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Surface Pro 3 – Red Boot Screen

If you have seen this screen before, don’t panic. For me it was a very simple fix and I’m sure that it will be a simple fix for you as well.

Symptom

Reformatted Drive and Reinstalled Windows 8.1 64bit (for whatever reason when I was changing the boot order I also deleted all secure boot keys). Pen stopped working since the install media did not contain the drivers. Installed August 19th, 2014 drivers/firmware pack to fix. Rebooted the Surface Pro 3 and saw this red screen. Every time the system booted (clean boot, shutdown, restart, etc.) this bright red screen with the word Surface in the middle would appear.

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Resolution

After some research I discovered that the red boot screen is caused by the Secure Boot Control option not having the Secure Boot Keys installed. To fix this issue follow these steps:

  1. Shutdown the Surface Pro 3 tablet
  2. Hold the volume up button, while holding it press and release the power button, when the Surface logo appears release the volume down button. This will bring up the boot menu.
  3. Go to Secure Boot Control and select Install All Factory Default Keys
  4. Select Windows & 3rd-party UEFI CA (Default). Once this finishes it should say Delete All Secure Boot Keys under Secure Boot Control.
  5. Reboot the Surface Pro 3 and the red boot screen is gone!

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More Information

What is Secure Boot Control and how does it benefit me? Secure Boot Control along with TPM keep your computer safe from malicious attacks that would try to take control of your computer without you, your anti-virus software, or the Windows OS knowing that it happened.

  • Secure Boot Control. Secure Boot technology blocks the loading of uncertified bootloaders and drives.
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM). TPM technology provides major advancement over BIOS in the area of hardware-based security features.

This video provides a great explanation on Secure Boot, what it does, and why it’s important. Video: Secure Boot

Check out this link on Microsoft’s site for more info: How do I use the BIOS/UEFI?

***Added 10/21/14*** http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2884723