Windows 8 on Zoostorm SL8

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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 1.0.2.0. The new Qualcomm Atheros AR9002WB-1NG Wireless Network Adapter driver is provided by Microsoft, dated 3rd July 2012 and is version 3.0.0.130.
  3. 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.

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17 Responses to Windows 8 on Zoostorm SL8

  1. Chris clarke says:

    Hi i did a clean install on my sl8 and has been working great apart from video playback. When playing a video its really jumpy as if the video driver isnt correct. Have you had the same problem on yours or is it fine on yours?

    • rcmtech says:

      I’d not watched any video on it. Have just been to Vimeo and standard res is fine (even full screen) but HD is a bit jumpy (the CPU runs at 100%). The Intel 3150 graphics driver mine is using is supplied by Microsoft, but the version number is higher than the latest Win7 driver provided by Intel – and Intel don’t have a Win8 driver available.

  2. Darren says:

    Hi I read your blog and have picked up an SL8 and installed windows 8 on it. However the auto rotate screen feature doesn’t work. Is it working on yours?
    I notice in device manager there are a lot of drivers missing but I seem to be on the latest version of the Intel display driver that came with windows 8.

    • rcmtech says:

      I’m not sure, I found it too sensitive on Windows 7 so turned it off. Will have a look tomorrow when I’m back at work.

      • rcmtech says:

        No, automatic screen rotation does not work.
        Comparing the Device Manager with a Surface RT tablet there is a “Sensors” section that is not present on the SL8. On the RT this section contains “HID Sensor Collection”, “Simple Device Orientation Sensor” and “Windows Location Provider”. The device orientation sensor driver is provided by Microsoft.
        There is also a tick box within the Screen Resolution dialogue on the RT to do with automatic screen rotation, and this is missing on the SL8, probably because of the lack of suitable hardware being found.
        The Millenium (v3.2) screen rotation buttons do work for manual screen rotation on the SL8 though.

      • rcmtech says:

        I contacted Zoostorm Tech support about the screen rotation issue. They responded very quickly with some useful info:
        The screen on the SL8 is not high enough resolution to fully support the Windows 8 snap feature (this is hinted at in the Screen Resolution dialogue: “Your resolution is lower than 1280 x 960. Some items might not fit on your screen”). See an overview of the snap feature.
        They are not aware of any Windows 8 drivers (to enable the auto screen rotation feature) at the moment.
        The SL8 is made by Pegatron (called Masterpad I think), and also sold as a product called the EXO-PC, and is possibly the same as the RM Slate 1000. I have done a quick search for Windows 8 drivers for the rotation sensor for these and have not come up with anything.

  3. Darren says:

    Thanks for the info. I assume the Millennium software you mention is :http://www.ciaravibe.com/vibe-support-en.html

    Strange though about the resolution, Im sure my SL8 is running 1366×768? I will double check.

    Do you know anything about the HUWAWEI devices in Device Manager that are missing drivers along with a Multimedia Controller ?

    I installed a clean install of Win8, Im wondering if I ought to have upgraded over Win 7 instead.

    • Darren says:

      Update: I installed the Millennium software and can now rotate the screen using that.
      I will start installing some of the drivers until I can find the one that replaces the missing drivers in device manager. Thanks for all of your help.

    • rcmtech says:

      That’s exactly the point, the screen res is 1366 x 768, hence the message about some items not fitting on the screen (snap requires 1280 x 960 minimum).
      I don’t have any devices missing drivers, but then I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 so I suspect the drivers came across during that process.
      The link to download Millenium from the page you specified above seems to be the same version of the software that I have.
      Also, you can rotate the screen without using Millenium, go to Control Panel, Windows Mobility Center and click the Rotate Screen button – but this method only allows you to cycle through the different screen orientations as specified via Control Panel, Tablet PC Settings, “Go To Orientation” (link at the bottom). Millenium allows you to choose to rotate clockwise or anticlockwise which is possible more useful.

  4. Dennis Aston says:

    tried installing/upgrading windows 8 via usb with 10.6 gb free but tells me I need 16 gb, any ideas ?

    • rcmtech says:

      Pass, sorry! I do have a 32GB SD card permanently in the SL8 as a D: drive (installed Office to this) so perhaps it used this for temporary storage as part of the Windows upgrade process?

      • Markku says:

        Hi, I have also SL8 and I would like to upgrade to Win8, but don’t fully understand this: “I do have a 32GB SD card permanently in the SL8 as a D:” So, is there a empty place inside for the hd, or are you using external usb-drive or something else?

  5. Markku says:

    Ok, missed it badly, you have SD, not SSD :-)

  6. fwancyd says:

    Also tried installing Win 8 ad had to clear 16 GB, all ok except touch screen playing up, its a nightmare trying to shut the thing down without using a mouse :( not sure if its the SL8 or Win 8..

  7. Simon Scott says:

    Used the pre-release version on 8 and it worked fine. Brought a new copy of 8 installed and the touch screen does not work at all despite doing both a fresh install and an upgrade from 7.

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