Restoring a Microsoft Surface Unit to the Factory State

Every Microsoft Surface unit comes from the factory with a Windows Recovery Partition that is configured on the hard disk drive. If Windows Vista cannot start on a Microsoft Surface unit, or the operating system becomes corrupted on the primary partition, you can restore the factory image from this recovery partition. The recovery partition on a Microsoft Surface unit is a hidden partition on the drive. You should not delete this partition to free disk space, because the partition contains a copy of the factory image.

You can still use backup images that you created by using Backup and Restore Center to restore backups.

Step 1: Capture the Current Calibration Settings

Before you perform a recovery, capture the current calibration settings:

To capture the calibration settings

  1. Log on the Microsoft Surface unit as an administrator.

  2. Open the %ProgramData% folder, and then copy all *.DAT and *.HSH files to a removable USB flash drive.

  3. Click Start, enter regedit, and then press ENTER.

  4. In the left pane, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, expand SOFTWARE, expand Microsoft, expand Surface, right-click Calibration, and then click Export.

    The Export Registry File dialog box appears.

  5. Give the file a name, and then export it to the removable USB flash drive that contains the .DAT and .HSH files that you copied in step 2.

Step 2: Restore the Factory Image

You can see the recovery partition by using Windows Management Tools such as Disk Manager, or command-line tools such as Diskpart.

To restore the factory image

  1. Restart the Microsoft Surface unit.

  2. Press BACKSPACE during the initial BIOS post.

    (If BACKSPACE does not open the BIOS setup utility, press the DELETE key instead. On Microsoft Surface units with an older BIOS version, the BACKSPACE key does not open the BIOS setup utility.)

  3. Press F8 to access advanced boot options.

  4. On the Advanced boot options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight Repair your computer, and then press ENTER.

  5. Select a keyboard layout, and then click Next.

  6. Enter the user name and password of an administrator, and then click OK.

  7. Select Command prompt, and then open the D:\recovery directory.

  8. Enter recovery.cmd, and then press ENTER.

    The Recovery command might take several minutes to finish.

  9. Restart the Microsoft Surface unit.

    Hardware detection starts and takes several minutes to finish.

  10. On the License terms screen, read the license agreement, select the I accept the license terms check box, and then click Next.

  11. On the Choose a user name and picture screen, enter a local administrator account name and password in the appropriate boxes, optionally select an icon picture for the account, and then click Next.

  12. On the Review your time and date settings screen, review and edit the time and date settings as needed, and then click Next.

  13. On the Thank you screen, click Start to start Windows Vista.

    Windows Vista displays several screens while it starts.

Step 3: Restore the Calibration Settings

To restore the calibration settings

  1. Copy the .DAT and .HSH files from the USB flash drive to the Microsoft Surface unit's %ProgramData% folder.

  2. On the USB flash drive, double-click the Calibration registry subkey file that you exported.

    This action automatically imports the Calibration subkey information to the Microsoft Surface unit's registry.

  3. On the Microsoft Surface unit's desktop, double-click the Ambient Light Indicator tool shortcut.

    If an error occurs, recalibrate the Microsoft Surface unit. For more information, see Calibrate Vision System Tool.

After you configure a Microsoft Surface unit with applications and data, you should perform a full backup by using Backup and Restore Center. Use this backup if a system failure occurs.

Contact Microsoft Surface Support for help with any issues that you encounter during recovery.

Did you find this information useful? Please send us your suggestions and comments.

© 2009 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Community Additions