Some files are missing while trying to reset your Windows 8.1 machine

Since about a year I have owned a Surface Pro, but when the Surface Pro 3 was launched I really wanted the new 12” edition of this great device. So last week I decided I wanted to sell my ‘old’ Surface Pro. Off course the new owner of the Surface wants a nicely and clean installed machine, so I tried to reinstall Windows via the Update and Recovery in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The Surface Pro is by default installed with Windows 8.0 Pro, but since I use Direct Access it was reimaged with Windows 8.1 Enterprise.

Reset failed?
Since the machine was originally delivered with the Pro version of Windows, I did a clean installation of Windows 8.1 Pro. When I tried to reset to a clean Windows 8.1 installation, to test the Remove everything and reinstall Windows-Update and recovery feature, I ran into the following error “Insert Media – some files are missing. Your Windows installation or recovery media will provide these files.”.

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Ehh…that’s not what I want the new owner to see when he wants to give his new Surface Pro a fresh installation, so I did some research and discovered that, since I did a clean install of Windows 8 there was no recovery image file found on the hard drive. I’m glad to tell that the solution for this issue is relatively easy and I’m going to share it in a moment.

Surface Pro drivers
There was something else. Since I used a general Windows 8.1 Pro ISO for the installation of the Surface Pro, some of drivers where not installed. So the graphics went a bit slow, etc..etc..
So besides I had to fix the ‘some files are missing’ error, I also had to include the Surface Pro drivers to the recovery image. On the Microsoft download page you can find a Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 firmware and driver pack. With this driver pack you can include the drivers, by using dism, in the install.wim.

 

How this is done?
Before we can enable the recovery image on the Surface Pro, we have to inject the drivers. Extract the Surface Pro drivers to E:Update-ImageUpdates, where E: can be any drive letter of your choosing and copy the install.wim (which can be found in the Sources folder of your Windows 8.1 Pro ISO) to E:Update-Image.

Now use the following commands (open a command or PowerShell prompt) to mount the WIM, inject the drivers and close the WIM.

  • dism /mount-wim /wimfile:”E:Update-Imageinstall.wim” /mountdir:E:Update-Imagemount /index:1
  • Dism /Image:E:Update-Imagemount /Add-Driver /Driver:E:Update-Imageupdates /Recurse
  • dism /unmount-wim /mountdir:E:Update-Imagemount /commit

 

When this process is done, this can take a few minutes depending on the speed of your hardware, copy the install.wim to the C:WinRec folder on your Surface Pro. If the C:WinRec folder does not exist, you have to create it. To tell your Surface Pro it has a recovery image you have to enter the following command, again open a Administrative Command Prompt, and enter the following command :

  • reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:WinRec /target c:Windows /Index 1

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This command (reagentc.exe) is used to configure the Windows Recovery Environment and system reset. The setosimage parameter is used to set the location of the recovery image which is used by a system reset.

Reset your PC
When you now go to Remove everything and reinstall Windows at the Update and Recovery, and you press Get Started the wizard will show the Reset your PC screen and you can reset your pc by following the wizard.

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Conclusion
When you do a clean installation of your Surface Pro, the recovery image is not (always) available and the Reset option does not work without addition source files. But with a couple of simple steps you can add it, and you will be able to reset your tablet to it’s ‘factory defaults’ with a press of the button.