Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


problems reinstalling W8 using USB recovery media

  1. #1

    problems reinstalling W8 using USB recovery media


    Hi all

    This is a long story so I'll try to keep it brief. Lenovo Thinkpad E540. Came with Windows 8 - I followed the instructions to write the USB recovery media. Installed 8.1 shortly after it became available. A while after Windows 10 came out I thought I'd upgrade, knowing I could always go back to Windows 8 if I didn't like it. Had some problems with W10 (DVD drive was intermittently missing) so decided to go back to W8. That's when the problems started.

    Had a hell of a job getting laptop to boot from the USB drive. Changed the boot order to the USB device and it flashed like it was using it but always just booted into Window's 10 recovery features. Choosing the USB options from within that just restarted and I ended up in the same place. After looking around on the web I saw people with the same problem had changed their BIOS options to get it to actually boot from USB. I turned off "secure boot" and some other options and finally I got somewhere. Not the Windows 8 install options I was expecting but recovery sort of options, but running from the USB stick rather than the W10 ones. I chose to reset the PC and it asked me about partitioning. I said to leave the partitioning as is but it wouldn't accept that so I had to choose to repartition. I thought I'd get some options but it just carried on and did it. After that it started resetting and counted slowly up to 100%. Great I thought. After it finished it restarted and booted from the USB stick again. Closed that down took the stick out and restarted. No W8.

    Thought I should change the BIOS options back to how they were and Windows will then start. I think I have put them back to how they were (yes, I know I should have made a note) but I still can't get W8 to boot. Previously top of the boot order list was "Windows Boot Manager" but that is no longer there.

    I don't know whether my BIOS options are stopping Windows starting or whether the fact that the Windows installer has zapped all the partitions that's stopping it but please can someone advise me? I have a very expensive door stop at the moment!

    thanks

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 73
    w7 pro - ( Server 2012 build 9200 ) - Server 2016 - Mint 18.2


    Hello CB. Welcome to Eight Forums.

    Lots of issues here.
    I have a Lenovo.
    Unclear what you want to do.
    Do you want to go back to 8.0?
    Let me say this, having a Lenovo that did not include recovery media,
    even though they detail how to recreate recovery media,
    I found it useful that Lenovo offers (perhaps not every machine) the option to buy recovery media in the form of DVDs.

    The recovery media I bought from Lenovo completely wipes the drive and deletes all partitions and restores the device as it was when purchased no matter what is there. The only thing the user must do is reset the bios to all default settings.

    I know this is not much help.
    Once 10 is installed over 8.1 (upgraded) or with 8.1 dual boot,
    I doubt you can just go back to 8.0 without wiping the drive and doing a clean installation.
    Have you tried your usb recovery media on a wiped drive (no partitions) on unallocated space?

    Clean Install - Windows 8

    Do you have a bootable usb tool to wipe the drive?
    I am probably not understanding, but it seems you had 8.0, then you upgraded to 8.1, then you installed 10.
    Did you install 10 as a dual boot or upgrade of 8.1?

    Windows 10 - Go Back to Previous Windows - Windows 10 Forums

    Do you want to go back to 8.0?
    I am not sure if one can go back from 10 to 8.1 to 8.0 without doing a clean installation.

    Perhaps someone else will jump in and correct anything I said or help out.
    I cannot stay here to help because I am at a donut shop using free wifi.
    Had too much coffee already.
    Good Luck
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Thanks for your reply.

    I want to go back to Windows 8, doing a clean install. No dual booting. I'd certainly be happier with DVD install media. The laptop came with a DVD drive so I have always felt that it should have come with an install DVD but I know that no longer happens these days.

    I did a clean install and it repartitioned the drive so presumably that got rid of everything that remained of W10. I'm sure I could find a tool to wipe the drive and give it another go.

    Can you share your BIOS settings - presuming you are running W8 (or W10 which I assume will require the same BIOS settings). I did set them back to the "Defaults" within the BIOS but these did not seem the same as they were before (which had not changed since I purchased the laptop).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 73
    w7 pro - ( Server 2012 build 9200 ) - Server 2016 - Mint 18.2


    I am running a version of 8.0 which is build 9200. The OS I use with the Lenovo is Server 2012.
    My setup is different than a normal enduser configuration since this system does not connect to the internet
    and is installed with zero updates, none. Updates are completely disabled and none are installed by Microsoft.
    Build 9200 totally OOBE.

    Can you share your BIOS settings - presuming you are running W8
    Not using UEFI.

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Thanks for taking the time to do this - when I get home I will try and apply this to my settings and see how I get on. I had to change my BIOS settings to get it to boot of the USB drive so maybe the BIOS settings meant the OS didn't install properly. Bring back fdisk!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 9
    Windows 7/8/10 UEFI/GPT system


    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 - Install Windows 8/10 in UEFI mode with Secure Boot enabled:

    Startup > UEFI/Legacy Boot > UEFI Only
    Startup > CSM Support > No

    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 - Install Windows 8/10 in Legacy BIOS mode without Secure Boot:

    Startup > UEFI/Legacy Boot > Legacy Only

    SOURCE: https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/docs/UM019148

    Quote Originally Posted by CBailey View Post
    Had a hell of a job getting laptop to boot from the USB drive.
    Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E540 - Reboot the computer and press the F12 key rapidly (before the Windows logo appears). You should get a boot menu that allows you to select the device.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Thanks Nipax.

    I did get the Boot menu open but although I selected the USB drive it didn't start from it without me having to change the BIOS settings. I'll try it again tonight when I get home as I was trying a lot of things in desperation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 9
    Windows 7/8/10 UEFI/GPT system


    Quote Originally Posted by CBailey View Post
    I did get the Boot menu open but although I selected the USB drive it didn't start from it without me having to change the BIOS settings.
    If you install from USB flash drive you should check that the USB flash drive is formatted with FAT32 file system (required for UEFI installation).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Thanks for your input nt65 and Nipax. After following your advice here's what happened...

    With the BIOS set to Secure Boot

    Trying to install without partitioning gave me the following error;
    Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing.

    Trying to install with partitioning the drive gave me the following error;
    Unable to reset your PC. The drive is too small to be partitioned.

    With the BIOS set without Secure Boot
    Trying to install without partitioning gave me the following error;
    Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing.

    Trying to install with partitioning the drive gave me the following error;
    This went through the same process as last night - it spent a while resetting the PC and when it got to 100% (after restarting) it wouldn't boot. The boot menu came up and no matter whether I chose the main HDD or the 16GB SSD drive nothing started.

    Does the fact that I've got this SSD drive matter? I can't remember what the feature was called but it is supposed to speed up the main drive by caching commonly used files.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    One more bit of info - when I do boot off the USB drive I don't get the installer (as shown https://www.eightforums.com/attachmen...-8-a-step1.png) - I get recovery option basically; refreshing or resetting my PC.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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