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View Full Version : ASUS G75VX - MBR vs GPT and dual boot problems



gokica
12-17-2012, 09:12 PM
I just bought ASUS G75VX and got stuck with the dual boot options.

The laptop came with 750GB HDD. I added Samsung 830 SSD and wanted to install XP SP2 X86 for work.

I know it sounds silly nowadays but I am used to dual boot on my desktop where XP is for work (all software and drivers that I use work flawlessly in this OS) and Windows 7 or 8 64bit is the other boot option used for gaming and multimedia.

The UEFI + GPT HDD format/table actually prevented me from properly using Win XP 32 bit in dual boot.

I can install Win XP on the SSD which has MBR instead of GPT. Once installed the problems are:

1. From XP (SSD) I can not see the HDD which has GPT. I know there is no cure for this. From Windows 8 I can see the SSD.
2. Dual boot can only be done from bios by enabling / disabling UEFI each time I want to change OS from which the computer is booting.

I would really like to convert the HDD to MBR and than to reinstall Win 8 on the HDD and XP on SSD.

Formating the SSD as GPT is not an option since Samsung Magician Software is only compatible with MBR SSD.

My questions are:

1. Should I back up my HDD drive, format and change GPT to MBR. Than reinstall Win 8 on the HDD? I need to know whether the restore partition will work on a MBR drive. I like the ASUS preloaded version of WIndows more than fresh Win 8 installation.

2. Is there an easy way for me to restore the preloaded Win 8 on a MBR drive?

3. If I decide to install fresh Windows 8 can I use the same key/serial. I do not see Win 8 serial on the back of the lappy. Where can I find it?

And BTW how do you guys activate Office Starter 2010. It requires a serial which I do not have?

Thank you.

cl-scott
12-17-2012, 10:08 PM
Actually a good question, and I haven't really considered the implications of mixing GPT and MBR. So I'll be interested in what others have to say about that.

However, what might be an easier solution ultimately is putting XP into a VM. Since XP Mode isn't an option anymore in Win 8, but you have a copy of the media, there's always a solution like VirtualBox. That rather neatly solves the problem, and you could even give over the entire second HDD to the VM image if you wanted, so it's almost exactly like it would have been otherwise.

gokica
12-17-2012, 10:35 PM
Yes, Virtual Box is something which never crossed my mind. Excellent idea. Thank you. I do not have experience with VM so I will have to learn lots of things.

I do not know whether VM will preserve the XP programs and files if I need to reinstall Windows 8 for example. In case I need to access the XP drive from another computer will I be able to recover files without the VM host (windows 8)?

If there is a way for me to convert the GPT drive to MBR and still have all of the ASUS goodies like OS restoration with f9 working properly I would prefer dual boot.

In the meantime I will explore VM/VB.

house7
12-19-2012, 02:51 AM
I had the same problems, and I ended up formatting both drives to MBR and installing a fresh copy of windows 8 along with all the asus drivers that came with the laptop. WIndows 8 actually somehow managed to keep the serial that came with the laptop somehow without me needing to manually re type it in. If you want peace of mind though you can always download a third party software to search for your windows 8 key and write that down before you format your drives just in case you need to use it.

gokica
12-19-2012, 07:53 AM
Which version of Windows is installed on my VX?

In PC Info it says only "Windows 8". There is no "professional", "enterprise" etc.

I am asking since I believe that the key will not work on another Windows version.

And also one general question:

If I decide to restore Windows from the restore partition (f9) do I get to choose the drive where Windows 8 will be restored or is it the factory predefined location. Can I restore Windows to SSD for example?

Karrde
12-19-2012, 09:55 AM
Which version of Windows is installed on my VX?

In PC Info it says only "Windows 8". There is no "professional", "enterprise" etc.

I am asking since I believe that the key will not work on another Windows version.



If there is no "pro" (or enterprise) in PC Info it is Windows 8 (only).
Yes the key will not work on another Windows version.
Even if you use a "professional" DVD only Windows 8 (Standard) automatically with your asus key will be installed and you have to use "add features" with your purchased (upgrade) key to switch to Professional version.
Tried with MSDN ISO because i have purchased a cheap 15$ Pro upgrade key and a free Media Center Pack key both from MS. (Enterprise DVD never tried).

gokica
12-19-2012, 12:18 PM
Thank you for the information Karrde.

I tried the pro version DVD with the key and it did not work. The product key is not compatible. I will try to download the standard version. To be honest I never thought that such standard version exists. Not too much familiar with the 8. :))

Karrde
12-19-2012, 12:58 PM
Ok, my untouched MSDN Win 8 x64 Professional DVD (and i am sure it is the pro dvd because i compared the hash with msdn page) did not ask for a key and installed automatically the non-pro version knowing my asus key (from bios?). But maybe there are other Pro DVDs which are unable to install Win 8 Standard.

gokica
12-19-2012, 01:19 PM
I will download the untouched version and try. Thanks.

cl-scott
12-19-2012, 05:21 PM
Yes, Virtual Box is something which never crossed my mind. Excellent idea. Thank you. I do not have experience with VM so I will have to learn lots of things.

I do not know whether VM will preserve the XP programs and files if I need to reinstall Windows 8 for example. In case I need to access the XP drive from another computer will I be able to recover files without the VM host (windows 8)?

If there is a way for me to convert the GPT drive to MBR and still have all of the ASUS goodies like OS restoration with f9 working properly I would prefer dual boot.

In the meantime I will explore VM/VB.

I only have rather pedestrian experience with VM's in general, but assuming you had a secondary drive, and the image file for the VM was on that secondary drive, then you should be able to just point the VM at that image file if you ever had to reinstall the OS and corresponding software. Might be best to check something like the VirtualBox FAQ and other documentation, maybe ask on their forums, before relying on it, but it SHOULD work.

gokica
12-19-2012, 11:48 PM
Thank you cl-scott.

I decided that it is time to move from XP in case it is possible. G75VX made me enter a new era of computing. :D

I am testing my working software environment under newer OS now. Hopefully with some tweaks and minor upgrades I can make it work.

I reviewed the options with Virtual box but it seemed complicated (determining dedicated RAM, 3D is working but with lots of limitations, USB, SATA etc. driver patches) for me. Obviously does the job but setting up seems time consuming for a newbee like me.

In case I am unable to completely move to new OS I will than consider Virtual Box.

Thank you everyone.