Recovery after Win8 Preview

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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!


Just iTunes U itself makes iOS so much better…

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Usage share of web client operating systems. (...

Usage share of web client operating systems. (Source: Median values from Usage share of operating systems for August 2011.) Windows XP (35.21%) Windows 7 (31.21%) Windows Vista (11.27%) Mac OS X (7.31%) iOS (3.38%) Linux (2.25%) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think there have been enough said about iOS being a closed-system; therefore, it is controlled by Apple and less friendly. On the other hand, the Android OS is totally open-source; therefore, you can make changes as much as you like “if you know how” or “where to look for them”. One point I want to make is that Android OS is Linux, and Linux is great if you know command lines, etc. Trust me, I had used many versions of Linux, even was crazy enough to buy the Corel Linux way back when, but each time was the same disappointment: I was spoiled with Windows and unable to learn processes that were beyond point-click-hourglass-wait-fingercrossed-installed. I remember I had to issue “Mount” in Linux so that my CD-ROM became functional. So my point, Linux does offer great flexibly, because you can truly script and tailor to your needs as you want! But I am lazy, and too senile to do that, but I did try.

Here is my point regarding iOS, despite it is a close-system, Apple’s own applications are well thought out; therefore, no need to tweet. Case in point is the iTunes U that I talked about in my earlier blog: Attending iTunesU in bed with pj, other than the choices of lectures, I just discovered another great feature it has: taking notes when you watch the video lecture.

Fig1: top right (notepad icon)

To access the notebook, click on the notebook icon top right (Fig. 1) ,which opens up the notepad while the video is still running, i.e., you can truly experience it as if you were in a lecture.

Fig 2: Notepad with video

You can record your notes and access it as you need in course binder!

If this is not genius for students, I do not know what is! The only missing thing is to get a bluetooth keyboard and you are all set. If your college is on the same wavelength and delivers its courses this way, all you need is an iPad with keyboard for the entire semester! No more bulky knapsack with textbooks and laptop. Do other tablet OSes do that other than improving games and watching TV shows, movies, youtube… and connecting to social media. I think I am right on this one.


Inserted graphics are from Virology W3310 offered by Columbia University conducted by Dr. Vincent Racaniello.

Windows 8 consumer preview(free)

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April 9, 2012: Okay, it is installing now. I am using the 32-bit from DVD boot. After you key in the product key, use “CUSTOM” install, and not “Standard”! Using that gives you an option to partition your drives as well. We’ll see how it goes!


As usual I don’t want to bash Microsoft, when we must use it for our daily work-life and most likely at home too, but a good consumer product is good when a consumer doesn’t get frustrated!

Okay, I read somewhere this morning that Microsoft has Windows 8 consumer preview for free download. After reading the fine print, I was hesitant to download it on my new laptop, cause the install will wipe your existing OS and you must re-install from recovery if you decide Windows 8 is not your cup of tea. After a while, I pulled out my old HP tx1100ca, blow-dried it again, and it booted,so I figured it would be fun and cool to do it. Went to the site downloaded the ISO image,burn to a DVD disc, and I thought the installation should be easy. Ah ha, think again!

First hurdle: there were two choices, 32-bit and 64-bit, since it was an older laptop I figured best I used the 32-bit version. The download file size was 3.2 GB, and took about 30 mins to download, guess the server had throttle control, so transfer rate was at about 1,100 kb/sec (yawn …zzzzzz). Finally, I burnt the image using Roxio… Okay, everything was good. I re-booted the computer, and DVD was in,changed boot from DVD and all was good. I managed to put in the purchase key, and then it said I needed to boot while Windows 7 was running, why? Since I could not proceed, I boot to Windows 7 and run setup, and then it said, my Windows 7 64-bit was not compatible with the 32-bit Windows 8. Really!

Second hurdle: Since I had time, I downloaded the 64-bit version which was at 3.5 GB. Patiently I had the image burnt. Ran it inside Windows 7, it gave me two error messages, so no go. Re-boot, blah, blah, same process above. Now it got to a point and said, “Load Driver: A DVD driver your PC needs is missing. If you have a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with the driver on it, please insert it now. Note: If the installation media for Windows is in the DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step”. Seriously !!!! Laptop has CD/DVD driver for over 10 years, and Microsoft was asking me to find a freaking driver for my DVD-ROM, and burnt it and continued with the process?! Maybe I had missed a step to get the drivers first from Windows 7 ( like MAC boot-camp that creates a drivers -disc first), but I doubt Microsoft is that thoughtful or thorough.

At this point, I give up, that’s after three hours tinkling with it! Who cares about Windows 8. Now even Ubuntu Linux does it right: we can create a boot-able disc with totally useable OS, and only if one likes it he can install it on a new partition or wipe out Windows altogether. As I say at the beginning, we have to keep using something that is popular-mediocre just because.

Perhaps, someone who is reading this can enlighten me with the installation. Wait, I hardly interest in messing with this new OS, 7 is fine.