After days and days of searching and testing, I have been unable to find the necessary clues to resolve a windows 8 re-install problem. Any pointers of advice gratefully received.
The problem: My son's laptop (Windows 8) failed, and despite F9 options to reset or refresh, and CHKDSK was unable to recover the system due to bad disk sectors. I bought a new disk , but as I had made no recovery media ( I know, I know …), and the OEM doesn't supply any, I have no way of reinstalling Windows 8.
However I did mange to install Ubuntu Linux on the new disk and the Laptop is now working fine. Out of curiosity I connected the old bad disk via a USB enclosure, and lo and behold Disk utility was able to read the OEM Recovery and Restore partitions. I have made several copies of these on a Win 7 laptop, USB and LInux partitions, and all look good (as far as i can tell).
My issue is that as the OEM recovery partitions seem fine, I reckon they should be installable onto the new disk, but I am at a loss as to how I can use this data to reinstall Win 8 onto my laptop. Most of the advice I can see assumes a working copy of WIn 8 or having a retail Win 8 ISO, which of course I do not have. Remember , unlike Win 7, WIn 8 has no product key identifiable as it is contained in the BIOS somewhere, but I reckon it should recognise the OEM's recovery partition if I only could manage to load it.
I now have a sketchy knowledge of lots of new terms (mounting , partitioning, MBRs, boot sequences etc ) and learned that how fraught this topic is to so many people, but I am unable to find a guide as to exactly what to do. [ The tutorial on this form requires a retail win 8 ISO]. I did find a Linux method involcing DD, DDRESCUE , PARTPROBE etc ) which I have tried but all to no avail - I am sure I was close though! ]
So before I forsake Windows forever, are there any pointers or advice anyone can offer.