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I have a question which I cannot find any answers to anywhere on the web. I have a fairly new Gateway desktop computer that had Windows 8 pre-installed. I hated windows 8 so much that I clean installed Ubuntu Linux(dual booting seemed too much of a pain). With the release of Windows 8.1, I decided to give it another try.

I purchased the OEM disks which came from Acer. I installed Windows overwriting Ubuntu. I have done this several times. At the end of each installation I get the message "system restore failed error code 0X3 (the system cannot find the path specified). I reboot the computer manually and windows 8 starts and looks normal. However, I cannot download the 8.1 update(apparently not recognizing that my computer is running Windows 8). Also, Ubuntu is still listed in the BIOS as a boot devise 2, UEFI as boot devise 1.

If I hit f12 at start up it still gives me the option of booting either one although Ubuntu does not exist. The restore disks will not let me do a clean install because it states all files must be removed from the hard drive BEFORE the operation can be performed.(funny,huh?). However, the system blocks from doing this. Tech support argued why I would want to do a clean install before finally admitting that I would have to use third party software to do this. But again, the system prevents any third party software(such as gparted)from booting even with UEFI disabled. If I try to clean install using the system utilities, it states that I have files missing and I would need to load a system disk to retrieve these but the system says my disks are invalid.

I'm not a computer genius but I'm going say my mbr was corrupted by the previous install of Ubuntu. As I am not going to sink any more money into this computer(such as a new hard drive) any help would be GREATLY appreciated as I have been working feverishly on this for days. So far it looks like I've purchased myself a decorative computer paper weight.

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sounds like you just need to start clean. wipe the disk clean. In the windows setup wizard, press shift+f10

from the command line start diskpart

list disk
select disk 0

try again

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I understand the command line part but could you explain the shift+f10 thing better? I'm assuming that will get me to a command line after booting from disk but so far I haven't figured out how to do that. Thanks. – Scott Dec 23 '13 at 22:09
A retail Windows 8 setup disc should allow you to get to the command prompt by pressing shift+F10 I don't know how this OEM disc works, try F8? – MDT Guy Dec 24 '13 at 15:24

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