Windows 10: Advice pls on setting up new HP Spectre x2 Solved

  1.    15 Nov 2016 #1

    Advice pls on setting up new HP Spectre x2

    Hi,I have purchased the above machine and need some advice on a few aspects...HP have loaded their own updater/messages/support software which I would like to unload. Is this safe and recommended? Will removing this also remove any HP loaded device drivers?As yet I haven't created a restore point for the fact that it will restore the manufacturers own software again I presume. Is this a wise decision or somewhat foolish?Ideally I would like just a clean install of the latest Win10 os without any overhead.I'm a little apprehensive because I find myself in unfamiliar waters using Win 10 whereas in Linux I can simply reinstall if I get things wrong. I'd really like to kick things off on the right foot from the outset with this machine so I would appreciate some pointers regarding this pre-installed software and then beyond that, any more tips or suggestions for managing/maintaining the setup. Yes, I guess I need a fair bit of hand holding...TIADennis
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Nov 2016 #2

    This is what I do with a new computer. Get an 8 GB USB flash drive and a USB external hard drive (I do 500 GB or larger for the hard drive). The hard drive needs to be big enough to hold a backup image of the computer's hard drive + few extra GB for drivers. If it has an SSD or eMMC memory, the procedure is the same, I'm just going to say hard drive.

    Make a Windows 10 installation USB flash drive on the 8 GB flash drive. For simplicity sake, just let the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool do it. I avoid RUFUS like the plague - too easy to get it messed up, no need to use it, and not all that reliable, IMHO. After the Windows 10 instillation flash drive is created, replace the boot.wim file in the sources folder with the boot.wim file from Kyhi's recovery tools. See my quote in the middle of the OP here:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums

    There are ways to make a bootable partition on the external hard drive so you don't need the USB flash drive - but that is a little more complicated and I am trying to keep this simple.

    Make a folder on the removable hard drive to hold drivers. I call mine Drivers because I am not that creative. In Windows 10, right click on the start icon, select Command Prompt (Admin) and run the following in the command prompt window:

    dism /online /export-driver /destination:E:\Drivers

    The path in red will be to the folder you created on the external hard drive to hold the drivers, so change it to whatever you need to. This will export any HP specific drivers not included in vanilla Windows 10 from Microsoft.

    Boot the computer from the USB flash drive you created, it should boot into Kyhi's recovery tools. Run Macrium Reflect. From the backup menu, create a backup image of the entire computer's hard drive onto the external hard drive. Then using file explorer, run setup.exe from the root of the USB flash drive to start Windows 10 setup. Select the custom install option. Delete all the partitions on the computer's hard drive, install Windows 10 to the unallocated space.

    After clean Windows 10 is setup if you need to load any device drivers to fix missing hardware or hardware with exclamation points in device manager, you just have to point device manager to the Drivers folder you created on the external hard drive and it will load the previous driver for it.

    After Windows 10 is installed cleanly and all updates are done and all hardware is working correctly, I like to save a second image to the external hard drive. Sometimes I will also tuck a backup image into a hidden partition at the end of the computer's hard drive/SSD just for quick restoration if something crashes Windows (or I mess it up) but the hard drive/SSD is physically OK.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    15 Nov 2016 #3

    Brilliant... thank you.
    I really appreciate the time, effort and detail that went into your reply.

    Notwithstanding having never seen or ever used the Win Recovery Tools I think I follow the steps you've outlined and understand the process in terms of what's going on in the main, though I'm certain there will be more questions!

    I have a 1 TB Hitachi Touro external drive fit for the job and several USB > 8GB drives with the only stumbling block I can foresee being USB C ports (only) available from the Spectre x2. An adapter cable is now on the shopping list to get this done.

    To your post more specifically now, and the command posted to copy the drivers across to the ex drive; will this copy all the device drivers or is it selective and only copy non-Windows sourced drivers? I managed to look through Device Manager and found only HP branded drivers associated with the cameras and some printing functions and then to my horror, I checked HP's website, both here in Australia and the US site to find they list no drivers available for this device. It is shenanigans such as this that makes me more than a little wary to be TBH.

    For now, and until I have an adapter cable in my hands peace to you. You have calmed my apprehensions no end.

    Thank you again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    15 Nov 2016 #4


    On the driver issue HP support have advised that to download drivers you must access their site from that device.

    So why then does HP ask me to select my product if it can already detect my device and why am I offered downloads for other devices if I can't download them?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    15 Nov 2016 #5

    If you want to see what drivers will be exported, you don't need an external device. Create a folder on your C: drive called Drivers (or whatever). Then run the command given to export the drivers to the folder on your C: drive.

    You can also play with these two commands:

    dism /online /get-drivers /all /format:list

    dism /online /get-drivers /all /format:table

    To capture the output into a file add a

    to the end of the command - username in red will be to your user folder under the C:\Users folder.

    And here's more info:
    Driver Servicing Command-Line Options
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    15 Nov 2016 #6

    Now that's generated just a little excitement let me tell you. But first things first as always...

    Again, thank you.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    16 Nov 2016 #7

    Ok, job complete. I'm currently enjoying a pristine Win10 O/S 'crud-free' :)

    I did have a few issues copying the drive with the first few attempts finishing with errors and pointing to the log for info. I think it was the fourth attempt that was finally successful. I also had some issues booting from the USB media. For some reason the boot on this machine appeared delayed by a couple of minutes which had me questioning the bios boot order several times. I am also unfamiliar with the whole UEFI/secure boot thing so that didn't help, but hey persistence paid off in the end.

    So some more questions if I may re your maintenance/backup practices ...

    Do you bother with restore points and are they of little benefit when compared to the process above?

    I take it you keep an up-to-date folder of current device drivers saved on an external drive using the command posted earlier... can this be run automatically at set intervals (like a cron in Linux?) A notification that a new text file has been generated for instance would suffice. Otherwise is there any means to trigger the fact a driver has been replaced/updated?

    On the whole this is a really nice little machine... I am super impressed, but I must also say with Win10 on the whole. I came from a Linux environment where I learned enough to get me in and out of trouble more often than not for more than, well, ...since when Windows Millennium edition was just new Ever since Win10 became available for download I have been back and forth with it and on here using an oldish Acer Aspire laptop but without the touch interface. By golly touch has me won over that's for sure. I read the Surface Pro machines are probably a decent step up again from the Spectre x2 so I'm guessing they're one hell of a user experience.

    Anyway, enough rambling. Time to enjoy, read and learn all that is before me. Thank you very much for your wisdom and support, and thanks to Kyhi for making the tools available. Peace Y
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    17 Nov 2016 #8

    Thanks to this tutorial I have managed to generate a copy of my installed drivers using task scheduler. The plan was to generate a weekly copy of drivers and save that to my local one-drive folder for safe keeping. I watched the first schedule run and saw my OneDrive\Drivers folder populate which was rather cool.While this is fine for a first run populating an empty folder I suspect this rough and ready approach won't work from here on. So is there a means to compare the contents of the original location with the destination set so as to only copy changed drivers or is there another alternative? Also, if I just left this as is and executed the dism command above set to run every Wednesday what would be the result? Multiple 'Drivers' folders or would the contents of the folder be overwritten each time?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    17 Nov 2016 #9

    I wondered the same , so I ran the command 3 times , each time it appeared that the same driver backup file was overwritten with the version currently there.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    17 Nov 2016 #10


    I had the same idea after posting but I wanted to let the original driver set sync with OneDrive first to gauge any activity after manually running the command again. OneDrive did detect the files were overwritten so the little activity was likely just file associated data.

    So that is a brilliant result and another task crossed off the list.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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