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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Angry Can't install Windows 8 (or reinstall Windows 7)

    After reading Medico's cogent reply to my thoughts about the worth of Windows 8, I decided to take a flyer and buy it. In fact, I bought it at 12:05am on 10/26. I cleaned up my PC--got rid of a lot of useless software, updated according to what the Upgrade assistant said, ran CC Cleaner, etc. I did the upgrade from the button on the desktop. At about 90% completion the installation stopped and I got the message: Windows installation was not successful--previous version being restored." System restore didn't help. I did a restore of my C drive from a month old Macrium image. That didn't help. Every test I ran found no problems with windows. I tried to a non-destructive reinstall of Windows 7 so I would have pristine system files--the same thing happened; about 90% through the install I got the same kind of message that the install was not successful. The only other image I have goes back to July and is a Windows image. I ran SFC with the fix option and checkdisk--neither found a problem. I used msconfig to stop MS Services and to disable startup entries. After all this, I tried again to install Windows 8 with the same result. The only problems I have noticed are that I have no restore points between 7/19 and 10/29 and I cannot start the Windows Defender service.

    As I see it, my only other option is to do a clean install of Windows 7 and then do an upgrade to
    Windows 8. I'll have to reinstall all of my programs but I will be able to save my files and settings with Windows Easy Transfer. This would be an arduous, time-consuming operation but unless one of you good folks can come up with some solution I'll have to bite the bullet. (I apologize for being long-winded but I wanted to emphasize that I tried hard before I came to you for help.)

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Rather than the clean install of Win 7, I would burn the ISO file to DVD, boot to the DVD, Choose Custom Install, then choose Disk Options and Format the disk from the installation, then install Win 8 Pro. This is the exact approach I took on our 2 laptops with excellent results. Do not try to format the disk before booting to the DVD. I have heard this does not work either. Boot to the DVD then format as part of the install. This allows Win 8 to see an OS, not a "new" HD.

    I have heard too many horror stories about the upgrade install. Quite often it works successfully, but when it does not, it goes very bad. I have never had this clean install go bad.

    Yes this procedure does require reinstalling all apps and customizations. This process took me about 5 hours on each of our laptops. This 5 hours included 3 separate defrags and Images so the actual install time was something like 4 hours. I have 2 pristine installations that are working correctly.

    As a side note, all the User Settings that were included and know about by MS through my Live Account were automatically placed in Win 8 Pro even though I formatted my partition as part of the installation. My location, phone number, alternate email, account picture, theme background pictures, lock screen picture and more were automatically added to my Win 8 Pro installations during the installation

    When the Upgrade goes wrong, it takes many more hours to try to figure out what went wrong and fix it, or ultimately reinstall Win 8 Pro.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-10-31 at 05:16.
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  3. #3
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    I think you have done a great job of trying to solve your problem. I don't have much to add, except a suggestion for you to try find any setup log files. I am not sure if the folders are the same for Windows 8, but I suspect they are (I have a folder name Phanter in my Windows 8 upgraded computer), so have a look to see if the logs can shed any light on what is happening: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l...(v=ws.10).aspx.

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    Star Lounger
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    Thank you Medico & Ruirib. I found some log files and I couldn't find any entries that shed light on the problem. I have tried one last thing before I bite the bullet. I had done a registry clean via CCleaner just before I started the Win 7 & 8 installs so I did a registry restore. I have to go out and when I return I will try another Win 8 install just in case it may have been a registry problem. If this doesn't work I will go one of the hard ways in which I will have to reinstall everything. I have done a Windows Easy Transfer save--I assume I will be able to use it in Win8 to restore files and settings. Right?

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Sorry, I have never used Easy Transfer. I just have all my data on a separate partition so it's not affected by installs, then use the Clean Install Format on the OS. I find the time it takes to fix unexpected problems like these more than makes up for formatting right from the start.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgercee View Post
    Thank you Medico & Ruirib. I found some log files and I couldn't find any entries that shed light on the problem. I have tried one last thing before I bite the bullet. I had done a registry clean via CCleaner just before I started the Win 7 & 8 installs so I did a registry restore. I have to go out and when I return I will try another Win 8 install just in case it may have been a registry problem. If this doesn't work I will go one of the hard ways in which I will have to reinstall everything. I have done a Windows Easy Transfer save--I assume I will be able to use it in Win8 to restore files and settings. Right?
    Yes, Windows Easy Transfer will allow you that. It's rather simple, please have a look:

    http://www.7tutorials.com/what-windo...-data-transfer

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    I tried another upgrade of Win 7 to itself and the same thing happened again--about 80-90% through the install the system does one of its reinstalls, it comes to the black windows screen and a blue screen flashes on for a fraction of a second, the system reboots again and does a rollback. I'm in the process of downloading the Win 7 ISO from digital River (although the disc I am using was made from a Digital River download a couple of years ago.) What I am afraid of is that I will format the C drive in the process of doing a clean install, the install will proceed, and the same thing will happen. This time I'll be screwed because it won't roll back. I will have made an image of the C drive but one never knows what can happen. As to Medico's suggestion that I do a clean install of Win8, I have the upgrade version downloaded from MS and it is my understanding that one cannot do a clean install; it must be an upgrade. (I picked this tidbit up in perusing some of the other help sites.) Any further thoughts before I do this clean install of Windows 7? Or should I just stick tight with Windows 7 until someone figures this out. Does anyone know of a phone number at Microsoft I can call about this problem? Thanks again.

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    To get live support, maybe start here and proceed with Ask Microsoft: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/w...ontact-support

  9. #9
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I had a very good experience with Microsoft Support; you can read it here. You might try copying the DVD to a folder on your hard drive, as I did, and install from there. That's a technique I picked up years ago. The hard drive is so much quicker than the optical drive, and in my experience is less troublesome. Juan V. from Microsoft Support did some clean-up of TEMP and %temp% and then launched Setup from my folder.

    Bear in mind you have 90 days of FREE Microsoft Support - it won't cost you to take advantage of it. Juan V. (after asking my permission) used Log Me In to take control of my laptop, and we could still keep the chat going.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  10. #10
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I have the upgrade version downloaded from MS and it is my understanding that one cannot do a clean install; it must be an upgrade. (I picked this tidbit up in perusing some of the other help sites.) Any further thoughts before I do this clean install of Windows 7? Or should I just stick tight with Windows 7 until someone figures this out. Does anyone know of a phone number at Microsoft I can call about this problem? Thanks again.
    You actually can do a clean install with the upgrade W8, but you would need to do as Medico suggests; Create a bootable DVD of your Windows 8 iso, then boot with it, run through the various menus until you come across the one where you are provided with the option to format the drive.
    (W8 recognizes a previous Windows installation)

    The Fresh install as described in the Windows 8 OS, or from running setup within W7, won't produce a true clean install. You will still be left with a "Windows.old"
    folder and many of your previous drivers. So the only way to get a pristine OS install is to do a true format and clean install, the old fashioned way.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-10-31 at 22:41.
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  11. #11
    4 Star Lounger
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    The format option you're looking for is accessed via the 'advanced options' entry on the screen where you're asked where you want to install Win8 (though I'm assuming this screen will appear even if there's only one place where you COULD install Win8). When you format using this mechanism the Win8 installation has already verified that you're installing to a disk with an existing Windows system from which the upgrade is supported. Whether this would also work if you chose some other location that did not over-write (or upgrade) that existing system I don't know.

    Edit: The fact that Win7 also doesn't seem to be willing to complete its installation seems relevant, though. You might want to consider performing a thorough disk scan (e.g., at least ensuring that all sectors can be read) to see whether the problems that you're having might be disk-related, and for that matter a memory scan (e.g., using memtest86+) to see if you might be hitting a bad memory location during the installations.

    Edit2: Another thing that might cause an upgrade installation (whether Win7 or Win8) to abort could be a corrupted Registry. I don't know whether CCleaner actually detects (and one might hope is also able to correct) actual corruption rather than just cleans out redundant or 'dangling' Registry entries - and if not, what would (others here may be more familiar with this area though). Unlike a bad disk or bad memory this problem would disappear if you performed a clean install - but if you want to upgrade if at all possible it may be worth a look.
    Last edited by - bill; 2012-11-01 at 00:58.

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I think I have been stating the Format option is under Disk Options. I could be wrong. It very well might actually be under Advanced Options as Bill suggests. I did not pay much attention to the screen name when clicking on it. If I am mistaken, sorry.
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  13. #13
    Star Lounger
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    Thank you all again. To Bill: I did run a complete checkdsk with the repair option. This took about 1/2 hour and everything checked out OK. I did do a registry restore of my most recent registry. Perhaps I will try a registry restore from months ago. I will do a memcheck but I doubt that that is the problem. I think I will probably end up going the clean install route. I sincerely appreciate all of the help. Thanks again.

  14. #14
    4 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by elgercee View Post
    To Bill: I did run a complete checkdsk with the repair option. This took about 1/2 hour and everything checked out OK. I did do a registry restore of my most recent registry. Perhaps I will try a registry restore from months ago.
    If chkdsk actually read every sector on the drive (it could scan about 180 GB in 1/2 hour on a modern drive, so if your drive is around that size it may have) then the only more thorough test you could perform would be a read-after-write scan (though it wouldn't hurt to check the disk's SMART attributes with something like SpeedFan or HDSentinel for write errors and reallocated sectors: there will often be a few that wouldn't cause what you're seeing, but then again...). Registry corruption can persist for quite a while without noticeably bothering anything, so even an old registry might have it (again, I'm not familiar with how well various registry 'cleaners' can repair this, but someone here may be).
    Quote Originally Posted by Medico View Post
    I think I have been stating the Format option is under Disk Options. I could be wrong. It very well might actually be under Advanced Options as Bill suggests. I did not pay much attention to the screen name when clicking on it. If I am mistaken, sorry.
    I was citing from memory so I also could have been wrong. The point I thought should be emphasized was that the option doesn't appear during the normal course of an installation: you have to request a special page to see it.

  15. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    That is correct. It is an option on the screen after you choose Custom Install, but you do have to choose to do it. Otherwise you will get an installation over the original OS and a windows.old folder will be created.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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