Windows Updows keeps bricking Surface 2

bsd107

New member
Oct 31, 2012
93
0
0
Visit site
My kid is still using a Surface 2 64GB for home and school use. It had been working great for years, but about a month ago a Windows Update was received which basically hung on reboot, and resulted in a blue screen error on boot. The device was not recoverable. Trying to boot, I get a BSOD with:

"
Recovery

Your PC needs to be repaired

The application or operating system couldn't be loaded because a required file is missing or contains errors.

File: \Windows\system32\winload.efi
Error code: 0xc000000f

You'll need to use the recovery tools on your installation media... blah blah blah
"

To get the Surface 2 back working again, I have to use the Surface Recovery Image which I downloaded from Microsoft and prepared by following their instructions (I downloaded this in October 2017). I then boot the Surface 2 by holding Vol- while powering on, which boots from the USB recovery image, which then asks for my recovery key. No method of trying to refresh the PC works - I have to do a full Reset which wipes everything from the device. I select to do repartitioning, and when it asks to reset the TPM, I let it reset the TPM.

Following the above method gets the Surface 2 running again. But, of course, Windows Update then runs, and eventually in the series of updates it ends up bricking the machine again and I am right back where I started. I have to do the full Reset procedure described above, wiping out the install and everything on it, to get the Surface 2 back again.

Some update is bricking my Surface 2 to the same BSOD on boot, and it is now doing it EVERY time after I successfully reinstall the OS. As any Surface 2 user will know, Windows Updates are extremely slow. If right after Reset the OS I keep manually requesting Windows Update, it will be bricked by some time that day. If after Resetting the OS I just let my kid use the Surface 2, and let the OS run the Updates on its own schedule, it typically takes a few days until it is bricked again.

I have now gone through the above cycle at least 5 times.

As an alternative to the Microsoft-provided recovery image, last night I tried the Recovery ISO provided by someone on this forum, the one described as Recovery Image updated to Dec 18 2015. I ended up with the same result after forcing Windows Updates - first a firmware update which went OK, and then the next Windows Update resulted in the same bricked machine with the same BSOD on boot.

Is there any way that I can STOP Windows Updates on this machine? I just need it to be usable for my kid - I don't need the latest device-bricking updates.

This holiday I'll replace the device, but I want the device to survive until then. And it is a nice little Netflix/Hulu device, in addition to a backup Office device. It is REDICULOUS that I can no longer use it due to Microsoft OS bugs.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
Last edited:

T Moore

New member
Jan 21, 2013
1,410
0
0
Visit site
Did you ever get this problem fixed?
This is caused by an update conflict.
There is a way to prevent this and you can stop auto updates
 

bsd107

New member
Oct 31, 2012
93
0
0
Visit site
Did you ever get this problem fixed?
This is caused by an update conflict.
There is a way to prevent this and you can stop auto updates

Nope, never was able to get this fixed. I couldn't figure out how to stop autoupdates, and after about ten times of trying and the Surface 2 bricking itself, I finally gave up. Kid now has a new laptop instead.

Completely ridiculous that an update literally BRICKS the Surface 2 over and over, with no bug fix in sight. Device would still otherwise be totally usable...
 

T Moore

New member
Jan 21, 2013
1,410
0
0
Visit site
Wanna bring it back to life?

Use the recovery image on USB from MS. Boot from the USB


Go to troubleshooting. restore
You will have the selection, - ‘Just remove my files’ or ‘Fully clean the drive’. Select ‘Fully clean the drive’
One of the pages will ask for a drive encryption key. Go to the bottom of the page and select ‘Not this Drive”. Partition selection, Select Yes, repartition the drives.
In the setup, select your color, you can’t change this later, skip connecting to WiFi, you can add your account later, you do not have to enter a password when you set the user name.

When the reset finishes, in settings go to ‘Power and Sleep’, ‘When plugged in’ set to ‘Never’. Setup anything else you need, like connecting a mouse.

run regedit

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\auto update\AUOptions
Auoptions will be set to 4, change it to 2
1 : Never check for updates
2 : Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
3 : Download updates but let me choose whether to install them
4 : Install updates automatically


To quickly see if this is going to fix your problem you can uncheck all Office updates, just install the others.


Turn on WiFi, Search for updates from the Control Panel, Windows Update you, will see a firmware update, install the firmware along with all Windows updates, restart

Turn off Wi Fi Install kb2919355 restart

WiFi is still off, Install KB3173424, restart

WiFi is still off, Install KB3172614, restart

Wi Fi is still off, install KB3097667.

After the restart, right-click on Taskbar > Properties, Start Menu. Check the box, Use the Start Menu instead of the Start Screen for no more metro screen.

Now you can install other updates.
************************************


KB2919355, KB3173424, KB3172614 and KB3097667 are standalone MSU update installer files that you download to install at the correct time.
Download KB2919355 HERE http://download.windowsupdate.com/msdownload/update/software/crup/2014/02/windows8.1-kb2919355-arm_a6119d3e5ddd1a233a09dd79d91067de7b826f85.msu
Download KB3173424 HERE http://download.windowsupdate.com/d/msdownload/update/software/crup/2016/06/windows8.1-kb3173424-arm_e11b6837c0586d2b8d887f3bc33b3372fe83c8c7.msu
Download KB3172614 HERE http://download.windowsupdate.com/c/msdownload/update/software/updt/2016/07/windows8.1-kb3172614-arm_3d918d6c809bf6f57c8fcefa5db5c739e1754426.msu
Download KB3097667 Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 Standalone Package https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=49143
Download these ahead of time and place them on the USB drive to install at the correct time. There is room on the boot USB drive to create a MSU folder for these files.


The repeated winload.efi error may indicate bad sectors on the disk.
I have quick formatted drive c from the command prompt in the startup, blue screen selections. you may need to run chkdsk c: /f
 

bdball

New member
Jan 6, 2013
90
0
0
Visit site
Not the same problem but my Surface 2 got an update today and now I can no longer download from the app store or open any non Microsoft apps. Tried cleaning the store cache and a few other ideas I found on the internet but to no avail. Hoping Microsoft just has an issue right now but find it really annoying that apps just don't open.
 

T Moore

New member
Jan 21, 2013
1,410
0
0
Visit site
Not the same problem but my Surface 2 got an update today and now I can no longer download from the app store or open any non Microsoft apps. Tried cleaning the store cache and a few other ideas I found on the internet but to no avail. Hoping Microsoft just has an issue right now but find it really annoying that apps just don't open.

It wasn't the update that gave the problem It is easy to blame them.
The problem was with the store. It was down from Fri to Wed night. Should be working now.
 

bdball

New member
Jan 6, 2013
90
0
0
Visit site
I think I had multiple things going on. Yes the store was down and seems back up but since the Security Update KB4093114 installed yesterday, my apps took much longer to open. For instance Password Padlock normally will display a screen and within a couple seconds go to the login screen. After the security update it stayed on that first screen for well over a minute. I've uninstalled the update and now the apps are working as before. As for the App store, I still can't access My Account from it. It times out with an error. The rest of the store seems to work now though. I can download apps again.
 

Gamely Lounges

New member
Nov 10, 2012
156
0
0
Visit site
What's the feeling regarding Surface 2 ... is it an endless cycle of "fixing and frustration" or do the adjustments in this thread keep the tablet running with minimal intervention?
 

bsd107

New member
Oct 31, 2012
93
0
0
Visit site
Hi T Moore,


You saved my Surface 2!


I already replaced it by giving my kid a different device, and I only saw your detailed reply with recommended procedure a week ago. So, I pulled out the Surface 2 and tried again:


1) You pointed out that I might have a bad sector on the drive, so I tried a shortened version of your instructions first:
a) First I booted from the MS ISO USB, and did a RESTORE.
b) Now, at the point where it asked for my kid's BitLocker Recovery Key, I chose "Skip This Step". This is something I never even knew was an option until you pointed it out, so I had never tried it. And I never knew before because when this screen comes up, the on-screen keyboard pops up and covers the "Skip This Step" option, so I never knew it was there! Anyway, I did that so that it would fully clean the drive.
c) Long story short, got Windows RT back up and running, but as it started installing updates, at some point it failed at the black "Surface" boot up screen, with the following text at the bottom of the screen:
" Error C0190005 applying update operation 181 of 52934 (_00000000000...)"
d) Could not recover the device after this - would always stick at this point on hard boot.

2) I booted from the MS ISO USB, and did a "format c:", and then "chkdsk c: /f" as you suggested. I then followed the same exact procedure in "1)" above, and eventually ended up with the same error:
"Error C0190005 applying update operation 181 of 52934 (_00000000000...)"
Soooo.... figuring that my issue may NOT neccessarily be a bad sector on the drive, I went ahead and followed ALL of your instructions exactly as you explained.

3) I followed your entire instructions precisely. (Only thing I did NOT do was set the Start Menu as the default.):

"
Use the recovery image on USB from MS. Boot from the USB
Go to troubleshooting. restore
You will have the selection, - ‘Just remove my files’ or ‘Fully clean the drive’. Select ‘Fully clean the drive’
One of the pages will ask for a drive encryption key. Go to the bottom of the page and select ‘Not this Drive”. Partition selection, Select Yes, repartition the drives.
In the setup, select your color, you can’t change this later, skip connecting to WiFi, you can add your account later, you do not have to enter a password when you set the user name.
When the reset finishes, in settings go to ‘Power and Sleep’, ‘When plugged in’ set to ‘Never’. Setup anything else you need, like connecting a mouse.
run regedit
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\auto update\AUOptions
Auoptions will be set to 4, change it to 2
1 : Never check for updates
2 : Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
3 : Download updates but let me choose whether to install them
4 : Install updates automatically

To quickly see if this is going to fix your problem you can uncheck all Office updates, just install the others.

Turn on WiFi, Search for updates from the Control Panel, Windows Update you, will see a firmware update, install the firmware along with all Windows updates, restart
Turn off Wi Fi Install kb2919355 restart
WiFi is still off, Install KB3173424, restart
WiFi is still off, Install KB3172614, restart
Wi Fi is still off, install KB3097667.
Now you can install other updates.
"

After completing the above, I turned WiFi back on, then over the next several days I had it install all of the recommended updates, and after those were all caught up, I had it install all of the optional updates.
My Surface 2 appears to be running fine, and Windows Update claims that it is fully up to date as of 7/21/2018. Hopefully no future update will once again destroy the install as happened before.

Thanks again to you for making my paper weight back into a working Surface 2 again!!!


(And BOO to Microsoft for allowing standard Windows Updates to essentially brick a fully working hardware device!)
 

bsd107

New member
Oct 31, 2012
93
0
0
Visit site
Just to follow up - Surface 2 is working, and Windows Update claims is up to date.

HOWEVER, I cannot get the Windows Store to work. The Windows Store app loads but shows noting except:
"Windows Store isn't available right now. Please try again later".

I've checked for Windows Updates, rebooted, unlinked and then relinked my Microsoft Account, created a new logon with my Microsoft Account, etc. Nothing allows the Windows Store to connect.

This prevents me from installing ANY apps, updating apps, etc.
 

bsd107

New member
Oct 31, 2012
93
0
0
Visit site
To update everyone, after waiting three days with the Surface 2 in sleep mode and plugged in, and then finally turning it off for a week, I eventually found that the Windows Store started working. I do not believe that this had anything to do with an update on the Surface 2, but instead something triggering on the Microsoft end.

In any case, the Surface 2 is back up and running again, up to date, and fully useable.

Thanks again to T Moore for walking me through how to do this!
 

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
323,787
Messages
2,244,386
Members
428,129
Latest member
jawkinshere