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Windows 8 My Windows 8 Upgrade Odyssey


Active Member
Nov 4, 2012
[SOLVED] My Windows 8 Upgrade Odyssey

Greetings. I am journaling my Windows 8 upgrade experience here in hopes that others can learn from the experience. If I am able to resolve the problem here in these forums, I would consider that a plus. But most of all, I am hoping to create some documentation so that others may learn from this experience.

Our story begins a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

No... not really. I purchased a Pavilion P7-1235 back in July, and took advantage of the "$15 Windows 8 Pro Upgrade" promotion.

Shortly after Windows 8 became available, I installed the Windows 8 Upgrade tool, downloaded the upgrade files, and decided to "Create Install Media". Now, call me old fashioned, but I thought that the best way to experience Windows 8 would be to perform a "Clean Install".

NOTE: My definition of "Clean Install" is a re-format of the existing OS volume, or even a repartitioning of the main system disk, so that there are no remnanants of the previous operating system. Aparently, after talking with Microsoft Windows 8 Upgrade support, we have a difference of opinion here.

Now, my Windows 8 Upgrade journey began with booting the install media, and trying to do a custom install. I tried both formatting the OS volume, and also removing the existing OS partition. Neither was successful, as I was informed that I could not perform the operation because the disk had GPT partitions.

At this point, I had already backed up all my data, and created the HP Recovery Disks, and so I decided to delete ALL paritions on the disk. One of these partitions I was about to delete included the UEFI support. But with all the parttions now gone, I was now able to install Windows 8.

After the installation completed, I started work on creating extra partitions. To my dismay, I was not allowed to create more than 4 partitions. The reason for this is because since I had removed the UEFI partition, my system no longer had UEFI support. Without UEFI support, I no longer had support for GPT partitions. Without GPT partitions, I had to utilize MBR partitions, and thus I could only have partitions less than 2 TB in size (not a problem for this system with its 1 TB disk) and could only have 4 partitions per physical disk.

After restoring my system back to the original factory settings (UEFI partition, Windows 7 partition, Recovery Partition), I decided to take advantage of the free Windows 8 Upgrade support offered by Microsoft. I decided to utilize the call back feature, and within minutes on a Sunday afternoon (my football team was on a bye week), I received a call back from a friendly Microsoft technician.

First, the technician had me run the Windows 8 upgrade from inside Windows 8. She had me chose an option for a "Clean Install". Being skeptical, I followed her instructions, and completed the upgrade. I reviewed the system afterwards, and it appears that all it did was backup the existing Windows and Program Files directories, and place them in a folder called "Windows.old".

Next, I explained to the technician how I thought a clean install should work, and she agreed to walk me through the installation by booting the system with the Windows 8 DVD. We are moving through the install process, and we get to the screen when it asks you where you want to perform the install. At this point, there are 4 partitions listed:

1) UEFI partition

2) Windows 8 SYSTEM partition (from previous upgrade)

3) Windows 8 OS partition

4) HP Recovery partition

First, the technician has me try to install on partition #3. Unsuccessful. I receive the "Windows cannot install here. This is a GPT partition". Next, the technician has me format partition #3 using the "Advanced" options on the installer screen. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Next, the technician has me open the DISKPART utility and format partition #3. Unsuccessful. Same error message. Finally, the techician has me run the FORMAT command from the CLI. Unsuccessful. Same error message.

At this point, the technician tells me that I have an encrypted drive and that it cannot be upgraded to Windows 8, and that I should contact HP support.

Go ahead... I'll let that sink in.

After falling out of my chair, picking the phone back up, and attempting to remain as calm as possible, I informed the technician that a) the drive was not encrypted, b) HP informed me that all Windows 8 upgrade issues were being handled my Microsoft and c) I believed we were dealing with an UEFI/GPT support issue.

At this point, my system is unusable. I'm going to run the system restore AGAIN to get it back to Windows 7 so atleast its usable. Thankfully, before the technician hung up, we agreed that she is going to escalate to a TIER 2 engineer, and that engineer will be calling me back tomorrow night.

I'll shall update this forum as the Odyssey progresses. If anyone has any insight on how to upgrade an HP Pavilion P7-1235 to Windows 8 Pro by performing a clean install and keeping UEFI support, I would really appreciate your insight.
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Did you ever boot to the UEFI version of the DVD? During boot, you need a boot device menu, or something in the bios which will tell the system to boot using UEFI......

I should add, a 32 bit version of Windows will not be UEFI capable, or at least it was not in Windows 7...
Thanks for the follow up Saltgrass.

In the BIOS Boot Menu, "Windows Boot Manager" is the only option available under "UEFI Boot Sources". The DVD drive is listed under "Legacy Boot Sources".

Both the Windows 7 Home install and Windows 8 Pro Upgrade are 64-bit.

I will follow up with the vendor to see if there is a way I can enable UEFI support for the DVD drive. I assume that support is already built into the Windows 8 install media since there is a "bootmgr.efi" existing in the DVD's root directory.
Most bios will have an option to boot to Legacy or UEFI, or either, depending on what options it shows. But they are all different and I do not know what options you show.

On the boot device menu, which should show the DVD, there should be one entry with the normal DVD and one preceded by UEFI, in some form. The DVD has to be in the drive when you boot. The Windows Boot Manager, is of course, the OS boot option.

I will try to get a picture, just in case. I have been using a Flash Drive, so I need to test my DVD anyway....

I will also see if I can find a manual on the Pavilion to see what the settings are. There may be a "How to Install W8" on their site.
My DVD does not show as UEFI compatible either....!!!

Can you make a Flash Drive? I know that process works using the download...


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Eagerly awaiting the result of your conversation with HP... :02.47-tranquillity:

I have still been unable to get a DVD made to boot. But again, the Flash Drive option works great...
Greetings. I just completed another hour+ troubleshooting session with Microsoft. I believe some progress was made, but unfortunately, no resolution has been reached yet.

This evening, I was able to prove that the DVD drive does in fact have UEFI support, but the ISO I downloaded from Microsoft Windows 8 Upgrade utility does NOT have UEFI support. I proved this by putting the following DVDs in my drive and having them appear in the boot menu as UEFI supported devices:

1) Windows 7 (64-bit) Upgrade Media

2) HP Recovery Disks

3) Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit)

Towards the end of our troubleshooting session, the Microsoft engineer had me use GParted on the Linux Live CD to confirm the partition information.

In summary:

Cause: Windows 8 Pro Upgrade DVD downloaded from Microsoft does not support UEFI.

Solution: To Be Determined...

Stay tuned. Hopefully Microsoft will have a suitable solution ready for tomorrow night.
Problem Solved. A big thanks goes out to ramon2000 over on the answers.microsoft.com Windows 8 forums.

Is anyone else having problems with UEFI support with the DVD ISO - Microsoft Community

Here are ramon2000's instructions:

One must generate a new ISO file, with both boot images.

The boot images are available in the file system of the ISO.

One needs to build the ISO with the Microsoft tool "oscdimg".

One can get the tool by either:

a) To get the tool either download the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) from Download Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows® 8 from Official Microsoft Download Center
b) Download just the tool from Converting a Win8 Install Directory to an ISO at Thursday Night

Next, one can either mount the ISO file with a virtual DVD-drive, or insert the DVD into a real DVD-drive.

In the following example it is assumed that the Windows 8 DVD is in drive G:

Now, create the fixed ISO (including the UEFI boot image) with the command (all in one line):

oscdimg.exe -m -o -u2 -udfver102 -bootdata:2#p0,e,bG:\boot\etfsboot.com#pEF,e,bG:\efi\microsoft\boot\efisys.bin G:\ C:\path\to\new\win8pro-uefi.iso

The utility will create a new ISO file.

When the utility finishes completing the creation of the ISO file, burn the new ISO file to a DVD.

When rebooting the computer with the install DVD with UEFI support in the DVD drive, be sure to activate your boot menu and select the drive from the list of UEFI supported devices in case it is not set as the default boot option.
For a normal Windows 8 install, where the files are in the ESD folder:

oscdimg -m -o -u2 -udfver102 -bootdata:2#p0,e,bc:\ESD\Windows\boot\etfsboot.com#pEF,e,bc:\ESD\Windows\efi\microsoft\boot\efisys.bin c:\ESD\Windows %UserProfile%\Desktop\Windows_8.iso

Link Removed

Anybody gotten the DVD to boot UEFI? - Microsoft Community


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There may be more to this story than we yet realize. I was trying to boot my Recovery CD made from a UEFI Windows configuration. Since it would not boot, I started testing again.. :)

My Asus P8Z68-v Pro Gen 1 board has a 2nd gen Intel processor and my P8Z77-v Pro has a 3rd gen Intel processor, so I was wondering if it was related to the processor or the UEFI configuration. The only differences I see is an SMBios of 2.6 for the Z68 and 2.7 for the Z77.

Also, if you run msinfo32.exe, in Windows 8 there is an entry for "Secure Boot Status". On the Z68 board, it shows Unsupported, on the Z77 it shows Off. This setting may have a direct correlation as to whether a Recovery CD will boot on that system.

The Recovery CD, made on the Z68 board in UEFI configuration, shows a UEFI option in the boot device menu, but the machine seems to not even see it. It will boot on the Z77 machine.

I then made an Install DVD using the same boot image, and the results were the same. On the Z77 board, it boots fine, on the Z68 is does not.

So perhaps Microsoft is intentionally not adding a UEFI boot option to the Install DVDs created in the Installer, because of either differences in UEFI configurations or the capability of processors. I would be interested, if anyone had a purchased DVD, to see if it came with a UEFI boot option.