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Surface Pro 3 will not boot from USB


CmdrKeene

New Member
Member
Oklahoma, USA

Posts
7
#1
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.
 

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mvp
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#2

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    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

CmdrKeene

New Member
Member
Oklahoma, USA

Posts
7
#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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus G1
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2 GHz)
    Memory
    4GB DDR2
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    nVidia GeForce Go 7700
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    IE10 / Chrome - depending on mood :)
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    Windows Defender

CmdrKeene

New Member
Member
Oklahoma, USA

Posts
7
#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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus G1
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2 GHz)
    Memory
    4GB DDR2
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GeForce Go 7700
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    IE10 / Chrome - depending on mood :)
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    Windows Defender

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mvp
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23,281
#5
That's the way it should work unless there may be an issue doing so with Windows 10.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
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    Corsair Hydro H115i
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    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#6
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 Computer

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    Win 7 Pro

CmdrKeene

New Member
Member
Oklahoma, USA

Posts
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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus G1
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2 GHz)
    Memory
    4GB DDR2
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GeForce Go 7700
    Browser
    IE10 / Chrome - depending on mood :)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

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mvp
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#8
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

CmdrKeene

New Member
Member
Oklahoma, USA

Posts
7
#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 Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus G1
    CPU
    Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2 GHz)
    Memory
    4GB DDR2
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia GeForce Go 7700
    Browser
    IE10 / Chrome - depending on mood :)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender

mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#10
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????
 

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alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
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Gold Member
#11
Don't take this the wrong way, but have you tested the thumb drive on another PC to verify it is bootable? How did you create the thumb drive? CmdrKeene, when you were at the Microsoft store did you mention that you are a Microsoft MVP?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
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    PC/Desktop
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    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
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    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#12
Created the USB drive to the letter. Did test on another device and it's a bootable stick. There is definitely a firmware, etc. issue with the Surface Pro 3. You have to format the USB drive as FAT32 and open the zip file (not extract) on a PC, etc. then copy the files to the USB drive. I even eventually did extract the files and then copy to the USB just to make sure the Microsoft instructions were not possibly incorrect. No dice.... the Surface Pro 3 will not boot from a USB. Check out more inquiries via the Web and you will see others are experiencing the same thing.

BTW: I am open to any suggestions at this point. Also did the same with Surface Pro 2 and can't get that to boot from USB. Don't ask why I installed Win 10 on both devices...lol but I did. I was beginning to think it was the USB stick(s) I was using but I am seeing others have the same problem, however not with the Surface Pro 2. But it was the same issue. I downloaded the Win 8.1 using the serial number of the device, opened zipped file, copied to USB (FAT32) and try to reboot using volume rocker method and PC settings method. These devices just don not seem to see the USB and or boot sector on it.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 7 Pro

alphanumeric

slightly off center
VIP Member
Guru
Gold Member
#13
Created the USB drive to the letter. Did test on another device and it's a bootable stick. There is definitely a firmware, etc. issue with the Surface Pro 3. You have to format the USB drive as FAT32 and open the zip file (not extract) on a PC, etc. then copy the files to the USB drive. I even eventually did extract the files and then copy to the USB just to make sure the Microsoft instructions were not possibly incorrect. No dice.... the Surface Pro 3 will not boot from a USB. Check out more inquiries via the Web and you will see others are experiencing the same thing.
OK, just wanted to make sure.

My wife's Acer laptop is very finicky as to how the drive is prepared or it won't boot from it. I had to use fat 32 for it. My ASUS laptop on the other hand is fine with NTFS formatted drives, even for UEFI installs. My desktop PC's don't have UEFI BIOS so I can go either Fat 32 or NTFS for them. I had 3 or 4 tries before I could get the Acer to boot from a thumb drive.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
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    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
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    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#14
Just for the record Win 10 does not bring anything to the table. It's basically an 'apology' release (or will be) to say sorry for what was lacking in Win 8. On the Surface Pros, it actually makes them more difficult to use with regards to navigation. It basically takes the "touch" out of the equation. Microsoft has made some very strange moves lately with regards to their OS. They could have unified it (desktop, tablet, phone, etc.) long ago but somehow refused to see the market going that way.
This just plain sucks because as I said, it renders the Surface Pro less useful....
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 7 Pro

alphanumeric

slightly off center
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Gold Member
#15
Sour grapes? This is a preview build, not the final product. A lot can change between now and final release. I'm not trying to be a smart @ss or anything buy the way, just saying. I've rolled back my desktop PC to 8.1 with no issues. Unless things have changed, Windows installs do not modify the firmware of the device they are installed on. The Surface being a Microsoft product, did you get a firmware update from Microsoft after installing Windows 10?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus
    CPU
    AMD Phenom II X4 980 Black Edition Deneb 3.7GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS M4N68T-M V2 µATX Motherboard
    Memory
    8GB 4GBx2 Kingston PC10600 DDR3 1333 Memory
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA Geforce GT640 2 Gig DDR3 PCIe
    Sound Card
    VIA VT1708s High Definition Audio 8-channel Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    22" LG E2242 1080p and 2 19" I-INC AG191D
    Screen Resolution
    1280x1024 - 1920x1080 - 1280x1024
    Hard Drives
    Crucial MX100 256 GB SSD and 500 GB WD Blue SATA
    PSU
    Thermaltake TR 620
    Case
    Power Up Black ATX Mid-Tower Case
    Cooling
    Stock heatsink fan
    Keyboard
    Logitech Wireless K350 Wave
    Mouse
    Logitech M570 Trackball and T650 TouchPad
    Internet Speed
    80 Mbps Down 30 Mbps Up
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    HP DVD1040e Lightscribe - External USB2

mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#16
Not sour grapes... I realize what this is and what it isn't. Read the thread; it started out about not being able to boot a Surface Pro from a USB drive. I realize the Win 10 did not alter the firmware/BIOS. I also realize it's not a final product although the change(s) would have to be drastic to not be Win 8.2 let alone Win 10. Read the posts, reviews so far... A pre-release is supposed to get users excited. This does not do it (IMO).
 

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    Win 7 Pro

jimbo45

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Hafnarfjörður IS

Posts
4,373
#17
Hi there

Disable protected boot and allow legacy - then it will boot -- I've had LINUX running on an SP3 - works fine. The protected boot is the prtoblem I think you'll find.

http://winsupersite.com/mobile-devices/surface-pro-3-tip-access-firmware

Read the bit about Secure Boot Control.

As far as W10 preview is concerned - it was designed primarily for DESKTOP users to help them switch from W7 and XP. Touch is barely implemented on the preview so don't bother testing it (yet) on Touch devices.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#18
Hey Jimbo, thanks for the reply.... already tried that. You basically get a 'red' Surface startup screen but same results; just bypasses the USB boot and goes into Win 10. I realize the preview was basically a desktop release but we just wanted to test on tablets. Bad idea... BTW: same thing happened on a SP2, they loaded Win 10 and now cannot recover. While I realize this seems like a firmware issue and not and OS issue, I am beginning to think Win 10 did something to make this happen. These devices SP2, SP3, will not boot from a USB drive. Google it and you will see others experiencing this issue.....
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 7 Pro

mx129

New Member
Posts
11
#19
Also for anyone else out there trying this... when you change the firmware/BIOS to remove the SBC, and subsequently change it back (enable it), you continue to get the 'red' Surface upon start up from here on in.... MS needs to look into this... something is not right about these SPs. It does this on both the SP2 and SP3 Pro.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 7 Pro

lparsons21

Member
Member
Herrin, IL

Posts
39
#20
After you finish restoring, just turn on secure boot again and the red screen goes away.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP 23-N010
    CPU
    Intel Core i5
    Memory
    8Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel 4600
    Monitor(s) Displays
    23" touch built in