Reverting to Windows 7 on the HP Envy Sleekbook 6 (6-1110us)

Alright, so a bit of bad news, my old laptop (also an HP decided it wanted to start mucking up on me. Network adapters going all haywire, you know how it goes. The USB wireless adapter I got for it should do me in the mean time but I decided to go out and get a new laptop today.

I was looking in my usual spot online (Micro Center) to see if they had any reasonably priced laptop replacements. I found one for about 480 bucks after tax, and I had them hold one for me to come pick up in the store. When I got there, picked it up (paid the 480 and change I was expecting) I got home and unboxed a new Sleekbook Envy 6 instead, which has better hardware definitely but it also had Windows 8 which is a big no-go for me.

So I took the time to figure out how to get this bad boy working on Windows 7 and have everything put together in sequential order in download links section.

UPDATE: If you are just looking for a Windows 7-like environment I suggest you check out this great app: Start8

Getting Started

Note: This guide is for going through a clean install of Windows only. I can not guarantee the same results will apply otherwise.

Firstly — You will need to boot up your device and hit either F10 or ESC to get in to the BIOS before you get the HP logo at the black screen. Once you’re in, move over to the third tab labeled “Security” or similar and enable legacy boot. Once you have done this, save and exit the BIOS shutting down your computer.

Secondly you are going to need Windows 7 install media and a USB stick with at least 8GB of available storage because as you may have noticed this model of Envy has no optical drive. There’s a great guide on setting up the USB drive for installing Windows 7 that can be found here: Into Windows.

Once you have completed setting up your USB drive with the Windows 7 install files and installing windows as per normal (using the USB 2.0 port on the right hand side, hint hint) you are ready to get your Envy rolling on Windows 7.

The Drivers

1) Synaptics Touch Pad Driver: http://q.gs/2WPH1
2a) Realtek Ethernet Driver: http://q.gs/2WPH2
2b) Qualcomm Wireless Driver: http://q.gs/2WPH3
3) AMD A70M Chipset Drivers: http://q.gs/2WPH4
4) AMD 7600G Drivers: http://q.gs/6ayCe

UPDATE: It appears newer versions of the drivers aren’t compatible with the 7600G, I have reverted the link to point to an older, compatible version of the drivers that should work. Let me know if there are any issues, thanks!

Download all these ahead of time and load them on to a USB stick so we can make this a quick, easy setup. Once you have download them, plug the USB stick in to the USB 2.0 port on the right hand side and follow the steps below.

Enabling the Mouse Pad

The first thing you will undoubtedly notice is that your mouse pad is completely useless at this point and you have absolutely no access to your USB 3.0 ports on the left side of your Envy. This presents a problem as I was stuck using my keyboard to navigate around and install things.

Note: If you are not familiar with mouseless navigation tab will move you between sections, arrow keys will move you between items, and return executes.

With your USB key plugged in (it should be drive letter D) hit the Windows key and type (or navigate to) D:Drivers1 – SYNAPTICS_TOUCHPAD.zip1 – SYNAPTICS_TOUCHPADSYNAPTICS_TOUCHPAD.exe (or replace D with whatever it mounted your thumb drive as). You should then be prompted to either extract or run the zip file. tab over to run, and hit enter. This will bring up the setup Window for the Synaptics Touch Pad driver. You will then be presented with a screen saying “Welcome” and the “Next” button should be hi-lighted already hit return now to proceed.

Next you will be presented with the license agreement, just tab through that until both the agree radio button is selected and the next button is hi-lighted in blue. It should then proceed to install the drivers. Give it a minute or so and voila you are now free to move about the cabin or… computer.

Now, isn’t that better? It should make navigating around your Envy much easier now. Next we move on to the network driver of our choice. I personally did this using ethernet but if you are a distance away from your router and you don’t feel like wiring your whole house with RJ-45 you might want to use wireless. I included the download links to both above.

Installing the Network Adapters

A) Right so if you chose to go with the ethernet adapter you have downloaded that first. I suggest doing this because Windows update will take care of the wireless one later on if you want it to, or you can just install it using the drivers I provided.

To get our Envy online we’ll need to unzip the archive named “2a – REALTEK_GIGABIT_ETHERNET” and run the enclosed setup executable. After a few minutes of waiting, maybe skimming over the license agreement if the author’s are lucky — We now have internet access. Hooray, internets!

B) If you chose to go with the wireless adapter installation first, I don’t blame you for this either. I don’t have an RJ-45 cable that reaches out to the back porch either. Now, going forward — You’ll want to extract the zip archive named “2b – QUALCOMM_QCA9565_WIRELESS” and in it I have included a handy batch file to run a non-silent install of the drivers so you can actually see it’s progress.

Once you have this installed both your bluetooth and your WiFi will now be active and you can read this blog posting from your new laptop.

Installing the Chipset Devices

It took me a little bit to find chipset drivers that actually worked for this but it turns out the 6-1110us is running on the AMD A70M chipset and I have included all the necessary files to install the USB 3.0 drivers and all sorts of goodies in the zip archive. Extract that off your USB key and run the enclosed setup executable. You may be asked to restart your computer after this (and several other points during the setup process) but it is necessary as Windows will only cooperate with you if you feed it enough tasty restarts.

Once you have rebooted (if it asked you to) you should now have access to your left-side Super-Speed USB 3.0 ports. If you’ve stuck with my guide thus far I’ll have to make out an I.O.U. to you in the amount of exactly 1 internet and no more than that.

Installing the Graphics Driver

This particular model of Envy 6 has an AMD Radeon HD 7600G for which you will not find working drivers in any of the obvious places. I did however dig up some beta drivers over at Guru 3D. Kudos to them on their work getting this up to date.

I checked the compatible devices and the 7600G was among them so after several failed attempts at getting Aero working on other manufacturer drivers I thought I’d give it a go and thankfully it worked, it fixed my Aero problem and to top it off I tested it by playing through Hard Rain in Left 4 Dead 2 and it ran nice and smooth.

Before we install the graphics drivers though, we will need to install the latest .NET framework for the Catalyst Control Centre to function properly. You can either retrieve the latest .NET framework from Windows update or from the Microsoft CDN.

Next verse same as the first (but with a mouse) just unzip the archive named “4 – AMD_Catalyst_x.x_Betax” and run setup.exe within the contained folder. After all this is said and done, restart your computer, set your proper aspect ratio. Switch to an aero theme and BAM. You should now be running happily on Windows 7.

Conclusion

You should now be running on Windows 7 as if it was meant to come with it. if you have any problems during the installation drop by my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheInternetNomad and I’ll do my best to respond when I am able! If you want to say thanks, buy me a cup of coffee or an energy drink by clicking the donate button on the right-hand side of the page. I am currently studying in university and this is something I do in my spare time.

-Andrew

UPDATE: 17-November-2012 Occasionally on restart or shutdown/start up the USB controller (which handles the USB 3.0 ports on the left side of the computer) will stop functioning. This can usually be resolved opening device manager, disabling the AMD USB 3.0 Host Controller, unplugging any devices from these ports and re-enabling it. After that, plug your devices back in and continue using your system as per normal.

Advertisements

The APU — Finally, Power and Price Can See Eye-To-Eye!

Alright, another blog post with a good break between the last — I do apologise, my life has been in a rather hectic phase but that should be coming to a close. I’ve found myself half way across the world, back in the US of A. I was out in Phoenix for a couple of weeks and now I find myself in a quaint little house in north LA.

Firstly, I’d like to start by defining what an Accelerated Processing Unit (APU) really is, however I will only be talking about a certain type, the AMD Fusion which has thus far been the most market successful. I often like to compare it to a human brain in the way it performs, one part of it handling central processing, and left brain functionality such as logic. The other handling graphics processing, like the right brain. In the past you would have a separate video card and CPU but with the introduction of the APU you get both in one.

Now you might think at first that having two in one detracts from the power of one or the other but  you get a good amount of power for the price you pay for it. For example, the laptop I recently purchased. An HP Pavillion g6 series cost me ~$415 USD and it is capable of running games like Battlefield 3 and Fallout: New Vegas at medium to medium-high graphics. Which was a big shocker for me given the price tag.

Now, the A6 series APU my computer is currently running is the A6-3420M, upper-mid range of the APU processors from AMD. The APU’s integrated graphics processor is an AMD Radeon HD 6520G with 2GB of on-board video memory. Some time this year the A10 is set to launch which will provide a big power boost to the current series of AMD Fusion processors as it is meant to be running on Radeon’s new 7000 series graphics processing capabilities. In addition to the added graphics processing capabilities it is rumoured that the new A10 will be receiving a 20-30% boost in overall general processing capabilities.

Keeping all that in mind and you are operating on a budget but need to build a new computer on short-notice you can Crossfire video cards of the same GPU series as the APU to get extended graphics performance at a very affordable price.

%d bloggers like this: