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I have had a surface pro for a while now and I have decided to try and boot from USB on it. It won't boot from it.

I have tried an external hardrive with Windows Vista on, a Windows 98 Microsoft-dos boot disk and even a Windows repair disk on an external disk drive. All of these devices boot on everyone of my computers except my surface.

I have tried disabling secure boot keys in the BIOS and I have tried booting via Windows 8 advances options and by holding down the bottom volume rocker at start up. None of it works.

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Can you boot Windows-on-the-Go (or whatever its called). The image should be signed, so the UEFI should list it as a boot option. –  jww Jun 21 at 14:01
We have this issue with Samsung Win 8 Pro tablets and (following exact same steps) have been unable to boot to USB. We've tried to contact Samsung but I'm not expecting a helpful response because we're doing non-standard setups. I'm wondering if the tablets have some additional hardware fingerprint checking so that it's as difficult as possible to change boot options... –  Big Chris Jun 21 at 14:26
You will also need to use 64-Bit UEFI capable bootloaders - try a 64-Bit UEFI Ubuntu on your USB. –  Big Chris Jun 21 at 14:32
? Windows on the go? I disabled secure boot in the UEFI so it should work. –  Luke Polanowski Jun 26 at 19:10
Yes I used a 64 bit windows 7 recovery disk, 32 bit Windows vista OS and even a windows 98 ms-dos boot disk! –  Luke Polanowski Jun 26 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


UEFI based systems such as the Surface Pro or other UEFI systems require that the boot files reside on FAT32 partition. If they are not FAT32 the system may not see the device as bootable.

Note Surface Pro only supports 64bit windows, so it's possible a 64bit windows repair disk will work. To create a USB boot drive you can use rufus instead of Windows 7 USB tool which formats drive with NTFS.

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