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Windows 8.1 Help needed to re-image or refresh


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#1 Cimi

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 04:32 AM

Hi all, 

Any help on this would be most appreciated and thanks in advance for taking the time to read. 

Aim To Refresh or Re-Image Laptop 

System Info
 
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 8.1 with Bing, 64 bit
Processor: Intel® Pentium® CPU N3540 @ 2.16GHz, Intel64 Family 6 Model 55 Stepping 8
Processor Count: 4
RAM: 3975 Mb
Graphics Card: Intel® HD Graphics, -2044 Mb
Hard Drives: C: Total - 461410 MB, Free - 394546 MB;
Motherboard: Notebook, KHLAP15N3540A
Antivirus: Kaspersky Internet Security, Updated and Enabled

Kogan Atlas X1510 Laptop Model KHLAP15N3540A
Windows 8.1 with Bing 64-bit ( pre-installed , no product key on device ) 

Errors that appear most prominent to an untrained eye

Other area information ( I took screen shots and have on Yandex Server ) 
Event Viewer Shot

https://yadi.sk/i/XArnvJdnfgsY8

Here is the CBS.log

https://yadi.sk/i/gcSsQ0fXfgsYW

What I have tried

System restore has no valid restore points
Scan with IOLO System Mechanic Version 14.5 (IOLO potential cause of initial problem with registry changes??) 
Scans with Kaspersky 2015 
Created ISO boot disk. ISO disk obtained from Microsoft Website
When I access advanced boot options and load from ISO. When I am asked for Product Key I am told that it is not correct. I have the Product Key from third party software. The Key matches in BIOS and Registry. However secondary Product Key Finder listed a different product key.
Wrong product key? Or Wrong ISO copy? 
That’s about as much as I have so far. This is beyond me and any advise would be most appreciated. Ive only had this laptop no longer than a month or so. 
Kindest Regards



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#2 Aura

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 05:36 AM

Hi Cimi :)

If you want to do a Factory Reset on your laptop (which is your "re-image"), you'll have to pick the "Remove everything and reinstall Windows" option instead. From there, a Factory Reset will be launched using the Recovery DVD you have inserted in your disk drive, or the built-in Recovery partition you have on your hard drive. For information on how to access that option and proceed, see that Microsoft article below.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/restore-refresh-reset-pc

Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows. Let me know if you have any questions or issues during the process.

Edit: On a side note, you shouldn't use iolo System Mechanics or any other programs like this. "PC Booster/Tune Up" programs are part of the worst programs you can install on a system. When it comes to messing up your system (Windows), these are as worst as malware. They are completely worthless and useless to use. The worst is that they'll often take action on your system without you knowing, nor authorizing it, which could lead to your system being altered in a way you don't want it to be or even worst, a "broke" system. Every feature they provide, you can either do it natively under Windows, do it via another standalone executable (which is way easier and safer to use) or they aren't providing something you need. Here's a few examples:
  • Cleaning temporary files: TFC (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Cleanmgr.exe (in-built);
  • Managing start-up entries: Autoruns (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Task Manager and Registry (in-built);
  • Driver Updater: Not needed, all you need is to go on your manufacturer website so you'll be sure to get the right, official, working drivers for your computer or hardware;
  • Registry Cleaner/Defragger: Completely useless and also dangerous;
  • Disk Defragging: Disk Defrag (in-built), O&O Disk Defrag (installed), Defraggler (installed);
  • Powerful uninstaller: Not needed, only needed when you have to make sure a program is completely uninstalled. Revo Uninstaller have a portable version you can use;
  • "Enhanced" Task Manager: Procexp (standalone executable), Process Hacker (portable or installed);
  • "Active security": Any Antivirus and Antimalware can beat that, easily. These programs aren't made to replace Antivirus or Antimalware products and shouldn't be seen as such;
  • Repair Hard Drive issues: Simple chkdsk /r command under Windows (in-built);
Having such program installing on your system will just bloat it down and you have more chances to have issues by using them than without. These products are advertised as a program that can solve all your issues, remove every malware, speed up your computer performance over 100%, etc. The truth is that there's not a single program that can do that. First of all, these programs aren't made to remove virus and malware, leave this in the hands of Antivirus and Antimalware, period. Secondly, there's so many kind of issues under Windows that there's not a single program that can address them all. If you think that BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) issues can be solved by opening a program and clicking on a "Fix" button, then I'm sorry to tell you but, you're wrong. Also, you cannot boost the performance of a hardware over it's hardware capabilities. Of course you can overclock some components, like your CPU, RAM and GPU, but these aren't done via these programs, but via your BIOS interface. I could recommend you a program for every feature these programs advertise, and also tell you exactly in detail why most of them are completely useless, such as Registry cleaner (dangerous to use), and driver updater (dangerous to use, and also completely useless, it'll not improve your system performance). In the end, buying such programs is the exact same as being scammed (because this is what it is, a pure scam) and using one of these programs will result you in having a system less performant than prior to using it.

Edited by Aura., 02 April 2015 - 05:36 AM.

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#3 Cimi

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 07:20 AM

Hi Aura :) 

 

Thanks you for your response it is most appreciated. I find your feedback makes sense to me. I think I have been caught in the belief trap that these system tune tools will improve system performance. However after this recent incident I am convinced it occured by IOLO and changes that got made in the registry. I am very interested in learning ways to manage Windows natively as you suggested. I have just been in touch with Microsoft Support and they have told me that I ( get the installer of this OEM license. meaning computer manufacturer license or factory license because if you will be using a retail copy of Windows 8.1, it won't recognize the key that you have.) I have contacted the manufacturer and asked for a copy of this and am waiting on a response. When you stated ( Factory Reset will be launched using the Recovery DVD you have inserted in your disk drive, or the built-in Recovery partition you have on your hard drive. ) When you say Recovery DVD do you mean a copy disk of Windows from the manufacturer ? Furthermore the (built in - Recovery partition you have on your hard drive ) I never made a recovery disk when I first got the laptop and have no restore points. I am a little unsure about this aspect. I will wait for the manufactory to get back to me and re-post once I get their response and post here from then. Once again thanks for the response. Ive only had this Laptop for a little while. Id also like to add another 4 gig of Ram what are your thoughts on this ?

 

Kind Regards

Cimi 



#4 Aura

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 07:25 AM

When you say Recovery DVD do you mean a copy disk of Windows from the manufacturer ?


Yes this is what I mean. This is the CD you contacted your manufacturer about.

Furthermore the (built in - Recovery partition you have on your hard drive ) I never made a recovery disk when I first got the laptop and have no restore points.


That partition isn't created by you but by the manufacturer itself before they deliver the laptop/computer in store. I can help you see if you have one if you wish.

Id also like to add another 4 gig of Ram what are your thoughts on this ?


More RAM never hurts, however you just have to make sure that your laptop supports it and the configuration that you will end up with. This is more of an hardware question than software.

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#5 Cimi

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 08:17 AM

"" I can help you see if you have one if you wish.""

 

Yes I would be interested in this. However would it still be a good idea to get a copy of the disk from the manufacturer? I would image that it would be a good idea.

 

Cheers :)  



#6 Aura

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 08:33 AM

I think it's more reliable to have a physical copy (CD) than a virtual one (partition) so yes it's a good idea. For the built-in partition:

mYEYEX7.pngDisk Management Utility
Follow the instructions below to open the Disk Management Utility:
  • For Windows 7, click on the Windows Start Menu, right-click on Computer and select Manage (requires Admin Rights). From there, click on Disk Management in the left pane;
  • For Windows 8, bring the cursor in the bottom left-corner of the screen and wait for the metro preview to open, then right-click on it and select Disk Management;
  • For Windows 8,1 bring the cursor on the Windows logo, right-click on it and select Disk Management;
  • Open the window to its full size, then take a screenshot of it and attach it to your next reply;
mq1pzD6.pngHow to take a screenshot using the Snipping Tool
Follow the instructions below to take a screenshot using Windows' Snipping Tool:
  • Press on the Win Key + R to open the Run box;
  • Enter SnippingTool and press on Enter;
  • The Snipping Tool will open, asking you to choose the area to take in the screenshot;
  • Left click on the area where you want to start the screenshot, keep it, and drag the cursor across the screen;
  • Once done, release the left button to take the screenshot;
  • In the editing window, click on the File menu then Save As;
  • Save the screenshot in a folder that you can access easily;
  • Attaching the screenshot in your reply
    • Go in your thread and click on the Reply to this topic button in the top-right corner;
      85hPFGu.png
    • Below the text box you'll have the option to Attach files. Click on the Choose Files... button, navigate to your screenshot and select it;
      LKVBzF7.png
    • Once done, add a comment to your reply and post it;

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#7 Cimi

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Posted 02 April 2015 - 11:12 PM

Hi Aura, 

 

I could not upload with the above method for some reason. Here is a link to the requested screen shot

 

Cimi :) 

 

https://yadi.sk/i/pMS7X5yVfiLMH



#8 Aura

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 10:12 AM

It looks like you do not have a Restore partition. However, you have 15GB of unallocated space. Right-click on the Windows (C:) rectangle and select Expand size, then click on the Next button until the end. It'll append the 15GB of space to your current C: drive, giving you more space.

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#9 Cimi

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 12:10 PM

Hi Aura, 

 

I have done as u suggested with disk space allocation. I am at the stage awaiting response from manufacturer on getting copy of Windows. Is there a way to confirm my Product Key code in the registry myself? I have used third party software just not sure how accurate they are.

 

This may not be your area... I mentioned earlier about adding more memory to laptop. I have 4 gig want to add another for as takes a max of 8 over 2 slots. I have attached screen shot links to show you my memory. I am wondering if I am best to get this memory from the manufacturer  ( if they sell it ) or if you can recommend how to go about it. 

 

https://yadi.sk/i/lSHwq4O6fjXD5

 

https://yadi.sk/i/i0hFws-TfjXDD

 

https://yadi.sk/i/DGaE_j-bfjXDT

Best Wishes

 

Cimi



#10 Cimi

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 12:13 PM

Ive just noticed on your profile previous work with Kaspersky 2015. This is what I have. I keep getting a message about Wifi security being low. I find IT interesting so I do apologise if I ask to many questions as I do have plenty :) 

 

Cheers

Cimi 



#11 Aura

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Posted 03 April 2015 - 12:34 PM

Hardware upgrades is really not my area of speciality sadly, I really wish I could help you with that. However, what I suggest you to do is to create a thread in the System Building and Upgrading section and give a Speccy snapshot, then someone will help you with that :)

ik5xYHs.pngSpeccy - Publish a snapshot
Follow the instructions below to download and install Speccy, then to publish a snapshot of your system information:
  • Download and install Speccy from Piriform (the download will start automatically a few seconds after clicking on the Speccy link);
    Note: You can opt-out the Google Toolbar installation if you want;
  • Once Speccy is installed, launch the program and give it a good minute to load all your system information;
  • After that, click on the File menu in the top left corner, and select Publish Snapshot;
  • A window will appear asking you to confirm your decision to publish a snapshot. Click on Yes;
  • A new window will appear after, with a URL link to your snapshot. Click on Copy to Clipboard button to copy that URL to your clipboard, then paste it in your next reply and post it;
About Kaspersky, you can take a screenshot of the message and post it here for me so I can see it.

mq1pzD6.pngHow to take a screenshot using the Snipping Tool
Follow the instructions below to take a screenshot using Windows' Snipping Tool:
  • Press on the Win Key + R to open the Run box;
  • Enter SnippingTool and press on Enter;
  • The Snipping Tool will open, asking you to choose the area to take in the screenshot;
  • Left click on the area where you want to start the screenshot, keep it, and drag the cursor across the screen;
  • Once done, release the left button to take the screenshot;
  • In the editing window, click on the File menu then Save As;
  • Save the screenshot in a folder that you can access easily;
  • Attaching the screenshot in your reply
    • Go in your thread and click on the Reply to this topic button in the top-right corner;
      85hPFGu.png
    • Below the text box you'll have the option to Attach files. Click on the Choose Files... button, navigate to your screenshot and select it;
      LKVBzF7.png
    • Once done, add a comment to your reply and post it;

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#12 Cimi

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 01:32 AM

Hi Aura, 

 

Ive posted Ram question in suggested forum. 

I have an interest in IT although its not the line of work I'm in. Just find it interesting. Id like to leant as much as possible and excuse me If I ask to many questions. You mentioned in regards to programs such as IOLO "" such program installing on your system will just bloat it down and you have more chances to have issues by using them than without. "" + "" very feature they provide, you can either do it natively under Windows, do it via another standalone executable ""

​Ive attached some screen shots of some of the Utilities in IOLO for you feedback if you get a chance. The only feature that I could say from an objective point of view that does seem to actually improve performance is the System Optimize tool. Here are the screen shots and Ill post later in the week once ive got a reply from manufacturer re: Re-image process. 

 

https://yadi.sk/i/XNK4LtXrfmQyG

https://yadi.sk/i/uHYDRJKRfmQyN

https://yadi.sk/i/h5b_czCHfmQyS

https://yadi.sk/i/UKruHLzEfmQyU

Cheers

Cimi 



#13 Cimi

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 01:52 AM

Hi Aura, 

 

I cannot replicate the low-wifi warning on Kaspersky. However if you may be able to provide feedback on the following things might make a little more sense to me. 

 

Cimi :) 

 

Seven tips on how to make your home Wi-Fi safer

 

Step 1. Changing the admin password

One of the most serious mistakes often made is using the default, out-of-box, admin password (consider the frequently used “admin:admin” and “1234”). Combined with some non-critical remote vulnerability or an open wireless connection, this might give criminals full control over the router. If you have not already done so, we strongly recommend resetting the password to something more sophisticated.

Step 2. Disabling remote management

A second problem that is often encountered is open access to the router’s control interface. Usually producers enable only LAN-based router controls by default, but this is not always the case. Make sure that you check whether your router’s control interface is available over the Web.

Step 3. Disabling Broadcast SSID

As a rule, a wireless router transmits your Wi-Fi network ID (the so-called SSID) to everyone. This may be changed at will by unchecking the corresponding box in the settings. Then your network will not be so easily hacked. However, as a compromise, you will have to enter the SSID every time that you connect a device to the network. This step is not mandatory.

Step 4. Using reliable encryption

Must you admit every single person to your wireless network if your subscription is unlimited? We strongly recommend that you do not. Among the usual folks, there may well be a skilled teenage hacker in search of a free connection, and you, basically, just set yourself up to be susceptible to threats that are common for public hotspots: personal and credit card data theft, loss of email and social networks login credentials, an infection of all home machines, etc.

Step 5. UPnP et al.

Today’s wireless routers are not only capable of serving a Wi-Fi access hotspot and facilitating Internet access to LAN nodes, but they also support different protocols to automatically align and join connected smart devices.

Step 6. Updating built-in software

Router owners are not good at keeping track of firmware updates. We suggest using the most up-to-date firmware from vendors’ official websites: they frequently patch vulnerabilities and mistakes, which can open the point of entry to hackers willing to compromise your network.


Step 7. Not just the router

Absolutely ‘ultimate’ protection does not exist, as the years have proved. A sensible approach to router settings, using strong passwords and encryption and timely updates to firmware will significantly contribute to a higher level of safety for your wireless network, but it does not 100% guarantee your network is safe from hacking.



#14 Aura

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Posted 05 April 2015 - 09:18 AM

Pretty much every features that iolo System Mechanics offers are useless and could be replaced by more reputable programs. Also its really the part that "optimize" your system that can be harmful for it because not every systems are the same and its not because the program thinks its good for it to do one thing on your system that's its indeed good for it. As for the tips on the router security, they are all spot on and I personally think that your Kaspersky warning was because you use a low encryption like WEP. You should change it to WPA2 with a strong password. I would avoid doing number 3, its really not needed and its just a pain after for people you invite in your house to connect to the WiFi if you allow them to.

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#15 Cimi

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 11:16 AM

Hi Aura, 

 

I will soon have a copy of Windows to do the re-image. I am looking at getting rid of IOLO and using programs like the ones you suggested; 

 

  • Cleaning temporary files: TFC (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Cleanmgr.exe (in-built);
  • Managing start-up entries: Autoruns (standalone executable), CCleaner (installed), Task Manager and Registry (in-built);
  • Driver Updater: Not needed, all you need is to go on your manufacturer website so you'll be sure to get the right, official, working drivers for your computer or hardware;
  • Registry Cleaner/Defragger: Completely useless and also dangerous;
  • Disk Defragging: Disk Defrag (in-built), O&O Disk Defrag (installed), Defraggler (installed);
  • Powerful uninstaller: Not needed, only needed when you have to make sure a program is completely uninstalled. Revo Uninstaller have a portable version you can use;
  • "Enhanced" Task Manager: Procexp (standalone executable), Process Hacker (portable or installed);
  • "Active security": Any Antivirus and Antimalware can beat that, easily. These programs aren't made to replace Antivirus or Antimalware products and shouldn't be seen as such;
  • Repair Hard Drive issues: Simple chkdsk /r command under Windows (in-built);

Is there any more suggestions or links to how to have a good set up??

 

Cheers

Cimi :) 






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