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Can't restart, refresh or reset Windows 8 machine


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#1 garyoreilly

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:38 AM

I'm running Windows 8.1 on a machine with Windows 8 pre-installed. About 4 months old, Acer laptop, mid specs.

The laptop would not shutdown or restart, it would just hang, saying 'shutting down' or 'restarting'. I would have to turn it off manually. This never really cleared up. When deleting programs that needed a restart they would never go of course.

I looked up a solution for this, which others had had success with, changing some power options, etc, but nothing helped.

I then decided I'd better do a system restore, but I didn't have any restore points, which seems odd as I had restored it once before.

I then tried to refresh the system (never heard of that option before) and it would again just 'hang' saying 'preparing'. The same for resetting.

I tried to restore to factory settings and came up with those error messages we are all to aware of

After trying to refresh the PC is says the 'drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive to try again'

And after trying to reset 'the PC it says unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing.'

This brought me here. I gather something is up with Windows not fully recognising the C drive which is where Windows is installed. When I click on disk management it says 'connecting to virtual disk service...' but then does nothing.

 

I've been using comps for 15 years and although not very good at IT have always been able to solve the problems by just reading forums posts of people who have same problem as me. This is the first time I have actually joined a forum to get help.

 

thanks



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#2 AngryRaisin

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 04:28 AM

You're to the point of ordering restore discs from Acer if you did not make them.  I kinda wonder if the hard drive failed and if there any diagnostics available I would run them.



#3 Plumber

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Posted 26 March 2014 - 03:35 PM

That is exactly what happened to my 6 month old Asus and no help from tech.support so it is in the garbage right now.

#4 djvtech

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:00 PM

Almost the same problem with the troubleshooting options, but cannot even load windows. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/529061/windows-wont-load-boot-cd-wont-load-automatic-repair-loop/

 

Initially I fixed it by using the boot CD, and going into command prompt and running chkdsk. But now It won't even load the boot CD. It repaired stuff, then I was able to get into  windows and Reset the OS.


Edited by djvtech, 27 March 2014 - 09:01 PM.


#5 cat1092

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 01:08 AM

My thoughts on this issue, as having personally experienced the same, on one of my computers & others that I worked on pro-bono, is that the Windows 8.1 upgrade wasn't a successful one. I've seen more failures than successes with upgrading in this fashion. For that reason, I no longer do 8.1 upgrades for anyone, not even on my own computers. For the upgrade to have a chance of success, the underlying OS has to be in top notch condition. Secondly, it's best to disable security through the procedure. Unfortunately, MS didn't give us the chance to clean install 8.1, as they did with the initial Windows 8 Pro release in 2012.

 

MS should have released 8.1 as a normal service pack, as they are planning to do a pack for 8.1 itself soon.

 

At this point, the best thing that you can do, is to use the recovery DVD set that you should have made (3 to 5 DVD's) & reinstall Windows 8. This will make it to out of the box condition, provided there's no hardware issues. Hopefully you created these, as at this point, unless you have a backup of the computer when it was working well, you need them. They should have been created on Day 1 of ownership, along with a backup of the computer.

 

Then if you decide you want to try the upgrade to 8.1 again, be double sure to create a full image of the drive prior to taking the chance again. That way, you'll have something to fall back on.

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#6 domocomputer

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:11 AM

Discovered somones computer had 22 Viruses/ Malware/ adware programs installed on it. Ran a well known antiviris removal program on it and it removed all of the viruses. Rebooted the computer to discover that all the web browsers redirect to Tuvaro search engine. Been here before not a pleasent ride. Went into the registry to remove the "www.serchnet" redirect that will affect every browser, and relaunch and reinstall itself at every startup. ( If you've never experienced this gem of malware it's almost impossible to get rid of and is not recognized by some antivirus programs!) After editing the registry and reseting every web browser on the computer I go to reboot the computer.  The computer is now useless, it will not display text properly except when you try to launch recovery mode. Computer will not Refresh, or Reset, I just get an error saying there is a problem and it coudn't be done. Not to mention that this model ships with no optical drive as they are being elimintaed from computers all together.

 

Thank you very much Microsoft, thank you very much well known brand X computer. In the past you could pullout the INSTALLER DISCS that came with your computer, and clean reinstall Windows on a freshly formatted hard drive and start things over again. No installer discs anymore, no optical drive, no Microsoft Windows product key on a brand name computer !!!!!!!! ( BTW you can find that if you launch Windows, of course just where it should be if the opertaing system shold suffer a catastrophic failure LOL!!!!!)  Just a recovery partion on the hard drive that doesn't work when you really need it too.

 

You pay hundreds of dollars for a computer and you get no discs to fix it. It runs an operating system that has the most vireses in the world that will screw it up, and it offers a crappy poorly designed firewall, and makeshift anti- virus program as part of the Operating System, so you have to buy an aftermarket Antivirus program just to use your computer. Way to screw your customers. When I think of Microsft and their software engineers and programmers I envision a bunch of people playing with colored blocks with letters and numbers on them, and others banging away randomly on the bright colored bars of a Xylophone. Then the floor manager comes out and says," Okay guys to your cots, it's nap time, wouldn't want you working too hard after all you deserve that large pay check."

 

Buy a Mac they have better customer support, and they will send you a FREE USB flash drive with the operating system on it to repair the operating system. Screw you Windows, your days are done.


Edited by domocomputer, 14 July 2014 - 11:14 AM.


#7 cat1092

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:16 PM

domocomputer, there are more computers shipping w/out optical drives today & yes for valid reasons. First, many customers wants the machine to be as compact as possible. Not including an optical drive is one component to make it smaller. Secondly, fewer customers uses optical drives, in favor of other media, such as Flash drives & SDHC cards. 

 

Finally, MS mandated OEM's to have at least one way to recover your OS to out of the box condition. The first way, is the inclusion of a Recovery Partition, which is access by pressing a key (or a combo of such) at Startup. The second, is to create a bootable Recovery Drive, which requires a 16GB Flash drive, this contains tools that can access certain features such as System Restore, but also the ability to copy the contents of your Recovery Partition. This is also an option on some computers with an optical drive. 

 

This Recovery Drive should be created when the computer is new, preferably on Day One of use, before things gets corrupted (as you've described above). This ensures a way to recover should either your Recovery Partition is no longer working, either by corruption, or drive failure, to a new one of equal or larger size than the original. To begin the process, type "Create a Recovery Drive", or "Recovery Drive Creation" in the Start Menu or Control Panel. Then to recover, you'll need to find the key (usually one of the "F" ones) to choose what device to boot from. In this case, the USB drive that contains the Recovery Tools, from which the option to totally reinstall Windows is included. 

 

Third, Full system images (backup) needs to be performed, again the first one on Day One, the first before modifying anything, such as junk software removal. Some of that "junk" may include the utility to create the Recovery Drive. The second should be after you setup the computer the way you want it. And both of these should be retained for as long as you own the computer. 

 

So rather than trashing MS, it's the customer's responsibility to perform these essential tasks when the computer was new, you should be thanking them for their mandating these tasks are made available to all who purchases a Windows computer. This has been the case as far back as at least Windows 7 in 2009, if not further back. Though I have issues with MS on some things, this isn't one of them. 

 

My suggestion at this time is to find out how to access the Recovery options on your (or the "someones") computer, either the keyboard shortcut, or to create a Recovery Drive. And then restore the OS to like new condition from there. 

 

Had whomever had been running active security, there's a high probability this never would have happened. Again, this is the consumer's responsibility, not MS's. In fact, beginning with Windows 8, security is active on the very first boot in Windows Defender, which automatically runs several scans daily & provides active protection at the same time. 

 

 

 

Buy a Mac they have better customer support, and they will send you a FREE USB flash drive with the operating system on it to repair the operating system.

 

Yes & at what cost? Certainly a lot more than a 16GB Flash drive needed to create the Recovery Drive as I spoke of above. And running active AV & AM (anti-malware) software. Malwarebytes Premium (or Pro) is a good choice, there are still Lifetime licenses on the Newegg site. 

 

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#8 domocomputer

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:06 PM

There are many things I dislike about Windows 8. I will agree that if the average consumer was more well informed about what they should do when they buy a new computer there would be less tech support calls. However the fact is most computer users have no idea what to do other then open the box and start the new computer. I go back to the days when you bought a computer and it came with floppy disks and hard drives were an expensive option that was new to home users. The Disk Operating System was included in your purchase of a new computer. I also remeber the days as I said that companies felt an obligation to their customers to provide a copy of the operating system for them to have in case of an emergency such as the one I mentioned previously.

 

I know that this is becoming a thing of the past and PC's havent shipped with installer discs for a few years now. I think the price of a retail copy of windows is outrageous, and I think that the companies that make theese PC's should include a flash drive with an installer so you can reinstall the operating system in case of some kind of situiation like the one I am in currently in the middle of. Recovery partotions sometimes do no good if the hard drive is corrupted, and sometimes all the recovery discs you made wont fix it either.

 

I think windows defender is a lousy way to protect your computer from viruses, and PC users are almost forced to buy 3rd party antivirus software just to use their computer. I understand removing an optical drive for form factor. So again all the PC manufacturers have to do is include a USB drive in the box with all teh other goodies they give you with a new PC. I am aware that you can purchase this from the manufactuer for a price that is less then a new retail copy of Windows, however I feel that the computer manufacturer is obligated to do better then charge you later for something you used to get when you paid for the computer.

 

As far as how peopel react to this bad news I can say that I have had people scream in my face and go nuts because they can't understand this either. I have heard things like," I know it came with something they all come with a disc, My XP computer did." That go along with things that come later like,"Why should I pay for a retail copy of Windows! It comes on my machine!" Which can usually be followed with very colorful metaphores, and sometimes implications that I am some kind if crook who is out to rob them.

 

I get more Windows service calls then Apple calls by far. I'd say I get about 2% Apple related issues, and 95% of my calls are Windows related issues and most of them are virus related. I agree that theese problems are caused by computer users who don't know much at all about their computer, and what they should or could do when they break the seal on a new box. When it comes to Apple I do not agree with some things that they are doing either, but I have had much better experiences dealing with them, and so have many other people. It may cost more then a PC, but it is much more relaible, and they have an excellent warranty and service program. It's like having to choose from buying a new base model Chevy Spark, and a Honda Accord.

 


Third, Full system images (backup) needs to be performed, again the first one on Day One, the first before modifying anything, such as junk software removal. Some of that "junk" may include the utility to create the Recovery Drive. The second should be after you setup the computer the way you want it. And both of these should be retained for as long as you own the computer. 

 

So rather than trashing MS, it's the customer's responsibility to perform these essential tasks when the computer was new, you should be thanking them for their mandating these tasks are made available to all who purchases a Windows computer. This has been the case as far back as at least Windows 7 in 2009, if not further back. Though I have issues with MS on some things, this isn't one of them. 

 

My suggestion at this time is to find out how to access the Recovery options on your (or the "someones") computer, either the keyboard shortcut, or to create a Recovery Drive. And then restore the OS to like new condition from there. 

 

Had whomever had been running active security, there's a high probability this never would have happened. Again, this is the consumer's responsibility, not MS's. In fact, beginning with Windows 8, security is active on the very first boot in Windows Defender, which automatically runs several scans daily & provides active protection at the same time. 

 

 

 

Buy a Mac they have better customer support, and they will send you a FREE USB flash drive with the operating system on it to repair the operating system.

 

Yes & at what cost? Certainly a lot more than a 16GB Flash drive needed to create the Recovery Drive as I spoke of above. And running active AV & AM (anti-malware) software. Malwarebytes Premium (or Pro) is a good choice, there are still Lifetime licenses on the Newegg site. 

 

Cat


Edited by domocomputer, 14 July 2014 - 08:13 PM.


#9 cat1092

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:45 PM

 

 

It's like having to choose from buying a new base model Chevy Spark, and a Honda Accord.

 

I don't know about all of that, but chances are that few owners of either of the above mentioned cars has read their owner's manual for much of anything, much less cover to cover. Then when something that they neglected to do caused damage & the warranty won't cover repair, they're threatening to sue GM or Honda for selling a lemon. For example, an extended warranty was purchased. On many cars, the manual recommends to change the timing belt at 5 years, or 60,000 miles. whichever comes first. In the second year of their extended warranty, the car has only 35.000 miles on it, but it's 7 years old, the timing belt breaks & causes extensive engine damage. The dealership service departments sees this, evidenced by cracks on what's left of the timing belt of dry rot & denies coverage. More than likely, if anything was noticed by the customer, it was that the belt needed changing at 60,000 miles, assuming they could ride a few more years. Who's at fault? The owner of the vehicle.  

 

Have had only three brand new computers in my days, so can only speak for those, an HP, MSI & Dell. There were instructions on backup & recovery media creation, in fact, there were popups like crazy on the HP & Dell until the latter were created. And in the case of the first two, the recovery DVD set worked fine, so does the function key to access the Recovery Partition. I was able to create both recovery DVD set & Recovery Drive on the Dell, but these haven't been needed, as I installed an SSD & Dell sent me, at no charge, a clean install Windows 8 DVD for this purpose. 

 

It could be that if this computer is under warranty, the OEM may send out a DVD. I know that Dell does this, as noted above. 

 

The Information guides that ships with computers doesn't always cover everything in a small package, but normally does provide a link to the OEM site for more detailed information. Too, when many computers boots, one can see what key needs to be pressed for Recovery, if close attention is given. On my HP, which is awaiting a PSU, the key is F11, on the MSI, it's F3. On either, the OS will reload, as long as these keys are pressed repeatedly at boot. 

 

 

 

 However the fact is most computer users have no idea what to do other then open the box and start the new computer.

 

Yes & that's their fault. I've seen some do the same, not even having the common sense to update the OS before using the computer. Fortunately, Windows 8 will begin updating, even if the non-caring customer doesn't take the time to properly set it up & will be prompted to reboot to finish installing these. 

 

The very same thing could happen to a Mac owner. All computers needs updating before use & whenever new ones are released. 

 

And as far as the old school reinstall CD's (now which are DVD's), Dell sent one, as stated above, at no charge. My guess would be that if one was directly ordering from the OEM, if one asked to include this single DVD at no extra charge to "seal the deal" & to be sure it's included in "Additional Notes", so that it's documented, they'd gladly provide it. As these are often needed for warranty purposes anyway. If it wasn't provided with the shipment & purchased via PayPal or credit card, then the customer would be entitled for a refund, with return shipping on the OEM's back for not honoring their word. 

 

I have a relative who demanded one, plus drivers on media, from Lenovo during the transaction & she received hers, though they tried to tell her to download the Windows 7 Pro DVD from Microsoft (via Digital River) & the drivers from their site, most of us knows there's a difference in the install media. Or will require more work and/or a phone activation to accomplish. She wanted it so that I could clean install w/out the junk software & excess Lenovo utilities to a SSD, rather than the turtle slow 5400 rpm included HDD. 

 

We could go on & on about this, but unless you have a specific issue to address, I need to move on to those who needs assistance. I enjoy to conversate, but at the same time, can't make a career out of this reopened topic.  :)

 

Have you tried any possible Recovery options? If in warranty, have you requested reinstall media? 

 

Or is this just a rant? 

 

Since you work on computers, as noted above, many you can serve as an advisor to those you know whom buys new computers as to what to do. You can even perform these things & charge for it, rather than rant, take advantage of the opportunity. If I were younger & healthier, I'd gladly perform these services for a reasonable fee, in addition to the other things that I know how to do. 

 

Should you require further assistance, feel free to post back with detailed specs about the computer. 

 

Should you continue as as rant, someone else will have to pickup from here. Hope you understand. 

 

All the Best,

Cat


Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 





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