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  1. #1
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    Question Windows 10 on Surface Pro 4 locked with Bitlocker - how to blow away HD

    Hello;


    We are a service department at an electronics distributor who has received a returned Surface Pro 4 with Windows 10 that is currently set up to only use the user's Microsoft account. We don't have a way to contact this person and just want to blow away the install and reinstall. We're obviously not interested in any data on the device. When we try to use the SHIFT-Restart option in Windows 10 to go into the "options" , choose Troubleshoot, choose "Reset this PC" and "Remove Everything" we reboot and are faced with a request for the "recovery key" because this C: drive is locked with Bitlocker. Our only option (besides entering in the key, which we don't know) is to "Skip this drive" and then we get a failure message "There was a problem resetting your PC. CANCEL" If we try to go to a CMD prompt, we are kicked off the C: drive and sent to an "X" drive where we can run commands.


    Any help would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Can't you do a reboot and use an ISO to just install from scratch, wiping out the existing partition in the process.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    If the device has a TPM chip (it probably does) I believe there is nothing you can do.

  4. #4
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    As the entire disk is encrypted you need to key to access the recovery files.
    Booting from a DVD / USB will allow you to clean the drive. Then you can re-install as required.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    So, yes. I just realized my last reply didn't go through. By downloading the Windows 10 ISO onto a USB drive, I was able to reload Windows. When I rebooted, I saw something about the TPM changing (from the BIOS, it seems). When I finished the reinstall, I found that I didn't have touch drivers and needed to use a keyboard. In fact, I needed a USB hub in order to use both a keyboard and the USB thumb drive that contained the ISO at the same time. After re-install, I went to Microsoft's website where they had what appeared to be a driver package for Surface 4 running Windows 10. It began reinstalling Windows 10 over, but I assumed it would be doing so with baking in the necessary drivers. No such luck. When I was done I was stuck with another re-install just like I had before with Window 10 fresh, no touch drivers (and missing many others) and wrong resolution, etc. I tried downloading a smaller driver package (their website made nothing clear as to what each install does). Then I found that the way to restore the drivers was to go into "updates" on the tablet itself and let it download what it needs. This worked fine and now the unit is like a fresh, new Surface 4 with touch enabled, etc.

    Thanks for your help guys.

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