Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How to upgrade to 8.1 if HDD windows cannot boot

  1. #1


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1

    How to upgrade to 8.1 if HDD windows cannot boot


    I want to over install 8.1 over my 8.

    My current 8 will not boot. I cannot fix the boot volume because the data it needs to do that is broken on the broken HDD win 8. The various forum advice consolidates to fixing that by reinstalling 8 / installing 8.1 then going back and trying to fix the boot volume.

    So, I try to install (upgrade to) win 8.1 using the Microsoft download (and ultimately the product key in the bios) but it falls at the first hurdle saying 'basically' compatibility report - boot from HDD first then put in the installation media (DVD) and restart the upgrade.

    SO! It is not possible to upgrade to win 8.1 if your win 8.0 is already broken (even if you have valid product key in the bios) UNLESS you are prepared to sacrifice all your data and applications! Why is this?

    It is not possible to install or reinstall Win 8.0 if it is broken (keeping or not keeping your data and applications) since there is no Microsoft download of win 8.0.

    If I use the repair media and select to repair windows for some reason it doesn't ask me for an installation disk to get windows files off to perform the repair, it just says the drive (HDD?) is locked. It is unclear what the locked terminology means by the consensus on various forums are that locked means the boot volume is broken and I need to fix that first, but when I try to do that it wants information (store) off windows to do it and that bit of windows is broken.

    I do not understand why (considering my files and apps appear (from folder navigation) to be intact) I cannot just fix / overwrite my windows OS (8, 8.1 what ever) then fix the EFI Boot loader then restart. Why is this so hard to do I just don'y understand.

    I would be very grateful of any help and any clarity that can be brought to my understanding.

    Thank you.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    An OS upgrade is a rather complex business and can only be done from within the original OS. Windows upgrades have always worked that way. It does not completely replace the original registry as much of that is required for installed programs. Parts of the registry are retained while others are replaced or modified. This is not simple. My understanding of the process is limited and it has not been fully documented.

    Even if the original OS was bootable there is no guarantee the upgrade would be successful.

    Sorry, I cannot help you with the problem, only explain the situation.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 135
    Windows 8 Pro


    I have one suggestion you can try if you have access to a working computer. The program, Macrium Reflect Free, has a feature to repair boot problems. Install Macrium Reflect Free to a working computer, then create a rescue USB or DVD. From the broken computer, boot the rescue media you just created and try the "Fix Windows Boot Problems" feature. I used this feature once and it worked. I have read other people tried it and it didn't work. Like I said earlier, it is something to try.

    Here is the download link for Macrium Reflect Free

    Here is a guide to fix the the boot problem
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1


    Thank you I really appreciate your help.

    I am building a vocabulary as I go, I have repair, restore, now I have rescue is this the same as repair media or something different again?

    Or is it a macrium spelling? (bizarre, can't see earlier posts while editing my post) specific DVD/USB.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 14
    Windows 8.1


    I have win 8 repair disk and USB, which includes command prompt and also parted magic DVD.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 135
    Windows 8 Pro


    The repair disk and USB is not the same as the rescue disk I was talking about.

    To make the rescue disk, you have to download and install Macrium Reflect Free. Once the installation is complete, it will ask if you want to make a rescue disk. Click yes, you have a choice to make the rescue disk on a USB flash drive or DVD or maybe CD. I'm not sure about CD, I always make it on a USB flash drive

    The Macrium Reflect program can clone your hard drive or make images of your hard drive. It can do more, but they are its two main features. The rescue disk it used to restore those images. It has a feature to fix boot problem.

    If you made an image of your hard drive with Macrium Reflect before you started having this boot problem, you could restore that image with the rescue disk. Your problem would be solved.

    If your hard drive would fail, you could replace it with a new one, and restore the image you made with Macrium Reflect. All your programs, documents, pictures would be restored with it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

How to upgrade to 8.1 if HDD windows cannot boot
Related Threads
I am currently using windows 7. I used the upgrade assistant and it showed me this message- "Secure boot isnt compatible with your pc. Your pc's firmware doesn't support secure boot" Will i be able to use win 8.1 in my pc?:sarc: My configurations are- Intel core 2 duo 3Ghz 4 GB ram
Firstly, thanks for all the tutorials - made life relatively straightforward. Starting point - Windows Vista 32 bit PC and Windows 7 64 bit PC. Bought an upgrade and downloaded Windows 8 Pro on the 64 bit machine. Saved the install media to a .iso Burned a DVD. Now over to the 32 bit...
I have a newer Lenovo laptop with a factory Windows 7 installation in partition a and Ubuntu 12.10 installed from ISO in partition b. The dual boot manager came from the Ubuntu installation and there is lots of remaining disk space. I'd like to add Windows 8 to the boot menu, or failing that I'd...
Hello, I currently have a Windows 7 / Windows XP dual boot setup. If I upgrade to Windows 8 will I retain the dual boot function or will I have to reconfigure it? Thanks, Correy
I have Win 7 installed on my main HDD. If I purchase the 40$ Windows 8 upgrade, can I install Windows 8 on a separate partition of the same HDD while keeping the Win 7 partition available (and untouched) through a dual boot option? If so, can I rely on the Windows 8 setup application to take...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook