Apr 262013
 

First thing I always do on a new computer is fresh installation of Windows from USB. With Asus N56VJ I had an issue. Everything worked when I used BIOS compatibility mode, but UEFI boot failed.

In order to create USB installation media I used Microsoft’s Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool. Use of that tool results in NTFS on USB. UEFI usually requires FAT32 installation media. Therefore I had to create bootable medium myself as I used to do..

Procedure is actually simple. Just write DISKPART on start screen and you will be greeted with security prompt after which you will have old-fashioned textual interface. In my case USB was disk 3 (you can deduce it based on size) but your case will probably differ. Double check which disk you are selecting because DISKPART does destroy data:

DISKPART> LIST DISK
  Disk ###  Status         Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
  --------  -------------  -------  -------  ---  ---
  Disk 0    Online          476 GB      0 B        *
  Disk 1    Online          931 GB      0 B
  Disk 2    Online         7168 MB      0 B
  Disk 3    Online         7648 MB      0 B

DISKPART> SELECT DISK 3
Disk 3 is now the selected disk.

DISKPART> CLEAN
DiskPart succeeded in cleaning the disk.

DISKPART> CREATE PARTITION PRIMARY
DiskPart succeeded in creating the specified partition.

DISKPART> FORMAT FS=FAT32 QUICK
  100 percent completed

DiskPart successfully formatted the volume.

DISKPART> ACTIVE
DiskPart marked the current partition as active.

DISKPART> EXIT

Assuming that your, newly created and empty, USB drive is under letter U: and your Windows installation disk is at W:, you can use XCOPY to transfer files. Press + to get a prompt where you can enter following command:

XCOPY W:*.* /e /f U:\

After copy finishes, we have a Windows installation USB on our hands. Since Asus stores its Windows key in a BIOS you will have an issue if you want to apply your own Windows key – setup just never asks for it. One solution is to create PID.txt under U:\sources. It should have following content (with XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX being your key):

[PID]
Value=XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Next step is to boot machine while pressing <F2> to enter BIOS. Since boot is extremely fast, I always need a few attempts to get inside. :)

In BIOS we just select USB disk under Boot Override on Save & Exit tab. Once setup starts, proceed as normal. Windows will create GPT disk and all needed partitions itself.

[2014-09-20: Same procedure works for Windows 8.1 too]

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