Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


My Windows 8 Upgrade Odyssey

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Pro

    My Windows 8 Upgrade Odyssey


    Greetings. I am journaling my Windows 8 upgrade experience here in hopes that others can learn from the experience. If I am able to resolve the problem here in these forums, I would consider that a plus. But most of all, I am hoping to create some documentation so that others may learn from this experience.

    Our story begins a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

    No... not really. I purchased a Pavilion P7-1235 back in July, and took advantage of the "$15 Windows 8 Pro Upgrade" promotion.

    Shortly after Windows 8 became available, I installed the Windows 8 Upgrade tool, downloaded the upgrade files, and decided to "Create Install Media". Now, call me old fashioned, but I thought that the best way to experience Windows 8 would be to perform a "Clean Install".

    NOTE: My definition of "Clean Install" is a re-format of the existing OS volume, or even a repartitioning of the main system disk, so that there are no remnanants of the previous operating system. Aparently, after talking with Microsoft Windows 8 Upgrade support, we have a difference of opinion here.

    Now, my Windows 8 Upgrade journey began with booting the install media, and trying to do a custom install. I tried both formatting the OS volume, and also removing the existing OS partition. Neither was successful, as I was informed that I could not perform the operation because the disk had GPT partitions.

    At this point, I had already backed up all my data, and created the HP Recovery Disks, and so I decided to delete ALL paritions on the disk. One of these partitions I was about to delete included the UEFI support. But with all the parttions now gone, I was now able to install Windows 8.

    After the installation completed, I started work on creating extra partitions. To my dismay, I was not allowed to create more than 4 partitions. The reason for this is because since I had removed the UEFI partition, my system no longer had UEFI support. Without UEFI support, I no longer had support for GPT partitions. Without GPT partitions, I had to utilize MBR partitions, and thus I could only have partitions less than 2 TB in size (not a problem for this system with its 1 TB disk) and could only have 4 partitions per physical disk.

    After restoring my system back to the original factory settings (UEFI partition, Windows 7 partition, Recovery Partition), I decided to take advantage of the free Windows 8 Upgrade support offered by Microsoft. I decided to utilize the call back feature, and within minutes on a Sunday afternoon (my football team was on a bye week), I received a call back from a friendly Microsoft technician.

    First, the technician had me run the Windows 8 upgrade from inside Windows 8. She had me chose an option for a "Clean Install". Being skeptical, I followed her instructions, and completed the upgrade. I reviewed the system afterwards, and it appears that all it did was backup the existing Windows and Program Files directories, and place them in a folder called "Windows.old".

    Next, I explained to the technician how I thought a clean install should work, and she agreed to walk me through the installation by booting the system with the Windows 8 DVD. We are moving through the install process, and we get to the screen when it asks you where you want to perform the install. At this point, there are 4 partitions listed:
    1) UEFI partition
    2) Windows 8 SYSTEM partition (from previous upgrade)
    3) Windows 8 OS partition
    4) HP Recovery partition


    First, the technician has me try to install on partition #3. Unsuccessful. I receive the "Windows cannot install here. This is a GPT partition". Next, the technician has me format partition #3 using the "Advanced" options on the installer screen. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Next, the technician has me open the DISKPART utility and format partition #3. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Finally, the techician has me run the FORMAT command from the CLI. Unsuccessful. Same error message.

    At this point, the technician tells me that I have an encrypted drive and that it cannot be upgraded to Windows 8, and that I should contact HP support.

    Go ahead... I'll let that sink in.

    After falling out of my chair, picking the phone back up, and attempting to remain as calm as possible, I informed the technician that a) the drive was not encrypted, b) HP informed me that all Windows 8 upgrade issues were being handled my Microsoft and c) I believed we were dealing with an UEFI/GPT support issue.

    At this point, my system is unusable. I'm going to run the system restore AGAIN to get it back to Windows 7 so atleast its usable. Thankfully, before the technician hung up, we agreed that she is going to escalate to a TIER 2 engineer, and that engineer will be calling me back tomorrow night.

    I'll shall update this forum as the Odyssey progresses. If anyone has any insight on how to upgrade an HP Pavilion P7-1235 to Windows 8 Pro by performing a clean install and keeping UEFI support, I would really appreciate your insight.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Next, I explained to the technician how I thought a clean install should work, and she agreed to walk me through the installation by booting the system with the Windows 8 DVD. We are moving through the install process, and we get to the screen when it asks you where you want to perform the install. At this point, there are 4 partitions listed:
    1) UEFI partition
    2) Windows 8 SYSTEM partition (from previous upgrade)
    3) Windows 8 OS partition
    4) HP Recovery partition


    First, the technician has me try to install on partition #3. Unsuccessful. I receive the "Windows cannot install here. This is a GPT partition". Next, the technician has me format partition #3 using the "Advanced" options on the installer screen. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Next, the technician has me open the DISKPART utility and format partition #3. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Finally, the techician has me run the FORMAT command from the CLI. Unsuccessful. Same error message.
    This a warning message, not a error message, in case you not installing to a PC with uEFI BIOS.

    All you need to do was click NEXT.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Pro


    Thanks for the follow up theog. On my system, the 'Next' button is grayed out, and cannot be clicked. This is true for just selecting the existing partition, after formatting the partition, and also after deleting and re-creating the partition. I cannot get past the grayed out 'Next' button.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8 Pro


    Thanks for the follow up theog. In the BIOS Boot Menu, "Windows Boot Manager" is the only option available under "UEFI Boot Sources". The DVD drive is listed under "Legacy Boot Sources". I will follow up with the vendor to see if there is a way I can enable UEFI support for the DVD drive. I assume that support is already built into the Windows 8 install media since there is a "bootmgr.efi" existing in the DVD's root directory.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    It should be on the dvd.

    Not sure why it isn't being picked up.

    If you still have the ESD folder on your drive ( it's hidden so you need to go to folder options and show hidden files ), then you can try knocking up the iso yourself to make sure the eltorito is being created properly.

    We have had a few queries about making isos - I might do a little something to make it for people.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    First, there is really no difference between doing a clean install on a disk that already contains an OS. Formatting is unnecessary, since windows renames all the Windows system and user files into Windows.old. Formatting is a pointless exercise, unless you are converting to a UEFI from an MBR system, or you want to create different sized partitions than you already have.

    But, you need to UEFI boot the installation media. You don't say whether you created a DVD or USB. If you do USB, then you have to create a GPT based install media to be able to boot it in UEFI mode.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    But, you need to UEFI boot the installation media. You don't say whether you created a DVD or USB. If you do USB, then you have to create a GPT based install media to be able to boot it in UEFI mode.
    The HD drive needs to be set to GPT, not the DVD or USB Pendrive.

    Screenshot in post 2.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    If you boot with UEFI media, then Windows will auto create the UEFI partitions on a clean drive, including marking it as GPT. But to boot from a UEFI media, you need to get the system to load the Bootx64.efi setup file, rather than the normal setup file. This requires the boot media to booted in UEFI mode as well.

    The bios should have a setting to force UEFI only for removable media. You should enable that.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    If you boot with UEFI media, then Windows will auto create the UEFI partitions on a clean drive, including marking it as GPT. But to boot from a UEFI media, you need to get the system to load the Bootx64.efi setup file, rather than the normal setup file. This requires the boot media to booted in UEFI mode as well.

    The bios should have a setting to force UEFI only for removable media. You should enable that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    First, there is really no difference between doing a clean install on a disk that already contains an OS. Formatting is unnecessary, since windows renames all the Windows system and user files into Windows.old. Formatting is a pointless exercise, unless you are converting to a UEFI from an MBR system, or you want to create different sized partitions than you already have.

    But, you need to UEFI boot the installation media. You don't say whether you created a DVD or USB. If you do USB, then you have to create a GPT based install media to be able to boot it in UEFI mode.
    You do not make the DVD, uEFI or GPT.


    Click image for larger version


    The HD drive needs to be set to GPT, not the DVD or USB Pendrive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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My Windows 8 Upgrade Odyssey
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