PDA

View Full Version : Clean Windows 8.1 install?



epic
01-18-2015, 07:57 AM
I am new to the forum, new to ROG laptops, but not new to Asus.

I am attempting to install a clean versions of windows over a Samsung Pro SSD on my G751, but I am unable to see boot/dvd devices to have the clean install.

I can image the original drive to the ssd, but I am stuck with the bloatware and the possibility of malicious programs installed, so as a rule, I have always reformatted every computer I have ever purchased.

Does Asus prevent you from doing clean installs on this model of laptop? If so why? If not, than can someone point me in the direction to accomplish this, thanks!

-Chris

Svift
01-18-2015, 08:50 AM
Limitations comes from microsoft side as windows 8 are pain to install and ACTIVATE proper way on barebone machines :-(.


Options you have:
- Use asus Backtracker do a USB stick win8 install and kill all the bloatware later.
- samsung have disk migration utility that works great and you can make system restor on a SSD as it mooves also recovery partition.
- Get OEM ASUS Windows 8.1 install .iso that would activate automatically. This is very hard to get.. :-(

epic
01-18-2015, 04:49 PM
If I knew it was this much of a pain in the ass to reformat, I probably would have not purchased this computer. I have two non-gamer asus laptops, and I never had a problem.

I have plenty of copies of Win8, Win8.1, Win7, but the fact that the bios/laptop can't properly detect the dvd drive and USB media is insane in 2015. Why even have a driver page if you can't install your own copy of win8.1?

Like I said, I imaged the original HDD to my Samsung SSD and it boots fine and works, but once I try to either 1) reinsstall windows from within the working OS or 2) Boot off a USB (since the bios recognizes it, it reports back errors or stalls out.

So no one has successfully install a clean version of Windows on top of a new SSD?

-Chris

epic
01-19-2015, 05:45 AM
No one? The official solution to clean installs is to clone the factory hardrive and uninstall bloatware?

-Chris

hmscott
01-19-2015, 06:56 AM
No one? The official solution to clean installs is to clone the factory hardrive and uninstall bloatware - Chris

epic, yes. There are 2 methods, 3 actually, that work.

1) Use Asus Backtracker to backup the recovery volume onto a bootable flash drive you can use to restore to a new SSD/HDD with the original Asus Windows OEM install.

2) Use a cloning program like Macrium Reflect - well known here and used by many - to do a clone of the original HDD including the recovery volume - resized partitions to fit the new SSD/HDD. After cloning power off and put the new SSD/HDD into the original boot drive position - and leave out the original HDD so you will only boot on the new SSD/HDD. Put the original HDD into an external USB 3.0 enclosure to use extra space for backups, but preserve Asus Windows Install HDD for backup (checp $50 drive).

3) Use a Microsoft install image to create a Flash installer or DVD installer, and install generic Windows install. Find and install all the Apps / Drivers from Asus, install and figure out streaming order during install. For some reason no matter how many people try, the install doesn't support all the functions / hardware, there is always something to debug, fix, or figure out to get the generic Windows install as close to the Asus Windows install. That is the best one can hope for, to make their generic Windows install as good as Asus.

I recommend #1 or #2, and never #3 - there are too many people that come back and ask for a restore image of the original Asus OEM install so the can get back functionality to recommend #3 at all.

There are no advantages to #3, there are no improvements in performance, reduction in size, features, it is all bad - no advantage to recommend it.

If you decide on #3, be sure to backup your Asus OEM recovery partition with Asus Backtracker to a USB 3.0 flash drive, and make sre restore from it to another SSD/HDD works, and put the original HDD aside and do your Generic Windows install onto a new SSD/HDD and not your original media - don't blow away your only copy of the Asus Windows OEM install!
After Asus Backtracker restore or cloning original Asus OS install, uninstall the Asus tools you don't need. Here is the list of the ones I don't need on my G750JH, takes about 5 minutes.

45682

I use the Asus Installer in C:\eSoftware to keep track of what I don't have installed, but I don't use it for installing.

Asus Splendid has ICC profiles in C:\eSupport that I do use, but I install them manually as Splendid uses other corrections that mess up the balance - at least for me.

Asus Live Update isn't of much use as Asus doesn't update the driver support areas for most products after release - only BIOS updates - or if the product is released just before a new Windows release - then Asus releases drivers for that new Windows release (like from Windows 8 to 8.1). Asus Live Update has also, in the past, done BIOS/vBIOS updates that have bricked laptops, so most people uninstall just in case.

Asus Power4Gear - I think Asus has stopped bundling this as of the G751, but if you have it, uninstall it and use the Windows Power Plans, they are what Power4Gear really uses anyway - all P4G does is swap power plans without notice and slows down your performance.

Asus Gaming Mouse - caused crashes for some during Windows 8 -> 8.1 upgrade, likely just useless now, even if you have an Asus mouse, as you should find the precise Asus mouse driver meant for your model mouse.

Asus DVD/Power2Go, old Cyberlink products, Asus/Cyberlink don't provide software in the OS any longer, but if you have it, uninstall it and get a new relesae from Cyberlink.

I use Leawo Free Blu-ray player for Blu-ray playback:
http://www.leawo.com/blu-ray-player/

And, MPC-HC for DVD and video playback
http://mpc-hc.org/downloads/

Asus Vibe - Asus market, check it out, but I don't use it.

Newer G751's have Gaming First III and Game Center, which conflict with Avast!/Eod/etc AV tools and block downloads - 99% hang during download, be aware.

Any others?

Next post, where to find driver/app updates :)

hmscott
01-19-2015, 06:59 AM
epic, as Asus rolls forward with new versions of products, that is where to look for new driver versions, as released products rarely get back-filled with driver updates after release. Asus also keeps up central locations for drivers of a type. Those locations get updated when new products are released.

Here is the list of places I look for updates for my G750JH; the best way to get a stable fully functioning G750/G751 is to update all the drivers / apps to the latest Windows 8.1 release.

The G750JW/JX/JH/JM/JS/JZ download areas haven't had new updates for a while, BIOS updates still happen in your model's support area, so check there from time to time.

The G750/G751/551/500/etc share the same basic hardware components; check support download areas for new hardware for newer drivers.

Asus maintains central support areas for hardware component features common to all products, those areas usually have the latest drivers after new hardware releases, sometimes there is a lag before the newer drivers show up there, so still to new product releases support downloads for the latest drivers.

Asus G751 Support / Download areas - Asus hasn't updated all the versions of these support areas, this link discusses the 3 locations were started independantly and not sync'd/updated through to the latest driver releases - check them all to be sure.
http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?55572-Asus-G751-Support-Download-areas&p=461698&viewfull=1#post461698

This G751JM/JT/JY/JL download area has the latest drivers of all the G750/G751 support download areas:

G751 Support / Download Areas - Newest - has all 4 G751 models
http://www.asus.com/Search/?SearchKey=g751

G750 Support / Download Areas - Newest - has the G750JY/JZ/JS/JM/JH models
http://www.asus.com/Search/?SearchKey=g750

G750JX - new support location, updates?
http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_ROG_G750JX/

G750JW - new support location, updates?
http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/ASUS_ROG_G750JW/

Here are the latest Asus posted VGA drivers currently 347.25 ; it's better to get the latest from Nvidia - 347.88

Asus doesn't modify the drivers, they release the identical driver packages as Nvidia releases.
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=VGA&p=3&s=111

Notebook Audio drivers - Realtek 7443 - current confirmed to work on G751/G750, some G750 users say 7335 works best for them, if you find a newer release version that works, please let us all know which version and G750/G751 model it works on.
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Audio&os=30

Notebook Card Reader (realtek) G750 / G751(?)
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Card+reader&os=30

Notebook Bluetooth drivers
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Bluetooth&p=3&ft=27&os=30

Notebook WLAN drivers (no Intel)
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=WLAN&os=3

Notebook LAN drivers
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=3&s=589&m=LAN&os=&hashedid=n%2fa

KBFilter driver
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=3&m=KBFilter&hashedid=n%2fa

Asus Backtracker for Windows 8.1 download
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=3&m=Backtracker&hashedid=n%2fa

Asus Backtracker FAQ
http://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1008640/

Asus SmartGesture
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=3&m=ASUS+Smart+Gesture&hashedid=n%2fa

Asus Touchpad
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Touchpad&os=30

Asus ATK Package
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=3&m=ATK%20Package&hashedid=n/a

Asus GPU Tweak for Graphics Cards, currently at release 2.7.9.0 for the G750JW/JX/JH and G751JT/JY
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=9&m=ASUS%20GPU%20Tweak%20for%20Graphics%20cards&hashedid=n/a

Asus GPU Tweak for Laptops, currently at release v1.0.9 for the G750JS/JM/JZ and other new ROG laptops with Optimus
http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=3&m=ASUS+GPU+Tweak+for+Laptops&hashedid=n%2fa

Here are the Asus posted VGA drivers, it's better to get the latest from Nvidia - currently 347.88
http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=VGA&p=3&s=111

Nvidia Drivers direct from Nvidia
http://www.geforce.com/drivers

Asus stopped updating their Intel INFUpdate support area, so go directly to Intel to get the latest chipset INF - currently 10.0.26
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/20775/Intel-Chipset-Device-Software-INF-Update-Utility-

For the G750JH/JZ RAID and G751JY PCIE SSD, or if you have implemented RAID, the latest SetupRST.exe is currently 13.6.0.1002
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=eng&keyword=Intel+Rapid+Storage+Technology+%28Intel+RS T%29+RAID+Driver

If you are running games from the HDD, then also try quiethdd - it stops pauses/freezes due to APM.

https://sites.google.com/site/quiethdd/

Put these config lines in the quiethdd.ini file

FirstRun = 0
AC_APM_Value = 255
DC_APM_Value = 255
AC_AAM_Value = 254
DC_AAM_Value = 254
AAMEnabled = 1
APMEnabled = 1

It will also stop the clicking from the head parking noise.

I have been posting this list for a long time, updating when new products come out, and new driver locations are found, so if this is now an older post, search for a newer version of this post in the ROG G751/G750 forums to make sure you are working from the latest list.

epic
01-19-2015, 01:50 PM
Thanks for your detailed reply.

I am going to give #3 a try and hope that more drivers come out in the future.

I got this computer b/c it is beefy and b/c I can do forensic/graphic work on the go. Unfortunately, I can't use the computer per my companies policy unless I install a clean version of windows and know what programs are installed on it.

I have two other asus note books and installing windows couldn't be easier. I have never had so much trouble trying to get a fresh non OEM version of windows on a computer before. This is the entire point of buying PC, to allow future upgrades of windows basically seamless.

Thanks again for your advice, I will post my successes and failures.

-Chris

rlcronin
01-19-2015, 02:53 PM
I did this by booting the preloaded Windows and then using DoubleDriver to make a CD with all the non-Microsoft drivers. Then I booted my Windows 8.1 Pro (full version) DVD and chose Custom install. In Custom I chose to delete all the partitions on both drives (including the ASUS recovery partition which is a bit of a big decision, so think hard on that before you do it) and then installed Windows on the SSD. After install I was able to restore drivers for any unknown devices by pointing Windows at the DoubleDriver backup CD I had made. Finally I restored the missing ASUS utilities by downloading them from the support site (though I only took the ones I really needed and not all of them because some of them are not that useful to me).
--
bc

P.S. DoubleDriver can be downloaded from http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/double_driver.html

epic
01-19-2015, 08:50 PM
Awesome bro. Thanks again for the advice.

I don't care about the original hard drive. I have already imaged it and stored it on a archive server, so asus and it wacky partitions are all safe. I just find it bizarre that Asus, usually known for it's great driver support on its mobo side, has a complete opposite take on how it treats its high end laptops. I am going to try your suggestions tomorrow when I get to work b/c I still need to access the unaccesible ram DIMS to replace the factory RAM with hyperX DDRL 1600s

Hopefully the install goes well and I will document the OS install too. I am definitely going to use the software you mention to pull the drivers off, usually I end up doing it manually or connecting the original drive as a logical drive on the newly formatted computer.

I guess we will find out tomorrow!

-Chris

hmscott
01-19-2015, 09:31 PM
Thanks for your detailed reply.
I am going to give #3 a try and hope that more drivers come out in the future.
I got this computer b/c it is beefy and b/c I can do forensic/graphic work on the go. Unfortunately, I can't use the computer per my companies policy unless I install a clean version of windows and know what programs are installed on it.
I have two other asus note books and installing windows couldn't be easier. I have never had so much trouble trying to get a fresh non OEM version of windows on a computer before. This is the entire point of buying PC, to allow future upgrades of windows basically seamless.
Thanks again for your advice, I will post my successes and failures.
-Chris

Chris, it looks like you are a special case, although I have been in that situation and made a forensic report showing all the software installed, and went with the original configuration, so you might want to check out that route - it would save you a lot of time.

For everyone, I recommend #1 or #2, and never #3 - there are too many people that come back and ask for a restore image of the original Asus OEM install so they can get back functionality to recommend #3 to anyone. And, even those that stand by the Generic Install, all let it out at one point or another that they can't get something to work again, and are asking for help finding the fix.

There are no advantages to #3, there are no improvements in performance, reduction in size, increase in features, it all leads to less - no advantage to recommend.

If you decide on #3, be sure to backup your Asus OEM recovery partition with Asus Backtracker to a USB 3.0 flash drive, and make sure to test restore from it to another SSD/HDD to make sure it works.

And put the original HDD aside and do your Generic Windows install onto a new SSD/HDD and not your original media - don't blow away your only copy of the Asus Windows OEM install!

If you did a bare metal backup of the Asus install, with all the partition weirdness, you should be ok to restore again and start over as needed.

BTW, after I restore from Asus Backtracker, or clone from the original HDD to a new SSD, I delete the recovery partition on the new SSD and the other partitions and combine it all into a single partition for best use on my G750JH - the RAID0 is only 256GB, so combining it all gives me 237GB, almost not quite enough.

45689

Please come back and let us know how it works out :)

epic
01-20-2015, 05:09 AM
Hmscott,

Thanks again for all the advice. I actually went with option one, used diskpart on the SSD and ripped the bloatware out from there. I get this laptop has some unique hardware buttons which require an OEM installation solution for most people, but I still can't wrap my head around they wouldn't try to solve this with support downloads b/c they limit there customer market.

I am going to enjoy the machine and wait for the support and when win10 comes out this year, pray that Asus supports it.

I ran some tests and most of my forensics and company issues can be solved in VMs b/c this machine is quite beefy and VM's should run smoothly.

One more thing, do you think it is worth it installing the other two HyperX DDR3L's I bought to match the two I installed in the accessible bay? B/c right now I have no issues with the factory RAM, and the laptop boots up in 3 secs, which even beats my desktop (impressive). I am just OCD and a perfectionist with my computers.

Thanks again. I will probably try the clean install when win10 comes out and share my results with this forum.


-Chris

hmscott
01-20-2015, 06:43 AM
Chris, that's all awesome :)

You now have a base install that can be used to note issues as you learn the laptop and functions available, so you have a reference for when you run another OS on another drive.

A subtle but simple comparison is to season your meal before tasting it, but it takes a lot more than 1 bite and 1 time to sample to get everything you need from the experience. A new laptop, the G751 is a bit feast of a meal that will take weeks to run through for the first time.

It's best to allow for infant mortality to have it's time before changing hardware. Taking apart the G751 has been reported easier than the G750, so adding the memory isn't such a chore.

In recognition of future support possibilities, Asus opening your laptop, it is best to use your best slow hand when going in / out, you don't want to leave any mar's / scratches / traces of having opened the laptop. Certainly don't do any damage, but in case you do, take photo's before / after as you go in / out to be sure you can show your work / effects.

I definitely recommend going for the full 32GB, as I believe a 2 x 8 will not be installed to enable Dual Channel, so you will be completing Dual Channel 4 x 8GB. Also, since you are using VM's you really want all the memory you can install.

Glad to hear you can do the VM compliance mode, forgot to mention that, I did that for a client VPN requirement. I could only run the VPN in their configuration, so I hosted it as a VM and routed through it.

Have fun :)

epic
01-22-2015, 03:52 AM
Hmscott,

Thanks for all the replies and help. I have the computer setup and backed-up imaged and is ready for the wild. I actually work in a computer forensic lab, but taking apart other people's stuff is less stressful than your own :). Like you said the ram that was pre-installed was easy to get to and the computer benchmarks are some of the highest I have seen in a laptop ever.

The guys at the lab are interested in getting a clean install to work now, and we plan on buying an identical Samsung Pro to play with when there is nothing to do and I will document and report back.

I also successfully upgraded the feature set to Win8 Pro with an MSDN key from my MSDN account and I enabled Bitlocker on the secondary drive. Since there is not TPM chip, you have to turn it on through gpedit. Since I path all my data to the secondary drive, it works great.

There are lots of win10 announcements today and I am glad I am in the windows/asus family b/c it is going to integrate well with my other computers and setup.

Thanks again

-Chris