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Microsoft Restores Windows RT 8.1 Update

Microsoft today restored its Windows RT 8.1 update for download from the Windows Store.

The update had been removed on Oct. 18, just one day after the new operating system's release, because some users had experienced "blue screen" lockups or system failures ("bricked" devices) after updating their Microsoft Surface Windows RT-based systems. Microsoft issued recovery software for the affected systems on Monday, but it required a second Surface RT device to download it.

On Tuesday, Microsoft indicated that Surface RT owners can now again download the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. The notice is tucked away in a Surface support announcement here. The system failures occurred because firmware in some Surface RT systems failed to update prior to the update, according to Microsoft's announcement.

"This [unbootable device situation] was due to a rare situation where firmware updates had not completed at the time of the update to RT 8.1. In most cases, if a customer encountered this issue the result was simply an extra reboot. However, for a very small percentage, the boot configuration data was affected which prevented a successful boot. We worked to quickly resolve the issue and now encourage customers to update their Surface RT devices. Surface Pro and 8.1 customers were not impacted by this issue."

The issue only affected Microsoft Surface devices running the Windows RT operating system, according to an earlier Microsoft statement.

The Windows RT 8.1 update is a 2.1-GB download that takes about 70 minutes to completely install, according to a Microsoft blog post describing the update process. The system will automatically reboot during the update process.

The update delivers new tile-sizing options, the ability to group tiles, Outlook 2013 and Windows PowerShell 4.0, among other improvements.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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