The recent release of the Insider Build 16288.1 of Windows 10 had the unfortunate effect of leaving many Surface Pro 3 laptops in an unbootable state, stuck on the “spinning dots” screen.
Microsoft has been investigating the issue and found it was due to one of the required boot files on Surface Pro 3 devices ending up in a corrupted state after an abnormal shutdown.
They have now released a series of steps which should work around the issue, as below:
- Prepare a bootable USB image from a working PC
- With the device powered off, boot your Surface Pro 3 device from the USB drive
- When the Windows setup box appears, press Shift + F10
- In the Command Prompt window that appears, type:
- wpeutil reboot
- Hit enter to execute this command and immediately remove the USB drive from the computer
- The device will reboot and load the Windows OS as expected
The above steps will allow your computer to boot. To permanently fix the issue, complete the following additional steps:
- Open a web browser and navigate to aka.ms/fixsp3ec
- Download the file: fixsp3.zip
- Open File Explorer on your PC and navigate to the Downloads folder
- Downloads is the default folder, it may be different if you have changed your default location
- Right-click the file fixsp3.zip and select extract all
- A window will open after extraction. Right-click the file fixsp3.cmd and choose Run as Administrator
- The process will execute and implement the necessary patch to prevent this bug from recurring
- Reboot your Surface Pro 3 device. It is now fully patched.
If you have installed build 16288.1 or 16291 and have not been affected installing the above fix is still recommended, as the issue may still occur at a later date. Microsoft is working on a permanent fix which will have a build number of 16294 or above.
Have any of our readers been affected and has the fix worked? Let us know below.