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Today I decided to be helpful. If you're like me and you hate bloatware with a burning passion and you absolutely must ave a 100% clean hard drive, then you're reading the right post! This is a Windows 7 and drivers installation guide for the Alienware M14X R1 (not the R2). I downloaded the latest drivers (as of 8/26/2012)for you guys from the offiicial dell drivers website (Drivers and Downloads | Dell [united States]) and arranged them in order of installation. I also included the latest NVIDIA driver 304.79 (BETA) and other important installers you need after doing a Windows 7 installation. The files are inside the 4hared folder I linked, If you don't want to download from my link, you can track down and download the files yourself at these links: MY 4Shared folder (contains drivers and programs numbered in order of installation/ up to date as of 8/26/2012) : 4shared folder - My 4shared *Dell drivers: Drivers and Downloads | Dell [united States] *NVIDIA Drivers: NVIDIA Driver Downloads - Advanced Search *Alienware WMP Skins (They're at the bottom of the page): AlienGUIse Theme Manager - Alienware Arena *AlienAutopsy: What is the Alienware AlienAutopsy Software and Where can I download? | Dell *CCleaner (I recommend the portable version for less footprints): CCleaner - Builds *Wireless-N 1103 Driver (the one in dell' driver download section is full of bugs): Killer Gaming :: Support :: Driver Downloads *DirectX: Download: DirectX End-User Runtime - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details *.NET Framework 4: Download: Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (Web Installer) - Microsoft Download Center - Download Details *Adobe Reader: Adobe - Adobe Reader download - All versions *Adobe Flash Player: Flash Player | Adobe Flash Player 11 | Overview (You can download the Live! Central application from My Dell Downloads:https://smartsource.dell.com/Web/Welcome.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fweb%2fmain.aspx ) *You have to have your login information to download the Live! cetral (and the bloatware)that came with your laptop (the Live! Central Is also in my 4shared link)* THIS IS A "FOR DUMMIES GUIDE" THIS GUIDE ASSUMES LOW EXPERIENCE IN THE SUBJECT FROM ITS READERS Windows 7 Installation *TIPS* * Before doing step 2, I suggest loading optimal defaults in BIOS settings. This can be done by pressing f2 instead of f12, after doing that you can press f12 after saving the changes you made. * If you plan on gaming on your laptop (which I'm pretty sure you are), after the steps above, press the right shift key five times and turn off sticky keys STEPS: 1. Insert the Windows 7 installation Disc that came with you laptop 2. Restart, then press F12 repeatedly 3. Choose Boot from CD/DVD 4. Choose your language 5. Click "Install Windows" 6. Click "Custom Installation" 7. Click "advanced" and format all partitions 8. Delete all partitions then click next 9. Wait for the installation process to finish 10. Click "Install Important Updates Only" 11. Create your new log-in information 12. Eject Windows 7 Installation Disc Drivers and Programs Installation *TIPS* * Ignore the BIOS (A08) and HDD Firmware (D2D5DEM1) file if you've already run that before * Don't be impatient and skip restarts, doing restarts prevents errors * Run the installer files from a USB flash drive r external hard drive so you don't have to waste about 1.5 gb of your hard drive with installer files that you'll only need once * Customize settings of applications and windows only after you finish all the steps below * Avoid windows updates until you are finished with the steps below (Step 2 being an exception) * If you trust me, you will use the drivers I uploaded as I have already extracted the installer files from the original dell drivers so that it doesn't clutter up on your hard drive and not make the C:/Dell folder where they extract the installer files. * I suggest keeping your driver files in a USB so that they don't get corrupted (corrupted driver= lots of BSOD's and errors) and don't clutter up space in your hard drive * If you don't want to follow TIP number 6, then download drivers only from the dell website I provided above * After step 23, you've still yet to restore your laptop to it's optimal state, I suggest doing the recommended steps to make your installation SUPER clean * Install all other programs (Skype, Steam, games, etc) after all step 23 and windows update (exception of microsoft office that would be optional step 27) STEPS: 1. Install Atheros driver 2. Plug in your ethernet cable then wait a few minutes for the first windows update to finish 3. Restart when asked by Windows Update 4. Install Wireless Card Driver then restart(the one I uploaded is for the Killer-N 1103 driver for others you're gonna have to download your driver from dell) 5. Install Intel Management Engine Interface 6. Install Intel HM67 Cougar Point Chipset Driver then restart 7. Install Realtek Card Reader 8. Install DirectX 9. Install .NET Framework 4 10. Install Adobe Reader 11. Install Adobe Flash Player (for Internet Explorer) 12. Install Intel HD Graphics 3000 Driver then restart 13. Install NVIDIA GT 555M driver then restart 14. Install Alienware Command Center then restart 15. Install Alienware OSD Application then restart 16. Install Realtek Audio Driver then restart 17. Install Intel Rapid Storage technology then restart after install and again after boot up 18. Install Synaptics Touchpad Driver then restart 19. Install NEC USB 3.0 Driver 20. Install Dell 375 Bluetooth Module 21. Flash Alienware M14x Camera Firmware 22. Install ST Microelectronics Free Fall Sensor 23. Install Live! Central Application Recommended Steps: 24. Download the "Customization" folder I provided, it contains original (not user made) alienware wallpapers, screensavers and avatars for windows 7 25. Put the files accordingly to where they should be. A Path.txt file is provided so you know where they should be 26. Customize the settings of Windows 7 (battery settings, wallpaper, screensaver, etc) also I provided all 4 alienware WMP skins OpS 27. Install MS office (and run every single program of it once and configure settings, click updates to the recommended setting) if you have it. If you dont have it, ignore this step. 27. Install Antivirus program NOW if you don't want to use the Microsoft Security Essentials that come with windows updates. (I highly recommend using MSE, it's an awesome, not annoying, super quiet anti-virus program, and it doesn't take much space) 28. Type Windows Updates, configure the schedule on it, check every check box on the settings and check for updates 29. Tick every single checkbox for important updates 30. Tick every single checkbox for optional updates EXCEPT for "bing desktop" hide this abomination and never make contact with it again (lol jus kiddin) 31. Install all the updates. (This will TAKE A LONG TIME make sure your laptop doesn't shutdown/sleep/hibernate on the process and keep an eye on it, some updates need user input especially MSE) 32. After the first batch of windows updates are done, check it again, there will be more left. then install all of them. 33. When you are sure there are no more updates, then you can proceed to install your games and other programs 34. I recommend installing the AlienAutopsy program, it's PC Doctor alienware version, it comes with your alienware laptop out of the box. I don't consider it bloatware as it is useful when I want to check for hardware problems. 35. After you have installed all your games and programs, run a full scan with your antivirus, run a default scan on AlienAutopsy, fix all options on windows and your programs, do everything you have to do. Check for updates on all your programs. 36. Now to make your laptop *SUPER* Clean, Defragment your Hard Drive (for HDD I'm not sure this is recommended for SSD users) 37. Check C:/, C:/Program Files and C:/Program Files (x86)for any unwanted files. 38. Type cleanup on start menu and clean up everything 39. Run CCleaner (Provided in download section) clean reistry, and check every box except wipe free space (I've tested this and it doesn't harm your computer) 40. Create a restore point 41. Run disk cleanup twice (once with no admin mode and one with admin mode) (this deletes other restore points wich takes up a lot of GB's) ENJOY your *SUPER* clean M14X R1! -alienhead0306 PS: This is my first post EVER so constructive criticism would be appreciated
I want to reinstall Windows on my SSD, how do you guys usually do this? Do you secure erase the SSD or can I simply use the format function during the Windows install? I'm still more or less a noob when it comes to SSDs