Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 laptop HDD dead? Pondering resurrection options

  1. #1


    Posts : 13
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free

    Windows 8 laptop HDD dead? Pondering resurrection options


    Basically, my Acer Aspire laptop's HDD appeared to have died, since I boot and it says "No Bootable Device". And under BIOS, under the 'Boot' tab and next to "HDD:", it is blank. However, I took the HDD out the computer, put it into a external HDD caddy/enclosure, and it still makes a whirring sound, so I'm not convinced it's completely dead. Unfortunately, when connecting the HDD/caddy to another computer, I can't access the files from the broken HDD (no disk appears under the Computer / Hard Disk Drives window).

    I contacted Acer who said unless I have a recovery disk (I don't), I can't reinstall Windows 8. They would charge 50 to send a recovery disk to me (complete rip-off).

    So options...

    I'm wondering if the MBR may be broken. Is this a possibility? Can I use a Windows 7 CD (which I have) to fix the Windows 8 HDD? More specifically, can I use the Windows 7 CD to fix the MBR for the Windows 8 HDD?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If it's still spinning but making noise and the PC can't see the drive then it is dead. In this case you have no choice but to replace the HD.
    If you know the Windows 8.1 version in your PC then you can download Windows 8.1 from the link below and install it, the key is embedded in your MB and will activate for you. Just make sure you download the same version as before.

    Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 13
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free


    So if the MBR is wrecked, then in theory, you're saying the drive should still show under BIOS?

    Thanks. Just out of interest, is it possible to use a Win 7 DVD installation disc to attempt to repair a Win8 HD? (for MBR stuff etc.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Quote Originally Posted by twinbee View Post
    So if the MBR is wrecked, then in theory, you're saying the drive should still show under BIOS?

    Thanks. Just out of interest, is it possible to use a Win 7 DVD installation disc to attempt to repair a Win8 HD? (for MBR stuff etc.)
    I updated the previous post above. Please read on how to download Windows 8.1.

    BIOS still can see it If the MBR is corrupted. If it does not recognize it then how can you do a repair ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 13
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free


    Getting there... Windows 8 installed on the new SSD successfully. Almost...

    the key is embedded in your MB and will activate for you.
    If only it were that easy... When I look to see if Windows 8 is activated, it claims it isn't.

    When I try to activate Windows, it says: "That key can't be used to activate this edition of Windows. Please try a different key.". I've tried both the "Single Language" version and the standard Windows 8.1 version from the program in the link you supplied. Painfully went through the entire process twice.

    My laptop is this one:
    Aspire ES1-512 | Laptops - Tech Specs & Reviews - Acer

    For help installing the key, I used this article found here. I initially obtained a temporary generic key because Windows wanted that at the beginning of the installation onto the SSD. Once Win8 was fully up and running, I then used the program "RW Everything" to obtain the real key that's stored in the BIOS. Is there a special OEM version of Windows 8.1? Shall I try the ISO from something like here?: Windows 8.1 OEM Core Single Language 64 Bit Download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    If the embedded key is not being used then it's almost surely because you downloaded a version different than what was installed originally.

    WHich one did you download when using the MediaCreationTool?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 13
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free


    WHich one did you download when using the MediaCreationTool?
    I've tried three now:
    Windows 8.1
    Windows 8.1 N
    Windows 8.1 Single Language

    (64 bit versions)

    Been researching and trying to get this to work for 10 hours. I am not in any way bitter towards MS over this. Not at all.
    Last edited by twinbee; 28 May 2015 at 06:33.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    What is the complete model number of your computer?

    Filling out your System Specs might help. See here: How to See Your System Specs with "System Info"
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 13
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit 9600 Multiprocessor Free


    Okay, done. Thanks for looking into this.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    run systeminfo from a Elevated Command Prompt. Post the results here:

    For instance, for my Window 10 TP system:

    Code:
    C:\Windows\system32>systeminfo.exe
    
    Host Name:                 LAPTOP
    OS Name:                   Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview
    OS Version:                10.0.10130 N/A Build 10130
    OS Manufacturer:           Microsoft Corporation
    OS Configuration:          Standalone Workstation
    OS Build Type:             Multiprocessor Free
    Registered Owner:          ztruk@cfl.rr.com
    Registered Organization:
    Product ID:                00137-10010-52743-AA097
    Original Install Date:     5/30/2015, 6:55:02 PM
    System Boot Time:          6/8/2015, 8:53:13 PM
    System Manufacturer:       TOSHIBA
    System Model:              Satellite A305
    System Type:               x64-based PC
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows 8 laptop HDD dead? Pondering resurrection options
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