A recurring problem has found one student who has been using MikTeX on a Windows 8 machine to be exceptionally frustrated.
The problem felt like it was completely unrepeatable but non-fixable. Here’s what we did and where we started.
Problems with MikTeX and TeXWorks
From TeXWorks, the first error was that fullpage.sty could not be accessed. Although we could locate the style file for Fullpage in the correct directory, we could not access it. After an uninstall and a reinstall, MikTeX was unusable from inside TeXWorks.
Our initial effort was to ensure that the Windows path contained the directory to the executable. The path was complete and correct. We then started having problems with the initexmf executable.
Ultimately, I stumbled upon the following link: http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/265674/miktex-two-things-did-not-succeed. Basically, the exhortation was to close TeXWorks and run a command line latex’ing of a file. Then, MikTeX would be fully configured and should work well. From there, the editor TeXWorks performed as expected.
Apparently, some bugs exist in the MikTeX/TeXWorks/Windows 8 combination. Hopefully this fix, explored by others before me, but fixed by a group of us in the mathematics department at LaGrange College, is useful to many.