I've had no issues with my DELL WIN 8 convertible notebook/tablet. In fact, its running pretty much flawless over the ACER it replaced, which was plagued by hardware quality issues more than anything else. I did make the DELL restore discs almost immediately, and created my own system image backup using the free AOMEI Backupper Standard, once all bloatware was removed. I also keep a 1TB 2.5" WD USB3 drive in my notebook case w/backups as my convertible has an internal SSD drive card. No complaints so far.
I do not get the reason there is an F2 and an F12 key to press during bootup. IIRC, there was a list of bootable devices in both, only the list in the F2 window does not show the DVD or HD drive, where F12 did. Also in F2 window thw UEFI is off and legacy on, or new HD won't boot. But I seem to recall the F12 saying something about secure boot is operating.
Whenever someone tells me that they are having a problem with a computer, it is almost always a Dell. If you got to a clean Win 8.0 install, then upgrade again to Win 8.1 and install all of your software. Once you get this working again, get yourself a portable USB hard drive and good backup software like Acronis True Image. Make regular full or incremental backups of all of your hard drives (if you have more than one) and then you will never have this problem again. You just boot to the restore DVD that you create - no need for Windows - with the USB drive connected and restore your hard drive to the most recent backup.
Thank you so muc, 1775. This is the META knowledge I asked for...I needed to know it wasn't all my inexperience. I needed confirmation that the Dell-Windows8 product was flawed, and that I had not missed a major point.
Our data needs are quite small, and a simple couple of duplicate USB sticks can suffice...
I would rather crush the malfunctioning computer than insure it. I think this is what Chromebooks are all about. If only they could develop their low vision accessibility to the level that the government required of Microsoft and Apple back in the day...
Thanks for your insight, it IS appreciated.
This series of self-help from Dell doesn't help?
There are scattered bits of help in most of the links at the Dell site you note. I did use Dell help sites and a few videos back when the HD crashed.
We expected the Dell Recovery Disc they sent us would lead to a factory Dell OEM install, but it did a clean W8. So the videos we saw were all off.
I think the upgrade to W8.1 we had done many months ago from its original W8 config was something Dell did not properly update their Recovery Media...
There were no instructions as to what needed to be done to simultaneously install a new HD, as well as get some sort of backup media created.
Found that FN+on/off button booted to the Dell PSA diagnostic we had used to 1st get a confirmation that the original HD failed.
Running PSA this time found the new HD was not set, but then it corrected that and it now shows in a list that the F12 key shows at bootup.
The F2 key, brings up the old DOS style BIOS. Here, it does not work if we try to enable UEFI, and there is no list of hardware devices should you want to re-order their boot preference.
Boots from hibernate in 30-40 sec, and Martha seems to think it booted faster back when UEFI worked.
Sleep works, but cannot seem to stop a hibernate/shutdown(?) after leaving it unattended for several hours.
Seems to be stable otherwise, and I hope it continues to.
Mod, posts recommending Ubuntu as a solution to this problem have been removed.
I saw them and was not bothered, but I figured the mods were wanting to keep a focus on the techy issue. I think I encouraged linux rederrals w/ my saying I am tired of MS, Dell, and just not having a clue as to what I am doing, even after 40 yrs fooling heavily w/ all kinds of PCs.
In addition to a long boot where the Dell circle is up for maybe 25 sec and then a blue 4-pane window (MS icon) with a rotating circular arrow is on for another 30 sec before asking for the PC password...
Computer will not go to sleep. It seems only to hibernate (or shutdown - I cannot tell). Also, as I mentioned, UEFI cannot be turned on in boot menu and BIOS sees no HD. Also, Dell recovery disk AND the MS 541Mb 'recovery stick' we created from this W8.1 reinstall flashed the message that they were not recognizing stuff and just stop.
CTRL-ALT-DEL will restart (w/ long bootup)
If anyone can tell us exactly what to do to get this thing to either go back to Dell OEM, or a non-bloat Windows OS, I would be grateful.
What is META method?
Good question. I think I meant the reasoning an experienced auto mechanic would bring to an engine problem versus what the manuals say.
I had no takers on my posted queries when doing the recovery and new HD install a few weeks ago...this tells me the things Dell had to do to accomodate the UEFI in W8 is not well understood by even pro IT folks.
The boot process now takes a minute vs maybe 20 sec before.
The recovery disc Dell sent us worked strangely. The laptop came w/ W8, and I think Dell did something to their recovery media such that in Win 8.1, the recovery was not to a fresh Dell install to a new hard drive, but to a clean Windows install w/ no bloatware.
We are unable to tell BIOS to turn UEFI on, and the hard drive does no show up in list of boot options. We got it going from a System Image Backup 28Gb USB we had created using the Dell recovery disc. There is no recovery D: partition on the new 500Gb HD we installed.
What we need is some META method for the W8.1 install to properly work on the Dell system.
I am so tired of MS and Dell is absent.
We also replaced OEM Laredo's Load Range D w/ 6 new Laredos E range after 6 years and some sidewall cracks. I keep new ones cov ered, so looking OK after only 3 years now. I had those beads for balancing. I had that inside dually valve stem go out a year back.
To provide air pressure requires a Compressor. But in some circles a compressor mounted on an air tank is still a Compressor. And a compressor without the tank is called an Inflator. If all you're doing is inflating tires, an Inflator will do a great job and save space doing it. We have a Compressor, cheap Harbor Freight 95275
Incorporates a Tank, and it's great for bikes and lawn equipment, good for cars (around 35-40-psi) OK for trailer tires (50-psi). Our Class C tires max at 80-psi and the compressor's 100-psi rating is only barely adequate. Takes a very long time to raise pressure from 70 to 80 for example. Good for our little air-powered stapler/tacker, not enough volume to inflate pool toys.
You get the idea, get what you pay for. I'm glad I have it. Just fits in a storage bay, the next size bigger pancake unit would not. I'd say 125-psi minimum capability for 80-psi rated tires. By that point in the pressure rating, I'd need an Inflator to save the space of the tank.
We have this as well. Might take 5 min to raise a tire from 50 to 65 psi. Probably longer working in the 70-85 range. 8 yeaars and going on ours.
Windows 8.1 is all updated and installed on new hard drive along w/ all personal data that had been backed up on external usb connected HD.
We made a 'System Image Backup" on a USB stick.
Durng bootup, if we press the fn key that brings up the BIOS boot order menu, can we now boot from this usb stick?
On edit...I am aware we turn UEFI off (legacy boot on)
My concern is that a tour gets held up and you pup is alone longer than you planned.
I would feel better if dog could move around inside in case
campground power stopped or generator (generator is likely as reliable as campground power.
Know that a generator will shut off when gas tand gets to about 1/4 tank, so watch that.
You can likely run A/C with windows and vents cracked a bit and also run a 12v fan that will continue to run even if thw A/C power is disrupted.
Unless heat is extreme, the motorhome should not get nearly as hot as a car, so ensuring moving air and lots of water access, and not to long alone and should be OK.
I will admit we've skipped many a tourist side adventure because its value did not rise to the level of skipping out on being w/ our pups.
Acronis TrueImage is good about this. It stores an image, and assuming the hard disk is as big as the image or bigger... it will boot and work. If a drive has a bad sector, Acronis will find it and notify you during the backup.
You can also back up by files as well.
What TrueImage will give you is an option to burn a boot CD. This, you can use to boot the computer, then plug in an external drive that is used for backups to restore.
Thanks mlts and MrW...
One of the hardest things to understand in backup and revovery is what is called what, and whwt each does, and what's sequence of doing it all. Unless you hit the perfect article, forum post, video, etc., the terminology is not for a novice, or it is inconsistently applied..
As I think I have it, the "Dell Win 8 Recovery Media for Win Products" disk that Dell sent is mainly identical in purpose to a 512 Mb 'recovery drive' you can create from Win 8.1 menus in "File History."
We used this disk to boot the laptop with a new blank hard drive. It took over and 2 days later a complete pure Win 8.1 was running.
Do we need to also have that 512 Mb 'recovery disk'?
And what we did above sounds pretty unlike the other thing a 'File History' wizard allows you to make, a set of disks or a 24 Gb USB 'System Image Backup." We made the USB type.
If the HD were to crash again, how would we actually use this USB 'System Image Backup' and avoid 2 days of updating?
I need to write down some instructions w/ these media for recovery.
We switched from PNY to Sandisk USB sticks and it took to the NTFS format and it is halfway (an hour so far) into using the 'File History' feature of W8.1 to create a 24 Gb 'System Image Backup'.
Is this USB going to be able to boot the computer into W8.1 all by itself if the hard drive failed again? I am thinking it acts like a Linus distro-on-a-usb, and at computer bootup, go into Bios and set to boot from usb??
(This may be moot as I think a second fail like we've had will initiate total annhilation of the laptop!)
Using Dell recovery disk, we ended up w/ a Windows 8.1 only OS -- no factory bloatware.
But no recovery partition on the new hard drive, and the built-in app to create a System backup on a USB stick seems to need the partition.
We can create a 512 recovery boot drive, but we want an image of the system as it is now w/ 24 hours of updates.
Install the new hard drive. Boot the computer using the recovery disk. You may have to manually select the boot device when powering the computer. This is typically done by pressing the F12 key during power-up. Then follow the prompts. This will install Windows on the new drive. Once Windows is installed you then install the drivers from the driver disk.
That is exactly what we needed to know in this situation of a recovery disk and a new empty deive to replace broken drive.
Found all sorts of text posts and videos, but nothing that said what you said very well.
At least a set of instructions could have come w/ the recovery disks from Dell, but I have strong suspicions as to why they do not provide it...
All the videos on the Dell recovery disk for Win 8 seemed to have you making a backup USB or assumed the hard drive was already working. I could find nothing on steps to recover w/ a new blank HD.
So we just put the new HD in and booted the Recovery disk, and voilla, it knew what I needed, and within a few hours, 96 W8 updates were installed, and a lot of personal settings were back via the Windows Store account.
Today we will bring it up to Win 8.1 Update 1, load back all backed up documents, pics, music, apps, etc. Then make a USB backup of all this, which I assume will be able to boot itself in future if another HD crashes.
I sure want to thank all here. This has been so frustrating with so many sources we spoke w/ around town giving different opinions on what we were facing.
BTW, the misinformation I referred to earlier was w/r a host of local computer places w/r how to proceed.
Two disks arrived today from Dell
1) Windows 8 Recovery media for windows 8 products
2) Drivers and utilities
I have the broken hard drive that computer will not recognize AND a new blank hard drive to replace it.
Could someone give me an idea of what I am doing?
I cannot find a video that addresses this entire situation.
How does the recovery disk make an entire OS?
One video says I need a dedicated USB (how big must it be?
Not clear on above 'backup image of OS, or how to proceed like when and how the new (and old, broken) hard drives come into picture.
1775 said "Also - never put your data on your hard drive. Put a USB flash drive in, leave it in, and direct all of your data to folders on that drive. Back up those drives too!"
That's good advice. We pretty much do that on primary personal data.
That is a big reason there was only 1 file we wanted, but for 2 monyhs of working on it, she inexplicably did not back it up. I think it has 2000 members' basic info.
It's your call on this thread...
We hooked Martha's externalUSB backup drive to my old laptop and copied it to her new 64Gb USB flash stick so we backed up the backup.
She knew she had saves 2 separate spreadsheets earlier in the 2 month process, and she found them on the backup drive. This helps a bit, she said.
As I mentioned,we will try to reinstall the OS using our new 500Gb HD and the OS media disks coming from Dell.
25 years of MS PCs w/ hard drives w/o fail, preceeded by 14 years w/ mainframe computers and Atari home PCs...
FWIW I have owned hard drives in PCs since 1989. My 1st was a hard-card I bought for a Kaypro that I used to produce my doctoral dissertation and a steel bridge inelastic analysis program for the Transportation Research Board. I wrote a structural engineering textbook on a 1996 Gateway w/ a 256 Mb HD IIRC.
I am not a 'dummy' unable to move w/o assistance.
What I am in the aspirations of PC producers is a witless boob who is supposed to forego the notion of the 'personal' in PC.
This latest total loss of control of our W8 computer and the data stored thereon has been an eye-opener (which may not mean much to anyone who knows my vision is less than 20/200). I cannot tell you how much misinformation I have encountered in the past 4 days while trying to shake this problem down,
But I have learned that the LAST thing on the minds and hearts of anyone in the PC-industry is my personal ability to manage my own PC.
BB took it in a back alley and returned saying they could not recover any data and to send it off.
Looks like Excel redo. We got a second external backup USB (now I see why you should make 2 backups).
Bought a new 500Gb Seagate laptop HD and await recovery media from Dell.