Before installing the Windows 10 Tech Preview, I created a recovery media on an USB stick, so that I could completely reset my Surface 3 and repave it with Windows 8.1, should I need to.

After the last update, my Windows 10 Tech Preview no longer connected to my wifi, so I decided to reset the PC. I expected that following these instructions would allow me to restore my Surface 3 to a working Windows 8.1 environment.

However, after step 9 (tapping Yes, repartition the drives) I get stuck with a message telling me to insert the Windows installation media. Cancel is the only available option at that point.

1 Answer 1


I finally found the solution here.

In order to reinstall Windows 8.1 from the Surface Pro 3 recovery media, I have to clean the disk first, wiping any partitions which were confusing the reinstallation process.

  1. First create a bootable USB disk with the recovery media.
    Without this recovery media you won't be able to reinstall your Surface.

  2. Insert the USB stick with the recovery media.

  3. Press and hold the Volume Down button while turning the Surface on. As soon as the Surface logo appears, release the Volume Down button.

  4. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt.

  5. Start diskpart and execute select disk system, followed by clean and exit.

  6. Reboot the Surface again and use the standard Reset your PC procedure.

  • Oh, I was doing it for hours until I realized that it's disk with a "k" and not disc with a "c". Now it went all the way. Of course, I don't have the USB so I only can enter BIOS... :( Jan 28, 2015 at 7:50
  • Ah, yes: disk applies to magnetic disk drives whereas disc would be used for optical ones (compact disc). See also this article explaining the difference between disk and disc: support.apple.com/en-us/HT201697 Jan 28, 2015 at 8:28
  • 1
    Awesome (+1). You might add to the first part of your answer to make a bootable USB before cleaning. You should write it twice. Some people don't do that and those people can only access the BIOS afterwards feeling like an ass. I'm those people right now, hehe. Jan 28, 2015 at 9:01

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