Question I've bricked my laptop running win 8.1 can anyone help?

Oct 23, 2020
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Hi all, I desperately need some help. I tried to run a clean boot to fix a problem I was having with a game. I made sure to hide all windows processes or whatever when I was in msconfig before I turned them all off, according to the instructions.
My laptop then got stuck before the windows login on a black screen. I could get a cursor and sometimes the icons for wifi and keyboard would blink in the corners, but it never loaded.

I tried starting it in safe mode but it did the same thing. I tried opening msconfig with the command box but it says it can't find msconfig.

I tried sfc scan (it says it finds and fixes errors but never solves things. I tried doing it several times in a row but no luck. I also tried letting it diagnose itself, but no luck. Startup repair says it can't fix the problem.

I told it to refresh windows (keeping my personal files). It went through that process, but then I get an error saying it can't complete installation of windows and to restart the installation. Restarting doesn't help, booting in safe mode doesn't help, and asking it to refresh again results in an error that there isn't enough space.

I downloaded this https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows8ISO to a USB, but I can't get the computer to see the USB drive.

I'm out of ideas. Can anyone rescue me?
 

AlHuneke

Prominent
Jul 7, 2020
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As far as not being able to boot from the USB, have you changed the setting in the BIOS to make the USB the top priority for booting? I assume you downloaded a .ISO file. Did you use a conversion tool (such as Rufus) to make that a bootable image on the stick? This step can be a little tricky as there are several options. Research the settings you need on the internet. You do realize that you will lose your programs and data when you reinstall Windows from the USB (unless there is an option I am unaware of).

If you end up doing a clean reinstall, I would advise you to update to Win10. Support for 8.1 is still ongoing but will terminate in a few years. Might as well do the change over now. BTW--I like 10 much better than 8! Last I knew, the update was free if you do it in a certain way. Look on the internet for directions regarding this update. I hope the install finds your old Windows key so you don't have to pay for it again. Sometimes you can call MS and they will be sympathetic. I capture my program keys with Belarc Advisor occasionally so I have a record.

I'm not sure why you would turn off all services in MSCONFIG. That is a dangerous thing to do unless you really know what you are doing. I would suggest you leave them alone.
 

mejustsayin

Proper
Oct 11, 2020
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sounds like it could be an older computer. if so, it may not have the option to boot from usb drive. Does it show up in the bios boot order? If it does not, then you will need to create a bootable dvd
 
Oct 23, 2020
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I was able to get someone to bring me a USB recovery drive and was able to tell it to boot from it, but it won'.t It should still be under warranty at the store so they should be able to fix it. It's seeing two copies of windows after I tried to refresh so at this point I think I need to just let a professional handle it. Thanks for your help.
 

mejustsayin

Proper
Oct 11, 2020
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10
145
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I was able to get someone to bring me a USB recovery drive and was able to tell it to boot from it, but it won'.t It should still be under warranty at the store so they should be able to fix it. It's seeing two copies of windows after I tried to refresh so at this point I think I need to just let a professional handle it. Thanks for your help.
could be UEFI causing the boot problem. go into bios and disable secure boot or enable legacy in the bios.
 
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