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Last week, Windows 8.1 made its debut right on cue, but for those in ownership of the Surface RT – admittedly few, judging by Microsoft’s own official numbers – as well as other Win RT-based devices, updating the latest version was a bit of a struggle. There was a workaround available for those who didn’t want to wait for an official fix that we covered here at Redmond Pie, but now, Microsoft has begun distributing a recovery image for Windows 8.1 RT.

The issue with the Surface RT was that upon installing Windows RT 8.1, users were finding that their device would not boot, and subsequently, the update was completely pulled from the Windows Store. Luckily, those left in the lurch haven’t had to wait too long for the remedy, and apparently, the new recovery image will restore the Surface RT back into working order.

It’s a sizeable 3.7GB download, and thus requires 4GB of free storage space in order for the process to run without incident. As well as dealing with the major problem of booting, the instructions attached to the recovery image also suggest that other bugs and issues have been resolved, although Microsoft has stopped short of releasing a detailed change log at this point in time.

The recovery image is strictly for the Surface RT at this point, although we’d expect a similar release for all versions of Windows RT 8.1 as time and resources allow the Redmond company to do so. This does also mean that other machines running Windows 8.1 RT don’t yet have such a saving grace, although one would hope that Microsoft is working with other OEMS to provide a similar recovery image in the very near future.

Surface Pro

The whole notion of Windows RT hasn’t been particularly successful, with the lack of legacy app support and confusing early marketing – which implied that the Surface RT was a worthy notebook substitute – certainly not helping matters. The Surface Pro, as well as other tablet / notebook hybrids, have fared quite a bit better hitherto, and although Windows has yet to compete with the likes of Apple and Google when it comes to touch-based devices, Microsoft’s flagship operating system still has something to offer.

You can download the recovery image from the official Microsoft downloads page.

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