Installation guide

Preparation to get Windows 10 installed on both RT and RT2 with some backstory :)

Difference between RT's and Pro's

Some people can easily confuse RT tablets and think one is another or even a Pro model. This can lead to confusion online, especially when looking for one used. One thing to instantly note is that both Pro and Pro 2 are thicker than RT and RT2 counterparts. Both Pro's are also black, RT2 being the earliest white Surface tablet that's also the only white 16:9 aspect ratio. Biggest dead giveaway is port selection, RT models have micro HDMI and different USB port location. There's no stylus support for these either.

left: Surface RT | right: Surface 2

Surface RT

Front shot
Rear shot
Front shot
Surface RT | Front shot
Rear shot
Surface RT | Rear shot

Everyone loves the good old (and kind of slow and useless) Surface RT. It's the first Surface tablet ever released running Windows RT based on Windows 8. Powered by Tegra 3 it was already outdated in 2012, due to that it wasn't the fastest tablet though low price and availability proved it's popularity among students and others who were seeking for a portable word processor or media station. Sadly Windows RT was another joke on its own with locked down apps ecosystem meaning no one really wanted to develop for it. This dragged the tablet to its death in few years with newer sibling Surface 2 (RT2).

Surface 2 (RT2)

Front shot
Side angle shot
Rear shot
Front shot
Surface 2 | Front shot
Side angle shot
Surface 2 | Side angle shot
Rear shot
Surface 2 | Rear shot

Highly anticipated successor to Surface RT with a way better higher resolution display panel, two stage kickstand, faster SoC (System on a Chip) and storage it was something to be excited for. Sadly it carried over the curse of Windows RT thought it shipped with Windows RT 8.1 from factory which according to Anandtech was a high improvement with first party apps and performance/feature set.

Getting started...

Now that you know which tablet you got, pay closer attention on the exact installation method as it differs.

Stuff you need

Simple video tutorial on how to use the jwa4 script and generate a bootable ISO image

https://youtu.be/I-N6YPdX0V4 Created by me, LeYuuki

For people that can read whatever the script tells you, it's very simple to follow. The XDA developer page also has in depth information and details that are worth reading into. Credits to jwa4 for writing the script More info on the next page

Exploiting for installation (optional for RT)

Surface RT does not require this but some had to execute Golden key removal to boot Windows 10.

Surface RT (optional) | Touch/Type-Cover doesn't work

  1. Zip file above is straightforward, extract it to a FAT32 formatted USB drive

  2. Boot into Windows RT and run the script with .cmd extension

  3. Using numbers choose "Install golden keys"

  4. Shut down tablet and boot off USB with Vol down and Power

  5. Wait for 30 seconds unless you've prepared a USB hub and external keyboard

Surface 2 (RT2) | Without Touch/Type-Cover

  1. Zip file above is straightforward, extract it to a FAT32 formatted USB drive

  2. Boot into Windows RT and run the script with .cmd extension

  3. Using numbers choose "Install Golden Keys"

  4. Tablet should reboot after confirming

  5. Let it boot back into Windows

  6. Select "Apply Yahallo" from the script

  7. Reboot to USB and wait

  8. Shut off the tablet once it tells you (message is nice 3 lines and all caps)

Surface 2 (RT2) | second method - can use Touch/Type-Cover

  1. Extract jailbreak.zip to FAT32 formatted USB

  2. Shut down tablet and boot off of USB using Volume down and Power

  3. Using Type/Touch-Cover navigate around

  4. Install Golden Keys and confirm the action

  5. Tablet boots to OS after restarting, let it do so and shut off

  6. Boot again from USB

  7. Select Apply Yahallo

  8. Shut off when it tells you

  • Removing Golden Keys exploit is optional for Surface 2 (RT2) if you're installing from fresh (i.e created a bootable ISO and wiped eMMC).

  • Surface 2 (RT2) prompts you to reset TPM, always let it do so!

You can navigate the debug menu on both tablets using external keyboard connected up to a hub as you need the USB drive!

Preparing Surface RT

Results were mixed to some users so I'll focus on highest success rate guide. For both tablets I'm considering you've already restored factory image from Microsoft or jwa4 Windows RT script tool.

Ensure your Surface RT is charged or keep it plugged in the entire time. from stock Windows RT you don't really have to do much, generate an installer image with jwa4 tool and write it to a USB drive. After which you boot off of it and install Windows 10 as you please.

Note: Said previously, some had difficulties so you have to remove Golden keys using an exploit linked above

Preparing Surface 2 (RT2)

Executing exploit mentioned above is NECESSARY!!! For both tablets I'm considering you've already restored factory image from Microsoft or jwa4 Windows RT script tool.

Ensure your Surface 2 is charged or keep it plugged in the entire time. On stock Windows RT, execute Yahallo exploit and remove Golden keys mentioned above.

If that's done you simply boot a generated Windows 10 install image from USB.

Used sources:

Images are from Anandtech review, Amazon product page and Google result search.