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tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 08:49 PM
Does anyone have any recommendations for installing a SSD in the G74SX-XN1?

Ideally I would like to be lazy and copy my pre-existing windows install/system partition to the SSD.

When I open this ***** up, what can I expect to find? Are there multiple SATA ports? Can I keep my system drive in and add a SSD?

Ideally I would like to:

1. Copy what I have now on the drive which came to it to the SSD
2. Keep my old drive in addition to the SSD
3. Do it as quickly as possible

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 09:18 PM
Yes, you can do all that. There are two SATA connectors, although check to make sure that you have the SATA board and cable for the 2nd one. Not all units have this included, and you'd need to get those before you can proceed.

Basically, it goes like this:

Shrink the existing OS drive to the size of the SSD (clear the user data off of it to make this easier)
Save a system image onto another partition on the HDD, or onto an external USB drive.
Make a Windows repair disk
Install the SSD and update its firmware if necessary
Boot from the repair disk, and restore your system image to the SSD
Delete the OS partition on your HDD and organize the disk as your secondary data drive.

What "*****?"

tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the quick and thorough reply.

I have used ActiveDisk Image in the past for system backups, so i'll try to use that.

also looking to nab this drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233206&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL122711&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL122711-_-EMC-122711-Index-_-SSD-_-20233206-L05B

Any idea what people are talking about re: AHCI ? is this on by default in the bios or will i need to set it?

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 09:36 PM
You know....I'd try good ole' Windows Backup & Restore first. People seem to have more issues re-imaging the OS drive with (some) 3rd party programs.

Yes, AHCI/IDE is a SATA configuration option in the BIOS. I believe it's set to AHCI by default.



PS: Better yet...go ahead and make two system images, one with each program. One of them is likely to work if the other doesn't, so you'd avoid having to start over due to imaging failure.

tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 09:45 PM
One final question, I have been looking everywhere, but can't find it.

Does the g74sx have SATA II or SATA III?

I just bought a III drive, so hope I didn't screw myself over. Does the III need a special cable?

EDIT:

Random forum post found says yes. nvm.

WhirledNews
12-28-2011, 09:51 PM
Check out this thread, I started it about two months ago asking the same question.

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?5361-Installing-SSD-with-Windows-HP-64-on-an-ASUS-G74SX-XN1&highlight=G74SX-XN1

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 09:52 PM
SATA III.....but don't expect it to make much difference.

They do have the same connectors. Bay 1 uses a M/B-mounted SATA connector, and Bay 2 uses the add-on SATA board + cable. SATA II and SATA III drives will work on either bay.

tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 09:55 PM
Are you saying that there is a SATA cable already connected on the extra bay? I don't need to buy a cable?

Not sure what you mean by add-on board, is this something that came as an extra in the box or something? will need ot look.

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 10:00 PM
As I said in my first response, you need to check and see whether you have it. Some units include it, and some don't. (Randomly, as far as I can tell.) Check the packaging carefully, it may be in there somewhere....not in the drive bay.

The SATA board has the actual SATA connector for the 2nd drive, and the cable is what connects that board to the M/B.

Here's what the two together look like:

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/G74%20Touchpad/SATABoard_1.jpg



And here's what it looks like installed:

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/G74%20Touchpad/SATAcable7_sm.jpg

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 10:04 PM
Another view that might make it clearer:

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/G74%20Touchpad/SATAcable9.jpg

tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 10:06 PM
OK I checked my box, and I do in fact have that board. Thanks so much for the visual reference!

And jeez is it tiny! The picture above is very deceptive, in reality its like 1.5 inch.

This is going to be an interesting installation, as this is my first laptop lol

I ordered the above SSD and a sata 3 cable from newegg, should be back to annoy you people in about 4-5 days.

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 10:10 PM
It's important to get that little cable seated properly in each connector, and to get the orientation right. Note the way the blue tabs face when it's installed.

If you're unsure or have questions....ask. I have lots of photos of this board/cable if the connections are unclear. :)

tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 10:12 PM
It's important to get that little cable seated properly in each connector, and to get the orientation right. Note the way the blue tabs face when it's installed.

If you're unsure or have questions....ask. I have lots of photos of this board/cable if the connections are unclear. :)

1 more question:

Is there an extra power cable inside the case?

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 10:17 PM
No....you just get the two-piece setup like with every other laptop. The power brick with its integrated cable to the computer, and the IEC power cord for the brick-to-wall.

Asus isn't into giving "extra" anything....;)


Is that the power cable you meant?

tyrspawn
12-28-2011, 10:41 PM
Not sure, like I said I have no experience with laptops, this is my first.

Will I need anything besides the SSD and a sata cable?

BrodyBoy
12-28-2011, 10:52 PM
Nope. If you're just transferring the existing Windows installation to the SSD, I think you're covered. :)

(I just asked if that's what you meant because it occurred to me, after the fact, that you might still be talking about the SATA connection. SATA includes power, so there's no separate power connection needed for the drives.)

WhirledNews
12-29-2011, 01:40 AM
There is a video on youtube that will show you how to install it once you get it in. I would recommend watching it.

tyrspawn
01-09-2012, 07:47 AM
Ok, I finally got all the **** together - going to do this tomorrow. I am very nervous, any last second tips about how to open/install this thing are appreciated. First time opening a laptop.

Saw this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp90M_N6dzs

Made me more nervous lol.

BrodyBoy
01-09-2012, 07:53 AM
It's very easy....I think you'll find it pretty intuitive once you get in there.

A few key points:


Be sure to keep the cable orientation the way it is in the pictures.
The connector on the motherboard is the kind that slides up & down to clamp the ribbon cable.
The connector on the SATA board, if you have to connect that end, is the kind that swings open & closed.

tyrspawn
01-09-2012, 08:01 AM
Cool thanks for the encouragement!

I found this video which is pretty amazing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpgK9UlNeBY

about halfway through it shows him opening up the laptop, extreme closeup in HD

Useful for others viewing this thread.

BrodyBoy
01-09-2012, 08:05 AM
Opening the G74 is easier than any other laptop I've ever owned. You don't need a video....it's just a big panel on the back, held on by one screw. A coin, or even a tough fingernail, is all you need. It literally could not be easier....!

tyrspawn
01-09-2012, 09:19 PM
Are you supposed to screw the board in? I see a hole to screw it in, but no place to mount it in the chasis.

BrodyBoy
01-09-2012, 09:21 PM
The little SATA board? It only attaches to the drive itself....not to the chassis.

Here's a photo...see how the board is just connected to the drive? Once the drive is secured in its bay, the connector isn't going anywhere.

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk216/prog_photos/MISC/SATAcable8.jpg

tyrspawn
01-09-2012, 09:29 PM
Ok cool, I also did not realize until now that you dont need a 3rd party sata cable or power cable lol

I bought separate SATA cables - guesss they are going into my extra HW drawer

BrodyBoy
01-09-2012, 09:34 PM
Ok cool, I also did not realize until now that you dont need a 3rd party sata cable or power cable lol

I bought separate SATA cables - guesss they are going into my extra HW drawer
I'm sure they'll come in handy at some point!

You do need the specific cable, board, and caddy for the G74's 2nd HDD bay. If you have a one-disk G74 configuration, make sure that you have those somewhere (it's usually in a little baggy in the packaging somewhere.) Unfortunately, some units are shipped without it, and the owner has to buy at aftermarket.

tyrspawn
01-09-2012, 09:35 PM
Ya I have the board in that picture, im installing it now, brb

Seile
01-09-2012, 10:16 PM
Hi,

Just want to give my own experience installing a SSD in the G74...

What I did was.

1. take original hdd out of bay1
2. install SSD in bay1
3. install original hdd in bay2
4. clean install of windows home premium on SSD (research on google for installing windows on SSD)
5. reinstall some of the most used programs on SSD


You should really do a clean install of windows with your new SSD, there are A LOT of things you have to switch off to make windows work better with your new drive. This setup will also give you some redundancy against SSD failure, which is very common :)

tyrspawn
01-10-2012, 01:16 AM
tl;dr

Ok, got it up and running, ran into some huge issues, but from very unexpected source.

First, it was way easier to install than I thought it would be, physically.

The trouble came when I tried to use ActiveDisk Image to move the image to the SSD. It wouldn't let me, then I realized that because it was a "disk to image" and not "disk to raw image" it only wanted to go back to the original drive it was copied from.

Ok... so I boot back into windows, and do disk to raw image. ETA: 2.5 hours - what the hell!

About 1.5 hour in, it gets stuck at 66% - i wait 20 minutes, still stuck. Great...

Pretty angry at this point, and start googling around. Find a post on the Eagle Dynamic forums (i play DCS a-10) about someone installing a SSD using software called Paragon Migrate OS to SSD. Get it on a whim, and set it up on my laptop, because I didn't want to sit through more hours of waiting.

Well, the software is AMAZING. Not only does it have a very easy to follow wizard, but it took all of 7-8 minutes to copy the HD to my SSD. The coolest thing about it is that it dynamically creates the new partition, the partition size does not have to match. I restart, change a quick setting in my BIOS, and its good to go.

Steps for someone stumbling upon this thread:

1. Get ssd, dont buy wires etc because the board which comes with your laptop has connectors on it which directly connect to the drive
2. Install it (directions in this thread)
NOTE: Back in WIndows you will probably have to create/format a partition on the new SSD.
3. Run Paragon Migrate OS to SSD. It should select your old OS drive, and ask you to copy it to the SSD automatically.
4. 5-10 minutes later, it's done.
5. Go into BIOS (spam f2 as its booting up)
6. Go into boot section > hard drive BBS settings
7. Switch the primary drive to your new SSD
8. Save bios/restart.
9. Use your new SSD :)

Big thanks to Brody Boy!

dstrakele
01-10-2012, 01:20 AM
See if you can increase Brody's reputation by clicking on the gray star icon at the bottom left of one of his posts (just don't tell him I said it...).

tyrspawn
01-10-2012, 01:24 AM
See if you can increase Brody's reputation by clicking on the gray star icon at the bottom left of one of his posts (just don't tell him I said it...).

Already did, thanks.

arthrod
11-21-2012, 03:04 PM
Hi guys:

I'm planning to install like you guys did, but I threw away everything that came with the computer.

I saw a small connector which is not the Sata III cable. What is it? What's the commercial name of it so I can buy it?

Thanks!