Asus ROG GL702ZC factory reset gone or missing

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Deks, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Hey guys... I recently got myself ROG GLz702ZC laptop (an all AMD hardware one), and I can't factory reset it at all.
    The F9 button didn't work, so I downloaded the utility from Asus to get me to the recovery boot.
    The first time I did it I was able to initiate the factory reset but the system reached 40%, and then just undid the changes (this was just after I got the laptop and updated the GPU drivers).

    After that I installed the fall update for windows 10 - it wasn't a clean install, just an update. using the Windows 10 update assistant (As the relevant KB update simply refused to install on it's own or manually).

    However,now, after using the Asus utility to get me to the recovery (because the F9 button upon boot still doesn't work), after pressing Troubleshooting, I have no option to factory reset at all.

    Did the Windows Fall update delete the factory reset partition or corrupted it somehow?
    I even tried going back to the previous version of Windows (to undo Fall creators update) but the system says it can't do that.

    I made no changes to the OS by changing its services or deleting files I wasn't supposed to (except installing the Fall creator update) that would result in this since getting the laptop in question, so for this to happen, it seems botched software-wise for some reason.

    I was under the impression the factory reset partition was tucked away somewhere and the whole point was to restore the laptop to factory defaults in cases like this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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  2. don_svetlio

    don_svetlio In the Pipe, Five by Five.

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    I've personally had mixed results with factory resets. The better way to go about things usually is to manually re-install the OS. Though my experience was about 2 years ago but it went like this. I was suffering from software BSODs and reverted the system - nothing changed. Reinstalled the OS and the NTFS BSODs stopped.

    TL:DR WIndows 10 is broken
     
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  3. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    I always try to do a clean install ... but here's my problem:
    This laptop came with customized desktop RX 580 GPU and FreeSync display. I lost FreeSync support (says it's not supported) since installing latest drivers.
    And Asus still hadn't put up any drivers, tools, manuals, etc. in the product support for this laptop (possibly because its so new, or, some other reason - I already emailed Asus about this issue but will try to call them tomorrow).
    So, my beef with doing a clean install is that I wouldn't be able to get my hands on the Asus drivers that had FreeSync enabled - though it's a bit moot since I can't factory reset at all anymore, and the function didn't work the first time around.
    Plus I need to make sure I can find all other drivers (which shouldn't be difficult).
    I might just do a clean install in that case if Asus turn out to be no help right now.
     
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  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    You are supposed to do a backup of the recovery partition and OS image contained therein as one of the first things to do. Asus likely even had a prompt popup that asked you to do this, right?

    It's not Asus's fault you didn't make a backup, and now can't restore the original out of the box OS, it's your fault.

    It only takes about 20 minutes to create a USB 3.0 32GB recovery boot drive, and once you have that no matter how much you screw up the install, you can always restore back to the original OS.

    The 2nd thing to do is always go to the Support site and download the latest drivers to update your new laptop. Finding no updates, no downloads, that would prompt me to do the backup - if I hadn't done it already.

    I actually do two backups of the vendor recovery and 1 backup using Macrium before playing with a new laptop / OS image.

    I don't want to seem harsh, but you can't blame Asus. More likely blame MS for breaking the recovery volume. :)

    Asus will restore the original OS if you RMA your laptop. You could also return it for another one from the seller - or ask the seller to generate a recovery USB 3.0 32GB flash drive for you - for a price. Or, drive to a brick and mortar store with the laptop on demo and buy a USB 3.0 32GB flash drive there and create the recovery flash drive - ask the sales manager nicely first, of course.

    It's doubly worse with a new CPU / Video card in a custom configuration, much is uniquely available from Asus.

    I'd pursue getting a recovery flash drive, or RMA to restore the OS, or wait for Asus to put up the support pages. Sorry. :(

    As last words, always do the Vendors / Macrium image backup before connecting to the internet and while not connected to a network, especially with Windows 10 so intent on forcing updates, it doesn't take long for MS Windows 10 updates to break backup / recovery - or so it seems. :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  5. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    As far as I recall, Asus didn't have a prompt popup asking me to do the backup of the recovery... plus, when I first set up Windows, I had no access to a spare USB flash drive or external HDD (tnx to my external HDD cable being broken) at the time.

    Problem with the RMA, since I got the laptop through LaptopsDirect, is that they request the laptop to be factory reset before returning (per their notes), otherwise they would just refuse it and send it back.
    Also I didn't even know that Asus had no drivers or utilities available on their website for this laptop until AFTER the initial windows setup (and I was still without an USB stick or HDD).

    I'll have to converse with LaptopsDirect themselves via customer service tomorrow and Asus as well to see what can be done.

    Mind you, it's not exactly 'critical' as the system works fine (minus the FreeSync)... but in the absence of Factory reset or access to Asus original drivers (which they don't have), I wouldn't be able to RMA the laptop it would seem (as my circumstances have somewhat changed rather rapidly over the past week, and I considered returning the laptop to get a refund for now - not because the laptop did not meet any expectations or anything like that... but rather something else).

    I am aware its (to an extent) my responsibility to backup the original OS, but let's be honest here... Asus original recovery utility was broken from the get-go because F9 upon boot was not doing anything. I had to download the separate utility from Asus allowing me to get access to Asus recovery, and even after doing that (this was before the Fall Creator update), the Factory Reset failed (it reached 40% and then undid all the changes) - this was after I updated the GPU drivers and lost FreeSync (but did nothing else).

    I had no way of anticipating that Factory Reset would fail, and I had no USB drive to back up the OS the moment I got it - I didn't have a USB drive ready to back up to for days after I got the laptop.

    And Factory Reset partitions are set up for exactly these situations.

    What is one supposed to do in that scenario?
    Wait and not use the laptop?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
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  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yup, wait and get the USB 3.0 32GB flash drive(s) before plugging it in... sigh. That's why I frequently mention this in all the threads where guys are getting new laptops, you musta missed my post(s). Once the recovery setup is broken, you are SOL without a backup.

    It is hard to wait, that's why you need to order the USB 3.0 32GB backup flash drive, or actually a few of them - so you can backup a couple of times, and one for Macrium Reflect image recovery.

    If your laptop won't do a recovery, that's now not your fault - it can't be held against you for RMA. Plus if that seller has that support limitation it's really up to them to ship an external recovery solution to you - a flash drive preinstalled with the recovery image. If the laptop recovery gets messed up by Microsoft OS updates, that's not your fault - as far as complying with the sellers RMA policy.

    The seller should / could create a recovery flash drive for you from their stock of laptops, or they likely already made one for their tech's to use, and they can clone an image from their flash to a new flash drive.

    I keep spare USB flash drives handy myself, and when I help someone with a new laptop it's one of the things I spec for them to order with it at the same time and make sure it arrives before or on the day of the laptop arrival.

    When I get laptops from Brick and Mortar places, I actually do the recovery flash drive creation there before I leave. I buy the flash drives from them as well, and the places I go have customer service areas with access to customers, and doing that unboxing / power up / backup there let's me check out the laptop functionality before I step out the door.

    A couple of times it's let me catch problems and swap for a new unit before I leave.

    Backups 1st, fun afterwards ;)
     
  7. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Well, I do seem to have ample grounds for an RMA either way, and I'd be contacting LaptopsDirect only a week after getting the laptop. Adding to that there's technically nothing wrong with the laptop, except no ability to use FreeSync after a driver update (and we are ALWAYS encouraged to install latest official drivers anyway - not to mention that the Windows update kept trying to install itself ALL THE TIME).
    Plus, it's not my fault Asus didn't put up a product support page yet, and it's quite honestly VERY odd they hadn't done that yet, or that I wasn't supplied with a recovery USB flash drive. For that amount of money, you'd think one would be supplied just in case.

    I'll have a chat with LaptopsDirect and Asus tomorrow and see what can be done about Factory Reset... or in this case, I might be able to register the laptop over the phone with Asus and they could do the rest directly (since I can't register it myself - due to the Product name missing in their database).

    Expecting of a person to wait before using a new laptop for days is not exactly feasible. The whole point of Factory Reset is to act as a 'safety net' (not including accidental deletion of the Recovery Partition - which I'm reasonably certain I did NOT do, unless the Fall Creator update did that instead, or corrupted the partition).

    What if a person has no extra money left to get an external USB for a backup, or unexpected problems?
    I'm not making out fibs here... situations like these DO happen. I mean, money troubles happen to others all the time, and just because you saved up enough for a brand new expensive laptop, doesn't mean you have anything in the savings left for an extra USB flash drive... regardless of how low cost it may be. As you said yourself, make sure you have enough to eat first (and I'm pretty sure we can't eat or digest electronics). :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  8. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    It's true, I know the situation, you've got just as much as you need to get the laptop - right now!, down to the 1c - it doesn't matter if it's $500 or $5000, those situations come up, and you know damn well if you "wait" the cash will find lower ground to cover - the gravity inherent with cash is a real thing - the smell travels without any assistance from the holder.

    That's why I changed my tactics and only buy when I have way more than enough. That way I am not caught out short, and something like this happens. Or some other far more comical event unfolds...unfortunately no matter how prepared you are, comical events love to unfold anyway.

    But, it's all a learning curve, and if the curve ain't step enough you don't get that cool whooshing sound as you crest over the other side ;)

    I've complained to laptop makers for a very long time, and it turns out they do get tired of you asking and eventually break down - whispering the truths behind it all... ready?

    MS doesn't want them to provide it, MS wants vendors to only ship an image on the internal storage, and not provide a "roaming" copy that could get used to restore "anywhere", and even with careful coding it's possible to do so, so makers can't provide it.

    MS wants to sell physical copies of Windows to people, that was how it was for years and years. And, with Windows restore CD's/DVD's MS thought it was cutting in to their profits. Not to mention the cost to vendors, so they were first optional by request, then charged for shipping and handling, then given a flat cost, then migrated to putting it on the user to generate their own restore media, which is pretty cool really.

    Has this or will this change now that MS has downloadable "recovery" images served by them? Nope, MS still wants to maintain control, and MS made a big deal of closing down all the public archive copies of Windows installer images all over the internet. The previously legal ones.

    The not so legal ones available by bittorrent et al should be avoided as they all have "weaselware" lovingly crafted into them, created by some kind hearted soul and infected by some soulless weasel.

    Honestly I am not sure how "legal" some distro's of trimmed Windows 10 really are, and if MS gets wind of them, will MS drop the hammer. Time will tell.

    The lastest MSI BurnRecovery lets you even make a bootable DVD image, not just a USB flash drive version, and you can even backup the image to disk! I haven't tried to restore from disk, or boot from DVD, but the 2 copies made to 32GB flash drives both worked great.

    BTW, always test your bootable USB backup to make sure it works - if possible right after creating it.

    Some USB's flash drives will show they worked during the creation, but will fail during restore with the lovely error: Restore Image Not Found, but only after having reformatted all of your internal drives - including the one with the recovery partition... ta da!! Instant disaster...

    That's why I recommend getting an SSD / HDD from your pile of spares (what you don't have a pile of 2.5" SSD/HDD or M.2 SSD spare??), pull the original drives, and restore to the single HDD / SDD spare.

    See, it just keeps getting more and more fun :)

    Once you have completely updated, installed, and configured your OS, games, and applications the way you want it, then it's time to make a recovery image using Macrium Reflect Free to an external drive - or if you have a large enough USB 3.0 flash drive (256GB or more) you can copy that restore image onto the bootable Macrium recovery flash drive.

    Then you are all set. You've got a backup of your full system as you like it, and copies of the original OS should you need it, like for RMA ;)

    Please let me know how it works out with the seller. If they give you trouble call Asus and see how you can get a recovery image...hopefully they will send it to you... IDK which I heard did that a while back - it was either MSI or Asus... or maybe it was Gigabyte... sigh.

    Good luck :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  9. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Well, I'm hoping it won't come down to an RMA. I'd sooner just do a clean windows install with updated drivers and wait for asus to release the updated drivers with freesync support.

    The one thing giving me pause is the power brick. That thing is huge, and heavy. Mind you, with the laptop, it doesn't weigh a lot, but I'm just a tad worried about it because, if I end up needing a replacement at some time, it would be very difficult getting one as those aren't quite commercial.

    Laptop by itself is fairly thin and light for housing desktop hardware, but yeah, battery is worth for 1 hr maybe when watching a video off a hdd.

    Can't help but think Asus could have improved the battery at the very least. Power brick I guess is what it is, but with all miniaturized electronic equipment these days, you'd think the power bricks would undergo similar modifications.
     
  10. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Yeah, power bricks are best large - it helps keep components cool - you can't miniaturize power handling any more than you can miniaturize cooling and have it be as effective.

    Again, like with backups, PSU's are best bought in pairs. :)

    Nothing kills the joy of a laptop faster than a dead PSU, and the sudden realization you are days or maybe even weeks away from getting another one...

    Think of it as an investment in your future productivity. ;)

    If you work or go to school, or go somewhere every day, you can keep the spare there and that way you don't need to carry around the PSU with you from home - it can stay wired in under your desk / operating position.

    I usually like to have 3 PSU's, same for batteries, 3 is better than 2, one PSU isn't even a good start - you have to lug it around with you everywhere you go.
     
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