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Reformatting, Reinstalling Questions [Win 7 x64]

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I'm getting ready to do a fresh reinstall because my system is sluggish and it's been a couple of years anyway. I have some questions though:

1. I downloaded the Win 7 Pro x64 ISO and used the Win USB tool to format my 8GB stick to install Windows. I've never done that, so is there anything else I should know (other than boot priority for USB) before pulling the trigger?

2. Even though I don't have an SSD yet, I might as well switch over to AHCI (my prior install was IDE). Will the Windows have the appropriate drivers or do I have to do some kind of RAID-ish load driver thing? I've currently got my 1TB Caviar Black partitioned into c:300gb / d:700gb and have put a lot of backup files on D: for my reformat. Switching to AHCI won't require me to format the full disk and lose the information on that partition will it?

3. Does anyone know of any free programs (similar to Belarc) that will find 3rd party Product Keys and back them up? It would save me a lot of time if I could just copy/paste everything.
Tip: Someone mentioned that I should create a Google Docs backup of my product keys for future reference - and I will after this install.

4. Some of you have mentioned before that I shouldn't install chipset drivers, lan drivers, audio drivers, etc unless something is not working. Really? Should I not go to ASUS's site and get every updated driver for my motherboard?

5. Keeping question 4 in mind, I have a complete AMD system. Should I install the full catalyst package that includes CCC and my mainboard drivers? I was thinking about trying out the ATI Tray that people seem to link...

That's it! Any other general tips would be appreciated because I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Thanks in advance folks.
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post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Oh yea:

Are there any other tools/drivers I should throw on the USB stick in addition to the Windows image? That wouldn't cause a problem would it?
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post #3 of 9
Your key is coming from where?

AHCI drivers install with win7 if you are doing a fresh install with the mode on and the HDD's plugged in.

Switching to AHCI won't cause you to re-format, you can just reinstall windows and it will put the old one in an OLD WINDOWS folder. None of the programs will be usable, just userdata will be available.

The best way to get the key if you have not formatted windows already is to
window key>right click -my computer>properties and your window key will be shown plain as day at the bottom of the page. Just write it down.

You will have to reinstall windows on the SSD drive when you get one.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
1. I downloaded the Win 7 Pro x64 ISO and used the Win USB tool to format my 8GB stick to install Windows. I've never done that, so is there anything else I should know (other than boot priority for USB) before pulling the trigger?
It's farily straightforward. Insert your USB stick, use Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, and let it do the rest. It will take some time depending on how fast your USB stick is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
2. Even though I don't have an SSD yet, I might as well switch over to AHCI (my prior install was IDE). Will the Windows have the appropriate drivers or do I have to do some kind of RAID-ish load driver thing? I've currently got my 1TB Caviar Black partitioned into c:300gb / d:700gb and have put a lot of backup files on D: for my reformat. Switching to AHCI won't require me to format the full disk and lose the information on that partition will it?
Yes, Windows has the necessary drivers to switch from IDE to AHCI. You may need to do a registry hack but that's if you've forgotten to switch to AHCI after the OS install.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
3. Does anyone know of any free programs (similar to Belarc) that will find 3rd party Product Keys and back them up? It would save me a lot of time if I could just copy/paste everything.
Tip: Someone mentioned that I should create a Google Docs backup of my product keys for future reference - and I will after this install.
No idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
4. Some of you have mentioned before that I shouldn't install chipset drivers, lan drivers, audio drivers, etc unless something is not working. Really? Should I not go to ASUS's site and get every updated driver for my motherboard?
That depends on the computer configuration. I've found that some older laptops benefit better using the stock Microsoft drivers than downloading and installing anything current.

In your case; install your video card, sound, and lan. Windows handles AMD setups fine without needing the extra software from the Catalyst package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
5. Keeping question 4 in mind, I have a complete AMD system. Should I install the full catalyst package that includes CCC and my mainboard drivers? I was thinking about trying out the ATI Tray that people seem to link...
See above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
That's it! Any other general tips would be appreciated because I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Thanks in advance folks.
You can try venturing into editing the OS disk using Windows 7 Toolkit. Has a little learning curve but you can basically edit some things from the disk and integrate your own applications, software, and/or drivers. I use it mainly to integrate Windows updates.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
@cook. I'm using my student copy's Windows Key and I've got that one. I was asking about finding product keys from other programs such as Sony Vegas, various plugins for it, utilities, etc so I could consolidate them into one easy file. It's not nessecary but, like installing Windows off the USB, would make things a lot quicker and efficient.

@SimpleTech: Good stuff. That Win7 toolkit is super cool, so I'll look at that for an hour or so before I start my reinstall. So you're saying, to be clear, that I shouldn't install the optional southbridge and ahci drivers (click optional) on the AMD website? From just casually reading about it, I heard they improve performance. *shrug*
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post #6 of 9
I been using UltraIso for burning .iso to a USBkey. I have two USB keys one with Win7x86 and on with win7x64 I use them all the time. You should try it out you can PM me if you need help setting up ultraiso to burn the iso to USB drive.
 
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by UNOE View Post
I been using UltraIso for burning .iso to a USBkey. I have two USB keys one with Win7x86 and on with win7x64 I use them all the time. You should try it out you can PM me if you need help setting up ultraiso to burn the iso to USB drive.
Thanks. Any benefit to using it over the MS USB TOOL? It was pretty simple with that.

Jesus this Toolkit that Simpletech linked is making my head spin.
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My System
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1TB WD Caviar Black m4 Crucial SSD Windows 7 (x64) SP1 ASUS VH242h 
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
Thanks. Any benefit to using it over the MS USB TOOL? It was pretty simple with that.

Jesus this Toolkit that Simpletech linked is making my head spin.
It was easier for me. you can format it and rip it all from the software. No need to have extra tools.

It worked for me on every type of disk. Live CD's and other boot programs.
 
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RX360, EX360, EX360, and 480 Rad's XSPC Raystorm CPU Block Dual boot (other unnamed OS) and Win8 Pro QNIX QX2710 27" 2560x1440 @ 112hz 
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Other
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Hard DriveCoolingCoolingMonitor
128GB Samsung 830  RX360, RX240, EX360 XSPC Raystorm CPU Block QNIX QX2710 27" 2560x1440 @ 114hz 
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4x r290's
(9 items)
 
3x 7970's
(16 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 3930K 4.8Ghz offset ASUS X79 Rampage IV Extreme GTX 780 with EK waterblock GTX 780 with EK waterblock 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
GTX 780 with EK waterblock  Samsung 16GB (4x4gb) 2400Mhz 10-12-12-31-1t @ 1... 256GB Samsung 950 Pro 256GB Samsung 840 Pro 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
RX360, EX360, EX360, and 480 Rad's XSPC Raystorm CPU Block Dual boot (other unnamed OS) and Win8 Pro QNIX QX2710 27" 2560x1440 @ 112hz 
KeyboardPowerCase
Corsair K90 Corsair AX1200 Corsair 700D Modded w/ External Radiators 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 3570K GA-Z77X-UD3H 4x R9 290's 8GB 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
1TB Hard Drive Win8 Corsair Dual PSU - AX1200 and HX650 Open Case 
Other
Thee 16x Risers and One 1x Riser 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3930K 5Ghz Bench ASUS X79 Rampage IV Extreme 3x AMD 7970's w/ EK water blocks Samsung 16GB (4x4gb) 2400Mhz 10-12-12-31-1t @ 1... 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingMonitor
128GB Samsung 830  RX360, RX240, EX360 XSPC Raystorm CPU Block QNIX QX2710 27" 2560x1440 @ 114hz 
KeyboardPowerCase
Corsair K90 Corsair AX760i Corsair 700D Modded w/ External Radiators 
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Druuge Fuel View Post
@SimpleTech: Good stuff. That Win7 toolkit is super cool, so I'll look at that for an hour or so before I start my reinstall. So you're saying, to be clear, that I shouldn't install the optional southbridge and ahci drivers (click optional) on the AMD website? From just casually reading about it, I heard they improve performance. *shrug*
That is correct. I've tried the SB/AHCI drivers and got worse performance.

Also, that Windows 7 Toolkit has a built-in USB NTFS format tool for prepping it for Windows 7. All you have to do afterwards is drag the files from the .ISO onto the USB stick.
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