Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Surface Pro 3 will not boot from USB

  1. #1

    Surface Pro 3 will not boot from USB


    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.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,279
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hey Shawn,

    You might double check using the tutorial below to see if there may be anything to help.

    USB Drive - Boot from on Surface
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Tried but no effect, unfortunately. I'm not above totally blowing away my surface installation (it's fresh now anyway), but apparently at this point if I was to erase the entire SSD, I may not be able to boot at all.
    I might go back to the mall tomorrow and have them poke at it in the MS Store.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    I just tried with a totally fresh USB drive. I held shift and went to reboot to reach the advanced startup / use a usb drive option but it just rebooted right to Windows 8.1 here instead.

    Other than the firmware settings' boot order, I don't know what to check. It shouldn't be caused by any setting or configuration on the SSD or any of the 4 default partitions, right? I mean booting from USB should skip all that entirely right?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 22,279
    64-bit Windows 10


    That's the way it should work unless there may be an issue doing so with Windows 10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 11
    Win 7 Pro


    Ughhh ... I did the exact same thing... installed Win 10 Enterprise on S Pro 3 and now it will not boot from USB drive to re-install the original OS.... has anyone learned anything further on this? I talked to MS (via chat) and they have no clue.... It wouldn't be so bad except a lot of things do not work with Win 10....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Found the option to turn off secure boot. That made my bootup "Surface logo" screen turn red, but didn't help make it boot from USB.

    Took it to the Microsoft store. They couldn't make it boot from USB either and are keeping it for two days to try to restore the factory image.

    The dirtbag had the nerve to tell me that if it wont boot from USB, then "nothing can be done to restore the image" and the extended warranty does not cover that situation. I purchased this device 13 days ago. If I go back and they say my warranty doesn't cover this defect, I might just slam it on the floor and ask for a replacement from a broken screen. I'm beyond angry that he would say my warranty doesn't cover this.

    --

    I cannot even fathom how this doesn't work. Nothing I did to the software, partitions, or anything should have possibly caused this. Even if I were to completely remove the hard drive, I should still be able to boot from USB at all times, right? Have I just lost my mind?

    Even if the restore partition is gone, I should be able to do a clean new fresh install from booting from USB.

    Microsoft recommends making a recovery drive before installing Windows 10. Are they aware that it is not possible to use the recovery drive to boot?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 22,279
    64-bit Windows 10


    It must be something different on Surface Pro 3. I installed Windows 10 Technical Preview on my Surface Pro 2, and I'm still able to boot from a USB as usual.

    If you haven't already, you might see if you may able to install the Surface Pro 3 firmware and driver packs for Windows 8.1 below to see if it may help.

    Download Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro firmware and driver packs from Official Microsoft Download Center
    Last edited by Brink; 07 Oct 2014 at 13:37. Reason: typo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    I got a recent hardware update published just yesterday, and all updates are set. I did have to originally grab that driver pack because when I first fresh installed Windows 8.1, I couldn't even get on WiFi until I acquired those drivers and applied them from that page.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 11
    Win 7 Pro


    Still nothing on this?? The tech from Microsoft was useless. The part that's really somewhat ironic, is Win 10 was supposed to "show" how it can determine whether it's a tablet, desktop, hybrid, etc. and behave accordingly such as know when a keyboard is detached, etc. NONE of that even works AND the Surface Pro 3 would be the showcase device for that! I get it, it's a pre-release etc., etc. etc. but you would think Microsoft would want users to see this stuff work... do they even test their own software????
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Surface Pro 3 will not boot from USB
Related Threads
Hi, I used Acronis to delete all partitions on my Surface Pro. So there is no recovery, C drive, nothing at all. Just a blank SSD drive without any partitions. Now the Surface Pro refuses to boot to any of my USB sticks so I can clean install an OS like I wanted to do. I've verified both of...
Hello, I recently picked up a new 64GB MS Surface Pro 2 tablet for work, but I've run into a problem with it... I need to install some special hardware drivers for some of the devices I need to use the Surface for at work, but these drivers are for Windows Vista/7, not for Windows 8 so I...
How to Boot from a USB Drive on Surface This tutorial will show you how to boot from a USB drive on Surface RT, Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3. This is a per usage option that will not configure Windows or Surface to always boot from the USB drive. You will need...
Hi there. Great news for those wanting to run other OS'es on the new Surface 3 Pro - or simply access the firmware. http://winsupersite.com/mobile-devices/surface-pro-3-tip-access-firmware This also means that when you disable protected boot you can also install Linux or other OS'es on the...
Hi all, I really need some help, I bought a surface pro from a friend yesterday, it had been turned on before I got it so I thought I would reset to factory settings, all was fine until the reset was around 90%, then a box appeared saying "the computer has restarted unexpectedly or encountered...
Surface Pro will not boot in Drivers & Hardware
Hello, I'm having a issue which is complicated and would really appreciate some help. I have a Surface Pro which hard froze during a windows update and now will not boot at all. It just sits at the 'Surface' logo when you turn it on with the loading circles. I didn't have a USB recovery...
OK. I have searched for "boot to desktop" and I got nothing good. I am setting up a Surface as an interface for a medical device. Our program runs as a Startup program, and this seems to work- except that it's running on the Desktop while the user stares at the Start screen Is there...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook