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    Default Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    The Introduction

    This is a complete walk-through for doing a clean Windows 7 install. This information is based on the ASUS G73JH-X1 laptop which includes one "Windows 7 Recovery Media for Windows 7 Products" and one "Driver & Utility Ver 1.0" disc. For the purpose of this guide they will be referred to as the "Recovery" and "Driver and Utility" discs, respectively. Your setup and needs might be slightly different than mine, so these are only suggestions. It is strongly recommended that you read this in it's entirety before proceeding.

    If you didn't receive a Recovery disc with your laptop, please click here for more information. If you didn't receive a Driver and Utility disc with your laptop, please click here for more information. Any questions or comments regarding the use of the ISO package or the Driver package should be addressed in their respective threads and not here. Also, I have included some direct download links from ASUS, which is explained in greater detail later in this guide in the The Conclusion section.

    For those of you who want an even more custom and lighter clean install of Windows 7 might want to consider researching "Slipstreaming". The process of remastering the Recovery disc is beyond the scope of this guide and my ability to provide any support. Good luck with that.

    If you need additional information about the bloatware installed in your ASUS laptop, please see David's ASUS Utility and Bloatware Guide.

    Big thanks to David for the help. Thanks David!

    Corrections welcomed.




    The Table of Contents

    1. The Choice - Decide how you want your disc drive to work.
    2. The BIOS Method - Always allow the laptop to boot from a bootable disc.
    3. The Alternative Method - Temporarily allow the laptop to boot from a bootable disc.
    4. The Recovery Disc - Installing Windows.
    5. The Switch - What to do immediately after installing Windows.
    6. The Drill - Personalizing Windows.
    7. The Driver and Utility Disc - Description of the items.
    8. The Conclusion - Which items to install.
    9. The End is Near - Installing the items.
    10. The Journey - Final thoughts and warnings.




    The Choice

    I'm going to begin this guide with an optional BIOS change that I believe is handy. This BIOS change places the disc drive at a higher boot priority than the hard drive, thus allowing the laptop to easily boot from any bootable disc, including the Recovery disc. If no bootable disc is present, the laptop will simply boot normally from the hard drive. The time it takes for the laptop to detect whether or not a bootable disc is present is trivial.

    This BIOS change is not necessary to complete a clean install and if you would prefer not to make such a change, please click here to jump to The Alternative Method section. If you change the boot priority and later decide you no longer want this, the process is easily reversible by toggling the option back to what it was originally.

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    The BIOS Method

    First, a word of caution. Please only make the change that's described herein. Treat the BIOS as you would editing Windows Registry. If you run into any problems the BIOS has an option to "Restore Defaults" and you can exit without saving changes. If you don't feel comfortable proceeding, please click here to jump to The Alternative Method section.

    To begin you should have the laptop powered by the AC power adapter and have the laptop shutdown. Open the lid, press the power button and immediately start tapping the F2 key until the BIOS screen appears. Press the right cursor key twice to navigate to the "Boot" tab. Press the down cursor key twice to move and highlight "Boot Option #1" in the "Boot Option Priorities" section.

    The active hard drive is listed first as "P0" and "P1" is the disc drive. Take a moment to write down your default order should you later decide you no longer want this change. Press the minus (-) key once to toggle the option so that "P1" is listed first and "P0" is listed second. It should look like this when you are done:
    Code:
    Boot Option Priorities
    Boot Option #1                     [P1: HL-DT-STDVDRAM...]
    Boot Option #2                     [P0: ST9500420AS   ...]
    Next, press the eject button on the face of the disc drive and place the Recovery disc inside. Close the drawer and wait a moment while the disc gets recognized. To Save and Exit the BIOS press the F10 key. Select "Yes" and press the Enter key. The BIOS will be saved and the laptop will now begin to boot off the Recovery disc.

    Please click here to jump to The Recovery Disc section.

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    The Alternative Method

    To begin you should have the laptop powered by the AC power adapter and have the laptop shutdown. Open the lid, press the power button and immediately start tapping the ESC (Escape) key until you see a black screen with a blue box giving you choices.

    Next, press the eject button on the face of the disc drive and place the Recovery disc inside. Close the drawer and wait a moment while the disc gets recognized. Press the down cursor key once to move the black highlight bar to "P1: HL-DT-STDVDRAM GT30N" and press the Enter key. The laptop will now begin to boot off the Recovery disc.

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    The Recovery Disc

    As the Recovery disc begins to load, a "Windows is loading files" progression gauge will appear. Followed by a "Starting Windows" screen and shortly after that the "ASUS Preload Wizard".

    The "ASUS Preload Wizard" will first ask you to pick the display language. Select your language from the drop-down box and click the "Next" button.

    The next screen displays a warning that you should read and understand. If you still have important files that you want to keep, now is the time to back up those files. To stop, pull the Recovery disc out of the drive and power cycle the laptop to boot back into Windows. When you are done backing up your important files, then come back to this guide. Otherwise, ASUS is not liable and neither am I for any incidental or consequential damages. By clicking the "Next" button you accept all responsibility for your actions.

    The next screen displays three install options. Depending on your personal needs, you will have to decide which option is best for you. To help you decide, here is what each option means:

    Recover Windows to first partition only
    This option deletes only the first partition and allows you to keep other partitions, and to create a new system partition as drive "C".

    Recover Windows to entire HD
    This option deletes all partitions from your hard disk drive and creates a new system partition as drive "C".

    Recover Windows to entire HD with two partitions
    This option deletes all partitions from your hard drive and creates two new partitions "C" (60%) and "D" (40%).

    My laptop has one hard drive, so my choice is "Recover Windows to entire HD". When you have made your decision, click the "Next" button.

    Please note that this process doesn't delete or modify the hidden partition on the hard drive which contains the original factory install. If for some reason you want to return to the original factory install, start by removing the Recovery disc. Then, power cycle the laptop and immediately start tapping the F9 key. Select and press the Enter key over "Windows Setup [EMS Enabled]". The options from that point forward are similar to the ones described here.

    The next screen displays another warning. If you accept this, click the "Next" button.

    The next screen displays your final warning. If you accept this, click the "Finish" button and the process will start.

    Please note that you might notice after clicking the "Finish" button a bit of a pause before the progression gauge begins to move, this is normal. The process can take about 25 minutes to reach 100 percent.

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    The Switch

    Once the progression gauge reaches 100 percent, the Recovery disc will be ejected from the drive and you will be asked to insert the support disc. Do not do this!

    First, return the Recovery disc back to it's protective envelope and close the disc drawer. Then press and hold down the laptop's power button until the laptop powers off. Once the laptop is off, press the power button normally to boot up the laptop and Windows setup will begin. This process can take about 10 minutes to finish at which point the laptop will restart.

    After restarting you will see "Setup is preparing your computer for first use" on the screen. Do nothing and let it continue. When the desktop appears you will see three Command windows showing further installation information. Do nothing and let that also continue. The laptop will restart on it's own.

    After restarting you will see "Setup is checking Video performance" and eventually stop at the "Set Up Windows" screen.

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    The Drill

    The "Set Up Windows" screen will first ask you to pick the display language. You cannot change your language later, so pick correctly. Select your language from the scroll box and click the "Next" button.

    The next screen asks for your country or region, time and currency, and keyboard layout. Make any necessary changes and click the "Next" button.

    The next screen asks for your user and computer name. Enter both and click the "Next" button.

    The next screen asks you to enter a password and a hint for the password. It is recommended that you use a password even though it is optional. If you decide to enter one, use a strong password. Either way, when you are done click the "Next" button.

    Please note that a hint should be a hint, and not a easy way to retrieve the actual password. You should write the password down making sure to observe case-type and store the password in a safe location should a need arise later. For more information about strong passwords, please click here.

    Optionally, you can forgo the creation of a password now to slightly decrease the time it takes to complete the re-install. However, it is highly recommended that you create and use a password once the re-install is complete. You will find the setting to create a password under Control Panel -> User Accounts.

    The next screen asks you to accept the "Microsoft software license terms". If you accept, click inside the "I accept the license terms" check box and click the "Next" button.

    The next screen asks you to "Help protect your computer and improve Windows automatically". I personally prefer to do any updates manually. So, I would select the "Ask me later" shield. You will need to decide what works best for your situation. When you do, select the appropriate shield and it will automatically move to the next section.

    Please note that setting up a specific network is beyond the scope of this guide.

    The next screen asks you to "Review your time and date settings". Make whatever necessary changes and click the "Next" button.

    The next screen asks you to "Join a wireless network". I personally will be clicking the "Skip" button as I plan to set up the network at a later time when the laptop is made more secure.

    The next screen will show you that "Windows is finalizing your settings" and "Preparing your desktop". When that completes you should now see the desktop. The only thing you should do right now is check that you can restart the laptop without encountering any problems. Click the "Start" button, single-click the right arrow next to "Shut down" and in the resulting menu click "Restart".

    If earlier you created a log-in password, you will need to enter it at the log-in screen in order to get back to the desktop. Enter your password and either press the Enter key or click the arrow button. Otherwise, you will automatically be placed back at the desktop.

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    The Driver and Utility Disc

    Back at the desktop, press the eject button on the face of the disc drive and place the Driver and Utility disc inside. Close the drawer and wait a moment while the disc gets recognized. The Windows AutoPlay will display a dialog box. Single-click on "Run InstAll.exe" at the top. The "User Account Control" will bark, simply click the "Yes" button.

    You should now see the "ASUS Notebook PC Driver CD" application on the desktop. Click the "Advance" button and then remove the check mark from the "Select All" column header. Below is a list of all packages in the exact order they appear in the window:

    Code:
    INF(R) Update Driver                     Recommended Application  (V9.1.1.1023)
    IMSM                                     Driver                   (V8.9.2.1002)
    ATI VGA                                  Driver                   (8.683.0.0)
    Intel(R) Management Engine Components    Driver                   (V6.0.0.1179)
    ATK Package                              Recommended Application  (V1.0.0001)
    Keyboard Filter                          Driver                   (v1.0.0.3)
    Touchpad                                 Driver                   (V14.0.10.0)
    LAN Driver                               Driver                   (V1.0.0.14)
    Bluetooth Utility                        Recommended Application  (6.2.5.500)
    Wireless LAN Driver                      Driver                   (V8.0.0.238)
    Audio                                    Driver                   (V6.0.1.5978)
    Camera                                   Driver                   (V061.005.200.270)
    Intel(R) Turbo Boost Technology Monitor  Recommended Application  (V1.0.115.11)
    Creative                                 Recommended Application  (V1.0)
    Multi-Card Reader                        Recommended Application  (V1.5.17.25482)
    BIOS Flash Utility (Windows Version)     Recommended Application  (V2.29.0)
    ASUS ExpressGate Utility                 Recommended Application  (V1.2.13.38)
    Live Update                              Recommended Application  (V2.5.9)
    LifeFrame3                               Recommended Application  (V3.0.20)
    ASUS Wireless Console3                   Recommended Application  (V3.0.15)
    Virtual Camera                           Recommended Application  (V1.0.19)
    Power4Gear Hybrid                        Recommended Application  (V1.1.28)
    ADSM                                     Optional Application     (V1.00.0014)
    FancyStart                               Recommended Application  (V1.0.8)
    AI Recovery                              Recommended Application  (V1.0.8)
    ASUS SmartLogon                          Recommended Application  (V1.0.0008)
    Splendid                                 Recommended Application  (V1.02.0028)
    ControlDeck                              Recommended Application  (V1.0.5)
    FastBoot                                 Recommended Application  (V1.0.5)
    Screen Saver                             Recommended Application  (ASUS_Notebook_G73 Screen Saver)
    ASUS NBProbe                             Optional Application     (V3.0.0041)
    Net4Switch                               Optional Application     (V1.0.0020)
    Adobe Reader                             Recommended Application  (V9.0.1)
    TrendMicro Internet Security 2009        Recommended Application  (v17.50.1493)
    The descriptions below are in the exact same order to help guide you through the choices one by one. If you prefer not to read the individual descriptions, please click here to jump to The Conclusion section.


    Description: INF(R) Update Driver
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the Intel chipset drivers.

    Not sure why this wasn't classified as a driver.


    Description: IMSM
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the 'Intel Matrix Storage Manager' or the hard drive controller drivers.


    Description: ATI VGA
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the ATI graphics card drivers.

    While the description might be slightly different (eg: 'NVIDIA VGA'), for those of you who own a laptop with a NVIDIA graphics card are also going to want to install the NVIDIA graphics card drivers.


    Description: Intel(R) Management Engine Components
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT) which allows you to check a computer when it is on, asleep, crashed, failed or off.

    From what I've read it's useful for corporate system administrators and has little or no value for personal use. However, if AMT is not installed then Device Manager will show "PCI Simple Communications Controller" with a yellow exclamation mark. The simple solution is to double-click the "PCI Simple Communications Controller" entry and on the Driver tab click "Disable".


    Description: ATK Package
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the ACPI (Advanced Configuration and Power Interface) driver and special function key utility for the keyboard package.


    Description: Keyboard Filter
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the keyboard driver.


    Description: Touchpad
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the Touchpad driver.

    There have been reports that you might experience keyboard lag with this driver installed. I'm not a fast typist, so I have not experienced this issue myself. If you choose to install the Touchpad driver and experience lag, simply un-install the "Synaptics" driver as it is not necessary for the Touchpad to work. Only the enhanced Touchpad features won't be available.


    Description: LAN Driver
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the LAN driver.


    Description: Bluetooth Utility
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the Bluetooth driver.


    Description: Wireless LAN Driver
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the wireless LAN driver.


    Description: Audio
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the Realtek audio driver.


    Description: Camera
    Listed: Driver
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the WebCam Driver.


    Description: Intel(R) Turbo Boost Technology Monitor
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the desktop turbo boost driver and sidebar monitoring gadget package.

    This gadget displays the current over-clock speed of the CPU. You can always close the gadget if it gets tiresome.


    Description: Creative
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant and Dangerous
    Suggest: Do NOT install

    This is the Creative package.

    The Creative package has the potential to cause conflicts and/or crash your laptop. The install includes both the "Creative MediaSource5" and "Sound Blaster Audigy HD" applications. It is the Sound Blaster Audigy HD application that is the cause of the crashing. For more information about this problem, please click here.

    If the "Sound Blaster Audigy HD" application is not installed or you later remove it, many of the features it provided are duplicated and were previously hidden, become available through the Realtek HD Audio Manager.


    Description: Multi-Card Reader
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is the card reader driver.


    Description: BIOS Flash Utility (Windows Version)
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is the windows BIOS update utility.

    When it is necessary to update the BIOS I prefer not to let an OS come between me and a working laptop. Therefore I recommend if you must update the BIOS that you do it through the BIOS using "Easy Flash".


    Description: ASUS ExpressGate Utility
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a type of mini-Linux on a ROM chip that allows you to use some basic features without starting the laptop.

    I personally don't find this useful and would have preferred diagnostic software in place of what this offers.


    Description: Live Update
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a BIOS update utility.

    I don't recommend installing this for the same reason given for the "BIOS Flash Utility (Windows Version)" above.


    Description: LifeFrame3
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Later

    This is a novelty WebCam application.

    You can use this to demonstrate the WebCam's capabilities, such as face tracking. This isn't needed for the WebCam to work, but you might find it fun to play with later.


    Description: ASUS Wireless Console3
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Later

    This is the ASUS Bluetooth and wireless LAN console.

    There are other ways to switch Bluetooth and the wireless LAN on or off, such as Fn+F2 key. Worse, once this is installed it's icon in the Notification area can't be disabled.


    Description: Virtual Camera
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a novelty video conferencing application.

    This isn't needed for the WebCam to work.


    Description: Power4Gear Hybrid
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Important
    Suggest: Installing

    This is a power management application that allows for a variety of advanced power management options.

    This needs to be installed for the Turbo mode on-screen display to work.


    Description: ADSM
    Listed: Optional Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is the "ASUS Data Security Manager" application that allows you to encrypt files and folders by creating a vault on your computer.


    Description: FancyStart
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a customizing application for the boot screens.

    If you have reset your BIOS using the "Restore Defaults" option, this may not work as BIOS defaults to Disabled. While testing FancyStart's configuration in Windows I found that it can lockup the computer. Rumor has it that FancyStart might be partly responsible for booting issues some people are experiencing.


    Description: AI Recovery
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is the ASUS backup software.

    If you don't have better backup software, such as Acronis True Image Home, AI Recovery will get the job done. It is strongly recommended that whichever software you choose to use, that you make a backup as soon as you are finished here.

    One of the drawbacks of using AI Recovery is that you can't use Double Layer (DVD+R DL) media. Therefore, it is recommended that you use high quality single-layer (DVD-R) media, such as Taiyo Yuden, since you might need to rely on these discs one day. Also, when I used AI Recovery to backup the original factory install, AI Recovery initially reported that 5 discs were required. However, as AI Recovery proceeded that number changed to 6 discs. If you use AI Recovery, be sure to have extra blank discs available just in case.

    Another drawback to using AI Recovery, panzer06 discovered while testing his set of AI Recovery discs that you can only restore to the same capacity hard drive from which the backup was created. To read panzer06's complete post, please click here.


    Description: ASUS SmartLogon
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a face recognition application that uses the WebCam instead of using a password.

    This is about as much of a novelty as a fingerprint reader, but only much more aggravating.


    Description: Splendid
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a utility that allows you to toggle between "Normal" and four predefined brightness, contrast and gamma modes.

    I found "Normal" mode looks the best as the other four modes are exaggerated. Alternatively, you can make these same adjustments system-wide from ATI's Catalyst Control Center. Also, many video players have their own adjustments and presets that work on a temporary bases while playback is active. These alternative methods negated the need to push any buttons. However, keep in mind that one insignificant drawback to not having Splendid installed is that the "Screen" button on the top-left corner of the keyboard will have no function


    Description: ControlDeck
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a novelty application that allows quick access to some common System adjustments.

    IMO it's just as easy to go to Control Panel as it can take the same amount of clicks.


    Description: FastBoot
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is an application that allows some programs and services to be delayed during boot.

    By delaying certain programs and services you can get to the desktop quicker. Using a minimal install, such as the one explained here, will make little or no difference initially. As time goes along and as you install more stuff, the usefulness should increase.

    At least that was the hope from a couple of months ago. Now that a couple of months have passed and more stuff was installed, the usefulness hasn't materialized.

    Using a standard 7200 RPM hard drive, tests with and without Fast Boot installed showed that the savings is about 1 second on average. If you own a SSD, you probably wouldn't even notice.

    However, my biggest concern is system stability. Depending on what stuff you later install, Fast Boot can lockup your laptop by simply opening and closing the GUI a few times in a row.

    Because there is little improvement with Fast Boot installed and because the potential is there for locking up your laptop, in all honesty I can no longer suggest installing Fast Boot.


    Description: Screen Saver
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Later

    This is the ASUS screen saver.

    I was hoping the ASUS Aircraft Hanger background image was included with this install, it's not. Adjusting for any drive letter differences, to be able to use the ASUS Aircraft Hanger image, later when you're finished you will need to manually copy the file:

    D:\Wallpapers\ASUS.JPG to C:\Windows\ASUS\wallpapers\

    Since there is already a ASUS.JPG file in the target location, when the warning dialog box appears choose "Copy, but keep both files". This way you have additional background image options. Next, you will need to select the ASUS Aircraft Hanger image by going to:

    Control Panel -> Personalization-> Desktop background

    Select the image and then click the "Save changes" button.


    Description: ASUS NBProbe
    Listed: Optional Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Later

    This is a small hardware monitor.

    Right idea, wrong application. It's usefulness is akin to an idiot-light on the dashboard of a car and no where near as good as "ASUS PC Probe". Perhaps future versions will improve the information that it provides, until then it's a novelty and there are better, more informative, applications available. However, if in the beginning you need something simple this may be it.


    Description: Net4Switch
    Listed: Optional Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is an application that allows you to create Network profiles.

    This supposedly makes it easier to connect to the Internet from multiple locations, such as your office or the coffee shop downtown. Similar to using DHCP, but with a prettier interface that adds a few extra auto features.


    Description: Adobe Reader
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is Adobe's free PDF reader.

    If the first thing you are going to do with your new shiny install is read a PDF file, then you might consider installing this version. If not, then maybe you would be interested in a newer and smaller PDF alternative. One such alternative is Adobe's own smaller, but hidden, PDF only reader.

    If you don't need Adobe AIR or Acrobat.com, then please click here to go to the Adobe FTP server.

    You'll notice that there are two files, it's the smaller one that you want. If English isn't your language, go up a level and choose a different language. If v9.3 is no longer the latest version, go up at least two levels and pick a different version. Then navigate back down through the links and pick that version's smaller of the two files.


    Description: TrendMicro Internet Security 2009
    Listed: Recommended Application
    Level: Unimportant
    Suggest: Not installed

    This is a demo of TrendMicro Internet Security 2009.

    According to the Anti-Spyware Coalition, TrendMicro "might be regarded as spyware or PUPS (defined as "Technologies [...] implemented in ways that impair user control over [...] Material changes that affect their [...] system security")."

    Whether this classification is in error, changed or remains true, there are less invasive and free alternatives to TrendMicro Internet Security such as Avast v5 and Comodo v4.

    Please note that in order to use Avast for free, a quick and free registration is required.

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    The Conclusion

    There are a total of 34 items listed in the Driver and Utility disc "Advance" panel. Based on the above, there are 14 items (which includes 8 drivers) that I consider important enough and should be checked in "ASUS Notebook PC Driver CD" application for installation. These items are:

    1. INF(R) Update Driver (Link)
    2. IMSM (Link)
    3. ATI VGA (or NVIDIA VGA) (Link (ATI Only))
    4. ATK Package (Link)
    5. Keyboard Filter (Link)
    6. Touchpad (See note below)
    7. LAN Driver (Link)
    8. Bluetooth Utility (Link)
    9. Wireless LAN Driver (See note below)
    10. Audio (See note below)
    11. Camera (See note below)
    12. Intel(R) Turbo Boost Technology Monitor (and Driver) (See note below)
    13. Multi-Card Reader (See note below)
    14. Power4Gear Hybrid (See note below)

    Please note: An exact binary match could not be located on the ASUS website which is identical to the one supplied on the Driver and Utility disc. For whatever reason ASUS never uploaded the disc version to their website.

    In other situations, there are equivalent archives. These equivalent archives were not included here because they are different even though they are listed as the same version. The differences range from slight modifications, to what I believe to be corruption. I'm open for discussion in establishing to what degree these files are corrupt and the problems they may or may not cause when used.

    Lastly, ASUS is not the only source for these files. However, I'm only including links to the ASUS archives that I could verify. If you want to check out the G73JH download area at ASUS click here or click here to go to the main ASUS download area.


    The remaining items below fall into three categories. First, there are 4 items that I consider important, but are not needed and if you wish you can install them later:
    1. LifeFrame3
    2. ASUS Wireless Console3
    3. Screen Saver
    4. ASUS NBProbe


    Second, there are 15 items that I consider unimportant and do not need to be installed:
    1. Intel(R) Management Engine Components
    2. BIOS Flash Utility (Windows Version)
    3. ASUS ExpressGate Utility
    4. Live Update
    5. Virtual Camera
    6. ADSM
    7. FancyStart
    8. AI Recovery
    9. ASUS SmartLogon
    10. Splendid
    11. ControlDeck
    12. FastBoot
    13. Net4Switch
    14. Adobe Reader
    15. TrendMicro Internet Security 2009


    Third, there is 1 item that I consider dangerous and should not be installed:
    1. Creative


    Lastly, for those of you that have a Blu-ray drive and no included software, the ASUS WinDVD version can be downloaded by clicking here. It's been reported that the ASUS version of WinDVD does not support recent Blu-ray discs, such as Avatar.

    Until ASUS releases an update to their Blu-ray player software, to play recent Blu-ray discs it may be necessary to purchase the latest full version. Alternatives to Corel's WinDVD include, Cyberlink's PowerDVD and ArcSoft's TotalMedia.

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    The End is Near

    With only the 14 important items check marked in the "ASUS Notebook PC Driver CD" application, click it's "Start" button. You will receive a warning from "InstAll", and if you are ready, click the "Yes" button to continue.

    The "ASUS Notebook PC Driver CD" application will begin by installing the "INF(R) Update Driver" and the "IMSM" driver from the disc, followed by a reboot. During the first half of the reboot the screen will display "Configuring Windows features" and the progress percentage. Now restarting, it will again display "Configuring Windows features" and a percentage. You will be prompted for a password if you entered one earlier.

    Back at the desktop, several windows will appear including one asking you to reboot. Do not touch anything! Let it continue to load from the disc and restart on it's own. When it restarts it will again ask you for your password if you entered one earlier.

    Back at the desktop the "ATI VGA" (or "NVIDIA VGA") drivers are next to install. This is followed by the "ATK Package" and another reboot. Enter your password again if you entered one earlier.

    Now the "Keyboard Filter", the "Touchpad" and "LAN Driver". The items will continue to install in the order in which they appear in the list above. You can watch their progress from the "ASUS Notebook PC Driver CD" application which reappears on the desktop after each reboot. As each item gets installed there is a small progression gauge where the version number is located.

    There will be another reboot. Enter your password if you entered one earlier. Just let it continue on it's own, do not touch anything until "InstAll" asks you to reboot and then click the "Yes" button.

    During the next reboot, Windows will display "Preparing to configure Windows". It may look like it's not doing anything, but look closely. There is a small period moving back and forth to the right of the word Windows. Well, that and the hard drive activity light. This will take about 8 minutes to complete. When it finishes the laptop will start up and you will need to enter your password if you entered one earlier.

    Now back at the desktop, press the eject button on the face of the disc drive. Return the Driver and Utility disc back to it's protective envelope and close the disc drawer.

    The only thing left to do is check that you can restart the laptop without encountering any problems. Reboot, and you will be prompted for a password if you entered one earlier.

    And, you are done. Yey! You made it to the end and now you have successfully completed a clean install.

    Top



    The Journey

    Now that you are finished with the clean install, this section will hopefully help you make better decisions and avoid headaches, as you build upon your journey.



    If you are in North America and have purchased your ASUS laptop from any other place than Best Buy, MicroCenter, and The Source by CircuitCity in Canada, you should register your laptop for ASUS's "Accidental Damage Warranty" or ADW. Please click here for more information.



    I've said this before and I think it's worth repeating, the included owners manual is horrible. In fact my exact words were:

    "Seriously, the "Notebook PC User Manual" ASUS included with my X1 might as well hang from a roll. ASUS had to know it was insufficient and I'm surprised there wasn't an included cardboard tube in the box for proper mounting."

    As a first time laptop owner I think the owners manual could have gone into a little more detail of the Fn (Function) key. So, if you are wondering what the Fn key does, here's a list:

    • Fn+F1    = Sleep.
    • Fn+F2    = Enable/disable wireless devices.
    • Fn+F3    = Keyboard backlight brightness down.
    • Fn+F4    = Keyboard backlight brightness up.
    • Fn+F5    = LCD display brightness down.
    • Fn+F6    = LCD display brightness up.
    • Fn+F7    = Enable/disable LCD display.
    • Fn+F8    = Toggle display output.
    • Fn+F9    = Enable/disable Touchpad.
    • Fn+F10   = Toggle speaker mute.
    • Fn+F11   = Speaker volume down.
    • Fn+F12   = Speaker volume up.
    • Fn+C     = Cycle Splendid profiles.
    • Fn+Space = Cycle Power4Gear power plans.
    • Fn+NumLK = Toggle Scroll Lock.
    • Fn+↑     = Stop.
    • Fn+↓     = Play/Pause.
    • Fn+←     = Skip to previous track.
    • Fn+→     = Skip to next track.

    For more shortcut keys that are available through the Operating System, see the Windows built-in help.



    I personally don't bother switching between power plans. The plans all have the same options, it's how you configure the options that makes a difference. I picked one plan and made a few changes to my liking. Clearly this is not for everyone. If you want to know what options I use, please click here for more information.



    Updating the motherboard BIOS, be it desktop or laptop, seems to be one of the bigger mistakes people make. Not because the BIOS should never under any circumstances get updated, but because they update the BIOS for the wrong reason.

    You shouldn't update the BIOS unless you know for sure that it fixes the specific issue you are having. If you are not having any issues, most certainly do not update the BIOS.

    You also shouldn't update the BIOS just because others have done it and they didn't have issues. That doesn't necessarily mean you won't have issues yourself.

    You also shouldn't update the BIOS just because it has a higher version number than the version currently installed. Newer is not always better. Take a good look at graphics drivers if you need to understand why this can be bad.

    There is also the possibility that the BIOS update could fail to install properly, essentially turning your laptop into an expensive brick. Unlike a failed driver install, a failed BIOS install is irreversible. If the laptop is relatively new perhaps it can be exchanged at the place of purchase. Otherwise, the laptop will need to be RMA'd under warranty to ASUS for repair (see "Asus RMA and Warranty Guide" below).

    If you have already updated the BIOS and are now experiencing issues afterwards, directly contact ASUS. Write them, call them, use carrier pigeon, but by all means, let them know you're having issues. It's unlikely ASUS will find out on their own of such issues, so customer feedback becomes very important. The more people that contact ASUS about an issue, the more likely the issue will get addressed.

    My philosophy.... Updating the motherboard BIOS for no reason, is reason enough not to update the BIOS.



    Speaking of updating the BIOS, recent BIOS updates have caused some users keyboard backlighting to stop functioning. It has been suggested that your keyboard's ribbon cable might need cleaning, which requires some disassembly of the laptop. Or, that you need to reinstall the ATK package. At this time I'm not aware of any fix that addresses this issue 100 percent of the time.



    If during normal usage the screen randomly turns grey with vertical lines, this is called a "Grey Screen of Death" or GSOD. It's been suggested that the cause could be heat or faulty GDDR5 memory or using display drivers not specifically designed for the G73JH.

    Most people have reported that they have zero issues with the originally supplied stock 9.12 Catalyst drivers, the same version recommended in this guide. There may be a very good reason for that, the supplied drivers are from ASUS, the supplier of the display adapter.

    As outlined in this AMD advisory:

    "The display driver supplied by the laptop manufacturer is customized for the built-in flat panel display, and the graphics features and functions specific to the laptop. It is strongly recommended to use the supplied drivers.
    ...

    The laptop manufacturer is the exclusive provider of driver updates. If the required driver update is not available at the laptop manufacturers’ website, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer directly, to see if an updated driver will be made available in the future.
    "

    Due to ASUS being perceived as slow to release updated display drivers, some have taken it upon themselves to use AMD releases or leaked betas. The result in some cases has been random GSOD issues. There are many discussion threads on this topic. You are encouraged to seek them out and read them if you experience this issue updating the display drivers beyond the version recommended in this guide.

    Lastly, a GSOD could be a sign of a faulty display adapter. One possible indication would be a GSOD with the stable 9.12 Catalyst drivers installed. Another display issue is a "Pink Screen of Death" or PSOD. I know of no fix for a PSOD. In both instances, if the laptop is relatively new perhaps it can be exchanged at the place of purchase. Otherwise, the laptop will need to be RMA'd under warranty to ASUS for repair (see "Asus RMA and Warranty Guide" below).



    It is strongly recommended that if you need to send in your ASUS laptop for RMA, that you first read David's wonderful Asus RMA and Warranty Guide.

    Top



    Hope you find this guide useful and thanks for reading.
    Last edited by Kalim; 21st June 2010 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Updated

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Thanks a lot.
    This could be useful for many people.
    The first thing I always do after buying a notebook is a clean install of Windows.

    I was thinking myself of writing something like this so that it could help others.

    I added +1 rep for you.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    You are welcome and thanks.

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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Thank you very much for this guide! It will come in very useful if I have to reinstall again :-)

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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Sticky sticky sticky!!

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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    If I have bought an ASUS g51jx-a1 with a Win7 preinstalled (32bit), and I have only the update to 64 bit, how can I clean install the 64bit? Can I clean install with the update, or I first have to do some 'destructive recovery' method?

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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Asus stopped providing the recovery disc with laptop purchases. Please advise.

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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Quote Originally Posted by vono View Post
    Thank you very much for this guide! It will come in very useful if I have to reinstall again. :-)
    One small caveat. While the process is exactly the same, keep in mind that depending on whether your starting point is from the original factory install or from a previous reinstall, in The End is Near chapter I noticed that you might see slightly different results displayed on the screen between reboots.

    However, from the moment you press the "ASUS Notebook PC Driver CD" application's "Start" button, the entire process is automated up until "InstAll" asks you to reboot. Not including unforeseen errors, what you see between reboots is inconsequential.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Quote Originally Posted by Haswell View Post
    Asus stopped providing the recovery disc with laptop purchases. Please advise.
    They must have done that just recently. I nabbed a G73JH-X1 off Newegg just last week and it has a recovery disc. I'll probably do a clean install this weekend.

    Thank you for the guide!

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    Default Re: Complete Walk-through For Doing A Clean Windows 7 Install

    Quote Originally Posted by mahdi View Post
    If I have bought an ASUS g51jx-a1 with a Win7 preinstalled (32bit), and I have only the update to 64 bit, how can I clean install the 64bit? Can I clean install with the update, or I first have to do some 'destructive recovery' method?
    See if this Microsoft link here answers your question.

    Specifically expand the section "Can I upgrade from a 32-bit version of Windows to a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or from a 64-bit version of Windows 7 to a 32-bit version of Windows" and follow the links.

    Personally, I prefer to use a full custom install of Windows instead of using the upgrade option.

 

 
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