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Trying to reset computer completely/reinstall Windows 8.1


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#1 Chroma

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 10:41 PM

Hello. For Christmas, I received a used Sony Vaio laptop from my brother. However, a mere 7 months later, I found that I had no more space (as shown here: Attached File  omg.png   122.73KB   0 downloads) and could not install anything. My game files were corrupted, and it has gotten to the point where I am unable to even load my _desktop background_. However, it turns out that the reason that my laptop is full of junk is that my brother didn't remove his files from it! Deleting them manually is not an option, as they are in a password-protected account. After realizing this, I tried to perform a reset with the new Refresh, Reset, or Restore feature that has been integrated into Windows 8. However, it said that I had missing files and that I needed to insert recovery media. I am not in possession of any recovery media, and I am a bit confused on how to make one. Do I need to create a reinstall disk for Windows? If this is necessary, I have my product key (I believe that it is listed in the PC Info section) but I do not know whether I have enough space to create one. (this is unimportant, as I'll find some way to make space by uninstalling things. I only wish to know how much I need.) Upgrading to Windows 10 is not an option for me, as I have a strong dislike for windows 10 due to many reasons. I've also heard that the installation does not delete your files if you're "lucky", so I simply want to reinstall Windows and revert everything to factory settings.

 

Any help that is provided is greatly appreciated!  :love4u:


Edited by Chroma, 17 July 2016 - 10:41 PM.


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#2 Stancestans

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 11:52 PM

Hi  :hello:  You can boot from a live CD/DVD or USB flash disk such as Kubuntu (KDE flavour of Ubuntu) and delete his user folder. Download the 64-bit version if you have at least 4GB of RAM or 32-bit if you have less than 4GB RAM. Burn the iso disc image to DVD or create a bootable USB flash disk using Rufus, then boot from the created media and choose to try Kubuntu (loads a live os that runs from the media instead of installing it). You can then browse the contents of the hard disk and delete your brother's user folder. That should free up a good amount of storage and allow Windows to load properly. Once you're back in Windows, you can free up more space using Disk Cleanup, deleting all except the most recent restore point and disable hibernate. To disable hibernate, open an elevated Command Prompt (Admin) and type POWERCFG -H OFF then press Enter.

 

As for recovery/factory reset, let's see if the OEM recovery partition is still present on the hard disk. Open Disk Management (right-click the start button) and post a screenshot showing all the partitions present on the disk.



#3 Chroma

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:46 AM

Thank you so much, Stancestans! (I'm also new to the forum...) I don't use Ubuntu, but I've got nothing against it other than the fact that it's quite unfamiliar to me. As for Rufus, do I have to download an ISO image from the Windows 8 website? (I tried system restore and it said that I don't have any restore points for some strange reason.) I have my product key, so should I order the ISO from the Windows website? As I've said, I don't really have any space and it fluctuates between 1 megabyte and one gigabyte for some reason :huh: My flash drive only has 960 megs left, so I don't know if that's enough space. Here's the screenshot: Attached File  o boi.png   183.84KB   0 downloads Sorry, I'm still a bit confused as to how to make an ISO of Ubuntu. Good news: my disk space is at what I would call a "critical point": 1 gigabyte! I've got to download those things soon, because it fluctuates. A lot.



#4 Chroma

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 08:27 AM

Update: Whoop, 7 gigabytes!



#5 dc3

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 09:44 AM

You can use the Windows Media Creation Tools to create Windows 8.1 installation media.  You will have the option to use either a disc (DVD) or a flash drive to create the installation media.  Click on the link below and follow the instructions.
 
 
If you may be asked for your Windows product code for this installation.

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

 

 

 

 


#6 Stancestans

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:20 AM

If you have a retail product key of Windows 8, then you can download an image of it from the link dc3 posted. If the version of Windows came pre-installed (OEM licensed), you won't be able to download the image from Microsoft.com using that key, you'll have to order for the recovery media from Sony. From the screenshot of Disk Management, the recovery image partition is still present, but it's empty. Judging by the recovery image partition size, the system most likely came with Windows Seven, and NOT 8, meaning you can only order for Windows Seven media from Sony.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:42 AM

You do not need to purchase install media if Windows 8 or 8.1 came pre-installed on the computer. 

 

If the computer came pre-installed with Windows 8 or 8.1 the key is embedded in firmware. Create a Windows Install using the Media Creation Tool dc3 linked to. After Install Windows will self-activate once online. When you get to the Window where it asks for a key press next. You may need to install drivers from your computer's support site such as Wifi and Ethernet.

 

You can remove Temp files from the computer by typing Run in the Search Box then typing %temp%. You can delete any files/folders listed. 

 

If Windows does request a key before continuing you can pull your key form firmware with FirmwareTables View. 

 

http://www.nextofwindows.com/firmwaretablesview-to-retrieve-windows-8-1-product-key-from-bios

 

If you still are not allowed to continue use one of these generic keys. Once installed you can change to the key in firmware.

 

Windows 8.1 (Not Pro): 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT 
Windows 8.1 Pro: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB 

 

How to do a clean install of Windows 8

 

 
Update! Microsoft Makes it Easier

If you want to just download the installation media for a fresh reinstall of Windows 8.1, there’s a new option from Microsoft that can allow you to download that image without even entering your product key. And if you are completely reinstalling a Windows 8.0 PC you can use this 8.1 installation media with the same key from Windows 8.0, so there’s no reason not to do so. It even comes with Update 1 integrated.

 

 

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/187525/how-to-perform-a-clean-install-of-windows-8.1-with-a-windows-8-key/



#8 dc3

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 10:53 AM

You can use the media creation tool with a OEM version of Windows 8/8.1.  You may be asked to provide the product code, you can use the instructions below to use Speccy to find the product code. There is a chance that Windows may not activate, if this happens call Microsoft and have them help you with the activation.

At the website under System Requirements you will find the following.

 

We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer's website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

 

This is irrefutable proof that you can use the medial creation tool with a OEM version of Windows 8.
 
You can find your product key using Speccy.
 
Please download and install Speccy to find your Windows product code.  Clicking on this link will automatically initiate the download. 
 
When Speccy opens you will see an image similar to the one below.
 
speccy1_zpsrueynimp.png


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

 

 

 

 


#9 Chroma

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 11:49 AM

 

You can use the Windows Media Creation Tools to create Windows 8.1 installation media.  You will have the option to use either a disc (DVD) or a flash drive to create the installation media.  Click on the link below and follow the instructions.
 
 
If you may be asked for your Windows product code for this installation.

 

 

Thank you so much for the help! I'll try this soon.

You do not need to purchase install media if Windows 8 or 8.1 came pre-installed on the computer. 

 

If the computer came pre-installed with Windows 8 or 8.1 the key is embedded in firmware. Create a Windows Install using the Media Creation Tool dc3 linked to. After Install Windows will self-activate once online. When you get to the Window where it asks for a key press next. You may need to install drivers from your computer's support site such as Wifi and Ethernet.

 

You can remove Temp files from the computer by typing Run in the Search Box then typing %temp%. You can delete any files/folders listed. 

 

If Windows does request a key before continuing you can pull your key form firmware with FirmwareTables View. 

 

http://www.nextofwindows.com/firmwaretablesview-to-retrieve-windows-8-1-product-key-from-bios

 

If you still are not allowed to continue use one of these generic keys. Once installed you can change to the key in firmware.

 

Windows 8.1 (Not Pro): 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT 
Windows 8.1 Pro: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKB 

 

How to do a clean install of Windows 8

 

 
Update! Microsoft Makes it Easier

If you want to just download the installation media for a fresh reinstall of Windows 8.1, there’s a new option from Microsoft that can allow you to download that image without even entering your product key. And if you are completely reinstalling a Windows 8.0 PC you can use this 8.1 installation media with the same key from Windows 8.0, so there’s no reason not to do so. It even comes with Update 1 integrated.

 

 

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/187525/how-to-perform-a-clean-install-of-windows-8.1-with-a-windows-8-key/

Thank you so much for this! I already have my product key, so I don't need the ones you gave me. (at least I don't think I will) That was really nice of you! Where did you get those keys? :huh:

 

You can use the media creation tool with a OEM version of Windows 8/8.1.  You may be asked to provide the product code, you can use the instructions below to use Speccy to find the product code. There is a chance that Windows may not activate, if this happens call Microsoft and have them help you with the activation.

At the website under System Requirements you will find the following.

 

 

 

We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer's website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.

 

This is irrefutable proof that you can use the medial creation tool with a OEM version of Windows 8.
 
You can find your product key using Speccy.
 
Please download and install Speccy to find your Windows product code.  Clicking on this link will automatically initiate the download. 
 
When Speccy opens you will see an image similar to the one below.
 
speccy1_zpsrueynimp.png

Thank you so much for providing this tool. I think I already have the key I need, I'll update you guys later.



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 12:00 PM

Those are simply generic keys that let you install Windows 8.1 but they will not activate. Doing a google search for Windows 8.1 generic keys will bring up those two keys.



#11 Chroma

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:11 PM

It turns out that I have an SSD. Will this affect anything? (I've heard that it's not advisable to format these.)



#12 Chroma

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:24 PM

Now I'm somewhat unsure about what to use to format. If I do a quick format, will it still leave all files that would be installed with Windows? What constitutes a full format? If I run the media creation tool and boot from the installation disk, is that a full format? Please help! I don't wish to trash my solid state drive!



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:27 PM

Any blank drive needs to be formatted. Just follow the step by step instructions I linked to in post #7 on doing a clean install. You will delete any current partitions on the drive. Windows will then automatically partition and format the drive.



#14 Chroma

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:57 PM

My drive isn't blank, it's got a lot of programs as stated in the first post. I just want to do a fresh install of windows...I tried using installation media on a 7 GIGABYTE flash drive. It said I don't have enough space...? That's almost double the amount of space needed.



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:04 PM

A 7GB flash drive? I think only 8GB flash drives are sold but Windows will list is as 7+ GB. The Windows Media Creation Tool allows you to download an iso file as an option. Do this and then use Rufus to create the bootable flash drive. Run Rufus with the flash drive attached. Use a GPT partition scheme in the dropdown box. Leave all boxes as checked. Where FreeDos is listed select iso image in the dropdown box and click the icon. Browse to the iso file of Windows 8 and press Start. If you have any data on the flash drive back it up first as it will be deleted. 

 

https://rufus.akeo.ie/






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