Ghost Compatibility with Microsoft Surface Pro Tablets
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Ghost Compatibility with Microsoft Surface Pro Tablets


Article ID: 161106


Updated On:


Ghost Solution Suite


We are aware of some limitations when imaging the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet and are working on resolving them.

 The following problems have been observed during cloning attempts:

  • The machine fails to boot from various bootable media
  • The machine fails to boot to a PreOS
  • When an image can be created, the restore fails at various points
  • The Network is not seen when booted to the Pre OS
  • The Hard drive is not seen when booted to the Pre OS. 


GSS 3.x


The root cause of the issues is being investigated currently and we expect to release an update with full support as soon as the issues are resolved. Some of the following known reasons for issues have been found:

  1. The firmware has not been updated to the most recent version.
  2.  Secure Boot is enabled
  3. The use of a USB dongle for Ethernet access was used.  This type of connection has not been fully tested.
  4.  A USB hub was used as part of the cloning process and this type of hardware is not fully recognized.
  5. Deploy anywhere was used after the image deployment. 
  6. The drivers need to see the USB Microsoft Network adapter or docking station Network adapter drivers are not present in a stock PE boot disk. 
  7. The hard disk controller drivers for the Surface pro 4 are not present in the stock PE boot disk. 


Testing of the Surface pro machines has raised some issues and these will need to be addressed before we can offer full support. This is a high priority for the team and this article will be updated as more information becomes available.

In the interim limited testing has shown that local cloning with a USB flash drive and external USB HDD has been successful  Here are some suggestions that may help

  1. Update the firmware on the machines as there are some fixes related to USB connections and emulation.  Ghost will not work without the Microsoft firmware update so please check with Microsoft for this update and release notes.
  2. Disable Bit Locker and decrypt the hard drive.   A drive can be re-encrypted after the image has been deployed. ​
  3. Build a Bootable 64 bit USB flash drive through the Ghost Boot Disk Creator 3.0.  You should not need to add drivers for local cloning.   Network cloning may be possible but only with the Microsoft USB dongle and boot server this document is for a local boot option.    
  4. To boot a Surface Pro 3 with USB, hold down the volume down button, press the power button an release the volume down button after the Surface logo appears.  After booting from the USB flash drive, you can remove the flash drive and plug in the external USB hard drive.
  5. Include -ntexact-ntil, and -ntic switches for both creating and restoring images
    •  If booting from a Ghost boot disk exit out of Ghost and run Ghost64.exe with the -ntexact, -ntil, and -ntic switches for both creating and restoring images.
      • x:\ghost>ghost64.exe -ntexact -ntil -ntic
    • If imaging from the Ghost solution Suite Console
      • Include  -ntexact -ntil -ntic to the Additional Parameters section of the create and deploy task 

Some customers have also reported that using a special ​PXE dongle from Microsoft in a PXE environment has allowed these machines to be successfully cloned. Please contact Microsoft for details as this process is outside of Symantec's control.

Note:  Do not use deployanywhere after an image deployment.   Rather take and restore your images from the Surface pro 3 to a Surface pro 3 and eliminate the need for deployanywhere.

Note:  Surface pro 3 & 4 For networking drivers please see the following blog post for locating surface pro drivers

Note: Surface Pro 4 For hard drive support the heci driver files that are downloadable from Microsoft at and is titled     The heci.inf and .cat must be copied from the extracted \Drivers\System\ManagementEngine\ to the \SurfacePro4_Win10_161521_0\Drivers\System\ManagementEngine\x64 folder.   All 6 files will need to be in the same folder to be added to ghost as a custom driver.   See HOWTO60456 on how to add this custom driver manually to the Ghost Boot Disk driver list as it is not properly formatted to be added using the Boot Disk GUI.  

Note: Surface Pro 4 For the Surface Pro 4 you may need to change the Secure Boot configuration "Secure Boot certificate keyset" from "Microsoft only" to "Microsoft & 3rd party CA."


SP4 - Change CA keyset.JPG get_app