Archive for the ‘Windows RT’ Category

Windows RT 8.1 Clean Installation Surface RT

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

When using a Surface RT with the second release of the Windows RT 8.1 update, the recovery partition image does get replaced with a new, clean installation image of RT 8.1.

What’s nice about this is that you can now do a complete PC Reset directly to Windows RT 8.1 instead of back to RT 8.0.

What’s also nice is that you can do the regular update, and now you can create a recovery USB drive with that RT 8.1 install image, and then wipe your drive and have a completely clean RT 8.1 install and get as much free space as possible from a 32GB drive. Also, you can now recreate the recovery partition from the USB stick too.

The original release of RT 8.1 didn’t update the recovery partition at all, and Microsoft notes that in the original help. They said that you had to go back to 8.0 and then upgrade again to 8.1 anytime you wanted to do a PC Reset. Luckily, they also have a solution for that now too: they posted the 8.0 recovery image. Do a clean install with that, and let it re-partition your drive. When you get back on the Windows Store, you’ll get the second rev of RT 8.1.

A clean install for me, WITH the clean RT 8.1 recovery partition included, gave me about 22GB free in total. When I originally went from RT 8.0 to 8.1 via the Windows Store, and ran Disk Cleanup to remove the previous install, I was still only at about 17GB, so stuff still gets left behind with an in-place update.

**If you want to know how to nuke your drive, make sure you have a USB recovery drive of RT 8.0 or RT 8.1. This should have an installation image on it already because you will need to do a PC Reset immediately afterward!!! Go to the advanced recovery tools and open a command prompt. Type the following:

sel dis 0

Then do your PC Reset in the same environment to either RT 8.0 or 8.1, depending on what stage of the install you’re at, or which version you want. Don’t try swapping USB sticks while WinRE is running though or bad things will happen. Make sure you boot from the USB stick containing the installation image that you want to use