Microsoft's new Surface Laptop 7 has arrived. The recovery images have not

Nice computer. Shame if anything happened to it

Shiny new Surface 7 devices are starting to arrive, but a lack of recovery media is causing problems for some users.

A Register reader got in touch to complain about issues that cropped up when creating recovery media.

Gareth Hunter wrote: "I preordered the machine a few weeks ago and received it yesterday.

"I created the backup media using the recovery drive app in preparation for replacing the SSD and tested the recovery process using the original drive. The process failed and dumped me out halfway through. I've got no way of booting the machine now, the recovery media I created doesn't work and there is no way to download this from Microsoft."

Without working recovery media, Hunter faces a situation of having to return the device to Microsoft under warranty. He isn't alone.

Hunter is a serial Surface buyer and, thanks to Microsoft's enlightened approach to SSD replacement, has usually opted for switching out the storage unit for a more capacious one rather than pay the extra at configuration time. For example, going from the base 256 GB to 512 GB will add at least £200 ($254) to the price.

Our reader admitted that cloning the drive might have been a good idea. Still, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and you can always get the recovery media from Microsoft's support site. Except when you can't.

Recovery images only go as far as the Surface Laptop 6, and Microsoft noted that for its Recovery Tool "Recovery images for Surface Pro (11th Edition) and Surface Laptop (7th Edition) will be available when commercial devices ship in September 2024," which could mean a lengthy wait for early adopters that manage to make their new devices unbootable.

The Register asked Microsoft if there was any way of getting hold of the media ahead of time and why it would release hardware before its recovery tool had been updated, but the company has yet to respond.

In the meantime, if you must have the latest and greatest from Microsoft's Surface line, go ahead. Just be aware that recovering might not be as straightforward as you expect if things go horribly wrong. ®

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