Starting your Surface from a USB drive can be useful if you want to change firmware settings or Windows startup settings.
Booting from a USB device doesn’t refresh or reset your Surface. Instead, it lets you start your Surface using Windows or another operating system that’s on your USB device.
For info about recommended recovery methods, see Restore or reset Surface.
Important: This article contains advanced troubleshooting steps. You’ll need to be comfortable with using a command prompt and configuring the UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface, also known as the BIOS) on your Surface. For more info, see How to use Surface UEFI.
Make this Surface start from a USB drive
Note: If you don’t want to start your Surface from your USB drive, make sure the drive isn't inserted in the USB port on your Surface when you start it.
For all Surface models
USB driver for Surface Concept TDCs (USB 3) on all Windows ® operating systems. Read the software documentation here! Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. Labview™ is a trademark of National Instruments. Surface Devices Surface Select your Surface model from the list below, then select the attached link for the latest firmware and drivers for sound, display, ethernet, and Wi-Fi for your Surface. You'll be redirected to the Download Center details page for your device. Multiple downloads may be available, depending on the product you select. Surface other device drivers. DriverPack will automatically select and install the required drivers. Popular Surface other devices. Surface Pen Settings. Surface Integration Service Device. Surface Pen Pairing. Surface Keyboard Backlight. Surface Pro 4 Firmware Update. Surface Dial Detection. Surface USB Hub Firmware Update.
Before you start, make sure you don’t have any other USB devices connected to your Surface, including USB mouse devices, keyboards, or other storage drives. Surface will try to boot from any other connected USB devices. Here's how to boot from a USB.
Shut down your Surface.
Insert the bootable USB drive into the USB port on your Surface.
For info about how to create a bootable USB drive for your Surface, see Creating and using a USB recovery drive for Surface.
Press and hold the volume-down button on the Surface. While you're doing this, press and release the power button.
The Microsoft or Surface logo appears on your screen. Continue to hold the volume-down button. Release the button once spinning dots appear beneath the logo.
Follow the on-screen instructions to boot from your USB drive.
Start from the USB through Windows
If you’re having trouble starting your Surface with the bootable USB, you can try booting through Windows. To do this:
Insert the USB drive into the USB port, and then select Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery.
Under Advanced startup, select Restart Now.
On the Choose an option screen, select Use a device > USB Storage.
Configure your Surface to start from a USB drive
Once your USB drive is set up as a bootable drive with an appropriate operating system on it, you’ll need to set up your Surface to boot from this drive. This requires you to make changes in the UEFI so that the USB drive is the first option. Here's how:
Shut down your Surface.
Once Surface has turned off, press and hold the volume-up button.
With the volume-up button held down, press and release the power button.
Continue holding the volume-up button until the Surface or Windows logo no longer appears on the screen.
You should now see the Surface UEFI. You'll need to follow specific instructions for your Surface to proceed.
Change the boot order
You'll need to change the boot order so that your Surface boots from a USB.
For most Surface models
These instructions apply to these Surface models:
Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro (5th Gen), Surface Pro 6, Surface Pro 7, Surface Pro 7+, and Surface Pro X
Surface Book, Surface Book 2, and Surface Book 3
Surface Laptop (1st Gen), Surface Laptop 2, Surface Laptop 3, Surface Laptop Go
Surface Go, Surface Go 2
To change the Surface boot configuration:
Select Boot configuration.
Select USB Storage and drag it to the top of the list. Alternatively, you can swipe left on USB Storage to boot to the device immediately. This will not affect the boot order.
Select Exit and then select Restart Now.
For Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3
Select Configure Alternate System Boot Order.
Do one of the following:
Surface Pro 3: Select USB > SSD.
Surface 3: Select Network > USB > SSD.
Select Exit Setup.
Select Yes to save the configuration and restart Surface.
For Surface Pro (1st Gen) and Surface Pro 2
Note: This may affect the look of your Surface splash screen.
Select Secure Boot Control.
Select Disable. This will allow Surface to search for an alternate device to boot from instead of from your SSD.
Select Exit Setup.
Select Yes to save the configuration and restart Surface.
The USB drive doesn't work
Make sure that the USB drive is formatted as FAT32. Here's how to ensure the USB device is properly formatted as a bootable drive:
Warning: Setting up the USB drive will erase everything that’s stored on it. Make sure to transfer any important data on your USB drive to another storage device before continuing.
Insert a USB drive into your Surface. (The USB drive should be at least 16 GB. If you have a Surface RT or Surface 2, an 8 GB USB drive will work.)
Open a Command Prompt window as an administrator. (To do this, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.)
In the Command Prompt window, enter diskpart, and then press Enter.
To determine the drive number or letter of the USB drive, at the command prompt, enter list disk, and press Enter.
The list disk command displays all the disks on the computer. Note the drive number or drive letter of the USB drive.
At the command prompt, enter select disk X (where X is the drive number or drive letter of the USB drive that you noted in the last step), and press Enter.
Enter clean, and press Enter. This will delete all data from the USB drive.
To create a new primary partition on the USB drive, enter create part pri, and press Enter.
To select the partition that you just created, enter select part 1, and press Enter.
To format the partition, enter format fs=fat32 quick, and press Enter.
Enter active, and press Enter.
Enter exit, and press Enter.
When you have the operating system image that you want to boot to, save it to the root of the USB drive.
If that’s not the problem, check the following:
Make sure that Enable Boot from USB devices is On under Advanced options of the UEFI Boot configuration screen. To find out how to boot to the UEFI configuration, see How do I use the BIOS/UEFI? and How to use Surface UEFI.
If you have configured a boot order, check the Advanced options in the UEFI Boot configuration screen to ensure that Enable alternate boot sequence is On. To find out how to boot to the UEFI configuration, see How do I use the BIOS/UEFI? and How to use Surface UEFI.
Use another USB drive, if possible.
If you currently have a Windows Insider build installed, you may need to first turn off and then turn on Secure Boot for the USB boot drive to be recognized. For more info on how to change Secure Boot, see How do I use the BIOS/UEFI? and How to use Surface UEFI.
Note: Some products might not be available in your country or region.
Use the built-in stereo speakers and mic or your favorite audio accessories to listen to music, make phone calls, record audio, and more.
Unknown Usb Device Driver Download
If you're not sure where the speaker and mic openings and volume button are located, see Surface features.
Use your favorite audio accessories
The stereo speakers and microphones built into your Surface let you listen to music and videos, make phone calls, and record audio. Or, you can connect your favorite USB and Bluetooth® accessories like speakers, a mic, or a headset.
To switch between your speakers and connected audio accessories, select the Speaker icon on the right side of the taskbar, and then expand the list to select another audio device.
Adjust the volume
You can control the volume on your Surface in several places:
Usb Driver Device Manager
Volume button: Press the volume button on your Surface to adjust the volume up or down.
Keyboard: If your Surface Typing Cover or other keyboard has volume keys, press the volume-down, volume-up, or mute keys.
Desktop taskbar: In the desktop taskbar, select Speakers and adjust the volume up or down.
Audio accessories: Adjust the volume on the headset, speakers, phone, or other audio accessory, or in the software included with the accessory. To learn more, check the info that came with your accessory or visit the manufacturer's website.
Apps: Some apps have a volume control within the app.
How volume controls work together
If you raise, lower, or mute the volume using one of the following volume controls, the volume level in the others will also change:
The volume button on your Surface
Desktop volume setting in the taskbar
Volume controls in apps and on accessories such as headphones and external speakers may work independently of the controls built into your Surface. You may need to adjust volume levels in more than one place.
Adjust microphone settings
Here’s how to adjust your mic settings:
Go to Start , and then select Settings >System > Sound > Sound control panel.
Select the Recording tab, select the mic you want, and select Properties.
Be sure to select a mic that's enabled and connected to your Surface.
Select the Levels tab. You’ll see two sliders:
Microphone or Microphone Array: Controls the mic’s volume.
Microphone Boost: Controls the strength of the mic's signal.
Adjust the sliders until your mic is recording at the levels you want.
The levels you'll use will vary depending on the amount of background noise and on whether you're using the mic that’s built into your Surface or an external mic. A good starting point is to set Microphone to 50 and Microphone Boost to +24.0 dB.
Note: Microphone Boost is not available on all Surface devices.
Use USB or Bluetooth audio accessories
You can connect external USB speakers, headphones, or a headset to a full-size USB port.
You can go wireless by using Bluetooth headphones or speakers with your Surface.
To get the best sound from USB or Bluetooth speakers, turn up the volume on your Surface and in the app (if it has its own sound control), and then adjust the volume on the external USB or Bluetooth speakers.
If you’re having problems with Bluetooth, go to Troubleshoot Bluetooth devices.
Set the default audio device
Go to Start , and then select Settings > System > Sound.
Do either or both of the following:
In the Sound section, select the device you want to use for playback (for example, the built-in speakers on your Surface, external speakers, or a headset), as your output device. When you select this device, you’re also setting it as the default.
In the Input section, select the device you want to use for recording (for example, the built-in mic or an external mic), as your input device. When you select this device, you’re also setting it as the default.
If you are using a communications app, like Skype, you may want to set your communications device separately when using speakers or a headset. Here’s how to set a communications device:
Go to Start , and then select Settings > System >Sound > Sound control panel.
Do either or both of the following:
Select the Playback tab, select the device you want to use for communications playback (for example, the built-in speakers on your Surface, external speakers, or a headset), and then select Set Default Communication Device.
Select the Recording tab, select the device you want to use for communications recording (for example, the built-in mic or an external mic), and then select Set Default Communication Device.
You can use the Voice Recorder app to record audio. To open the Voice Recorder app:
Go to Start , and then select Voice Recorder.
Change which sounds play
You can choose which sounds play for notifications and system events (for example, the sound that plays when you get a new message). Here's how:
Go to Start , and then select Settings > System > Sound > Sound control panel.
Select the Sounds tab, and under Program Events, select an event (for example, Calendar Reminder).
Under Sounds, choose the sound you want to play for that event.
To hear the sound you've picked, select Test.
Select Apply to change the sound for the event, and select OK.
Turn typing sounds on or off
The Touch Cover can play key sounds as you press the keys. (If you aren’t sure which Surface keyboard you are using, see Find out which Surface keyboard you have.) Here’s how to turn the key sounds on or off:
Go to Start and select Settings > Devices > Typing.
Under Touch keyboard, set Play key sounds as I type to On or Off.
Note: To adjust the volume level of key sounds, use the volume button on your Surface.
If the sound quality coming from your speakers or an audio accessory isn't good, it's possible the audio recording itself isn't of good quality. Try listening to the same recording on a different device.
For help with audio problems, see Troubleshoot Surface sound and audio accessories.
If you have trouble with audio while your Surface is connected to another screen, see Connect Surface to a TV, monitor, or projector.
Note: VGA adapters and cables don't transmit audio. Audio will play from your Surface speakers unless you’ve connected external USB or Bluetooth speakers.