Windows 8 Pro upgrade install hangs - can't undo

I have a Dell Studio 15 with 4GB ram and 500GB HD and Windows 7. I bought a Windows 8 pro upgrade and tried to install it. After some initial install reboots, it shows the 4-pane window logo and the rotating dots, but never continues. after several hours of waiting, the same view is there. If I reboot, it immediately goes to that same screen. No error messages, no way to continue or undo that I can see. There was no suggestion to make an undo or rescue drive, which in retrospect would have been useful.


How can I get it to continue, or how to I go back to Windows 7? I can boot it up with Linux from USB, so I can see that there is no HW problem causing this failure...

Go to a working computer running Windows 7 or Vista and download a copy of Windows 8 and create a bootable copy on DVD or USB:

create your own:



Boot from the Windows 8 media you create
Click Install Now
Accept License Agreement
When the option is displayed to select an installation type, click (Custom Advanced)

select the disk partition where you would like to install Windows 8 Click Next.

You will receive the following warning:

The partition you selected might contain files from a previous Windows Installation. If it does, these files and folders will be moved to a folder named Windows.old. You will be able to access the information in Windows.old, but you will be able to use your previous version of Windows.

(At all cost, do NOT click anything named Format or Delete or Partition. So even doing a custom install, your personal files are still preserved. Click OK

Setup will now start the installation. During the installation, your machine will be restarted several times.

When the installation is complete, you can complete the Out of Box experience such as selecting your laptop, create a username, password, your time zone. You can then proceed to download the latest updates for Windows and reinstall your applications and drivers.

You can then recover your personal files from the Windows.old folder and reinstall all your applications and drivers.

Windows Insider MVP
MVP-Windows and Devices for IT

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Question Info

Last updated March 24, 2018 Views 226 Applies to: