Feeds

Now swallow: Microsoft hands out cure for Surface RT tabs killed by Win 8.1

No problem – download another 4GB and you're done

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Microsoft has quietly released a recovery image for Surface RT tablets rendered unusable by bugs in last week's upgrade to Windows RT 8.1.

The image can be downloaded here, along with a short instruction sheet explaining how to create a bootable recovery drive using any PC running Windows 7 or later and any USB drive larger than 4GB.

An unknown number of Surface RT owners got a nasty surprise when they tried to upgrade their Microsoft fondleslabs to the latest OS version over the weekend, only to be left with a device that boots into a Blue Screen of Death that reads, "Your PC needs to be repaired."

Microsoft hastily yanked the update once the first reports of catastrophe made their way to Redmond. But that still left Surface RT owners who had already applied the poison patch in a bit of a pickle: just how could their tablets be repaired?

Ordinarily they could boot from install media and run System Recovery to restore their slabs to factory conditions, but Surface RT's OS is preinstalled and it doesn't come with any install media.

Worse, even if they had another Windows 8 machine handy, they couldn't use it to make a recovery disk, because Surface RT has an ARM processor and can't boot a recovery disk made by an Intel-based PC.

Those who were prescient enough to have made their own USB recovery drives on their Surface RTs may have dodged a bullet. But there are probably precious few of those because, beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft has hidden the option to create a recovery disk in an obscure part of the desktop settings. (It's a tiny link in the lower left corner of the File History control panel.)

With the recovery image posted on Monday, however, owners of borked Surface RTs can use their own or a friend's PC to restore their fondleslabs to stock state – provided, of course, they're willing to sit through another 3.7GB download, after having already done the same to get the flawed Windows RT 8.1 update.

Meanwhile, Microsoft says it's still working on fixing the update and restoring it to the Windows Store, but adds that "less than 1 out of every 1,000" customers were affected by the glitch. On the bright side, only some Surface RT customers seem to have been affected, while the same problem hasn't been seen on other Windows RT devices.

We could make a joke about how, given how poor Surface RT sales were, that means very few people indeed were affected – but we're sure that for the ones that were, at least, this situation remains no laughing matter. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.