Question Asus Zenbook endless spinning wheel on boot up

Nov 30, 2020
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Trying to help a friend fix his Model UX330U with Windows 10. On start up it shows the Asus logo and a spinning wheel. Never gets beyond that stage.
From searching these forums these are the things I've tried:

  • Multiple quick restarts to try to get the machine into recovery mode > Doesn't do it.
  • Holding every F key (1 by 1) on startup to see if one of them gets the machine into recovery mode. The only key that does anything is F2 gets me to the BIOS configuration.
  • I created a recovery USB drive from another Windows 10 machine and tried to boot from it > same endless spinning wheel though.
  • I created a recovery USB from the Microsoft website. > same result
At this point I'm wondering if I need to replace the hard drive but wanted to check with the community here if there are other steps I should take first.
There is nothing on the drive worth saving. But he does want Windows on it. If I do need to replace the hard drive, am I correct in assuming he'll need to purchase another copy of Windows?


Edit:
Screenshot: https://ibb.co/jr5wSk0
 
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When you made the recovery USB, I assume you used the creation tool on the MS website to make it bootable.

Did you make the USB drive the primary boot device by moving it up in BIOS? On some machines, you can select the boot device by hitting F12 repeatedly after power up as an alternative to changing the BIOS. You may also need to turn off secure boot in the BIOS if that is turned on. I'm not sure about that, but it won't hurt. You can turn it back on later.
 
I just noticed you made a recovery USB from another machine. Did you do this by downloading the WIN10 install from Microsoft? AFAIK, "recovery" media are machine specific although I have never tried to use one on a different machine.
 
Nov 30, 2020
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I just tried using USB recovery media created from the Microsoft tool. Still, same result. I'll add this to my original post.
I did make USB the primary boot device in BIOS.
 
Nov 30, 2020
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Thanks. If I do need to replace the hard drive, am I correct in assuming my friend will need to purchase another copy of Windows?
 
Maybe not. I've heard of cases where Microsoft recognizes the machine configuration and reauthenticates automatically. If the install asks for a key, answer that you will supply it later, if that is still an option (it used to be). If the old hard drive is still accessable, there may be a way to get the key from the registry but I don't know how to do that. You may be able to research the issue and find a way. FYI--running Belarc Advisor and backing up the output is good insurance. It will dump your software keys.
 
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