Windows 8 boot failure and Automatic Repair failure because disk is locked

by jasonvonruden 24. April 2013 13:12

For some reason after 5 months of using windows 8 my desktop suddenly out the the blue failed to boot complaining about MBR missing. I decided to see how the windows 8 install disc would handle recreating the hard drives Boot Sector and MBR. 

To my surprise the Automatic Repair feature was no help and it error out complaining about a very weird error that made no sense. 

“The drive where Windows is installed is locked. Unlock the drive and try again.” 


I was surprised that the searching the web was not very helpful.  After a long time I finally found a solution that work.

The Solution that worked for me:

  1. Boot from the Windows 8 Install Disk
  2. Choose Troubleshoot option
  3. Choose Advanced options
  4. Choose Command Prompt
  5. Use dos commands to fix and rebuild Boot Sector and MBR
    • Bootrec /fixmbr
    • Bootrec /fixboot
    • Bootrec /rebuildbcd

Not sure how the average computer user would ever be able to find and fix their computer when presented this error due to all the misleading blog posts and advice for Boot and MBR Issues that are on the web.


Windows 8

Windows 8 Start Screen is an ** Epic Fail ** (Good bye and Good Riddance)

by jasonvonruden 2. February 2013 01:52

After 3 months of using Windows 8, I can’t take it anymore, I hate the new start screen.  Here is what I did to restore the Windows 7 Desktop Experience on Windows 8 with free applications.  In the end I needed 2 applications Classic Shell – Start button for Windows 8 and Windows 8 – Skip Metro Suite applications to boot directly to the Desktop and completely disable all edge panels, not just hide them! All of them will be disabled, including square start button at bottom-left corner.

Now Life is good!!!!

The New Windows 8 Start Screen is an ** Epic Fail **   (On a non touch enabled device like a laptop or desktop)

Here is more information about the free applications:

Classic Shell – Start button for Windows 8

Classic Shell is a collection of usability enhancements for Windows
Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
Start button for Windows 7 and Windows 8
Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer


Windows 8 – Skip Metro Suite

Maybe you already known what Windows 8 won’t allow you to boot directly to Classic Desktop. Instead of that you have to click on “Desktop” tile every time you logged in. This is very annoying behavior for all of us who prefer to work with Class Desktop instead of Metro Start Screen. So I decide to fix it.
Skip Metro Suite for Windows 8 allows you to boot directly to Classic Desktop in Windows 8 RTM and Release Preview.Also it allows you completely disable all edge panels, not just hide them! All of them will be disabled, including square start button at bottom-left corner.


Windows 8

Windows 8: Use Disk Cleanup to Remove Windows.old Folder and Other Previous Windows Installation Files

by jasonvonruden 26. August 2012 06:23

After I did the in-place Upgraded to Windows 8 from Windows 7 it did not take long to for me to decide to that I was never going back to Windows 7.  This led me to figure out what to do to about the over 10 GB of Windows 8 Upgrade Uninstall Files including the Windows.old folder which can not be deleted manually due to file lock Issues.

Enter: Disk Cleanup’ : Clean up System File option to remove the Windows 8 Upgrade Uninstall Files in a few clicks.

  1. You can find Disk Cleanup by typing:  WIN Key and start typing Disk Cleanup
  2. Click the Disk Cleanup’s “Clean up System Files” Button in the middle of the screen.
  3. Check the box for Previous Windows Installation(s)
  4. Click “OK” button and click the “Delete” Confirmation button.



Windows 8

Windows 8 RTM–Install Experiences ** A Success **

by jasonvonruden 26. August 2012 05:38

After some careful thought I decided to in place upgrade my main development Windows 7 computer to Windows 8 instead of a clean install from scratch which is what I normally do.  I just installed Windows 7 around 3 month ago so it did not have a chance to build up the normal cruft  that slows windows down over time. In the end the upgrade was so successful that I decided to upgrade my families main Windows 7 desktop computer also which also was a successful and painless in place upgrade. 

See my Blog post on my Experiences with Using Windows: Windows 8: My Favorite Shortcut Keys and Productivity Tips

Now for the not so good stuff about what did not go so well:

Windows Updates Broke (Development Computer only), Needed Repair System Integration with some applications, Visual Studio 2012 Issues, Windows Live Family Safety Issues, and finally Adobe Flash Player plugin incompatibilities with Windows 8 / IE10 and some websites. Most of these issues would be a problem with any OS upgrade. (See below)

Compatible Application Surprises:

  • Acronis True Image 11 is compatible with Windows 8 and this is Weird because Acronis True Image 2012  is NOT compatible with Windows 8

Incompatible Applications – Forced Uninstall Before Upgrade

  • Acronis True Image 2012  - Not compatible
  • Microsoft Security Essentials - Not compatible (looks like it is built into Windows Defender now)
  • Intel BlueTooth Driver - Not compatible

After Install Application Issues

  • Windows Update Broken -  Error Code 8024A000 -  Here was my solution to fix the Issue
  • Peazip – Needed Repair System Integration  with “File Explorer” – Easy to Fix
  • Virtual Box Network Device Driver Broken – Re-install Needed
    • Now that Windows 8 has Hyper-V Built in I uninstalled Virtual Box
  • LogMeIn Hamachi  - Network Settings where lost but still works
  • Visual Studio 2012 – Requires SqlServer Express 2008 R2  for VS 2010 solution files even though I had Sql Server 2008 installed and this was a big surprise to me!!!
  • Media Monkey – Reinstall to fix System Integration  with “File Explorer” causing slow MP3 file launch and playback times.
  • Windows Live Family Safety (Compatibility warnings) – Change to Microsoft Family Safety.
  • Adobe Flash Player “This content requires a newer version of the Flash Player” and IE 10 compatibility  issues on some websites and broken from IE10.


Windows 8

Windows 8: My Favorite Shortcut Keys and Productivity Tips

by jasonvonruden 26. August 2012 04:51

With all new versions of windows there are a ton of new things to get used to and Windows 8 sure has some major changes that you will need to get used to.  At first I thought that I would not like it and find it hard to get use to the changes.  However I was pleasantly surprised how quickly I got used to the new Windows 8 start screen and the split from the desktop. I have learned to increase productivity, I needed to reduce or eliminate the use of the mouse to do things in windows. Also check out this great blog post Windows 8 productivity: Who moved my cheese? Oh, there it is. that inspired this blog post.

Here is what worked For Me

  1. Use the built-in shortcut keys!  (My favorites are listed below)
  2. Launch applications with no mouse: Launchy is a free cross-platform utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.  Once Launchy has been started, it hides in the background. You bring it forward by holding the alt key (apple on Mac, and ctrl on Linux) and tapping the space key. You can then type in a few keys of the program you are searching for and hit enter once it has been found. 

Launchy on Windows 8

  • In Windows 8 using the Alt – Space shortcut key from the start screen (anywhere in windows) will immediately take you to the desktop with launchy open and with a few more keys you can launch your favorite application and No Mouse Needed!   For example: I can launch firefox from anywhere with only 4 keys and my hands never leave the keyboard.  (ALT – SPACE - F – Enter Key)
  • As an added bonus Launchy remembers your application launch preferences including the last application you launch making application launching even faster.
  • Doubles as a quick calculator for math 1+1, 5*5, and etc will show in the answer in the launch window.
  • Has a plugin model for quick launching of other things like websites and etc.

Collection of Useful shortcut keys

  • Win – Start Screen
  • Win , Any key  - Start Screen and then Search Applications Screen
  • Win + Q –  Another way to get to the Search Applications Screen.
  • Win+D – Desktop   
  • Win+X - Administrative Tools 
  • Alt-Tab - Switch between Apps
  • Win-Tab - Switch between Full Screen Apps “Metro applications only”
  • Win+W - Search Control Panel and Settings stuff
  • Win+F - Search Files  
  • Win+C - Charms (right side menu) then arrows to move and enter to launch.
  • Win + Z – opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.
  • Win + H – opens the Metro Share panel.
  • Win , Esc - If you hit the Windows Key, you can hit Escape to go back.
  • Win+L - Lock Computer
  • Win+K – Devices
  • Win+E – Explorer
  • Win+R – Run
  • Win+(period) - Alternate sides to "snap" Metro Apps. Add shift to reverse it. 
  • Ctrl+Scroll - Can Name Groups
  • Win+Plus  - Magnifier/Zoom In
  • Win+Minus - Magnifier/Zoom Out
  • Win+Arrows - Snap desktop apps to the sides
  • Win+PageUp or Win+PageDn - Move full screen apps to other monitors.

Other Good Windows 8 -  Blog Posts 


Windows 8

Windows 8: Fix Windows Updates Error Code 8024A000

by jasonvonruden 25. August 2012 13:48

After upgrading windows 7 to Windows 8 RTM the upgrade completed successfully and when I ran windows update I received the Windows Updates Error Code 8024A000. 

I was surprised to see the new “Windows Update Error Troubleshooter”  that attempted to resolve problems that prevent me from using Windows Update  and it automated some of the common task to fix windows updates issues. 

Unfortunately the new  “Windows Update Error Troubleshooter” it did not fix my error Code 8024A000 I had to fall back on the same method used on Windows 7 and Vista.  There are several blog post that detail a command line solution to fix the issue.  I ran the commands below from a command line prompt as an administrator.  I actually copied the commands into a .bat batch script to run from the command prompt.

Blog posts for previous Windows Versions

Commands needed to fix Windows Updates Error Code 8024A000 on Windows 8 – RTM

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
net stop cryptsvc

regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\vbscript.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\mshtml.dll /s              
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\msjava.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\jscript.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\msxml.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\actxprxy.dll /s
regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\shdocvw.dll /s
regsvr32 wuapi.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll /s
regsvr32 wucltui.dll /s
regsvr32 wups2.dll /s
regsvr32 wups.dll /s
regsvr32 wuweb.dll /s
regsvr32 Softpub.dll /s
regsvr32 Mssip32.dll /s
regsvr32 Initpki.dll /s
regsvr32 softpub.dll /s
regsvr32 wintrust.dll /s
regsvr32 initpki.dll /s
regsvr32 dssenh.dll /s
regsvr32 rsaenh.dll /s
regsvr32 gpkcsp.dll /s
regsvr32 sccbase.dll /s
regsvr32 slbcsp.dll /s
regsvr32 cryptdlg.dll /s
regsvr32 Urlmon.dll /s
regsvr32 Shdocvw.dll /s
regsvr32 Msjava.dll /s
regsvr32 Actxprxy.dll /s
regsvr32 Oleaut32.dll /s
regsvr32 Mshtml.dll /s
regsvr32 msxml.dll /s
regsvr32 msxml2.dll /s
regsvr32 msxml3.dll /s
regsvr32 Browseui.dll /s
regsvr32 shell32.dll /s
regsvr32 wuapi.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng.dll /s
regsvr32 wuaueng1.dll /s
regsvr32 wucltui.dll /s
regsvr32 wups.dll /s
regsvr32 wuweb.dll /s
regsvr32 jscript.dll /s
regsvr32 atl.dll /s
regsvr32 Mssip32.dll /s

net start wuauserv
net start bits
net start cryptsvc


Windows 8