Keyboard and touchpad not working when boot from USB

Created bootable cinnamon mint usb and did the integrity and validation check. Trying to reimagine surface 4 with windows 10. It boots off usb to show the Linux mint screen but then I loose access to keyboard and touchpad. Tried putting in external mouse and that didn’t work either. Tried getting into UEFI but doesn’t show devices option. Disabled fast start and see a quick message stating not able to mount cd. Should I try to recreate usb again? What size USB should I be using. I’m using 14GB. Thanks in advance.

The USB drive is plenty large enough you never need more than 2 to 4 GB for most distros. The surface is a very tricky animal to work with. We have an Admin that has installed used MS Surface machines but he is in the Telegram Chat group and doesn’t work on the forums much. There is also @vasileios who can probably assist you further on this issue.

Hey @Techgirly and welcome to the forums!
Thank you @DaleGribble for taging me on this!

@Techgirly - what you are experiencing is very normal. The reason is that Linux Mint currently runs Kernel 5.4 (unless they upgraded it in their latest release to 5.11). All Kernels 5.11 and below do not have support modules for Surface tablets and laptops. I’ve experienced this on my Surface Laptop 3.

If you wish to install Linux Mint, I would recommend you connect an external keyboard and mouse to go through the installation process. Then, follow the instructions described in the link below, to install and apply the Surface-specific Kernel, which will activate most of your Surface’s hardware.

The Ubuntu installation is the same for Mint - as well as all Debian/Ubuntu derivatives.
I take it you have Surface Pro 4, correct?

If yes, then nearly all the hardware will work, minus the performance mode, as seen on the feature matrix of the patched kernel below:

I hope this helps!