Win 10 Repair Install Roadblock...

Hi everybody! Trying to help a neighbor with her Win 10 laptop (she did the upgrade herself through MS update in Aug.). Cleaned it up and sped it up a bit, but it's still lethargic despite an AMD 1.60 GHz Quad Core and 6 GB of RAM. Thought it might be an HD issue, but all tests showed the hardware was ok. So I figured I'd run a disk check, with repair, from the command line and then return the pc to her. It got hung up at 12% for hours several times - I had to do a cold shut down to get out of there to boot into regular windows each time, which is never a good thing to do.

So I got her a new hard drive, figuring there were bad sectors on the old one, then tried cloning it with Clonezilla, which also hung up (at 23%) when I did the recommended image vs. clone procedure. Started over with the clone option and that got stuck too. After having to re-initialize the new drive to wipe it clean again, I managed to successfully do the clone using Acronis True Image and swapped the drives. All seemed well but even after doing some more tweaks including an Auslogics defrag that took over 2 hours, I ran the disk check utility again and, yes, it got stuck at 12%!

It's a file system corruption and probably not an HD issue after all, so I figured a repair install could be the answer. I have a dvd with the needed Win 10 64-bit that I got from MS, and I got her license key using the Magic Jellybean app, thinking I wouldn't need it anyway, based on the article from here at neosmart. Well I did need it, but was told onscreen that it wouldn't work with "this version of Windows 10".

I'm trying to avoid doing a reset or other drastic approach, especially if I need the license key, which is a valid one that's been activated - just not the one that's available. Figured I'd post here before putting the old drive back in and returning it to her. Li'l help?
Noticed this post was NEW. I want to get on this train... been working 5 days with similar paths. Old disk/new disk/ old disk. The system finally came up late yesterday because I launched it and left it for several hours. BUT, it take forever to accept a mouse click, etc. So, I downloaded EasyRE and am going to give it a go. I'll post back if all goes well. My "activate windows' notification went away this morning sometime. It all seems to be associated with whatever has slowed the system to a crawl... REAL Sloooooow crawl.


Mostly Harmless
Staff member
In our article at Explaining Windows 10 activation on upgrade with product keys from Windows 8 or Windows 7 we provide a few product keys that can be used to *(re)install* Windows (but not activate), getting you into the Windows environment at which point you can use your existing upgrade key, etc. The latest Windows 10 builds also allow using your Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key directly instead of requiring a clean install and upgrade (though I haven't personally been able to get this feature to work).