Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Can't Restore/Refresh Windows 8.1 Single Language Edition

  1. #1

    Posts : 1
    8.1 Single Language Edition

    Can't Restore/Refresh Windows 8.1 Single Language Edition

    Hello everyone.

    I've got a problem with Windows 8.1 Single Language Edition 64-bit (English/Russian/Ukrainian), and would be grateful for some help to solve it.

    First of all, I'm not a very technical person, so please forgive me if I sound like a noob about all things Windows.

    When Windows 8 updated to 8.1 last year through the Store, I lost the ability to Restore and Refresh (a feature I had used several times previously).

    Since then I have been using the same installation of 8.1, and it has finally become too laggy and bloated and I need desperately to Restore (files are all backed up and removed from computer, ready for Restore).

    Things I have tried already:

    - Found my Product Key using a keyfind program. My version of 8.1 came preintalled on the laptop, no DVD case, or e-mails with Key.
    - Made a recovery USB Flash Drive (my laptop doesn't have a DVD drive). Recovery drive works when I boot from BIOS, but says it is invalid when I try to Restore.
    - Tried to download an official ISO file from Microsoft, but the site says my Product Key is invalid (its not invalid).
    - Tried using the Enterprise Trial ISO to Restore, and am now stuck with an expired trial copy of Enterprise.

    I still have the Recovery Partition, and didn't delete it when I made the Recovery USB.

    My computer is an ASUS Zenbook prime UX31A, if that's any help.

    All I want is to Restore. Even if its back to Win 8. I do not understand why all options seem to be broken since the update to 8.1. It seems intentional.

    I want to Restore legitimately, and use the product I bought legitimately. But if this continues I may have to seek "alternatives".

    Please help, thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    What I have read is the Recovery thumb drive only works on the original hard drive with the original partition structure. I tested mine on my laptops original hard drive and it worked. Once I swapped that out for an SSD it was a different story. I could not get it to Reset to the SSD, even after partitioning it. It's also been reported and confirmed that the Store upgrade to 8.1 breaks the factory Reset function, as you found out. Since you now have Enterprise installed your going to have to do a clean install. I'm pretty sure I know what download you referring to and it will only accept Retail keys. Your embedded key is OEM so its rejected. If you don't have a TechNet or MSDN subscription your going to have to find an ISO from another source like bit torrent. It's risky but what other option do you have. You can go to the MSDN site and look up the MD5 hash codes of the official ISO and compare them to what you downloaded. If they match odds are good the one you downloaded hasn't been messed with. My TechNet 8.0 ISO will read my laptops embedded key and automatically install 8.0 Core as that's what the key is for. it then activates online automatically. My TechNet 8.1 ISO's won't read the 8.0 key as it wants an 8.1 key. You can get around that by doing this, Activate retail Windows 8.1 with Windows 8 Product key.. So you could clean install right to 8.1 if you wanted. As far as I know my TechNet ISO's are identical to the Retail DVD. So if you know somebody that has one, borrow it or ask them to burn you a copy. You should be able to use it with your product code and be fine. The DVD's are multi edition and can install Core or Pro depending on what key is used.

    EDIT: I left out the option of ordering a set of recovery disks from the manufacturer. You'll likely have to pay a fee for those. I have no idea if they would work now, you'd have to ask when you order them and explain where your at with Enterprise being installed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    @alpha, I was told that the swap trick no longer works... haven't tested it myself, however.
    (Sorry this related to downloading rather than installtion which still works)

    ....The OP has a CSL key, thus store upgrade would be the only way to go with that version. There are CSL ISO's in the wild, however as they are from store their hashes cannot be verified.<br>
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    Sorry, missed the "Single Language" reference. Yeah that throws another wrinkle, as if there weren't enough already, into it. You need that ISO to use the OEM embedded key. As you mentioned, I don't see them listed on TechNet or MSDN so no hash codes to reference.

    I've also heard you can't get the 8.1 ISO with the 8.0 key, they killed the trick on that download. < I think that's what your referring to.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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