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Upgraded to Windows 8.1, ruined my computer

By Omri G
Dec 26, 2013
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  1. About a year ago I upgraded my computer to Windows 8. This , coupled with a RAM and an HDD upgrade, made my 5 year old computer run the best that it has in a long time, and I was happy.

    Windows 8.1 then came out, and I tried to update. It wouldn't let me, as I would get an error. I really wanted to upgrade as I was having some sort of issue with my Apps. They would start up, load for a few seconds, and then crash without even displaying.
    The computer worked fine in Desktop mode however, so I decided to go on with my life.

    Yesterday, I finally had time to try to upgrade my computer again, so I decided to do so.
    It actually managed to download the whole thing, so I was excited to upgrade my computer.
    I went through the upgrade process, but when it finished I noticed something strange.

    My computer was running slower. Much slower.
    Once the upgrade finished, I scrambled to try to figure out what could cause it to be so slow.
    I tried a virus check, disc cleanup, defragmentation and care with iObit's advanced systemcare, but none of them seemed to work.

    I stumbled upon an online source which said that it could be a corrupt profile issue. And indeed, I checked another user profile on my machine and it seemed to be working better, and the Windows 8 apps actually ran.

    So I tried to do what they told me to: move all the files in one User folder to another and remove the old profile.

    Turns out that wasn't such a great idea either.

    I created a new user profile.
    While I was trying to move all my files, a lot of them wouldn't move, or they needed to be moved in smaller batches. I moved what I can, and noticed that Windows was giving me a 'drive error' notification. I restarted my computer and went into the new profile and deleted the old profile.

    At first, none of the apps would even launch. Then I tried to use System Restore and realized I couldn't because my old profile was deleted.
    My Google Drive folder is also inaccessible and I can't seem to install another copy/instance of GDrive.

    I restarted again and now apps are actually launching and things seem to be working a little better, but the computer is still slow.
    So here I am, stuck with a slower computer, wishing I never updated to 8.1.
    I am asking for assistance because I feel helpless. I do not know what to do to make my computer run faster, or return to its old state, and I hope someone here does.

    Thank you for your time
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    I suspect your first clue is in the messages you saw - 'drive error' notification. The second clue you gave me right at the start - 'made my 5 year-old computer run the best'.

    In a short sentence, I suspect your HDD is giving out due to old age, and you should buy a replacement drive and do what you need to do to 'clone' your HDD onto the new drive as soon as possible.

    In the meantime, take extreme measures to backup every bit of precious private data to secure removable media (if you don't do already - as you should). I would also suggest that if possible, you should stay with 8.0 until you acquire a newer PC, as there may be some incompatibilities with 8.1 on your present motherboard.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,981   +1,488

    Not only what @gbhall said, if your drive is failing the longer you wait the worse things can get. At first you get glitches much like the ones you are experiencing. After a while you start getting data errors and file corruption. In short as much as I don't like Windows 8/8.1, I doubt that is your issue.

    Another possibility is upgrading an already buggy system. Those errors do migrate through upgrades.
  4. Omri G

    Omri G TS Rookie Topic Starter

    There's no way that it's an actual drive error. Like I said, it was working completely fine and better than ever on Windows 8.0. I started getting the 'drive error' notification once I started moving files from AppData to the other profile, and AppData profiles are crucial to the Operating System.
    With that said, I'm almost positive that it's not an issue with how 'old' my computer is, unless for some reason 8.1 is a lot more hardware consuming than 8.0.
  5. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Maniac Posts: 1,825   +181

    Sounds more like you just updated over the old os Win 8. You may have been better off doing a clean install. Your best bet . Would be to back up your personal stuff to dvd or a flash drive. Then do a clean install of win 8.1. If possible.
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  7. Omri G

    Omri G TS Rookie Topic Starter

    All my personal stuff? I have tons of personal stuff though... and a clean install removes everything, right?
  8. Cobalt006

    Cobalt006 TS Maniac Posts: 1,825   +181

    Yes it dose. So if their were any problems before with your os . A clean install should fix it. If you have a lot of personal stuff. Is there any way you can back it up to a external hard drive. ?
  9. Omri G

    Omri G TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't have any external hard drive that big.
  10. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,344   +49

    Well, you need to buy one. You can lose the lot at any time for any of dozens of reasons, starting from hardware failure and passing through encrypting malware. What is the actual value to you of the private data you currently have at risk? Is it worth nothing to you, or a lot ? Start from there.

    Another point is you should have a drive image of your system (when it is working at any rate), with which you can simply restart your PC with all it's settings and data within twenty minutes or so. Paid for drive imagers e.g. Macrium Reflect, Terabyte IFW, AX64 time machine are most people's favourites.

    You could even use the built-in imaging facilities of Win8/8.1 but like all free versions, it is very inflexible and does not compress, whereas the paid-for versions I mentioned all manage around 50% compression. They can all backup to multiple CD/DVD as well, although it takes a lot longer. http://www.wilderssecurity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=97
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
    Cobalt006 likes this.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    Get SeaTools and run that. First do a short DST on the drive. If it passes the short DST, before you go to bed start the long DST. If it passes that then you do likely have some OS corruption and it isn't the drive.

    Not to say you can't have a failing HD that passes long DST, I have had some fail despite passing. However, if you are seeing drive error messages in Windows AND it passes long DST it is unlikely the drive is at fault (because if it is bad enough that Windows notices, a dedicated test tool in the long scan will find something wrong with the drive too).
     
  12. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TS Evangelist Posts: 2,214   +522

    If you are getting a drive error in windows, im inclined to agree with @gbhall and @cliffordcooley because it sounds like your drive maybe going bad. The average life expectancy of an HDD is around the 5 year mark in this day and age (Of course drives can last less or more, I have some drives that are well over 8 years old still cranking).

    I would still advise you of getting at least something to make a backup clone of your machine on, this does not sound like something caused by windows 8.1, it looks like it was more of a coincidence. Not to say its not impossible that windows 8.1 has an issue, but Windows does not pop up with a drive error unless something is seriously wrong.

    I have windows 8 and updated to windows 8.1 and the speed did not change for me or my machines. But im just one person in this regard, but I seriously doubt that just updating to windows 8.1 caused your machine to slow down. I just feel you might want to be careful because if that drive is failing, your in danger of losing everything so you need to have some sort of backup ready so your safe.

    Just my two cents
    gbhall and cliffordcooley like this.
  13. Omri G

    Omri G TS Rookie Topic Starter

    At this point I am actually considering just getting an external hard-drive and just backing up most of my data into that.
    I can easily get a Windows 8 disc because through Dreamspark, I get them for free. I can just download one and burn it onto a DVD. I did that with my brothers computer when we built him one, and it works fine.

    I still don't think it's an actual drive error because the notification for said error only popped up when I started moving files crucial to the system from user profile A to user profile B from the AppData folder. It didn't appear when I installed Windows 8.1.
    It also told me to 'restart my computer to fix errors' and I did that and since then it has not appeared.
    With that said, I'll look into SeaTools.


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