Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8 Blank reinstallation issues

  1. #1


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center

    Windows 8 Blank reinstallation issues


    Hi all,
    So, here is the situation:
    1) I have Windows 8.1 update 1 installed. Since I upgraded from Windows 7, I've had the 'Hard Drive locked' issue and been unable to use the Refresh and Reset tools in Win8. I have reinstalled the system once, I believe by installing Windows 7 and then upgrading again. The locked issue persists.
    2) I want to wipe the computer totally clean -- no upgrades -- and get everything squared away.
    3) I tried a Windows 8 ISO downloader, which is how I upgraded in the first place. No dice, it works for a while, then restarts and I get a blue screen and boot back into 8.1 instead of the setup process continuing.
    4) I tried to burn the .iso to a USB drive using the Windows 7 tool that's online, and booted using that. This works, except the tool will recognize NO drives. The only drive that shows up is X: and it has negligible data on it. My actual C: drive is masked or hidden. This is also the case in any recovery tools Win8 has.
    5) I tried to boot/recover from two different installation CDs -- my original 64bit Windows 7 disk that I burned to replace my recovery partition, and an ancient Windows XP disc that I've used before to at least boot into recovery tools/command line. When I try either of them, in internal and external drives, Windows 8 overrides and begins to boot before the CDs can do anything. I've specifically selected to boot from CD drive and this override still happens.

    My goal: Install Windows 8 totally new on the laptop, from scratch, with no upgrades to potentially sour the process. Solve the locked drive error, and hopefully solve some peripheral problems which have sprung up (and are my main reason for wanting to reformat) in my mouse and keyboard. I've been working to repair those issues and reformatting is the next step in the process.

    Things I've tried:
    -Repairing the boot order/MBR through easyBCD. No results.
    -While in recovery mode (from the Win8 flash drive), tried bootrec/fixMBR, fixBoot, and rebuildBCD. No result since all the tool can see is the X: drive.
    -BCDBoot repair, namely: BCDboot c:\windows /s c: /l en-us -- this said 'boot files created successfully' (while in the repair tools for Windows 8, on drive X: ), but when I tried to do a reset I got the same result as before.

    Nothing is working, the computer is still booting but the peripheral problems continue. Any help you guys can throw my way would be appreciated! I know this is a very common issue and there are threads on it previously, but it's also a very broad issue and I'm finding very few cases where the solution ends up being the same. I am at my wit's end and have been pounding my head against this for three or four hours. I love Windows 8 but in these issues it's really been a huge headache for me. Awaiting your suggestions!

    Andrew

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Sure sounds to me like your trying to install MBR version of windows on a UEFI GPT hard drive? Windows 7 usb creator does not make a bootable UEFI Install media. Try RUFUS to build your Install USB

    If you can't get your hands on a Windows 8.1 DVD, you'll have to take your chances getting a ISO off torrent, Any win 8.1 retail disk can be activated with your 8 or 8.1 Key, you'll have to use a Generic Key to start the install. These keys were the generic Keys for the RTM version. I don't know for sure that they are still good if not just goggle for the current generic keys. Don't try to install Pro if you only have a Core Key won't work.

    Windows 8.1 Single Language Y9NXP-XT8MV-PT9TG-97CT3-9D6TC
    Windows 8.1 Core 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT
    Windows 8.1 Pro XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there

    A LOT of confusion exists on these boards about UEFI. It's NOT UEFI that usually causes the problem but PROTECTED BOOT -- especially if the system came with no retail disk but one of those hideous pre-installed versions with loads of trial and bloatware on.

    So

    1) DISABLE protected boot -- you don't need to disable UEFI. This will then allow USB / external boot media to work properly
    2) ENABLE legacy boot -- then you can boot either UEFI or non UEFI systems.
    3) if you WANT UEFI version of windows then ensure your HDD is formatted GPT otherwise use MBR
    4) to Wipe disk 100% clean - download any Linux live distro, boot it and type SUDO GPARTED in the terminal. A nice graphical partition editor will appear. (You can also download a bootable version of GPARTED but a Linux live Distro has lots of other goodies on it too). Delete everything on the HDD. As it's basically a LINUX system any Windows protected data can be got rid of -- to Linux it's just DATA.
    5) create bootable W8.1 system -- tutorials on this board how to create bootable USB stick W8/W8.1 install system --I'm not doing EVERYTHING for you -- search for that tutorial yourself !! It's in the Forums.
    6) Install abd you are good to go.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Thanks y'all for your help. So how can I tell if I have UEFI, and how it's set up? I do have a BIOS -- do UEFI and BIOS exist independently? There are no secure boot options in my BIOS -- this is a pre Windows 8 computer. On Rufus, I selected MBR for BIOS or UEFI computers.

    @jimbo45:

    1) Pretty sure I don't have this at all. This feature is new with Win8 and this was originally a Win7 computer, and that's a lower-level firmware feature so I wouldn't have received it by upgrading, correct?
    2) Same question as above
    3) Do I format it one way or the other using GPARTED?
    4) I've got Elementary OS on a USB drive so I can run the formatting from there. I just want to make sure I set up those first three steps properly before I do so.
    5) Using Rufus, which Clint mentioned above. I've got this step done and I have a bootable USB drive -- I've done this plenty of times with Unetbootin for LInux so it's pretty similar.
    6) Thanks for the condescension, but I actually have a lot of experience with 8.1 itself, I'm capable of walking through an install process. I just need help with this lower-level stuff.

    So I'm still looking for answers/clarification on steps 1-3 that you mentioned above. Any help is appreciated, thanks!
    Andrew

    EDIT: I don't have a UEFI system -- if I do, there is no secure boot option and a BIOS compatibility layer running on top of it. My CPU/motherboard might be UEFI-compatible, however -- how do I find that out? Should I just wipe the disk using Elementary and then install it with an MBR?
    Last edited by authorandrew; 17 May 2014 at 09:03.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    So I tried to reformat through my Elementary OS pen drive. I started up gParted, reformatted the disk to straight NTFS, but it completed suspiciously fast, which led me to believe it hadn't touched anything. Sure enough, though it could see the disk, no changes made. Win8 booted as normal.

    Then I tried to just install eOS, and I could format the disk that way. Then, eOS could smooth out any problems, and then I could install Win8 on top of it. No dice. eOS installer can't see the disk at all, just like the Win8 installer! Very weird to have the installer window open, showing no disks, and the Gparted window open, showing a formatted, wiped disk.

    What should be my next step? Why can no installer seem to see this disk? It's here, and it boots Windows 8. I don't have any secure boot enabled that would be shielding it. . .

    Andrew
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Progress:

    The linux installer recognized a secondary 320 gb hard drive I had lying around. I put that in the drive bay and installed Linux. Something persists with my touchpad but it appears that's a hardware and unrelated issue to the hard drive woes. Now I'm going to reformat the larger drive in elementary, and then try to install windows on it. We'll see what the computer recognizes.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    So the issue is the larger hard drive, a 500gb Momentus XT. Separately from that, the mouse is not working but I'll worry about that when I get things back to a running state. I don't understand. This is the second Momentus I've had. Time to purchase a different one, I suspect. Seagate's trying to tell me it's out of warranty when I've had it less than six months. Bull. I'll take it up with Newegg and Seagate support phones on Monday.

    My next step is to install Windows on the 320gb so if I have to wait to ship the drive back (or purchase a new one) I at least have a functioning computer. I suppose I can try to use Seagate's formatting tools on Windows, as well, but I don't think they'll be any more thorough than gParted was. Maybe it will help, though.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by authorandrew View Post
    So the issue is the larger hard drive, a 500gb Momentus XT. Separately from that, the mouse is not working but I'll worry about that when I get things back to a running state. I don't understand. This is the second Momentus I've had. Time to purchase a different one, I suspect. Seagate's trying to tell me it's out of warranty when I've had it less than six months. Bull. I'll take it up with Newegg and Seagate support phones on Monday.

    My next step is to install Windows on the 320gb so if I have to wait to ship the drive back (or purchase a new one) I at least have a functioning computer. I suppose I can try to use Seagate's formatting tools on Windows, as well, but I don't think they'll be any more thorough than gParted was. Maybe it will help, though.
    I always just use Diskpart on install after files load hit F10 brings up Elevated Command Line
    C:\> DiskpartDISKPART> list disk
    DISKPART> select disk (id)
    DISKPART> online disk (if the disk is not online)
    DISKPART> attributes disk clear readonly
    DISKPART> clean
    DISKPART> convert mbr (or gpt)
    DISKPART> create partition primary
    DISKPART> select part 1
    DISKPART> active (if this is the boot partition)
    DISKPART> format fs=ntfs label=(name) quick
    DISKPART> assign letter (letter)
    DISKPART> list volume
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    Okay, I've run all that on the drive. Diskpart has never had problems recognizing this drive but for some reason no installers (elementary, Windows 8) can recognize it. Additionally, it fails the SeaTools diagnostic test, even after I've done that diskpart. I will go try to install Win8 on the drive again but I'm not that optimistic since it's still failing SeaTools. Once I've tried that, I'll return to getting SeaTools for DOS set up on a pen drive (such a headache) and try to use the low-level format option, which is basically just running 0s through every sector. That's as completely as I know how to wipe it, so if it doesn't work after that I don't know what my next step should be.

    This is my second drive, same model (Seagate Momentus XT), and the first one gave me many problems at well. Probably it was a mistake to replace it with exactly the same drive but I thought that would be simplest, and that it was a drive problem not a model problem. Oh well. If I'm in the market for a drive, what are some cheap/good options? Perhaps an SSD?

    Andrew
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 103
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center


    No dice. The DISKPART didn't get the installer any closer to recognizing. Going to try to get the SeaTools set up. If that fails, I guess I'll call Newegg and try to wrangle about this drive (it's less than a year old), or look to buy a new one.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Windows 8 Blank reinstallation issues
Related Threads
I reinstalled windows 8 on my machine (installed all updates including 8.1) . The installation was in Swedish but since i prefer English as my display language I added this language, removed the Swedish language pack and changed my keyboard to Swedish layout. Now my display language is...
I'm in a bit of a bad situation right now... I have a Dell Insprion 5520 which I purchased two years ago. It shipped with Windows 8. I've since upgraded to 8.1 I want a fresh start and I'm looking to reinstall Windows. However, when I choose "Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows" in PC...
Hello, My PC recently took a dump, and I've been trying to "Refresh" it all day. Unfortunately, many problems have arisen. When one was resolved, another would pop up, so I decided to just reinstall Windows entirely. I have two 1TB drives in RAID 0, with a 64GB partition for the OS, and...
Computer is alienware 14 late 2013, windows 8 Hi. I am currently rebuilding a freinds computer (he had a virus called winzip registry optimizer), I ran a full scan in safe mode with both Malwarebytes free and avsast free to eradicate it but also found 11 other viruses. I deleted and cleared all...
Hey all. I have been having several problems with my laptop. Among them include a message box appearing, 5 actually, one on top of the other, saying something about not being able to run sysdll, I think. There are other things that are occurring that are making things a bit difficult to access...
All, I have been experiencing big problems with Windows 8 Pro. I had been running the OS on a 120GB SSD up until a week ago with no problems until the following started happening: Windows 8 started to reboot in a continuous loop with the following error message: Your PC ran into a problem and...
I upgraded from Windows 7 to 8 about a month ago. I had an old registry cleaner that corrupted my installation, so I decided to reformat my hard drive and start again. The first thing I did once it was reinstalled was download all of the Windows Updates, then updated versions of all of my drivers...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook