A Windows 8.1 tower (lenovo 10130, family: lenovo h530) is stuck in the loop where you reboot and it says:
"preparing automatic repair", "diagnosing your pc", "automatic repair - your pc did not restart correctly"
I cannot do most of the fixes (reset, restore), because it tells me "there aren't any administrator accounts on this pc"
When I try the startup options, it lets me choose safe mode(s), but then it reboots right into the same Automatic Repair.
Lots of google searches on this, and this one's on point:
But like the others it ends up pointing to this MS website:
Create installation media for Windows 8.1
And the crucial "create media" link is now invalid:
404 - File or directory not found.
Some posts suggested addressing the "admin user" issue, by trying to unlock the hidden admin account, or re-enable the main user account (also admin), using the Offline Windows NT Password & Registry Editor boot CD. But when I run this (from USB driver or CD), I get an error (kernel panic). (I had to disable boot security and enable legacy booting.)
I also used a Win 8.1 Pro install disc to get a command prompt, and I typed "net user administrator /active:yes" and "net user administrator <Password>", but upon reboot, nothing changed.
I used the same Win 8.1 Pro disc to bring up the same "repair your computer" options, "refresh" said "drive is locked", startup repair failed, system restore said "os not specified", but they were locked by same "lack of admin user".
I tried a bunch of fixes using BCDEDIT from the following page (fixboot, fixmbr, rebuildbcd), including renaming the bcd folder, but every time I came back to "bdcedit /rebuildbcd", I always got the error: "the requested system drive cannot be found"
DISKPART says the C drive is NOT read-only, but also says 0 gb are free. I tried marking that partition as "active" but got some error. (Sorry, not in my notes. can do it again if nec.)
I also tried removing the two ram sticks, trying each individually in new slots. No improvement.
Ran CHKDSK /r.
I tried setting bios > ata drives setup > sata mode from AHCI to disabled & IDE. NO help.
The owner of the computer does not have recovery / installation media, but the F2 key does allow restoring the original OS. A factory reset seems a little extreme, though.
So the main thing I have NOT tried is the microsoft "mediacreationtool.exe" file. Is it elsewhere online? Will it do anything the Win8.1 disc won't?