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Issues with booting recovery USB drive


New Member
Hi. The problem I'm facing is that I created a usb drive with the surface recovery image from the microsoft webpage and I can't get the tablet to boot off it. I'm following the procedure and I have tried the thumbdrive on a different tablet where it works there just fine.

I do have to mention that this tablet has Windows 8.1 enterprise installed on it, it's not activated and it has some weird errors such as, I can't even log in with a microsoft account on it. It seems that bit locker is activated but it's not turned on for the drive and when I do try to turn it on, it gives an error.

In the UEFI settings I initially had secure boot on and TPM. I messed around with it a little bit and deleted the keys, I was able to install them back, but I deleted them again and now it doesn't let me install them back, it gives me the error "secure variable update is locked down", "try again after system reboot".
The reason why I deleted them a seccond time is that I noticed I could boot a different USB stick with the windows 10 official iso right after I'd do that. I didn't want to reinstall windows like that out of the fear that it might not be able to boot back into Windows like it doesn't want to boot off the recovery usb drive.

Oh and I can't reset windows from the options, it says that the recovery partition is missing.

What choices do I have? I think eventually I can get back into the windows 10 setup off the usb, as soon as I manage to install those keys again and delete them afterwords. Does anyone know how to fix that error? Is it a good ideea to reinstall windows off a normal iso like you would with a computer?
The tablets warranty ran out and honestly there's no Microsoft store in my country.

Thanks for reading.


Super Moderator
Staff member
If you have a micro SD card installed remove it, sometimes these keep the USB drive from booting.


New Member
In case someone stumbles upon this by googling or anything.
I managed to solve my issue, I opened command promt from the startup recovery menu and I was able to run setup.exe from the regular Windows 10 setup usb (the one for desktops, etc.). I deleted all partitions that existed on the ssd and installed windows normaly. I noticed that after the system restarted it booted off the USB so I grabbed the usb thumb drive I had with the SP3 recovery and restarted the system and it booted off it. I managed to restore it like you regularly would.
There must've been something with the SSD partitions that took over the boot system entirely.