Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Reinstall issues after hard drive failure

  1. #1

    Reinstall issues after hard drive failure


    Hi. I don't know much about Windows 8 so I am looking for some help in this matter. Here's the situation...

    A friend of mine has a Acer laptop running Windows 8. When it boots up there's a message that says "No Bootable Device Found." I tested his hard drive and it's a complete failure. I even took it out and hooked it up to a dock to try and view and recover files and it's not readable at all. Below are my questions about it which I hope you can help me with...

    1. I know he needs to purchase a new hard drive. 2. He never made recovery media so I guess he must order recovery media from Acer or is there another way around this? Is there a Windows 8 iso for download that I can use to reinstall his OS? What about a OS product code? How do I know what his registration code is? Is it in the BIOS? How can I find it? Any and all help with this is greatly appreciated as I am a novice with Windows 8. Thank you!

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  2. #2


    The forum tutorials are your friend.
    Here is the one about downloading the Win 8 iso.
    Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 ISO - Download or Create
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    I thought that tutorial was only for retail versions of Win8. I stopped at the very beginning where it says...

    "If you purchased Windows 8/8.1 and have a "retail" Windows 8/8.1 product key, then this tutorial will show you how to create or download an upgrade Windows 8 ISO or full Windows 8.1 Update ISO file directly from Microsoft."

    And...

    "You will need to have your Windows 8 or 8.1 product key number from your retail box package OR online order information in the confirmation email for your purchase."

    Maybe that tutorial can be edited to note that it also has a section to address OEM versions? Speaking of which... how do I know what version of Windows 8 he had if the hard drive is a total loss?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Follow Option One: (recommended) Download Windows 8.1 Update ISO File with "Windows Installation Media Creation Tool"

    It will allow you to download and create a Windows 8.1 (not 8) bootable flash drive or ISO that can then be used to clean install Windows 8.1 using the embedded Windows 8 key. No need to install Windows 8.

    Easiest is to create a bootable flash drive (4GB or larger) then boot from it to start the install.

    Good instructions here for that: Clean Install - Windows 8
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Right, I got that. What I would like to know is how can I tell what version he has... the "regular" basic edition or Pro version? Don't I need to know that so I pick the proper version for download? Thanks!!!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Open a Command prompt and enter winver. It should say in there what it is.

    Also right click on Computer and select Properties. It should also tell you.
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  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Ztruker View Post
    Open a Command prompt and enter winver. It should say in there what it is.

    Also right click on Computer and select Properties. It should also tell you.

    That can't be done in this case. As noted in my OP...

    "When it boots up there's a message that says "No Bootable Device Found." I tested his hard drive and it's a complete failure. I even took it out and hooked it up to a dock to try and view and recover files and it's not readable at all."
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Right, sorry about that. I read it then promptly forgot it.

    The key is embedded in BIOS so as long as you get the right ISO it will read the key and activate. Since you don't know which version, I would try Windows 8.1. If it won't activate then try Windows 8.1 Pro but most likely the first one will work. If not there is still Windows 8.1 Single Language to try.

    One of them should work. Time consuming if you have to try multiple ISOs but I can't think of any other way to do it.

    I wonder if ShowKeyPlus will run from a WinPE disc/flash drive? If so then that would be a way to determine what version the embedded key shows. I'll see if I can find any info on this and if I do I'll update here.

    Edit: So far no luck with ShowKey or ShowKeyPlus from WinPE. KYHI is supposed to have a custom WinPE that it will run from. Waiting for a response to my post asking for a link to it to try.
    Last edited by Ztruker; 19 Oct 2015 at 18:16.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Thank you very much, I appreciate it!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    The instructions, if you get into the meat of it, says its also applicable to OEM versions. The only difference between a Retail and an OEM is the product key (and the OEM can only be installed on the original PC).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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