Please excuse my detail problem listing below...
What is the the best way to solve our laptop win811 OS startup problem caused by an empty blank grey screen that immediately appears and prevents startup after a successful POST/BIOS test? I do not want to have to reinstall the OS from scratch!
Is the best way to solve this problem to refresh the win 8.1.1 files with a bootable Windows 8.1.1 refresh ISO image on DVD?
How should I make a bootable Windows 8.1.1 refresh ISO image when we only have the original Win8.0 upgrade disc with the retail reg key?
Where could I find a completed ISO image like this on the eightforums.com?
My son has a Dell 1545 4GB laptop where he manually installed the full Win 8.0 package as 32-bit with the Win8 retail key. The OS was later upgraded to 32-bit Win 8.1 and later to 8.1.1 from the MS Windows Update website. The laptop has worked great since last Summer until this past week.
The problem that started 4 days ago is that he turned off the laptop normally one evening and when he powered on the next day, the laptop passed its POST tests OK but the screen immediately went grey and no disk I/O activity on the hard drive was visible.
DIAGNOSTICS & REPAIRS ATTEMPTED:
1.) Booted to Win8PE OK through USB stick and all OS files seem present
2.) I manually deleted all TMP files
3.) I ran Defraggler and defragged files on the drive. However, the laptop swapfile is listed as having 5 fragments that wont defrag
4.) I ran CHKDSK /R on the problem drive and no errors were found in index or files.
5.) I ran bootrec /RebuildBcd to check MBR
6.) I ren system system.001 and software software.001 & then rebboted with same grey screen result
7.) Win 8.0 Automated Repair on the Win8.0 upgrade DVD will not work because we have Win 8.1.1 installed
8.) Any Win 8.0 upgrade disc Automated Repair or Refresh files attempts are blocked by "drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."
9.) I attempted to use the Win8 upgrade disc to access the "System Restore Points" where I attempted to restore from 5/31 and 6/1. However these attempts failed and I received a msg that "a unspecified file could not be found"... probably because the system restore app is looking for win8.1.1 files on the win8.0 upgrade disk.
What should I do to better diagnose and fix this pesky Win 8.1.1 startup problem that prevents my refresh attempts?