My clean install experience with win8

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StoneRyno

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Mar 17, 2005
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Back at the beginning of September I had the following experience with my acer W700P tablet (quoted from my post on the official acer forum). You can skip reading the quote if you don't want to read a lot. In a nut shell the problem went away as long as the update was never done. But unfortunately it was done a second time and I was not able to return to the previous state by restore point. Thought continues past the quote.

A few days ago I was prompted by windows that the PC would be restarted to install the critical updates that were downloaded by windows update. I proceeded with the reboot. During the typical progress indicator a BSOD occured with WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR. This occured 2 or 3 times until the system prompted me with options or restart buttons. If I just choose to restart I keep getting the same BSOD. So I then chose options and from there chose the option to go back to a system restore point. Which was just prior to the update being performed. This allowed it to boot normally and worked as if nothing was wrong. I procceeded to check for updates and rebooted to install them. This time all went well and it booted fine after the typical update install progess screens completed. However today I went to reboot because there was a problem with windows settings (the one from the charm and more PC settings link) not working right. And now I'm stuck with the infinite bluescreen loop on bootup with the same WHEA_UNCORRECTABLE_ERROR. However this time when I choose system restore point it tells me there is none. Rather aggravating concidering just days ago there was. And attempting refresh your pc option it tells me the disk is locked and I need to unlock it. Of course no details are provided in how you do that and I can't find an answer for that. So I'm here seeking help on how do I fix things so it boots up and is as if I never installed that update? I don't know how a simple security update can critically harm bootup. This has me so angry at microsoft right now it's not even funny.
So I had spent a couple weeks after posting that trying to figure out a way to backup the whole drive so I could restore windows. Unfortunately it came down to doing zip files and saving them to my PCs share using safe mode and connected to the network. Stupid me for not having macrium reflect installed, but windows 8 was working so flawlessly it lulled me into forgetting about it. I discovered at that point that recovery didn't work because it couldn't see the recovery partition. And the recovery USB that I was asked to make when I initially setup the tablet also didn't work. Which was supposed to be a fail safe to the partition as far as I was aware. So with a couple more weeks of no replies to and not finding a solution to the recovery problem I gave up and went without my tablet. But once the holiday season was past I kept running into situations where I would use my tablet but couldn't and had to make due without it.

The other day I couldn't take it any more so I took up the search to find a way to fix my tablet. Thankfully and apparently the long passage of time from the first span of time trying to find the solution refreshed my brain and I found results I hadn't before. Perhaps had I remembered about this forum back then I could have had my tablet fixed. But the following quote of my post to the acer forum the other day to confirm that I was doing the right thing has the results I found in it. Skip reading the quote if there is too much to read. In a nut shell I had found two choices: fix things so recovery could use the recovery partition or do what appeared to be a clean install of windows. Thought continues after quote.

I am having the same problem as seen in: http://www.eightforums.com/installation-setup/39197-unable-use-built-asus-recovery-partition.html

The message is please insert your windows installation or recovery media to continue. It stalls at this because I assume it cannot see the recovery partition. Based on information in that thread this appears to be due to when windows updated to 8.1. At post 55 it would appear to be the solution however I'm not sure if it is the best solution. There is also this thread: http://www.eightforums.com/installation-setup/44723-reset-win-8-1-update-1-win-8-upgrade-product-key... Which is linked to earlier in the other thread. Post 2 links to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media which appears to create a full windows 8.1 install USB/DVD. I assume the same thing that you would get if you bought an OEM or retail copy on disc minus the key. Which I have with my tablet to provide to it.

What I'm wanting to know is what is the best way to fix my tablet so windows works again? When I wind up with something like this happening on my PC I format the drive and do a clean install from the windows disc. But I build my own PCs. With the tablet we didn't get a windows disc. So if that thing from microsoft is the "windows disc" I would be most familiar with using that. But since the tablet was built and setup by acer I want to make sure whatever I do doesn't make things worse but rather gets me back in working order. Even if that means having to restore stuff from a backup after doing a clean install.

Here is what broke windows for those interested. Months ago the routine windows updates were performed by windows. This updating required rebooting. When the reboot started it would blue screen every time. I was able to revert back to the state before the update using the restore point. And it worked fine for days maybe well over a week until I had to reboot again due to updates performed. At which time again the blue screen every time it tried to boot. Unfortunately the restore point was somehow lost and left me with an unsuable tablet. With the holidays and all not having much time to deal with fixing it I haven't bothered until now.
I was uncertain of the success I would have with the first option (making it so recovery was able to use the recovery partition again). And I wasn't absolutely sure the other option was indeed a clean install as if I had a windows 8 disc instead of the recovery partition. And was concerned that I might make things worse with either method I ended up using. This whole issue is why I always have had concerns with recovery partitions over physical media. Just like every tech savvy person I have ever known employed in tech support or otherwise. But anyway, after days of only getting a reply from an acer employee telling me to buy a recovery disc from them I decided to sort of gamble with, what I figured to be the better of the two options, the microsoft USB installation media. My concern going forward with that was it would end up not being what I thought it was or I'd run into a windows key problem and have to call acer and try to get them to send me a free copy of the recovery disc todo the clean install of windows. After all I paid $1,000 for the tablet the disc should have been free with it. But anyway, it turns out that microsoft USB installation media is just like having the windows 8 disc. And there was no windows key issue. I am used to the past where you had to enter the key from a sticker you got with the disc or machine. I had no idea the key was part of the tablet somehow. I had read it in the thread but didn't know if it applied to mine. Which was part of the gamble I suppose.

I guess the bottom line here is I should have come here instead, had I thought about it, and would have had no frustration at all back in September and had the use of my tablet all this time instead of all that mess right? Hopefully enough read this to make posting this worth it. As that has to be the worst experience I have ever had in spite of all my experience fixing problems with windows.
 
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