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Microsoft Surface Pro with Direct Access – Walkthrough

If any of you have purchased a Microsoft Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 with the intent of using it with Direct Access, you have been sorely disappointed.  Surface Pro comes with Windows Professional.  Unfortunately, Direct Access requires Windows 7 or 8 Ultimate or Enterprise.  Fortunately, there is a solution.  It will require you to re-install Windows Enterprise on the Surface Pro but in the end, you will be able to use Direct Access.

Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to get your Surface Pro to work with Direct Access.

  1.  Create a USB recovery drive with your Surface Pro.  I recommend a 16GB USB 3.0 flash drive to accomplish this.  Here are some good instructions from Microsoft on how to do so:
  2. Using diskpart, create a bootable USB flash drive with a second USB flash drive.
    1. Run CMD.exe as administrator, then run diskpart.exe
    2. Type “LIST DISK” which will show all mounted disks.  Find your USB drive.
    3. Type “SELECT DISK n” which will select the disk to run commands against.  Replace “n” with the disk number for your USB drive.  BE CAREFUL here.  You don’t want to select any of your existing hard drives.  Following these steps will erase data.
    4. Type “CLEAN” which will erase all previous partition and volume information on the flash drive.
    5. Type “CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY” which will partition the flash drive as one partition.
    6. Type “SELECT PARTITION 1” which will select the new partition for future commands.
    7. Type “ACTIVE” which will make the new partition active so BIOS/UEFI can boot to it.
    8. Type “FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK” which will format the partition as FAT32.  Do not format with NTFS.
    9. Type “ASSIGN” which will assign an available drive letter to the flash drive.
    10. Type “EXIT”
  3. Copy Windows 8 Enterprise files to the USB Drive
    1. a.       Copy the Windows 8 Enterprise Image files to the USB drive with either XCOPY or Robocopy).  If using robocopy, the command would be robocopy <source directory> <usb flash drive root directory> /mir
  4. Update the bootsect of the USB flash drive
    1. Run CMD.EXE.
    2. Type “X:” (Replace “X” with the drive letter of your USB drive)
    3. Type “CD boot”
    4. Type “bootsect /nt60 X:” (Replace “X” with the drive letter of your USB drive)
  5. Download the latest Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 driver pack and copy to the USB flash drive.  You can find the latest driver pack for the Surface Pro or the Surface Pro 2 at
  6. Boot off of the USB drive
    1. Shutdown the Microsoft Surface Pro
    2. Hold down the Volume Up and press the power button at the same time
    3. Click Secure Boot, then click Disable.
    4. Boot into Windows 8 on the Surface Pro
    5. Insert the USB stick into the Surface Pro
    6. Press Windows Key + R
    7. Type “shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00”
    8. After the system restarts, click boot from another device
    9. Select USB device
  7. Install Windows 8 Enterprise
  8. Install Surface Pro drivers

At this point you are almost finished.  Add the newly installed Surface Pro to the domain and you should be able to use Direct Access.

Jacob Eker, PEI

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