Surface Pro 3 won’t boot: Here’s how to fix this problem

2 minute read

Lucky testers of Windows 10 Insider Build 16288 might have noticed that it left Surface Pro 3 laptops in an unbootable state and stuck on the spinning dots screen, and it seems like more Surface Pro 3 laptops feature the same issue.

After Microsoft investigated the problem, it found that some required boot files for Surface Pro 3 devices ended up in a buggy state after an abnormal shutdown.

In case you installed build 16291 or 16288 and have not been affected yet, you should still follow the steps recommended by Microsoft because even if you seem safe for now, the issue may occur later on.

How to fix Surface Pro 3 boot issues

Follow these steps for getting your Surface Pro 3 to reboot.

  • First, prepare a bootable USB image from a working system.
  • While the device is powered off, boot your Surface Pro 3 from the USB drive.
  • After the Windows setup box pops up,  press Shift + F10.
  • Type ‘wpeutil reboot’ in the Command Prompt window that appears and the device will reboot and load Windows normally.

Permanently fixing the issue

If you want the problem gone for good, follow these steps:

  • Open a web browser and go to aka.ms/fixsp3ec
  • Download the file: fixsp3.zip
  • Open File Explorer on your PC and go to the Downloads folder (note that Downloads is the default folder so it may be different in case you have changed the default location)
  • Right-click on the file fixp3.zip and select ‘extract all’
  • After the extraction process, a window will open, and you will have to right0click the file fixsp3.cmd and choose Run as Administrator
  • The process will execute, and implement the necessary patch to prevent the bug’s comeback
  • Reboot your device and it will be fully patched

Microsoft is still working on a permanent fix which will have a build number of 16294 or above that.

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