Windows 8 start up repair

I've got a Dell Optiplex 3010 that originally came with Win 7, but client did the online upgrade to Win 8. Yesterday, computer booted with the 'Hard drive not found message' & I pulled the disk, popped it into an external drive bay to see if it was making any noise, would it show up, etc. When disk mounted,  there were no noises, but it said there were errors found, offered to scan & fix, which I did. When that finished, drive mounted, all partitions & files appeared to be intact, so I put it back in the computer & it booted to windows & all seemed to be running fine. Later in the day, it crashed & came back up with the 'checking disk for errors' message, then went to the automatic repair endless loop! I cloned the drive to a spare & figured I'd try some of the repair options on that, none of which have worked! When trying the startup repair, in the details, one of the messages I'm getting is 'OS Version Mismatch'. Could this be due to OS being upgraded & it 'thinks' it should be using a Win 7 disk? I also tried running sfc, but got a message that problems were found, but repairs couldn't be made. Jeeez! A repair install in XP used to work great, but for whatever reason, Microsoft decided to do away with that! Any suggestions on my next move?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
client did the online upgrade to Win 8.  <-- Clients are always correct, but equally well in-place upgrades are normally doomed to failure, especially at the hands of an untrained person.

it said there were errors found,... Later in the day, it crashed & came back up with the 'checking disk for errors' message  <-- It is reasonable to suggest the hard drive is failing.

 I cloned the drive to a spare  <--- It is reasonable to suggest the clone copied over some errors and the result was flawed.

I'd try some of the repair options on that, none of which have worked!  <--- Did you try Windows 8 refresh?  and did that fail as well?

Microsoft decided to do away with that <-- Licensing is tied to a key in the BIOS now, so there are some limitations. I have done a Refresh and a clean install but not experimented yet with other options (no need yet).

I suggest with this many problems that you back up the data, use a good drive and do a fresh install of Windows 8.1. You will have a more reliable result that way.
gromackAuthor Commented:
Yeah, I'm still scratching my head why she wanted to do the Win8 upgrade, considering it was pretty soon after Win8 came out!
Agreed on the idea that the HD was failing. I've had problems like this in the past, once or twice, but NOT with Win8. I was able to clone drive & made out ok, IIRC. I haven't tried the refresh yet, but that may be my next course of action - how does it handle 3rd party software? With other software installed, as well as Outlook with 3 or 4 email accounts & the chance that I'll spend way too much time looking for disks, I figured this might be an easier way out!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Windows 8 Refresh will keep data and early Windows 8 programs and drivers. But later applications like Office and Adobe will have to be reinstalled.

In your case, a fresh install will be a better option.

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gromackAuthor Commented:
I think I'm gonna give that a try on the cloned drive, just to see where it leaves me.
what i do is first run a diag on the drive, to know it's status, so i can decide on the next move
if it is bad - i use HDDRegenerator to fix problems, so i can run repair tools etc (goal being a correct clone)

you may be interested in my article about disk drive handling :

it saved many drives for me...
gromackAuthor Commented:
Ok, tried running sfc with the offbootdir & offwindir options & the result was that windows resource protection found corrupt files, but was unable to fix some of them??

I also tried the refresh option, but wound up with a huuuuge list of programs that would need to be re-installed & since can’t come up with anything she used for the Win8 upgrade, I don’t know why she’d have all those other disks, either! I did find a posting where some guy claims that you can do a repair install & not lose anything, but when I tried it, it told me I had to run it from inside windows, which if I had that option, I wouldn’t be here now!

Since I don’t have her upgrade disk, or the file she used to go from 7 to 8 (even checked with M$, as they show her previous office purchases), would running the option to re-install from the advanced options when booting from the DVD be the same as a clean install?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
would running the option to re-install from the advanced options when booting from the DVD be the same as a clean install?

Yes, I think it is. I am starting to draw a strong correlation between people who don't have program and reinstall disks and people who corrupt their operating systems.  :)
gromackAuthor Commented:
Personally, I hate an in place upgrade, especially since most give you the option for that or a clean install, IIRC. I replaced an old junker with this computer a few years ago & went back there for something a few months later & thought to myself, 'funny, I could have sworn this came with win 7'. When asked, she said 'oh yeah, I did that.'. Strange that it's not in her list of downloads in her M$ account.
Scott ThompsonComputer Technician / OwnerCommented:
Have you done a full check disk (chkdsk /v /x /r) to the original drive to see if there are any bad sectors?  I know you're kind of past that point now, but I believe it would be beneficial if we can verify the hard drive is indeed failing.  Otherwise you might have another issue on your hands, such as infection or bad memory.
gromackAuthor Commented:
Should have cut my losses early & gone this route!
The worst part of it, though, was getting the Office 365 re-installed.
Nearly 3 hours on phone with M$, transferred to at least 7 different people & given about 5 different case numbers.
I think I'd rather take a kick to the package from Tom Dempsey than go through that again.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
@gromack  - Thank you for the update and I was happy to help.
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