Unable to install Win10 on HP Laptop

Buzzlet

Estimable
Jun 18, 2014
4
0
4,510
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Hey guys! I've been through a lot with my new laptop in the past year. I was really excited about a Carrizo chip with full HSA support, so I quickly ordered this as soon as it became available. I customized it on HP's website.

This is my laptop model
HP Pavilion Notebook - 17z-g000
http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c04655126

The manual there lists all the possible selections when I customized it. Mine has:
A10-8700p / AMD Radeon R6 Graphics
AMD Radeon R7 M360 (discrete GPU)
1920x1080
DDR3L-1600-MHz Single Channel Support (8gb)
1 TB HDD
Broadcom Wireless single antenna
Windows 10

When I got it, I quickly realized that single channel RAM was a terrible idea (but who wants to pay HP $70 for a single 8gb stick?) So I ordered my own dual channel ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148731
Kind of a bummer that HP wouldn't let me overclock the RAM (very limited, locked down BIOS) because APU performance scales pretty well with RAM performance.

For a long time, I had Windows 10 (upgraded from pre-installed Windows 8) on my laptop and performance was pretty underwhelming. Low frame rates on anything I tried to play and it ran really hot as well. Planning to mostly use it as a developer system, it wasn't a huge deal but just kinda irritating. I then decided to install Ubuntu on another partition. Ubuntu had lots of problems with my laptop. For instance, the screen would randomly start flickering and the display would sometimes never come on (you can hear the startup sound though once it gets to the login screen), requiring multiple reboots until it randomly decided it was ready to display stuff. There were also some issues with the wifi, though how much of that is the fault of the access points here and how much of that is the fault of the laptop is hard to determine.

Somewhere along the line, my Windows 10 installation became unbootable. I was able to grab anything I wanted to save using the Ubuntu partition, but I wasn't able to boot to windows successfully. Whenever Windows 10 tried to repair it would always fail. Restoring to a previous version of Windows failed. Eventually I just nuked the Windows partition from Ubuntu. The display problems were still a huge issue on Ubuntu and somehow it got to the point where it would only boot in graphics safe mode (800 x 600). Frustrated, I installed a fresh copy of Ubuntu but still had the same issues. I gave my brother my laptop for a while hoping he could resurrect it. He got rid of the Ubuntu partition and started trying to install Arch Linux. (His brother speaking here: holy moly was that a pain. On kernel 4.7 (came with the installer) the display would randomly go black (backlight still on), but only when text would appear on it or significant changes were made to the display - meaning you hit enter to run a command and immediately black screen. Of course, you don't know if the command worked, because you can't see anything, so you just keep typing "sudo reboot" and the password over and over until it eventually shuts off. I eventually managed to install linux 4.8rc3 and 4.8rc4 from the Arch User Repository, hoping that a newer kernel would support it better (the AMD GPU / display support has been seeing lots of updates recently, apparently), but it would crash as soon as it got to a login prompt. Although after it finished spewing out error messages and panicking, the contents of the screen stayed there indefinitely. So maybe something was right, aside from the crashing? Or maybe it's because the display didn't have to be changed at all. I dunno. To top it all off, both the USB wifi stick and the built-in wifi lacked in-tree drivers, the wifi stick had an open-source one but it required build tools that I couldn't use from the install environment, and the built-in Broadcom thing only had a proprietary blob that wasn't compatible with newer kernels. So I had to unplug my source of information in order to use its cord for installing Arch Linux, since it requires a network connection to install. I think it has to rank up there as one of the least-optimal situations to install Arch Linux in, right next to "via twitch chat"). Anyway, long story short, newer Linux kernel + Arch Linux didn't fix anything.

I ordered a fresh copy of Windows 10 hoping that a fresh copy could do the trick. I destroyed all the existing partitions and tried to install Windows 10 from the DVD. It gets to 23% through the "Getting files ready for installation" part and then reboots. Booting to the DVD again, it restarts the installation with the only thing that changed being a new partition used for installing. Booting to the hard drive fails (no OS found). The display stays on during the installation process, at least, as far as it gets.

Of course, having put in my own RAM, the warranty is void. How can the situation best be salvaged? What can I do to identify the problem(s)?
 

Buzzlet

Estimable
Jun 18, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
I looked up if you're supposed to explicitly bump tom's threads and it says you're not supposed to. So I'm just going to inquire again about if someone has some insight or ideas about my situation. Anyone?
 

Buzzlet

Estimable
Jun 18, 2014
4
0
4,510
0


I just found the original RAM stick this afternoon, so I'll plug that in this evening and let you know if that works. The original RAM was clocked at 1600 MHz and my replacement RAM is clicked at 1866MHz. I was under the impression it would underclock the RAM to the same speed as the processor supports.
 
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