I'm a computer tech at a small electronics store who has run into some pretty weird problems over the years, but this one is really stumping me and I can't seem to find anything here or anywhere else about this particular problem.
A while back I had a computer that kept reverting to Windows 8 after it had upgraded to 8.1. It was in the shop multiple times and I eventually told them that it was going to keep happening and to not install 8.1. They could try and send it away to Gateway to have it reimaged (tried using the recovery discs I created to reinstall it, same problem), but they would probably charge them for it and it likely wouldn't fix the problem. The laptop has worked fine to my knowledge since the last time I worked on it.
Fast-forward to today and I have another laptop with the exact same problem. This one I had setup for the customer, updated it to 8.1 and installed Update 1, along with setting up Classic Shell. They brought it in and said they had shut it off last night, and when they turned it on this morning it was wanting them to setup an email account on the laptop in the Mail app. Windows Live Mail was what I had setup to pull in their POP3 email account, but it and all the other programs that I had installed weren't there anymore.
What's really strange is that all of their data is still there, so it's almost like a Refresh happened somehow and took it back to 8 from 8.1 along with removing all installed programs. From what I've read it shouldn't be possible for the Refresh feature to take a computer back to the original install of 8, but that seems like what has happened in both cases. I looked through the Event Log, and found this entry towards the beginning of the log that confirms that the computer was reset:
Level Date and Time Source Event ID Task Category
Information 4/2/2014 12:52:33 AM User32 1074 None "The process c:\windows\system32\sysprep\sysprep.exe (WIN-0SVSSIP6V4K) has initiated the restart of computer WIN-0SVSSIP6V4K on behalf of user WIN-0SVSSIP6V4K\Administrator for the following reason: No title for this reason could be found
Reason Code: 0x40002
Shutdown Type: restart
I'm really at my wit's end and I don't want to just give up and leave this computer with 8 since they added so many fixes in 8.1 and Update 1. Can anyone help me with this? I'm not sure where to start or what information you'll need to troubleshoot this, but any help would be immensely appreciated!