Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to make a bootable Windows 8.1 ISO image for refresh?

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    Win81

    How to make a bootable Windows 8.1 ISO image for refresh?


    Please excuse my detail problem listing below...

    What is the the best way to solve our laptop win811 OS startup problem caused by an empty blank grey screen that immediately appears and prevents startup after a successful POST/BIOS test? I do not want to have to reinstall the OS from scratch!

    QUESTIONS:
    Is the best way to solve this problem to refresh the win 8.1.1 files with a bootable Windows 8.1.1 refresh ISO image on DVD?

    How should I make a bootable Windows 8.1.1 refresh ISO image when we only have the original Win8.0 upgrade disc with the retail reg key?

    Where could I find a completed ISO image like this on the eightforums.com?

    DETAILS:
    My son has a Dell 1545 4GB laptop where he manually installed the full Win 8.0 package as 32-bit with the Win8 retail key. The OS was later upgraded to 32-bit Win 8.1 and later to 8.1.1 from the MS Windows Update website. The laptop has worked great since last Summer until this past week.

    The problem that started 4 days ago is that he turned off the laptop normally one evening and when he powered on the next day, the laptop passed its POST tests OK but the screen immediately went grey and no disk I/O activity on the hard drive was visible.

    DIAGNOSTICS & REPAIRS ATTEMPTED:
    1.) Booted to Win8PE OK through USB stick and all OS files seem present
    2.) I manually deleted all TMP files
    3.) I ran Defraggler and defragged files on the drive. However, the laptop swapfile is listed as having 5 fragments that wont defrag
    4.) I ran CHKDSK /R on the problem drive and no errors were found in index or files.
    5.) I ran bootrec /RebuildBcd to check MBR
    6.) I ren system system.001 and software software.001 & then rebboted with same grey screen result
    7.) Win 8.0 Automated Repair on the Win8.0 upgrade DVD will not work because we have Win 8.1.1 installed
    8.) Any Win 8.0 upgrade disc Automated Repair or Refresh files attempts are blocked by "drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."
    9.) I attempted to use the Win8 upgrade disc to access the "System Restore Points" where I attempted to restore from 5/31 and 6/1. However these attempts failed and I received a msg that "a unspecified file could not be found"... probably because the system restore app is looking for win8.1.1 files on the win8.0 upgrade disk.

    What should I do to better diagnose and fix this pesky Win 8.1.1 startup problem that prevents my refresh attempts?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    you can download and create windows 8.1 setup media > Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help
    you can use the way as your 8 media - which is obsolete now.. No need for 8 software 8.1 reads the 8 key and will clean install using the 8 key or 8.1 key
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 3
    Win81

    Need bootable Win 8.1.1 ISO forREFRESH -not full reinstall


    Thanks for the reply, KYHI.

    I originally asked forum members, "How [can I] make a bootable Windows 8.1 ISO image for refresh?" I also asked "What should I do to better diagnose and fix this pesky Win 8.1.1 startup problem that prevents my refresh attempts?"

    The website URL you suggest at Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help does not seem to help or answer my question because it shows how to make a install disk that wipes my HD clean of ALL files before doing a new full install.

    I want to make a bootable DVD that allows me to REFRESH an existing Win 8.1.1 install and avoid having to re-install from scratch. A full re-install of the OS and all apps that you suggest could easily take me 5+ hours to complete.

    Do you have any suggestions how to create a bootable ISO image that enables me to REFRESH the existing win 8.1.1 install? Do you have any other ideas how I can better diagnose and fix my "gray screen" problem that occurs before the OS loads and if a win 8.1.1 refresh may solve this problem?

    Thanks again, Steve
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4



    Trying to Sith things out
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 2,290
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit


    Click image for larger version
    Are you looking for this?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    7.) Win 8.0 Automated Repair on the Win8.0 upgrade DVD will not work because we have Win 8.1.1 installed
    8.) Any Win 8.0 upgrade disc Automated Repair or Refresh files attempts are blocked by "drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."
    9.) I attempted to use the Win8 upgrade disc to access the "System Restore Points" where I attempted to restore from 5/31 and 6/1. However these attempts failed and I received a msg that "a unspecified file could not be found"... probably because the system restore app is looking for win8.1.1 files on the win8.0 upgrade disk.
    7.) Win 8.0 Automated Repair on the Win8.0 upgrade DVD will not work because we have Win 8.1.1 installed
    8.) Any Win 8.0 upgrade disc Automated Repair or Refresh files attempts are blocked by "drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."
    9.) I attempted to use the Win8 upgrade disc to access the "System Restore Points" where I attempted to restore from 5/31 and 6/1. However these attempts failed and I received a msg that "a unspecified file could not be found"... probably because the system restore app is looking for win8.1.1 files on the win8.0 upgrade disk.
    you mentioned several times your windows 8 disc failed because you have 8.1
    download and create USE windows 8.1 setup media disc as your recovery disk

    instead of selecting INSTALL - select Repair this computer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 3
    Win81

    Microsoft's blind & lazy response: "erase all & reinstall"


    << Please excuse my FLAME ON>>This is an update to my Win8.1.1 break/fix problems that are still unresolved... I now understand additional reasons why Microsoft is a company in trouble and seems to be further sinking by alienating customers like me with their poor Customer Support rules/regulations and their lack of Tech Skills or Tools needed to diagnose and fix OS problems. I am going to let my son know what problems he has caused by not backing up his laptop HD regularly and not creating a current & updated OS Restore CD.

    I attempted to re-install Win8.0 Pro Retail 32-bit from the original DVD over the current Win8.1.1 install. However my re-install attempt failed with an error "the System Registry is missing or has errors" with error code 0xc000000f. I also attempted to fix this registry error by running win 8.0 install CD automated fix (failed with same error above) and the Microsoft media creation kit ISO file with Automated fix for Win 8.1 Pro Retail using a local install (also failed with error above). No Microsoft Tech Support staff even mentioned how I could restore a backup copy of the Win8.1.1 registry or do a system restore (I tried and it failed). I wonder how I can correctly restore the Win8.1.1 registry hive from a reg backup manually saved 2 weeks ago, when I can't even boot the Win8.1.1 OS to Safe-Mode and have no restore disk available...

    KYHI suggested earlier: "you can download and create windows 8.1 setup media > Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help... you can use the way as your 8 media - which is obsolete now.. No need for 8 software 8.1 reads the 8 key and will clean install using the 8 key or 8.1 key"
    + The Windows 8 Media Creator Kit that KYHI refers allows a choice of several Win8 Retail Version ISO downloads (Win8.1 Basic local install, Win8.1 Basic Network install. Win8.1 Pro local install, and Win8.1 Pro Network install. MICROSOFT TECH SUPPORT SAYS A WIN8.0 PRO KEY WILL ONLY WORK WITH A WIN8.0 INSTALL CD AND NOT A WIN8.1 INSTALL CD.

    + Microsoft Level 1 Tech Support said that any use of a Win8.1 or Win8.0 install CD will require a FULL install that erases the complete contents of the hard drive startup partition and requires a complete reinstall of all software and applications. My trying to fix this Win8.1.1 initial boot problem that results in a grey screen on startup apparently cannot be solved by an automated fix or by Microsoft Tech Support staff who only look for easy answers that require little time and/or no tech support effort.

    Cliff S suggested that I create a "Recovery drive" by using Control Panel ->All Control Panel Items -> Recovery in the Win8 OS. If I could even get to a Windows v8 Normal or Safe-Mode desktop, I would be happy. I cannot get the Win8 OS to even start loading, so I do not have access to any Control Panel functions...

    Instead of their attempting to diagnosing and fix my Win8.1.1 boot problem, Microsoft Tech Support tried to "dump" my support request by:

    1.) Microsoft L1s made NO EFFORT to diagnose this re-install/upgrade/update problem and gave me their "erase all & reinstall" generic answer because they apparently could not find any online Knowledgebase reference to this "grey screen problem". Microsoft Level 1 Tech Support Reps claim I have to backup all data files, erase my laptop drive, and then perform a FULL re-install of only Win8.0 system files. I would then have to upgrade to Win8.1 and finally upgrade to win8.1.1. This would take in excess of 8 hours of my personal time and effort to download, reinstall/upgrade the OS files and all application software + restore and test the data backups.

    2.) Microsoft L1 TSRs declined to forward my support request to L2 support claiming I did not have a current "subscription agreement" that enables "extended support" of my Win8 license. Microsoft Tech Support staff now claim that the Microsoft Win8 Retail warranty and any "free" support is only valid for 90 days from the date of activation in December, 2012. When I purchased this Win8 Pro Retail software at MicroCenter on Thanksgiving Day in 2012,, the retailer's staff claimed there was unlimited tech support by Microsoft for this Win8 Pro version... There is absolutely no mention of a 90-day limited warranty on the original purchase packaging or documentation. I have never been notified by Microsoft in writing since I purchased this Win8 Pro Retail version that Microsoft changed the original terms and conditions of the warranty after my purchase of their software license. Microsoft staff could not tell me today if or when Microsoft changed the terms and conditions of warranty support to 90 days.

    3.) Microsoft L1 TSRs all declined to forward me to their Department Supervisors or to L2 Support after I made specific requests to talk to a Supervisor. One L1 TSR put me on hold for 1 Hour and finally hung up on me, the second L1 TSR simply hung up after I asked to speak to a Supervisor, and the 3rd L1 TSR claimed her Supervisor was "too busy on another call" to talk to me,or call me back, despite my saying I was willing to wait..

    When will Microsoft get a clue their "support cost containment" policies anger customers like me and are leading to Microsoft's reduced sales. There is little wonder why so many people have switched from Microsoft Windows to Android-based systems, Apple products or other competing operating systems.

    <<FLAME OFF>>
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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