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Can't Install Windows 8.1 on Non-UEFI Laptop

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  1. #1



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    Can't Install Windows 8.1 on Non-UEFI Laptop


    Hello all,

    I have a Lenovo B575 laptop that is not UEFI capable; however, I have downloaded the x64 Win 8.1 ISO, burned it to a bootable DVD and a bootable USB drive and tried installing Windows 8.1 using a boot from DVD and also a boot from USB drive, and neither method has resulted in a successful installation. The root cause of the installation problem is that Windows 8.1 is intent on creating an EFI partition structure on my non-UEFI machine. So, I end up with a 300MB Recovery Partition and a 100MB EFI Partition which doesn't work well on my machine. Now, during the installation process, I opted to delete all existing partitions and allow the installation to properly partition the hard drive for installation; however, I knew I was in trouble when the machine started hanging during reboots. I can't figure this one out so any help would be greatly appreciated.

    JustATest
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  2. #2
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    Try Cleaning the HD Drive, using Step one in this tutorial:
    SSD / HDD : Optimize for Windows Reinstallation - Windows 7 Help Forums
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    Hi Theog,

    I'll give that a try; however, right now, I'm doing a full reformat of the C drive because I tried to do a Win 7 System Image Recovery and the response message indicated that it could not be done because I would be trying to restore a Legacy BIOS installation to an EFI machine (not those exact words). Wow, I never touched the BIOS, and it does not have any UEFI options, so I'm hoping the hard drive wipe will allow the image restore to work. Now, if I can get that far, I will try the upgrade route to see if it maintains the partition integrity of the original BIOS installation. I'll report back soon.
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    Update: What a mess! So, I created a Win 7 USB installation drive and now I am in the process of restoring the original Win 7 system image; however, a light-bulb just went on for me regarding this issue and now I am going to try this new Win 8.1 installation from a USB stick FIRST (instead of trying the DVD install first). I seem to remember having a similar issue when I first tried to remove the Lenovo partition structure and bloatware when doing my first clean install of Win 7 and the way I finally got it working was by doing a USB legacy installation. Maybe that Lenovo BIOS has some goofy hidden attributes that can't be seen on their limited option bios screen? I'll be back.
    Last edited by JustATest; 30 Jun 2013 at 09:17 AM.
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    Update: OK, I'm back to Win 7 and all is well. Now, I'm going to try an upgrade to Win 8.1 to see if that will maintain the BIOS installation integrity (and I think it will). I'll be back.
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    Update: Success! The upgrade route from Win 7 SP1 to Win 8.1 worked but it kept the Win 7 partition structure so now I'm going to try a clean install AGAIN... but this time, I'll be using the USB drive exclusively instead of using the DVD drive first and then the USB drive second. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. i'll be back.
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    Update: No Dice on the clean install again! I ended up with an EFI partition structure that doesn't work well on my laptop. Now, there are only two possible conditions that are causing my issues:

    1- The Windows 8 x64 ISO is conditioned ONLY to do a clean EFI install; however, it seems to keep the Win 7 partition structure if upgraded via the normal upgrade route. Maybe someone in this forum can report a successful clean install on their machine to eliminate this as a possibility.

    2- My Lenovo B575 has a flawed BIOS; in that, it is somehow being detected as a UEFI capable BIOS and Win 8.1 is just reacting accordingly. FYI and for the record, I have no UEFI boot options available in my BIOS and my USB legacy BIOS options are active. Also, there are no BIOS updates available for my laptop so it looks like I won't be upgrading to Win 8.1 anytime soon and I definitely will not attempt it on my desktop until it has been out there for a while. Darn it! BEETLEJUICE... BEETLEJUICE... BEETLEJUICE... I'm done and thank you for reading my tale of woe.
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    UPDATE: I just had to try one last thing and it worked! Here what I did:

    I accessed the USB installation drive and deleted the EFI folder and the EFI bootmgr.

    Did a clean install and I ended up with the correct partition structure for a legacy installation.

    Cheers!
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    From what I can find on the Lenovo web site, the Lenovo V, B, K or E series notebook computer have a UEFI/BIOS firmware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    From what I can find on the Lenovo web site, the Lenovo V, B, K or E series notebook computer have a UEFI/BIOS firmware.
    Hi Theog,

    That may be; however, there is no indication and/or any UEFI BIOS options displayed in the BIOS. Moreover, it came from the factory with a legacy bios configuration. Also, when I first did a clean install of Win 7 SP1 (from a USB drive), I ended up with a legacy bios installation. Anyway, I wish someone would chime in and confirm they were able to do a clean install of the new Win 8.1 (using the x64 ISO download) and it ended up being a legacy bios installation with the correct partition structure.
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