release). It ran from a USB stick and worked great. I used the single USB key method. Looks rather complicated but its not. During install you have the option of deleting all partitions so you're good there. Obviously don't follow the link for the "complete drivers package" as that is for the SP1, not SP2. Good Luck!

Add: FWIW on my SP1 flattening it and reinstalling it from ISO was the best thing I ever did. When it finished it was more stable and noteably faster
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