I got handed this laptop today - it belongs to the daughter of one of my bridge partners - and I cannot get it to boot into anything other than Safe Mode.
It appears to have something of a checkered history. It was built by Dell with Win 7 HP installed, at least there is a Dell COA sticker on the bottom of it, but it is now running Win 8.0 Pro. She says it was taken to a repair shop in the town, about whom I know nothing, and they said 'We've put 8 on it'.
I managed to get to Control panel/Recovery and do a restore to the 12th October and I was then able to get it to connect to my router. I installed Malwarebytes, it updated and ran a scan which showed 1012 entries for PuPs and 2 instances of Rogue.Multiple. All appeared to be properly quarantined and a second scan, after a re-boot, came up clean, but it still will not boot into anything other than Safe Mode.
I am beginning to suspect that either the Win 8 install was botched or it is a pirate copy. On Control panel/system, the product id comes up as 'Not available', and there is no 'Windows update' section on the control panel.
If it is a legitimate copy, how do I get it to boot normally ? There is no recovery partition.
If it is not a legitimate copy, since it has a Win 7 COA, what is the easiest way to revert it to Win 7 ? Data isn't a problem, there is very little on this system and I can recover what there is.