Unable to reset or refresh Surface RT

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by danielsjt, Oct 30, 2012.

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  1. danielsjt

    danielsjt Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Greetings all,

    When trying to reset or refresh my Surface RT, I receive the following error:

    Could not find the files needed
    If you have a Windows installation or recovery media, insert it and restart the PC from the media.

    Obviously, the Surface RT comes with no such media, so I'm unsure what to do. I think there was a way to fix this error on Windows 8 by moving the install.wim file over and doing some command line entries, but given I can't find an install.wim for RT, that doesn't seem to be possible.

    I can confirm that per Disk Management, the recovery partition is there, as is the EFI partition and the main Windows partition. I was able to do this procedure once successfully, but when trying to do it again, I am unable to do so due to the error.

  2. AndyRathbone

    AndyRathbone Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I found this on another forum; I haven't tried it, but at this point, you probably don't have much left to lose:

    The only way to kick off a RESET without signing into Windows is to interrupt windows startup a couple times to get Windows Automatic Repair to start:

    1. Turn off the device by holding power for 6-10 seconds

    2. Tap the power button to turn it back on.

    3. Once the surface logo appears, wait for circling dots to appear and then hold power for 6-10 seconds to turn device off again.

    4. Repeat steps 2&3 until the surface logo appears with words underneath saying “Preparing Automatic Repair”

    5. Recovery mode will start.

    6. At the Bitlocker screen, tap “skip this drive”

    7. Tap advanced options

    8. Tap Troubleshoot

    9. Tap Reset…

    10. .. tap Just remove my files.

    11. Reset process will take approx. 20-30 minutes – all data will be removed from the device.

    After the Reset process completes, the OOBE/start up wizard should start and the customer can complete setup of their Surface device.
  3. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I believe if you go to the general options and then choose the "Show advanced boot options" then it'll bring you to that menu without having to try to force Windows to break.
  4. BigCin805

    BigCin805 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    These help files apply to Surface and Surface 2 only. You will need to have a Microsoft email account and most likely have to register the device and associate it to your email account. If you can not login to your device for whatever reason, or you just need to factory reset the device, these links will help you. You will also be able to refresh your system as well without losing your data " if you back it up first"! You will get the oportunity but please follow the instructions completely. Read all the instructions at least once "prior" to beginning the process! I did all the research for you, it works perfectly! I now have my Surface RT back like new! Pass the knowledge on!

    Surface Recovery and Re-Installation Links:

    Refresh or reset Surface RT or Surface 2
    If you're having a problem with your Surface, you may be able to refresh or reset it and solve the problem:


    Download a recovery image for your Surface
    If you can’t get to the recovery tools on Surface, you can download the files you need to get your Surface working again:

    ***** You must first Login and register your product or call MS and let them know you are repairing the device.******


    Create a Surface USB recovery drive:


    Using a Surface USB recovery drive
    Your Surface USB recovery drive contains recovery tools for your Surface:


    I know I may be a little late in answering this question, but someone else may need help re-installing the OS for resale of their unit or just to get it back in working order. I forgot my password and the tech store wanted 175.00 to re-install the OS. I did hours of research, looking through blogs and help sites. I tried and completed the re-install. So now I put the information out for anyone else that needs help. It will save you time and money if you follow these instructions, it did for me.
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