Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Cannot install Windows whatsoever through whatever media

  1. #1


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Cannot install Windows whatsoever through whatever media


    Wow, woof!

    Either I need to perform an exorcism on this PC I'm working on or something else is up.

    So I have in my possession an HP Pavilion a1230n desktop compulator. I was told that it crashed some time ago and was only used for simple things as it was deemed not trust worthy and stable. It was running Windows xp until about two weeks ago when the power at the person's house went out suddenly and the ntldr was corrupted and wouldn't boot, obviously the solution to that was to do a clean install but as xp is to be dead soon, the decision was made to go to the Windows 8.1.

    Well, that's easier said than done.

    It seems as if this is genuinely possessed by an evil spirit, as I was told by the owner, because LITERALLY NOTHING I've done is allowing me to install Windows 8.1, not even booting into the USB installer of 8.1, or even trying to run Windows 8.1. Normally I deploy Windows through DISM and my custom .wim file onto the hard drive and I boot into WinPE or a neutered Windows installer USB and apply boot files to the drive and it works just fine. That hasn't worked. I had 8.1 on the target drive, was actually able to get the DVD installer to run, although this was the second time since the first run of it didn't even find a hard drive when I plugged it back in, and apply boot files successfully. I restarted, but it ran for about a few seconds and ran into continuous reboots before it said that the install needs to be repaired.

    Then I tried to actually run the DVD installer of straight up vanilla Windows 8 to see if maybe there was a CPU requirement not being met, but the installation failed about 47% through. I THINK the error code was 0xc0000221, not sure though. Next I tried remaking a THIRD USB installation of 8.1, but EVERY single time when I boot off into the USB drive, it takes at least five minutes (normally it shouldn't take so long) before any activity on screen shows. But EVERY time, it hangs up and restarts. The error code I got for sure with that was elxstor.sys 0xc0000221. In one of the failed attempts of installing, it was the same thing but with a different .sys file.

    The thing is I KNOW for sure my .iso images of Windows are perfectly fine I was just recently used the previous USB installer to deploy 8.1 onto a laptop just yesterday but doesn't work on this PC. The compulator in question is 64 bit capable and as far as I know meets the Windows 8 CPU requirements. I've disconnected EVERY peripheral even the keyboard, and obviously reconnected the keyboard and ran it again. I've cleared the CMOS. I have the USB and keyboard connected to the motherboard's USB ports and not the headers. I've also gone to the extent of using a third party, non-partisan hard drive with Windows 8.1 deployed on it to try and install boot files on that to see if hard drive issues may be present from the PC's drive. That also didn't work nor did installing Windows onto that separate drive from the DVD work either. I've checked the PC's hard drive for errors, everything is ok.

    I've installed Windows at least over 100 different times from VMs to many different PCs, but this is literally the first one to cause such an issue I can't even think of why. Although, thinking about it, I do remember once with a slightly older HP desktop when I was trying to run a Windows 7 To Go drive off of it, it just wouldn't run whatsoever and I had to fix the bcdboot files for it run again.

    So does anyone have any suggestions of what I should do or do I need a priest? Many thanks!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Tried a low level format of the drive? HDD Low Level Format Tool Free Download
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by popeye View Post
    Tried a low level format of the drive? HDD Low Level Format Tool Free Download
    I've wiped the original hard drive 10 times and did three thorough reformats....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by popeye View Post
    Tried a low level format of the drive? HDD Low Level Format Tool Free Download
    I've wiped the original hard drive 10 times and did three thorough reformats....
    Almost has to be some kind of hardware problem. Shoot, see if the wiped drive will accept an install on another system. All I can think of.

    How much memory is installed? Tested the memory?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 1,360
    Windows 8.1 Enterprise


    Definitely sounds like a hardware issue to me. Do you own a copy of Spinrite? It will work magic on hard disk's.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    I've disconnected EVERY peripheral even the keyboard
    I did see another thread where someone with a Dell (not an HP) could only get Win 8.1 to install by disabling the wireless/bluetooth within the BIOS. I guess you may have done that already, but if not, it may be worth a hunt round there to see if there's anything you can disable.

    When I was upgrading my old laptop from XP to 8, the Setup program automatically fetched drivers, but picked up one that caused BSODs. What I did in the end (which worked), is disable the option within Setup to automatically get drivers, and install them manually later.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    It was running Windows xp until about two weeks ago when the power at the person's house went out suddenly and the ntldr was corrupted

    The error code I got for sure with that was elxstor.sys 0xc0000221. In one of the failed attempts of installing, it was the same thing but with a different .sys file.
    The hard drive is a goner. You can fix it most likely with HDD Regenerator. A few hours running, then when done, could behave on point 100% well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    didn't even find a hard drive when I plugged it back in
    But then again, it could be electrical failure creeping in, of the controller pcb board.

    Only other suggestion I have when trying with this HDD is when installing from USB, yank the USB key out when the machine does the first reboot. Then make sure the HDD is set as first boot device in bios, right after.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by popeye View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by popeye View Post
    Tried a low level format of the drive? HDD Low Level Format Tool Free Download
    I've wiped the original hard drive 10 times and did three thorough reformats....
    Almost has to be some kind of hardware problem. Shoot, see if the wiped drive will accept an install on another system. All I can think of.

    How much memory is installed? Tested the memory?
    I even did that actually. I deployed my .wim of 8.1 onto that drive, changed my BIOS settings to allow for MBR partitioning style, applied boot files, and all was ok. Dropped it into that PC, nope.

    Memory, I need to work on that part. I've tried installing Windows with just the 512 stick in there and go from there. That I do need to check.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


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

  10. #10


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    It was running Windows xp until about two weeks ago when the power at the person's house went out suddenly and the ntldr was corrupted

    The error code I got for sure with that was elxstor.sys 0xc0000221. In one of the failed attempts of installing, it was the same thing but with a different .sys file.
    The hard drive is a goner. You can fix it most likely with HDD Regenerator. A few hours running, then when done, could behave on point 100% well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    didn't even find a hard drive when I plugged it back in
    But then again, it could be electrical failure creeping in, of the controller pcb board.

    Only other suggestion I have when trying with this HDD is when installing from USB, yank the USB key out when the machine does the first reboot. Then make sure the HDD is set as first boot device in bios, right after.
    I think the reason why the motherboard didn't see that hard drive when I plugged it back in might be because it's a bit elder and might not of have just seen it like that. The PC itself is like...at least six years old.

    I've done ALL the BIOS stuff, including that. Still can't figure out what's wrong. I'm now thinking that there might be something inherently wrong HP did with this motherboard or there is something ACTUALLY wrong here.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Cannot install Windows whatsoever through whatever media
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