Important note: You need to perform the update before installing Windows 8.1 from the store. If the system is bricked during the 8.1 upgrade and you don’t have a recovery disk. Then you need to contact Microsoft or a friend who has not update yet.
Before starting you will need to have a USB disk between 4 GB to 16 GB depending on the applications on the system.
Follow these steps to create a USB recovery disk on a Surface RT:
1. From the Start screen, tap the Desktop tile to open the Windows Desktop.
2. Slide your finger in from the right to fetch the Charms bar and then tap the Settings icon.
3. On the Settings Pane, tap the words Control Panel from the pane’s top edge.
4. On Desktop Control Panel, tap the System and Security section and then tap File History.
5. On File History window, tap Recovery in the bottom, left corner.
6. Tap Create a Recovery Drive when the Recovery window appears.
The program walks you through inserting a USB flash drive of 4GB or larger into the Surface RT’s lone USB port. Then it copies the Surface’s recovery partition to the flash drive, creating a recovery drive.
Reboot from the recovery drive
If your Surface won’t load properly, follow these steps to boot from the recovery drive:
1. Turn off your Surface and then insert the recovery drive into your Surface RT’s USB port.
2. While pressing the Volume Down switch, press and release the Surface RT’s Start button.
After a minute or two, the Surface RT wakes up and loads from the USB recovery drive, leaving you at the opening screen.
Follow the steps to reset your Surface RT to factory conditions, just like the Surface’s Reset command. Use this as a last resort.