Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Clean installs to new SSD's., and getting from 8.0 to 8.1

  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by Mediaman09 View Post
    Okay, I stated the process starting with machine A ( the one intend for Win 8.1 PRO. I used a bootable USB I created from the retail DVD.

    Two questions
    1) GENERIC VS OEM KEYS - Following the process outline above of using the generic key to install, and the purchased key to activate, I entered the generic key at the very first key prompt, and it accepted it. My only question here is that the wording of that very first prompt was "Enter the product key you want to use to ACTIVATE", so , given I only entered the generic key, I assume at some point to will again ask me for the 'real' purchased OEM key to actually activate. Correct?
    UPDATE - OK ANSWERED; I ACTIVATE FOR REAL UNDER PC SETTING/ACTIVATE WINDOWS


    2) PARTITIONS - When it stated to install on the SSD, I expected it to and it did) alert me, that it may create hidden recovery partitions. In my past installs, it created a single 100MB hidden parttin. I gather for Win 8.1 Pro its a bit different, per screen shot below (unless this was simply a result of using the generic key) ??

    Attachment 36076
    Yes the Generic key will not activate you'll be able to put in your Key
    the partitions look good for a UEFI GPT install

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    UEFI Boot Mode (installing using the GPT partition style) and Legacy BIOS Boot Mode (installing using the MBR partition style).

    How to create a bootable USB flash drive.

    Note: You do not need this step if you download the Windows 8.1 installation media from Microsoft's web site and select the "USB flash drive" option (see this link for help). This USB flash drive can be booted in both UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot mode.

    Note: You do not need this step if you download the Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft's web site and select the "USB flash drive" option (see this link for help). This USB flash drive can be booted in both UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot mode.

    Note: Windows USB/DVD Download Tool is unable to create a USB flash drive that can be booted in UEFI boot mode, because it format the USB flash drive in NTFS instead of FAT32.

    Note: Rufus is unable to create a USB flash drive that can be booted in both UEFI and Legacy BIOS boot mode.

    1. How to create UEFI Boot Mode compatible Windows 8/10 64-bit USB flash drive, which is only bootable in UEFI Boot Mode.

    Format your USB flash drive. Note: You need to choose the FAT32 file system (see screenshot below).

    When formatting is complete.
    - In Windows 8/10, mount the Windows 8/10 64-bit ISO image file by right-clicking the ISO image file and choosing Mount. If you dont see Mount command from the context menu, go to Open with -> Windows Explorer instead.
    - Select everything in the mounted ISO image file, and copy them into the USB flash drive you prepared earlier.

    Click image for larger version

    2. How to create UEFI Boot Mode compatible Windows 7/8/10 64-bit USB flash drive, which is only bootable in UEFI Boot Mode.

    - Download and run the Rufus program.
    - Connect your USB flash drive.
    - Click on the browse icon and select your Windows 7/8/10 64-bit ISO image file.
    - Under Partition scheme and target system type, select GPT partition scheme for UEFI.
    - Under File system, select FAT32.
    - The default Cluster size setting is automatically detected, so do not change the setting.
    - Click on Start button.

    Click image for larger version

    3. How to create Legacy BIOS Boot Mode compatible Windows 7/8/10 32/64-bit USB flash drive, which is only bootable in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode.

    - Download and run the Rufus program.
    - Connect your USB flash drive.
    - Click on the browse icon and select your Windows 7/8/10 32/64-bit ISO image file.
    - Under Partition scheme and target system type, select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI-CSM.
    - Under File system, select NTFS.
    - The default Cluster size setting is automatically detected, so do not change the setting.
    - Click on Start button.

    Click image for larger version

    4. How to create UEFI Boot Mode and Legacy BIOS Boot Mode compatible Windows 8/10 64-bit USB flash drive.

    - Connect your USB flash drive.
    - Open a command prompt as administrator and type (or copy and paste) the following commands.

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk # WARNING: Replace # with your target USB flash drive.
    clean
    create partition primary
    format fs=fat32 quick
    active
    exit

    - In Windows 8/10, mount the Windows 8/10 64-bit ISO image file by right-clicking the ISO image file and choosing Mount. If you dont see Mount command from the context menu, go to Open with -> Windows Explorer instead.
    - Select everything in the mounted ISO image file, and copy them into the USB flash drive you prepared earlier.

    Click image for larger version

    UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface).

    Windows 8/10 OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) computers and the new motherboards have UEFI firmware, but the UEFI firmware include a Compatibility Support Module (CSM) that is set up to use the legacy version of BIOS.

    The UEFI firmware supports two boot modes: UEFI Boot Mode and Legacy BIOS Boot Mode.

    - In UEFI Boot Mode, the UEFI firmware scan your computer's hard drives for existence of the EFI System partition, then run \efi\boot\bootx64.efi file in the EFI System partition.

    - If you are booting from a Windows 7/8/10 64-bit USB flash drive (FAT32 file system) in UEFI Boot Mode, then UEFI firmware run \efi\boot\bootx64.efi file. Note: This file does not exist by default in the Windows 7 installation media, so you need to create this file by using the Rufus program, if you want UEFI Boot Mode compatible Windows 7 64-bit USB flash drive.

    - If you are booting from a Windows 7/8/10 64-bit DVD in UEFI Boot Mode, then UEFI firmware run \efi\microsoft\boot\cdboot.efi file.

    UEFI Boot Mode do not use boot sectors on the hard drive (and the USB flash drive) and do not require active partition to be set.

    How do you select UEFI Boot Mode or Legacy BIOS Boot Mode.

    Note: The UEFI firmware settings determines what type of boot devices are available in the boot menu: UEFI, Legacy BIOS (aka CSM), or both types of boot devices.

    Normally, you do not need to turn Secure Boot off to install Windows 8/10 in UEFI Boot Mode. If you want to install Windows 7, then you must turn Secure Boot off.

    Note: You do not need to change the boot order of drives in your UEFI firmware settings.
    - Connect your Windows 7/8/10 USB flash drive or insert your Windows 7/8/10 DVD.
    - Restart the computer.
    - Press the correct key to enter the boot menu (Esc, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12).
    - Select your USB/DVD from the boot menu.

    EXAMPLE: Windows 8 64-bit USB flash drive in the Asus motherboard boot menu (see screenshot below).

    You may notice a bootable USB flash drive showing twice in the boot menu, one marked UEFI and one not marked UEFI.

    Click image for larger version

    If you select Legacy BIOS Boot Mode (not marked UEFI in the boot menu).

    - If your hard drive is blank, the Windows setup program creates the following partitions on your hard drive (see screenshot below).

    Partition table:
    - MBR (Master Boot Record)

    Two partitions:
    - System Reserved - The Boot Configuration Data (BCD).
    - Primary - Where Windows is to be installed to.

    Click image for larger version

    If you select UEFI Boot Mode (marked UEFI in the boot menu).

    - If your hard drive is blank, the Windows setup program creates the following partitions on your hard drive (see screenshot below).

    Partition table:
    - GPT (GUID Partition Table)

    Four partitions:
    - Recovery - The Windows Recovery Environment tools. This partition does not exist in Windows 7.
    - System (EFI system) - The Boot Configuration Data (BCD).
    - MSR (Reserved) - Microsoft Reserved.
    - Primary - Where Windows is to be installed to.

    Note: The MSR (Reserved) partition is not visible within Disk Management utility, but it is listed with command line utility (diskpart).

    Click image for larger version

    Tip   Tip

    Error message when you boot from the Windows installation media in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode:

    Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk is of the GPT partition style. (see screenshot below)

    That is because Windows can only be installed to MBR disk in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode, but you plan to install Windows on a GPT disk.

    - Boot from the Windows installation media in UEFI Boot Mode, so you can use GPT (GUID Partition Table).
    - But if you want to use MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table, then delete all partitions on the disk.

    Click image for larger version

    Error message when you boot from the Windows installation media in UEFI Boot Mode:

    Windows cannot be installed to this disk. The selected disk has an MBR partition table. On EFI systems, Windows can only be installed to GPT disks. (see screenshot below)

    That is because Windows can only be installed to GPT disk in UEFI Boot Mode, but you plan to install Windows on an MBR disk.

    - Delete all partitions on the disk, so you can use GPT (GUID Partition Table).
    - But if you want to use MBR (Master Boot Record) partition table, then boot from the Windows installation media in Legacy BIOS Boot Mode.

    Click image for larger version


    Note: If you want to delete the MBR/GPT partition table entry, you must delete all the partitions until you only see Drive 0 Unallocated Space (see screenshot below). On the Where do you want to install Windows? screen, select a partition and click on the "Delete" option for each partition.

    - Once you have deleted all of the partitions, click on the "Next" button. The installation of Windows will begin. All the required partitions are created automatically during the install.
    - Or, if you know what you're doing, you can click on the "New" button and create a separate data partition.

    Click image for larger version

    Normally, you should be able to delete all the partitions on the Where do you want to install Windows? screen.

    Note: But if you cannot delete all the partitions on the Where do you want to install Windows? screen.

    - Boot the computer using the Windows 7/8/10 installation media.
    - On the first screen, press SHIFT+F10 to bring up the command prompt.
    - Run the following commands at the command prompt.

    diskpart
    list disk (this will give you a listing of the disks on your system)
    select disk # (select the disk you want to clean, for example select disk 0)
    clean (running the clean command will delete all partitions on the disk)
    exit

    Even if you are going to use the GPT (GUID Partition Table), you do not need to run the convert gpt command, since you are not creating the partitions at a command prompt.

    - Close the command prompt window and continue your Windows installation as usual.

    Click image for larger version

    Tip   Tip

    Install Windows 8/10 in UEFI Boot Mode, because UEFI Boot Mode will allow you the option of using Secure Boot.

    Secure Boot protect users from rootkits and other low-level malware attacks by blocking unauthorized (non-signed) executables and drivers from being loaded during the boot process.

    Secure Boot only works in UEFI Boot Mode, when you enable Secure Boot in your computer's UEFI firmware (BIOS) settings. But if you have an OEM computer that came with Windows 8/10 64-bit preinstalled, then Secure Boot is turned on by default.

    Note: To confirm Secure Boot is enabled, within Windows 8/10 run the following command as administrator from the command prompt.

    powershell confirm-SecureBootUEFI

    The result should be True.


    Tip   Tip

    If you have an OEM computer that came with Windows 8 64-bit preinstalled and you want to install Windows 7, then you must disable Secure Boot, because Secure Boot is not compatible with Windows 7.

    Some of the Windows 8 OEM computers you will not be able to install Windows 7 in UEFI boot mode, so then you need to install Windows 7 in Legacy BIOS (aka CSM) boot mode.


    You receive the following error message: "The partitions on the disk selected for installation are not in the recommended order."

    That's a useless error message, so this error message can be ignored.

    For example, you are installing Windows 7 on a dual boot system in UEFI Boot Mode and Windows 10 has already been installed on your hard drive in UEFI Boot Mode (see screenshot below).

    Click image for larger version

    Tip   Tip

    Windows 7/8/10 support for large-capacity disks as non-booting data volumes.

    Capacity beyond 2 TB cannot be addressed by Windows if the disk is initialized by using the MBR partitioning scheme. For example, for a 3 TB single disk that is initialized by using MBR, Windows can create partitions up to the first 2 TB. However, the remaining capacity cannot be addressed and, therefore, cannot be used.

    - Open the Disk Management utility.

    When a non-initialized disk is detected by Windows, the following window opens to prompt you to initialize the disk.

    - In the Initialize Disk dialog box, click GPT (GUID Partition Table), and then press OK.

    Click image for larger version

    Note: If you have previously initialized the disk by using the MBR partitioning scheme, follow these steps to initialize the disk by using the GPT scheme.

    - Right-click the partition that you want to delete, and then click Delete Volume.

    Click image for larger version

    Note that Disk 1 contains two separate unallocated sections (see screenshot below).

    - Right-click the label on the left for the disk that you want to convert, and then click Convert to GPT Disk.

    Click image for larger version

    The display should now show that the full amount of available space in unallocated (see screenshot below).

    - Right-click the unallocated space on the right side of the status row for that disk, and then click New Simple Volume.
    - Follow the steps in the partition wizard to complete this process.

    Click image for larger version


    Other instructions.

    - Asus motherboard with UEFI firmware. How to install Windows 7/8/10 64-bit in UEFI Boot Mode. -> link
    - Gigabyte motherboard with UEFI firmware. How to install Windows 8/10 64-bit in UEFI Boot Mode. -> link

    - VMware Player. How to install Windows 7/8/10 64-bit in UEFI Boot Mode. -> link
    - Macrium Reflect. How to create UEFI Boot Mode compatible rescue media on a USB flash drive. -> link

    - How to use the BCDboot command in Windows 7/8/10. -> link
    - How to fix the Windows 7/8/10 bootloader if the hard drive has an MBR partition table. -> link
    - How to create the missing EFI System partition. -> link

    - How to boot into Safe Mode in Windows 8/10. -> link
    - Recovery partitions and "reagentc /info" command. -> link

    - How to download and clean install Windows 8.1 -> link
    - How to transfer Windows 8/8.1 license to new computer. -> link
    Last edited by genet; 13 Nov 2015 at 12:56.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


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


    For machine A you didn't need to enter the generic code, you only use that when you are going to activate with an 8.0 Key. If you already have an 8.1 key you can enter it during the install and skip having to use the generic. Windows 8.1 won't install with an 8.0 key, the generic key lets you get around that.


    On my laptop with UEFI, I end up with the Recovery, EFI, and the Primary Windows partition. On my desktop with normal BIOS I get a System Reserved and Primary Windows partition. Looks like Genet's got it all covered in his post.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    For machine A you didn't need to enter the generic code, you only use that when you are going to activate with an 8.0 Key. If you already have an 8.1 key you can enter it during the install and skip having to use the generic. Windows 8.1 won't install with an 8.0 key, the generic key lets you get around that....
    Yup right you are. My bad, and that's exactly what you said in a prior post. Guess I was anxious to try out thr generic key .
    No harm done through as it now activated.

    Machine B is already on 8.1 ( ASUS OEM) so I will onyl need this generic trick when I need to rebuld it

    Machine C is next (Dell OEM) .. but as I am already currently rebuilding 2 other machines, I may need some time to get to it. Will report back when I get to that stage.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    ..
    2) UEFI Boot Mode

    Partition table:
    - GPT (GUID Partition Table)

    Four partitions:
    - Recovery (Windows RE Tools)
    - System (EFI system)
    - MSR (Microsoft Reserved)
    - Primary - Where Windows is to be installed to

    Note: The MSR partition is not visible within Windows Disk Management GUI-control utility, but it is listed with command line utility (diskpart).
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    ..On my laptop with UEFI, I end up with the Recovery, EFI, and the Primary Windows partition. On my desktop with normal BIOS I get a System Reserved and Primary Windows partition. Looks like Genet's got it all covered in his post.
    Ok great, exaclty what I needed to know, and what I ended up with . so good to know things went accrdoing to plan.

    I gather the determination of Legacy vs UEFI is based on the motherbaord/chip/BIOS??? .. ie its not something I selected as a choice... seemed to be all transparent/automatic.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by Mediaman09 View Post
    On all my home machines, I am going down a path of swapping out all my boot drives for SSDs, and using the HDD's for data only. Just did this on one of my Win 7 Dell machines - what a difference given the combo of SDD and fresh install!!) ..


    Is there any disadvantage/overhead/burden in getting a 256GB SSD vs 128 GB SSD for a boot drive? With prices falling etc, I am leaning to 256 GB as my 'standard'. It's what I used for my first two conversions.

    On one hand, most of my lighter duty systems have only about 40GB on the boo drive, so a 128 GB SSD seems like more than enough. But on the other hand, some of my systems have 75 GB on the boot drive, as these things do tend to bloat over time, with more and more apps, restores points, temp filee , future OS ipgrades, and ad-hoc needs for some quick/fast space etc

    While I could get aways with 128GB SSDs for some and 256 GB SSDs for others, I do tend to "re-purpose" machines every now and then, so... so for about $100 more I figure why not double the size and never worry about it.

    Is my logic flawed at all?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Mediaman09 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    ..
    2) UEFI Boot Mode

    Partition table:
    - GPT (GUID Partition Table)

    Four partitions:
    - Recovery (Windows RE Tools)
    - System (EFI system)
    - MSR (Microsoft Reserved)
    - Primary - Where Windows is to be installed to

    Note: The MSR partition is not visible within Windows Disk Management GUI-control utility, but it is listed with command line utility (diskpart).
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    ..On my laptop with UEFI, I end up with the Recovery, EFI, and the Primary Windows partition. On my desktop with normal BIOS I get a System Reserved and Primary Windows partition. Looks like Genet's got it all covered in his post.
    Ok great, exaclty what I needed to know, and what I ended up with . so good to know things went accrdoing to plan.

    I gather the determination of Legacy vs UEFI is based on the motherbaord/chip/BIOS??? .. ie its not something I selected as a choice... seemed to be all transparent/automatic.
    UEFI or Legacy is determined by the BIOS on the PC. My laptop has UEFI BIOS and my older desktops are the standard (now referred to as legacy) BIOS. You'll get a UEFI option listed in the Boot Options menu if your USB thumb drive is setup correctly. UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows ,
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Mediaman09 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mediaman09 View Post
    On all my home machines, I am going down a path of swapping out all my boot drives for SSDs, and using the HDD's for data only. Just did this on one of my Win 7 Dell machines - what a difference given the combo of SDD and fresh install!!) ..


    Is there any disadvantage/overhead/burden in getting a 256GB SSD vs 128 GB SSD for a boot drive? With prices falling etc, I am leaning to 256 GB as my 'standard'. It's what I used for my first two conversions.

    On one hand, most of my lighter duty systems have only about 40GB on the boo drive, so a 128 GB SSD seems like more than enough. But on the other hand, some of my systems have 75 GB on the boot drive, as these things do tend to bloat over time, with more and more apps, restores points, temp filee , future OS ipgrades, and ad-hoc needs for some quick/fast space etc

    While I could get aways with 128GB SSDs for some and 256 GB SSDs for others, I do tend to "re-purpose" machines every now and then, so... so for about $100 more I figure why not double the size and never worry about it.

    Is my logic flawed at all?
    Not that I am aware of, the 256 isn't going to draw twice the power of the 128 if that's what your wondering. I have a 128GB SSD for Windows and a 256GB SSD for Data in my laptop and haven't come close to running out of room on the 128 GB drive. I have about a bout 100GB used on my desktop PC's Windows partition. I am debating if a 128GB SSD will be big enough. That PC has a bunch of games on it etc,, something I don't do on my laptop. There are ways to save space, like turning of hibernation to kill the hiberfil,sys file. Turning off system restore, if you don't ever use it. I move all my user folders like Documents Pictures etc to my Data drive,
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


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


    Quote Originally Posted by Mediaman09 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    For machine A you didn't need to enter the generic code, you only use that when you are going to activate with an 8.0 Key. If you already have an 8.1 key you can enter it during the install and skip having to use the generic. Windows 8.1 won't install with an 8.0 key, the generic key lets you get around that....
    Yup right you are. My bad, and that's exactly what you said in a prior post. Guess I was anxious to try out thr generic key .
    No harm done through as it now activated.

    Machine B is already on 8.1 ( ASUS OEM) so I will onyl need this generic trick when I need to rebuld it

    Machine C is next (Dell OEM) .. but as I am already currently rebuilding 2 other machines, I may need some time to get to it. Will report back when I get to that stage.
    Yup, no harm done, you just ended up doing an extra step or two is all.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Quote Originally Posted by alphanumeric View Post
    UEFI or Legacy is determined by the BIOS on the PC. My laptop has UEFI BIOS and my older desktops are the standard (now referred to as legacy) BIOS. You'll get a UEFI option listed in the Boot Options menu if your USB thumb drive is setup correctly. UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive - Create in Windows ,
    Excellent , thanks. I have been using the ISO to USB utiility to date, which is good for first timers as it keeps the task super simple (by removing most of the options/questions). Good to have the more comprehensive Rufus app and instructions in the toolchest - thanks again for the link.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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