Resurrected my np350v5c running win 8, should I get 8.1?

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by dannyk65, May 28, 2018.

  1. dannyk65

    dannyk65 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks in advance...don't want to destroy my laptop now that it's running well...just don't really like 8 all that much and miss start menu/button.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. dannyk65

    dannyk65 Notebook Enthusiast

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    ....crickets....

    Or I could get aggressive and try Win10, but I'm scared it'll fail.

    Also I remember reading about going from Win8 to Win7 (mine originally had 8 installed) but can't find the thread for the life of me. This may also be a terrible idea, and I would prefer to get 10 if at all possible.

    Please help! Anybody? Just a thought or suggestion will help me immensely, as right now I feel like I'm not quite finished fixing it.

    Cheers
     
  3. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hi @dannyk65,

    Traffic in the Samsung forum is admittedly not what it used to be. Still, the NBR rule for bumping threads (making a new "please respond to me" post) is to wait at least 24 hours. I realize that's a long time when waiting for the solution to a problem.

    Personally I would perform a clean install of Win8.1: I just prefer clean installs over updates. And when it comes to Win10, which I managed to install on my NP700Z3A (older than yours), I am finding it a full-time job to keep it doing only what I want, and nothing else. I am increasingly considering replacing it with a clean install of 8.1. My main computer is also running Win8.1. It should receive security updates and patches until 2023, although I don't anticipate staying on 8.1 that long.

    As for Start Menu, I've been using Classic Start Menu (Google it) ever since Win8, including on Win10. I would be challenged to use Windows 8/8.1/10 any other way.

    Our Samsung Forum Sticky List has links to several clean install and update guides. I just noticed now that it had somehow become un-stickied, but I stickied it back on top of the Samsung. I really recommend it as the first place to check for anybody looking for advice on Samsung laptops.

    One particular consideration for all early UEFI laptops from Samsung (i.e. those delivered with Win8): They have been known to corrupt their NVRAM when performing OS installations or updates. When this happens, they can soft-brick: Unable to boot anything, and unresponsive to F-keys during boot, meaning unable to enter BIOS or Recovery. The solution is to clear NVRAM as discussed in this thread, but it requires being able to boot Windows (from HDD/SDD, USB or DVD) which often is a great challenge -- or even impossible.

    If I had a vulnerable model (again, pretty much any model delivered with Win8, particularly ones from late 2012/early 2013) I would make the following preemptive measures before installing/updating Windows:

    1) Preemptively clear NVRAM before starting Windows installation. There is a slight risk in doing this, but believe it is worth it. It is easy to do while you still have a working Windows, and can be very hard or impossible when you don't. Again, check this thread.

    2) Reset BIOS settings to default values (F9 inside BIOS settings).

    3) Disable Fast BIOS/Fast Boot in BIOS settings (allows booting USB and DVD).

    4) Disable SecureBoot in BIOS settings, but make sure OS Mode Selection stays on UEFI OS or UEFI & CSM OS (it has been known to change itself when disabling SecureBoot). Of course ignore this if you have previously switched from UEFI to BIOS mode (selected CSM OS and converted your disk to MBR layout).

    5) Prepare a USB stick with WinPE that you have verified can boot.

    6) Download the latest BIOS update for your model and extract its content (as required for step 1 above) and keep it handy on the WinPE USB stick.

    This sounds like a lot, and may be a bit overkill. But if you should be so unlucky as to experience NVRAM corruption, you could end up spending many ours or days trying to solve it -- with no guarantee of success.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
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  4. dannyk65

    dannyk65 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Apologies...I had no idea about the 24 hour rule.

    Thank you again for such a comprehensive reply. I've already updated to 8.1 and worked through the kinks re: windows updater/installer/BITS and 100% disk usage. It seems to be smooth sailing now and I can even even manually install updates as they pop up in settings very quickly (this was impossible when 8.1 was first installed as every click I'd make seemed to launch automatic windows update (again, 100% disk is brutal!).

    Since I don't have a Win 10 key, I'll hang with 8.1 and most likely clean install when I swap the HDD for an SSD.

    Sadly, the SATA 1 connector is cracked and so installing the SSD where the OEM HDD was isn't an option. It'll go in the ODD caddy adapter (which I believe is limited to SATA 2 speeds) and unless I learn how to add a SATA connector somehow, that will be the best I can do.

    I have an old desktop with an Intel Pentium E5300 magically running Win 10 Pro (my only copy of Pro). Can I clean install Win 10 Pro to a new SSD when I buy one soon? I've made a system repair dvd and would like to keep the Pro version alive if I can.

    Thank you again for taking the time to help with my issues. I've read hundreds of your similar responses to many others and it really is fantastic to see such desire to help people. My issue is similar yet unique to every thread and post I've read...the HDD wasn't recognized in Bios on an early win8 machine, but this was caused by the SATA connector breaking (and not Bios issues/NVRAM/etc.) I may be the only one whose inevitable failure upgrading to 8.1 years ago wasn't because of UEFI/NTFS partition issues or secure boot/fast boot stuff.

    I've truly learned a ton the past couple weeks and I'm glad I did.

    Dan
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
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  5. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Good, well done. I guess I should have asked for your status before writing all that. Oh well :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    I see your updated post now. No worries (about the 24-hour rule). But it's a good way to avoid aggravating anybody :D

    And yes, you may indeed be one of the few who suffered disk/boot problems due to a hardware defect, not due to UEFI/NVRAM. There is some irony and humor in that. Still, if your model came with Win8 (as I gather) it may be among the vulnerable. I would be cautious, but not paranoid.

    And unfortunately you are right that your ODD caddy is limited to SATA2 speeds. Still, better than nothing. I am glad you got it all fixed. Again, good job!

    Oh, and thank you for the nice words :)
     
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  7. dannyk65

    dannyk65 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yep, it was one of the first with win8 and broke about 2 days after the warranty expired. Samsung was very rude about that.

    You're correct; Classic Shell is glorious! I just got it. Thanks for the rec...

    Last question for you...am I correct that if I upgrade the HDD my desktop Win10 Pro is installed upon, MS sees that as legit and I can clean install on a new drive? (Searching for this online is a wild goose chase)

    THANK YOU!
     
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  8. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    OK, so you're already familiar with the UEFI risks (if I understand you correctly). Sorry to hear that -- and glad to hear that :p

    You should be OK to re-install Win10 on a new HDD in the same PC. Microsoft tries to keep track of the machine itself used by a given license, but allow some hardware replacements.

    I did have a problem once when I replaced a HDD in my HP laptop and Win7 wouldn't install, saying the license was already used. I called Microsoft and they fixed it while on the phone. As I recall the fix was only temporary, and I would need to call again if I installed anew.

    And yes, Classic Shell is the proper name. Glad you found it!
     
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  9. dannyk65

    dannyk65 Notebook Enthusiast

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    tm.PNG
    Ok, so I've hit a brick wall when it comes to the max Ram and number of ram slots....I've seen max total ram listed as 8gb, with 2 slots. I took out the (absurd) 2 sticks earlier...one 4gb and one stick of 2gb. How ridiculous.

    Anyway, it doesn't look like there are more than 2 ram slots. But Task Mgr says I'm only using 2 of 4 slots. And CPU-Z says I'm using 2 of 4 slots...

    Assuming there are just the 2 slots, do I keep the 4gb OEM and get another 4gb stick with same stats to replace the OEM 2gb and be done with it? (16gb would be overkill anyway, wouldn't it?)

    Do I need to worry about getting another OEM Samsung 4gb stick? Or is that overrated and I should maybe get a Crucial 'guaranteed to work or full refund' stick?

    cpuz1.PNG cpuz2.PNG cpuz3.PNG cpuz4.PNG
     
  10. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    I suggest you create new thread for that RAM question. I don't have an answer for your specific model off the top of my head, but others may.

    If you haven't already, you can also try search (using Google with "site:notebookreview.com" or NBR search) as it may have been discussed before.
     
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