Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)

During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details

Computer Help forum


HP Spectre 360x can't install new OS from boot disk

by DocMantisTobogganMD / May 25, 2018 7:53 AM PDT

Hey guys first time posting here,

My flatmate recently got a laptop from a friend who passed away and the laptop is locked out, requiring the dead guys online credentials to log in.

He asked me to have a look at it because I'm not completely ******** RE: computers but I'm no whizz either.

The laptop has weird screws i don't have right driver for so I can't take out the current HDD and pop in a new one but when i try to install a new version of windows from a boot disk over the top of the old it always fails at the very end, I have the right OS and the right bit type (32) and I've used the disk on other computers, does anyone have any ideas as I've been trying for days now and he's getting impatient.

Thank you guys for any and all help you can offer,


Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: HP Spectre 360x can't install new OS from boot disk
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: HP Spectre 360x can't install new OS from boot disk
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
is there a BIOS password used?
by James Denison / May 25, 2018 8:10 AM PDT

Doesn't sound like it. You realize trying to install over it may have lost the deceased person's data stored on it?

Does it have a DVD drive? If so, then get a LIVE Linux DVD, put in the DVD drive, and boot from it. Should allow access of the hard drive.

Are you sure it's a 32 bit system? The drive may have GPT formatting instead of MBR.

When you boot to the Linux DVD, run the GParted program and get the information on the drive and report it here.

You can make your own LIVE Linux DVD, or get one for $6 + postage from site.

Use this MATE version of Linux Mint. You should "burn image" of ISO of both the 32 and 64 bit just in case, each to a separate DVD. You can then access the DVD drive in BIOS and boot to it.

Also open terminal program and run each of these commands on the hard drive and report here.

sudo parted -l /dev/sda
sudo blkid
sudo fdisk -l /dev/sda

Collapse -
those are small L's in the commands
by James Denison / May 25, 2018 8:13 AM PDT

Also let us know if the BIOS is an UEFI type, and if you see anything in it about Secure Boot. The make and model of the computer would help a lot.

Collapse -
The clue for me is "fails at the end."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2018 11:57 AM PDT

This sounds like one of two scenarios.

1. You formatted the drive or tried to use the drive with its existing partitions. Start with a blank drive (no partitions) and let the Windows Installer deal with it.

2. This is a Signature PC and as such Windows does fail to install. The install method is proprietary and you must get the steps from HP. I do not have the files or procedures.

Finally if this was Windows NT to 10 it was untrue you needed the credentials. Just last month I used the UTILMAN.EXE trick. Here's a link on that. I used the Create a new user method.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!