Ask the Expert: How to Downgrade a Surface Pro and Create a Bootable USB
By: Eric Ortega, ConvergeSecure® Engineer
Before you start this process you should download a copy of the drivers from the Microsoft Surface Pro to a different computer or USB drive. Windows will NOT automatically install drivers and you will be left with a computer that cannot reach out to the Internet or network.
You will also need a Windows license key for the version of Windows you are downgrading to if your computer did not come from the manufacturer with Windows 8. (Windows 8 has windows license key hard-coded into the computer.)
First you will need to properly format the USB drive.
- Open a “Disk Partition” by holding the windows key on your keyboard than pressing the “r” button and let go of both keys.You should get a little window that looks like this called the “run” window
- Then start the diskpart utility by typing “diskpart.exe” and hitting the ok button
- List all the disks and identify your USB stick: “list disk”
- Select the disk number that is your USB stick, e.g.,: “select disk 4”
- Remove all existing partitions: “clean”
- Create a new partition, make it active and format as FAT32, then assign a drive letter:
“create partition primary”
“select partition 1”
“format quick fs=fat32”
- Exit diskpart: “exit”
The final step is to copy all the files from the Windows install media to the USB device–for example, where d: is my .ISO (International Standards Organization) mount of Windows media and f: is my USB stick:
xcopy d:* f: /s /e
Secondly you need properly boot into the usb device for the surface pro you’re working on
- Make sure the Surface Pro device is turned off.
- Attach a bootable USB storage device.
- Hold the volume-down button.
- Press and release the power button.
- When the Surface logo appears, release the volume-down button.
- The Surface Pro should boot from the attached USB device.
- Depending on the windows version you are downgrading to depends on the next steps for the windows install.