Back to the future!!!

Derelict and slow Saturday when we were feeling under the weather……It was crazily hot.

Scorching Saturday

The house is burning. Fan fan everywhere but the heats are winning. We escaped to the fresh outside where sometimes wind of heavens past by. To add to the “frying pan”, my friend broke that his laptop is under the blue spell of the snails and asked if I could do a little retouch and send back to its factory setting. That I could do….Takes a while though.

Supposed easy step. “Reset your PC

Windows 10 provides this handy setting( Windows 10 UI is a mess to be honest ) promising:

If your PC isn’t running well, resetting it might help

I chose to delete all files and keep hoping to end up with empty logical drive and fresh new version of windows 10. Clicks away. It took a while and the percent helps; I hate the imprudent spinning wheel. Think about it , isn’t UI design supposed to be intuitive? and information inducing?(I want to know when is it done?).

Windows 10 Progress UI. Source (I added the red parts )

On a similar note, I guess it is better to not check battery all the time and be patient(Similarly, it will be there). And to go off of that, sometimes, it is impossible to even estimate how long it is taking like internet connection,etc(Get lost. it should know how long to restore my PC).

After it had finished running and Lenovo screen done firing up, a spinning wheel(windows 10 type) sprang up and spin forever( I waited for couple hours ), reincarnation!!!!


Windows/Mac Exceptions Fired
Spinning wheel of death. Source

The fancy old solution is :

Still spinning, Decided to attempt a clean install…..

Retrieve product key from the installation

But first I got to retrieve the key from the un-bootable windows 10 laptop; It comes with windows 8 key and got a free upgrade to windows 10.

This article shows me a couple way which does not work for me–I am not even able to access the GUI at all. The second solution from the article does prompt me with an idea since they were typing into the command line. All that I need is a command line access and I could go into the folder of my Windows ( presumably it still exists ) and run those command?

I downloaded Windows 10 ISO and made a bootable USB out of it using Rufus (Yes I have access to another Windows machine ). Boot into USB Windows PE > Repair > Troubleshoot > Command line but it does not work. The slmgr.vbs shows you garbage.

I guess it only works when one is in Windows and running these. Otherwise, anybody could steal anybody’s Windows product key if one has access to the laptop

My friend, the laptop owner saw me tinkering for so long posed that why did I not just restore by clicking the little circle button on the side of the laptop and be done with it. Indeed , that is true but “that would bring you back to Windows 8 ONLY” to which he reply : “Fine.” I said “Okay. I’ll try to retrieve the key first ( after all it’s rightfully his ) and restore back down to 8 and let you try for couple days to see if you like it; otherwise, upgrading back to 10.” Need to get back to the future which is 10. The only sane solution now is to get the key since FREE UPGRADE OPTION IS NOT HERE ANYMORE.

And I remember there was HirenBoot, a pantheon of century-packed good software that comes with mini XP to troubleshoot all kinds of problem including Windows Key retrieval. HirenBoot comes with ProduKey 1.7 and according to their changelogs 1.7 support Windows 8 ( hopefully it could do 10 too. Finger cross ).

Looks like Windows Media center. Does it not

Was following this article step-by-step however it fails miserably because Hiren Boot does not detect the drive. According to this, I should change the hard drive controller from ACPI to IDE/compatible to emulate IDE mode. Did that, still no detection.Hmm, stuck on this

I jumped from my chair when I found out that ProduKey could be run from the command line. Yes command line, you saw it mentioned above right ? yes yes, boot back into Windows PE’s command line and run the command ( copied to the Windows 10 USB since it still got spaces left–it’s a 8GB USB ) and voila I got it.

Try both commands to be safe: from reg and windir. Source.

Back to future and thought

Restored back to 8 and back to 10 and found that windows 10 activated without key — all the above work is futile, which is weird. I guess somehow the old windows 10 saved the key so I don’t have to. This said that I have to remove it if I want it lost. Also, found out that Windows 10 PE exist ( like Mini XP but no one pack it because it is too big ) and Chrome deprecated support for Java interaction (Its NPAPI) when  I was trying to autodetect the laptop’s Nvidia driver . Yes It can game.

Phew. Quite a stretch. Here a song


It is getting dark. Look at that moon





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