How to use a USB keyboard with the Advanced Startup Settings menu in Windows 8.1 on a Surface Pro - 03/02/2014, 17:57

The Microsoft Surface Pro does not enable by default the USB port when booting into the Advanced Startup Settings screen. This is a huge "oversight" among countless others from the machine/Windows 8/8.1's design/implementation, because it is impossible to use the menu except with the official Touch keyboard (which is expensive).

After fuming for a while I figured out a way to make it work. It involves combining another startup mode (namely, the "boot from USB device" mode):



1) Do all the steps to get to where Windows describes what "Advanced Startup Mode" means and shows the "Restart Now" button as described here (right before step 3) Microsoft.com: Windows startup settings


2) Right after clicking "Restart Now", and before the device physically restarts, press the "volume down" key on the side of the Surface Pro. (This enables booting from a USB drive - and the USB port!)


3) Once the Surface screen is up you can let go of the "volume down" key


4) You should be able to use a USB keyboard with the Advanced Startup Settings menu

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