Microsoft has released a fix for Surface RT users whose tablets croaked after updating to Windows RT 8.1.
Over the weekend, Microsoft pulled the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store, citing “a situation affecting a limited number of users.” The update was causing boot configuration errors, which led some users to see a blue screen of death (with startup error 0xc000000d) on startup.
If you have a bricked Surface RT, download the recovery images from Microsoft's Website onto another PC. To create the recovery drive, you'll also need a USB drive with at least 4 GB of storage. The download includes a PDF file with step-by-step instructions for recovering the Surface RT.
Be aware that this is not a one-click fix; the recovery involves entering several instructions in the command prompt after you've successfully booted up the machine. Pay close attention to each step of the instructions before proceeding.
On the bright side, once you've completed the recovery, your Surface RT will be running Windows RT 8.1, hopefully without any other problems.
For Surface RT users who haven't updated to Windows RT 8.1, there's still no word on when the update will re-appear in the Windows Store. For now, only users who've suffered a tablet meltdown will get to experience all the improvements that Windows 8.1 brings.
Update: Here's Microsoft's statement on the issue.
"Based on our investigations of a situation customers have encountered updating to Windows RT 8.1, we can confirm that as of now this is a Windows update issue only affecting Surface RT customers. While only less than 1 out of every 1,000 ( or less than 0.1%) Surface RT customers who have installed Windows RT 8.1 have been impacted, improving their experience and ensuring their systems are fully operable as quickly as possible is our number one priority. We have made recovery media available for download here along with actionable guidance for affected customers. We continue to work towards making the Windows RT 8.1 update available in the Windows Store again and apologize for any inconvenience. Further updates will be provided as they become available."