If you are using a Surface Pro device and running Windows 10 OS, then this tutorial, based on steps suggested by Microsoft on how to restore, reset, downgrade and reinstall Windows 10 on your Surface device.
Restore Surface Pro from a System Restore Point
A System Restore Point is a saved state of your system files. If you ran into a problem, you can restore your system to a previous good point in time, using this feature. Even though Windows will create restore points automatically from time to time, it is always advisable to create it manually every now and then, especially if you are making some changes to your system.
Here is how you can restore your Surface Pro from a system restore point:
When you do this, you are taking your system to a previous state which means any installations, drives, updates performed in the mean time would get deleted.
If Restore Points are not available
If you cannot find any restore points in your system, then you can solve your problem by resetting your Surface device. Right after resetting Windows, make sure that System Protection is turned on, by following these steps:
If you cannot sign in to Windows
If you cannot sign into your system, you can restore your system in the Windows Recovery Environment.
You would be able to start your system, once the process gets completed.
If you cannot start Windows
If you cannot start your Surface device at all because of a problem, you may want to perform system restore in the Windows Recovery Environment, by following these steps
When the process is completed, you will be able to start your Surface.
Reset Surface Pro
Resetting allows you to reinstall Windows. You can choose whether to keep your files or delete them whole doing so. This comes handy when the system isn’t working well and you didn’t install anything new for a considerable amount of time. Adding to that, Resetting is the next step you want to do when Restoring doesn’t solve the problem you are having. Follow below steps to reset your Surface Pro:
You need to note that if you upgraded to Windows 10 and reset your Surface Pro within a month after the upgrade, downgrading to a previous version isn’t possible, unless you took some steps that would let you downgrade even after 30 days.
If you cannot sign in to Windows
For some reason, if you cannot sign in into your System, you can reset your Surface Pro from Recovery environment.
If you cannot start Surface
If you cannot start Windows at all on your Surface Pro, then you may want to reset it from Windows Recovery Environment. Follow these steps
After the wizard completes, you would be able to use the system normally.
Use a Recovery Drive to Reinstall Windows
You can use this mechanism when a recovery drive is available to you and your system won’t start because of a problem. Follow these steps to use it in your Surface Pro running Windows 10.
Depending on the option you’ve selected, the wizard would run for several minutes. If it prompts to change your TPM, simply select OK. One important thing which needs a mention here is if you choose not to back up system files when you created a recovery drive on Windows 10, then you cannot be able to use that to reinstall Windows.
15 Aug 2016
I did a clean reinstall of Windows 10 on my Surface 3 (non-Pro).