Microsoft offers Surface RT Recovery Image download for Windows RT 8.1 issues

On Saturday, Microsoft halted downloads of Windows RT 8.1 from the Windows Store, due to an issue that the company said was "affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1." While those particular downloads have yet to resume, Microsoft is now offering a recovery image for people who have been dealing with the problems caused by the update.

The download, which Microsoft is calling the Surface RT Recovery Image, can be found on the Microsoft Downloads website. The file size is pretty large at 3.7 GB and it also contains a PDF file that offers instructions on how to install the file on a Surface RT tablet. Owners of the tablet will have to have have a USB Flash drive and a PC that's running Windows 7 or later to create the Surface RT recovery drive. After the drive is made, users can then insert the Flash drive in the Surface RT's USB port and follow the instructions on the PDF form.

The download is labeled for the Surface RT tablet, so it's unknown if this file can be used for any of the other Windows RT tablets that are out there like the Dell XPS 10, the Lenovo Yoga 11 and others.

Source: Microsoft via ZDNet

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If they have this safety net why not reinstate the store upgrade that apperently 99.99% of people didn't have a problem with anyway? I wan't my bloody 8.1!

I think they are trying to fix an issue where the update would never start on some windows RT models when trying to upgrade from Windows 8.1 RT Preview to full windows 8.1 RT. I had to do it about 10 times before the upgrade would actually initiate. The store in the preview would not work and would crash before starting the download ..

When the preview was originally released didn't they say it wouldn't updrade to 8.1 RTM and you would need to do a system restore? Should have stuck to that.

Chicane-UK said,

OVERNIGHT?! That's insane!

I know right? To be fair, I started the update at 5pm, and it was pretty much done by midnight. I woke up and was at the "restart to update" screen which took another hour.

Thanks for saving me a job Microsoft

I released the original RT image to help people out. Something which should have been available from day one. Having it on the hidden recovery partition doesn't always fix the problem.

Interesting, the site says: "Surface RT 8.0 North"
So i'd assume it's just a standard 8.0 image, not an 8.1 image...

It's an 8.0 image, but you can change it to an 8.1 image if you know what to do. We've seen the same happen with x86(-64) images in the past. There are plenty of Surfaces that had no problem installing the update to 8.1 and I'm sure we'll see an RT 8.1 image from the creative minds at MDL soon enough.

The instructions, however, indicates the completion of 8.1 update process from installing this image. It must've been written in a hurry as the instructions indicate the 8.1 update process as being "completed" at step (10) and then again at the end of the instructions.

That's for people that had bricked their Surface RT during the update. The update will continue after the BCD has been repaired.

Thief000 said,
Pretty useful. It's basically a brand new install of Windows 8.1 for Surface RT if you know what to do with the image.

too bad its not an 8.1 image.. the upgrade takes forever..

spudtrooper said,

too bad its not an 8.1 image.. the upgrade takes forever..

Only took my surface a little while after getting it downloaded.