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Windows 8 Trials and tribulations

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by , 03-02-2012 at 12:01 PM (35463 Views)

Windows 8 trials and tribulations
I was at my daughter's house and decided to download Windows 8 Developer Preview to try on my Acer Iconia W500. I should explain that the Acer Iconia W500 is a touch screen tablet with Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 does not lend itself easily to touch screen operation, so having read the hype about Windows 8 and how it was designed for tablets I decided that I must give it a go and test it.
In January I had previously bought a new Windows smartphone and I supoose I expected the new Windows 8 to be strikingly similar in its operation to the Windows Mobile 7.5 software.
To continue, my son in law's internet connection was very fast and soon I had the Windows Developer preview's ISO file on my W500. I discovered that you have to mount the ISO file onto a writeable DVD in order to make use of it. This meant that I now had to download a programme that would do that for me as the W500 didn't have one. Sometime later I was able to Mount the ISO file onto a DVD using my portable DVD writer.
So far so good. The difficult part was about to start. In order to get the W500 to boot from the DVD containing the Windows 8 Developer Preview you have to press the windows button, the volume up button and then the start button, holding the windows button and the volume up button until the screen lights up. It would have helped if my hands were more flexible, Acer engineers did not think of the practicalities of actually doing this when they designed the W500. After about 4 attempts I noticed that the DVD drive was flashing and the new programme started to boot. I watched keenly as the new programme was installed, having to start the process several times as there was insufficient room on the hard drive (which is only 32 Gigabytes). frantically deleting stuff and restarting until there was sufficient space.
Finally the new programme was installed. First impressions were good, very quick start up, lots of tiles similar to the Windows phone, intuitive like the Windows phone but a severe absence of Apps. I discovered that the screen rotation didn't work, so I went onto the Acer Support site and downloaded and installed the driver. After a reboot the screen rotation worked, all seemed to be well.
The next day I spent playing with the new software, all nicely presented but did it work? On the Windows phone the software is that good that a child of 6 could find their way around the phone without any problems. Not so Windows 8. The metro tiles on the home screen are the most used Apps (as on the Windows Phone) but on the Windows phone if you want to expand your choice you flick left and you have a barrage of Apps that you can choose from. The Acer Iconia Tablet is quite heavy and in my hands is impossible to hold like a mobile phone with both thumbs in the bottom corners. You need to hold the tablet mobile phone fashion so that the two hidden bars can be actuated by your thumbs, in this way the two bars provide you with a further array of options. There is no search menu as such, so programmes cannot be started in the old Windows 7 manner you need to "Pin" the shortcuts to the home screen. I duly created shortcuts for Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Google etc. There is an Internet explorer app. but this annoyingly opens on the last page that you had opened. I could not discover a way of going back from this, you had to flick up the bottom bar with your thumbs and the last visited pages appeared at the top of the screen, Google Chrome fashion, but it all looked a bit messy on the W500.
Windows 8 is like two programmes in one. You have these Metro Style Apps on the home page but if you want to do any adjustments you enter Windows Explorer where all your Documents, photos etc are stored. It looks amazingly like Windows 7 and is no more easy to operate with a touch screen than was Windows 7.
I tried You tube, nothing would play from Internet Explorer, but once I had downloaded and installed Google Chrome and went to You tube from Chrome it played perfectly. Certain web sites called for Flash Player which did not appear to exist.
I tried but could not install Acrobat Flash player or Acrobat Reader
Zune installed but froze when in use. Bing didn't work.
I decided to go back to Windows 7, but my recovery CD's would not boot. Big problem!
I decided to wait until Wednesday when there was an expectation that the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 would be available to download.
Sure enough Windows 8 Consumer Preview appeared on Bing. I entered the download site and to my surprise I was able to start the process without a DVD writer, it downloaded straight onto my hard drive and after making the necessary deletions to create enough space I was able to install the bright shiny new Windows 8 consumer preview.
Was it any better? In a word no. It was different but the problems I had found before still existed. When you expanded screens on the W500 the whole thing was totally unstable with the image flicking everywhere with a mind of it's own. The 16gb sd card had disappeared, the bluetooth didn't work and the screen rotation didn't work, I tried installing the drivers but to no avail. Flash player was not there, Adobe reader was not there and when I tried to install them nothing happened. I installed Zune but it would not recognise my Windows Mobile Phone.

Very disappointed I decided to call it a day and reinstall Windows 7.

But how?

I connected the DVD drive with the Windows 7 recovery disk inside, pressed windows, volume up and start, the drive flashed and a message came on the screen trying to connect to Blah, Blah.......... timed out then Windows 8 loaded. I checked what the message meant and it was trying to make a network connection, ? why? I tried to get it going every way I knew but to no avail. I tried to open the BIOS to set up the Boot order, it would not open, the computer either bleeped at me or did nothing , Windows 8 loaded relentlessly. I was beginning to hate Windows.

I had watched my other son in law "mount" an ISO file onto a hard drive and boot from that, but I did not know how to do it. I googled it and found that I needed an ISO file and a programme to mount it. Care of tutorials on the internet I downloaded a Windows 7 ISO file and a programme called Daemon Lite. Using Daemon Lite I was able to mount the ISO file on the hard drive, again there was not enough space so I did Disk Clean up and away it went. I got a bit worried when it asked for a product key but I skipped this and it carried on loading. Finally I was able to see Windows 7, however there were no drivers for the W500 installed so it looked awful. I thought to myself "I wonder if the Recovery disks will work now". I shut the computer off, restarted it and pressed F2, like magic the BIOS appeared, it was still set to booting form the DVD writer! I switched off again, put the recovery disk in the DVD writer and rebooted, windows, volume up and start! I waited, then the recovery process kicked in. I now have a factory original Acer Iconia W500 fully working.

Will I install Windows 8 again? Unlikely. I would however buy a new Windows 8 tablet (when they are manufactured) but the Acer Iconia W500 in my opinion is not suited to Windows 8.

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  1. windows's Avatar
    man, why not download Windows 8 consumer preview? it is much more stable and better feeling than Windows 8 Developer Preview.
  2. 's Avatar
    Hi, seems a LOT of things are not compatible with Windows 8. I am seriously thinking of unloading everything on my brand new Toshiba, and installing my trusty old Vista instead!
  3. 's Avatar
    yo puedo comentar donde quiera ok, y si otra persona busca lo mismo, esa persona puede ver mi comentario y resolver su duda, no me importa lo que me digas ok. yo hablo español escribo en español. racista te deberia demandarte, el internet es mundial y no hay un solo idioma, modifica tus reglas.
    I can comment wherever, and if someone else looking for the same, that person can see my review and resolve your question, I do not care what you tell me, ok. I write in Spanish, I speak Spanish, racist,the internet is global and not a single language. customize your rules.
    para TechnoMage
    for TechnoMage
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