Deploy Windows from USB drive to Surface Studio

Hi, my name is Scott McArthur and I am Supportability Program Manager in Surface.  Today I am going discuss two scenarios involving deploying Windows 10 to Surface Studio.

Today if you don’t follow the steps outlined below you will see the following symptoms:

  • Windows Setup runs and does not report errors but on 1st reboot of setup, it boots into the OS that is currently on the drive and not back into setup.  So, to the admin it’s as though setup didn’t do anything
  • During setup or manually running DISKPART.EXE you format the drive but after reboot the drive is still formatted.

I should preface this blog with that I would normally recommend you leverage a tool like Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to build reference images (which can then be deployed by MDT or Configuration Manager) since it handles all what I am going to outline automatically but I understand that sometimes manual instructions are needed.

For information on how to use Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to do a full deployment to Surface Studio see my other blog notes.

  • Surface Studio ships with Hybrid Drive Configuration.  In order to talk to this drive configuration, you need the Intel Chipset SATA Raid Controller driver that ships with latest Surface Studio driver download.
  • Surface Studio requires the use of the “Intel Chipset SATA Raid controller”, iastora.sys that ships in latest Surface Studio driver download.  It is not supported to use any version of this driver from other sources (, other OEM vendors, etc.)
  • Changing the configuration of the Hybrid Drive is not supported currently.  There is no mechanism in UEFI or any Microsoft supplied driver to change the cache size or disable the cache

Scenario #1:  Install Windows 10 from USB drive

This scenario is where you want to put Windows 10 source files (Surface Studio requires RS1 or later) on USB drive and boot from it to install on Surface Studio.  This is a very simple scenario but it requires some additional work on Surface Studio.

In order for this to work you must inject this driver into the BOOT.WIM where setup runs from as well as in the INSTALL.WIM where Windows is installed from


  • Latest Windows ADK is installed
  • Latest Surface Studio .MSI is downloaded from here and extracted
    • msiexec /a SurfaceStudio_Win10_15063_1701606_0.msi targetdir=C:\SurfaceStudioDrivers /qn
    •  Note: When extracting driver files from the MSI, the destination folder (targetdir) must be different than the folder containing the MSI file.
  • Windows 10 Version 1607 ISO (or later) contents are copied to USB drive E:\


  1. Mount the boot image index #2(where setup runs from)
  2. Add the Intel Chipset SATA Raid Controller driver(iastora.sys) to the boot image
  3. Unmount the boot image and commit changes
  4. Mount the install.wim image
  5. Add the Intel Chipset SATA Raid Controller driver(iastora.sys) to the install image
  6. Unmount the install.wim and commit changes

The steps above are geared specifically at the storage controller driver.  Once Windows is installed you would want to install the full .MSI to get all the other Surface Studio drivers installed

Scenario #2:  Creating Generic Windows PE image

If you are using some other deployment tool that leverages Windows PE the steps would be similar.  The following list out how you would create a generic Windows PE image that supports Surface Studio

  1. Create Windows PE image
  2. Mount Windows PE image
  3. Add the Intel Chipset SATA Raid Controller driver(iastora.sys) to the WinPE boot image
  4. Dismount the image
  5. Create the USB Windows PE image

Hope this helps with your Surface Studio Deployments !!

Scott McArthur