Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Surface Pro 3 will not boot from USB

  1. #31


    Quote Originally Posted by CmdrKeene View Post
    Short story: BIOS says boot order is network > USB > SSD, but won't boot from any USB stick.
    Tried using Windows recovery options and choosing "use USB", and also the volume down + power to boot.
    Tried switching BIOS to boot only from SSD, saving/rebooting, then back to "USB", and save/reboot.

    Story:
    So I have a Surface Pro 3 and installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Wanted to go back to Windows 8.1 and start clean (all my files are in OneDrive or another PC, so this tablet could be wiped clean). I tried my Recovery Stick and it wouldn't boot from it, so I downloaded Windows 8.1 Pro from MSDN and ran setup.exe. I thought I would use it to create yet another USB install stick, but it actually let me choose to "keep nothing" and install it without creating secondary media. It's running perfectly fine, but I still can't boot from USB.

    I can read/write files to any USB drive just fine.

    I noticed this when I tried to create a Windows To Go drive, I could create it but not boot from it. Now I'm trying to use it to launch Windows 10 Setup and install it into another partition (I like Windows 8.1 too much to go solo 10 even on this secondary device). But nothing so far has let it boot from USB and I am out of ideas.
    I figured out a way to re-install windows 8.1 after the tech preview was installed. I booted into the recovery partition, then went to the command prompt with a normal Windows 8.1 install usb plugged in. I switched to the drive (the command 'D:') then manually ran setup.exe (just type in 'setup.exe') and it installed just fine. It doesn't have any of the drivers but I'm assuming that the driver pack from the MS website will work just fine. Good luck.

    Edit: After I did this, the MS provided surface recovery drive worked, and 'resetting' windows gave me a clean install with all the drivers, basically as the surface was out of the box.
    Last edited by gambino; 07 Nov 2014 at 13:30.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #32


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    I have exactly the same problem as the OP on my surface pro 2, after installing win 10 technical preview. Cannot boot from usb all all. I can reinstall Win 8 by the method provided by gambino but that still doesn't restore my ability to boot from a recovery usb and restore back to a factory state.

    @gambino, did you have to restore any driver pack specifically to get the boot from usb functionality back?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #33


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,487
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Boot from USB is a BIOS function, its not dependent on a driver. Boot from USB happens before the OS is loaded.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #34


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Boot from USB is a BIOS function, its not dependent on a driver. Boot from USB happens before the OS is loaded.
    Makes sense, still doesn't help my situation unfortunately
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #35


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,487
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    I wish I had an answer? I don't get how installing Windows 10 could affect that? I installed 10 on my desktop and laptop, both ASUS, and went back to 8.1 on both. All but 1 install was done with bootable USB thumb drives. Windows 10 would not install on my desktop PC from USB. I had to burn a DVD and do it that way.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #36


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    A quick update. I restored an OEM copy of windows 8.1 by the method outlined by gambino. I let all the updates install one of which was a firmware update.


    Only then was I able to boot from a recovery usb by holding the volume down while powering on. Got there in the end but I'll be staying away from Win 10 previews on the surface going forward.
    Last edited by aftershock; 26 Nov 2014 at 06:51.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #37


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    You need to DISABLE the protected / secure boot then it all works fine -- you can even run Linux on the SP3.

    (Sent using Konquror browser on OPENSUSE 13.1 so it definitely works).

    Here's a link to an earlier post I made about this.

    https://www.eightforums.com/tablet-to...-disabled.html

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #38


    Posts : 4
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there

    You need to DISABLE the protected / secure boot then it all works fine -- you can even run Linux on the SP3.

    (Sent using Konquror browser on OPENSUSE 13.1 so it definitely works).

    Here's a link to an earlier post I made about this.

    https://www.eightforums.com/tablet-to...-disabled.html

    Cheers
    jimbo

    This particular issue after installing Win 10 Preview is not related to Secure boot Jimbo, I tried that previously. This problem only manifests itself after a Win 10 preview install. After which the system will not boot from usb even with secure boot disabled. Only fix as far as I'm aware is to get back to Win 8 by running setup from a command prompt, then allowing Win 8 to do all its updates including a firmware update. You can then boot from usb again. I know it sounds far fetched and convoluted because it bloody is, had me pulling what little hair I have left out for 2 evenings. Your advice is sound but this particular problem is not a typical secure boot issue.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #39


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there.

    Thanks -- I'm running W10 as a VM on an SP3 so the issue hasn't cropped up yet -- but I'll certainly take note of your advice here.

    Normally things like not being able to boot from an external device are usually related to secure boot and sometimes UEFI issues.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #40


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,487
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Windows 10 must be doing something to the firmware on the Surface. Updating it or patching or something. Microsoft make it so I guess they could do that. Still, I would want to know that before they do it. Do you get firmware updates for the Surface though Windows Update? If yes, maybe one of those firmware updates did it? Boot from USB is BIOS function and should be independent of the OS installed. You can do it with a blank hard drive (no OS). Assuming Windows 10 isn't changing BIOS settings. Boot from USB happens before the OS is loaded. Unless UEFI changes that somehow? My laptop has UEFI and I've gone from 8.1 to 10 to 8.1 to 10 to 8.1 all done with bootable thumb drives. I didn't have to turn off secure boot, I didn't change any BIOS settings at all. I just used the quick boot menu to select the thumb drive as boot device for that one boot when doing the install.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Surface Pro 3 will not boot from USB
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