Update (10/21): Microsoft has released a statement confirming issues with the Windows RT 8.1 update that was pulled from the Windows Store during the weekend as it was found to brick devices. The issue affected a small portion of Surface RT device owners, less than 1 out of 1000, according to Microsoft. The company has released a Surface RT Recovery Image which affected users can download (a hefty 3.7 GB file) and install via USB to get their tablets back up and running again. The RT 8.1 update remains unavailable until further notice.
The original story follows below:
Microsoft recently pulled its Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store after a number of Surface owners reported seeing the infamous Blue Screen of Death after installing the update. An accompanying error message notified users that their PC needed to be repaired and the Boot Configuration Data file was missing some required information.
When asked by a forum user why the update had vanished, a Microsoft support representative said the company was investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows 8.1. As a result, the update has been temporarily removed from the Windows Store.
Without the necessary configuration data, affected Windows RT devices are effectively rendered useless. Some online users have posted recovery methods but as Computer World points out, they are long and involved and unlikely to be utilized by most people.
Microsoft is currently the only vendor that offers Windows RT devices. Just over three weeks ago, Dell joined several other manufacturers including Asus, Lenovo and Samsung by dropping their Windows RT tablet, the XPS 10, from their lineup. Undeterred by the lack of support, Microsoft announced the second generation Surface tablets in late September with the Surface 2 (they dropped the RT moniker) running Windows 8.1 RT. The Surface 2 along with the Surface Pro 2 are slated to launch this Tuesday, October 22.
Engineers are said to be working on the issue but a timeline for when a patched version of the update will resurface hasn’t been set.