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G751JY Cannot restore to factory state

deccauk
Level 7
I updated my G751JY to windows 10, but before I did I took an image of the windows 8.1 C drive using Acronis True Image 2014.

After ensuring everything was working OK, I took an image of the Windows 10 system, and then restored the windows 8.1 just to check that I could go back to it if necessary.

The machine would not boot to windows - it entered the dreaded "Preparing Automatic Repair" which failed, giving the message "Automatic Repair couldn't repair your PC"

OK - this was a challenge - I'm an IT pro, with many years experience of troubleshooting computers and sorting out PC software issues. This should be easy enough to sort out.

Big fail - after two days solid effort (I'm retired fortunately!) and trying numerous options many times over, I got nowhere. Even formatting the C drive and trying to install windows 8.1 from a DVD failed with the "cannot install windows to a drive with the GPT partition type".

Doing a refresh or a reset from the recovery partition always failed too. Neither could I find any way to make a recovery DVD - is it even possible I wonder?

Fortunately restoring my windows 10 image works fine so I can always get my machine back to that state, but I am absolutely perplexed as to why the windows 8 image won't restore. It can be verified by Acronis as being not corrupt.

I was like a dog with a bone by now, but this problem eventually wore me down and I've come to a grinding halt. It's as though the windows 10 upgrade has done something very subtle to prevent the machine running windows 8.1.
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11 REPLIES 11

Corporal
Level 9
Big fail - after two days solid effort (I'm retired fortunately!) and trying numerous options many times over, I got nowhere. Even formatting the C drive and trying to install windows 8.1 from a DVD failed with the "cannot install windows to a drive with the GPT partition type".

Are you sure you started your DVD in the UEFI Mode?

I updated my G751JY to windows 10, but before I did I took an image of the windows 8.1 C drive using Acronis True Image 2014.

You also needed an image of the 100 MB Partition used by UEFI, because Windows 10 apparently modified the boot information. Because of GPT uses it's own partition, as opposed to traditional master boot record (MBR), you need a backup of the UEFI Partition.

Now you could somehow rebuild the boot records for your old windows 8.1 installation. I believe you need to use the UEFI console for that.

Yes, my image backup included the UEFI partition and the MBR. Restoring from the windows 8.1 image included the Cdrive, the 100mb UEFI partition and the MBR. It still booted into recovery mode.

Has anyone managed to revert from windows 10 to windows 8.1 via the recovery partion?

Corporal
Level 9
You could try the following:
1) restore all your windows 8.1 partitions, including UEFI.
2) boot from windows 8 installation dvd or USB
3) Perform these steps: www . itechs-systems . com/fix_corrupt_UEFI_partition.aspx

deccauk
Level 7
Hi Corporal - I tried your suggestion but it still booted into recovery mode. I didn't really expect otherwise, because the issue is not with the initial boot process, but it was worth a try.

I've now invoked my tried and tested "wrong assumption" theory - If you cannot solve a seemingly insurmountable problem, you are making a wrong assumption. My assumption in this case is that Acronis is succesfully restoring the image. I resized the system partition at one point during my W10 setup and the W10 image is restoring to a partition that is the same size as the image it was created from. That is not the case with the W8.1 image. I'm guessing now that Acronis is messing up the data.

Game on.....

deccauk wrote:
Hi Corporal - I tried your suggestion but it still booted into recovery mode. I didn't really expect otherwise, because the issue is not with the initial boot process, but it was worth a try.

I've now invoked my tried and tested "wrong assumption" theory - If you cannot solve a seemingly insurmountable problem, you are making a wrong assumption. My assumption in this case is that Acronis is succesfully restoring the image. I resized the system partition at one point during my W10 setup and the W10 image is restoring to a partition that is the same size as the image it was created from. That is not the case with the W8.1 image. I'm guessing now that Acronis is messing up the data.

Game on.....

Try to restore from boot screen maybe this will work i don't realy know activate F11 key from acronis tools restart and enter acronis from there

deccauk
Level 7
All my saves and restores have been performed via an Acronis bootable recovery disk.

The plot thickens....

Today I resized my system drive back to what it was when I created my W8.1 image and restored that image yet again. I really did expect it to boot up normally afterwards - ever the optimist.

It didn't... it boots into recovery mode...

deccauk wrote:
All my saves and restores have been performed via an Acronis bootable recovery disk.

The plot thickens....

Today I resized my system drive back to what it was when I created my W8.1 image and restored that image yet again. I really did expect it to boot up normally afterwards - ever the optimist.

It didn't... it boots into recovery mode...

I think you must disable secureboot option first from bios before you recover your system and enable legacy

deccauk
Level 7
Secure boot not relevant in this scenario - windows 10 recovers fine, windows 8 does not.

deccauk wrote:
Secure boot not relevant in this scenario - windows 10 recovers fine, windows 8 does not.

secure boot on/off doesn't really seams to effect windows 8.1/10 boot....
it has something to do with CMS mode enabled ( BIOS emulation ).. which I think was indeed enabled when you had your windows 8.1 installed ( that's the way it comes from ASUS, I.E OEM preinstalled windows )

if you don't mind... for the sake of quotation in future threads/posts.... Please let me explain few thing...in detail:

The "why" ?
you've got ROG computer...the very best of ASUS and in the market... fitted with UEFI, "the new form of BIOS".
( READ MORE HERE )
why on earth do you want to work with OS that is installed on a MBR formatted drive that's running on a BIOS emulated machine, if you want the most advanced/highly technological laptop, OS & applications ?
machine that runs UEFI with OS installed on a GPT formatted drive ( HDD/SSD doesn't matter ) is what you paid for ( I.E faster boot, better files organization, better recovery chances from bad sectors etc..etc... )
think of the G751J as a farrari, which in the first case you drive through traffic all day long withOUT insurance... and in the last case you drive it on a high-way, free from other cars, with the best insurance there is -> THUS, running the G751 on UEFI mode & install OS on a GPT formatted drive is the best option to go with !

The "what should I choose" ?
next, you need to decide which OS you want to work with....
in my opinion win 10 is faster in desktop/office work ( gaming: depends which game ) but the down side is the privacy headache ( there are multiple scripts you MUST run, if you care about your own privacy ). win8.1 is a bit slower in desktop/office use, but does NOT have such privacy theft as win 10.
Any way you choose, you MUST install it on a GPT formatted drive, and MUST boot the OS installation disk/usb through a "special" boot method ( I.E UEFI compatible one )

The "What does it mean" ?
Thus, let us talk about how to prepare you drive ( HDD/SSD ) for windows UEFI compatible installation.
There are multiple tools to format and create the necessary partitions, including the one during windows installation process -> but the latter creating more partitions then what most of consumers really needs.
1st, let us watch the "official" way MS write each GPT drive with windows on it should contain:

let me explain it:

  • "Windows" is the OS partition - a MUST HAVE partition of course
  • MSR is "MS reserve partition" - a MUST HAVE partition that is there in-order to: READ HERE.
    for win8.1 MSR MIN size recommended by MS to be 128MB, in win10 is recommended to be 16MB. As common users does NOT utilize any of the features that require the MSR partition, it's advisable to use the MIN recommended size by MS.
  • "System" partition is the where the "EFI" supported windows-boot-files sit, therefore - a MUST HAVE partition of course.
  • "Windows RE tools" - is important IN MOST CASES if you use windows built-in drive encryption. READ MORE HERE.
    As I KNOW by experience that win7,8.1,10 CAN WORK WITHOUT "Windows RE tools" partition -> "Windows RE tools" partition is NOT necessary !!


The "How to" ?
So... how to format with the GPT layout and to be compatible with windows 8.1/10 requirements ?
The following MS official page tells us the story
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE WILL ERASE EVERYTHING (ALL PARTITIONS) ON A SPECIFIC DRIVE !
because of what I explained above, here is a set of commands that should be run within "DISKPART".

  • 1st, boot into windows recovery environment, and open CMD -> write "diskpart" -> enter -> wait for it to load.
    ( SEE HERE FOR A DETAILED INSTRUCTION HOW TO DO THAT )
  • VERY IMPORTANT STEP: inside "diskpart", write: "list disk" to see the disks connected to your computer.
    Note the disk number of the disk you wish to format.
    ONLY THEN write "select disk #" where # = disk number you wish to format.
  • ONLY THEN perform the following commands: ( lines start with "rem" are notes... NOT commands that should be execute ! )

    clean
    convert gpt

    create partition efi size=100
    rem == Note: "size=100" meaning the partition size will be 100MBytes
    format quick fs=fat32 label="System"
    assign letter="S"

    rem == Note: replace the following "#" with a number as follows: #=128 for win8.1 | #=16 for win10
    create partition msr size=#

    rem == Note: For the following command(in white):
    rem == Note: this way all the rest of the disk space will be "C"/windows OS partition.
    rem == Note: if you wish to have another partitions ( E.I for file storage/archive) add a "size=#"
    rem == Note: after the word "primary", where "#" is a number, the size in Mbytes of your
    rem == Note: Windows OS partition, I.E the rest of the free space will be the other partition you
    rem == Note: choose to have.
    rem == Note: To be more precise, that next line of command might be:
    rem == Note: create partition primary size=#

    create partition primary
    format quick fs=ntfs label="Windows"
    assign letter="W"


  • if you've created additional partition after the "windows" partition, you can format it now, or after the OS installation, through the "disk management" utility -> it really doesn't matter to the OS installation procedure, but it's best to leave it to later, just to prevent you from massing the disk structure, if you don't know what you're doing.
  • Now, you can return to the windows installation procedure - BUT NOW IT IS IMPERATIVE that you boot the installation disk AS UEFI COMPATIBLE DIVICE !!!!
    there are MANY guides to show how to create the DISK/USB in the right manner:
    ONE OPTION
    another OPTION
    another OPTION
    "official way" for win10 ONLY
  • It's also imperative that, although you've created the installation disk/usb in the right way, you MUST ALSO BOOT IT IN THE RIGHT WAY:

    • Make sure in the BIOS that "LAUCH CSM" is DISABLED !!!
    • Make sure you BOOT THE INSTALLATION DISK/USB AS UEFI !!
      Please look at the following photo. To boot the INSTALLATION DISK as "UEFI" meaning picking the 2nd option from the top (NOT the 3rd) !! 51718

  • now, enter windows installation setup, and when you arrive at the screen where you're asked to pick a partition for the installation of the windows, pick your "WINDOWS" partitions you've created beforehand.
    The IMPORTANT thing to note here that you should NOT format any partition/drive from that screen, as it will change the disk structure and add unnecessary partitions as I explained above.
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