W10 - Surface Pro 4 - boot, format, install?

Jan 10, 2017
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My surface pro 10 from MS needs to be "reinstalled/reset/formated"

However i dont have a large enough USB drive to download MS recovery stuff (needs to be 16gb).

But i do have a USB drive with Windows 10 on.

Can i just boot from that windows 10 usb drive

Format C:

Install windows 10

Like i do on my normal workstation computer?

Or is the surface pro 4 special and must be reset/formated with the recovery image from MS?

Why do i need to reset/format my surface?

Well it wont start.

Windows just loads and loads and loads. A whole night of laoding and nothing.

Restarted (yes shut down with 30 sec press on power button) several times. Still get stuck on the loading screen.

Can not figure out how to get it back up and running without formating and do a clean install of everything.

I have ordered a larger usb drive for the future... but i would really need this comptuer ASAP

so if i can use my w10 usb drive and just normaly boot, format, install... that would be great. But i want to make sure first.



Oct 27, 2013
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Yes, if you have an existing Windows 10 USB drive then that should work fine. I have an older surface and have installed Windows 10 from a USB drive.

You could try booting from the W10 USB drive and then check out the recovery options, you may be able to fix your issue there. First try the startup repair, then if that fails, use system restore to roll back to when it was working. If they both fail, you can use the "Troubleshoot > Reset this PC" option to reset Windows 10 to a clean install, or do a manual install as you described.


Oct 1, 2014
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Did you make a recovery drive?

Just formatting C will not be enough. You would need to remove the critical partitions so Windows can reproduce them in the unallocated space.

Is there anything on that system you want to keep which came from the OEM. Do you have access to drivers for that system other than the normal Update process? Such things as Pen drivers may be hard to get...but I don't have a Surface.

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