Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Options for complete wipe and reinstall w/recovery only

  1. #1


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X

    Options for complete wipe and reinstall w/recovery only


    Scenario:

    I have a Gateway laptop that I'm going to sell because I don't use it anymore. It originally came with Windows 8 (no install media), but I had since accepted the 8.1 upgrade whenever it became available. So to prepare for the sale, I chose to reset the PC to the factory Gateway settings from the recovery partition (went without a hitch) and being the nice guy that I am, went ahead and did all the updates, and attempted upgrading to 8.1 again. Nothing but problems. Several times I got messages that it couldn't install properly, needed to restart, or some other problem. I finally got into 8.1, continued to do the updates for 8.1 and now I'm stuck in an endless "Automatic Repair" boot. No matter what I do, I can't get it to pass this portion of the boot.

    I did, at one time, setup a Live boot (USB) of Linux with this laptop, but never messed with any of the drive partitions or anything. Only used the portions of the OS that would operate via the USB (was just trying a particular distribution.) When I go into my BIOS, one of the bootup options is "ubuntu", which I assume is being picked up from one of the partitions on the HDD. How this got there I have no idea. There must have been something that the live boot did at one point or another (or I did accidentally) to rename one of the partitions. However, diskpart doesn't report this label, GParted (in Linux) doesn't report this label, and I can't figure out how it got there. At this point I'm assuming that this (not the label, but something else) is possibly causing my issues.

    At this point I feel that I need to just wipe the drive completely off and start over. But I can't do that because Gateway didn't provide any install media. I have 8.1 media that I purchased for another machine, but I obviously can't use that.

    Is there a way to extract an installable tool from what I have available to me? I would also need to find out what OEM number Gateway provided with the initial installation so that I can legally install. Microsoft provides a free upgrade to 8.1 - I had a notion to call them, explain my situation, and ask them if I could just use my 8.1 media to do what I need. But I'd have to at least (if they would even do this) provide them with my Gateway 8 OEM number, which I don't have access to. It's blocked out except for the last 4-5 characters. (During the activation, you can see the verification.)

    What can I do? Will Gateway (Acer) provide install media for me to use? About how much will it cost? I"m not opposed to spending a little money since the problem could be caused by something I did to the partition. Thanks for any advice.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    Well alrighty then.

    After spending several hours of looking up through Google exactly what I wanted to do, I realized that what I wanted to do could not be done. I did resolve the issue, however. I'm not sure how. Thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2,690
    Windows 3.1 > Windows 10


    Sorry, did not see your post.. And I was here several times within the last 22 hrs..

    would of told you how to re-register the factory image..
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Even better would have been to install 8.1 directly via a download from Microsoft, skipping Windows 8 completely.

    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Raleigh, NC
    Posts : 33
    Windows 10 / Linux Mint 17.2 / OS X


    Uh, yeah. That would have been nice to know yesterday. That's exactly what I needed at the time - I'll have to read through that page thoroughly and remember that. Useful resource.

    However, in the meantime I had recalled that I in fact DID make the requested backup DVD's that the bloatware kept bothering me about the first few weeks that I had it. Basically, the Gateway backup software creates one DVD with the bloatware and drivers and another that is just a Windows 8 boot disk with repair/restore/troubleshooting etc. When I booted from this DVD and did the install (restore PC) that way, everything worked fine. After 4 hours of reinstalling Windows 8, doing all the updates, and installing them I went to bed. Woke up this morning, downloaded Windows 8.1. did the install and updates, and everything works. When I did this procedure basically twice from the machine HDD I was getting errors.

    All of these problems would be easily alleviated if media disks were included with computers. I'm very familiar with the process of doing fresh installs WITH MEDIA, but this whole new EUFI, cryptic hidden recovery partition mess is ridiculous. Yes, it's more convenient in some cases, but in others it's going to leave the end user in a lot of trouble. Crashed hard drives don't magically hold on to recovery partitions and make everything else go bye bye.

    I'm glad that you all are here. From the mid 90's to about 2003 I worked extensively with all of this stuff. I've been away from Windows so long I don't know how any of it works anymore.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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