Trying to upgrade to +Windows 8
has been a complete and utter disaster. I've been waiting a long time to take the plunge and finally decided to do it.
I started by mounting and ISO inside Windows 7 and running through the upgrade process. Everything looked like it was going great until the third reboot when I got an error about my AHCI driver signature being invalid. So, I rebooted and used Advanced Options to disable driver signature checking. Next boot landed my at a blue screen with a 0xC000021A error code. Nice.
No indication about which driver is causing the crash. The setup program that ran inside Windows 7 didn't complain about any known driver incompatibilities. Could the upgrade process just default to using the Windows 8 built-in drivers anyway just to avoid these issues altogether?
So I rebooted back to Windows 7 (rollback feature works great) and proceed to remove my AMD AHCI drivers. Another install attempt and again, same driver errors. I pulled a memory dump and used WinDbg to check for the error. No luck. Starting pulling out other drivers like NVIDIA graphics and trying again.
After 3 attempts, I was never able to successfully get past the third reboot. Kernel bug check every time.
Finally I decided that it would be good to do a fresh install anyway. So I did some hard drive swapping around between some laptops and managed to clone my SSD onto another 128GB SSD as a backup.
I decide it would be best to do a secure erase (wipe) on the SSD to restore to factory state before installing Windows 8. Booting to Ubuntu 12.10 on a flash drive. hdparm refuses to secure erase (input/output error). Some googling shows this seems to be a known issue. So, I'll boot back into Windows 7 from the cloned SSD and erase it from there using Intel Toolbox. No luck. The cloned drive won't boot. Need to do a startup repair to repair the boot loader entries to point to the new drive. Damn, I don't have a Windows 7 boot disk anyway and can't make one easily.
So now I'm onto my final attempt to just boot the Windows 8 USB drive, delete the partitions, and install from scratch. Hopefully TRIM will run and pick up the empty space on the drive and format it so I don't suffer too much from not doing a full factory reset on the drive.
If I'm lucky, it'll only take a month or so to get my computer back into the state I had it in before.
Wish me luck.