If your Surface won’t start, or if the recovery info has been removed, you can use your USB recovery drive to access recovery tools and solve problems. Your Surface comes with Windows recovery info that allows you to refresh it or reset it to its factory condition. If your Surface does turn on, see Restore or reset Surface.
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- Disk Drill Media Recovery on the Mac App Store Thank you for choosing Disk Drill app from the Mac App Store. You are minutes away from restoring your data, but first we would like to walk you through the data recovery process.
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Find the scenario that best fits your issue and then select the solution for more information:
Data is any information, messages, photos/pictures, notes, music, audio recordings, video, video record, movies, Microsoft documents or any information electronically present on an electronic device. It can be really frustrating when it seems like you have lost all your precious pictures and videos capturing the moments of life that will never return, documents that you.
My Surface isn’t working well, and I need to download a factory recovery drive image
I have already downloaded a recovery image or was sent one from Microsoft and need to use it to reset my Surface
My Surface is working great, and I would like to create a recovery drive now in case I ever need it later.
I am having trouble booting to the recovery drive
Download and create a factory recovery image for your Surface
Before you begin
A recovery drive image lets you reset your Surface to its factory settings and can help you troubleshoot and fix problems with your Surface device.
If your Surface is not working and you don't have another Windows 10 device that you can use to download the factory recovery image, it may be possible to have a USB recovery drive mailed to you. This service isn't available in China. For more info, contact us.
Create a recovery drive with a downloaded factory image
If you're able to use your Surface or you have another Windows 10 device, visit our Download a recovery image for your Surface page. From there, select your Surface, download a recovery image .zip file for the device you selected.
Important: Creating a recovery drive will erase everything that’s stored on your USB drive. Make sure you're using a blank USB drive, or be sure to transfer any important data on your USB drive to another storage device before using it to create a recovery drive.
Once you've downloaded the recovery image .zip file, follow these steps to create a recovery drive:
Make sure your Surface is turned off and plugged in, and then insert the USB recovery drive into the USB port. If you can, use a USB 3.0 drive.
The USB drive should have at least 16 GB. If you have a Surface RT or Surface 2, an 8GB USB drive will work.
In the search box on the taskbar, enter recovery drive, and then select Create a recovery drive or Recovery Drive from the results. You may need to enter an admin password or confirm your choice.
In the User Account Control box, select Yes.
Make sure to clear the Back up system files to the recovery drive check box and then select Next.
Select your USB drive, and then select Next > Create. Some utilities need to be copied to the recovery drive, so this might take a few minutes.
When the recovery drive is ready, select Finish.
Double-click the recovery image .zip file that you previously downloaded to open it.
Select all the files from the recovery image folder, copy them to the USB recovery drive you created, and then select Choose to replace the files in the destination.
Once the files have finished copying, select the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon on the taskbar, and remove your USB.
For info about how to use your new recovery drive, see Recovery options in Windows 10.
Reset your Surface to factory settings using a recovery drive
A reset returns your Surface to its factory settings. It deletes all your personal files, resets your settings, and removes all apps that you installed.
Video: Reset your Surface
Note: This video is available in English only.
Boot from a USB drive to reset your Surface
Before you begin, make sure you have access to the product keys and installation files for any desktop apps, such as Microsoft Office, that you plan to reinstall after the reset.
When you're ready, here's how to reset your Surface:
Make sure your Surface is turned off and plugged in, and then insert the USB recovery drive into the USB port.
Press and hold the volume-down button while you press and release the power button.
When the Microsoft or Surface logo appears, release the volume-down button.
When prompted, select the language and keyboard layout you want.
Select Troubleshoot , and then select Recover from a drive. If prompted for a recovery key, select Skip this drive at the bottom of the screen.
Be sure to select the Troubleshoot option on this screen. Don’t select the Use a device option. If you select the Use a device option, your Surface will reboot from the USB recovery drive again and the reset process will start over.
Choose either Just remove my files or Fully clean the drive.
The option to clean the drive is more secure but takes much longer. For example, if you’re recycling your Surface, you should clean the drive. If you’re keeping your Surface, you just need to remove your files.
Surface restarts and displays the Surface logo while the reset process continues. This can take several minutes.
Disk Drill Media Recovery For Mac Video
Creating and using your own USB recovery drive
Windows comes with a built-in tool to create a USB recovery drive. To create one, you must use an external USB drive with enough available space for all your recovery data. For steps on how to create a USB recovery drive, go to Create a recovery drive.
Once you’ve finished creating the recovery drive, be sure to eject the drive using the Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media icon on the Windows taskbar.
Note: Creating a recovery drive will erase everything that’s stored on your USB drive. Make sure to transfer any important data on your USB drive to another storage device before using it to create a recovery drive.
When creating a recovery drive, you have the option to delete your recovery partition. If you choose to delete your recovery partition, you’ll need your USB recovery drive if you ever have to refresh or reset your Surface. Be sure to keep it in a safe place. It's best not to use the recovery drive to store other files or data.
The recovery drive can also be used if Windows prompts for installation files when trying to refresh or reset your Surface. To learn how to use your own recovery drive, see Recovery options in Windows 10.
If the USB recovery drive doesn’t work on your Surface
If you can’t boot from your USB recovery drive or don’t see the Recover from a drive option, you may need to ensure that the boot-from-USB function in the Surface BIOS is enabled or configure the boot order so the USB drive is the first option. For more info, see Boot Surface from a USB device.
Reinstall from macOS Recovery
macOS Recovery makes it easy to reinstall the Mac operating system, even if you need to erase your startup disk first. All you need is a connection to the Internet. If a wireless network is available, you can choose it from the Wi-Fi menu , which is also available in macOS Recovery.
1. Start up from macOS Recovery
To start up from macOS Recovery, turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold one of the following sets of keys on your keyboard. Release the keys when you see an Apple logo, spinning globe, or other startup screen.
Reinstall the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac (recommended).
Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
Reinstall the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available.
You might be prompted to enter a password, such as a firmware password or the password of a user who is an administrator of this Mac. Enter the requested password to continue.
When you see the utilities window, you have started up from macOS Recovery.
2. Decide whether to erase (format) your disk
You probably don't need to erase, unless you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, or you have an issue that requires you to erase. If you need to erase before installing macOS, select Disk Utility from the Utilities window, then click Continue. Learn more about when and how to erase.
3. Install macOS
When you're ready to reinstall macOS, choose Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window. Then click Continue and follow the onscreen instructions. You will be asked to choose a disk on which to install.
- If the installer asks to unlock your disk, enter the password you use to log in to your Mac.
- If the installer doesn't see your disk, or it says that it can't install on your computer or volume, you might need to erase your disk first.
- If the installer is for a different version of macOS than you expected, learn about macOS Recovery exceptions.
- If the installer offers you the choice between installing on Macintosh HD or Macintosh HD - Data, choose Macintosh HD.
Please allow installation to complete without putting your Mac to sleep or closing its lid. During installation, your Mac might restart and show a progress bar several times, and the screen might be empty for minutes at a time.
If your Mac restarts to a setup assistant, but you're selling, trading in, or giving away your Mac, press Command-Q to quit the assistant without completing setup. Then click Shut Down. When the new owner starts up the Mac, they can use their own information to complete setup.
macOS Recovery exceptions
The version of macOS offered by macOS Recovery might vary in some cases:
- If macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later has never been installed on this Mac, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. And Shift-Option-Command-R isn't available.
- If you erased your entire disk instead of just the startup volume on that disk, macOS Recovery might offer only the macOS that came with your Mac, or the closest version still available. You can upgrade to a later version afterward.
- If your Mac has the Apple T2 Security Chip and you never installed a macOS update, Option-Command-R installs the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac.
- If you just had your Mac logic board replaced during a repair, macOS Recovery might offer only the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.
If you can't get macOS Recovery to offer the installer you want, you might be able to use one of the other ways to install macOS.
Media Recovery For Laptop
Other ways to install macOS
- You can also install macOS from the App Store or Software Update preferences. If you can't install macOS Catalina, you might be able to install an earlier macOS, such as macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, or Yosemite.
- Or create a bootable installer disk, then use that disk to install macOS on your Mac or another Mac.