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Asus x200ca recovery impossible?


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#1 bdpoop

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 01:07 PM

Hello

 

My sister has handed me her Asus x200ca netbook.  No DVD Drive and no recovery media or USB.

 

Not sure what she has done to it but on boot up it just says to use recovery USB as its not able to start.

 

I manged to get it to the recovery options using F9 and tried both a reset and a refresh.  The Reset fails stating a required partition is missing and the Refresh fails stating the drive where windows is installed is locked.

 

I can boot to a command prompt and have tried CHKDSK /F and it also states its locked. 

 

I have spent all afternoon looking for solutions to no avail.  I even went to the ASUS website to purchase recovery media and its not available when you put the serial number in.

 

From what I can gather it may have been originally version 8 and has been upgraded to 8,1 which can apparently trash the recovery partition.

 

Is there anything I can do?  Can I download an OS or recovery media (W7, 8, 8,1 or even Ubuntu), put it onto a USB and install it from there?

 

Machines in good condition and not that old.  I am hoping I can do this at no cost so free suggestions appreciated

 

Thanks



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#2 Andrei_V

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Posted 20 February 2015 - 01:38 PM

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/the-drive-where-windows-is-installed-is-locked



#3 bdpoop

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 11:48 AM

Thanks for that.  Following those instructions I have actually got it to boot.  I selected the recovery partition in Diskpart and it booted up into Windows but something isnt quite right.  Its only showing a 100GB disk and I am sure its either 250 or 500GB.  There were 7 partitions to choose from in diskpart all various sizes.  The main system one was 250GB so I selected that, booted up and I am getting the same thing.

 

Once booted I have tried to do a system recovery but its still the same.  IT fails and I get the same messages from before if I boot up into F9 and try and repair or recover from there.  I also cannot seem to create a recovery drive once booted into Windows.

 

I thought I had cracked it when it booted into windows but no.  All I want to do is wipe the thing back to factory settings but it seems impossible,



#4 dc3

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 01:09 PM

Watch this tutorial.

 


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#5 bdpoop

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 06:26 AM

Watch this tutorial.

 

 

Thanks but if you read my original post I tried all that.  That was the reason for the thread.



#6 dc3

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 10:15 AM

I read your posts and understood that you had "attempted" to do this.  But it looked like you may not have been doing this properly, so I provided the video to be sure you had good instructions.


Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 10:53 AM

If you can get to a command prompt. Use diskpart and the steps listed here to repair the EFI partition which will be listed as FAT32. You want to use the bcdboot command to write a new BCD.



#8 bdpoop

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:22 AM

Thanks

 

I tried to load Windows 8.1 from a bootable USB drive which I downloaded yesterday. I did try the Diskpart thing as well.  There were load of partitions.  Drive 0 partition 1 recovery, partition 2 reserved, partion 3 primary etc etc.  When I try and proceed with installing on the partition 3 primary I get a message telling me the partitions are not in the recommended order do I want to proceed anyway.  I then get a message saying windows detected the EFI system partition was formatted as NTFS (I did format one of them), Format the EFI system partition as FAT32 and restart the installation.

 

Dont know what I have done but is there anyway I can just wipe / format the entire disk, get rid of all the partitions and re-install windows that way?  I guess it needs to be formatted to FAT32 but whatever I have done I cannot get to a command prompt now so do I need to remove the hard drive and format it on another machine.

 

Its a real mess I am afraid.



#9 bdpoop

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:26 AM

Actually through the boot up USB drive options I managed to get to a command prompt.  Not sure what to do next though



#10 dc3

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:39 AM

If you can access the Command Prompt copy and paste the command below, then press Enter.

 

bootrec /rebuildbcd

 

If this is successful you should receive the following messages.

 

Scanning all disks for Windows installations.
 
Please wait, since this may take a while...
 
Successfully scanned Windows installations.
Total identified Windows installations: 0
The operation completed successfully.
 
If this doesn't work, let us know as there is another command which can be used.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 11:43 AM

If you formatted the EFI partition NTFS then you lost the BCD entry.  If Windows was updated to 8.1 there is a possiblity that you would have 7 partitions. Can you get to the diskpart prompt?

 

List Disk

Select Disk 0

list vol

 

What is shown?

 

Microsoft embeds the Windows 8 key in BIOS. You can retrieve it using linux as shown here. I have not been able to verify this but using the key found using linux go here and input your key. Does it let you download WIndows 8.1?

 

Open a terminal in a live linux disk and type the following

ls /sys/firmware/acpi/tables

You should get a list of firmware tables. Look for MSDM. Then type the following

hd /sys/firmware/acpi/tables/MSDM

MSDM is case sensitive. You will see your key listed as shown in the link I posted.

 

I have done this with a Puppy linux live CD. For a Windows 8 computer you can try FATDOG64, Fatdog64-700.iso Fatdog supports booting UEFI but you will need to disable SecureBoot in BIOS and also FastBoot if listed. You an create a bootable USB of Puppy using Rufus or LiveLinuxUSB creator. For Rufus you can select MBR for a partition scheme but if that fails use GPT.



#12 bdpoop

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 12:22 PM

Thanks guys for the continued support, its really appreciated.  I think I did format the EFI partition so your right, the instructions dont work now.

 

I cant list the partitions right now as I went ahead and formatted the main C drive to FAT32.  This is the only partition that the windows 8.1 USB installer would allow me to attempt to install windows but it failed as it said it needed to be FAT32.  So in my frustration and haste I went ahead and its formatting it right now.

 

Thing is though it was a 180gb partition and I thought FAT32 was max 32GB?  Dont see what choice I had really.  I formatted one of the smaller recovery partitions to FAT32 but the installer still would not let me install windows onto it as it was a recovery partition.  I dont understand why Windows has to be installed onto a FAT32 partition though.  My disk on this laptop is 1TB and I dont think its FAT32.

 

What a nightmare! :D



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 12:41 PM

I think at this point you have only these options. Call ASUS and get a USB flash drive or iso file for the computer and do a clean install. That should work if it is still under warranty.

 

Use linux to pull the key out of BIOS and try to download the WIndows 8.1 link I posted.

 

Last option would be to put a linux distro on it like Ubuntu and see how you like it. Ubuntu will boot UEFI but you have to disable Secure Boot in BIOS. UEFI needs a GPT disk.

 

Edit: You can pull data off the drive if it is still there using Ubuntu or Puppy Live USB.


Edited by JohnC_21, 22 February 2015 - 12:52 PM.


#14 bdpoop

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:04 PM

Thanks

 

The format failed.  Cannot format beyond 32GB as suspected

 

I have the Windows 8.1 installer already but it cannot install onto an NTFS drive and I cannot format the drive to Fat32.  There must be a way to install windows onto a hard drive.  What if  your hard drive fails and you need to buy a new one? 

 

I could put Ubuntu on I suppose.  Not sure where to start with that one though.  Machine is out of warranty and according to ASUS website no media is available to purchase for it!  So it would seem if you have a hard drive issue with this computer its game over.  Surely not.



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 February 2015 - 02:16 PM

You do not install Windows 8.1 to a FAT32 partition. Windows 8.1 needs to be installed to a GPT disk that is formatted NTFS. The EFI partition is formatted FAT32 and the partition with the Windows files is formatted NTFS. These partititons will be created during the Windows 8 install. The easiest way to do this is with the bootable version of Partition Wizard. Wipe the disk with quick zero fill. Then start the Windows 8.1 installer. It should boot, create a GPT disk and all partitions during the install.

 

You can create a bootable USB of Partition Wizard by using Rufus. You need to disable secure boot in UEFI in order for Partition Wizard to boot.






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