A guide to image Surface Pro using Clonezilla. I know we can now deploy Windows 10 to Surface Pro devices using MDT. But what if you had specialized software/settings you’ve preconfigured that MDT simply won’t install? There are also times where you don’t have the (MSI) installer for a program that you need. Here I want to discuss imaging an exact copy of the Operating System, settings & software from one Surface Pro to another.
You’ve got your perfect Windows 10 Surface Pro image with all of the programs that you want. Now you have to find a way to deploy that image to multiple Surface Pro Tablets. Imaging is a big part of what IT people do in many organizations. If you are in charge of deploying Microsoft Surface Tablets in your work environment then you know how annoying it is to image them. Most programs that we use to image computers traditionally may not work with Microsoft Surface Pro devices. There are also limitations that we run into such as not being able to remove the Surface Pro hard drive, not having a dedicated Ethernet port on the Surface, etc. Luckily, there are alternative methods to image Surface Pro devices. Here I will discuss my go-to method for imaging Surface Pro Tablets and that is using Clonezilla.
Image Surface Pro Using Clonezilla – Hardware & Software Needed
I will link to the parts, I’ve specifically used below so that you can buy them if needed, these are usually very inexpensive items that are handy to keep in your IT toolbox.
- USB 4 Port Hub (preferably one that supports at least USB 2.0)
- USB to RJ45 (Optional: not needed unless you need to install something large over a network after imaging)
- External USB Hard Drive (Store & Retrieve Clonezilla Images)
- USB to SATA Adapter (Optional: if you don’t wish to buy an external hard drive for this purpose, buy this connector and you can use extra laptop hard drives that are laying around).
- Computer Mouse (handy for setup & navigating menus)
- USB Flash Drive (used for Clonezilla boot image, pretty much any size because they are so cheap now)
- RUFUS (Bootable USB creator)
- Clonezilla ISO (Download Link)
Steps for Imaging Surface Pro Devices using Clonezilla
You can download your own latest copy of Clonezilla from the links above and write to a USB drive using Rufus.
I am going to save you the trouble and link the Clonezilla image I’ve used below for download. Simply, download this image and create the bootable USB using imageUSB. You will have to extract the image after downloading. It will be compressed in a ZIP file and you can use Windows built-in compression tools or 7-Zip to extract it. After extraction, please follow the steps below for writing it to a flash drive. You will need at least a 2 gigabyte flash drive to hold this image.
Clonezilla Image (Download Clonezilla image)
ImageUSB (Download ImageUSB program to write the above Clonezilla image to a flash drive)
Next, start by plugging everything you need into your USB 4-Port Hub & plug the HUB into your Surface Pro’s USB port. Switch on only the essentials in the (USB HUB) such as the USB Flash Drive, USB External Hard Drive & the Mouse if needed. Let’s first enter the (BIOS) in our Surface Pro and disable certain options, you can do this by holding the power button + Vol UP button. Disable options such as secure boot and shut the Surface Pro back down.
Next we will boot from the Clonezilla USB flash drive to capture an image.
- Press and hold the Volume Down Button
- Press and release the Power Button
- Let go of Volume Down button once you see the Surface Logo
If the USB boot is successful, you should be able to see Clonezilla options. Please choose the appropriate backup options and continue. I typically just use “beginner mode” and choose the entire disk option for backups rather than partitions.
Steps for Restoring Images On Surface Pro Using Clonezilla
When it comes to restoring an image, you basically do the same tasks above to boot into Clonezilla. From there you choose “beginner mode” and choose the directory your images are saved in. Click on “restore disk” or partitions and select the image you wish to restore. The restore should take no more than 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your Surface Pro’s hard disk.
I hope this article helped you image Surface Pro devices and saved you a lot of headaches along the way. If any one has any other methods to image Surface Pro devices, please share your ideas below. If any one has experience using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) to image Surface Pro devices over a network please also share that below. Thank you for visiting and see you on the next one.