Reloading 8.1 as the current 8.1 is corrupted.

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It started when the pc configurations settings was hijacked.  When I tried to go in and change the boot instructions to change it to the usb drive, clicking the configure screen would set me back to the start screen.  I've tried various searches and their solutions.  At one point, the instructions given to me was bad.  When it rebooted, I found a lot of programs gone or will not work.  The network would not work.  It's a miracle that it boots at all.  I've already backed up my files.  All I want to do now is to reload 8.1 so I can upgrade to Windows 10.  All of the programs I had on there will have to be reloaded.


It's funny but I used to be a pc expert.  It's obvious I haven't kept up.  If anyone can help me, it'd be much appreciated.  I already have the 8.1 usb set up.  It's a matter of trying to get the machine to accept the stick for boot up.

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Hello Septe Welcome to the Windows Forums!

By your description of Star screen would that be for the bios screen you first see when then going into the Advanced section in order to change the boot order? Another option for the one time live boot session would be the use of the F key assigned to bring up the boot device menu where you would then select the "USB HHD" option after first pressing the F4, F11, or F12 key a few times right at post in order to see the boot device menu appear.

On some OEM made not custom built pcs you won't find a boot device menu at all or are able to enter into the Bios Setup program itself. The manufacturer has seen to it there are no self help settings but are required to bring it into an authorized service center and get charged for the work! Dell has had a notorious reputation in that regard over the years!

In that situation you would see the correct edition burned to optical media using the first not new updated Media Creation tool as the latest now sees the "4 in 1" media created on a 5gb or larger usb flash drive as it contains both Home and Pro editions in both the 32bit and 64bit options that will appear first if booting live for a clean install however. For any upgrade the updated 10 installer automatically detects which upgrade path it will take when detecting the kernel if you are running the 32bit or 64bit Windows as well as automatically selecting the correct edition of 10 Home for 7, 8, 8,1 you have there Home Premium or Home editions for the previous version and see 10 Home go on or 10 Pro when upgrading over 7 Pro or Ultimate, 8, 8,1 Pro editions.

The 4 in 1 iso download weighs in at about 5.48gb on the drive where a 5 or 6gb flash drive may need to see an 8gb being far more common to make up the live media. If you opt out of using the MC tool itself to prepare the 10 media the shareware trial version for a few programs like UltraISO can work nicely for seeing the iso written to a flash drive.


Now as an alternate to going through the upgrade process and seeing 10 activated following a clean install the Threshold 2 release seen in November also allows the use of your 8.1 product key or simply see the activation transferred over to a Clean Install of 10 rather then ending up with a possible "Buggy as all heck" upgrade where things didn't go on fully! The clean install also saves the need to upgrade from the previous version to 10 especially when the previous version hasn't just seen a clean install as well to insure the better results! Here after several upgrade installs with only one with the July 29th 10240 build release upgrade on a second desktop was to come out bug free! The main case now seeing the 10/7 dual boot first saw a repair install of the initial upgrade with a second upgrade install to correct what missed on the first!

The way to see a fresh clean install of 10 go on is by first seeing the updated latest 10 build downloaded and saved to a local folder on C or hopefully a second storage drive which will need to be unplugged anyways during either an upgrade or clean install since the 10 installer can get confused at times on just where to put the boot loader and new BCD store created along with the temporary installation folders found locally on the C drive as "$Windows`BT" or "$Windows`WS" on the 64bit drive as well as seeing the "`QT" folder on a VM when that sees an upgrade.
So how to bypass the need to upgrade? Once you have the "Windows.iso" downloaded and saved to a folder by way of the Media Creation Tool skipping past the immiediate online upgrade option you first come to followed by the option to create the usb media which will require an 8gb flash drive at this time, or lastly at the option to burn a dvd which is too small now for the latest 4 in1 Windows 10 download which includes not only both the 32bit and 64bit flavors but both Home and Pro editions you need to extract one file from the iso image to run on the present 8.1 installation. This will allow you to see a clean install of 10 activated while bypassing the upgrade to 10 from previous version first avoiding an extra step as well as a potentially buggy upgrade!

1) You first need to mount the Windows.iso file to get into the Sources folder and extract, copy the "gatherosstate.exe file out onto the desktop and then right click on that and select the "run as administrator" option. This will generate the "GenuineTicket.xml" file which you will want to stash away in a safe place for the moment.

2)Booting live from the 10 media either flash drive or optical if you are still unable to bring up a boor device menu especially seen with any OEM system where you bought it with Windows already installed it may by default already be set to boot up from dvd media used for things like recovery disks the manufacturers generally no longer provide. Laptops in particular with dvd drives will be set to see the cd rom set as the first in the boot order which will provide the alternate route for you there in order to see a clean install with the latest build now seen.

3)Once the 10 installer is nearly finished and you are prompted to enter a product key you can now opt to enter the 8.1 product key to see if that works as it should in seeing the fresh 10 install activated or choose to click the "skip" option and wait until 10 is finished and use the GenuineTicket.xml file that was generated. By opening a new window with File Explorer(Previously Windows Explorer and still the exact same thing with name change only) you browse to the "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\ClipSVC\GenuineTicket\" sub folder and simply copy and paste the xml file into that location followed by closing up Explorer and seeing a full restart of the system. Upon arriving back at the desktop Windoww 10 should have already seen an automatic activation take place.


You will want a clean install of 10 going on for sure to avoid running into a buggy upgrade install which is highly probable while the bugs may take time to show themselves and have already caught numerous people not seeing the problems right away!

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