Microsoft Surface – Restoring unit to initial factory state

Last week I needed to completely reset my surface unit back to factory settings due to erratic behavior (mostly in VS 2008).  I followed the docs on the process Microsoft released in their SDK, but I had a couple of hiccups I thought I would share with you.

1.  When you restart your surface you will want to hit your delete key once a second when the bios screen appears.  Then when that screen changes you will want to hit F8.  For some reason I had difficulty timing these key strokes.

2.  you will need to switch from the X: drive to the C: drive to run the recovery.cmd command.  Believe it or not, I tried cd C:\ to switch drives.  I haven’t needed to switch drives in a long time in a command window.  The proper way to switch drives is to type in just C:\ without the cd part.  How embarrassing.

3.  I know some threads on the Surface forum suggest that you might need a “secret” password to do this (maybe I misread them), however I found out from Josh (Surface guy at Microsoft who really knows his stuff) that this password is only needed for more advanced bios stuff.  He didn’t detail what that was exactly, but restoring my surface unit wasn’t one of them.

Other than these hiccups the restore went quite smooth and relatively quickly if you follow the docs Microsoft provides.


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