HELP - M17x R4 - Significant Trouble creating bootable mSATA with Win 8

Discussion in 'Alienware 17 and M17x' started by Spere, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. Spere

    Spere Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a brand new M17x R4 that is currently gathering dust.
    I would greatly appreciate some assistance.

    Basic configuration:

    M17x R4

    Factory Installed:
    500GB x 2 - RAID (Resulting 1 TB Raid 0) - GPT partitioned.
    Win 8 basic 64 bit
    Secure Boot

    Upgrades:
    Win 8 basic to Win 8 pro via Windows System -- simply type in the new key
    Crucial mSATA 256GB (to be clear, this is the small chip -- not a full size SSD)

    GOAL:
    Have Win 8 pro up and running on the mSATA
    Maintain the alienware GUI features if possible

    Notes:
    I have no personal data on the system
    I have created numerous system backups via respawn
    I have Win 8 Pro upgrade on both DVD and USB key (downloaded from MS with Win Pro Upgrade purchase)
    I'm rather desperate for a valid solution, this is my new work machine and I want it configured prior to loading additional software.

    What I have tried:
    Attempt Group 1
    Clone original OS partition using EaseUS Partition Copy Wizard
    • With BIOS SATA settings on RAID (original)
    • With BIOS SATA settings on AHCI (original drives removed)
    • Using legacy boot
    • Using UEFI boot
    • With and without Secure Boot Enabled

    Result: "No Boot Device Found" - No Love

    Attempt Group 2
    Install from Win 8 Pro upgrade media (both DVD and USB)

    Result: "The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key."
    -- Note this is due to Win 8 storing the product key in BIOS.

    Attempts 3 through 27 - Various permutations of:
    editing EI.cfg, PID.txt to fix product key mismatch
    using Win 8 Upgrade DVD & USB to repair or reinstall
    Using my created Alienware Respawn to repair or reinstall
    numerous BIOS setting changes

    I can still boot to the original raid (the HDD's are back in as of this writing).

    The issue is not being able to get Win 8 to boot from the mSATA and therefore not being able to set up my work software, etc.

    Alienware, anyone... I would really truly appreciate some knowledgeable assistance!
     
  2. DDDenniZZZ

    DDDenniZZZ Notebook Deity

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    Easiest way should be remove RAID hard drives leave the msata in, change bios settings to AHCI and UEFI on, DISABLE legacy support. Since its OEM windows 8, I assume you can't do a complete clean install, there is a thread somewhere to install windows 8 clean without a cd key.
     
  3. Spere

    Spere Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Attempting that, on boot I get:

    Checking media

    followed by

    No Boot Device Found. Press any key to reboot the machine_

    If I press F12 during boot and enter Boot Manager, the only item showing under UEFI is
    UEFI Onboard LAN IPv4

    BtMng.jpg

    I'm using EaseUS Partition Manager to create the OS Copy. Here is a screen shot of that:

    PM1l.jpg
     
  4. DDDenniZZZ

    DDDenniZZZ Notebook Deity

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    I havent tried cloning hard drive, and to be honest I wouldn't recommdn it. A lot of performance issues, which kind of goes against the SSD. I had windows 7 originally on mine, so i had to clean install windows 8.
     
  5. cmacclel

    cmacclel Notebook Guru

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    You problem most likely is the cloning software. I tried all the free ones and none worked for me. I bought Paragons Migrate OS to SSD and never had a problem. Also if the clone software is not windows 8 compatible.
     
  6. Spere

    Spere Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm certainly up for doing a clean install if I can find a good mechanism. I have given it a try with my Win 8 Pro upgrade install DVD and USB, using various mechanisms, including taking out the raid spinners first and leaving in only the mSATA. So far, no joy. -- mainly of the ""The product key entered does not match any of the Windows images available for installation. Enter a different product key." variety.

    Thanks for the note on Paragons It appears that their Windows 8 capable software is still in development, I do appreciate that they are clear about that.

    Other ideas are certainly welcome, I'll keep trying whatever looks good.
     
  7. Alienware-L_Porras

    Alienware-L_Porras Company Representative

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    I'm with DDDenniZZZ on this one. Clean install after removing the rest of them to force the PC to read it.
     
  8. Spere

    Spere Notebook Enthusiast

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    I ended up succeeding with a save & restore migration using Acronis as outlined here: True Image 2013 Help

    I also used Gparted and a few other utilities.

    The system is currently up and working with Secure Boot.
     
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