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Old Asus Laptop will not boot into Windows 8. Please help!


Posts
5
#1
Hi! Thanks for any help in advance!
I will go ahead and give you the context and the things that I have tried.

Context: Old ASUS laptop more than 6 years old, Intel Core i3, 500Gb HDD, 4Gb RAM, Windows 8. 3 years ago I had a problem with two keys RIGHT and DELETE; technician said it could be the motherboard, but wasn't sure. Laptop worked fine. Four months ago I unearthed it: still working fine. A couple of months ago turned it on and it would go to a black screen ask for a password and then remain black. No Windows, no nothing.
It seems to be a HDD problem. I don't care about the files, but I do need this laptop to work, so formatting the HDD if it will work is fine, really.

1. I tried changing the BIOS settings as seen in forums: disabled Fast Boot, Secure Boot Control; enabled Launch CSM. ASUS logo started showing up, Windows Startup Repair would show on screen. After 30min to an hour, it would go to a Blue Screen stating the file SrtTrail.exe could not be found.
(Important: HDD does show in BIOS)

2. I tried varied options in the Start Up repair menu. (You can check Windows Startup Repair 1.jpg and 2.jpg). None of it really worked. There are no previous restore points, also can't pinpoint the system image.

3. After failing many times, I opted for the Bootable USB option using the Windows USB/DVD tool and used it with the laptop. Didn't work for a few tries while booting. Took its time. Finally I was prompted to a window like the one shown in Windows Installation 1.png. It has been the only time I have ever gotten to this installation window. I checked out "INSTALL NOW" and I selected Upgrade this PC. It told me to insert USB when booting. I went back a page and selected REPAIR YOUR COMPUTER. This didn't work at all: Black Screen and Loop. After this, I never got to the installation window ever again, even with the bootable USB intact.

4. Tried using the Bootable USB again, turning the Legacy option, didn't work. Tried without the legacy option, didn't work.

5. Next I have tried Command Prompt from the Startup window to try to get answers/fix the problem. Command Prompt shows the drive X:, even though the initial drive was C:. It will not let me chkdsk C: because it is RAW, it will also not let me do it on X: because it is NTFS and locked. (Ref. CMD - CANT CHKDSK.jpg)

6. Used DISKPART to try to do something about the HDD, it shows Disk 0 ONLINE, and then >list partition, it has 6 partitions. (Ref. CMD - SIX PARTITIONS...jpg). I don't know if the partitions are necessary and what they entail. (Also, it would not clear disk attributes, so it is locked.)

7. Tried list volume, and after waiting 3 hours it has showcased the partitions of the volumes. EDIT: 5 volumes, 4 RAW, all healthy. 4 hidden.

So at this point I am stuck, I don't know my best option to get this laptop up and running. I cannot take it to a technician because of the whole virus problem. I can't buy a new one because I can't afford one right now. The internet has solutions for individual aspects of the problem, but nothing that tackles all these things.
Any ideas?
Thank you!
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
Posts
63
#2
Apparently you indeed have an HDD problem (as it shows the device I/O error during Chkdsk). If so, the attempts to install Windows anew will fail, even if the partitions has a free RAW volume, but it either is inaccessible or cannot be used. In such situation, your options are quite limited: the best is to replace HDD with a new one, if you can buy it or take from other unused machine. Otherwise you can try again to re-format HDD, starting from RAW volume only. If success, you should see the NTFS drive C: which you can access, check and copy there some files using command prompt (for test, of course). If this isn't successful, delete all partitions and try to format the HDD as a single new partition (there is a chance that the disk is damaged only partially somewhere in the current RAW volume area and this format will be able to mark the damaged sectors and exclude them). If success, you can try again to install Windows from USB.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-6700 (Skylake)
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus VIII Gene
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 235PQ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 (FHD)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 950 Pro, 512 GB
Posts
5
#3
Thank you for your response! Could you please clarify if I should clean the partition, create partition and then format or just go straight to format?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
Posts
63
#4
In the same situation I would try the less destructive actions first, starting from creation of full system backup to the external HDD. As I understood, the user files on the PC aren't important for you, so this step can be skipped. The next:

1) Try to re-format existing OS partition to NTFS. If it has only a few errors (unreadable sectors, for example), this may work. If success, you can check it using chkdsk and then attempt to install Windows.

2) If not (like damage of HDD is more extensive), try re-create this partition. Delete it and create a partition anew, then try to format as usual. There is a chance that damaged area will be excluded during this process. It's also possible to create a lesser partition, or even two in this place, e.g 2 x 200 Gb instead of 400 Gb, it may give another chance that at least one of them doesn't have any defects. Use checkdisk and attempt to install OS (don't forget to assign letter C: first). Smaller partition isn't a problem, because Windows allows to extend OS partition using the adjacent free space, if need.

3) If nothing above works, the last chance is to delete all partitions, create a new one and re-format HDD space. Additional partitions usually include the automated restoration, manufacturer's drivers, OS and other distributions, but they become obsolete quite quickly. And missed manufacturer's drivers usually are available to download on the support page of this PC. If format was successful even with a lot of defect sectors, you should be able to install Windows again. If not, the HDD failure is serious and disk should be replaced (you will see it even before this step from the results of formatting). Of course, it's possible to assign a special empty partition to the defect area, but it's a long procedure and I don't think that it's worth your efforts.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-6700 (Skylake)
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus VIII Gene
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 235PQ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 (FHD)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 950 Pro, 512 GB
Posts
5
#5
In the same situation I would try the less destructive actions first, starting from creation of full system backup to the external HDD. As I understood, the user files on the PC aren't important for you, so this step can be skipped. The next:

1) Try to re-format existing OS partition to NTFS. If it has only a few errors (unreadable sectors, for example), this may work. If success, you can check it using chkdsk and then attempt to install Windows.

2) If not (like damage of HDD is more extensive), try re-create this partition. Delete it and create a partition anew, then try to format as usual. There is a chance that damaged area will be excluded during this process. It's also possible to create a lesser partition, or even two in this place, e.g 2 x 200 Gb instead of 400 Gb, it may give another chance that at least one of them doesn't have any defects. Use checkdisk and attempt to install OS (don't forget to assign letter C: first). Smaller partition isn't a problem, because Windows allows to extend OS partition using the adjacent free space, if need.

3) If nothing above works, the last chance is to delete all partitions, create a new one and re-format HDD space. Additional partitions usually include the automated restoration, manufacturer's drivers, OS and other distributions, but they become obsolete quite quickly. And missed manufacturer's drivers usually are available to download on the support page of this PC. If format was successful even with a lot of defect sectors, you should be able to install Windows again. If not, the HDD failure is serious and disk should be replaced (you will see it even before this step from the results of formatting). Of course, it's possible to assign a special empty partition to the defect area, but it's a long procedure and I don't think that it's worth your efforts.
Thank you Slavic! Right now I am formatting volume 0, but it is stuck in 0%. If that doesn't change I will follow the next step. Thank you for your support!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
Posts
5
#6
So it does not let me reformat the partitions. Should I use CLEAN or CLEAN ALL command on the disk? Thanks
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
Posts
63
#7
Of course you can use the "clean" command of diskpart to remove all partitions ("clean all" will erase entire disk, which takes much time, several hours, and doesn't need in most cases). But it's a last resort, as I tried to explain above. Which problems you encounter at attempt to re-format the existing partition or re-create the partition, does it show a specific error like no access, no rights to do this, a protection from deleting, which may be intentionally set by manufacturer... or simply disk I/O error?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-6700 (Skylake)
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus VIII Gene
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 235PQ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 (FHD)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 950 Pro, 512 GB
Posts
5
#8
Hi Slavic! Thank you for your response. When I try to re-format the partition, it tells me "Diskpart has encountered an error: the parameter is incorrect". When I try to clean the partition, it tells me "the request cannot be completed because of an I/O device error". When I try to delete the partition it says "cannot delete a protected partition without the force protected parameter set". And it also does not let me clear readonly attribute.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    ASUS
Posts
63
#9
The last problem can be solved easily using the force parameter, like "delete partition override", but the existence of I/O error may be a real problem after... I suggest to remove HDD from laptop and connect it to a working desktop PC as a secondary drive, of course, if you have such option. Check it, attempt to re-partition and re-format in working OS (Windows 7 or later). Then you will be able to decide whether this HDD is operational or it should be replaced.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    CPU
    i7-6700 (Skylake)
    Motherboard
    Asus Maximus VIII Gene
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus GeForce 1050 Ti, 4 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 235PQ
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080 (FHD)
    Hard Drives
    Samsung SSD 950 Pro, 512 GB

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