Updating my Surface RT to Windows 8.1 preview

by | Jun 29, 2013 | Post, Technology

20130629-155712.jpg[Update: Currently the final Windows 8.1 version is available. The below no longer fully applies. Read this instruction to upgrade your Surface with Windows 8.1 previewWindows 8 probably was a too big revolution for today’s users. Adoption rates are rather low. Still I believe it’s a great OS, probably the best one in today’s market. The currently available Windows 8.1 preview is supposed to solve several issues that users have reported. Therefore, it’s high time to install it on my Surface RT. I met some small hiccups on the way.

Backup first!

First of all for safety reasons you should create a backup, although I have to admit that I didn’t do this. Most of the settings are anyway linked to my account.


First install other pending updates

Before updating please check whether you have any other updates pending through the Windows Update option under the Settings menu.

The Windows 8.1 preview update begins

You have to visit the Windows 8.1 preview page to download the update. Go to the downloads menu and on the next page choose “Get Update”.

Follow the instructions.

After this installation process your Windows 8.1 update should be available through the Windows Store. On the Surface RT it’s not possible to install the update directly.

But it didn’t want to install on mine

Before visiting the Windows Store I advise to turn off the Surface RT first.

Without doing this I got the error message that it can’t install the update because there is a pending firmware update (Error code 0x1900106).

Just rebooting didn’t help.

After switching it on again there appeared to be some pending update which had to be installed first. It blocked the Windows 8.1 update.

Now you can visit the Windows Store (where you download your apps) and the first tile should show you the Windows 8.1 update. The installation and rebooting process takes a while (about an hour).

And then it’s high time to enjoy the renewed Windows 8.1. Have fun!


  1. John Quinn

    Hope you’re enjoying the Surface as much as I am. Having gambled against all critics by first buying one , being more than annoyed with windows 8, experimenting in a cavalier fashion as you did with the 8.1 preview , I have grown attached to this little box of tricks . Happiness reigns.
    Didn’t like the touch pad so I got a Microsoft mouse and keyboard and borrowed the kitchen flatscreen. Two systems ,one portable , one fixed , with the bonus of the wow factor of a large clear screen. Does anyone else suffer from upper back pain when using the computer ?
    Now I can move to a comfortable chair or bed and work away on my tablet pc.
    Yes , this is where I want to be with IT.
    Still grumble though that this has wrongly been named as a “surf” ace. Why is it so slow ? I mean old man on a walking stick slow with just a hint of dementia.
    What do I love ? I love all the Office stuff , no need for rip-off virus protection and the price reduction.
    I also have a Kindle hd Fire and an iPad . These are great too. It’s been a long journey of transition from my vista laptop which died recently (or was it pushed !)
    Windows 8.1 is here and I really like it for it’s simplicity and colour. Thanks Microsoft.
    Just bring down the price on Surface outlay . That includes the sundry stuff like touch and type pads . Get Surface out on the street , in the schools . This is what can and will work .

    • PetersOpinion

      Hi John, thanks for sharing. Honestly I’m not using the Surface that much. Increasingly my Nokia Lumia Windows Phone offers me most of the things I need during the day. When I need more power or a bigger screen I jump to my MacBook Air. I’ve just updated my Surface to 8.1 and regarding speed things seems to be a bit better. The greatest advantage for me is the fact that Outlook is available for the Surface RT now. That’s for me a great advantage and might bring me partly back to the Surface again.


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