Some days ago I was asked to help a friend to choose a new laptop: she explain me her budget, the target applications and her needs. At the end of the scouting process we decide together to buy an Asus N550L notebook.
The configuration is awesome: Intel i7-4500U, 8Gb RAM, 1Tb hard drive at 5400rpm (this is the real bottleneck!!!), Nvidia Geforce 745M with 4Gb, Bluetooth 4.0, aluminium case everything packed in a 15,6″ form factor.
First of all I would like to buy a Windows 7 Professional license and downgrade the system but the vendor told me that Windows 7 is not supported by Asus on N550L. Searching on Asus website I found drivers and utilities for Windows 8 only…….I’m really disappointed about this because I’m quite sure that Windows 7 is not yet in End Of LIfe ! Anyway: I move on B plan and I decide to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update 1 a suggested by Microsoft in order to work in Desktop mode….I’m sure she will appreciate the “new” look’n’feel…
At 5pm I start the laptop unboxing (the Asus package is very well done and really accurate) and the first Windows setup. I click on the Store box in order to start Windows upgrade, but the system require to have all the last updates installed before start. The first round was composed of about 80 updates…..and require a reboot. The second round was composed of about 20 new updates….and require a reboot….the last round was dedicated to drivers upgrade and require a reboot. Well done, after about 1 hours installing updates and rebooting the laptop I’m finally ready to start the upgrade. I choose the upgrade box in Microsoft Store and the system told me that it needs to download 3,2 Gb ! Really 3,2 Gb ! This is an upgrade ? And what about a fresh install instead ? Crazy…. As probably you know in Italy we are not famous for ADSL broadband connections speed (we are not famous for many others things but doesn’t matter) so the download has required about 2 hours on 7Mbit/s….
At the end of the download you have to start the installer…it checks for hardware compatibility, configuration and I don’t know how many other things requiring about 20 minutes….luckily we have a great hardware to play with…so I decided to go to sleep believing that the new Windows can manage the update by itself……I was wrong.
The morning after at about 10am the update process was freezed at 8%…no response on the keyboard…just the circle balls animation….I had no choice and I shut down the laptop. At power on a black screen with a warning “Restoring previous Windows version” !!! I spent many hours to update and now you are turning back to the previous version ?!?!? Are you joking !??! No…….it’s not a joke…..the system restart with the previous Windows 8. I think this isn’t a good experience for a brand new hardware without any software installed except the original build upgrading the original operating system…..
Anyway, I tried again to have Windows 8.1 installed, clicking again on the MS Store and restarting the process….fortunately the big update (3.2Gb) was already present and the process starts…..this time it required about 1 hour and half to complete but everything was fine….and I can start the last Windows Update….
In the meantime, during the second upgrade attempt, I took my laptop and started “sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”: in 45 minutes the process was done (without any errors) and the distro upgraded to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS x64………….another class.