I messed up windows on my new computer :( Help please!

DaXia

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Jul 31, 2015
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So, I got my new alienware 17 r2 two days ago. Since I wanted both a SSD drive and a 7200 rpm hdd (that configuration was not availible) I decided to chose to buy the SSD drive from another place and get the DELL computer with the 7200 1TB hdd.

So, when I got my computer I first tried to start it and everything worked fine. All drivers were installed and the system was almost completely up to date and it was ready to upgrade to windows 10. But obviously I wanted the OS to be installed on my SSD, so I opened my laptop up, put in the SSD and booted the computer from the windows 8 install USB stick that I got.

I formatted the 7200rpm drive to remove the old windows install, and chose the 500GB SSD as the drive I wanted windows to be installed on. After windows was done installing and I got to the log in screen, I had to chose if I wanted to use "windows 8 on partition 5" or "windows 8 on partition 8". I thougt that maybe just formatting the original hdd wasn't enough to completely remove the old windows install, but decided to deal with that problem later. I chose "partition 8", and it turned out to be the SSD partition and I got logged in to windows. And here is where the real problems start.

Windows did not recognize any of my hardware, not even my network card so I had no internet access. I was like "wtf", but I used a USB drive to download the network card drivers on another computer and installed them on my new alienware computer. So, now I could go online and I started to update windows. Now I noticed that the "windows 10 update" was gone. I also noticed that windows 8 did not want me to log in to my microsoft account as the previously installed version did. I thought maybe it was a problem with not having the right updates, so I kept on downloadting updates. about 200 updates later, it still did not recognize any hardware, it still did not want me to log in to my account and the windows 10 upgrade was still nowhere to be found.

I restarted my computer a few times and got annoyed with the fact that you have to chose what partition you want to boot from every time you log in to windows, so I googled the solution and it said that I had to delete the whole 1TB disk partition and plug the disk out of the computer when installed windows to make the SDD partition the primary one.

I thought that reinstalling windows might help with some of the non-recognizable hardware issues too so I deleted and plugged out the original hd and reinstalled windows with only my SSD connected. This time, windows install said some crap about "installing windows to GPT disks, but it worked fine anyways. After finishing the installation and rebooting windows I did not have to chose which partition to boot from anymore but windows still did not recognize any hardware. I plugged in my hdd and restarted the computer. It kind of froze for a minute on the black alienware screen where you can choose to enter bios, but then it restarted itself and booted windows.

This is where I am now.

What have I done wrong? How can windows 8 fail to recognize ANY of my hardware, even after countless of updates? Also, the DELL selfdetect what drivers that needs to be updated does not work either. Sure, I can download all the drivers directly from DELL, but something tells me that I might have to reinstall windows soon again anyways so I wont bother with downloading all the drivers.

Please help me guys!
 

Shaina11

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Apr 23, 2014
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What is the exact model/model number of your laptop? Anytime I fresh install Windows I download the drivers directly from the manufacturers site first, then I put them on a flash drive, install Windows, plug in the drive, and install the drivers. This helps to avoid hardware problems. Sorry to say, you may have to reinstall Windows again, but if you get the drivers first, it should be easier. But definitely install with only the SSD at first, after you're up and running, then connect the HDD.

P.S. Microsoft's drivers through Windows Update suck (at least in my opinion.). I never use them, I try to get them either from the manufacturer of the computer's site, or the manufacturer of the hardware's site.
 

DaXia

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Jul 31, 2015
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The model name is simply Alienware 17" R2 with the following specs:
Memory 16 GB DDR3L 1 600 MHz (2 x 8 G)
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 980M 4 GB GDDR5
Hard Drive 1TB 7.2k SATA 6Gb/s
Wireless network card Killer 1525
Bundle N00AW7R230
Systems Management Haswell drivers
Intel® Core™ i7-4720HQ
LCD 17,3" IPS-screen Full HD (1 920 x 1 080)
Operating System Recovery Options Windows 8.1 (64) USB

I know that the windows drivers suck, but I have never installed windows without it even recognizing 1 of my drivers, not even my network drivers (no internet). Something seems wrong with the windows install. It does not even ask me to log in to my microsoft account and the upgrade to windows 10 option is gone (it was there before I reinstalled windows on to my SSD).

Is there something special about alienware computers? I know that I probably have to reinstall windows again, thats no problem. I just want to know that I am doing it right before I do it again.
 

Shaina11

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Apr 23, 2014
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It seems normal for the network drivers to disappear with a fresh install, it's happened in a similar fashion to me before. I do not believe there is an issue with the Windows install, but rather it does not have the correct built-in drivers for the Network/WiFi adapter. And as for the Windows 10 upgrade option, it was delivered through a Windows update, so until Windows 8.x has connected to Windows Update, it will not be there. I don't recall exactly which update it is.

I don't think there's anything different about the Alienware laptops compared to other gaming laptops and standard PCs. By the way, when you checked for the model, did you check the underside of the laptop? And if it has a removable battery, did you remove the battery to check for text underneath it? (Some HP laptops have their model number underneath the battery, but not directly on the battery, I'm not saying this is the case with yours, but could be a possibility.)

I will see if I can try to locate the site to download the drivers for your laptop model.
 

DaXia

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Jul 31, 2015
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Thanks, but you dont have to do that. I know where to find the drivers, I just thought it was weird that windown did not recongnize any of them, not even the nvidia card. I will try to simply download all the drivers from DELL and install them all and see if that helps. If it does, I will mark your answer as the correct one :D
 

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