How to Install Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 on Surface RT/2 with Fix in 2017

Most Surface RT and Surface 2 owners can't install Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 on their devices recently. Here is how to get the Start menu on your devices.

Surface RT the Start Menu is Back

It has been a while after many Surface RT and Surface 2 owners including me complaining about Windows Update and Windows Store problems after we reset our devices recently. Until now, there is still no official response with the solution from Microsoft yet.

Fortunately, there is a user that find out a direct download link to the Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 update package. I have tried to install it on my Surface RT, however, it ended up with searching for Windows update endlessly. I find out that many users also experience this problem like me. I decided to start from the scratch by resetting my Surface RT once again. And this time, I can do it and the Start menu is back to my Surface RT now.

1 Make sure you have the Latest Windows RT 8.1 Update

Before you can install the Windows RT 8.1 Update 3, your Surface RT needs to have the Windows RT 8.1 Update first. Here is how to check:

  1. Swipe from the right > Control Panel > Windows Update
  2. At the bottom left of the screen, click on Installed Updates
  3. Under the Microsoft Windows list, make sure you have “Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2919355)” in the list.
    Verify the KB2919355 installed

2 Installing Windows RT 8.1 KB2919355

If you can’t find the update in the list, and you stuck at checking for Windows update follow these steps to manually install the “Update for Microsoft Windows (KB2919355)”.

  1. Download the windows8.1-kb2919355-arm.msu file to your computer.
  2. Turn your WiFi off by clicking on the WiFi icon in the taskbar, under the Wi-Fi section, turn the toggle Off
  3. Install the update package you’ve downloaded.
    Install the update package KB2919355
  4. Restart your computer.
    Install and Reboot

3 Fix Windows Update with a Local Windows Update Troubleshooting Tool

If you can’t install update packages you’ve downloaded and your computer is stuck at checking for Windows update as here:

Stuck in Checking for Windows Update

Note When your Surface stuck in Checking for Windows update, you will notice that the Service Host: Local System will keep taking around 25% CPU process over time with plenty of memory usages.

You can fix this problem by:

  1. Swipe from the right > Control Panel > Troubleshooting
  2. Under System and Security click Fix problems with Windows Update
  3. Click Next and click on Try troubleshooting as an administrator
  4. Now the tool will detect and fix problems for you, it will take about two minutes to complete.

4 Download and Install Windows 8.1 RT KB3173424

  • Download the windows8.1-kb3173424-arm.msu file to your computer.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi is turned off.
  • Install the update package you’ve downloaded.
    Installing KB3173424

5 Download and Install Windows 8.1 RT KB3172614

  • Download the windows8.1-kb3172614-arm.msu file to your computer.
  • Make sure your Wi-Fi is turned off.
  • Install the update package you’ve downloaded.
    installing KB3172614
  • Restart your computer.
    Install and Reboot

6 Turn on the Wi-Fi and check for Windows Update

After you have installed all above packages, now your problems with checking for Windows update loop is fixed. You can now update your Surface directly via Windows Update with no more issues.

  1. Turn on your Wi-Fi.
  2. Go Settings > Control Panel > Windows Update > Check for updates.
  3. Now you will see more than 200+ updates on your way.
    206 more updates on the way
  4. Install all those updates and restart your computer to finish Windows update.

7 Verify Windows 8.1 Update 3 with Start Menu option

After you have installed all Windows update, you can now activate new Start menu by:

  1. Right-click on Taskbar > Properties
  2. Now you can see the Start Menu option there
  3. Check “Use the Start menu instead of the Start screen“.
  4. Click Apply.
  5. Sign out and Sign back in to see changes.

8 More Information

All above steps will fix your problems, and the following information is just for keeping track about this problem so far.

Download the Windows RT 8.1 Update 3 Standalone Package

Thank Gianpietromerighetti, a Microsoft community user, he has shared the update download link to the Microsoft community. Here is what you need to do:

Turn off WiFi and Install the Update

In order to prevent the endless checking for Windows update happen while you install the standalone package, you need to turn off the WiFi. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Click WiFi icon in the taskbar, under the Wi-Fi section, turn the toggle Off
  2. Go to desktop, install the Windows8.1-KB3097667-arm.msu
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. After you’ve restarted your computer, right-click on Taskbar > Properties, now you can see the Start Menu option there

What’s Now?

Even the start menu is back, the endless checking for Windows Update and Windows Store problems still persist. And this problem needs to be fixed by Microsoft. You can follow this problem in the Microsoft Community thread for future updates.

Update: an Official Fix is Coming!

According to Barb Bowman, a Microsoft Community moderator, the Surface Support team is aware of the problems and working to push a fix for Surface RT/2 soon.

Everyone:
I’ve been in touch with Surface Supportability who have been working with the Windows Team on this. Just received an email which stated “we think we know root cause and that we are working to push a fix out quickly but don’t have an exact timeframe..”

Update 1/23/2017: A Community Member Found a Fix for Windows Update and Store

On 1/23/2017, a community member named Stjinchan found a solution for fixing Windows Update and Store problems with a complete guide here.

Windows update stuck at “Checking update…”

After contacting Microsoft, and doing research for at least a few weeks, I found a solution to this major problem.

Alright, so I got a permanent solution for the Windows Update searching disaster! 🙂

Step 1: Restore your Surface RT with the recovery image from the microsoft website. (optional)
Step 2: Set up your surface and head to Windows update.
Step 3: Search for updates, after 30m-1h you will see a firmware update, press install without modifying the update list.
Step 4: After the installation got succeeded, and your surface rt restarted go ahead and search again for updates.
Step 5: Again you will see a package of updates, this update includes the Windows RT 8.1 Update 1 update (kb2919355).
Step 6: When you finished installing the updates and your surface rebooted again, go to “installed updates” and check if kb2919355 is installed.
Step 7: If no, try to install the updates again. If yes, start searching for updates again.
Step 8: Once Windows Update is searching for at least 4 hours we came at the point where most of us are stuck.

THE SOLUTION

Step 9: Download kb3173424 from HERE.
Step 10: Download kb3172614 from HERE.
Step 11: Turn off your Wifi, and reboot the surface.
Step 12: Install kb3173424 by opening it.
Step 13: Reboot the surface.
Step 14: Install kb3172614 by opening it.
Step 15: Reboot the surface.
Step 16: Turn on your Wifi, start searching for updates and after 10+/- minutes you will see 180+ updates coming your way :D.

I hope this helps a lot of people, since it was a major problem on the Surface RT.

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