Clean Install of Windows 8.1 from USB onto new Samsung 250 GB SSD

I bought a new PC and SSD and would like to put the OS onto the SSD.

The computer is a Dell Inspiron 660. It came with Windows 8 pre-loaded (so I don't have a Windows DVD or product key). I upgraded to Windows 8.1 and made a bootable Recovery Drive USB.

The SSD is a Samsung 840 EVO - 250 GB. My first attempt was to use the Data Migration S/W that came with the SSD. That failed. I upgraded to latest version of migration S/W. That failed the same way. Failure was immediate ~ 15 seconds after start (couldn't retrieve Source Disk Information).

Since I don't have any personal info on the HDD yet (thus don't really need to migrate any data - just the OS), I figured I'd try to get the Recovery Drive USB to load Windows 8.1 onto the SSD.

I installed the SSD into the 2nd HDD bay, disconnected the power&data cables from the original HDD, inserted the Recovery Drive USB and powered on.

The BIOS finds the USB just fine and it brings me up to the "Choose an Option" screen. I selected "Troubleshoot". From there, I've tried "Refresh your PC" (fails with "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again.") and "Reset your PC". I tried the "Yes, repartition the drives" option (since the SSD hasn't been partitioned yet). It fails immediately with "There was a problem resetting your PC".

From there, I tried "Advanced Options", "System Image Recovery" (couldn't find a system image) and "Startup Repair", but they also failed.

I'm out of ideas. Could anyone help me with an approach that will work to get Windows onto my SSD? Thanks
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Is that bootable media in USB? You can try this. Make only boot drive usb.
    Then do upgrade or custom install.. If that is not bootting from usb. Then you may need DVD or bootable usb.
    Then you need to download new copy of windows and burn DVD or make bootable usb drive.

    My works fine with 7 PRO and it must work with 8.1 too.

    Or maybe it was boot order USB, HDD (in your case samsung) and DVD.. Or something like that. I did raid with my SSD's so I did need load drivers. One theng is that you may need is bios up date.
    I did need it before RAID 0 did work. But I do NOT use Dell.
    Next time build custom build because then u have better MoBo.
    And you get better support for evyrything. Hope this helps :)
  2. I suppose I'm confused as to what the Windows 8.1 Recovery USB can do. It is bootable, but it boots to the "Choose an Option" screen. As mentioned above, none of those options get me to an install point.
    I found a link to the Balarc program that allowed me to get the 25-digit Windows product key. Now I need to find a Windows 8 ISO file (without paying for Windows again), that would allow me to reload the operating system as mentioned in your previous answer. I'm still looking for a means to do that. The one link that looked promising required a Windows 7 or 8.1 Preview key, not a Windows 8.0 key.
    So, at this point I'm stuck trying to find an ISO to use.
  3. You can download the windows media from internet. And you can use old key with that media.
    Just do not key produkt key when windows is asking for it. Just press go on..
    Then when you have do al installion and updates. Then you make windows key "registration"

    You may need drirvers from dell too. so download then first. Lan and mobo and sound drivers.
  4. Sorry this is not an answer. I've been many days arguing with MS and Asus about W8 key being hidden in firmware. MS have moved to help but it will still cost. Crazy not to have the key you've paid for.
  5. I had to go away from this for several days due to a trip. When I returned, I restarted from scratch. This time, the Samsung Data Migration S/W worked. The only thing I can think of that I did differently was that I didn't attach the SSD via USB cable until after the Data Migration S/W was executing (and got to the screen showing the HDD and looking for the SSD). I then attached the SSD and all went smoothly.
  6. UKTEXAN said:
    Sorry this is not an answer. I've been many days arguing with MS and Asus about W8 key being hidden in firmware. MS have moved to help but it will still cost. Crazy not to have the key you've paid for.

    I ran Belarc Advisor S/W (free download off the web) and it showed me what I believe was my 25 character Windows product key. I say "I believe" because (as you can see from my note below), I never actually had to use it. I ran into the problem of finding a Windows ISO file that I could try it on. If you've already cleared that hurdle and all you need is the Windows product key ... try Belarc Advisor.
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