What's new

Surface RT broken (screen issues)


New Member
My daughter dropped my Surface RT from a height of about two feet onto a wood floor. No visual marks visible. However, after she did that, the screen started acting up. It would go in and out, show distortion, and mostly not work. The only way to get a glimpse of the screen would be to press the sleep button: that would make the screen pop up for a tenth of a second or so.

Bummer. Broken screen, loose connection, something like that. However, when I restarted it (hard reset), I noticed that the startup screen was fine, showing "Surface" and the spinning circle (of dots, that one). No screen issue there at all.

That gave me a thought: I restarted into recovery mode (from USB) and tried a refresh: no go. Okay then, a full reset: throughout the reset, the screen worked fine. Perfectly responsive. I could answer the questions (what language &c) and it consistently showed itself while installing. Clearly, then, the screen itself is not broken and even the touch obviously works. No loose connection.

Once fully reinstalled, it started up (again, showing its startup message perfectly). Once we get to the log-in, the old problem is back: the screen goes dark (but backlighting still on). Putting it to sleep makes the screen reappear for a bit, and then it's gone again.

I then thought that maybe the drive was corrupted. So I did another full reset, this time with full format in hopes that it would discover bad sectors. Again, the whole process showed the screen anb touch actually work perfectly. Once done, same problem as before: once we reach log-in (or actually set-up), the screen goes dark.

I'm baffled. What could be the cause? The screen clearly works, touch still clearly works, the processor clearly works, and yet the screen fails on the installed machine. Any thoughts?


Super Moderator
Staff member
Just guessing here... perhaps during setup its low resolution then switches to high.
I should know this as I just did a refresh yesterday but... during the reset does it just display simple text on a black or colored background? never fully utilizing the screen resolution... even so how that translates to something damaged is unclear...

Installation is a pretty good system test too. Which brings me back to screen resolution ... you said it blurred and went in and out or flashed ... seems like an issue driving the screen under full load. that's my best guess. since I can't call a friend or ask the audience ... final answer.

Refurbished RTs are fairly cheap although Surface 2 maybe price reduced in a couple months after the rumored new thinner lighter 10.6" devices hits the market presumably around the same time of year as the others. 64 GB RT refurbished with 1 yr warranty, free shipping $219 on Amazon. if you can wait a couple months or shop around your might find a Surface 2 for that or near it. The 2 is much better speed wise.
Last edited:


New Member
I appreciate that, and it does make some sense. A real bummer. Right now, I make to the logon screen. Lift it up, and darkness.

My timing was good, though. I pickup up an sp3 this weekend ...