Question Currently troubleshooting an old Windows 8.1 install not booting - Any issue with installing a new HD w/ a fresh W10 install in the meantime?

mfizzel

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Dec 31, 2007
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I have a Windows 8.1 desktop that is doing the infinite loading loop on startup...it either goes into an automatic repair that does nothing or it displays the Windows logo and the loading icon below it that goes on forever. The data on the drive appears to be fine, the issue looks like a conflicting MBR/GPT on the boot up. I'm currently troubleshooting it.

My question is, in the meantime would it do any harm to install another HD with W10 so I can at least use the desktop for now? Would the current C: drive and 3 other secondary drives I have installed in the desktop just show up as secondary drives in the new W10 install? Would I be able to access the data on the current C: drive that has W8.1 on it? With the recovery software I'm using to troubleshoot the issue I'm able to view all of the data on all of the drives.

Basically it would be a dual boot but with 2 separate drives. The one with 8.1 I'm troubleshooting and a new drive with a fresh W10 install. Would this mess anything up with the 8.1 install I'm trying to fix? Any problem with using the BIOS to select which install/drive I want to boot at any given time?

Ultimately my question is will this interfere with trying to fix the 8.1 install and is there any reason the W10 install wouldn't operate properly?
 
the issue looks like a conflicting MBR/GPT on the boot up.
What conflict do you speak of? A drive is partitioned in either MBR or GPT.
It can't be both at the same time. Therefore no such conflict possible.
My question is, in the meantime would it do any harm to install another HD with W10 so I can at least use the desktop for now?
Install new drive,
remove old drives,
install windows,
make sure fast boot is turned off in BIOS and fast startup is turned off in windows
(this is important on dual boot systems, do not skip),
reconnect old drives after windows has been installed.

Do not transplant OS drive from a different computer and expect it to boot.
You're inviting a lot of possible issues by doing it that way:
boot issues,​
driver compatibility issues,​
windows activation issues.​
Would the current C: drive and 3 other secondary drives I have installed in the desktop just show up as secondary drives in the new W10 install?
Yes. They should. But it depends.
There may be issues, if you were using windows storage spaces or dynamic disks.
Would I be able to access the data on the current C: drive that has W8.1 on it?
Yes. You shuld be able to.
Basically it would be a dual boot but with 2 separate drives.
Would this mess anything up with the 8.1 install I'm trying to fix?
Any problem with using the BIOS to select which install/drive I want to boot at any given time?
Ultimately my question is will this interfere with trying to fix the 8.1 install and is there any reason the W10 install wouldn't operate properly?
Depends on your actions on, what you do.
If you're careful, then it should be fine.
 
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mfizzel

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Dec 31, 2007
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Hi SkyNetRising, thank you for your reply.

Install new drive,
remove old drives,
install windows,

Is the process here correct:

1) Install new drive (basically just connect SATA and power)
2) By removing old drives, I assume you mean disconnect SATA and power from these drives while desktop is powered down?
3) Use a Windows boot CD (or USB but CD in my case), boot from CD, and install W10 on new drive
4) Once Windows is successfully installed turn off Windows fast startup (I already have fast boot disabled in BIOS), power down desktop and reconnect old drives?
Yes. They should. But it depends.
There may be issues, if you were using windows storage spaces or dynamic disks.

I'm not using windows storage spaces or dynamic disks. The old drives are just the 1 primary boot drive (SSD) and 3 secondary drives (HDD) I use for general data storage.

Depends on your actions on, what you do.
If you're careful, then it should be fine.

Can you give any elaboration here? What I plan to do is essentially what I described above. What actions would be considered not careful?

Lastly, will the drives have different letter designations in each install?
 

stonecarver

Reputable
4) Once Windows is successfully installed turn off Windows fast startup (I already have fast boot disabled in BIOS), power down desktop and reconnect old drives?
Before you do start hooking up the older drives back into the system get you new windows 10 fully updated . motherboard drivers, GPU drive . and make sure you restart computer a couple of times. Than Hook up one drive at a time and restart. Shut down and do the same, next drive.

If you hook them all up at once sometimes windows get confused and your back to boot loop.
 
Is the process here correct:

1) Install new drive (basically just connect SATA and power)
2) By removing old drives, I assume you mean disconnect SATA and power from these drives while desktop is powered down?
3) Use a Windows boot CD (or USB but CD in my case), boot from CD, and install W10 on new drive
4) Once Windows is successfully installed turn off Windows fast startup (I already have fast boot disabled in BIOS), power down desktop and reconnect old drives?
1. 2. 4. - Yes.
3. Use USB flash drive and create latest version of windows 10 installation media.
Download from microsoft and use 8GB (or larger) USB flash drive.
Windows 10 installation on DVD will be extremely outdated. To update to current windows 10 OS version, automatic update process will have to download full windows installation multiple times.
It is much faster to prepare latest install media version at the beginning instead of automatic update downloading 4GB+ size full installation multiple times.
What actions would be considered not careful?
If you accidentally format a wrong drive or something like that.
will the drives have different letter designations in each install?
Yes.
But you can change drive letters for your drives
(not for windows OS partition and partition containing pagefile).
 
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