Q. How can I boot a Surface Pro device from USB?

A: There are two solutions to the problem of booting a Surface Pro device from USB.

If you already have Windows 8 installed on the device, (which you should), then open up the Charms bar, select the Settings charm, and click Change PC Settings. From the General area, select Advance Startup and click Restart Now. When the machine restarts, you will have the option to use another boot device.

The other option is to directly tell the Surface Pro to boot from USB when you turn on the device:

  1. Make sure the Surface Pro device is turned off.
  2. Attach a bootable USB storage device.
  3. Hold the volume-down button.
  4. Press and release the power button.
  5. When the Surface logo appears, release the volume-down button.
  6. The Surface Pro should boot from the attached USB device.

Remember that Surface Pro expects a UEFI boot device, which means it should be formatted with FAT32 and not NTFS, so you can't create the USB bootable device using the Microsoft Store ISO-to-USB program. Instead, follow the directions I outlined in FAQ "Q. How do I create a bootable USB stick that can install to a UEFI system?"