As the only touchscreen x86 device I have, and also not being critical to my day-to-day life/job, this was ideal for being the first device to get Windows 8 running on.
The SL8 is an 11.6″ Windows Tablet, it has a 1.66GHz N450 Atom processor, a 32GB SSD, and 2GB RAM. Mine came pre-installed with Windows 7 32-bit. I’ve added a 32GB SD card and installed as much to that as possible (e.g. Office 2010).
I decided to upgrade to Windows 8 so as not to have to find and re-install drivers, control software for the touchscreen, screen rotation, Office etc. I never used to like upgrading from one version of Windows to another, but I know Microsoft have done a lot of work on this process over the years and I’ve successfully upgraded from Vista to 7 (and then been using the machines for years) with no issues. I installed/upgraded from a USB stick using the Windows 8 ISO and the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool (yes, it does work for Windows 8 too).
So, what did I have to do aside from plugging in the USB stick and running setup.exe?
- Clear enough stuff off the C drive to give just under 10GB free space. The upgrade won’t proceed without this. I was able to get 10.5GB, and even then got a warning that Windows, once upgraded, should really have more to work nicely. Don’t forget about the 1GB of pre-installed Office 2010 installation files that came with the SL8, if you’ve not used it.
- Uninstall the Atheros Bluetooth stuff. This actually meant uninstalling the combined Atheros Bluetooth/WiFi package. Windows 8 does have drivers for this, provided by Atheros and installed automatically – assuming you have a base station for the tablet with a wired network connection. Otherwise you’ll have to go and get them from something else and install yourself. The new Bluetooth Module driver is provided by Qualcomm Atheros Communications, is dated 28th April 2012, and is version 184.108.40.206. The new Qualcomm Atheros AR9002WB-1NG Wireless Network Adapter driver is provided by Microsoft, dated 3rd July 2012 and is version 220.127.116.11.
- Uninstall Windows Live Family Safety. I actually removed all of the Windows Live stuff to save disk space.
The upgrade itself took at least an hour, but once running didn’t need to be touched.
And it’s working fine so far. Response to the new Windows 8 Start screen is snappy. Office 2010 seems to work OK, offline files are synchronised.