Windows 8 won't load properly

  TOFF 22:59 01 Dec 2012

I installed 8 successfully about a month ago and all went well. The only recent change I have made is to install Startmenu8 to get a more normal Windows look. Yesterday my computer screen went dark blue and the mouse seemed not to function. I changed batteries and rebooted. However all I get is my desktop with no task bar and no icons. The programmes show up along the bottom but will not open maximised so I can't use them. I have a Dell desktop and have run the diagnostics on F12 at start up. All is ok according to that. I want to restore to a previous point but cannot get at Windows to do this. Any suggestions gratefully received.

  rdave13 17:52 02 Dec 2012

Safe mode by tapping keys isn't available I think. Does your keyboard work?

If so, in desktop press the windows key and the C key. That will bring up the Charms bar on the right. Use the tab key to move to the settings icon and press enter. In the blue bar that opens use the tab key to navigate to the 'Change PC settings' link. You'll get an App window up. In this Window use the tab and arrow keys to navigate to the GENERAL link on the left list. Press enter. Use the arrow keys to navigate down to 'RESTART NOW'. press ENTER. I shall follow my own advice and do it now to see if I can still use the TAB, Arrows and ENTER keys to navigate to the 'fresh install' or repair or even restore to remove that third party app you've installed. Will post later.

  rdave13 18:06 02 Dec 2012

OK. I can navigate to these app windows but can't use the top left arrow in a circle to go back to the previous app page. Otherwise I can navigate to 'refresh', 'reset' or 'advanced'. I selected 'advanced' and here you have choices including system restore (my preferred option) or auto repair.

Possibly the reset option might be better.

This is academical if you can't use the keyboard of course.

  TOFF 22:37 02 Dec 2012

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Unfortunately I cannot bring up anything using F8 or any win key combinations. All I get is a task bar with two icons - Internet Explorer and File Explorer. The latter works to some degree but if I open, for example, Control Panel, all I then get are task bar icons with minimised progs/apps which WON'T maximise so I can use them. In desperation, I tried to reload W8 with the CD, but to no avail. It won't boot on start up and even though I can get the set up file through File Explorer, nothing happens. My mouse sort of works as does my keyboard. In File Explorer the desktop shows all my old icons but the Library tree won't show any of my docs/photos. I just can't get it to restore. I have backed up a system image on another drive but don't know how to get it to run. Any ideas?

  rdave13 22:52 02 Dec 2012

Hopefully you're image doesn't include Startmenu8. If you've created an image the program you used to create it will have asked you to create a bootable recovery CD. I hope you remember where the image file is. If on an external usb drive connect it to the PC. Start the PC so you can insert the recovery CD to the optical drive. Press and hold the start button on the desktop case. That will safely shutdown the PC. If you can reboot to bios then change the boot order to CD first, save and exit. It might be already set to this but check your mobo's documents if you have any. On rebooting 'press any key to boot from CD' should show so press any key. If you use Acronis or Paragon then follow instructions to find the image. Once found select the image to restore.

  TOFF 08:34 03 Dec 2012

Thanks Dave. I'm away till the end of the week so will have to try then. I did try to change the boot order after pressing F2 at start up but couldn't identify the CD drive, There was a list of SATA this, that and the other. BTW - mobo - what is that?

  rdave13 09:16 03 Dec 2012

Mobo is short for motherboard. That's me being lazy. It looks like it's F2 to enter the bios. Hopefully someone with a Dell PC can identify the drive for you from the list.

  TOFF 08:09 06 Dec 2012

Flashfaint Please let me know if you find a solution as i am away at present and cannot try anything myself.

  rdave13 11:52 06 Dec 2012

If the CD drive doesn't show up in bios do you have anything showing to boot from USB? If so here's a tutorial to create a bootable flash drive with win 8 from an iso file.

I'd join the Dell forums about the missing CD drive in bios.

  TOFF 16:22 09 Dec 2012

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I eventually manged to boot from my CD drive with the recovery disk (W8 version) but it said that both my restore point and image wouldn't work. I therefore tried to do a clean install of W8 but that wouldn't work. It just hung after several hours. I tried the same with W7 but with the same result.

My machine came with Vista so I installed that from the Dell recovery disk. This worked. I then tried to upgrade to W7 SP1 (an upgrade which would never install back in the day) from a CD I downloaded off the Windows website. That went on all night with the machine interminably rebooting. Still hung this morning. So I reinstalled Vista as above (clean) and tried to install W7 from the original upgrade CD. This is hanging also. The reason I haven't gone straight to W8 is that I think I have an image from a few months ago before I upgraded to 8.

Should I be patient and let it carry on even if it is taking a day or more? I have tried to restart and it offers me safe mode but won't let me do it as it is still 'installing'.

  rdave13 17:37 09 Dec 2012

I'm a bit stumped on this one. Just wondering if the hard drive is ok? You could return to factory settings again and run chkdsk. At least this will show that the drive is not the problem, or otherwise. I would also post your problem on the Dell forums about the upgrading failures. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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