Windows RT 8.1 mess up your Surface tablet? Microsoft has a fix for you

Windows 8.1

If you've been following news of the Windows RT 8.1 update, you'll know that Microsoft has pulled the release due to some issues that consumers have experienced while attempting to upgrade their tablets (be it Surface RT or other models from OEM partners). Redmond has now released a Surface RT 8.0 recovery image, which can be used on a "bricked" tablet to take you back to original factory configuration.

While we covered a potential fix that could be applied to help address the problem, it's positive to see Microsoft taking steps to allow consumers to revert back to a working tablet before releasing a revised Windows RT 8.1 update. As noted above, this image will install Windows RT 8.0 on your tablet, so you'll still be without the latest release until the company turns on the update once again.

Head on over to Microsoft's website to download the Surface RT 8.0 recovery image. Be advised that this recovery image will require a USB drive.

via: WinSupersite


Reader comments

Windows RT 8.1 mess up your Surface tablet? Microsoft has a fix for you


Phew, I must be one of the lucky one's whose install went ok on their Surface RT, although the whole process took almost 2hrs!!!

Mine worked like a dream.  Ok, it might have taken a while to complete but I could use the Surface RT during most of the process which was whilst it downloaded some 2GB of Windows 8.1.  I was already using the beta so not really seen a great deal of difference apart from the excellent new mail app which is a massive improvement.  Still love my Surface RT!

Mine too.
A tip for everyone! The old copy of your windows is backed up under Windows.old folder in your c drive. Run disk cleaner to get rid of it. It will recover some 2GB space. Make sure you click Advanced when Disk Cleaner runs.

This was blown way out of proportion. We had one fail, we had it back up in an hour. We then updated it and then reran the 8.1 and it went smoothly. My others updated fine. I'm posting from my surface rt running 8.1

Good stuff.

Same here. Both my RT's work great. I have to admit, 8.1 seems like quite the refined version. Too bad this version wasn't released a year ago. This is what it should have been to begin with.

Same here I had no issues updating my surface rt or work laptop to 8.1. they both took ages but that's about it really. Loving windows 8.1 big step up from 8 but its now up to Microsoft to show off what windows 8.1 can do and TH advantages over a android and ios tablets.

Also my surface rt seems alot faster at everything it doses.

Same here, but I got super lucky, I was leaving on a trip and it was my wife's RT. I know better than to do that sort of thing, yet here we are.

Try this. Click on your battery icon. Select the advanced settings for your specified plan (usually balanced). Select advanced settings. Open up the wireless adapter settings. Set both drop-downs to Maximum Performance. This tends to aleviate most wifi connection issues. 
My apologies if the steps aren't 100% accurate. I do not have mobile windows device on hand to verify the language. I'm currently at work and only have access to a desktop running windows 7.

Games for windows live will be shut down and most of the games will not get updated because devs won't do shit. Microsoft don't have fix for you.

Летели два напильника и упали в болото. Как зовут сантехника дядю Колю?
(sorry this is the related joke for Russians, can't really translate it well into English :P )

Games for Windows Live doesn't even run on Windows RT.... so not a problem related to THIS article....

I honestly dont know what to say about this. MSFT had one device and they messed up big time. it's tough to say it but MSFT realy blew it on the RT. Hopefully Surface 2 can redeem any bad publicity over the RT mishap.

They didn't mess up "big time". This issue is affecting a miniscule number of Surface owners.

And they have two products, by the way (Pro included). And they have to cater for all the OEM devices. It's not like they're Apple and can tailor the OS to match such a limited subset of PCs.

I can understand oem device having issue and yes they might have two products such as the RT and the Pro. but the Pro already belongs in an area where it's similar to other OEM products. RT is a new creation on it's own and for MSFT to really mess up shows lack of leadership and management.

There are also many OEM RT devices.

I disagree. Lack of leadership and management would have left the issue out there for it to affect more people. Whereas proactive leadership and management made the decision to pull the update for now until they know it's fixed, even after it only affected a few people. Proactive leadership and management made the decision to release a recovery package for people who had chosen to remove it from their device and not keep a backup.

I agree that you make a valid point. This is just my opinion and how I see it RT is suppose to be the future for MSFT and failure is not an option. At this point the ARM race (punt not intented) seems to be going towards google. I think it's crucial MSFT produce a product with minimal amount of hiccups. There's so much bad press already surrounding the RT so you can see why it's impairative not to make anymore mistakes.

What program do you run? VirtualBox (and VMware as well) causes BSOD on 8.1 when you have guest OS running on more than one CPU. Oracle is working on a fix. I was surprised because I haven't seen a BSOD for years.

No issues here. By the way, if you never cleared the recovery image from your Surface (or you backed it up when you cleared it as you were recommended) then you shouldn't need this; just boot your Surface in recovery mode and restore it from there.

Actually that doesn't work. Surface RT with preview 8.1 will not go back to W8, even if you backed up on a USB drive. They actually say that on Microsoft website where the upgrade link is. I tried to go back to W8 in preparation of the 8.1 release but couldn't. Microsoft allowed upgrade from preview because of this.

Really? I had 8.1 Preview on my RT and I reverted to 8.0 fine using the recovery image I had backed up to USB. You just boot into recovery mode by holding the Volume Down button while turning the Surface on.

I did that, and recovery kept on telling me that I will go "back" to 8.1 Preview, that I was already running. Mind you, I am talking about RT. Pro can go back.

I'm on RT as well. Was this the bit where you select the installation to revert? Because it will show you the label of the current OS when you select it (it's giving you a list of what's already there) but then it restores the OS from your recovery image which is 8.0.

Ahaa! Good stuff. That's where I stopped, cause it was not giving me W8 option. Thankfully, when update came out, I had no trouble updating.

The problem me and some others have had is that since the update our pc's or in my case my laptop and Surface RT can't see each other.

Can this fix the fact that I still couldn't upgrade from the preview. Can I use the image to roll back my rt device.

The problem i have is on my desktop, uploaded to 8.1. It starts flawlessly but after about 40seconds of being on the start screen, i get the blue screen of forever doooooooommm with the following "BUGCODE_NDIS_DRIVER" Which closes the pc down.. Meh.. Anyone have any idea what that means!?!

I have the same issue. But it didn't crash today, so maybe it went away? :P
But no idea why it is or how to fix it unfortunately :(

Sounds like it's having a problem with your network driver. Hold down F8 when windows starts to boot, and select "safe mode no networking" from the menu. From there you can disable the network adapter (in device manager) and start working on getting an updated driver installed.

Fortunately my upgrade went smoothly on my RT. Of the other hand...I think I might have lost the opportunity to make such a fuss with Microsoft about it that they would end up exchanging it for a S2...oh well...now we'll never know.
Bring on the Surface 3.

I thought I was going to have a big issue. On Thursday, I couldn't get the Windows Store to show me the update notification. So I went into Windows Update and let it install and reboot. I tried to launch the store and I just get the loading animation. It wouldn't open at all. I ran Windows update again and it said an update was already running. I then leave for work and come back about 10 hours later and still running the Preview, but this time the Store opened after a long time. The Update still hadn't shown. Frustrated, I wiped the machine. Saturday morning, I ran Windows update again, installed the Firmware and other updates until it said I had no more updates. The stupid Windows Store still didn't show me the update. Finally, after reading stuff on the Microsoft site (I guess before the Update was pulled) they provides a direct link to the update. And for some reason, the Update showed up in the Store. It installed fine after that.

I went straight to the website first, clicked on the direct link and boom, I was up and running 8.1 RT.

So how do these images deal with product keys? I don't even know what my product key is on my Surface so not sure if they're on some generic key. Haven't had a problem, moved from preview to RTM seamlessly, just curious.

My surface RT upgrade normal and i phink is faster and recovery disk space. Perfect PS: one player to play rmbv.

My RT had the issue with the store not showing the link to the update.  I did all the reset, reinstalled the 8.1 preview patches, reset the Windows store etc.  Nothing.  Called Surface support and after 1.5 hours finally got the link to show up.  They had me do all the things I had already done, again.  Finally they had me run a command from Windows Explorer that seemed to kick off the update.  It kicked me into the store and the install button was there.  To bad we didn't start at that point.  The rest of it went fast actually.  Now my RT seems faster than before.

It wasn't, not the same as the command they had me run to get it to show up in the store.  I have already had this discussion with someone else, it was a command run from WINDOWS explorer, not Internet explorer.

No problem with my RT in Germany. Had the preview though. Not sure if that makes a difference.
Okay, it didn't show the update so I hade to use a link on a website to get it to show in the store. The update itself was no problem.

Ever since updating my ASUS windows 8 tablet to win 8.1, I noticed that the start screen takes longer to launch then when it was win 8. Very annoying.

The only problem I had was the update wasn't showing up in the Store for my Surface RT with 8.1 Preview. I chatted with support online and they gave me a link to type in the browser to send me to it. It sent me to the Store again but still no update. Then I remembered to plug in the power cord. After that, it showed up and it was just a slow waiting game on the install. Its working just fine. I think the people with the real problems were a small fraction.

I upgraded my device without a problem. It didn't take long and I am enjoying a much better user experience! I bought a Lumia 800, MS practically abandoned it and I upgraded to Android Note 2 device. It boots fine and works fast.

Also weird...the rear camera on my Surface RT 64GB stopped working a while before I updated to Win 8.1. It still won't work because it says it's in use by another app. I can't find any way to fix the problem. Anyone else? Comments?

Mine worked, but i made a mistake of resting it against an old iron in which the Surface slid down and the power button got held in, after an hour of it telling me it was installing the old version due to mistakes, i tried again and viola! Perfection in the form of a Surface RT that now looks more like a horizontal Windows Phone than any tablet never has :)

No problem for me to upgrade to 8.1 but I've got this issue now. Each time I switch my surface on I need to press one time the share key on the keyboard otherwise I can't use the windows key. Start key is making a very noisy bep if I press it without pressing the sharing key before.
The other issue is that I miss the letter "k" and "J" from the people hub app even though I've got many contacts under those letters!!! Please help!!!!:-(

Flawless fast upgrade here, no problems at all. Do have a few issues with IE11 though, seems a bit buggy on some websites.