Partitions: Microsoft Surface Recovery Images (UEFI)


So while watching True Detective tonight, I thought I would do some investigating on my own on and find out how Microsoft really partitions.

523617616_1280x720


 

I ended up going to Microsoft’s Download a recovery image for your Surface page.  On that page, Microsoft makes available a full system restore for all Surface Models.  After downloading the Recovery Images, the Sources\CreatePartitions-UEFI.txt file tells us what we need to know, and the results were a little surprising.

  • Surface RT
    • Partition 1 – 310MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 200MB System
  • Surface Pro
    • Partition 1 – 999MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 200MB System
  • Surface Pro 2
    • Partition 1 – 350MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 200MB System
  • Surface Pro 3
    • Partition 1 – 360MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 200MB System

As you can see, when we compare it to all the other Microsoft Defaults and Recommendations

  • Windows 8.1 Media
    • Partition 1 – 300MB Recovery
    • Partition 2 – 100MB
  • MDT Task Sequence
    • Partition 1 – 300MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 499MB
  • OSD Task Sequence
    • Partition 1 – 300MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 512MB EFI
  • Technet Windows 7
    • Partition 1 – 300MB WinRE tools
    • Partition 2 – 100MB System
  • Technet Windows 8.1
    • Partition 1 – 300MB Windows RE tools
    • Partition 2 – 100MB System

Some things become clear now, and some new questions come up.

  1. Partition 1 is for WinRE.wim and it needs to be labeled Windows RE tools
  2. Partition 1 needs to be larger than 300MB, which I pointed out in a previous post, and apparently Microsoft’s Surface Team is aware of (but not the Config Manager Team)
  3. Why is the Surface Pro Windows RE tools Partition 1 999MB?
  4. Why is the System Partition 200MB in Surface models, and 100MB in most other instances?

Looks like I need to revise my recommendations to the following sizes:

  1. 984MB NTFS Windows RE tools
  2. 200MB FAT32 System
  3. 128MB MSR
  4. (Remainder) NTFS Windows

For reference, here is the content of the Surface Pro 3’s CreatePartitions-UEFI.txt

convert gpt
create partition primary size=360
set id=DE94BBA4-06D1-4D40-A16A-BFD50179D6AC
gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows RE tools"
assign letter=T
create partition efi size=200
format quick fs=fat32 label="System"
assign letter=S
create partition msr size=128
create partition primary 
shrink minimum=5700
gpt attributes=0x0000000000000000
format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows"
assign letter=W
create partition primary 
set id=de94bba4-06d1-4d40-a16a-bfd50179d6ac
gpt attributes=0x8000000000000001
format quick fs=ntfs label="Recovery image"
assign letter=R
rescan
exit
Advertisements