Resurrecting the wife’s laptop – Asus hates you and you and you

At Christmas last year, I bought a new laptop for the wife, an Asus K52DR with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB hard drive. I quote from then:

[…Asus should…] supply a real copy of Windows 7 installation media, so you can clean install the OS easily instead of wasting hours and hours and hours getting rid of the circusware. Asking folks to sit there for 2.5 hours to create 45 cents worth of DVDs is morally repugnant and evil.

Although I stand behind every word I said above, I’m begrudgingly glad I spent the extra 2.5 hours creating those DVDs as I’m restoring her computer to factory default after she killed the previous HD by cooking it in the bedding. Obviously, not Asus’ fault, but what happens after replacing the HD is most certainly Asus’ fault. This Asus will be our last PC – my life is just too precious to donate to absurd and evil corporate practices.

When I bought the Asus, it took me about three days to get the PC to a default-ish Windows installation, Office 2010, and iTunes with just enough drivers to run “advanced” technical devices like the display or the wireless network. Don’t get me started on the number of reboots or gigabytes of patches required. Copying Tanya’s data, migrating her PST and recovering her calendar was simple by comparison.

I am dreading wasting yet another two to most likely three days of my personal life YET AGAIN to weed out all the circusware from the factory default build. Asus must start providing a fast circusware free method of complete restoration like Apple do. The time I’m going to spend over the next few nights, and probably the next weekend, is like a working week away from my family. Completely unacceptable.

I tried restoring the repair partition I dd’d off, but due to the new 750 GB drive having different sized clusters and alignment than the old 500 GB drive, I struggled to create a bootable recovery partition without spending yet more time than it would take to restore using the DVDs. So I’m using the restore DVDs.

I still don’t have a Time Machine work-a-like that can back up Tanya’s data. This is a serious issue as hers is the most likely computer to die. […]

And die it did. I tried Windows 7 Backup for months on and off after buying a new 2TB external HD, but as per usual being a Microsoft product, it doesn’t actually work. So too late, I found Rebit, which is just like Time Machine … but expensive. I’ll be trying that after restoring Tanya’s data. Luckily, I was able to get her most if not all of her data off under Linux all the while the HD was making very high pitched death screams. It’s dead now – all the sparing sectors are spared and the computer wedges hard if you try to do anything with it in read / write mode.

My newish MacBook Air 11.6″ is significantly faster and cheaper than this Asus, and more so every time I have to fix it up. Once I had recovered Tanya’s data to my 2TB dumping ground on my Mac, she was up and running with one of our AppleTV’s in about two minutes.

Tanya’s next computer will be a Mac when this one dies. I will not tolerate the loss of any more of my life to Asus insistence on circusware in the default build, and cheapening out by not providing real installation media, or Microsoft’s insistence on a recovery CD and crappy end user experience.

I stand by my recommendation:

Score so far: 2/5. Do not recommend. PCs are only cheaper if your time is worthless. I just don’t get it.


I’m going to reduce the rating to 1/5, and the 1 is only due to the surprisingly resilient Seagate 500 GB drive that survived just long enough to get nearly all of Tanya’s data off it.

Published by vanderaj

Just another security geek

Join the Conversation


  1. That’s the point. Good post for people who ask :
    “Why should I pay extra $200 to buy a Mac of the same specs?”

    Cause you’re gonna save 200 hours maintaining it 😀

  2. Once I was thinking why organizations don’t switch to Mac Minis. They are cute little PCs with advanced power, little room requirement, easy replacement and most importantly they don’t require maintenance. Companies could have only one maintenance employee instead of 1 for every 30 PC

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *