TUTORIAL: How to reformat and do a clean install of Windows 8 on Samsung Series 9 laptops

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by lzrsfa, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. Thors.Hammer

    Thors.Hammer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Glad to see someone else confirm my experience. Windows 8 has been running pretty flawlessly on my NP900X3D-A02US.

    How do you like IOBit Start Menu 8? I've been running Stardock's Start 8.
     
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hi Thor,

    In a case of odd timing, just yesterday I was at a meeting where Win8 simply couldn't hold the Wi-Fi connection, it kept dropping throughout the meeting, very annoying. I have meetings at that place every month and never had Wi-Fi problems while using Win7. Since my laptop was on the projector most of the time with a large audience, a reboot into Win7 wasn't feasible.

    It's odd because Win8 gives me great Wi-Fi at home (on the 5GHz band). I'll have to investigate further. For those suffering disconnect problems with Intel 6235, my NP700Z3A has 6230 and historically had pretty good Wi-Fi. I can only assume it's a Win8 related driver or power savings issue.

    Other than that, yes, as you've said previously Thor, Win8 itself works very smoothly on the Sammy. I haven't had any compatibility or other problems. Everything seems to work. After a couple weeks I finally switched over ExpressCache as well, and this thing flies.

    I REALLY like Win8's Fast startup feature: I used to have Sleep assigned to the power button (I never used the lid for that). But in Win8 I assigned Shutdown to the power button instead: Hitting power logs me out, micro-hibernates and fully powers off; no worries about incurring a new battery charge cycle if I move the laptop to another room. Next time either my wife or myself power on, it's up in a few secs, ready for either of us to log in. If I ever need a full reboot, I just use the Restart command. Very nice!

    As for IOBit Start Menu 8: It's very decent -- and excellent considering it's free :)

    It behaves almost like a Win7 Start Menu. A few little quirks: The Recent sub-menu acts a bit funny displaying all kinds of folders; I cannot set the number of apps to show in the Start Menu; Shut Down does a FULL Shut Down (not a Win8 micro-hibernate); it sometimes gets confused with Auto-hide Taskbar and on dual monitors.

    But these are little things. Most of all does it make Win8 usable for me -- which it would NOT be without it. It goes straight to the Desktop, allows me to disable the hot corners, and gives me a Start Menu so I don't have to whiplash into Metro all the time.

    I still really wish Microsoft would release an update to make Metro optional, so I didn't have to flip back and forth between two user interfaces. It simply doesn't make sense on a non-touch PC. But we've already exhausted that debate :D
     
  3. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Oops, looks like we overlooked your post, sorry about that. Many Win7 install guides have been posted in this forum over the last 12-18 months if you search a little. I have posted a few myself, though none of them specifically for Series 9. Still, it should be close enough.

    And it's not very different for Win7 and Win8. Hence, SGMD1's guide in the Opening Post of this thread is already a good place to start.

    It's actually very easy with these Sammies: Boot Windows Setup DVD (or USB), delete partitions, create new partition, Install Windows (wait), run SW Update (wait), done.

    There is a more step-by-step install guide in this post, and SW Update details in this post. It's based on Win8, but is very similar -- just make sure you download and save your Wi-Fi driver from Intel Download Center before you begin.

    For a very extensive Win7-specific install guide (including pre-install backup and post-install tweaking) check this post.

    I want to stress three things:

    1) When you wipe your current partitions, leave the Recovery Partition alone if you can afford the space. It's very useful to be able to restore the PC to factory state, in case you need to contact Samsung Support/Service OR if you choose to sell the PC some day. Recovery Partitions can be notoriously difficult to recreate (with working F4). If you MUST delete it, make some backups first. I hear the new models have better features for backing up and cloning the Recovery Partition. By all means use that.

    2) On Series 5 and 7 models, installing from DVD is much preferable to installing from USB, because it avoids an issue with Windows Setup mis-identifying the built-in iSSD (used for ExpressCache) and placing its boot partition there (SYSTEM). Series 9 (like yours) and other models without ExpressCache (such as newer Series 7) should not have this issue. For users who DO have ExpressCache and who MUST install from USB, use the guides in member hanime's USB Install thread. OR just avoid deleting the original SYSTEM partition from your HDD.

    3) Edit: Almost forgot the most important thing: If your PC came delivered with Win8, that means it is setup to boot in UEFI mode with SecureBoot (as opposed to the good old BIOS mode) and your disk is partitioned using GPT layout (as opposed to the good old MBR layout). Although Win7 theoretically supports UEFI and GPT, it has created problems for many users -- some of them serious. You may have a smoother ride if you switch to classic BIOS mode and convert your disk to MBR -- but unfortunately that will lose all its content, including that Recovery Partition I told you to preserve. This subject is covered in more detail in the threads linked below:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/sam...-clean-windows-7-install-series-9-900x3d.html

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/samsung/711865-difficulty-installing-windows-7-series-9-13-a.html

    Keep us posted on how it goes. There are lots of helpful people here for any questions you might have.
     
  4. nikolauspetro

    nikolauspetro Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks so much for your info! Super kind of you, I really appreciate it!!! Btw I didn't even know I could download Windows 7 legally and so available until I read your post #7 in this thread a couple days ago, so thank you! (My Samsung from Best Buy did not come with any DVD with Windows on it, or any info about obtaining it if I needed it)

    I will probably attempt the SSD swap out tomorrow, and I'll see how it goes.

    Thanks again!!
     
  5. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    FWIW, my NP900X3B has the 6230 and has better WiFi performance (speed and quickness to reconnect after hibernation) than the 6235 in my NP900X3C. I must make another attempt to get a 6230 card working in the X4C. The 6235 has some drop-out issues which are discussed on the Intel forum so, I hope, we will one day see a fixed driver.

    Win8's improved sleep has many similarities to the Intel Rapid Start Technology that is included with the Series 9 (and version 2 seems to be trouble-free and worth getting from Intel because SW Update doesn't offer it).

    John
     
  6. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Thank you, John.

    Yes, I took note when you mentioned some time ago about 6235 performing worse than 6230. The debate we had recently in the NP700Z5C thread (where member gadgetrants also referred to that Intel forum) I think confirms the issue -- either hardware or driver related.

    What surprised me, was that I suddenly got dropped connection issues on my 6230 -- which until now had performed very well, both under Win7 and Win8. And it leads me to wonder if some of the same issues that plague 6235 might be driver related and have spilled over to the Win8 driver for 6230. I still haven't gotten to investigate it further.

    Re Intel Rapid Start: Does it also offer this micro-hibernation, where programs are closed and the user logged out, all as if it were a "real" shutdown? That's what I really like about Win8's Fast startup feature.

    Something I should have posted and never got to: Some time ago I actually tried shoehorning Intel Rapid Start onto Win7 on my Series 7 Sandy Bridge (which doesn't have it from Samsung). I figured it's just a piece of software, it should be possible. But no go, I couldn't get it to take, no matter what I tried. It seems that it really only does work with certain Intel chipsets -- as Intel has claimed all along.

    I would be curious if those with Series Ivy Bridge models that do NOT have official Rapid Start from Samsung are able to squeeze it onto their machines...

    Edit: This got a little off the thread topic. I apologize :eek:
     
  7. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I'm a good one for pulling threads off-topic, so I'll continue. :D

    IRST is more like normal Windows sleep / hibernation except the transition from sleep to hibernation is just a matter of switching off sleep. I think the hibernation partition is mapped to the RAM and is quietly kept updated in the background with some form of table showing what was most recently used. There's no time delay in writing a hibernation file because little has to be updated when sleep/ hibernation is triggered and, on resume, the most recently RAM active contents are loaded first so the time the user has to wait to get back to where they were is reduced. There is a user-adjustable timer for controlling when the computer goes into hibernation. And hibernation means powered down. Does the windows 8 system also power down or does it slightly drain the battery if left overnight?

    I'm sure that IRST needs some supporting firmware on the computer because, in the implementation on the Series 9, resuming IRST skips any BIOS screen (or password).

    John
     
  8. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    @John: Thank you for that explanation. I kind of had a vague idea how iRST worked, but you made it much clearer for me. It sounds like they're simply trapping all page writes and mapping the entire RAM into the hibernation partition as one large pagefile. That's brilliant!

    Again, what I do like about Win8's feature is that it's one button to log out and shut down -- it just happens to be a faster shutdown and faster boot when I turn it back on. And yes, it DOES fully turn off power, so I don't have to worry about incurring a new battery charge cycle if I temporarily unplug the laptop.

    Before, I often wanted the speed of hibernation/resume, but I really didn't care about my entire session being saved and restored. For one thing, my wife and I both use this PC (it's officially hers, but I end up using it more, both for its portability and for its excellent keyboard and touchpad :D ) That means hibernating the entire session not only takes longer (when you don't have iRST) but also requires whoever uses the PC next next to log out and log in his/her own account. Now we just hit the power button and it logs out and and quickie-shuts down.

    But that iRST mapping of RAM really is a stroke of genious!
     
  9. nikolauspetro

    nikolauspetro Notebook Enthusiast

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    Which Wireless Lan driver are you using?
     
  10. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Intel Driver Only version 15.4.0.11. A newer 15.6.1 came out since, I have yet to try that. But I am also considering if the original Microsoft/Win8 driver might be better. Again, I haven't investigated yet -- except for that one location, my Wi-Fi is flying, and I am not going there again till next month :D

    Update: Hmm that driver version 15.4.0.11 (read from Device Manager) doesn't match my latest Intel download file (Wireles_15.6_De64.exe). I wonder if I AM running the original Win8 driver and simply forgot to install this downloaded Intel one :eek:
     
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