I have run into a quagmire. Presently, I have installed win 8.1 preview into an old Dell Inspiron laptop which used to run Vista. I like the preview so much that I am ready to install the Final Release of 8.1 when it becomes available. The thing is, I do not have a valid upgrade path to install the win 8.1 final release. I need to reinstall my Vista > then buy and install a retail Win 8 version > then I will be able to install/upgrade to 8.1. So, with that in mind, I proceeded to reinstall Vista. I got stuck on "Windows unable to start". I had tried to do repair computer, restart with the Good Configuration, restart in Safe Mode. None works. Now, question : if a retail FULL version ( not an upgrade version ) of 8.1 Pro becomes available and I buy one, will it get clean installed to this laptop computer which refuses to start ? This computer, in essence, does not have a " working " Windows OS. Will clean install 8.1 fail in this case? Thank you.