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[SP4] Windows 8.1 custom ROM for Surface Pro 4

17 posts
Thanks Meter: 22
By ptrkhh, Junior Member on 20th February 2016, 08:19 AM
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For those of you missing Windows 8.1, congratulations, you just found the solution.


1.Windows is fully updated as of February 2016.
2.Surface February update included (solves most speaker popping issue)
3.Based on Surface Pro 3 image. Full stock-like Surface branding (desktop background, out-of-box experience).
4.Windows activates with the embedded product key. Fully legit. I cannot guarantee if yours couldn’t activate though.
5.Bloat free with about 3 GB saving: (Microsoft devices are shipped bloat-free? Think again.) | Only 6 metro apps included (Camera, IE, OneDrive, PC Settings, Photos, Store). The rest can be downloaded from Store | Trial Office removed | Speech data removed.
6.Languages included: English, French, Spanish. Since it is Windows 8 Pro, you can download any other language later.
7.Fully working refresh and reset functionality.
8.WinRE from vanilla Windows, touchscreen driver included.
9.Pagefile takes less space: 400 MB. It can grow to up to 8 GB, a reboot brings it back to 400 MB.
10.Various Windows tweaks | File Indexing paused on battery | Verbose messages, you get more information in boots and shutdowns | No startup programs delay | non-certified DLNA devices are supported | Custom resolution script added (open C: drive, its there. Just double click.) | "Get Windows 10" system tray icon disabled.
11.Some drivers from S3, SP3, SP4, and other OEM devices (kudos to them for releasing their Skylake devices with Windows 8.1 drivers).
12.Latest Intel iGPU driver (version 4380 Beta).

NOT working
1.Windows Hello. As expected, Windows 8.1 does not support Windows Hello.
2.The buttons are mapped differently | Power --> Volume Down | Volume Up --> Power | Volume Down --> Start
3.Surface app | You cant adjust pen sensitivity | You can't configure the pen top button action through the app. You can still customize it manually with AHK.

Q: Camera app crashes / BSOD
A: You need to disable the IR camera. You can do that either via the BIOS or Device Manager.

Q: The pen button doesn't work after the first setup
A: You may need to re-pair the pen. Go to PC Settings > Bluetooth and remove the Surface Pen. Create a new pairing by pressing the pen top button for 7 seconds, it will show up on the Surface, and just pair it.

Q: How did you get the embedded Windows 10 product key to work with Windows 8.1?
A: Actually I have no idea. It just worked.

Q: Are the "not working" issues going to be fixed?
A: For the buttons, its up to Microsoft to release a Windows 8.1 compatible driver, and we have no other source as Microsoft has modified Intel's driver. If you know how to remap the buttons (either via editing the driver, Registry, or AHK), please share it with us and I will include it in the next version. For the Surface app, I believe it is simply because the Windows 8 version of Surface app was not updated for the Surface Pro 4 (and will never be), so don’t expect that one.

Q: Why did you go with the beta driver for the graphics?
A: The latest release version, 4352 and 4364, are practically unusable. I experienced blank screen in video playback and some random BSOD. No choice really.

Q: When Intel has released the new driver, do I need to wait for the next version of the ROM?
A: No, you can just download and install it yourself without waiting for me to upload an updated ROM. The new version should pop up here, download the ZIP version for Windows 8.1, and install it using the "Have Disk…" method. Step-by-step guide

Q: How do I remap the pen buttons manually?
A: Go browse /r/Surface in Reddit, they have comprehensive guides on how to use AHK with the Surface Pen.

Q: Do I need to wait for your next ROM to get Windows updated?
A: No, you can just update normally via Windows Update

Q: You idiotic luddites should just upgrade to Windows 10 rather than shoehorning Windows 8 to the cutting-edge device that clearly does not deserve the old, ****ty Windows 8. Also, I am a Windows 10 fanboy.
A: Before you get angry and all that, I actually *do* want to upgrade to Windows 10. I mean, how cool is that to login with your face? However, it is hampered by quite a lot ergonomic usability issues, bugs, and the general quirkiness of Tablet Mode. As of today, Tablet Mode is nowhere near final. Not even the Task View has proper animation in Tablet Mode, it already tells how half-assed the Tablet Mode is.

How to install
BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!! This will format the entire disk. No data will be preserved! Its also advised to remove the microSD card during the process.

0. Get a keyboard and USB hub if you don’t have the Type Cover.
1. Download and extract the package
2. Set up the ISO image on a CD or USB stick. If you use Rufus, set it on "MBR for UEFI computer" (only for the USB stick, the Surface will be set up as GPT)
3. Boot it on the Surface
4. Enter cd /d D:\scripts
5. Enter diskpart /s part.txt
6. Enter apply D:\Images\install.wim D:\Images\winre.wim
7. You can repeat the step #6 just to be sure
8. Reboot, unplug the USB stick.
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to ptrkhh For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift ptrkhh Ad-Free
17th October 2016, 01:14 PM |#2  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
Signed up on xda just to express my gratitude for this great tutorial and release. Everything worked a charm with full touchscreen support and I am so glad to finally have Windows 8.1 on my Surface Pro 4! No more forced windows updates sucking up my bandwidth, more free space on my hard disk, and the only gaming app that I use for my ps2 games (PCSX2), finally runs at 60fps (can you imagine on windows 10 the emulator would drop between 40-50 fps)!!! Thanks again for making my day!
The Following User Says Thank You to Johnny_Suit_n_Tie For This Useful Post: [ View ] Gift Johnny_Suit_n_Tie Ad-Free
18th October 2016, 12:11 AM |#3  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
ptrkhh, did you by any chance figure out how to configure the power and volume buttons???

For now I'm using volume up button to turn the tablet on and off and the power button to turn the volume down.
19th February 2017, 02:52 AM |#4  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
Like the other person above, I made an account just to express my EXTREME gratitude for the amazing work that was done.

I just got myself a surface book for dirt cheap, fantastic device, horrible OS. I'm not one to shy away from randomly screwing with things, so on my research for windows 8 installs for the Book, I found this absolute GEM of a post.

Downloaded the image, and threw it on my Surface Book and here's what happened:

a) installed flawlessly
b) activated instantly
c) everything that works on the Pro, works on the book. The keyboard and mouse work too!!!
d) The BIG one... the DETACH...... IT WORKS!!! Hold the detach button like normal, and, granted it seems to take a second or so longer than it did on Win10, but it releases JUST fine.
e) the dual batteries. I didn't test it for long, but Win8 seems to drain the base battery and leave the tablet battery alone.
f) the power /vol buttons do the same thing as the pro4, but i really don't care. Actually, the Book doesn't have a windows button on the tablet, so the vol down button doing that is actually a HUGE plus for me. Screw the volume controls! :P
g) i have not figured out the nvidia drivers yet, but i also haven't tried too hard yet. So that's a negative so far.
h) Front camera does weird infared things. It will be disabled.

I would imagine even if i get the dual gpu to work, if i start a program with the nvidia, and disconnect the screen, it will probably go all fubar and need a hard restart. The latch seems to run independently from the rest, and without software watching it, it WILL do what you tell it to, period. (my assumption, haven't tried it yet)

Battery life has not been tested much yet.

Device manager shows 2 unknown devices. I'm assuming one is the GFX card, the other one, probably the detatch button. If that's not it i have no idea. Really don't care though.
Updates pick up on new driver versions just fine. (again, so far)

I have the i5 version w/dual gfx. I have no idea what will and won't happen with the i7, the i7 with nvidia, or the newest performance base with the better nvidia gfx. I doubt much will be different, but much as I did, proceed at your own risk!

I hope this was useful, and if it was, let everyone know it works!!!!

If anyone wants, I can post an update after I finish setting it up, and had some real-life usage of it. If not, my feelings will not be hurt!
23rd February 2017, 08:10 AM |#5  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 4
Works almost perfect on my Surface Pro 4.
But somehow it cannot auto rotate and the touch keyboard is not popping up (even in metro apps).
Does anybody know how to fix that?

Edit: you have to reboot and remove the keyboard before windows boots to get it working.
19th August 2017, 07:01 PM |#6  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 1
The OneDrive link is dead, can you get a new link? Mega isn't working for me
19th September 2017, 12:36 AM |#7  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 203
Would this work on a surface 3?
21st May 2019, 05:44 PM |#8  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
Surface pro 4 BSOD
Hi, I have the i5 version surface pro 4 and when i use the image above or a fresh copy of windows 8.1 pro it finishes installing then blue screens with internal power error. Any ideas as to get past this.

24th May 2019, 08:18 AM |#9  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 0
I have the same problem.
29th May 2019, 11:20 AM |#10  
Junior Member
Thanks Meter: 2
When it finishes installing, I get a blue screen saying there is a problem with the BCD. I tried booting with a Windows 10 ISO to use the startup repair tool to fix it, but it says it can't. I've tried it 3 or 4 times; it did work once, but I wanted to try a different Windows, so I wiped it. Now I can't get it to work again. I did all the diskpart stuff, and the apply, all seemed to work until final boot = bsod. The apply.cmd is supposed to do the configuring, I think. Anybody else had this problem?
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