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boombox
12-30-2011, 06:37 AM
Hi everyone,

I recently purcashed a G74SX-A1 and am new to the forums. I wasn't aware of any bios updates until I noticed the number lock key did not work. I started looking into solutions and found this forum. I build my own desktops and am comfortable with them but it is a different story when it comes to laptops.

I have bought a 120Gb SSD and want to do a clean installation. To my understanding, here are the steps:

1) Update BIOS to 203 using FAT32 USB and EasyFlash. (I am currently running 201)
2)Install SSD physically into the bay
3)Update Firmware for SSD
4)Set boot drive to SSD and install Win7
5)Install drivers from stickies page

I did a search through the forums but could not find step by step installation on the process. I got bits and pieces of information and that is what i came up with. If any steps are incorrect or if anyone can give me more detailed explanation, please let me know! Your help will be much appreciated :)

The problem now is that I am stuck on the first step. The link to download BIOS 203 on the drivers page does not seem to work for me; it simply does not display the webpage. Is there another way I could get the BIOS?

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 06:42 AM
It's available on the G74 product downloads page, but here's (http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/G74SX/G74SxAS203.zip) a quick link.

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 06:43 AM
One quick note: Your step 4 is fine, but when you want to boot from the Windows installer, you'll need to do a boot override to get it to boot from the DVD or USB installer.

boombox
12-30-2011, 06:44 AM
Thanks for the quick reply =)

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 06:53 AM
If you have questions about other details in your steps, just ask. But you have the gist of it down pretty well.

The Nemesis
12-30-2011, 07:15 AM
Which bay are you installing the drive? Are you removing the original drive and putting ssd in its place? I'm guessing you're not since you mentioned setting boot drive to ssd. I recommend install the drive in the first bay, moving original hard drive to second bay. The disable the second drive in bios. Boot from CD install windows, install drivers. Prior to all this however I would use the Asus Utility to create the backup partition on DVD's just in case you ever wanna go back to stock windows install.

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 07:28 AM
Prior to all this however I would use the Asus Utility to create the backup partition on DVD's just in case you ever wanna go back to stock windows install.
Great point. While I'm no fan of OEM installations, and I think most owners savvy enough to do a clean install will never want/need to go back to it, why not keep one on hand? A simple, once-and-you're-done procedure, then you've always got it.

AQUASTEVAE
12-30-2011, 07:56 AM
i just set my usb drive up as a bootable drive, and then put an iso of win 7 ult on it. then removed the hdd from bay 1, slipped in the ssd, and told the bios to load from the usb drive. done and done!!!! very easy and with less work on the hardware. just another perspective...

hope this helps.

shol
12-30-2011, 12:28 PM
I never deleted the recovery partition on the original hard disk, I just changed the SSD to be the boot drive and had it boot sequence the DVD while installing. I will never ever need 750 GB so it can sit tight right there :)

I also left my regular hard drive alone as I had enough trouble with one of the screws on the second HDD caddy lol but everything was recognized so far so good :)

PS - I installed the SSD first then as soon as that was done went into the BIOS and did the 203 update with the external FAT32 Hard Drive I had already prepared and closed my eyes and crossed my fingers. Wanted to get that feeling of "I might brick my new laptop" out of the way as fast as possible.

Fortunately it took 30 seconds and flashed it perfectly :)

boombox
12-30-2011, 05:11 PM
Thanks for all the helpful tip guys! You guys are great!

Thanks for the reminder on burning the backup discs! I just finished doing those and will set those aside :

I was planning to put the SSD in the first bay and removing the 2nd bay entirely during Win7 Installation. I'll put the 2nd HDD back into 2nd bay, and leave whatever I have on the 1st HDD, will the 1st HDD still work if anything goes wrong? What I mean is, I could replace my SSD with the 1st HDD and have the laptop still running?

To activate the boot overide, I just adjust that in Bios right?

I think I will give the BIOS 203 update a shot first. Hopefully everything goes well. I'll let you guys know :)

I might also need some help on which drivers to install. The list looks long and intimidating but I'll take it one step at time ^^

shol
12-30-2011, 05:16 PM
If you do nothing to the original drive. (meaning don't format it or do anything to make it unbootable) there should be nothing that would stop you at some point from using it (as you said via bios) at some other point in case of a disaster. I just finished installing a small ubuntu partition set to my SSD and it now is dual booting perfectly and all of my original files on the larger non SSD are intact no concerns. (I actually left it alone and will use one of them primarily as a storage drive and one as a backup automatic drive - honestly its too much room for me to ever use unless I switch careers :)

Hope it helps

rmcsc
12-30-2011, 05:52 PM
I ordered one of these a few days ago and it's on its way to my house right now (thank you, UPS!), along with a Crucial SSD I ordered.

This thread covers exactly the question I registered here to ask. Let me get this straight:

Make backup Windows 7 discs.
Remove HDD from bay 1.
Insert SSD in bay 1.
Install Windows 7 using the discs I burned and the driver disc the laptop brought.
Install HDD on bay 2.
Update BIOS to 203.
Update ALL THE THINGS... uhr, the rest of the drivers.


Any steps I might be missing?

boombox
12-30-2011, 06:16 PM
Hmm. What I did was I inserted my SSD into bay2 first so I could update its firmware before installation of win7. After that, I swapped it to Bay1 and installed Win7. I also updated to BIOS 203 Before installation of Win7. Does any of this make a difference?

WhirledNews
12-30-2011, 06:47 PM
It is completely unnecessary to remove the drive from bay 1 to put your SSD there. I did the exact same thing that you are doing and put my SSD in bay 2 with a fresh install of Windows 7 HP, it is now my boot drive and it works great, no reason to waste your time unless you want to. If you already have it in there with updated bios and windows installed just keep it how it is, I don't know why these people are telling you that you need to put it in bay 1.

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 08:02 PM
I ordered one of these a few days ago and it's on its way to my house right now (thank you, UPS!), along with a Crucial SSD I ordered.

This thread covers exactly the question I registered here to ask. Let me get this straight:

Make backup Windows 7 discs.
Remove HDD from bay 1.
Insert SSD in bay 1.
Install Windows 7 using the discs I burned and the driver disc the laptop brought.
Install HDD on bay 2.
Update BIOS to 203.
Update ALL THE THINGS... uhr, the rest of the drivers.

Any steps I might be missing?

I'd suggest you do the BIOS update first, using EasyFlash from within the BIOS.

If you are careful and you are clear on which disk you are installing Windows onto, it's not necessary to remove the 2nd HDD. On the other hand, if you are at all unclear about that, and you have any important data on that 2nd disk, remove it. (Windows Setup doesn't tell which to use....it just lists all the partitions it sees.)

Your Step 3 skips SSD firmware. Check to see if an update is required, and do that before putting anything on the SSD.

Finally, your Step 7....you're not really updating anything. Rather, with a fresh install, you are installing new drivers and programs for the first time. Start with just the essential drivers, and don;t use the Drivers disk.

boombox
12-30-2011, 08:20 PM
Flashing BIOS to 203 was a success! Thanks Guys.

Next step for me is to install Win7 and the drivers. I wanted to the the drivers all on a USB before i get started with this. So I am following this set of essential drivers posted by BrodyBoy on another post:

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

Just a few questions.

1) For the Graphics driver, I assume I need :
nVidia Verde Notebook Driver 285.62 WHQL OFFICIAL (for stability? or are the betas ok?)
nVidia PhysX v9.11.1107

2) Realtek Ethernet driver...is this the same as Realtek 8168 LAN Driver v7.049.xxx ?

3) Realtek multiCard Reader driver (I am having trouble finding this on the Drivers, Apps, and How-to's page

4)For everything that says "check your hardware" , I assume I have to install win7 to check device manager first?

Thanks in advance!

WhirledNews
12-30-2011, 09:04 PM
For these two:
Bluetooth driver
Realtek multiCard Reader driver

I used the CD that came with the computer, just don't put all of the other crap on there on you laptop.

boombox
12-30-2011, 09:08 PM
Thanks! I've never thought about that.

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 09:19 PM
Just a few questions.

1) For the Graphics driver, I assume I need :
nVidia Verde Notebook Driver 285.62 WHQL OFFICIAL (for stability? or are the betas ok?)
nVidia PhysX v9.11.1107

2) Realtek Ethernet driver...is this the same as Realtek 8168 LAN Driver v7.049.xxx ?

3) Realtek multiCard Reader driver (I am having trouble finding this on the Drivers, Apps, and How-to's page

4)For everything that says "check your hardware" , I assume I have to install win7 to check device manager first?

Thanks in advance!

(1) Nvidia driver: Download directly from Nvidia. They work, and it's faster.

(2) Ethernet driver: Download the latest (7.049) directly from Realtek.

(3) Realtek card reader: This one never seems to change, so you can use the one listed on the G74 product page.

(4) When I wrote "check your hardware manufacturer," I assumed you still have the OEM installation running and that you can check in Device Manager, so you could download the proper drivers before you start. (In all those cases, Asus uses multiple manufacturers, so you could have one of two possible components.)
If you can't check before you start....you'll have to install Windows and then look.



Personally, I don't recommend using the drivers disk. Most of the essential drivers are old versions, and the rest is bloatware.

WhirledNews
12-30-2011, 09:24 PM
Where can we get a copy of the 203 BIOS, the main link is down...

rmcsc
12-30-2011, 09:27 PM
I got the computer. I'm currently in the process of burning the Windows Recovery DVDs.

The 500 GB HDD it brought is pre-partitioned:

OS; 122 GB of 186 GB free
DATA; 254 GB of 254 GB free



Question: if Windows is installed onto the OS partition of the disk, when I install WIndows on the SSD... will I not be able to access this whole partition or will I? I'm aware I won't be able to touch the files from the previous install, but... what about the rest of the drive, those 122 essential GB that are free on the OS partition?


[Edit] Holy crap, the drive is loud when writing. Is this always the same or, perhaps, is it my (now not so) blank disk? It's been a few years since I last burned a disk (broken drive on a MacBook, then a netbook), so I kinda missed this.

boombox
12-30-2011, 09:32 PM
Where can we get a copy of the 203 BIOS, the main link is down...

I had the same problem. If you go to the 1st page of this thread, BrodyBoy linked BIOS203. I also found it on the downloads page. It should be the 2nd post :)

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 10:04 PM
The 500 GB HDD it brought is pre-partitioned:

OS; 122 GB of 186 GB free
DATA; 254 GB of 254 GB free


Question: if Windows is installed onto the OS partition of the disk, when I install WIndows on the SSD... will I not be able to access this whole partition or will I? I'm aware I won't be able to touch the files from the previous install, but... what about the rest of the drive, those 122 essential GB that are free on the OS partition?
If you don't need the old OS partition, you can delete it and add that space to the D: drive, making one big data partition on the HDD. Alternately, you could delete it and create another, separate data drive. I don't recommend leaving it, as you're apt to add an extra step every time you boot up, where you have to choose which Windows 7 installation you want to boot to. It's a pain, and a waste of space.



[Edit] Holy crap, the drive is loud when writing. Is this always the same or, perhaps, is it my (now not so) blank disk? It's been a few years since I last burned a disk (broken drive on a MacBook, then a netbook), so I kinda missed this.
It's normal....the optical drives are pretty loud in laptops.

rmcsc
12-30-2011, 10:23 PM
If you don't need the old OS partition, you can delete it and add that space to the D: drive, making one big data partition on the HDD. Alternately, you could delete it and create another, separate data drive.Alright. I'm guessing I've got to do this after I install Windows on the SSD, correct?

BrodyBoy
12-30-2011, 10:27 PM
Alright. I'm guessing I've got to do this after I install Windows on the SSD, correct?
You don't HAVE to, but yeah, that's the easiest way. Once you're booted into the new installation, go into Disk Management. There, you can delete the old OS partition on the HDD, and either add the space to your D: drive or make a new partition out of it.

boombox
12-31-2011, 12:48 AM
Just wanted to let everyone know that my installation was successful and everything is running smoother than ever! Thank you all for your help :). The BIOS203 + ATK driver update did not fix my numberlock, but I will be satisfied for now.

Have a great new years!

dstrakele
12-31-2011, 01:24 AM
Happy New Year to you, @boombox - As you have noted, BIOS 203 does not turn the Calculator key into a NumLock key. It only locks NumLock in the active state and changes the NumPad keys to their true NumPad value instead of copying the upper row number keys as they did in BIOS version 201. So another BIOS update is required to restore a true NumLock key. But I couldn't tell you when or if that will happen....

rmcsc
12-31-2011, 03:01 AM
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Well that's interesting, but I doubt it'll help with the numlock issue. ;)

By the way, I installed the SSD to start this process but it isn't being recognized (shows up nowhere). Is this normal? I upgraded BIOS to 203 before installing it.

boombox
12-31-2011, 03:34 AM
@dstrakele - Thanks! I guess we'll all have to wait and see. Hopefully it will and will be out soon =)


By the way, I installed the SSD to start this process but it isn't being recognized (shows up nowhere). Is this normal? I upgraded BIOS to 203 before installing it.

I had that problem too. If you put it in the 2nd Bay, you may have to unlock the access to the 2nd Bay in BIOS. It should be under I/O Interface. If it still doesn't work, you can try to search up "computer management" in the start menu. Go to the Disk management tab on the left side to see if it is recognized. Maybe it needs a format?

This is what worked for me, hopefully it helps.

rmcsc
12-31-2011, 11:50 AM
I had that problem too. If you put it in the 2nd Bay, you may have to unlock the access to the 2nd Bay in BIOS. It should be under I/O Interface. If it still doesn't work, you can try to search up "computer management" in the start menu. Go to the Disk management tab on the left side to see if it is recognized. Maybe it needs a format?

This is what worked for me, hopefully it helps.

I did check that. I checked everything, everywhere. I was thinking I might have gotten a damaged SSD! I called up my best friend up, he quoted me: "Step 1: check the plugs. So check the cables."

Indeed it was. One of the cable ends was a bit loose, so I re-installed it all.

And talking about re-installing! I don't know what I did but after a few hours of fumbling, I ended up having the HDD and SSD both empty and without an OS! I ended up having to download the ISO for Windows 7 that someone posted over here (Charity@ASUS, was it?), flashing it onto a pen drive (since my netbook has no optical drive, thank-you-very-much!) and then installing it onto the SSD. It's currently installing the drivers from the CD. I really don't care right now how much crap it's installing right now with its incessant rebooting... but, you know what? After almost six hours of stumbling with mistakes and literally erasing a brand new computer with less than 24 hours of its first start up... I don't give a damn! It's running smoothly. :p

Two things:

I seem to be missing is the Asus Windows 7 Theme. I actually liked that theme. Anyone know where I might be able to grab it?
The HDD isn't showing up at first. It shows under Disk Management though! I just need to format it so it'll show on My Computer, right?



PS: I drank too much coffee and coke at midnight (that's 8 hours ago!) and I'm still on that caffeine rush. So pardon my incessant rambling.

PPS: I love having an SSD. Reboots in less than a minute. Wow!

PPPS: I spent about 45 minutes trying to figure out why the firmware of the SSD wasn't updating. Well, it came with the latest one. Woops.

PPPPS: Remember I said something about the pen drives? I had some problems with those, too. I had to go figure out how to disable it having write protection (who put that there in the first place?) and then looking for a good app to transfer the Windows 7 ISO to it. Found Microsoft Store's Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool (http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool), which felt like Odin was watching over me.

BrodyBoy
12-31-2011, 12:02 PM
Two things:
I seem to be missing is the Asus Windows 7 Theme. I actually liked that theme. Anyone know where I might be able to grab it?
The HDD isn't showing up at first. It shows under Disk Management though! I just need to format it so it'll show on My Computer, right?

You don't get the custom themes back after a clean install. I'm not sure which theme you mean....the Asus notebooks I have include some background images specific to that model. Is that what you mean....those background images? Or do you literally mean a whole WIndows theme?]
Yes, you just need to partition the disk....until then, Windows Explorer can't see or address it.

rmcsc
12-31-2011, 07:11 PM
You don't get the custom themes back after a clean install. I'm not sure which theme you mean....the Asus notebooks I have include some background images specific to that model. Is that what you mean....those background images? Or do you literally mean a whole WIndows theme?Yes, those images. I liked them very much so.


Yes, you just need to partition the disk....until then, Windows Explorer can't see or address it.Got it. Thanks! Formatted and being seen perfectly.

BrodyBoy
12-31-2011, 07:15 PM
Yes, those images. I liked them very much so.
Since you said that you're using the drivers disk, you can find them in the wallpapers folder.