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Surface RT No longer starts after latest update



New Member
I'd take it to the MS store in your area and have their techs look at. They've been very responsive for me. I'd also like you to explain how in the heck you tried booting it from USB. I've never heard anyone on this forum mention that you could do that. If that is a legitimate way to boot a Surface, then wouldn't that rule out a bad SSD? I'm going to Google right now "how do you boot a Surface from a USB device.

Well I guess you can boot from USB. Here is the steps right from Microsoft.
Start from a bootable USB device when Surface is off

Step 1: Attach a bootable USB device to the USB port.
Step 2: Press and hold the volume-down (–) rocker.
Step 3: Press and release the power button.
Step 4: When the Surface logo appears, release the volume rocker. Surface will start the software on your USB device.

I have to ask since you were smart enough to create a bootable image of your Surface, did you test it after you created it to see if you could boot from it?

From another thread I found it appears you are unable to boot when the SSD drive fails. You can't enter recovery mode. The techs offered 2 different methods to boot from the USB drive. They also mentioned a hard reset. This is done by holding down the power and the + volume for 15 seconds. Again from the other threads those that received the blue screen of death were able to resolve the issue booting from the USB. Unfortunately It doesn't appear my issue is actually software related.

In my case neither option would work.

The USB seems to work for those who actually have the software issue that was caused when the 8.1 update was released. The recovery file comes from Microsoft's Website. They offered this file as 1/1000 users according to their site experienced a specific error/blue screen after the install.

I'll do an update if I go ahead and replace the motherboard myself.
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New Member
This post is highly suspicious from the way he talks, not from what he said. Quite typical for a troll. These are people who are paid to do this.

Is there a proper way to talk when you spend more per hour of use on a 450$ tablet than a 40,000$ truck? Here is a picture of the screen for you. This is where it is stuck.

Regardless for anyone else in the future here are some tips/information.

1. It appears my SSD has failed. This may have been why performance was extra poor before the final update as well. When your SSD fails you are unable to boot from the USB or get past this screen.

2. The warranty on a surface is 1 year to the day. If your surface is out of warranty you are offered a $200 replacement refurb unit. It is 220$ if tech support processes it for you and $200 if you do it through the online system.

3. I would be extra cautious with this decision as the refurb unit will only include a 90 day warranty. For a brief second I almost considered replacing the device as even though my wife never used it once it died she was fairly upset. There is no way knowing the ssd drive can fail that early I would be comfortable spending $200 on a unit with a 90 day warranty.

4. The tech support team for Microsoft are helpful and friendly. The policies set by Microsoft are not.

5. SSD drives on the surface are not replaceable. You have to replace the entire motherboard if you experience a failure. This is probably the route I will attempt as a damaged surface on ebay is very inexpensive.

6. I'm not doing anything for a while. When Microsoft launched the Xbox the defect rate was so high they changed the warranty policy. I am holding out for a couple months before I attempt a repair. Now that more surfaces are out of warranty. my hope is they may do the same again.

If your interested I have the text from my chat as well directly from Microsoft. They allow you to email a copy of the chat to yourself following the session.
Interestingly enough on my last chat they mentioned they would look into drive failures and follow up with me if it was possible to have this covered. I do not really understand if that was to get me to stop using tech support time or they are actually going to look into it. Regardless they said they would email me back when they finished researching the issues. (for the guy with 10 posts calling me a troll this is also in the chat text if you are curious)

Maybe I'll post an update to this in a month if I do decide to attempt the motherboard replacement myself.

Heres to hoping Microsoft actually gets back to me though.


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Active Member
This is the first time Ive heard anyone say a SSD has gone in a RT device. I think its part of the motherboard but not sure? Its listed in device manage as MMC memory card from what I can remember.

You could probably buy a new RT for not much more than a repair. I'd be interested in knowing how you get on replacing the motherboard though. Theres plenty of videos on YouTube for help.


Well-Known Member
Let me clarify one thing, holding the volume down and pushing the power button for few seconds has the same effect as you are just pushing the power button down for few seconds unless you want to boot from a USB stick. That combination is actually for the Surface 2 PRO but no for the Surface 2.
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Well-Known Member
This is the first time Ive heard anyone say a SSD has gone in a RT device. I think its part of the motherboard but not sure? Its listed in device manage as MMC memory card from what I can remember.

You could probably buy a new RT for not much more than a repair. I'd be interested in knowing how you get on replacing the motherboard though. Theres plenty of videos on YouTube for help.

Well, my first Surface 2 died from a corrupted EFI. I exchanged without trying to 'revived' something that would have been possible if I had an USB recovery backup.


New Member
I could have sworn the Surface RT included a standard 2 year limited hardware warranty. I know I had my Surface RT replaced under warranty in December 2013, and I pre-ordered mine and received it on release day of October 2012. I'd recommend letting it sit out and let the battery drain --- tough being that it won't turn on, so maybe leave it in a cold car over night? That always seems to drain my battery (when i forget to bring it in of course).


Unfortunately I have a similar situation: my Surface RT was bought 3 months ago. Lately is was irregular at starting... Now it just shows the Surface word, no circling dots, and it goes off after ~5 seconds.

I need desperately to recover all the personal files (photos and vídeos). If it has a SSD, is it possible to remove it and read the data to another drive?



New Member
Unfortunately there is not a way to get the information. The ssd is fixed to the board. As update to this thread I never did get a response from Microsoft. My last effort will be a trip to a Microsoft store. Microsoft support was completely useless.

I'm very disappointed in my whole experience. My next step if I can't get anywhere is to buy a surface with a broken screen and swap the motherboard.


New Member
My wife's RT froze after she left it booted but not logged in. Tried several attempts to power up including holding down the power button for 5 to 10 seconds. No help. Then saw somewhere that you should hold it down for 20 seconds. That worked.


Active Member
This sounds like the issue when 8.1 came out.

Is this the method you tried?


Windows RT Recovery Image Here for 8.1 Upgrade Issues

By Kevin ParrishOctober 21, 2013 11:14 AM - Source: VentureBeat | B 11 comments

Tags : Windows RT r
Tablets r
Microsoft r

Windows RT 8.1 has bricked a number of devices. Here is how to fix your Windows install.

On Saturday, reports began to surface (no pun intended) that the Windows RT 8.1 update rolling out to current Microsoft customers since Thursday were bricking/disabling a number of devices. The update was pulled over the weekend, and confirmed by Microsoft. So far it's unknown how many devices have been rendered useless after the update.

"Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1," a company forum moderator stated on Saturday. "As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience."

Some users are reportedly receiving a Recovery BSOD, warning device owners that Windows RT needs to be repaired. The error message states that the Boot Configuration Data file is missing some required information, and that the device owner needs to use the recovery tools in the installation media.

KickThatComputer found a temporary fix, requiring users to create a bootable USB drive, go into the command prompt, and type in "bootrec /rebuildbcd" at the C prompt. However Microsoft has released a Surface RT recovery image for Windows RT weighing in at 3.7 GB. As with the previous fix, Microsoft instructs customers to create a bootable FAT32-based USB drive, then copy the contents of the recovery image to the USB Flash drive.

What's interesting here is that Windows RT 8.1 was completed in late August, and both Microsoft and hardware vendors would have presumably spotted scenarios such as this before the update was released. Even more, the update, for now, is only provided through Windows Store, meaning customers with more than one Windows device are required to download and update each separately as opposed to downloading the updates once and distributing them via a USB drive accordingly.

Reports regarding the initial problem span Surface RT and third-party Windows RT tablets, but Microsoft's new recovery image option should work on the latter as well. So far there's no word on when Windows RT 8.1 will return to Microsoft Store. Meanwhile, below are the instructions to fix startup error 0xc000000d:

1) Download the recovery drive files.
a) Go to http://download.microsoft.com
b) In the Search box enter Surface RT Recovery and the press Enter.
c) Tap or click on Surface RT Recovery in the search results and follow the instructions on the screen to download.
2) When the download is complete, create the Surface USB recovery drive.
a) Insert your USB drive into the USB port of your PC.
b) From the desktop, open File Explorer.
c) Tap and Hold or right-click on the USB drive and choose Format.
d) Select FAT32 as the file system and enter a Volume label to name the USB drive, such as RECOVERY, and then tap or click Start.
e) Tap or click OK to erase the contents of the USB drive.
f) Tap or click OK when the format is complete.
g) Copy the contents of the recovery image you downloaded to the USB flash drive.

Use a Surface RT USB recovery drive to fix startup error 0xc000000d

1) Turn Surface RT off by pressing the power button.
2) Start Surface RT using the USB recovery drive.
a) Insert the USB recovery drive into the USB port.
b) Press and hold the volume-down (–) rocker.
c) Press and release the power button.
d) When the Surface logo appears, release the volume rocker.
e) Surface will start the recovery software on the USB recovery drive.
3) When prompted, choose your language options and keyboard layout.
4) Tap or click Troubleshoot.
5) Tap or click Advanced Options.
6) Tap or click Command Prompt.
7) From the BitLocker screen, tap on the screen to hide the touch keyboard and then tap or click Skip This Drive at the bottom of the screen.
8) At the command prompt,
a) Type bootrec /rebuildbcd, and then press Enter.
b) When asked “Add installation to boot list? Yes (Y) No (N) All (A)” type the letter A, and then press Enter.
c) Type Exit, and then press Enter. The command prompt window will close.
9) Tap or click Continue.
10) Surface will restart and complete the Windows RT 8.1 update.
11) After the Windows RT 8.1 update is complete, sign in to Windows.
12) Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Search, then enter command. In the search results, tap and hold Command Prompt, release and then tap Run as administrator. (If you’re using a keyboard, use Windows+X and then tap or click Command Prompt (Admin).)
13) At the administrator command prompt,
a) Type reagentc /enable, and then press Enter.
b) Type diskpart and then press enter.
c) At the “DISKPART>” prompt,
i) Type sel disk 0 and then press Enter.
ii) Type sel part 5 and then press Enter.
iii) Type Assign letter=R and then press Enter.
iv) Type Exit and then press Enter to exit the DISKPART command.
d) Type reagentc /setosimage /path R:\recoveryimage /index 4 and then press Enter.
e) Type Exit, and then press Enter. The command prompt window will close.
14) Remove the USB recovery drive from Surface.
15) Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings. Tap or click Power, and then tap or click Restart.

Surface will restart and the Windows RT 8.1 update will be complete.
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New Member
For what its worth I just went thru a "won't start" on my RT following the restart directions on an update. Tried several different maneuvers but no success originally. After finding the receipt, and getting ready to take it in to see if it was salvageable, I gave it one more try. This time I looked at the power switch as I applied the pressure exactly to the center of the button for 5 seconds and it kicked on immediately. Weird, but it works fine now.

1. Even though you turned it off to do a restart is it actually going thru some update steps that prevent it from coming back on for a "while" without showing any "activity"?

2. Is it possible that the power switch is inactivated during the update?

3. Is it possible that the power switch can become sensitive and demands exact direct pressure?

I'm not a computer geek so bear wih my lack of knowledge on how some of this stuff works and thanks for any guidance.