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View Full Version : Proud new G74sx owner :) - requesting advice/tips



XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 05:25 AM
Hey All,

Just picked up this beautiful machine after much thorough research and lots of review readings.

I picked up the RH71 which is the one w/ 12GB RAM 1x750GB drive, non 3d, dvd (not bluray) and glossy fullhd screen.

Anyways, I'm going to be picking up an SSD to put in the primary spot and place this 750 as secondary storage.

Wanted to know all the best tips/tricks that I should do from best way to install a fresh OS and getting rid of all this bloatware, to bios updates, to what drivers to install after fresh OS install to anything else that I should do and set this baby up properly before I go into installing all my work SW and games and apps etc... only to find out that I need to reinstall something or other.

I'd rather do it right.

Looking to the wonderful community for any tips/tricks/suggestions that I should be aware of and should do right away.

super thanks!

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 06:23 AM
The basic steps are pretty straightforward. Just ask for help with any steps where you need more detail & instruction.



Update the BIOS to v203 (using the instructions in the Drivers thread....do NOT use WinFlash)
Make a set of recovery DVDs, so you'll always have a copy of the OEM installation, even if you never need it
Download all the software you'll need for a clean installation
Install the SSD, and update its firmware if necessary
Install Windows 7 SP1
Install the essential drivers
Reformet the 750Gb HDD and partition as desired
Start installing all your own stuff and enjoying your computer!

PILGRIM
12-27-2011, 06:29 AM
Hi, XizorGetspeed.

Seems like the gurus are getting tired in repeatedly saying this to newbies like you and me.. :)
So, let me do the chore for now.

If you check on the threads around here, you'll find out that many (or all?) of us here did almost the same things
at the start:

-Do a clean install of Windows OS + SP 1 (then update, update).
-Disregard most of the contents of the Driver CD that came along with the laptop.
-Install the newer/updated drivers. See JRd1st's thread: http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?5224-Drivers-Apps-and-How-to-s
-And, most important of all,.. stick around these forums.

(Did I miss anything?)

"Oh,.. There you are, BrodyBoy.."

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 02:17 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm sure these requests do get tedious and I'm never sure if I should revive an old thread or not.

For the drivers, I'm guessing this post is an excellent resource for the bios update link (using ezflash?), win7 iso, and applicable drivers:
http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?1150-G73-74-53-Series-Driver-and-Application-Reference
?

and when I install the SSD, I'm assuming that I remove the 750GB from its bay and replace it with the SSD and then put the 750 in the other bay? or does it not matter and I can choose boot up drive from the bios?
thanks!

fostert
12-27-2011, 02:40 PM
I don't think it matters which bay the drives are in...usually you can assign the primary boot drive from the BIOS.

PILGRIM
12-27-2011, 02:51 PM
...For the drivers, I'm guessing this post is an excellent resource for the bios update link (using ezflash?), win7 iso, and applicable drivers: http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?1150-G73-74-53-Series-Driver-and-Application-Reference?

Since you own a G74, just go to JRd1st's thread. I think all the G74 needs is in that thread (+more).

To download BIOS 203, just click it under JRd1st's signature. Make sure to follow-to-the-letter the BIOS installation guide.
You wouldn't want to "brick" your computer in case you fail..:)

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 04:07 PM
Okay so that thread being:
http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?5224-Drivers-Apps-and-How-to-s
?

Also, any recommendations on the SSD? I bought a OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD for 170 plus a $30 rebate, seemed like a steal of a price, but after reading reviews and other sites, they are saying that reliability is shoddy and you have to put in effort to get it to work right.

Gone are the days that I had the luxury of lots of time to spend tinkering and getting everything 100% performance peak. I need stuff that is straightforward and works out of the box...

Thank you again.

PILGRIM
12-27-2011, 04:20 PM
Yes, that's the thread.

Since you already bought that particular SSD, you might as well use it.
(Unless you're not feeling comfortable with it, then you can have it changed.)

Mine is the Crucial M4 128 GB SSD (I think there are a number of us here in the forum that use it).
My SSD is working as it should be, so far.

And to quote BrodyBoy: "...Assuming all the hardware is working...no defects, etc...the G74 is mechanically pretty reliable, IMO. About as much as any other laptop out there, I suspect.

But that should not be confused with "maintenance-free." The G74 is NOT a take-it-out-of-the-box-and-you're-done kind of computer. Getting optimal, stable performance requires some user intervention. With a few exceptions, almost everybody here who is really happy with their G74 has done a clean Windows installation, as the Asus bloatware adds too many opportunities for conflicts and headaches."

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 05:08 PM
Cool, will refuse my OCZ and will buy the M4 instead. OMW now to just pick it up as I can get it locally for a decent price.
To do a firmware update of the SSD can I just plug it into a 2.5" enclosure and plug it into my desktop via USB? or do I have to install it in my notebook's second bay drive and do it through the laptop?

thanks!

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 08:03 PM
To do a firmware update of the SSD can I just plug it into a 2.5" enclosure and plug it into my desktop via USB? or do I have to install it in my notebook's second bay drive and do it through the laptop?

thanks!
First, check and see of the new drive even needs any firmware updates....it may not.

But if it does, read Crucial's instructions very carefully. Some of their updates are not cumulative, so you could possibly need to do more than one. There's no need for an external enclosure. As I mentioned in my first response (post #2), you can just do any required firmware updates when you install the SSD in your notebook, before you start installing Windows. For Crucial drives, this typically involves burning the update to a bootable CD/DVD, booting into it, and letting it run. It's fast and simple if you follow the directions.

The you're all ready to go. The drive's in place, updated, and you're ready to install Windows.


PS: Good choice about the SSD, by the way. I haven't owned an OCZ myself, but I've read more complaints about them than any other brand, so I'd be wary of trusting their reliability. Both Intel and Crucial seem really reliable.

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 09:27 PM
okay so then I can assume that it doesn't matter which bay i installed the ssd and the hdd?

bios will figure it out or I can set from there i.e. primary boot device?

just got back with the ssd and while i was there I picked up another 4GB of kingston RAM. for $20 why not...

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 10:07 PM
I like to install the OS disk in Bay 1, though it isn't necessary. (As previously mentioned, you can set the boot device in the BIOS, no matter where it is.)

Once you get in the back panel and see how it's set up, you'll discover that access to Bay 1 requires removing the disk in Bay 2. For me, it makes more sense to put the OS drive....the one I'm least likely to want to move, in the bay where I won't have to move it. Also, Bay 1 has the static SATA connector, the one attached directly to the M/B. The bay 2 drive is attached to a little SATA board, and that's attached to the M/B by a ribbon cable. It's rare, but that connection is more vulnerable to failure due to the intermediate connections between the drive and the M/B.

Again, it doesn't matter all that much, but for these reasons, I prefer to put the OS drive in Bay 1.

The BIOS doesn't automatically figure it out. There's a Boot Priorities setting on the first page of BIOS setup, and you should make sure that your SSD is the first device listed.

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 10:09 PM
okay more questions:
1. Reading JRd1st's thread, there is a link for chipset? is that required? I'm guessing it is.
2. Audio. I'm confused here because in the same thread the link is for Realtek drivers where as I thought that this laptop came w/ EAX and isn't that a creative product?
3. KB Filter? What is this and what does it do...

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 10:18 PM
(1) Yes, there are about 10 drivers you need to install after Windows, and the Intel chipset driver should be the first one.

(2) You need to install the Realtek audio driver, since the laptop has a Realtek audio chip. Add-on utilties are just that. As I recall, one user found that the EAX thing was bogus....didn't work anyway with the built-in speakers. MOst owners use THX TruStudio, SRS Essentials, or another audio utility to improve the sound. It's not "good," no matter what you do, but those programs do help a little.

(3) A keyboard filter does just what it says...captures (filters) keystrokes and sends particular ones where they are supposed to go for processing. The Microsoft keyboard filter that Windows installs by default seems to do exactly the same thing. I've never heard of anyone losing functionality when they don't install the Asus KB filter, and I don't install it anymore on clean installs.

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 10:38 PM
Awesome. thanks for all the answers. It truly is appreciated. Although I do consider myself a techie (always build my own machines) and grew up a pc gamer, but I've lost touch over the years... Also, my first NB so just taking it slow...

Regarding the audio, is it crappy audio through speakers or just in general. I'm planning on using a headset for gaming and currently have an Audigy ZS sound card in my desktop PC... how is this notebook's sound quality compared to that in my pc. I understand i"m comparing integrated to a dedicated card, but I guess I'm just curious on how far they've come...

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 10:54 PM
It's the built-in speakers that are especially bad. They're tiny, tinny, and poorly-placed. :( It'll sound MUCH better through your headphones.

How far they've come? I think they've gone backwards. There were "multimedia" laptops a few years ago that really did try to get the best possible sound....multiple speakers, a bottom-firing sub, etc....but there's none of that in the G74, or in many of the other new laptops out there. (HP "Beats Audio" is just a marketing scheme....sounds like crappy laptop audio....)

My first assumption would be that they expect gamers and multimedia users to external audio setups. But that is squelched by the fact that they offer extremely limited audio-out options. HDMI only....not even optical out or mini-SPDIF.

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 10:55 PM
bah... been trying to make backup dvds, burnt the first dvd no problem but kept crapping out on the 2nd. I've got 3 coasters now...

i'm using dual layers +Rs...

is this really necessary. Worst case scenerio, can't I just call up Asus and have them send me recovery CDs...

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 11:01 PM
No, it's not necessary. But Asus won't send you anything., You buy them, for $50.

Most people (who do a clean installation) probably never need or want the OEM installation, so it wouldn't matter whether they have a copy. But it's common enough around here that someone DOES want to do a factory restore and they're SOL because they deleted the partition without having made a back-up. But it's your call....

Usually, when people have trouble with the AI Recovery program, it seems to be the media. Do you have another brand of DVD you could try?

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 11:04 PM
$50 eh, well at least if I'm SOL there is a solution...

okay trying a different brand, but if this craps out too, ah well, time to move forward.

dstrakele
12-27-2011, 11:09 PM
If you leave the hidden ASUS factory partition on your system, you can always do an ASUS Factory Restore without the DVD's. Just hit F9 at the ASUS splash screen and you'll be in the Factory Restore program that'll install Windows, all the drivers (outdated as they may be...), and all those wonderful ASUS apps (How did I EVER get along without Rotational Desktop?) - just like it was when you opened the box.

BrodyBoy
12-27-2011, 11:18 PM
And you also retain the option to worry about all this later....i.e., back it up and delete later if you want. :)

XizorGetspeed
12-27-2011, 11:50 PM
2nd media set failed too oh well... moving to installing SSD and updating firmware

shol
12-28-2011, 12:20 AM
Had to post as just purchased this system on boxing day sale. (And helped others get it in Canada also lol)

I have pre-arranged all the updates/software, created a special section on my external HD for extras programs and the crap listed in that JD person's post. Added in some of the crap I would need specific to me (Naga, N52TE) and was able to burn some ubuntu and windows 7 ISOs.

Just need the darn laptop to arrive should be next couple of days.

In the meantime I have a router and a printer and the huge Titan bag also coming soon too.

This is the best Christmas ever because I bought a TON of stuff just for myself and spent 50 bucks on everyone else combined :)

Just had to say all that in my first note ever here.

Thanks!

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 12:25 AM
Welcome shol! I hope you enjoy all your new toys! :)

XizorGetspeed
12-28-2011, 12:47 AM
help! Okay have the laptop open, but i'm confused on how to connect the second drive? there seems to be like I guess a mini ribbon type cable, looks more like a thin piece of paper folded in an L shape. One side says MB the other side says HD, so I figure that's the ribbon but how do I connect this thing? I see a blue tab on both ends. Do I remove them? never seen this before...

shol
12-28-2011, 12:51 AM
Thanks - let's hope the one I got will have all that crap so I can put in the second drive because I also got a 120 gig SSD which I will put in and want to keep using the 750 as a slave music drive



Welcome shol! I hope you enjoy all your new toys! :)

XizorGetspeed
12-28-2011, 01:00 AM
nm. heheh... watched a youtube video... figured it out. thanks :)

shol
12-28-2011, 01:03 AM
Does anytone know if all of the new ones now are being shipped with the hard drive / caddy ribbon. Going to be a solid pain in the ass if not lol.





nm. heheh... watched a youtube video... figured it out. thanks :)

XizorGetspeed
12-28-2011, 01:08 AM
i ordered the rh71, it did with that one...

no FW updated on the crucial m4, already the latest. sweet. Next step windows install.

shol
12-28-2011, 01:23 AM
Yeah I got a bargain on the XA1 really good deal let's see if it costs me in the end, I will pray it will arrive with the extra crap for the drive. I'm chomping at the bit to get at it as I am definitely probably more into the research / tweaking of the system than almost using it. (well note quite but sort of)

Anyway - worse comes to worse can maybe get it in china

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 01:47 AM
Does anytone know if all of the new ones now are being shipped with the hard drive / caddy ribbon. Going to be a solid pain in the ass if not lol.
Apparently, it's hit and miss. :( Be sure to check the packaging....I hear it can be tucked away in there somewhere (when shipped with one-drive systems).

You can order them on eBay.

WhirledNews
12-28-2011, 02:43 AM
Mine came with the caddy and ribbon, they were in a little plastic bag close to a cable tie... I would make sure before you do anything though. Also, I installed my SSD in the secondary drive bay, it has my OS on it and works great.

shol
12-28-2011, 03:32 AM
[
Cool - So was yours the XA1 model ? When did you buy ?

QUOTE=WhirledNews;57830]Mine came with the caddy and ribbon, they were in a little plastic bag close to a cable tie... I would make sure before you do anything though. Also, I installed my SSD in the secondary drive bay, it has my OS on it and works great.[/QUOTE]

PILGRIM
12-28-2011, 03:34 AM
...Anyway - worse comes to worse can maybe get it in china

You might as well buy ASUS products in your own place. :)

Ironically, the G-series laptops (G53, G73, and G74) are made in China,
but the retailing is only in the Western Hemisphere (North America and Europe).

I bought mine from the US. And I have to shell-out $500 more for delivery and customs duty.
I could have used the money with more worthwhile things if ASUS retailed the G-series worldwide. Argh!!!

shol
12-28-2011, 03:37 AM
yeah well i leave to go back to philippines (where i work) in about a week and need to get the laptop first to see if it has the caddys lol we shall see

PILGRIM
12-28-2011, 03:46 AM
yeah well i leave to go back to philippines (where i work) in about a week and need to get the laptop first to see if it has the caddys lol we shall see

Great! I'll also go for a week-long vacation to the Philippines (my hometown) during the Chinese New Year,
and frolic on the sunny, white beach to shed this itchy "winter-skin". :cool:

XizorGetspeed
12-28-2011, 05:52 AM
Thank you all greatly. Laptop is officially up and running. SSD is blazing fast, i'm regretting why I didn't move this route earlier lol...

Loving the rig and love the community

thanks again.

PILGRIM
12-28-2011, 06:03 AM
Thank you all greatly. Laptop is officially up and running. SSD is blazing fast, i'm regretting why I didn't move this route earlier lol...

Loving the rig and love the community

thanks again.

:D It's been a while since I last heard this: "Let's ROG on!"

fostert
12-29-2011, 01:43 PM
I was an avid overclocker a while back, and this laptop really leaves you high and dry when it comes to tweakability. Then again one shoudn't really be OCing a laptop...there won't be much you can do with the G74 hardware wise (except OC the GPU: got my WEI from 7.2 to 7.4 with an OC), and nothing you can do BIOS wise, so I hope your tweaking curiousity is satisfied by mostly playing with windows settings.

And welcome shol! You've done the best thing you can do for your long term happiness with this notebook by joining these forums (perhaps even better than filling out the warranty card itself!)

shol
12-29-2011, 02:16 PM
Yes these forums are great and for me optimizing the laptop is sort of almost as engaging as playing the games that it runs lol. Mine came with everything I needed except one screw for the second cady i couldn't remove it was too tight and I didnt want to strip it so i managed to do the installation with it still on the computer lol

PILGRIM
12-29-2011, 02:45 PM
Yes these forums are great and for me optimizing the laptop is sort of almost as engaging as playing the games that it runs lol...

Ha ha!.. Likewise.

In fact, I now spend most of my free time (and during coffee breaks) in hovering over this community
more than playing my favorite NBA 2K12 game.. It's getting addicting, I must say..