Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows on a bare Hard Drive

  1. #1

    Windows on a bare Hard Drive


    What I have is a 160 GB hard drive using Vista that will not start. (I received the message that the resistry is corrupt.)

    What I want is to put in a new 1 TB hard drive as the master, purchase Windows 8 and load it on the new HD.

    I read "Clean Install - Windows 8". Several question have come to mind.

    1.
    -----------NEEDED ----------------------------------------------I HAVE--------------------
    Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster -----------------------Celeron D 360 - Up to 3.46 GHz
    RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit) ---------------2 GB
    Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit) ------------1 TB
    Graphics card: MicrosoftDirectX 9 graphics device or higher----Integrated graphics using Intel GMA 950

    Will my present graphics card be good enough for "8"?

    2. If this works, will I be able to hook up the old HD as the slave and then retrieve my old files to be saved on the new HD?

    3. Since I want my own copy of "8", (retail) where can I buy one and how much? All I've seen are upgrades.

    4. Sometime in the near future, I'd like to get a bigger, better, badder motherboard, graphics card & processor, will I still be able to use this copy of Windows 8? (want to do some video editing)

    5. Do I need to get the "System Builder” version since this won’t be an upgrade?

    Sure would appreciate any help.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 22,568
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Jimmie, and welcome to Eight Forums.

    According to the specs of your Intel GMA 950 below, it does barely meet the minimum requirements. I don't see a Windows 8 driver available for it, but maybe Windows 8 will install a generic driver for it if all else fails.

    Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 Overview

    Since you own Vista and will be retiring it, you do qualify for an upgrade copy of Windows 8. You could use the tutorial below for how to do a clean install with an upgrade copy of Window 8. You can purchase a retail (upgrade) Windows 8 at any retail store or online. You do not need to buy a "System Builder" copy.

    Clean Install with Windows 8 Upgrade

    Yes, if you like, you could connect your old 160 GB HDD afterwards, copy back what you want, format it, and use it how you like.

    Hope this helps,
    Shawn
    Last edited by Brink; 23 Aug 2013 at 00:18. Reason: addition
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Another question


    Since my Vista is not working because the PC won’t start, how can I upgrade to Windows 8? Microsoft doesn’t know if I have Vista or not.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 22,568
    64-bit Windows 10


    No worries. If you install it using the method in the clean install with upgrade tutorial, you shouldn't have any issues.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    Normally I would recommend running the upgrade adviser, Upgrade to Windows 8 - Microsoft Windows , but that isn't possible if your PC won't boot to Windows. I had an Acer Aspire 5920, it had the Intel 965m chip-set. Windows 8 installed but trying to do a WEI failed. I suspect it was because of the graphics, I couldn't find a driver so I was stuck with "Standard VGA". There was some other hardware that wouldn't work correctly too, don't remember what they were now though. Windows 7 ran fine on it though. Just a FYI post.

    You may want to give the Windows 8 Enterprise trial a go before you buy Windows 8. Its the equivalent of 8 Pro with some extra features. If everything works with this then 8 Pro should work fine too.
    Download Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


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


    For testing you can use the Windows 8.1 Preview.
    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...d-install.html
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    For testing you can use the Windows 8.1 Preview.
    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...d-install.html
    Even better option
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Normally I would recommend running the upgrade adviser, Upgrade to Windows 8 - Microsoft Windows , but that isn't possible if your PC won't boot to Windows. I had an Acer Aspire 5920, it had the Intel 965m chip-set. Windows 8 installed but trying to do a WEI failed. I suspect it was because of the graphics, I couldn't find a driver so I was stuck with "Standard VGA". There was some other hardware that wouldn't work correctly too, don't remember what they were now though. Windows 7 ran fine on it though. Just a FYI post.

    You may want to give the Windows 8 Enterprise trial a go before you buy Windows 8. Its the equivalent of 8 Pro with some extra features. If everything works with this then 8 Pro should work fine too.
    Download Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation
    Thanks for the input. I see where you agreed with theog so I'll try that way.
    Last edited by jimmieballgame; 23 Aug 2013 at 22:41.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    For testing you can use the Windows 8.1 Preview.
    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...d-install.html
    Even better option
    What size file is the Windows 8.1 Preview? I read somewhere that you need around 16 GB on your hard drive in order to load Windows 8. That sounds like a LOT!! Will it fit on a CD or does it take a DVD? I'm going to have my Grandson download it to one of those so I can load it on mine. Will this work? How long do I have to use the Preview before I have to shell out the bucks?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by jimmieballgame View Post
    What size file is the Windows 8.1 Preview? I read somewhere that you need around 16 GB on your hard drive in order to load Windows 8. That sounds like a LOT!! Will it fit on a CD or does it take a DVD? I'm going to have my Grandson download it to one of those so I can load it on mine. Will this work? How long do I have to use the Preview before I have to shell out the bucks?
    It's something like:
    • 32-bit : 2.6 GB
    • 64-bit : 3.5 GB
    It won't fit on a CD but should be no problem on a DVD.

    I advise choosing the number of bits (32 or 64) you want to end up with in Windows 8, because I think you should be able to download the regular Windows 8 ISO from the Preview once you've got it going, but it keeps the same number of bits.

    The Preview will work until the middle of January 2014 (think it's January 14th or 15th) and then it will stop working.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Windows on a bare Hard Drive
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