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View Full Version : Full format into a clean install of Win7 Ultimate - any anticipated problems?



Dttell
12-23-2011, 06:46 AM
I am going to do a full format of my computer and delete everything, including all drivers and utilities that came with the machine. Are there any anticipated problems or specific things I might be losing that cannot be replaced? What drivers should have ready, or Asus software? (For example, touch pad software, specific (but good) pre-installed software, etc).

I was hoping that after booting up Win7 Ultimate i could just put in the driver cd and install the missing drivers. I am not a big fan of all of the pre-install bloatware on computer and am hoping for a clean start.

Running a G74

BrodyBoy
12-23-2011, 06:51 AM
You don't want to use the drivers disk if you want a clean install. (1) Most of its drivers are obsolete, and (2) "Install All" will put all the bloatware on your clean install.

Just install Windows, then the basic set of drivers you need for all the G74's devices.



Intel 6 Series Chipset Driver
Intel RST
Asus ATK package
Nvidia Graphics driver
Realtek HD Audio driver
Fresco USB 3.0 driver
Touchpad driver (check your hardware manufacturer)
Realtek Ethernet driver
WLAN driver (check your hardware manufacturer)
Bluetooth driver (check your hardware manufacturer...if applicable & needed)
Realtek multiCard Reader driver

By the way, unless you already own a copy of WIn Ultimate, you can save a fair amount of money by installing Home Premium (assuming that was the edition that came on the laptop), activating it with your OEM product key, and then using ANytime Upgrade to switch to Ultimate.

Dttell
12-23-2011, 03:52 PM
Thanks for the advice. I have a full version of Win7 Ult. ready. I am concerned though about some of the partitions and wiping them. Are all partitions safe to wipe? (I read in the manual that there may be a recovery partition and a partition dedicated to express gate cloud, both of which I would prefer to keep, if possible.)

BrodyBoy
12-23-2011, 07:15 PM
Thanks for the advice. I have a full version of Win7 Ult. ready. I am concerned though about some of the partitions and wiping them. Are all partitions safe to wipe? (I read in the manual that there may be a recovery partition and a partition dedicated to express gate cloud, both of which I would prefer to keep, if possible.)
The first step, then, is to go into Windows Disk Management and familiarize yourself with your current partition setup. You'll see the 25Gb recovery partition right before the existing C: drive, as well as all your other partitions on both disks (if you have two HDDs). Write this stuff down, if necessary, because you'll see this information presented a little differently in Windows Setup, and it's important to delete only the partitions you want to use.

In Windows Setup, you'll come to a partition table. This is where you select the partition(s) to use for the new Windows installation. Leave the 25Gb recovery partition in place, if that's what you prefer, and delete your current OS partition, as well as any other contiguous partitions on that disk that you want to use. Once you've deleted all desired partitions, they become "Unallocated space." Select that space as the target for your installation. The recovery partition will remain.

Expressgate is an Asus program that you can reinstall.

Kungfushun
12-23-2011, 09:15 PM
Maybe taking this a step further but I was wondering how you would create a custom Win 7 Ult system restore on that partition with only the basic set of drivers and minus the bloatware?

BrodyBoy
12-23-2011, 11:43 PM
Maybe taking this a step further but I was wondering how you would create a custom Win 7 Ult system restore on that partition with only the basic set of drivers and minus the bloatware?
You can't do that...at least not like the factory restore. The factory restore options that OEMs typically provide are complex programs that run all sorts of contingency scripts to perform a complete, silent installation of Windows and all the OEM drivers and software.

The closest thing you could do would be to simply save a system image of your "base" installation. Restoring that image, if you were ever to use it, is a completely different kind of operation than a factory restore, but it does offer what you're asking for....an "on-board" way to revert back to your -super-clean setup at any time.

wanfeilwong
12-24-2011, 12:43 AM
I was looking into this too a while back but came up with no real solution. The best I could come up with was to clone the partition and keep the clone hidden.

Even if you did manage to make a recovery partition(clean install with drivers) I'm not sure how you would make it work with 'F9' during boot.

BrodyBoy
12-24-2011, 12:57 AM
That was part of my point....you can't. The BIOS shortcut access, and the installation scripting, is exclusive to the OEM setup.

Dttell
12-29-2011, 03:20 AM
Can I still use ASUS Live Update if I do a full-reinstall? I am going through various programs and this one actually seemed like it might be useful. I didn't run it, but I thought it might provide ASUS-specific-hardware updates.

dstrakele
12-29-2011, 03:34 AM
That's what ASUS Live Update does "in theory". In reality, you'll be better off without it. But if you still want it, it can be installed to a clean Windows 7 installation.

BrodyBoy
12-29-2011, 04:11 AM
But it's pointless, since it just looks for what's on the product pages, which aren't updated, which means you'll have newer software after your new install than Live Update will ever even know to look for. You're already WAAAAY ahead of that program.

Dttell
12-29-2011, 06:44 AM
Ok, I'll forget about that. Thanks again both of you.

Dttell
12-29-2011, 11:47 PM
A few more questions about reinstalling drivers and what some of these programs do. :) I am working from a full reformat and have no familiarity with these things.

My hope is to have is to have minimal installs but to keep useful features. So no bloatware or programs that are outmatched by free programs elsewhere (including updated software in the same lineage). Please comment if you think that any of these are not worth installing or you have an alternative in mind.



-What is ASUS USB Charger and should I reinstall it?
-Is the Creative THX_MUI driver worth installing?
-What is the ASUS Wireless Switch (Wireless Console3) Utility? Should I install it?


What wireless driver should I install? I have a g74. I thought it had an atheros in it, but the Asus driver download page does not apparently list an atheros card. (WiMax, Azurewave, and Intel Wifi Drivers are listed.)

Finally, in the other category, what do people think of installing the Intel Management Engine Interface and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology options?

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 12:33 AM
-What is ASUS USB Charger and should I reinstall it?
No. You can enable this feature in the BIOS.

EDIT: Sorry, I just realized I didn't answer you first question. It allows you to charge peripheral devices from the USB ports, even when the computer is off.

-Is the Creative THX_MUI driver worth installing?
Yes....most owners feel that the audio improvement is significant. A similar option is SRS Essentials. You can try each of them and see which you like best.

-What is the ASUS Wireless Switch (Wireless Console3) Utility? Should I install it?
It's just an add-on interface for managing wireless profiles (if you actually need a bunch of those....most people don't), and for switching the WLAN and BT on & off. I don't install these sorts of "shell" programs. (Same with Power4Gear). You can do all this stuff in WIndows without having extra services running.



What wireless driver should I install? I have a g74. I thought it had an atheros in it, but the Asus driver download page does not apparently list an atheros card. (WiMax, Azurewave, and Intel Wifi Drivers are listed.)
You need to go into Device Manager and see which card you actually have installed. (Azurewave is the actual card manufacurer, and they use Atheros chips....so they're often called Atheros cards and drivers. But don't use drivers from the Asus product page....they're old.)


Finally, in the other category, what do people think of installing the Intel Management Engine Interface and the Intel Rapid Storage Technology options?
I install the RST, but I don't bother with the MEI anymore. I think the newer chipsets may have made it obsolete. In previous gen systems, I'd find an "Unknown Device" in Device Manager" until I installed it. But not in the newer systems with 6 Series Chipsets.

Dttell
12-30-2011, 01:50 PM
Great - you've been a GREAT help here. I just delete everything from the get go from a new PC because of bad experiences, but you are helping to make this relatively painless.

Device manager lists my touchpad as "finger sensing device" so I am not sure if I should get the Senelic driver or the Synaptic one from the Asus website. It currently works though based on generic drivers. Any advice on which one it might be, or how to find out?

There are two bluetooth drivers listed. The intel one and the Azurewave. I am not sure how to find out which one I have, as device manager just reports the device is not working. I do know that I had the "Bluetooth Suite" installed, and that I had the Atheros Virtual Bluetooth Class and Atheros bt&Wlan Coex agent installed. So this points to Azurewave for bluetooth, but it could have just been azurewave software using the underlying bluetooth device. I am unsure of how to tell.

On the other hand, after installing the realtek audio hd driver and the nvidia graphics drivers, I noticed that there were 4 or so devices listed as "NVIDIA High Definition Audio Driver" under Sound devices (along with the Realtek HD Audio driver). Do I need all 4 or can I remove all but one?

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 08:59 PM
You determine your touchpad manufacturer and WLAN/bluetooth manufacturers the same way- check its Hardware ID in Device Manager:


Expand the “Mice and other pointing devices” section in Device Manager
Double-click the listed device to open its Properties
Select the “Details” tab
Select “Hardware Ids” in the drop-down list, and the device’s Hardware IDs will be displayed.

Sentelic TPs have hardware_IDs that include STLC, as in this example, while Synaptics TPs have hardware_IDs that include SYN.

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/MISC/DevMan_Sentelic.png


Check your WLAN/BT card in Device manager, too. If you see any "Intel Centrino" entry in the Network adapters section, you have an Intel WLAN/BT card, and you use those drivers. An "Atheros AR9002WB" listing indicates an Azurewave WLAN/BT card.

Leave all the installed audio devices. The Nvidia ones are for audio in the HDMI output (there's one for each bus), while the Realtek one is for the laptop's internal audio (speakers, headphones).

Dttell
12-31-2011, 02:43 PM
That was very helpful again. Thanks for all of your help (and even a screen shot!). Everything is working well now (I hope).