Dell XPS 9560 Clean install guide + custom ISO download.

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by GoNz0, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Laptop Engineer & Online games hosting.

    Reputations:
    215
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Trophy Points:
    231
    1st post being updated ready for the release of the Windows 10 Creators edition RS3

    Read the following link and the rest of the info should apply in this 1st post.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...tom-iso-download.789769/page-60#post-10618519

    The ISO's now contains 4 installs in one.
    Windows 10 Home
    Windows 10 Pro
    Windows 10 Home Single Language
    Windows 10 Education

    I decided to add in 2 more as Education was requested and my previous was based on the single language home so that may have caused the failed activation issue in the past for some.


    My ISO's have been used a few times now so I thought it time to open a thread dedicated to doing a clean install of the XPS9550.

    The main reasons.
    1. To do away with the Dell bloatware (Probably the same as a Microsoft signature edition install)
    2. Be able to install in Raid or AHCI modes without additional drivers / This is no longer needed as it can see 100 series chipsets but I still opted to upgrade to 15 series drivers.
    3. (I suggest AHCI for SSD only installs, Raid is designed to work with cache drives in this case and I have not included the Intel RST suite but download it >here< I opted not to use the Samsung NVMe driver when I had my 950 pro as I found a bug that caused a 30+ second reboot delay, Samsungs official response through my engineers portal (I was a laptop engineer for Toshiba & Samsung) was to use the windows driver for now!
    4. Install needed drivers to get you online before hitting the desktop to give the option of setting up a local or Microsoft account instead of having to start with a local profile then install WiFi drivers to get online then change to an online account. (also to be plain lazy)
    5. Less chance of BSOD! (It's windows after all)
    The current ISO is based on the Windows 10 1607 August Anniversary refresh. This is the English & US versions. More language packs can be downloaded once you have it installed.
    (go to settings > time & language > Region and language then add a pack click the installed pack, go to options and set as default.)



    Drivers that will self install are mainly taken from Dell's website apart from Intel RST, Intel and Nvidia graphics.

    Drivers built into the image that will preinstall are as follows & up to date as of the 30/ March 2017



    Please read this post for more details of the RS2 update http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...tom-iso-download.789769/page-43#post-10495894

    I am now hosting the new images on my onedrive,




    To make the ISO a bootable USB install you need to use Rufus >Download Site< Grab the latest version (2.8 as of today)

    Find a USB stick, USB3 is best, faster the better for obvious reasons and backup anything on it you need as it will be formatted. Plug it in (rather important you do)

    Load Rufus and look where is says "create bootable disk using" to the right of that click the disk icon and choose my ISO.

    Make sure everything apart from the device at the top matches the pic below and cluster size should be left at whatever default it picks. It needs to be FAT32, if you use a USB stick over 32gb it will show as "Large FAT32", either way it needs to have fat32 in the box not NTFS or exFAT, this is to ensure it is recognised as a EFI compliant install media.

    If you can't see it you may have secure boot off and Legacy boot enabled, failing that reset to BIOS defaults as 1 out of the 4 9550's I have had refused to see the USB until I did BIOS defaults.

    [​IMG]

    Click start, press OK on the data will be destroyed popup and watch it do it's thing for a few minutes. When it's done close Rufus, the USB sticks now ready.

    If you have not messed about in the BIOS then your laptops setup for "Secure boot" & "Legacy mode off"

    We want this as it is how it came from the factory.

    If you have messed about then set the BIOS back to the above.

    When you are ready to wipe your hard drive or install your new shiney SSD (install the SSD) shut down the laptop and when ready power on. Once you see the Dell logo press F12 a couple of times and wait for microscopic writing to appear in the top right of the screen (for us 4k users, 1080p users will be able to read it without leaving a nose print on the screen)

    The following screen should now have a couple of boot options, Windows boot managers going to be the existing install.

    My USB sticks the Sandisk in this case

    *EDIT* If you don't see the USB stick reset the BIOS to defaults then select AHCI mode again (unless you need raid mode)

    [​IMG]

    Clicking on the USB stick should result in it loading windows setup, when prompted click custom install.
    Figure out what drive is the one you want to install windows and and proceed to delete all the partitions until you are left with a single unpartitioned drive, click on it and hit next and windows will install.

    Did it work?

    YES, thank me, click like and give rep points to boost my 41 year old ego.
    NO, repeat the steps and post them here so one of us can figure out if it's your fault or mine ( it will be yours :) )


    Once you have a fresh Windows installed and working take a backup with something like Macrium reflect free. It will even do incremental backups so a daily backup can take under a minute once you have the 1st one out the way.


    If you are upgrading from the 1tb spinning drive with 32gb cache drive to another SSD to install windows along with keeping the 1tb spinning drive for storage please read >this post<
    (I say spinning drive as some of us have a 1tb SSD)

    A guide to swap to the synaptics touchpad drivers if you feel the need, I personally didn't try these so please read the thread and decide if you can live with the bugs involved, I couldn't so I didn't!
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...hpad-ptp-driver-with-synaptics-driver.783990/


    How to find your BIOS product key (and installed but possibly a generic mass entitlement key) using this handy app http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/produkey-x64.zip
    This should help with activation errors.


    Did I miss anything? feel free to tell me and I will edit this post.
    Did I get anything wrong, correct me and I will edit this post :)

    Please don't send me private messages about this, I am not your personal IT technician, keep it public as an answer here may help others, and it is a bit cheeky to expect a 1 to 1 troubleshooting session ;).


    Links in my sig below.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
    anytimer, smilie121, tachlio and 37 others like this.
  2. mohclev

    mohclev Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    2
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Awesome job, thanks Man! Waiting for this all day.
    Three questions here:
    1-Where did you switch to AHCI? I am using single ssd 512 GB, so I guess best bet is to go with AHCI, right?
    2- If we decide to go for AHCI, we don't need to have Intel RST? Because I have seen people using intel RST so that the ssd is recognized!
    3- Should I follow this part:
    "proceed to delete all the partitions until you are left with a single unpartitioned drive, click on it and hit next and windows will install"
    I have several partitions, can't I just format the OS drive? Without touching my other partitions?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  3. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Laptop Engineer & Online games hosting.

    Reputations:
    215
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Trophy Points:
    231
    1- Bios under sata.
    2-you don't needs intel RST anyway unless you use a cache drive, it is just another bit of software running that doesn't need to be. Performance can be less as it isn't using a windows NVMe driver.
    3- Yes, wipe them all as you leave a recovery and boot partition behind otherwise, this can cause issues. Considering the Dell recovery environments broken as well that isn't needed either.
     
    Kikuri and mohclev like this.
  4. Chris Wood

    Chris Wood Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    6
    You state above that you switched to AHCI in the BIOS. Did you do this before you booted from the UEFI flash drive or was this after the install was finished?
    Sorry for all the questions. Trying to get this right first time :)
     
  5. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Laptop Engineer & Online games hosting.

    Reputations:
    215
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Trophy Points:
    231
    before.
     
  6. norm2002

    norm2002 Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    47
    Messages:
    127
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I have separate partitions on my SSD for my Data and my Multimedia files. I hope it is OK not to delete those?

    Thanks for all you work and contributions.
     
  7. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Laptop Engineer & Online games hosting.

    Reputations:
    215
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Trophy Points:
    231
    Yes you can leave those.
     
  8. Akhor

    Akhor Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thank you. Would / could you also possibly link to all the drivers you use to create this one, given you already collated and searched for them all? It'd give people an indication what's out there; but also makes it easier to snatch them separately rather than having to download the whole ISO.

    [I am about to buy an xps 15, but as I have an old Windows 7 pro license (not OEM) around that I don't currently use will just go with Microsoft's free upgrade program of that and so replace the Win10 home that comes from Dell with Win10 Pro via that old license for a clean install - using the free iso's Microsoft hands out.]
     
  9. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Laptop Engineer & Online games hosting.

    Reputations:
    215
    Messages:
    3,721
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Trophy Points:
    231
    The ISO has the ei.cfg so this allows you to pick pro, you will need an ei.cfg on any ISO you use otherwise it will read the BIOS key and install home.
    As for the drivers I always use the latest so look at the spoiler tag under drivers and you will see what I used.
    Wifi for 1830 is now out of date, I linked to the new driver in the 1st post.

    Nvidia drivers have been an issue so I used an older one.

    If you want the full in depth view I left the sessions xml files in the root so people can see what I did.
    (attached to this post)
     

    Attached Files:

    Akhor likes this.
  10. Akhor

    Akhor Notebook Enthusiast

    Reputations:
    0
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Neat. Even less work and fiddling with things then.

    Thank you so much for putting the effort in!
     
Loading...

Share This Page