- Their Toshiba laptop (Windows 8) won't boot--BSOD 0xc000021a whenever it tries.
- I've discovered that the hard drive is bad
- I can't safe boot or any other boot for that matter
- CHKDSK stalls and takes forever to read certain areas of the disk; likes to make those characteristic, looping, crunchy read-sounds at those times
- I can boot into the restore partition tools and do a system reset, but the machine still won't boot (same errors)--presumably because some areas of the hard drive are just bad
So I figure that's not a huge problem. Replace the hard drive, find a Windows 8 disc/ISO to install, and then use the COA sticker's license to activate. Nope. Apparently COA stickers with the code printed on them are old hat these days so all I get is a Window logo sticker thing instead. The actual license code is stored in the UEFI firmware somewhere? Ok then. Can I retrieve it? Who knows.
Evidently everything's different with Windows 8 now and so I need advice and learning on how I can fix this. I know I need a new hard drive, but is there any way to recover the Windows 8 key since I can't boot into it? The laptop didn't come with any restore media other than what was on the hard drive--the one that is dying. I was thinking maybe I could transplant the restore partition to a different hard drive and then restore it, but nothing I hook this hard drive up to can see that it even has partitions. And this could be folly anyway since it assumes the restore partition on the dying hard drive isn't corrupt itself.
So are my options basically to get another hard drive and purchase another copy of Windows?