Clean install on a pre-installed windows 10 laptop (partions) Solved

  1.    04 Dec 2016 #1

    Clean install on a pre-installed windows 10 laptop (partitions)

    Hi everybody,

    The reason I am seeking your help today is that I'm trying to do an clean install on my freshly bough Asus Zenbook UX330UAK which came with a pre-installed windows 10 loaded with bloatware.
    Now I know that it's touchy to mess with windows 10 pre-installed laptops because of OEM's partitions and stuff.

    So here I am trying not to mess it up with I hope you help.

    Basically all I need to know is how to manager the partition part.

    Right now on my SSD I got 4 partitions

    - Partition 1 : System
    - Partition 2 : MSR
    - Partition 3 : OS
    - Partition 4 : Recovery

    I read stuffs like you have to be very careful with pre-installed windows 10 laptop because of UEFI settings stored by the OEM. That if you happen to delete them your laptop won't boot anymore on UEFI mode and you'll have to swith your BIOS to legacy, do a BIOS install of windows ... bref, problems

    I want to avoid that.
    I read online that I should delete System, MSR and OR then create a new partition and install windows on it. During the installation profess windows will create new system and MSR partition. Right or not ?

    I just need someone to shed some light on this for me.

    Thanks in advance :)
    Last edited by Arese; 04 Dec 2016 at 13:50.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    04 Dec 2016 #2

    First, we need a bit more information about the recovery partition. How big is it? If it is 450mb then it is just the standard, vanilla Windows 10 recovery partition and nothing special from Asus is likely to be in it.

    Here's what you can do. It's not what I do with a new computer, but you can do it:

    Delete Partitions 1, 2, 3 (System, MSR and OS). Do not create a new partition. Just select the custom install option in Windows 10 setup, select the unallocated space to install to, and click next. Windows 10 setup will create it's own new System, MSR, OS partitions and a new recovery partition in front of the old recovery partition which will remain left over.

    What I do when I get a new computer.
    I boot the new computer from a USB flash drive containing Kyhi's Recovery Tools from this forum. I save an image of the entire internal hard drive/SSD onto an external USB hard drive.

    Then I boot the new computer from it's own drive and enter Audit Mode and export the manufacturer specific drivers to the same external USB hard drive using the dism /online /export-driver command.

    Then I reboot the computer to a Windows 10 installation flash drive (which is also my Kyhi's recovery tools drive), completely erase (delete) all partitions on the new computer's drive, then install Windows 10 to the empty drive. If I have to, I reinstall the manufacturer's drivers from those I exported earlier.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    04 Dec 2016 #3

    Sorry about that.
    Here's a pic of my SSD partitions

    Seems like you're right and it is the vanilla windows 10 recovery with nothing important from Asus
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    04 Dec 2016 #4

    I would say the recovery partition does not have much on it special to the Asus laptop. It's only 500MB, so you can even just save an image of it with a program like Macrium Refelct Free to a small USB flash drive if you wanted to archive it. Here's the thing with factory recovery partitions - after you erase the factory installed OS and do a clean install of vanilla Windows 10 over it, there is about 99% chance the factory recovery partition is going to be useless anyway. Most of the time to restore the factory software from a recovery partition the links to it or manufacturer's software contained in the OS must be intact and used. Clean installing vanilla Windows 10 breaks those links.

    There is a great chance, probably in the 90% range, that you could erase that entire hard drive, clean install Windows 10 to it, and not have any problems at all. I have a touch of OCD and like to save an image of the factory load first. Only once have I had to go back and reload the factory image and that was on a cheap Chinese brand tablet that I had to retrieve a registry entry from in order to get the screen rotation driver to work properly.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    04 Dec 2016 #5

    Oh I see. Thanks for the information. I guess I won't need to keep the factory recovery partition based on the pre-installed OS anyway then.

    Now to go back to your first post.
    Basically between the 2 options, the difference is that with option 2 you get to keep the specific manufacturer drivers while with option 1 you don't right ?
    With option 1 I'll have to install them manually from Asus's support page while with option 2 it will be like booting the laptop like for the first time right out of the box ?

    Can I extract the specific manufacturer drivers onto my installation flash drive I created using Microsoft's Media creation tool or does it has to be with the so-called Kyhi's Recovery Tools drive ?

    FYI I already saved an image of my factory pre-installed OS using AOMEI

    Thanks for your time and your very interesting and detailed explanations, I really appreciate it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    04 Dec 2016 #6

    Sort of. With option 2 you have both the manufacturer's drives saved that you can re-install to make hardware work if you need to, but you won't get the factory out-of-box software load unless you restore the complete image you make.

    To just export the drivers, you just use a built-in Windows command:
    Which drivers to download for a clean install of Windows 10 (Dell)? - Windows 10 Forums

    To restore a driver, you go into Device Manager and right click on any unknown devices or devices with exclamation points and select the options to manually install a driver, enter the E:\Drivers (or whatever/wherever the folder you exported is) folder to search from and Windows 10 will find the correct driver in all the subfolders and install it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    04 Dec 2016 #7

    Fantastic, this sounds amazing.
    So I'll just save the manufacturer's drivers using the built-in windows command you just linked me to.
    Then I'll just follow your option 1 procedure to install a clean vanilla windows 10.
    And use Device manager with my manufacturer's drivers saved to install all drivers.

    Once gain, thank you very much for your really good and detailed technical explanations. I posted on few forums and you are by far the best help I got :)

    EDIT : I successfully extracted the manufacturer's drivers on my external HDD
    Last edited by Arese; 04 Dec 2016 at 14:36.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    04 Dec 2016 #8

    Another question out of curiosity if you don't mind.

    You said

    Delete Partitions 1, 2, 3 (System, MSR and OS). Do not create a new partition. Just select the custom install option in Windows 10 setup, select the unallocated space to install to, and click next. Windows 10 setup will create it's own new System, MSR, OS partitions and a new recovery partition in front of the old recovery partition which will remain left over.

    What happens if I delete system, MSR, and OS partitions and do create a new partition instead of select custom install like advised ? Windows 10 won't create a new system, MSR and recovery partitions but just an OS partition ?

    Since I'm going to delete the recovery partition because we established it will be useless, Do I still need to not create a new partition ?

    Delete all partitions, not create a new partition and select the custom install ?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    04 Dec 2016 #9

    Arese said: View Post

    Delete all partitions, not create a new partition and select the custom install ?

    This ^^^^^ as you have saved drivers. Windows installer is better left to do its own thing - it sorts it out for you.

    Strongly recommend image backup first as NavyLCDR advises in case crap happens. Advise using Macrium Reflect Free (by far most favourite tool on this forum) - many guides on web and youtube.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    04 Dec 2016 #10

    I'm all set up and running a vanilla Windows 10.
    Thanks for your tip, reinstalling drivers went pretty quickly.

    Though I had to install ATK drivers to get the hotkeys working
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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