So I tingled with Windows 8 consumer preview way back in April for couple of weeks on my old HP laptop that had the famous video card problem, and it was an interesting experience. If I recall right, nothing made me jump out of my chair. True it was kind of neat to see live updates on some of the tiles like those electronic billboards, but the novelty wore out real quick.

So last night I decided to turn the clock back and to re-load my original OS, Vista 32, so that I could use it as a glorified desk clock and weather announcer.

I booted up my machine, it went right into Win8 boot. After 4-5 attempts with on and off, finally I got it to boot to CMOS, which showed the F-key for recovery. So quickly I pressed F11… no, it booted into Win8 again. After more attempts, I got it to work after pressing F12. Somehow, F11 was disable, and replaced with F12 , but only for repairs. Now what? Windows started attempt to repair, and as usual, the time bar just kept going in loop, and I had no idea what was going on. After many minutes, it restarted, and I was back at square one.

I thought my partition was perhaps gone, because when I looked in the drive, the folder that had the files were empty… but I checked properties, and saw that the partition drive was still there with almost 7 GB of data; that was a bit of relief.

Now that I couldn’t get my recovery to re-load the OEM OS, I figured I would need to find my backup recovery disks. Although I found them and loaded  it in my DVD drive, it booted but told me it was not made with the right version. What! Then on to the web I went, and found someone talking about ordering a recovery from HP… but as long as you had a disk with same OS version, one could always load vanilla OS without bloat-wares from manufacturer. Luckily, there was a Vista upgrade disk that was still in my original package. Why, I didn’t really care. So I popped that in, and it started, hallelujah! and it asked for product ID #. So I flipped my laptop and copied it down (Jee, those “Q” and “O”), and it finally recognized it, and started loading the OS. After 24 hours, and downloading drivers from HP, I have my old laptop back. Now even the video display and fingerprint scan are working properly?!

What does this mean? I hope you have your recovery disks ready if you decide not to purchase Win8 to replace the preview’s, which expires Jan 2013 BTW. Don’t bet on the recovery partition will work, cause it still doesn’t with mine. This can be deal to my upgrade to Win7 before, or the preview after. In between these two versions, the boot sector for that partition must have been altered, and I am not going to worry about it. But if you use your one and only to test the preview (I doubt), you better check how-to change the MBR for the partitions; otherwise, you may need to purchase recovery disks from your manufacturer.

Things do happen with MS, on the bright side you can see it as valuable training?! perhaps, eh!