Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Reinstalling Win 8 on a new HDD

  1. #1

    Reinstalling Win 8 on a new HDD


    Hi all, this is my first post here, and my first foray into Windows 8.
    Among my friends I am the go-to guy when their computers go wrong. I am fairly well versed in Windows 7 matters, but it seems with W8 things have changed :/

    I need to find out how to install Windows 8 on a new HDD in a device that has a failed disk. I have no repair disk or ISO, and no product code.

    A little background:
    I have a friend's Packard Bell Easynote TE11HC laptop (Win 8 x64, not the pro version) that won't boot. Typically it is about 2 months out of warranty! Having run a few tools I have established that the HDD is corrupted in a major way. Chkdsk ran for 24 hours before I cancelled it at 5% through. It reported many, many corrupted or unreadable sectors, so I felt there may be little value in fixing that disk, even if chkdsk ever managed to complete.
    The disk is a Toshiba MQ01ABF050 500GB, Tosh's own diagnostic tool report a failed disk.

    I have mounted the old disk in an external caddy and connected by USB, and it is recognised, I can even browse the folder structure. Maybe it's just the boot sectors that are bad.

    Anyway, now that repair disks from OEMs are a thing of the past, I am wondering how to go about installing the OS on a new HDD. There are no longer labels with product codes on, so how do I go about getting the necessary info to reinstall?
    I have read how to download a W8 ISO, but without another machine with the same OS how do I get anywhere? And without a product code, how will I activate it after installation?

    The laptop also had MS Office 2013 installed, so if I can find a license key for that it would be handy.
    I am hoping such info can be retrieved as the disk is still browsable.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

    Michael.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    I need to find out how to install Windows 8 on a new HDD in a device that has a failed disk. I have no repair disk or ISO, and no product code.
    You'll need either a retal iSO with a valid product key or factory recovery OEM disks, which may or may not work to a new drive (one OP recently reported a failed attempt at this on Win 8 but Win 7 may be different).

    I have mounted the old disk in an external caddy and connected by USB, and it is recognized, I can even browse the folder structure. Maybe it's just the boot sectors that are bad.
    You can try putting the original drive back in and use any compatible installation disc to access the command prompt in the recovery area and try to rebuild the BCD on that drive (if you think that may be the issue).

    I have read how to download a Windows 8 ISO
    You can download the Win 8.1 ISO but it will have to be burned to CD/DVD or USB and you can install it with a generic key but you will still need a valid 8.0 key for final activation.

    The laptop also had MS Office 2013 installed, so if I can find a license key for that it would be handy.
    I have no idea how you would do that based on your current circumstances.

    In summary, the only help I can offer is what I have provided above; however, if you have time, you can wait for additional suggestions but I think you are "up a creek without a paddle" at this point.

    Sorry I couldn't think of anything better to suggest but (at least) I hope you understand your current situation.

    Good luck in getting your issue resolved.

    my2cents
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hello, Michael. Welcome to Windows EightForums.

    2 months out of warranty. How unfortunate!

    It's beyond my knowledge where the OS keys would be recorded, but my guess would be in the UEFI BIOS. Not sure. I'm thinking the Office keys would be recorded on the HD. I'm sure someone will come along to help you with that route.

    I'm thinking you could contact Packard Bell with the serial number to find the information.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. Good luck to you.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit


    I don't know the answer to your question as it's not something I've had to do, however I wonder if Nirsoft's Product Key viewer would do what your looking for?

    ProduKey - Recover lost product key (CD-Key) of Windows/MS-Office/SQL Server

    It says it works with Windows 8 (excluding Microsoft Volume Licencing) and although it only lists upto Office 2010, it maybe worth giving it a go to see if it works with Office 2013 as well? If you look on their site, it says"... you can view this information for your current running operating system, or for another operating system/computer - by using command-line options."

    If you look further down, it shows the command line options availible. At a guess, maybe use the following:

    /windir [Windows Directory]
    Load product key information from another operating system on the same computer. The [Windows Directory]
    specifies the base folder of Windows installation, for example: c:\windows, c:\winnt

    So, maybe using a command line similar the one below, if you change the drive letter to the one of your friends drive that's in the USB caddy, it should save the keys to a text file in a C:\temp folder:

    produkey.exe /windir "[drive letter]:\windows" /stext "c:\temp\prod_key.txt"

    Like I said, just an idea as I've never used it myself, but their software usually works quite well.
    Last edited by ARC1020; 05 Nov 2013 at 07:56.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


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


    I have a friend's Packard Bell Easynote TE11HC laptop (Win 8 x64, not the pro version)
    Anyway, now that repair disks from OEMs are a thing of the past,
    Did your friend made the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?

    information   Information

    We always assume you have made your Recovery Disks using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Media Creator app the first day you had your new PC.
    & made the Startup Repair CD.
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8





    You can make a Microsoft Recovery USB Drive
    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8
    warning   Warning
    Deleting the Recovery Partition is NOT RECOMMENDED


    warning   Warning
    I personally DO NOT RECOMMEND using this METHOD above, as of the ERRORS you may receive below with the Microsoft Recovery USB Drive.You would be best off using the OEM manufacturer's Recovery DVD's or Recovery USB drive.




    I would recommend you making the OEM manufacturer's Recovery DVD's or USB drive.
    Windows 8 - Create a Factory Default Backup - Acer Recovery Management - YouTube
    Windows 8 - Create a Drivers and Applications Backup - Acer Recovery Management - YouTube
    Windows 8 - Restore Windows With a USB Recovery Drive - YouTube
    or
    You can order the Microsoft official OEM Recovery disks from the OEM manufacturer's website.
    https://secure.tx.acer.com/RCDB/Main.aspx?brand=acer
    or
    Acer | Recovery Media
    Check in Accessories
    or
    https://store.acer.com/store?Action=...&SiteID=acerna
    or check the main web site.
    Acer Worldwide - Select your local country or region





    The Windows Recovery USB drive & Recovery Partition can be very problematic, I recommend you also make a Windows System Image.

    System Image - Create in Windows 8

    Recovery Drive - Create with USB Flash Drive in Windows 8

    System Repair Disc - Create in Windows 8

    System Image Recovery - Restore Image on Computer in Windows 8

    or
    look for a 3rd party ,Backup software, which fully supports Windows 8, uEFI, GPT & Secure Boot.
    Which is signed by Microsoft.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Wow, thanks for all the input everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post

    Did your friend made the OEM manufacturer's Recovery Disks?
    If only every computer owner was that way inclined. Most folk I know just buy a laptop and use it, with little or no thought to what might go wrong. This guy is one of those

    When we are out of the woods on this, I'll be banging on about backups 'till he's got the message.


    I shall have a read of all those options later on. Many thanks for all the links.

    It strikes me that if one has a Win8 machine then it is easy to create a recovery disk for another PC of the same OS. This is the first Win8 RTM machine I have dealt with, so I feel I'm at a distinct disadvantage for now.
    I tried the RC version and found it headache inducing, but TBH I didn't have the time to really get to know it. I did download the low cost upgrade option from Win7 Pro, but have yet to give it a go. Even if I go with that, it isn't going to help me for now, what with being the Pro not standard SKU.


    EDIT:
    Just to add, I tried the Acer eRecovery media options, and while I realise Packard Bell is part of Acer, the SNID I have was not deemed valid to download anything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


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


    . I did download the low cost upgrade option from Win7 Pro, but have yet to give it a go. Even if I go with that, it isn't going to help me for now, what with being the Pro not standard SKU.
    If you have made the DVD/USB of Windows 8 Pro Upgrade, you use RESET, on the Packard Bell Easynote TE11HC laptop from that disk, if you downloaded the x64.

    How to do a Reset:
    Reset Windows 8



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