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Thread: Help please! Corrupted OS and recovery partition after failed Win10 upgrade

  1. #1
    Soundwave
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    Question Help please! Corrupted OS and recovery partition after failed Win10 upgrade

    Hello everyone.

    Newbie here.

    I bought a used 32GB ASUS T-100TAF on ebay. It arrived in a fully operational condition with Windows 8.1. I think the seller had performed a full system reset before sending it to me.

    The second day I had it, I ran the Windows 10 free update. In hindsight I was rather gung-ho. I relied on the existence of the recovery partition to resolve any problems arising from the Win10 install, but also the upgrade process would create a rollback disk on my SD-card, so two paths back to Win8.1.

    The Win10 upgrade failed for some reason. It said it was rolling back to 8.1, but this failed as well and I was left with a system that could not boot into the OS or into the recovery environment.

    From info on this forum and others I was eventually able to repair the boot options such that it now defaults into the recovery partition after failing to boot the OS. I restored the content of the recovery partition from the backup that had been made on my SD-card.

    But it will not perform a system reset. It just tells me that there was a problem, nothing more. I tried to mount the install.wim using DISM, but it tells me that the data is invalid (Error 13).

    Given that this is a WIMboot system, would the Win10 installation have modified install.wim?
    (but even so, the rollback copy should have been unharmed).

    I also have a custom.wim which can be mounted, but I'm not sure what the relationship is between that and install.wim

    So what do I do next to recover the situation?

    If I do a full Windows 8.1 reinstall (from USB made using MS media creation tool) will it install as WIMboot?
    And will it ask for a licence key? I don't know it. I believe it's stored in the firmware somehow so should self-detect?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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    Welcome to the forum

    I would recommend a full reinstall of either 8.1 or 10 from external media. The product key will be provided from within the firmware in the machine. Check out the relevant guide threads here for the process if you are uncertain.

    PLEASE Search for existing threads before posting a new one. Thanks.

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    Soundwave
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    Thanks for welcome and advice Janner43.
    I will try the full install when I have a few spare hours. Perhaps tomorrow evening.

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    Starscream
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    Since your drive is only 32 gb, do you know how much free space you have? It wasn't clear if you can boot into Windows or not.

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    Soundwave
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    I have 16GB free. I cannot boot into windows.

    Immediately after the failed upgrade, the machine would only boot as far as an error screen.
    I could only achieve anything useful by booting from a flash drive containing Win8.1 installation media.
    Using this I was able to correct faults in the BCD so that now the machine will boot into the recovery partition after the installed OS fails to load. However there's nothing I can do to correct the problem using the recovery tools.

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    Starscream
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    That should be plenty to load either 8.1 or 10. Let us know what happens.

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    Soundwave
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    OK. I just kicked off the Windows 8.1 installation and the first thing it's done is ask me to enter my product key!
    Does this indicate that I have selected the wrong edition to download, or more worryingly, that it cannot retrieve the key stored in firmware?

    --EDIT--
    Ah. It might be OK. I found a trick from another thread that makes it an OEM install and so doesn't ask for key. I may still need to enter it to activate post-installation, but I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.
    Last edited by Xenomorph; 05-05-2016 at 03:02 PM. Reason: new development

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    Soundwave
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    OK. I now have Windows 8.1 installed. It did ask me again to enter my product key, but it allowed me to skip.
    Once I was into windows I used "wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey" to extract my licence key from firmware (at least I think that's what it does).

    I then used the "slui 3" command to bring up the activation box and entered my retrieved key.

    It then tells me "that key cannot be used to activate this edition of windows".

    So I'm now wondering if I selected the wrong windows ISO from the windows media creation tool. I selected 8.1 (not pro) but perhaps I needed 8.1N or Single Language...

    Are there any ways to determine which edition my key is for? Or some config file or reg setting I can tweak to make the installation think it's a different edition?

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    You should be OK without doing that extra key finding and registering. The correct key is hard-coded in the hardware.
    Rick, loving my T100TA-C1-GR Z3740 64GB Win 10
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  10. #10
    Soundwave
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    Yes, but given that, I didn't expect it to ask me to enter a key at all.
    I've checked my activation status "slmgr /dli" and to paraphrase :

    Windows Core Edition
    RETAIL channel
    Partial Product Key: D3VPT (this is a "default" key)
    License Status: Notification
    Reason: 0xC004F009 (grace time expired)

 

 
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