I'm going to describe in as much detail the problem I have, and what I can access, and what works and doesn't work.
My Surface Pro is stuck in a start-up loop - 'Preparing Automatic Repair' with a circle going round, flashes a quick look at my desktop which says 'Evaluation Copy. Build 10122' and flashes and empty cmd prompt box, before changing the screen to the VOL DOWN + POWER "Startup Options" Screen. From here nothing seems to work. I also have the ability to hold VOL UP + POWER to see the UEFI Firmware Settings screen.
Right off the bat, from the first page of the Startup Options pages, I cannot 'Use A Device'. The Surface Pro recovery usb pen I created by downloading the Recovery iso from MS's website will not work; nor will a Windows 7 OEM Installation CD that I tried using via an external USB DVD drive. Both Media are recognised, the usb pen as a "UEFI: SANDISK Cruzer Blade 1.27", and the external DVD Drive as a USB Class. When attempting to use either, the log-on process just starts over again, the preparing automatic fixes loop kicks-in, and i find myself back at the Startup Options page. No idea why the Surface Pro recovery USB didn't work for me. It was a long shot with the Win7 installation CD, I guess I was just hoping I could repair any missing windows or boot files.
Advancing into the Troubleshoot menu, I cannot 'Reset This PC' by keeping files. It simply says it can't be done, and to try Advanced Options in the Troubleshoot area. Trying to 'Reset This PC' by removing everything, it asks me to insert my Windows Installation or Recovery Media to continue. It simply says the media inserted is not valid for both the usb pen and the installation cd.
Heading into the Advanced Options underneath Troubleshooting menu.. System Restore to a previous restore point will not work, as System Restore is turned off on Win10 Tech Preview, and can only be turned-on from an online OS.
- System Image Recovery fails to find a system image on the Surface itself, or my USB pen, even after I click refresh. But if I click advanced and go to the 'search for a driver' option, I can poke around the surface pro's remaining file system and see the current state of my Surface Pro's harddrive is as follows:
- Windows (C) - 110 GB free of 110 GB.
-- Under C\Users there is only Adminstrator and Public, not a folder for my name like there usually is.
-- The user folders in ThisPC (Documents etc.) currently point to X:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile.
- Local Disk (E) - 115 MB free of 449 MB.
- Boot (X) - 503 MB free of 505 MB.
-- Under X\Users there is only Public, no folders Administrator for my name.
-- Under X:\windows\system32\config\systemprofile location there is only an AppData folder.
I have the option of doing some things here, like I can right click and create a new folder, then right click and refresh in order for the new folder I just made to show up. I also appear to have the option of clicking on the Windows / Local Disk / Boot drives and formatting them?
This 'search for a driver' menu will also see the USB Pendrive here, but I cannot initiate any kind of setup/repair from here, as it returns a message saying "The specified location does not contain any information about your hardware".
Start-Up Repair just goes to a 'Diagnosing Your PC' screen, but then spits out an error message that Start-Up Repair couldn't fix your PC.
It creates a log file for me, and tells me to press Advanced Options and try something else.
There is Comand Prompt, but I don't know any code (DOS?) to manually fix things.
Start-Up Settings simply reboots the Surface Pro, which launches the 'Preparing Automatic Repair' loop again. No help there.
The UEFI Firmware Settings square simply restarts the machine and loads the VOL UP + POWER button UEFI Screen. No help there.
'See more Recovery Options' is the last option. The only thing it allows me to do is to 'Roll back to the previous build'. This does not work, and suggests I Reset the PC, but also doens't work.
What exactly are my options here? At this point I would by happy to just be able to get back to a factory reset Surface Pro with Windows 8.0.