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How to get into Asus Laptop Recovery?


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#1 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 06:46 AM

X401U laptop, not sure it's windows 8. At startup after the logo, it is showing the error "A disk read error occured. Press ctrl+alt+del to restart.

Using Parted Magic I was able to copy the user's files, now to repair this problem. Searching the net I am seeing f9 key to enter recovery but that is not working, any ideas please guys?


Edited by hamluis, 18 April 2016 - 03:31 PM.
Moved from Win 8 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 07:37 AM

Since during or after the logo I am not seeing the spinning disk, anything I can do to get into system repair or recovery? If not, how would I best go about reloading the OS since I have no idea what OS in on this unit?



#3 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 08:18 AM

See this page for determining your OS version. 

 

I would first check the disk using Parted Magic's Disk Health and do the short/long tests. You should also be able to use Parted Magic and Gparted to see if there is still a recovery partition on the drive.

 

See this video. It's possible you are not pressing F9 at the correct moment.

 

Here is another video showing how to use a Windows 8 recovery drive, which can be made on any Windows 8 computer, to do a factory reset if the computer has Windows 8 and F9 does not work. I have never done this so I can't confirm it will work. It may be easier to use the bootable version of Partition Wizard rather than Gparted to do the operations noted in the video.

 

If the computer came pre-installed with Windows 8 you could do a clean install with the free Windows 8.1 media. I believe you can determine this by looking at the firmware tables with Parted Magic's terminal. I have not done it with Parted Magic but I know Knoppix can do it. See this page on using terminal to pull a key from firmware.

 



#4 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 08:57 AM

I did not see this file Windows/System32/license.rtf

 

What's showing in that video is not happening on this unit meaning the screen does not light 'before' the logo, it only lights at the exact same time when the logo appears.

 

Running the disk health tests on parted magic now, short test shows no errors, running extended test but that shows around  hours.

 

I have four 8.1 disks, two Standard with 32 and 64 bit and two PRO with 32 and 64 but which one should I try?



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 09:21 AM

What was the version of ntoskrnl.exe?  This will tell you what version the OS is.

 

I would use the Standard 64bit. But first I would pull the key by copying the Software Hive in C:\Windows\System32\config  to a USB key and then on another computer use Produkey to examine the Software Hive. This would at least be able to get your key. Using the key with Ultimate PID checker, it will tell you the version of Windows and if Home or Pro.


Edited by JohnC_21, 15 April 2016 - 09:21 AM.


#6 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 09:35 AM

Rightclicking on the file and checking the properties is not showing a version according to the instructions on that page.

 

You mean to take the HDD out, attach to another pc then use produkey?



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 09:53 AM

There is no need to take out the hard drive. Once you copy the Software Hive on a USB key use Produkey and point it to the Software Hive on the USB key when selecting the Source. I would also copy ntoskrnl.exe to a USB key and check the version when in Windows.



#8 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 10:29 AM

To clarify, what is software hive? is it a file or folder with that name located in the Windows\System32\config folder?



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 10:47 AM

It is the file named SOFTWARE (with no extension) in the config folder.


Edited by JohnC_21, 15 April 2016 - 10:48 AM.


#10 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 10:51 AM

Thanks, will look into that next. Well John, it looks like this machine was reloaded with win7 as the screenshot shows it's version 6.1? That should explain why I can't get into automatic repair or Recovery, what do you think?

 

http://imgur.com/xuAaBZq

 

Also, yes, you were correct, copying the ntoskrnl.exe file to my machine shows more options than it did on the laptop, thanks.



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 11:02 AM

Yes, this is Windows 7. It may have been a downgrade from Windows 8 that was pre-installed on the computer. You will need to contact the client. If a downgrade then they can decide if they want to go back to Windows 8.

 

In any event you should be able to pull the key from the software hive and determine which version of Windows 7 it is using the PID checker and the key you found.



#12 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 11:07 AM

First, how will they go back to win8 as they would need a win licence since the original win8 key would have been deleted from the bios after the win 7 install?

 

Also, I copied the SOFTWARE file unto a usb but when I open produkey on my machine it immediately opens up ad=nd shows what I think are my pc's info so how can I point produkey to the software file please?



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 11:23 AM

No, the key would be embedded in firmware. Installing Windows 7 will not delete it but you need to look in firmware to see it the key is there which would prove the computer came pre-installed with Windows 8.

 

If using the terminal command of 

 

ls /sys/firmware/acpi/tables

 

does not show a MSDM table then the computer did not come pre-installed with Windows 8.

 

Create a folder called Windows on the USB, copy the Software hive to it and then have Produkey point to that folder using the load the product keys from external Windows directory  option.



#14 mystic12

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 11:31 AM

Typing that command shows "No such file or directory". The owner says she purchase the unit from someone lese so she doesn't know what this unit came with when originally purchased. Since there's no sticker underneath I am guessing it did not come with win8?



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 11:37 AM

Usually no sticker indicates it is Windows 8 but there have been no stickers on Windows 7 computers too. Were you able to obtain the key using Produkey?

 

Edit: You used Parted Magic to check the firmware table list? You should at least get a list of tables. 


Edited by JohnC_21, 15 April 2016 - 11:39 AM.





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