Surface Pro 4 stuck on preparing to configure Windows [FIX]

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Surface Pro 4 is indeed a great Windows 10 device, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience any software-related problems while using your tablet. A lot of users reached to us, reporting an annoying issue which usually happens during the boot sequence — the Surface Pro 4 gets stuck on preparing to configure Windows situation.

This error is caused by a Windows 10 update. It can be a small OS improvement or even a driver update which will require a system restart. Well, during that restart you will receive the usual ‘Preparing to configure Windows. Do not turn off your computer’ message. The issue is that everything will get stuck and your tablet will ‘try’ to complete the update process for like seems an eternity. Anyway, here is how you can fix this Windows 10 malfunction:

How to fix Surface Pro 4 stuck on preparing to configure Windows

  1. Be patient
  2. Force-power off your device
  3. Disconnect all peripherals
  4. Apply repairs with the bootable Windows 10 drive
  5. Repair or restore Windows 10

Solution 1 – Be patient

Well, if you’re stuck on preparing to configure Windows it means that your Surface Pro 4 is trying to apply the updates. Sometimes this process can take a while and that’s not strange at all since particular update patches are applying numerous files and software on your device. So, the first thing to do is to be patient.

You should wait for at least 3 hours in order to see if something happens. Just remember to plug in the charger first and then you can consider in letting it go overnight if that’s not a problem for you. However, if after 3 hours nothing changes, consider applying the methods from below.

Solution 2 – Force power off your Microsoft Surface Pro 4

If you’re still stuck on the preparing to configure Windows message, then you should force shut down your tablet. In that way you can stop the update process and initiate a fresh restart – hopefully, everything will be working normally afterward.

So, for powering off your device you need to press and hold the Power button until everything switches off – don’t worry, if nothing happens first; keep pressing the Power key for a minute or so.

Solution 3 – Disconnect all peripherals

If peripherals are attached to your Surface Pro 4, then the update process might freeze. Therefore, switch off your tablet and then remove any connected peripherals before initiating a fresh restart.

You should remove all the connected devices including external hard drives, SSD, USB flash drives, keyboard, mouse and so on. Then, initiate a fresh restart and if everything works well, reconnect your peripherals.

Solution 4 – Boot into the Safe Mode

You can also try booting into the Safe Mode. There might be a minor stall caused by a driver failure. It’s more than an unexpected circumstance, considering that Surface Pro 4 is a Microsoft’s device, but nothing is impossible. After you boot into the Safe mode, you can disable certain devices from the Device Manager, and reboot your PC. This should allow Windows 10 to load and then you can re-enable devices and they should be automatically updated.

Follow these steps to boot into the Safe mode on Surface Pro 4:

  1. Reboot your PC forcibly 3 times to summon the Advanced recovery menu.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot.
  3. Select Advanced Options and then Startup settings.
  4. Click Restart.
  5. Choose Safe Mode (or Safe Mode with Networking).
  6. Right-click Start and open Device Manager.
  7. Disable secondary devices. Just expand the section, right-click on the device and choose Disable device from the contextual menu.
  8. Reboot your PC and, hopefully, this will get you past the initialization screen.

Solution 5 – Repair or restore Windows 10

If you cannot manage to resolve the Surface Pro 4 stuck on preparing to configure Windows problem you should consider in repairing or in restoring the Windows 10 system (in this case a hard reset might not be enough, that’s why I’m guiding you directly to a more complex troubleshooting solution). On the Surface Pro 4, you can initiate a system repair or a system restore by following:

  1. Press and hold the Windows start icon and choose Control Panel from the list that will be displayed.
  2. Use the Control Panel search box and type recovery.
  3. Select Recovery and navigate towards Open System Restore and tap on Next.
  4. For initiating a reset go to Settings and access Update & Security.
  5. Tap on Recovery and choose Reset this PC and when done choose “Get started”.

These solutions should help you fix your Surface Pro 4 after it got stuck on preparing to configure Windows. If you are still dealing with this issue, consider taking your device back to service and ask for further technical assistance. If there are any major problems, your warranty should cover everything, so from this point of view, you have nothing to worry about.

Let us know how you managed to fix this error in the comments field below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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