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Possible to reformat laptop that came pre-installed with Windows 8?

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  • Laptops
  • Windows 8
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
May 15, 2014 7:57:40 PM

I need to reformat a laptop I got that has been experiencing extreme lag since day 1. I know it's the OS and not the hardware because programs work fine, but when navigating through the Windows programs (regedit; msconfig; basic menus and folders), they get slow and have about a 5 second click/type lag. The computer itself has an i5 (mobile, of course) and 6GB ram. Just by looking at the few components, you can tell this computer shouldn't be slow. I've ran benchmarks for every component, and they work as they should. There is something wrong with my Windows installation because before I even installed anything the day I first started using it, everything on the OS level has been horribly laggy. The only course of action I can think of is reformatting.

Anyways, the computer is a Toshiba Satellite P55-A5312. It came with a lot of bloat from Toshiba, so I got an OEM Windows 8.1 disk ready so I can reformat it. I heard a lot of rumors about it being purposely hard to down-grade (or up-grade, some would say) to Windows 7 from Windows 8 because there are some prevention mechanisms built in to the laptop (maybe not this one specifically, but Win8 laptops in general).

I was wondering if this applied to my specific laptop, or if it also applied to reformatting with a new version of Windows 8. Could I just boot from a Win8 installation CD without any problems or are there things I have to bypass?

More about : reformat laptop pre installed windows

a b D Laptop
May 15, 2014 8:07:54 PM

Windows 8 uses a special security measure called the EFI-BIOS. This should not cause you too many issues re-installing Windows 8/8.1.
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a b D Laptop
May 15, 2014 8:08:51 PM

EFI will cause issues if you try to boot/install off of a flash drive or other forms of media.
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Related resources
May 15, 2014 8:16:57 PM

Most all laptops come pre-installed with a lot of bloat-ware which can hog your system resources. Even un-installing these useless programs can still leave your computer feeling 'sluggish'. If you have an official Windows 8 disk to install from, then this is exactly what I'd do. As long as you haven't already used your Windows 8.1 disk key on another system, you should be good to go. Just understand that you will lose everything currently on the laptop. You'll also need to visit your laptop's support page to download all of your drivers and any other programs that you may want to use.

If for some reason you're unable to boot into and install Windows 8 over your existing installation, there are ways around that. Simply do a Google search for creating format disk.
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
a b * Windows 8
May 15, 2014 8:17:22 PM

Most Windows 8 PCs utilize UEFI and Secure Boot, to prevent thieves from booting your PC from another disk, such as a Linux disc, to get at your hard drive contents. You will probably need to remove the feature from UEFI/BIOS. The following explains how:

BIOS/UEFI access for Win8.1 PCs (Win8.0 is similar):

- Open the Charms bar, click the gear icon (Settings), and then click Change PC settings at the bottom of the bar.

- On the PC settings page, select Update and recovery.

- Click Recovery and then, under Advanced startup, click Restart now. (Despite the terminology, your PC will not immediately restart! This is normal.)

- On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot and then click Advanced options.

- If a UEFI Firmware Settings option appears, select it. (It might be called something slightly different, such as Change UEFI Settings.) If no such option exists, skip the rest of these steps.

- On the UEFI Firmware Settings screen, select Restart.

- Your PC will restart and run the built-in UEFI setup utility.

- Find the Secure Boot setting, and if possible, set it to Disabled. This option is usually in either the Security tab, the Boot tab, or the Authentication tab.
Share
May 15, 2014 8:21:15 PM

By the way, I just looked at all the 'junk' that comes pre-installed on your laptop. Nice! :p 

SOFTWARE*
1 month trial for new Microsoft® Office 365 customers, DTS Studio Sound™, Hard disc (HDD) recovery, Intel® Wireless Display, Internet Explorer® 10, Norton™ Anti-Theft (30-day Trial), Norton™ AntiVirus (12-month subscription), Nuance Dragon Assistant™, TOSHIBA App Place, TOSHIBA BookPlace™, TOSHIBA Disc Creator, TOSHIBA HDD Protection, TOSHIBA Hard Drive Impact Sensor (3D sensor)*, TOSHIBA HW Setup Utility, TOSHIBA Maintenance Utility, TOSHIBA Media Player by sMedio Truelink+, TOSHIBA Recovery Disk Creator, TOSHIBA Resolution+ Upconvert Technology for Media Player, TOSHIBA Service Station, TOSHIBA Password Utility, TOSHIBA Video Player, TOSHIBA eco Utility™, WildTangent® Game Console

Good grief! That's enough crap being installed to buckle anybody's computer!
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May 15, 2014 8:31:01 PM

DookieDraws said:
By the way, I just looked at all the 'junk' that comes pre-installed on your laptop. Nice! :p 

SOFTWARE*
1 month trial for new Microsoft® Office 365 customers, DTS Studio Sound™, Hard disc (HDD) recovery, Intel® Wireless Display, Internet Explorer® 10, Norton™ Anti-Theft (30-day Trial), Norton™ AntiVirus (12-month subscription), Nuance Dragon Assistant™, TOSHIBA App Place, TOSHIBA BookPlace™, TOSHIBA Disc Creator, TOSHIBA HDD Protection, TOSHIBA Hard Drive Impact Sensor (3D sensor)*, TOSHIBA HW Setup Utility, TOSHIBA Maintenance Utility, TOSHIBA Media Player by sMedio Truelink+, TOSHIBA Recovery Disk Creator, TOSHIBA Resolution+ Upconvert Technology for Media Player, TOSHIBA Service Station, TOSHIBA Password Utility, TOSHIBA Video Player, TOSHIBA eco Utility™, WildTangent® Game Console

Good grief! That's enough crap being installed to buckle anybody's computer!


Yep, it is insane. The only thing that I actually found useful out of all of those was the "TOSHIBA HDD Protection" (or maybe it was the "Hard Drive Impact Sensor"). I accidently dropped my laptop once (on hard-wood), and it detected vibration before it hit the ground so the HDD shut down and probably saved me a lot of trouble. Although all that bloat is constantly eating up my ram, I still think it's a Windows problem. I disabled every Toshiba service just to test it, and booted in safe mode and the computer was still very laggy. It still had 2-3 input lag. I've honestly never seen anything like this. It's not a virus, it's not the hardware, it's not the bloat, it's not the amount of services running.
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May 15, 2014 8:33:45 PM

mbreslin1954 said:
Most Windows 8 PCs utilize UEFI and Secure Boot, to prevent thieves from booting your PC from another disk, such as a Linux disc, to get at your hard drive contents. You will probably need to remove the feature from UEFI/BIOS. The following explains how:

BIOS/UEFI access for Win8.1 PCs (Win8.0 is similar):

- Open the Charms bar, click the gear icon (Settings), and then click Change PC settings at the bottom of the bar.

- On the PC settings page, select Update and recovery.

- Click Recovery and then, under Advanced startup, click Restart now. (Despite the terminology, your PC will not immediately restart! This is normal.)

- On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot and then click Advanced options.

- If a UEFI Firmware Settings option appears, select it. (It might be called something slightly different, such as Change UEFI Settings.) If no such option exists, skip the rest of these steps.

- On the UEFI Firmware Settings screen, select Restart.

- Your PC will restart and run the built-in UEFI setup utility.

- Find the Secure Boot setting, and if possible, set it to Disabled. This option is usually in either the Security tab, the Boot tab, or the Authentication tab.


Thanks, I'll definitely try that after my back-up. This would be the only thing preventing me from booting from an external device, right? After bypassing UEFI, I could just do what I would normally do on a regular computer to reformat it?
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