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iamjuice
04-21-2012, 08:03 AM
Hey I just purchased the G74SX-BBK11 from Best Buy and will be replacing one of the HDDs with a Crucial M4 128gb SSD.
I havent turned the machine on yet since I purchased it but I want to know what steps I should take before swapping the drives. I've never worked on laptops before but I want a fresh OEM Windows install and avoid putting as much bloatware and unnecessary crap on the drive as possible.

Thanks in advance.

Zygomorphic
04-21-2012, 08:57 AM
You need to make the recovery DVD's first. You will need a number of the drivers, but the ASUS software is optional. The computer should come with a DVD full of the drivers and other bloatware, but the nice thing about it is that you can pick the software you want to install. While some of the drivers are old, it makes a great way to get all the stuff installed so that you need to get the system functional. After that, you can go and find the drivers on the web that you want.

Note: definitely install the latest nVidia drivers from nVidia, they are newer than the ASUS ones, and it has the FXAA support. The 301.XX beta drivers are quite reliable, and definitely worth trying.

iamjuice
04-21-2012, 04:59 PM
The laptop actually didnt come with any CD/DVD and barely a user manual. I have an old Win 7 64bit disc that I have installed on all of my previous machines that works fine. It seems the biggest obstacle is backing up the drivers. Should I just find the drivers folder in the Windows directory and just make a copy of that or do I need to do something else?

BrodyBoy
04-21-2012, 05:07 PM
The laptop actually didnt come with any CD/DVD and barely a user manual. I have an old Win 7 64bit disc that I have installed on all of my previous machines that works fine. It seems the biggest obstacle is backing up the drivers. Should I just find the drivers folder in the Windows directory and just make a copy of that or do I need to do something else?
Since you want a clean install, I would recommend the following:



(Optional) Go ahead and turn it on and go through the first-time-use setup
Use the computer for a couple days to test the hardware and make sure it's not defective (no point in upgrading it if you have to exchange it for some reason!)
(Optional) Use AI Recovery to make a set of recovery DVDs
Physically remove the system hard drive with your new SSD
Perform a clean Windows 7 Home Premium installation...using a new Windows installer (you can download & make this yourself)
Install only the essential drivers....there are about 10 or so for the G74 (these are all available online)

iamjuice
04-21-2012, 05:20 PM
Since you want a clean install, I would recommend the following:



(Optional) Go ahead and turn it on and go through the first-time-use setup
Use the computer for a couple days to test the hardware and make sure it's not defective (no point in upgrading it if you have to exchange it for some reason!)
(Optional) Use AI Recovery to make a set of recovery DVDs
Physically remove the system hard drive with your new SSD
Perform a clean Windows 7 Home Premium installation...using a new Windows installer (you can download & make this yourself)
Install only the essential drivers....there are about 10 or so for the G74 (these are all available online)


Thanks for the input. I suppose I should test it out first. I just know how retailers can bog down the system with unnecessary stuff. I will try the suggested stuff and get back with everyone in a few days after my findings.

BrodyBoy
04-21-2012, 05:24 PM
Thanks for the input. I suppose I should test it out first. I just know how retailers can bog down the system with unnecessary stuff. I will try the suggested stuff and get back with everyone in a few days after my findings.
Not the retailer.....it's Asus that does it! They do put a bunch of bloatware on it, and you're on the right track wanting a clean install. But there are a few known hardware issues that pop up occasionally on new units. I'm just suggesting you play around with it and make sure everything works as expected before going to all the trouble to upgrade it. The keyboard and touchpad are probably the two most common culprits....so watch closely for any weirdness or abnormal behavior with them.

iamjuice
04-24-2012, 04:16 PM
Since you want a clean install, I would recommend the following:



Perform a clean Windows 7 Home Premium installation...using a new Windows installer (you can download & make this yourself)
Install only the essential drivers....there are about 10 or so for the G74 (these are all available online)



I've been searching around Windows page but cant for the life of me find where to download the Windows installer for the New version. Please help :D

Thanks

BrodyBoy
04-24-2012, 06:28 PM
I've been searching around Windows page but cant for the life of me find where to download the Windows installer for the New version. Please help :D

Thanks
Windows 7 Home Premium ISO (http://msft.digitalrivercontent.net/win/X17-58997.iso)

iamjuice
04-24-2012, 07:01 PM
Many thanks again, you're help is greatly appreciated.

iamjuice
04-27-2012, 06:38 PM
Update: I have everything working properly, drivers up to date, etc. The only issue I am running into is the drives that were installed we're in a RAID array and now the only drive recognized by the system is the SSD I installed. How do I get it to be recognized by the system and accessible?

dstrakele
04-27-2012, 09:26 PM
The G74SX-BBK11 doesn't ship with the HDD's in a RAID array. Only software RAID is possible and must be established before an OS is installed.

Still, your 2nd drive should be recognized if connected properly. Please post a screenshot from Disk Management.

iamjuice
04-27-2012, 11:23 PM
No screen shot program loaded on yet, there is the SSD, the optical drive and system reserved space that shows up. No other disks.

dstrakele
04-27-2012, 11:52 PM
You can use Alt-Prc sc to capture an image of the active window (Disk Management in this case) to the clipboard. Launch Paint, paste the image, and save it as a .JPG.

Does the HDD appear in the BIOS? If you "Load Optimized Defaults" (F9), then Save & Exit?

iamjuice
04-28-2012, 12:01 AM
8219

I haven't tried the BIOS stuff yet.

dstrakele
04-28-2012, 12:11 AM
Press F2 at the ASUS splash screen on bootup to enter the BIOS.

iamjuice
04-28-2012, 12:22 AM
its not there in BIOS and when i hit f9, the disk didnt show up.

dstrakele
04-28-2012, 02:12 AM
Now that you've Loaded Optimized Defaults and saved them in the BIOS, does a restart make it appear? If not, it could be a connection issue.

I'm assuming the drive functioned in your system prior to SSD installation. If the HDD is not listed in the "Advanced" section of the BIOS under "SATA Configuration", I'd confirm the connection is sound and/or try installing the other HDD from your system.

iamjuice
04-28-2012, 04:37 AM
it was definitely a connection issue, and i feel like such a boob, but i thought the machine had 2 500gb drives, not a 1tb drive..so suffice to say the drive wasn't even in the machine!!! ah what a n00ble i have been. thanks for the help and patience!! :D

dstrakele
04-28-2012, 05:20 AM
Yep - that'd make it difficult to recognize.
;>{)>

Glad you got it workin'!

BrodyBoy
04-28-2012, 11:14 PM
it was definitely a connection issue, and i feel like such a boob, but i thought the machine had 2 500gb drives, not a 1tb drive..so suffice to say the drive wasn't even in the machine!!! ah what a n00ble i have been. thanks for the help and patience!! :D
We're all noobs at some things. :) But there aren't any G74 configurations that ship with a 1Tb hard drive. Your Disk Management screenshot just shows the SSD (looks like a 120Gb?)...I suspect when you got your secondary hard drive properly connected, you found either a 500Gb or a 750Gb hard drive in Disk Management?

iamjuice
04-29-2012, 03:09 AM
it shipped with a 1tb drive, about 931gb after formatting. i could swear that i read it had 2-500gb drives.

iamjuice
04-29-2012, 03:10 AM
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+17.3%22+Laptop+-+8GB+Memory+-+1TB+Hard+Drive/4775907.p?id=1218525518576&skuId=4775907

i bought it at my local best buy and got the ssd from newegg for $148ish.

iamjuice
04-29-2012, 03:11 AM
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+17.3%22+Laptop+-+8GB+Memory+-+1TB+Hard+Drive/4775907.p?id=1218525518576&skuId=4775907

i bought it at my local best buy and got the ssd from newegg for $148ish.

Bugsie
05-16-2012, 02:27 PM
The infos are very helpful. Thank you guys.

I do have one question, does the laptop support SATA 3? I've been looking for confirmation, I but can't seem to find one.

-b

PILGRIM
05-16-2012, 03:44 PM
...I do have one question, does the laptop support SATA 3? I've been looking for confirmation, I but can't seem to find one.

Confirmed. The G74 supports it. My Primary Drive (Crucial M4 SSD 128 GB) is SATA 3.

richarrp
05-19-2012, 11:43 PM
Awesome thread. Hope this is the place to pose my question. I have my G74sx and installed an ssd and partitioned the original to make a place for Media files, and programs. My question is if I make a recovery with AI Recovery, will it back up my current config, or straight from the factory? I kind of want to use the ExpressGateCloud stuff. I also apparently blew away the recovery partition. Lucky for me, after I set up the laptop the way I wanted it, I used 3rd party imaging software to image the SSD so I could easily move it if the need arose and didn't have to use up precious space on my 80gb SSD with a recovery partition. I guess my main question is, If i ever wanted to, how would I get this laptop back to factory condition (minus the addition of the SSD)? I like having recovery dvds I can burn as an ISO as opposed to a dedicated partition. Thanks!

BrodyBoy
05-20-2012, 12:03 AM
Awesome thread. Hope this is the place to pose my question. I have my G74sx and installed an ssd and partitioned the original to make a place for Media files, and programs. My question is if I make a recovery with AI Recovery, will it back up my current config, or straight from the factory?
The disks you make with AI Recovery will only back up the recovery partition on the OEM hard drive.....that's the single surpose of that utility.

If you want to back up your existing, customized installation, you should make an image of your OS partition. Windows Backup & Restore can do this, as well as burn the Windows Repair disk that you'll need if you should ever want to restore the image.

I guess my main question is, If i ever wanted to, how would I get this laptop back to factory condition (minus the addition of the SSD)? I like having recovery dvds I can burn as an ISO as opposed to a dedicated partition. Thanks!
There are three ways to do a factory restore:

Use the hard drive recovery partition, if it's present
Use the recovery DVDs you made with the AI Recovery utility
Buy the recovery disks for your model (~ $50) and restore from those

Note: Neither the recovery partition nor the recovery DVDs are an "image" that you can just restore (as you would with and image made in Windows Backup & Restore). Rather, they consist of all the software and a set of conditional installation scripts that perform a complete, unattended re-installation of Windows, the original drivers, and the OEM software. This is why it takes so much longer than just restoring an image.

richarrp
05-20-2012, 01:04 AM
Thanks BrodyBoy. Greatly appreciate the time you took to reply and answer the question. I figure my best bet is to just buy the dvd recovery disc for it. A side question though, Is all the Asus stuff necessary to take full advantage of the power this laptop has? I was always under the impression that if it came with the software for a reason. Will I lose any speed or functionality by only having a clean install of windows with out all the added software?

BrodyBoy
05-20-2012, 07:22 AM
Thanks BrodyBoy. Greatly appreciate the time you took to reply and answer the question. I figure my best bet is to just buy the dvd recovery disc for it. A side question though, Is all the Asus stuff necessary to take full advantage of the power this laptop has? I was always under the impression that if it came with the software for a reason. Will I lose any speed or functionality by only having a clean install of windows with out all the added software?
None of the Asus software is necessary to take full advantage of your computer's power. Like most computers, in fact, it will run better (faster and more stable) with a clean Windows installation that's unencumbered by all that extraNeous software.

While some owners may find this or that utility handy, the Asus utilities are generally redundant to functions already built into Windows. On top of that, some are poorly-written software that greatly increases the potential for software conflicts and other problems.

The first thing I do with any OEM computer is a clean install. I don't install ANY of the Asus utilities. (Note that the ATK Package is not bloatware.......it contains drivers necessary for full functionality of the keyboard, amongst other things.)

richarrp
05-21-2012, 08:32 PM
I find the PowerGear software to be handy but I'm sure that is something I can replicate with Windows7. Is the Intel TurboBoost program that pops up upon start up necessary? Will I lose it's benefits by uninstalling it? Sorry for all the questions but I'm trying to relearn what is and isn't necessary. I've been focusing on Android for a while now and kind of lost touch with Windows.

dstrakele
05-21-2012, 09:12 PM
Intel TurboBoost is not necessary. It is only a monitoring utility. HWINFO64 will give you all the information it provides and more.

BrodyBoy
05-21-2012, 10:36 PM
Is the Intel TurboBoost program that pops up upon start up necessary?
As Drew said, it's not necessary. If you look closely, the full name is "Intel TurboBoost Monitor".....Intel's turbo-boost functionality is built into the processor & chipset, and runs automatically. The monitor is just a desktop gadget that displays processor speed on-the-fly. Some people like that, I guess. ;)