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Performing Clean Install Upgrade on Windows 8 Dell Laptop

  1. #1


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 core

    Performing Clean Install Upgrade on Windows 8 Dell Laptop


    Hello, I have a Dell Inspiron 15R SE 7520 laptop that came with Windows 8 Core edition pre-installed. This laptop has never worked properly for some reason. It won't shutdown the normal way (it'll just stay on the shutdown screen forever) and it never comes back from sleep without a BSOD along with other troubles that haven't been solved by updating drivers,etc.

    I decided I want to do a clean Windows 8.1 re-install and upgrade on my laptop to get rid of these problems, but it's been ages since I last did this (back in Win2K times, I used to dual boot Slackware Linux) and I've bee reading about all this UEFI, Secure Boot,etc and quite frankly it's making me quite nervous. I was even planning on taking this chance to dual boot some linux distro, but it looks sooo difficult. Things are much more complicated these days for the tinkerer!

    I need a bit of help making sure I don't screw up, and if I do, I need to make sure I can get back to a running system quickly.

    For starters, here is how the hard drive is partitioned: http://i.imgur.com/Tr4ke87.png
    And this is the Diskpart output : http://hastebin.com/raw/mejazevose

    1) Why do I have 5 partitions? I understand the recovery partition, the OS partition and (after lots of reading) the ESP partition, but I'm not sure about the others. What do I need to keep? I've been reading around and I see some people recommend wiping the whole drive and starting from scratch. Is this a good ide?

    1.1)I'll create the installation media from a windows 8.1 MSDN ISO using a USB drive. When I start the installation process it will ask me where I want to reinstall it to. Do I just choose the OS partition? Won't the recovery partition be based on a Windows 8 image and be useless from now on?

    2) What's the best way I can get back to a fully working system in case I screw up somehow? I've made an image of my drive using Macrium Reflect free edition. But I read here that I cannot make an image of a GPT disk. Will this image I made work for getting back to a working system quickly in case I screw up?


    4)As a last resort, I've made a Recovery USB using the Dell Backup and Recovery Method. In the extreme case that I screw up real bad, will this work to get back a factory-state system even if I've wiped my hard drive clean? I'm assuming this tool is for helping users recover after a dead hard drive so it should work , right?

    If you need any more info , let me know. Thanks in advance!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    1.1)I'll create the installation media from a windows 8.1 MSDN ISO using a USB drive. When I start the installation process it will ask me where I want to reinstall it to. Do I just choose the OS partition? Won't the recovery partition be based on a Windows 8 image and be useless from now on?
    Delete all partitions until you only see Drive 0 Unallocated Space.



    How to clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key?

    Windows 7/8 setup: Installing using Legacy BIOS Boot Mode or UEFI Boot Mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    4)As a last resort, I've made a Recovery USB using the Dell Backup and Recovery Method. In the extreme case that I screw up real bad, will this work to get back a factory-state system even if I've wiped my hard drive clean?
    Note: This usually does not work if your hard disk is blank: link

    Reset Windows 8

    This will show you how to use a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to reset your PC to completely start over back to default to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. This is like doing a factory restore/recovery on a purchased computer.
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  3. #3


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


    1) Some of the partition are for the Recovery & Tools.

    2) You need the Windows 8/8.1 version of Macrium Reflect.

    But I read here that I cannot make an image of a GPT disk.
    Please post quote.

    4) Dell Recovery should work OK.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 core


    Hi genet, thanks for your help!

    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    Delete all partitions until you only see Drive 0 Unallocated Space.
    Will re-installing from an MSDN ISO re-create all the UEFI and recovery partitions for me as a Windows 8.1 install?

    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    This will show you how to use a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to reset your PC to completely start over back to default to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. This is like doing a factory restore/recovery on a purchased computer.
    From what I read, I cannot use the reset option from the Windows 8.1 With Updates ISO I'm going to use to do a re-install and upgrade from Windows 8 Core. Am I correct?

    Also,do you have any experience with restoring from a Macrium (or Clonezilla or any other similar option) image of Windows 8? I made an image of the hard drive just in case things get too complicated and I have to go back to my current state.

    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 core


    Hi theog, thanks for your help!

    Quote Originally Posted by theog View Post
    But I read here that I cannot make an image of a GPT disk.
    Please post quote.
    That's what I understood from this warning in this thread:


    • Disabling UEFI will make the system unbootable as there is no MBR on the disks.
    • You CANNOT make a sector-by-sector copy of GPT disks. The Disk and Partition GUIDs will no longer be unique. This must never happen. You can make a sector-by-sector copy of the contents of ESP or basic data partitions.
    Am I misreading this? Can I make a Macrium, Clonezilla or similar image of my disk and in case things go wrong, I can just restore the image to my disk and get back to my current state?

    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    And this is the Diskpart output : http://hastebin.com/raw/mejazevose

    Partition 1 - System - 500 MB
    Partition 2 - OEM - 40 MB
    Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
    Partition 4 - Recovery - 500 MB
    Partition 5 - Primary - 685 GB
    Partition 6 - Recovery - 12 GB - Recovery image location

    Will re-installing from an MSDN ISO re-create all the UEFI and recovery partitions for me as a Windows 8.1 install?
    You must delete all partitions, because the "Partition 6 Recovery 12 GB" may no longer be used, if you install Windows from an MSDN ISO.

    A clean Windows 8.1 installation from an MSDN ISO in UEFI boot mode (my hard disk partitions):

    Partition 1 - Recovery - 300 MB
    Partition 2 - System - 99 MB
    Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
    Partition 4 - Primary - 930 GB

    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    From what I read, I cannot use the reset option from the Windows 8.1 With Updates ISO I'm going to use to do a re-install and upgrade from Windows 8 Core.
    Take a look at this post: link

    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    Also,do you have any experience with restoring from a Macrium (or Clonezilla or any other similar option) image of Windows 8? I made an image of the hard drive just in case things get too complicated and I have to go back to my current state.
    I'll use this program: $49.95 Hard Disk Manager Suite ? complete system management | PARAGON Software Group - disk partitioning, resize partition

    Click image for larger version

    And I can restore my Lenovo computer original partitions. I have tested this and it works.

    Partition 1 - Recovery - 1000 MB
    Partition 2 - System - 260 MB
    Partition 3 - OEM - 1000 MB
    Partition 4 - Reserved - 128 MB
    Partition 5 - Primary - 908 GB
    Partition 6 - Recovery - 20 GB - Recovery image location

    edit: I found the screenshots (Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Suite).

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    But this must be done before using backup/restore (see screenshot below).

    http://www.paragon-software.com/land...bmb/index.html

    Click image for larger version
    Last edited by genet; 24 Sep 2014 at 05:26.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    As you still have the partitions intact, have you tried the option to restore to factory settings?




    Remove any external drives and restart your Dell Inspiron laptop.
    Press 'F8' key continue until 'Advanced Boot Options' wouldn't be appear. You really have to thump the F8 fast!
    'Repair Your Computer' from the list and hit 'Enter'.
    Click 'Next' and login as the administrator account.
    Click 'Dell Factory Image Recovery and Data Safe options', select your language option and click 'Next'.
    Click the check box 'Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition' and click 'Next' to start the reset process…


    This s will erase all your previous changes that have been made to the Dell and reset the configuration settings to factory setting.

    A personal opinion,but, ref post #32, it would be a serious mistake to delete all the partitions, when you still, at this stage, have the recovery available.
    Last edited by davehc; 24 Sep 2014 at 05:44.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 879
    Windows 10


    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    That's what I understood from this warning in this thread:

    You CANNOT make a sector-by-sector copy of GPT disks. The Disk and Partition GUIDs will no longer be unique. This must never happen. You can make a sector-by-sector copy of the contents of ESP or basic data partitions.
    Probably means that this option is not allowed to choose.

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    That's what I understood from this warning in this thread:

    You CANNOT make a sector-by-sector copy of GPT disks. The Disk and Partition GUIDs will no longer be unique. This must never happen. You can make a sector-by-sector copy of the contents of ESP or basic data partitions.
    Probably means that this option is not allowed to choose.

    Click image for larger version
    Make sure your using the latest version of MR. There is no need to copy Sector by sector as you will then copy the empty sectors no reason to do this. And Yes You would need to create the Bootable media USB stick/or DVD. When you boot up the USB Stick you'll have choices as to how to restore if different hardware Say a SSD you would use the Redeploy to different hard ware. Otherwise restore disk to your disk. All Version later that 2012 have Been UEFI GPT compliant Some one, in one of these threads has posted a MR Guide. There Website has good guides and their support forum is very useful. As long as you created a DISK IMAGE It will restore and boot perfectly
    The only exception would be if per chance you have more than 1 hard drive and the boot sector has been installed on a different disk that you C: disk. In that case if you suspected that to be possible you would use the Copy all partitions needed to boot your OS feature. Not to confuse you but this can be the case for instance one of my Work stations I'm upgrading to Win 8.11 I set up a dual boot. that leaves me with win 8.11 on one SSD with the boot sector still on the SSD with win 7. So in your case while if you have more than one drive it is possible but not probable.
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  10. #10


    Posts : 6
    windows 8 core


    Quote Originally Posted by genet View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rama View Post
    And this is the Diskpart output : http://hastebin.com/raw/mejazevose

    Partition 1 - System - 500 MB
    Partition 2 - OEM - 40 MB
    Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
    Partition 4 - Recovery - 500 MB
    Partition 5 - Primary - 685 GB
    Partition 6 - Recovery - 12 GB - Recovery image location

    Will re-installing from an MSDN ISO re-create all the UEFI and recovery partitions for me as a Windows 8.1 install?
    You must delete all partitions, because the "Partition 6 Recovery 12 GB" may no longer be used, if you install Windows from an MSDN ISO.

    A clean Windows 8.1 installation from an MSDN ISO in UEFI boot mode (my hard disk partitions):

    Partition 1 - Recovery - 300 MB
    Partition 2 - System - 99 MB
    Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
    Partition 4 - Primary - 930 GB
    Sorry if I'm being a bit dumb about this, but isn't your Recovery partition really small (300MB) compared to mine (12GB)?

    Are you suggesting I do a reset and then update through the store to 8.1?
    I was actually looking to avoid updating to 8.1 through the store because I've read that some people have been having problems with that route.

    Also, I've been reading around (this guy looks like he has the same problem) and it looks like a lot of the problems I've been having are related to some of the Dell pre-installed software, which I cannot figure out how to remove for some reason. So that's the main reason I want to do a completely clean install.

    Thanks again for your help!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Performing Clean Install Upgrade on Windows 8 Dell Laptop
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