Build 16288.1 - Recover a "Won't Boot" Surface Pro 3 Device

Hello Insiders,

Last week we released build 16288.1 to both the Fast and Slow rings.  As data and feedback has come in, we've tracked reports from Surface Pro 3 users that their devices may end up in an "unbootable" state where the Windows OS will not load and it appears to be stuck on a "spinning dots" screen.  Teams have been hard at work to triage these reports and we have uncovered the cause of devices that have arrived in this state.

Who:  Surface Pro 3 devices on builds 16288.1 or 16291

What:  The device may end up in an undesired state where the Windows OS may not load

Why:  One of the required boot files on Surface Pro 3 devices may end up in a corrupted state after an abnormal shutdown

Resolution:  We now have a workaround that Insiders can use to recover their devices.  Please see the steps below to recover your device.


Workaround Steps:

  • Prepare a bootable USB image from a working PC
  • With the device powered off, boot your Surface Pro 3 device from the USB drive
  • When the Windows setup box appears, press Shift + F10
  • In the Command Prompt window that appears, type:
    • wpeutil reboot
  • Hit enter to execute this command and immediately remove the USB drive from the computer
  • The device will reboot and load the Windows OS as expected

The above steps will allow your computer to boot.  To permanently fix the issue, complete the following additional steps:

  • Open a web browser and navigate to
  • Download the file:
  • Open File Explorer on your PC and navigate to the Downloads folder
    • Downloads is the default folder, it may be different if you have changed your default location
  • Right-click the file and select extract all
  • A window will open after extraction. Right-click the file fixsp3.cmd and choose Run as Administrator
  • The process will execute and implement the necessary patch to prevent this bug from recurring
  • Reboot your Surface Pro 3 device.  It is now fully patched.

We have a permanent fix for this issue in the build pipeline already.  If your device has not hit this bug, it is still possible to in the short term if you have not run the above script.  We will have a permanent fix with no required workaround steps in our next flighted build that is 16294 or greater.

If you have any questions while working through these steps, please let us know.

Thank you as always,


Discussion Info

Last updated May 3, 2019 Views 13,504 Applies to:

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Where did 16291 come from?

Insiders never saw this build.


Please mark my posts as answers or helpful if they are.
An internal Build maybe..
Nuno Silva
Windows Insider MVP
It just got released. Keep up :)

16291 info from Buildfeed. Some knew it existed.

We are humbled by the Errata Manager Database.
Thanks Jason, Was thinking that the SP3 was having a hardware issue the first time it happened.

Hi Jason,

Any news from the kernel team about the security fail on Surface Pro gen 1 and skip ahead builds?



Details here 😊
Thanks Jen. Saw that after my answer :)
Nuno Silva
Windows Insider MVP
My thanks!

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