Blue screen of death: critical_process_died Windows 8 Pro

I have looked all over for answers specific to my problem, haven't seen any so here goes:

I purchased a Lenovo u410 back in August and upgraded to Windows 8 Pro a month ago. Several days ago, I got the Blue Screen of Death with the following error: critical_process_died

Automatic repair does nothing, kicks me to a screen where I have to select a keyboard layout. From there, I have the option of troubleshooting or just powering down the PC, literally those are the only two options on the screen for me to select.

When I select the troubleshoot option and try to:

Refresh: I get error message "The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again."

Reset: "Unable to reset your PC. A required drive partition is missing."

System restore: "To use System Restore, you must specify which Windows installation to restore. Restart this computer, select an operating system and then select System Restore."

System Image Recovery: "An internal error occurred. The following information might help you resolve the error: The system cannot find the file specified. (0x800700002)

Automatic repair can't repair the problem (whatever it is)

And then I have the command prompt available. The weird thing here is that it shows up as X:/windows/system32. Is that weird? I am used to C:/windows etc.

I would greatly appreciate your help. Lenovo wants to charge me $89 to send me a disc with Windows 7 on it (and my computer doesn't even have an optical drive :-/) to then reinstall Windows 7 and then re-upgrade to Windows 8 Pro, which seems like a crazy amount of hoops to try and jump through. The Lenovo support lady seemed to think that Windows Update had something to do with the crash, but I don't really trust her knowledge...

Thank you again for any help you can give me.
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More about blue screen death critical_process_died windows
  1. -if you have a key and know what version of windows 7 you have. You can download a image from one of Microsoft's ecommerce partners. It would be the generic version with out any value add software or modifications that Lenovo has added. To get any custom drivers you would have to go to the Lenovo web site.

    I am not sure but if have to select the keyboard layout on cold boot you may have lost your BIOS settings. You have a new machine so the normal causes would not apply.

    does your BIOS detect that your drive is there? (check settings)
    -the bad path to the OS would mean you just have to repair the path but that requires a boot via cd or USB thumb drive.

    At this point since you have windows 8, I would re-download it on another machine
    and have it make a USB thumb boot image and boot off that to do the repair.
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