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Performing Clean Install Upgrade on Windows 8 Dell Laptop


rama

New Member
Posts
6
#1
Hello, I have a Dell Inspiron 15R SE 7520 laptop that came with Windows 8 Core edition pre-installed. This laptop has never worked properly for some reason. It won't shutdown the normal way (it'll just stay on the shutdown screen forever) and it never comes back from sleep without a BSOD along with other troubles that haven't been solved by updating drivers,etc.

I decided I want to do a clean Windows 8.1 re-install and upgrade on my laptop to get rid of these problems, but it's been ages since I last did this (back in Win2K times, I used to dual boot Slackware Linux) and I've bee reading about all this UEFI, Secure Boot,etc and quite frankly it's making me quite nervous. I was even planning on taking this chance to dual boot some linux distro, but it looks sooo difficult. Things are much more complicated these days for the tinkerer!

I need a bit of help making sure I don't screw up, and if I do, I need to make sure I can get back to a running system quickly.

For starters, here is how the hard drive is partitioned: http://i.imgur.com/Tr4ke87.png
And this is the Diskpart output : http://hastebin.com/raw/mejazevose

1) Why do I have 5 partitions? I understand the recovery partition, the OS partition and (after lots of reading) the ESP partition, but I'm not sure about the others. What do I need to keep? I've been reading around and I see some people recommend wiping the whole drive and starting from scratch. Is this a good ide?

1.1)I'll create the installation media from a windows 8.1 MSDN ISO using a USB drive. When I start the installation process it will ask me where I want to reinstall it to. Do I just choose the OS partition? Won't the recovery partition be based on a Windows 8 image and be useless from now on?

2) What's the best way I can get back to a fully working system in case I screw up somehow? I've made an image of my drive using Macrium Reflect free edition. But I read here that I cannot make an image of a GPT disk. Will this image I made work for getting back to a working system quickly in case I screw up?


4)As a last resort, I've made a Recovery USB using the Dell Backup and Recovery Method. In the extreme case that I screw up real bad, will this work to get back a factory-state system even if I've wiped my hard drive clean? I'm assuming this tool is for helping users recover after a dead hard drive so it should work , right?

If you need any more info , let me know. Thanks in advance!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8 core
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7520 15R SE

genet

New Member
Guru
Posts
879
#2
1.1)I'll create the installation media from a windows 8.1 MSDN ISO using a USB drive. When I start the installation process it will ask me where I want to reinstall it to. Do I just choose the OS partition? Won't the recovery partition be based on a Windows 8 image and be useless from now on?
Delete all partitions until you only see Drive 0 Unallocated Space.



How to clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key?

Windows 7/8 setup: Installing using Legacy BIOS Boot Mode or UEFI Boot Mode.

4)As a last resort, I've made a Recovery USB using the Dell Backup and Recovery Method. In the extreme case that I screw up real bad, will this work to get back a factory-state system even if I've wiped my hard drive clean?
Note: This usually does not work if your hard disk is blank: link

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/2302-reset-windows-8-a.html

This will show you how to use a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to reset your PC to completely start over back to default to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. This is like doing a factory restore/recovery on a purchased computer.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo G580
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3230M
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, standard user account
    Other Info
    UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key.

theog

VIP Member
VIP Member
Gold Member
Posts
5,591
#3
1) Some of the partition are for the Recovery & Tools.

2) You need the Windows 8/8.1 version of Macrium Reflect.

But I read here that I cannot make an image of a GPT disk.
Please post quote.

4) Dell Recovery should work OK.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Notebooks x 3

    Desktops x 5

    Towers x 4

rama

New Member
Posts
6
#4
Hi genet, thanks for your help!

Delete all partitions until you only see Drive 0 Unallocated Space.
Will re-installing from an MSDN ISO re-create all the UEFI and recovery partitions for me as a Windows 8.1 install?

This will show you how to use a new feature in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 to reset your PC to completely start over back to default to remove all personal data, apps, and settings from the PC, and reinstall Windows. This is like doing a factory restore/recovery on a purchased computer.
From what I read, I cannot use the reset option from the Windows 8.1 With Updates ISO I'm going to use to do a re-install and upgrade from Windows 8 Core. Am I correct?

Also,do you have any experience with restoring from a Macrium (or Clonezilla or any other similar option) image of Windows 8? I made an image of the hard drive just in case things get too complicated and I have to go back to my current state.

Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8 core
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7520 15R SE

rama

New Member
Posts
6
#5
Hi theog, thanks for your help!

But I read here that I cannot make an image of a GPT disk.
Please post quote.
That's what I understood from this warning in this thread:

  • Disabling UEFI will make the system unbootable as there is no MBR on the disks.
  • You CANNOT make a sector-by-sector copy of GPT disks. The Disk and Partition GUIDs will no longer be unique. This must never happen. You can make a sector-by-sector copy of the contents of ESP or basic data partitions.
Am I misreading this? Can I make a Macrium, Clonezilla or similar image of my disk and in case things go wrong, I can just restore the image to my disk and get back to my current state?

Thanks!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8 core
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7520 15R SE

genet

New Member
Guru
Posts
879
#6
And this is the Diskpart output : http://hastebin.com/raw/mejazevose

Partition 1 - System - 500 MB
Partition 2 - OEM - 40 MB
Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
Partition 4 - Recovery - 500 MB
Partition 5 - Primary - 685 GB
Partition 6 - Recovery - 12 GB - Recovery image location

Will re-installing from an MSDN ISO re-create all the UEFI and recovery partitions for me as a Windows 8.1 install?
You must delete all partitions, because the "Partition 6 Recovery 12 GB" may no longer be used, if you install Windows from an MSDN ISO.

A clean Windows 8.1 installation from an MSDN ISO in UEFI boot mode (my hard disk partitions):

Partition 1 - Recovery - 300 MB
Partition 2 - System - 99 MB
Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
Partition 4 - Primary - 930 GB

From what I read, I cannot use the reset option from the Windows 8.1 With Updates ISO I'm going to use to do a re-install and upgrade from Windows 8 Core.
Take a look at this post: link

Also,do you have any experience with restoring from a Macrium (or Clonezilla or any other similar option) image of Windows 8? I made an image of the hard drive just in case things get too complicated and I have to go back to my current state.
I'll use this program: $49.95 Hard Disk Manager Suite ? complete system management | PARAGON Software Group - disk partitioning, resize partition

Paragon Hard Disk Manager.png

And I can restore my Lenovo computer original partitions. I have tested this and it works.

Partition 1 - Recovery - 1000 MB
Partition 2 - System - 260 MB
Partition 3 - OEM - 1000 MB
Partition 4 - Reserved - 128 MB
Partition 5 - Primary - 908 GB
Partition 6 - Recovery - 20 GB - Recovery image location

edit: I found the screenshots (Paragon Hard Disk Manager 14 Suite).

Paragon 2.png

Paragon 3.png

Paragon 4.png

Paragon 5.png

Paragon 6.png

But this must be done before using backup/restore (see screenshot below).

http://www.paragon-software.com/landing-pages/bmb/index.html

Boot Media Builder.png
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo G580
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3230M
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, standard user account
    Other Info
    UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key.

davehc

New Member
Pro User
Denmark (But English)

Posts
1,150
#7
As you still have the partitions intact, have you tried the option to restore to factory settings?




Remove any external drives and restart your Dell Inspiron laptop.
Press 'F8' key continue until 'Advanced Boot Options' wouldn't be appear. You really have to thump the F8 fast!
'Repair Your Computer' from the list and hit 'Enter'.
Click 'Next' and login as the administrator account.
Click 'Dell Factory Image Recovery and Data Safe options', select your language option and click 'Next'.
Click the check box 'Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition' and click 'Next' to start the reset process…


This s will erase all your previous changes that have been made to the Dell and reset the configuration settings to factory setting.

A personal opinion,but, ref post #3´2, it would be a serious mistake to delete all the partitions, when you still, at this stage, have the recovery available.
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Use several different computers during a day, so specs are irrelevant.

genet

New Member
Guru
Posts
879
#8
That's what I understood from this warning in this thread:

You CANNOT make a sector-by-sector copy of GPT disks. The Disk and Partition GUIDs will no longer be unique. This must never happen. You can make a sector-by-sector copy of the contents of ESP or basic data partitions.
Probably means that this option is not allowed to choose.

Paragon 5.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo G580
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3230M
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, standard user account
    Other Info
    UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key.

Clintlgm

Active Member
Pro User
Lacombe, Louisiana

Posts
894
#9
That's what I understood from this warning in this thread:

You CANNOT make a sector-by-sector copy of GPT disks. The Disk and Partition GUIDs will no longer be unique. This must never happen. You can make a sector-by-sector copy of the contents of ESP or basic data partitions.
Probably means that this option is not allowed to choose.

View attachment 51396
Make sure your using the latest version of MR. There is no need to copy Sector by sector as you will then copy the empty sectors no reason to do this. And Yes You would need to create the Bootable media USB stick/or DVD. When you boot up the USB Stick you'll have choices as to how to restore if different hardware Say a SSD you would use the Redeploy to different hard ware. Otherwise restore disk to your disk. All Version later that 2012 have Been UEFI GPT compliant Some one, in one of these threads has posted a MR Guide. There Website has good guides and their support forum is very useful. As long as you created a DISK IMAGE It will restore and boot perfectly
The only exception would be if per chance you have more than 1 hard drive and the boot sector has been installed on a different disk that you C: disk. In that case if you suspected that to be possible you would use the Copy all partitions needed to boot your OS feature. Not to confuse you but this can be the case for instance one of my Work stations I'm upgrading to Win 8.11 I set up a dual boot. that leaves me with win 8.11 on one SSD with the boot sector still on the SSD with win 7. So in your case while if you have more than one drive it is possible but not probable.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro MC
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus G75VW / Z97 Pro
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3610QM / I7-4790K
    Motherboard
    Z97 Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Hyundai HTM315156CFR8C-PB PC3-12800
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M (GF114M)
    Sound Card
    VIA 6.0.10.1600
    Screen Resolution
    1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 850 Pro 256, Samsung 850 Pro 1TB
    Internet Speed
    30 down 3 up
    Browser
    Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    NIS and Malwarebytes

rama

New Member
Posts
6
#10
And this is the Diskpart output : http://hastebin.com/raw/mejazevose

Partition 1 - System - 500 MB
Partition 2 - OEM - 40 MB
Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
Partition 4 - Recovery - 500 MB
Partition 5 - Primary - 685 GB
Partition 6 - Recovery - 12 GB - Recovery image location

Will re-installing from an MSDN ISO re-create all the UEFI and recovery partitions for me as a Windows 8.1 install?
You must delete all partitions, because the "Partition 6 Recovery 12 GB" may no longer be used, if you install Windows from an MSDN ISO.

A clean Windows 8.1 installation from an MSDN ISO in UEFI boot mode (my hard disk partitions):

Partition 1 - Recovery - 300 MB
Partition 2 - System - 99 MB
Partition 3 - Reserved - 128 MB
Partition 4 - Primary - 930 GB
Sorry if I'm being a bit dumb about this, but isn't your Recovery partition really small (300MB) compared to mine (12GB)?

Are you suggesting I do a reset and then update through the store to 8.1?
I was actually looking to avoid updating to 8.1 through the store because I've read that some people have been having problems with that route.

Also, I've been reading around (this guy looks like he has the same problem) and it looks like a lot of the problems I've been having are related to some of the Dell pre-installed software, which I cannot figure out how to remove for some reason. So that's the main reason I want to do a completely clean install.

Thanks again for your help!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8 core
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7520 15R SE

rama

New Member
Posts
6
#11
As you still have the partitions intact, have you tried the option to restore to factory settings?




Remove any external drives and restart your Dell Inspiron laptop.
Press 'F8' key continue until 'Advanced Boot Options' wouldn't be appear. You really have to thump the F8 fast!
'Repair Your Computer' from the list and hit 'Enter'.
Click 'Next' and login as the administrator account.
Click 'Dell Factory Image Recovery and Data Safe options', select your language option and click 'Next'.
Click the check box 'Yes, reformat hard drive and restore system software to factory condition' and click 'Next' to start the reset process…


This s will erase all your previous changes that have been made to the Dell and reset the configuration settings to factory setting.

A personal opinion,but, ref post #3´2, it would be a serious mistake to delete all the partitions, when you still, at this stage, have the recovery available.
Hi dave!

Yes, I am a bit nervous about losing the factory restore partition. But I'm interested in upgrading to 8.1 without installing the Dell preloaded software that seems to be causing the problems in my laptop. As I mentioned, this laptop has not worked properly from day 1. It would refuse to shut down properly, etc.

Thanks for your help!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8 core
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7520 15R SE

davehc

New Member
Pro User
Denmark (But English)

Posts
1,150
#12
Fair comment. I now have quite a few Dells in the family. As I just said in another thread, I was a little bold when I first encountered the UEFI, and the Dell partitions. I screwed up badly with the first two, by going ahead with what you are proposing.
Luckily, my son is a Dell road technician and sorted it out for me. On his advice, next time I wanted to start over, I used the factory restore, biting my nails though the process. It works like a charm. It is possible that you have a driver conflict only, in the original factory installation. That, also, was sorted out by going to the Dell site and allowing them, through the Dell detect service, to scan my computer(s) and then offer me the drivers needed for updates - great service. All they need is the service tag, which is somewhere on your computer label.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Use several different computers during a day, so specs are irrelevant.

genet

New Member
Guru
Posts
879
#13
NOTE: You can remove preloaded software (for example, Norton AntiVirus) from a new computer, before Windows 8 installation is finished. NOTE: This can be done even when you select the Reset your PC option.

- When the "Your display language" screen appears (if displayed) or Out-Of-Box Experience (OOBE) screen (see screenshots below).

- Press CTRL+SHIFT+F3.

Your display language.png

OOBE screen.png

- Booting to Audit Mode starts the computer in the built-in administrator account and the System Preparation Tool appears (see screenshot below).

Lenovo  Audit Mode 1.png

- Open "Programs and Features" and remove preloaded software (see screenshot below).

NOTE: You can restart the computer after you uninstall program(s), the computer will continue to boot to Audit Mode.

Lenovo  Audit Mode 2.png

NOTE: Make sure that you do not remove the drivers (see screenshot below).

Lenovo  Audit Mode 3.png

- When everything is ready, select the options below and click OK.

System Preparation Tool.png

- You can now continue Windows setup as normal.

NOTE: Before upgrade to Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store, you do not need to install all Windows 8 updates from Windows Update. You only need to install KB2871389 update, then you’ll be able to install the Windows 8.1 update via the Windows Store. Download and install KB2871389 update from link or from Windows Update.

KB2871389 (direct download link)
- All supported x86-based versions of Windows 8: http://download.microsoft.com/downl...5E-794177982162/Windows8-RT-KB2871389-x86.msu
- All supported x64-based versions of Windows 8: http://download.microsoft.com/downl...49-140AB1CF7B5F/Windows8-RT-KB2871389-x64.msu

But if you've opened the Windows Store and you don't see the Windows 8.1 update, then you will need to also install KB2917499 update.

Other instructions.

How to download and clean install Windows 8.1 if you have an OEM computer with UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8/8.1 product key. -> link
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Lenovo G580
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-3230M
    Memory
    8 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD Graphics 4000
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender, standard user account
    Other Info
    UEFI firmware (BIOS) embedded Windows 8 product key.

rama

New Member
Posts
6
#14
Fair comment. I now have quite a few Dells in the family. As I just said in another thread, I was a little bold when I first encountered the UEFI, and the Dell partitions. I screwed up badly with the first two, by going ahead with what you are proposing.
Luckily, my son is a Dell road technician and sorted it out for me. On his advice, next time I wanted to start over, I used the factory restore, biting my nails though the process. It works like a charm. It is possible that you have a driver conflict only, in the original factory installation. That, also, was sorted out by going to the Dell site and allowing them, through the Dell detect service, to scan my computer(s) and then offer me the drivers needed for updates - great service. All they need is the service tag, which is somewhere on your computer label.
I might go down that route, just to test if these things sort themselves out and then do the 8.1 update via the store.
To be totally fair, Dell doesn't install too much bloatware on the laptop, but I just can't figure out what is causing the constant crashes.

If anyone can help me figuring out with a WhoCrashed dump , let me know!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    windows 8 core
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Dell Inspiron 7520 15R SE

davehc

New Member
Pro User
Denmark (But English)

Posts
1,150
#15
Just wanted to add. I have, on a couple of my Dells, taken the plunge and totaled all the Dell partitions. I don't think there is a likelihood of ever needing the factory restore, as I am well backed up. But. It could be useful in the event of you needing to sell your computer.
I followed this very simple procedure:

Set the UEFI BIOS to Legacy mode, then boot to the Windows 7 DVD and press SHIFT+F10, at the point to create or delete partitions to exit to a Command Prompt. Then type the following commands:
This will delete everything, and leave your HD in virgin condition.

  1. DISKPART
  2. At the DISKPART prompt, type: LIST DISK (If system only has one hard drive, then disk 0 is the drive you are wanting to work on. If there are multiple disks, then determine the number of the drive you are re-partitioning.)
  3. At the DISKPART prompt, type: SELECT DISK
  4. At the DISKPART prompt, type: CLEAN (This command removes all partitions/volumes on the selected disk)
  5. At the DISKPART prompt, type: CONVERT MBR
  6. Type: EXIT

You can now create new partitions on the target drive and install Windows whatever.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Other Info
    Use several different computers during a day, so specs are irrelevant.