Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Options available when hard drive fails

  1. #1


    Posts : 27
    windows 7

    Options available when hard drive fails


    About a year ago couple bought an HP Midi Tower PC from a well known store really cheap because it had been a display machine, and it has Windows 8 installed. The computer recently started malfunctioning and so they asked us to take a look. First thing we noticed was that there was no PID label on the side, but have since learned that is no longer used for Win 8 machines. They have no disk(s) either, just the machine, but there is a recovery partition on the HDD, from which I was able to 'refresh' the system before giving it back. This was a temp solution, aimed at them getting their personal stuff off, because the hard drive is failing, and indeed the machine stopped working again just a few days after we returned it.
    My question is, after putting a new drive in, given that the machine already has the PID hash in the BIOS, is there a way I can get the system back on without them having to buy another copy of Windows 8? OR could they legally put a copy of a different version of Windows on the machine instead ( which is the preferred option), and get that accepted, given that the original for Windows 8 is still in the BIOS, ie, could they override the original PID with one for the new OS??? Please advise.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    If you have an installation media (CD/USB) with the same version as the OEM from HP then you can do a fresh install and Windows will automatically activated with the built in PID.

    If you are currently running Windows 8 and say you install Windows 8 Pro then you have to buy a new Key for the Pro version.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 27
    windows 7


    topgun, they have no media.When the machine came to us it was running 8.1. The refresh sent it back to 8. Where would I get a copy of Windows 8 from, apart from buying it - is it available as an .iso and can I download it without knowing the Product Key??
    Last edited by pawz7; 29 Oct 2014 at 08:16.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Sorry I assumed that you have some kind of installation media. However, one option is to order the media from HP.
    Another option is to clone the old HD to the new HD and do a refresh from the new HD. You can download the Macrium Rescue ISO from my Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxg...ew?usp=sharing
    then use Rufus - Create bootable USB . With the new HD connected to the USB port, boot up the PC then clone from the old to the new. Disconnect the old HD and connect the new HD then do a refresh.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 27
    windows 7


    I think a rescue disk from HP would be the only sure option, cost them about 40.00. The old drive seems in too uncertain a state to attempt the other option ( though I will file your comments in 'useful to know'). Thing is, they keep saying they want to go back to Windows 7. Could they do that and have the Win 7 OS PID accepted when the BIOS is 'hardwired' to only accept the Windows 8 PID??
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 27
    windows 7


    OK, I have found that the only way these folk can go back to Windows 7 is if they put on a retail version - is that right do you know?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    Yes, if they are willing to spend the money. However, it would not hurt to try with Macrium Rescue disk first and hope the Recovery Partition in the old HD is not damaged or corrupted.

    Putting Windows 7 back will require Windows 7 PID. However, I think Windows 8 is faster and snappier and you can also customize it to look and feel like Windows 7.

    Hope this help !!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Quote Originally Posted by pawz7 View Post
    topgun, they have no media.When the machine came to us it was running 8.1. The refresh sent it back to 8. Where would I get a copy of Windows 8 from, apart from buying it - is it available as an .iso and can I download it without knowing the Product Key??
    This vbs script may help in finding your Key.

    ShowKey v1.3.vbs

    A picture---

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 27
    windows 7


    thank you David - that machine is back to 8 now, but will save this info for future ref. I have saved the script on my own computer; very useful toy
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 27
    windows 7


    topgun, I hear what you say, and if the machine comes back here for us to put a new drive in I will give it a go if they still want Win 8. Otherwise it will be Win 7 retail or a recovery disk from HP - so that is three options. You are a treasure
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Options available when hard drive fails
Related Threads
Any idea why my SSD is listed as a 'Hard disk drive' instead of 'Solid state drive' as in your screenshots above? I am running W8 Pro x64 RTM from Technet. In Device Manager my SSD shows as a 'Samsung SSD 830 Series SCSI Disk Device'. I wonder if it's being on a Marvell controller might be the...
It always fails to Clone/copy my current hard that has bad sectors, to a new hard disk. My present HDD is a 320GB and its health is really bad. I bought a new 500 hard disk and tried to clone and copy the whole HDD. I tried Paragon HDD Manager, O&O disk image and other two Software. All of them...
Running Windows 8.1 and File History was working OK for my computer, actually on two different computers worked just fine. (I never could get File History to work with Windows 8). Then suddenly this feature just up an quit. Got a little "red" flag in the Action Center. Using the control panel an...
Hard drive crash enquiry My hard drive recently crashed on my desktop running XP and due to the discontinuation of support for XP, I decided to upgrade with a new motherboard, memory, hard drive etc., now running Win 8.1, which has been working fine so far. My problem is that there is...
I'm booting off my SSD which is drive C:\ and I have games and programs on an extra hard drive which was origanally drive H:\ but after a restart it switched to I:\ and when I go into Disk Management to change it Drive H:\ isn't there.
I have a 2TB Western Digital My Book Essentials, it's filled with tons of old photos, movies, docs, games, and I'm scared to think of what else. The SATA to USB connector broke on it, so I took the drive apart and put it inside my computer. I opened up device manager because it wasn't showing up...
So the same issues i had in Windows 8 Release Preview too and i was hoped to be fixed in Windows 8 RTM but still the same! So the issue about HDD is that i'm using two hard drives; one is Western Digital which is primary with Windows 8 installed on it and the other is Hitachi which i use it for...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook