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  1. #1
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Remind me: Fresh Windows 7 install

    So I've just reinstalled Windows 7 for the first time ever (the first install was late 2011 and I'm sure I did something wrong anyway). I'm using Windows 7 64-bit and the PC I'm installing it on is comprised of the following:

    - Intel i5 2500K
    - ASUS P8Z68-V Pro
    - 2x4GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600
    - MSI GTX 680 2GB Twin Frozr 3 OC
    - Corsair AX850 Pro Gold PSU
    - Samsung 840 Evo 256GB (this is new, hence the reinstall)
    - 2x2TB drives (Seagate Barracuda and Hitachi Deskstar, I believe), there may soon be an additional 1TB too
    - A TP-Link wi-fi card that I don't use but would still want to have the drivers for in case my wired LAN adaptor fails
    - ASUS Xonar DX (I want to replace this since it was old even when I bought it in 2011, the software sucks)
    - Various peripherals (Logitech G500 and G27, Apple wired aluminium keyboard (full), Saitek X-52 Pro, PS3 Eye camera for Freetrack, mic, headphones, three Dell U2312HMs (2xDVI, 1xDisplayPort)
    Um... I think that's all. Oh and a shitty DVD-ROM drive.

    Anyway, so I've forgotten what I'm supposed to do with regards to drivers. Is it sufficient for me to go to the ASUS page for the P8Z68-V Pro (http://support.asus.com/download.asp...-V%20PRO&os=30), download everything except the utilities (AKA horrendous bloatware, right?), manuals, qualified vendor lists and anything that has been superceded by another download on the site, then install it in a random order (except for things that say I need to download something else first)? Of course after that I need to get the drivers for my PCI cards and USB peripherals. Do I need to install the software that came with my SSD? Do my monitors really need drivers? Should I download all the drivers first then get OS updates, or should I install the LAN driver so I can update my OS then do all the other drivers?

    Also I've got most of my stuff - read: games - on the two 2TB drives, so I'm just assuming I'll be ok in that regard? I mean, any registry entries there were for them are now gone, so should I reinstall them? Frankly I imagine both drives need a good bit of cleaning so maybe I should just do this anyway. Except for my 1.61TB Steam folder, that can stay...

    Oh yeah, Game for Windows Live: I forget, do I need to download that before I play any GFWL games? Is there anything else I may have overlooked?

    As always, thanks for taking the time to read this and any help would be very much appreciated. But just in case you skipped to the end:

    TL, DR; I've just reinstalled Windows 7 64-bit and I can't remember the standard operating procedure with regards to installing drivers, updates and software, specifically the order and what I need and don't need.

  2. #2
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    GFWL doesnt exist anymore?

    I think you need mobo drivers, latest graphics drivers, vlc, maybe some kind of fan speed control software? (I use speedfan)

    steam? a good mail program? firefox or chrome?
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    I thought the shutdown was postponed?

    Motherboard drivers: Check
    Latest graphics drivers: Check
    VLC: Good shout, forgot about that.
    Fan speed control: Really, are they that important? I never had one in my old install.
    Steam: Check, sort of (on another drive I have yet to plug back in)
    Mail program: That's what my laptop is for
    Chrome: Check

    I've also just installed the actual drivers for my Apple keyboard so I now have the volume and disc drive eject keys working, brightness sadly does nothing (though since I know DVI doesn't have a provision for this, I'm not surprised), I presume the media keys will also work.

    Having a few problems, though:
    - Freetrack won't run because I don't have DirectX 9.0c, but the DirectX 9.0c installer seems to hang - no good.
    - Logitech Gaming Software 5.10 (for the G27) doesn't seem to work because of something to do with the side-by-side config, apparently reinstalling it with the installer in admin mode works though so I'll try that.
    - Drivers for my X52 Pro worked, the programming software did not work.
    - Drivers for my Xonar DX don't want to install (it doesn't detect my card for some reason), but I'm on the verge of just binning the fucking thing anyway. Having said that, though, I don't think you can get 5.1 from the on-board Realtek audio (I never could, hence why I bought the card) and I have a recently-liberated 5.1 home cinema box going spare.

    Anyway, it's far from plain sailing but I think the system will be pleasant again when I've sorted these problems out. My old install was starting to really bug me with the bloat and odd behaviour; I installed the free camera mod for Need For Speed Most Wanted 2012 and after that basically every installer came up with a TOCAEdit dialogue before I could install anything, naturally there was absolutely no obvious way to remove that...


    Edit: Ha, well, all it took was a reboot and all those problems were nearly instantly fixable. DirectX installed with no problems, Freetrack ran and worked fine after that, my Xonar DX is working again, the Logitech Gaming Software and Saitek programmer thing both work again too. I can't think of anything else I need to install now, though I'm sure there'll be something...
    Last edited by neema_t; 25-08-2014 at 05:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Heh I recently bought the same Samsung Evo and went through the same head slapping trying to remember the install order, it had been so long since I built the PC.

    I installed the Samsung Magician SSD software and turns out I messed up a little at the very first step. I forgot to set AHCI mode for the drive, I didn't even think to check the BIOS settings. It's in IDE and apparently this is not optimal to get the best drive speed (someone here will be able to tell me if this matters much...) and it's too late to change it, it would need a reinstall. Screw it, everything works just fine and it still feels like light speed compared to my HDD, I can change it next time.

    There's a whole bunch of other stuff for drive and OS optimisation in Samsung Magician but as everything worked fine out of the box I haven't touched any of it.


  5. #5
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    AFAIK AHCI does not change speed. It's only a compatibility/command thingy.
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    I thought the shutdown was postponed?

    Motherboard drivers: Check
    Latest graphics drivers: Check
    VLC: Good shout, forgot about that.
    Fan speed control: Really, are they that important? I never had one in my old install.
    Steam: Check, sort of (on another drive I have yet to plug back in)
    Mail program: That's what my laptop is for
    Chrome: Check

    I've also just installed the actual drivers for my Apple keyboard so I now have the volume and disc drive eject keys working, brightness sadly does nothing (though since I know DVI doesn't have a provision for this, I'm not surprised), I presume the media keys will also work.

    Having a few problems, though:
    - Freetrack won't run because I don't have DirectX 9.0c, but the DirectX 9.0c installer seems to hang - no good.
    - Logitech Gaming Software 5.10 (for the G27) doesn't seem to work because of something to do with the side-by-side config, apparently reinstalling it with the installer in admin mode works though so I'll try that.
    - Drivers for my X52 Pro worked, the programming software did not work.
    - Drivers for my Xonar DX don't want to install (it doesn't detect my card for some reason), but I'm on the verge of just binning the fucking thing anyway. Having said that, though, I don't think you can get 5.1 from the on-board Realtek audio (I never could, hence why I bought the card) and I have a recently-liberated 5.1 home cinema box going spare.

    Anyway, it's far from plain sailing but I think the system will be pleasant again when I've sorted these problems out. My old install was starting to really bug me with the bloat and odd behaviour; I installed the free camera mod for Need For Speed Most Wanted 2012 and after that basically every installer came up with a TOCAEdit dialogue before I could install anything, naturally there was absolutely no obvious way to remove that...


    Edit: Ha, well, all it took was a reboot and all those problems were nearly instantly fixable. DirectX installed with no problems, Freetrack ran and worked fine after that, my Xonar DX is working again, the Logitech Gaming Software and Saitek programmer thing both work again too. I can't think of anything else I need to install now, though I'm sure there'll be something...
    speedfan for me is a sound noise thing.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications & The Shopkeeper, an interactive short.

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnicalBen View Post
    AFAIK AHCI does not change speed. It's only a compatibility/command thingy.
    It does change speed, it allows the SSD to address a bigger queue of commands.

  8. #8
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    As a side note about the SSD: you can move the special folders in windows, if you, like me, get sick and tired of Steam games insisting on placing saved games in the documents folder, trashing the SSD.

    Start Button -> (Right Click) Your user name -> Open -> (Right click) Folder -> Properties -> Placement Tab

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Cephas's Avatar
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    On a new install I always use Ninite

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    It does change speed, it allows the SSD to address a bigger queue of commands.
    Ah thanks. As it's a SSD system, it will matter then. :(
    It is a technical difference, but's there none the less.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel J View Post
    I forgot to set AHCI mode for the drive, I didn't even think to check the BIOS settings. It's in IDE and apparently this is not optimal to get the best drive speed
    It's not too late to change (well, I know for sure it's not if you're on Windows 7), and I recommend that you do because I too left it in IDE mode too but it's definitely quicker in AHCI mode. I followed these steps:
    1.Exit all Windows-based programs.
    2.Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.
    3.If you receive the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.
    4.Locate and then click one of the following registry subkeys:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\Msahci
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Servic es\IastorV
    5.In the right pane, right-click Start in the Name column, and then click Modify.
    6.In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
    7.On the File menu, click Exit to close Registry Editor.

    Then you just go into your BIOS, change the SATA mode to AHCI and that's it. When you boot up it might ask you to reboot immediately after but that's not a big deal. While I was at it I also disabled legacy USB support and there was also a POST report thing that was set to 5 seconds, I changed that to 1 and now my PC boots noticeably faster (as you'd expect). I installed that Magician thing as well, seems good but I haven't noticed a lot of difference, though it did alert me to a few things like the page file (I had moved it on my old system but forgot to on the new) and indexing (I don't know if it only affects searches, but Windows never used to find a fucking thing I'd search for so I felt no great loss disabling that).


    I may move my user folder, some things resolutely refuse to let you save stuff elsewhere after all, and my old one was something like 15GB before I made some harsh edits to free up more SSD space. As it is now, I have a large GP Legends install (~10GB), 50GB of BF4, about 15GB of Borderlands 2 and I've also just installed Elite: Dangerous (even though it loaded nice and fast before anyway, let's call it testing) and I still have about 100GB left. I think the next steps are to let Uplay download its games then clear out the HD that isn't the Steam drive of all the bits I never used, reinstall the stuff I did use and then just deal with any problems individual games give me as and when, so I'm happy to call the reinstall complete right now.

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus rockman29's Avatar
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    For drivers I usually go to the motherboard website, that usually has helpful stuff. One driver I needed specifically to enable USB3.0, kind of thought that was stupid though... but at least it works.

    On laptops it's easier because everything is all in one place.

    PS3 Eye Camera I actually use on Mumble for my desktop, works very well. Using the CL-Eye Drivers. Not sure how much better or worse it is than my laptop mic though.

    Outside of that I can't help much :P

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    GFWL is still around and no plans on being shutdown if you're to believe anything Microsoft say. They aren't touting it as an integrated platform anymore. DEFINITELY install it before you try playing any GFWL-afflicted games. I installed FUEL on my HTPC (as an experiment - works great as a couch game) and it hung during install (from Steam) until I pre-installed GFWL and logged in.

  14. #14
    Network Hub Colonel J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    It's not too late to change (well, I know for sure it's not if you're on Windows 7), and I recommend that you do because I too left it in IDE mode too but it's definitely quicker in AHCI mode.


    Thanks, good to know. My cursory search led to me to believe that forcing AHCI with registry changes after install wasn't advisable but if you've done it and it worked fine then I might try it. Am still a bit cautious about it though after 3 months using the drive. I'll set a restore point and back-up my user folders if I do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    I have...50GB of BF4

    Me too, then annoying to find out that Origin doesn't have a multi-drive install option like Steam now does. I have to mess with changing the default drive each time I want to play a second game. I don't have much on Origin but it's rubbish they don't have that feature.

    My only regret is I didn't get a 512GB to give me more breathing space for a few more game installs. The only games I have on the SSD are my most played on-line games, 40GB for The Secret World and 50GB BF4, that's 90GB filled from 230GB.


  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel J View Post
    Me too, then annoying to find out that Origin doesn't have a multi-drive install option like Steam now does. I have to mess with changing the default drive each time I want to play a second game. I don't have much on Origin but it's rubbish they don't have that feature.
    Really? I changed my install location to C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games then copied over my BF4 folder from the old drive, ran Origin, installed BF4, it only downloaded a small file and was ready to play, then I changed the install drive to F:\Origin Games where my old Origin Games directory was, told it to install all of the games, it verified the files and now they're ready to go too. Before Origin let you change the download directory I left it on my SSD and used symbolic links to move everything but BF4 to F:.

    I'm having a problem with Steam now though, my brother tried to play DayZ (mod) last night and Steam was giving me a disk write error whenever I tried to verify Arma 2/OA/BAF/PMC's files. Other games (Borderlands 2, Just Cause 2, Hexcells, Hexcells Plus) work fine but with over 600 games I guess there'll be a problem with something, especially since I assume BattlEye installs files on my C: drive that wouldn't have been copied. I'm reinstalling them one by one to fix it, I'm sure the disk write error was down to something else since chkdsk returned no issues. I may have to back up the category/shortcuts file(s) then initialise my Steam folder by deleting everything except \Steamapps and steam.exe then running the exe to rebuild, but then I guess I'll have to 'update' every single game afterwards and that takes ages.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mft-dev View Post
    tired of Steam games insisting on placing saved games in the documents folder, trashing the SSD.
    Unless you're running a really old SSD, this isn't really a concern anymore.

    http://techreport.com/review/26523/t...-to-a-petabyte

    TLDR; SSD's are able to withstand 100's of Terabytes of writes. For comparison, most desktop users are not going to exceed 2TB a year.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus neema_t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedosbox View Post
    Unless you're running a really old SSD, this isn't really a concern anymore.

    http://techreport.com/review/26523/t...-to-a-petabyte

    TLDR; SSD's are able to withstand 100's of Terabytes of writes. For comparison, most desktop users are not going to exceed 2TB a year.
    I'm not sure about that, since I started this thread Samsung Magician says I've written 0.37TB. At that rate I'll be at 1TB within a month or so! That said I expect the rate of writes will drop dramatically now that I've gotten the stuff I want on the SSD, er, on the SSD, but still, that's 1/6th of your 2TB a year in just one week.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by neema_t View Post
    That said I expect the rate of writes will drop dramatically now that I've gotten the stuff I want on the SSD
    Yes, especially as most of those writes are once-only program/game installations. For comparison, my bitlocker encrypted SSD used for work had 1.78TB of writes after a year of usage.

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