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.

  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?

  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?

  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.

  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'.

  TOFF 17:54 09 Dec 2012

Thanks rdave. I did originally run the full Dell diagnostics and all was said to be Ok. The drive is quite new. I will do as you suggest.

  TOFF 19:24 09 Dec 2012

I've just started restoring from a reasonably W7 image in Vista. Cross fingers but it seems to be working ok. I did this before when my old HDD died but I was rather hoping that I could ditch the old baggage and do a clean install as I have saved my data files separately. Never mind. I should be able to upgrade to W8 from there. What a waste of time.

  TOFF 20:06 09 Dec 2012

How do I do what you suggest?

  TOFF 20:19 09 Dec 2012

Thanks rdave

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