Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Very strange problem - Windows 8 error has broken my dual boot laptop

  1. #1

    Very strange problem - Windows 8 error has broken my dual boot laptop

    In desperate need of some help here, any advice massively appreciated - I installed windows 8 as dual boot alongside windows 7 on my laptop, (dev build) and having played with it for awhile decided to delete off my hard-drive...

    (Long story short, formatted whole harddrive yet windows 8 error message from dual boot screen prevents me from doing/accessing anything)

    So I formatted the partition with windows 8 on it.. And carried on using my laptop fine, watching movies, browsing the net etc, turned off laptop and the next day on trying to boot, the screen went straight into a windows 8 blue screen that states 'error oxc000000f' windows recovery environment' your pc needs to be repaired, a required device isnt connected or cant be accessed. You need to use the recovery tools on installation media.

    Press enter to try again. Press F9 to use a different operating system.

    Neither of these options do anything, the button presses result in a quick black screen flicker and that is it. For some reason it also wont let me access the bios or boot order menu..

    So I was stuck with a responseless laptop that seemed to be stuck on the windows 8 dual boot gui error message screen, that prevents me from loading my windows 7. Even though windows 8 partition was wiped from hd.

    I cannot boot from disc which is another massive problem, it just wont let me do anything and its infuriating, especially with lots of assignments due in over next couple of weeks at uni!

    Eventually I took it around to a friends, removed the hard-drive, and tried accessing bios that way (doesnt work). boot order has to be done in an os through toshiba software.

    Iv tried running/installing windows 8 again just to even be able to boot into an os, windows 7 startup repair and supergrub, but its all irrelevant as I need to do this stuff on my harddrive, and cannot connect it to the laptop because then i just get the windows 8 screen.

    So I decided to format the whole harddrive, wipe everything, clean install.

    I just put the harddrive into my laptop and it loaded up the bloody windows 8 error screen thing.

    The hard-drive is empty!! I cant do anything and the harddrive is a clean slate I dont understand how windows 8 has completely messed up the harddrive..

    Im currently trying to install windows 7 on it, by removing hd, then putting it back in once the disc boots up, just to let me past the error screen. Also of note is I put the hd in my friends pc and all files were in there and intact before formatting.

    Sorry for the really long scramble of a message, just dont know wht else to do to try and get this windows 8 error screen to go away. Any help greatly appreciated or any advice at all?

    I have a toshiba satellite l7-55 that came pre-installed with w7 64.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 5,139
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!

    Recently I started a topic here: ?BUG? - winload~1.exe and dual boot with Win7 - Microsoft Answers

    It seems that the Win8 setup routine sets up a new copy of winload.exe that doesn't agree with with Win7.
    The suggested fix is to edit the BCD to load winload~1.exe rather than winload.exe. An alternate method is to rename winload.exe to winload.BAD and then to rename winload~1.exe to winload.exe (there may be issues with this method as winload.exe is a protected system file).

    I report this based on the problems that others have had. I have not seen this, nor have I tried the fixes mentioned.
    Good luck!

    Sorry, but I didn't notice that you'd formatted the hard drive.
    In this case the files that are giving you troubles aren't affected by a format.
    You'll need:
    - a bootable copy of DBAN or KillDisk (both free with a google search)
    - your Toshiba Recovery Disks (if you haven't made them already, you'll have to order them from Toshiba)

    Run DBAN or KillDisk to completely write the disk with 0's (this includes the partition tables, mbr, and boot sector)
    Then run the Toshiba Recovery Disks to reset the system to factory defaults.

    Good luck!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    First, I hope that when you say that you wiped your hard drive that you only wiped the drive C:\ and not the other partition[s], because if you did, then you wiped out your hidden recovery partition. That was placed there for a reason: so you can restore your laptop from the hidden partition without the need for the recovery DVDs that you probably did not make when you were supposed to as soon as you took the laptop out of the box. Or maybe you did, but you can't find them. As long as you have not wiped the entire disk clean, for as long as that recovery partition (or those recovery partitions {on my Acer laptop, there are 3}) is still there, there is a hot key that you could use to get it started.

    The trouble is that each manufacturer has a different key or key combination, and some manufacturers even have different ones between models. On my Acer, for example, it's <Alt> + <F10>, and on my son's ASUS, it's <F9> at startup, but what is yours? Yours is a Toshiba Satellite, but when I went to the Toshiba website, I couldn't find the l7-55 model number. I clicked on your link, but was frustrated to find that you didn't link to your laptop, but a listing of several Toshiba laptops, so I had to choose one.

    On their website at, I clicked on "Services & Support", "Laptop Computers", "Downloads" and since I don't know which model yours is, I chose "L750-ST5NX2" and then I chose to download the User's Manual.

    In Chapter One:Getting Started (page 64), it tells how to do an "Out-of-the-box Recovery". THAT is what you need to do.

    If your model works the same as the one that I looked up, you simply press <F12> at startup, and choose HDD Recovery and then press the <Enter> key. If it asks you if you want Windows 7 32-bit or Windows 7-64 bit, you will need to make that choice, and since it came with 64, you'll probably want to choose that one. When the "Selecting a Process" screen opens, choose "Recovery of Factory Default Software".

    That'll get you started. Just follow the instructions in the popup windows as you go along.

    Next time you want to wipe your disk clean, use these same options, but when you get to the "Selecting a Process" screen, choose the option, "Erase the hard disk".
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Sorry I did reply earlier but it seems to of not registered! Yes still have the recovery partition on the HDD, but I think this has stored the windows 8 bootloader, as I cannot access anything if the HDD is plugged into windows, killdisc option seems a good choice if I cannot get factory restore to work, this might actually be my saving grace..

    Sorry I didnt put the specific model in my post, am going to download the user manual and try factory restore, hopefully this will work - f12 def doesnt work, the laptop starts and jumps straight to error screen, no access to bios or boot menus etc, unless hd is taken out the laptop cant access anything
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    right 'turn off power, hold F8 whilst turning power on' will get you to recovery menu. Spent 5 minutes doing it and everytime it just ignores button presses and jumps straight to this error message.... This error message prevents me from accessing ANY thing on my laptop, no buttons work, if I take out the hdd then it tells me no bootable device found, and no button presses do anything.

    If I stick in ubuntu live cd/windows 7 install cd it works but wont read the hdd if i put it back in whilst laptop is on. Im thinking killdisc will sort out the problem here, but dont want to lose the recovery partition but have little choice at mo, or money
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    ahh right, holding ESC, F1, F8 and 8 freaks the laptop out and causes it to reset after a few minutes of loud beeping, and during this brief reset it gives me the chance to access bios and boot order... Iv changed boot order now, but need to try recovery option, will keep trying different keys and see if i have any luck
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    sartup repair now shows windows 8 and windows 7 on hdd, bootrec commands tell me the boot config is corrupt. Strangely recovery factory reset still wont work... have tried all buttons along the F line.

    If I can now physically see the dual boot in startup repair what should I try? file size of both is zero aswell.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by aidyd View Post
    sartup repair now shows windows 8 and windows 7 on hdd, bootrec commands tell me the boot config is corrupt. Strangely recovery factory reset still wont work... have tried all buttons along the F line.

    If I can now physically see the dual boot in startup repair what should I try? file size of both is zero aswell.
    Well, since this isn't a bomb, where you're asking "Should I cut the red one or the blue one?" and cutting the wrong one would make it blow up, let's go for the Windows 7 one first, since you want to re-install it, and if that doesn't work, then go back and try the 8 one.

    Since you mentioned that you do have a Windows installation disk, then maybe you should try to rebuild the MBR first. Boot up from it and then choose "Command Prompt" and type in bootrec /FixMbr /FixBoot and then restart from the disk again.

    Then when you go back to that "System Recovery Options" menu, look for an entry to restore to factory settings.

    I don't have an installation disc, but I have one of the disks I was supposed to make when the laptop came out of the box, called "Acer System Repair Disc for Windows 7 64-bit" and on mine, on the very bottom of the menu, is an option called, "Recovery Management: Restore system from Factory default". I forgot about that option when I wrote the above post. On my Acer laptop, that's the same as pressing <Alt> + <F10> at startup.

    Does yours have such an option?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9

    Right... Factory reset settings options couldnt be found, I tried bootrec, couldnt repair boot, did repair mbr. Killdisc wouldnt erase all data properly, not sure why, must be strange conflict with my laptop or something, ended up using the partition manager on the live ubuntu disc, it wiped the whole hdd, and 3 apparent partitions, and installed ubuntu fine. Using it now, laptop fully functional.

    Tried partitioning hdd again leaving free space for windows 7 installation disc... 'required device drivers are missing
    A required CD/DVD device driver is missing. If you have a driver on a floppy disk, CD, DVD or USB Flash Driver, please insert it now' which I had assumed was a problem because of boot order... Fed up of this
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10

    This is why I didn't want you to use Kill Disk or to wipe your hard disk clean.

    Now, because you have done that, you have three options.

    1. The best option is to find your set of Recovery DVDs that you must have made when you first used your laptop. That is the best option, because that will restore the laptop to its came out-of-the-box state. Everything would be there, all the Toshiba programs needed to make it work properly, all the drivers intact, and even all the third party programs that were installed--some which may be needed, and others which may be junk.
    2. The second option is to go to, click on "Services & Support", "Laptops", and "Contact Toshiba", find the phone number for your area, and then ask them how you could buy a recovery set of DVDs for your laptop which should contain the same as option #1, except that you would have to pay for it, but that's still better than door #3.
    3. Door #3 is that you would go to, click on "Services & Support", "Laptops", "Downloads" and then manually install all of the drivers and Toshiba utilities (which are needed to make it work the same way it was when it was working. I still don't know which model you have, so I chose one and found that there are 33 drivers and utilities that you would need to install just to get it working, so you'll be busy for awhile.

    Option 1 or 2 are the best options because the recovery disk will restore the hidden partition(s), so it would be exactly as it was when it came out of the box. Door #3 doesn't do that. You would have to make your own hidden partition.

    You could buy Acronis TrueImage Home, which you can find at Complete hard disk drive copy, cloning and image backup software: computer files and disk copying, and make a hidden partition that they call "Acronis Secure Zone", and then you can set it up so you could access it at bootup by hitting the hot key <F11>. Maybe another backup program would do the same thing. I just recommended Acronis because I've been using it for the past 5 or 6 years because back then, I found that it was the best backup program, and I've used it ever since. For my desktop computers that I've built myself, I make an "Acronis Secure Zone" to restore it to its state when I had everything installed the way I want to, and then I have a special partion on my external hard drive that I use for making backups on a regular basis.

    Let me know how it goes!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Very strange problem - Windows 8 error has broken my dual boot laptop
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