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51 Comments

  1. Wayne
    October 9, 2018 @ 10:53 pm

    I followed your directions and when installing Windows it looks like it gets stuck when the status is "Getting files ready for installation (31%)". How long should the install take? It has been stuck here for 6 hours.

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      October 10, 2018 @ 8:47 am

      Wayne: Power off the Surface Pro and restart it. If it gets stuck again, boot from the Windows install media and start the installation from the scratch.

      Reply

      • Wayne
        October 12, 2018 @ 8:32 pm

        Thanks. I have tried this several times but it keeps getting stuck at the same point.

        Reply

  2. Jeffrey
    October 11, 2018 @ 4:09 am

    What about the product key?

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      October 11, 2018 @ 8:52 am

      Jeffrey: During the installation process select I don't have a product key and then select the Windows OS version that came with the tablet. When the installation ends, Windows will be automatically activated.

      Reply

  3. Gabe
    October 15, 2018 @ 8:31 am

    I was a little unsure about this but man, what a review and I am happy you took the time to go in detail. Thank you very much!

    Reply

  4. chris
    December 3, 2018 @ 6:52 pm

    This worked great! I'm on a Surface 1 or 2 (not even sure), but even with the different hardware, the steps above got me through a successful bypass of BitLocker and I was able to reinstall Win10. Thank you!

    Reply

  5. stuart wright
    January 23, 2019 @ 10:41 am

    if you go here you will actually get your bitlocker key.
    onedrive.live.com/RecoveryKey

    Reply

    • DEB
      October 31, 2020 @ 4:01 pm

      Thank you stuart wright!!!! You are RIGHT. It worked.

      Reply

  6. Duckers
    March 7, 2019 @ 9:44 am

    I think I have managed to do this with the surface book 2 – I didn't get asked for product key and whilst everything took ages to sort itself out this morning I logged in.
    please clarify that you don't need to keep usb stick in all the time?

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      March 7, 2019 @ 10:21 am

      Duckers: You can remove the USB after login.

      Reply

  7. Jon D
    March 17, 2019 @ 1:48 pm

    Nope, after removing Boot Manager and Internal Storage on Surface Pro 4, it keeps restarting right back into the BIOS. I think I'm hosed. Created a USB 2.0 key from Microsoft Media Creation tool, it blinks during the boot, but nothing.

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      August 31, 2019 @ 1:16 pm

      Jon D: I suggest to re-download the Windows ISO file and to create a new USB installation media.

      Reply

  8. Yi
    March 20, 2019 @ 3:19 pm

    I have surface pro 4 and its locked forever, whenever I turn it on, always on "Bitlocker recovery screen", even I choose boot from USB , it will always go on Bitlocker recovery screen first, I can't get bypass it, I want to do a clean installation

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      March 20, 2019 @ 6:36 pm

      Yi: Have you applied the instructions to exclude the 'Windows Boot Manager' and the "Internal Storage" from the Boot order? If yes, then download again the Windows.ISO file and burn the ISO file to USB by using the RUFUS USB Creator utility,.
      Attention: Create the Windows USB installation media for a UEFI based system (FAT32)

      Reply

  9. Adrienne
    March 28, 2019 @ 3:29 am

    Got it!!!! Thanks you so so much!

    Reply

  10. Peter
    June 10, 2019 @ 7:02 am

    Worked. Thanks so much!!!

    Reply

  11. Shamili
    July 11, 2019 @ 3:41 am

    You are just awesome !!!
    I tried almost 20 different ways and finally found your article and I am happy for your instructions but please do try to make a video which is much more easier than this..
    It took me some time to figure out what you were saying but you are awesome

    Reply

  12. Ken
    July 13, 2019 @ 6:08 am

    Can you help with a surface rt. Trying to reset.
    Its asking for the recovery key to get going again.

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      July 13, 2019 @ 12:57 pm

      Ken: To boot the Surface RT from a USB flash drive:
      1. Shutdown the Surface RT
      2. Plug in the USB Windows 10 Installation Media
      3. Hold down the volume button and then press the power button.
      4. Follow the instructions in the article…and then install Windows 10.

      Reply

  13. richard davis
    July 17, 2019 @ 1:59 am

    I have the key but have forgotten my password – I know – since I’ve always used facial regonition

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      August 31, 2019 @ 1:15 pm

      To remove the Windows password, follow this guide.

      Reply

  14. Stacy Goff
    July 18, 2019 @ 5:24 am

    Thank you – thank you – thank you
    This worked like a charm.

    Reply

  15. Flavius
    July 20, 2019 @ 4:11 pm

    Mine I got to partition but is not seeing the hard drive so I'm not able to format or delete,any succestions

    Reply

  16. Flavius
    July 20, 2019 @ 4:13 pm

    Is booting from USB. I disable the secure boot and on the step where I need to do the partition is not seeing the hard drive so not able to delete or format.i got 2 tablets and both doing the same

    Reply

  17. Yogesh J
    August 7, 2019 @ 10:20 pm

    Hi

    I have a different problem. I updated my surface pro 4 with windows 10 feature update 1903, and restarted. After restart it was stuck in a loop where it showed UEFI screen.
    Then somehow I came across bitlocker screen, which I bypassed and tried to reset the OS.
    I tried to install a fresh copy of windows but I was not able to do it as It wont show drive to install the windows.

    I tried to go through DISKPART method but there was no drive listed except my usb.

    Any suggestions.

    I tried installing drivers for SSD too.

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      August 31, 2019 @ 1:13 pm

      Yogesh J: Have you disabled the 'Secure Boot' in BIOS?

      Reply

  18. Christopher Green
    August 30, 2019 @ 4:43 am

    Hello I went through everything and your instructions and seems like everything was going well until I hit the delete volume part of it and it came up and told me it was encrypted so there was an error and it could not perform the action I'm wondering if this is due to the fact that the path of the BIOS on it is also passworded this is a laptop I got off eBay hoping I can get find my way into it I'll be grateful for your help thank you

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      August 30, 2019 @ 12:10 pm

      Christopher Green: I haven;t face this issue. Maybe this is due to the password in BIOS, but I 'm not sure. Have you tried to perform the procedure more than one time?

      Reply

  19. Christopher Green
    September 3, 2019 @ 7:10 pm

    yes a few times at this point i keep getting this message Diskpart has encouraged an error: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      September 4, 2019 @ 8:58 am

      The error may indicate a problem with the SSD storage device.

      Reply

      • Christopher Green
        September 6, 2019 @ 3:19 am

        i cant get into the bios ether is the bios password stored on the ssd device or someplace else and do you know of any way to remove it sorry for all the ? thanks for your help

        Reply

        • Lakonst2013
          September 6, 2019 @ 9:08 am

          The BIOS password is stored in the BIOS and not on SSD. The only way to reset/remove the BIOS password is from BIOS, but you have to give first the current password.

          Reply

  20. Stella
    October 2, 2019 @ 12:57 am

    Hi there.

    I got further than a few hours ago, however, I can´t seem to fully install Windows 10.
    After starting the process it keep prompting me to the beginning of the Windows Setup and I´ve done everything you´ve listed (many thanks btw for all of it).
    Seems like my S4 is still locked…. any ideas what to do? I am getting impatient.

    Thanks again.

    Reply

  21. Joelectronics
    October 10, 2019 @ 3:14 am

    Good one, dude!

    Reply

  22. Alex
    October 13, 2019 @ 10:41 pm

    Thanks a lot for vey good tutorial. I have just a question. You wrote: "Select "Custom install" and then delete all the rest partitions/volumes on the disk." What you men rest?
    Beside the main one the are 4 more partitions. Two are marked as recovery, one as system and one as MSR (Reserved). Is it safe to delete all of those?
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      October 14, 2019 @ 8:56 am

      I mean…all partitions, because you're going to perform a clean install of Windows

      Reply

  23. Nadine Holbert
    November 25, 2019 @ 5:09 pm

    YES!!! I had a device that had BitLocker on it. A friend loaned it to a friend and they set it up and did not give them the information, as they no longer were friends. I was able to reimage the device to make it useable again using this method!!

    Reply

  24. Rachel
    April 23, 2020 @ 4:40 am

    Oh my gosh you are a genius! Thank you so much for taking the time to create this help. I wanted to chuck my surface out the window and you saved me.

    Reply

  25. Dummy
    May 14, 2020 @ 11:37 pm

    Followed the steps and deleted the volume (no bitlocker code (attempted to look up using command but only saw ID), the drive was locked). Never be able to turn on the device and boot from the USB window media. First screen coming back was REcovery, your PC needs to be repaired error code 0xc0000034.
    You will need to use recovery tools.

    At the bottom, it said "press the window key for UEFI Firmware settings", when I press the window, it asked me to enter the system password which I do not have, pressing "cancel"takes me to the PC info page with an option to exit

    Seems like it didn't boot from the beginning nor could it read/detect my USB.

    Is there a way to resurrect my Surface 4?

    Reply

  26. Dummy
    May 15, 2020 @ 6:13 am

    I wanted to add that I also did the ISO the USB installation media for a UEFI based system by using RUFUS and got the same reboot screen. I'm dead.

    Reply

  27. Dylan Johnson
    June 10, 2020 @ 4:57 am

    Literally thank you so so so so so so so so much, I have had this surface 4 for about a year and have not been able to find anything to help me at all. Not even the help at microsoft was able to help me out with this. You are truly the most amazing human on the face of this planet

    Reply

  28. Mark Smith
    June 21, 2020 @ 12:27 am

    Surface pro was abandoned for years and after so many attempt, this worked! I have been trying multiple different things over the internet but to no avail, until I came across your article. The equation is now, my main drive is not currently encrypted with Bitlocker. Is there a way to retrieve the BitLocker key? All attempts to retrieve the key from Microsoft account and other methods failed.

    Reply

  29. Joanne Blomert
    September 12, 2020 @ 8:19 pm

    Thank you for this. Totally saved my A$$. I deleted the device from Intune and Azure AD and didn't record the Bit Locker Key. Thought it was a goner but this worked!

    Reply

  30. Dan
    September 27, 2020 @ 6:17 am

    Not working for me, all instructions followed but Shift + F10 (or Shift + Fn + F10) doesn't open the command prompt. Trying to open the command prompt from the troubleshooting options demands the recovery key.

    Reply

  31. Deb
    October 31, 2020 @ 6:34 am

    Thank you so much!!!

    Reply

  32. Joy
    October 31, 2020 @ 3:56 pm

    Will my personal files be deleted when I use this procedure?

    Reply

    • Lakonst2013
      November 7, 2020 @ 10:27 am

      Yes, as I already say in the article.

      Reply

  33. Thomas
    January 25, 2021 @ 1:51 am

    That worked to delete the drive but there is also a password lock for the bios.

    Reply

  34. Allen
    September 8, 2021 @ 2:48 am

    On a Surface 3, I am able to get the language screen to come up from booting from USB but the machine is locked. Not able to click next and do not see a cursor. Haven’t tried Shift F10 but the keyboard seems locked. Ever seen this?

    Reply

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