Of the Asus N550JK, the Clean Windows 10 Install, and the Code(43) on Intel Bluetooth

I rebuilt my laptop this weekend with a Windows 10 USB drive built using the Windows Media Creation Tool.

Here are my notes on the experience:

  • Windows won’t install the ATK package which is required to (among other things) activate the N550JK’s backlit keyboard and enable the Function + F-key combinations (enable/disable the touchpad, adjust screen brightness, etc.). As of this writing, the ATK package for Windows 10 may be directly downloaded from http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps_for_Win10/ATKPackage/ATKPackage_Win10_64_VER100039.zip

  • Windows will install NVidia drivers but it won’t install the GeForce Experience software suite. Though not a hard requirement, this software makes it easy to make sure you’re running the latest – and correct – drivers for the GTX 850M graphics processor. As of this writing, GeForce Experience may be downloaded from http://www.geforce.com/geforce-experience/download 

  • Most frustratingly (and the reason I’ve written this post), Windows won’t correctly enumerate the Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7260 PCI-E (half mini) card. It does OK with the Wi-Fi driver – but the Bluetooth driver it thinks it needs absolutely will not work. The adapter will display in Device Manager with a splat, and in the devices properties you’ll get a Code(43) error.  
    Most of the write-ups will tell you that the fix is to replace the hardware or to run the Windows troubleshooter – neither of which is necessary and neither of which will actually solve the problem (unless your card is actually bad, but that’s not what I’m discussing here). A handful of the articles out there will tell you that the issue might be your driver – but this becomes problematic in a number of ways when Windows itself loads what it’s certain is the correct driver. None of the articles I found will tell you that the issue might actually be that Windows has incorrectly enumerated the device.Even more frustratingly, Asus doesn’t list the Bluetooth driver for Windows 10 on their support site – and the drivers available directly from Intel refuse to load with a please contact your system manufacturer message.
    All is not lost, however – the drivers which Asus has posted for Windows 8.1 will work just fine on Windows 10. As of this writing, the Bluetooth bundle may be downloaded from http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/DriversForWin8.1/Bluetooth/Buletooth_Intel_Win81_64_VER17014050464.zip

Other notes:

  • Asus lists the Smart Gesture utility on their support web site, but Windows actually loaded it for me on initial install. In theory, you don’t need the package from Asus.

  • Asus also lists the Splendid display utility. If you want that, you’ll need to get it from http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/nb/Apps_for_Win10/Splendid/Splendid_Upgrade_Win10_VER3130004.zip  However, this package isn’t required – and depending on how you use your system (e.g., for processing photos), Splendid can actually be a pain in the arse. I did not, and will not, install it; YMMV.

  • All other devices – including the SD card reader and integrated webcam (which are typically so problematic) – load and operate correctly.

I hope that helps!

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