Friday, June 28, 2013

Windows 8.1 Preview installation experience on my DELL Latitude 10 Essentials tablet (part 2: Success!!!)

The first attempt to update to Windows 8.1 Preview on the tablet went badly. But I didn't give up. As soon as I went home, I tried it again. For some reason, I had so much trouble getting it to start downloading this time. I didn't have any problem the last time.

I was mainly getting two errors. 

1) The Windows Store wouldn't load at all. It would wait at the splash screen, but with a never ending busy activity animation. I waited a long time but it didn't want to go any further. This happened like 75% of the times. 

2) If somehow I managed to get into the Windows Store, the download wouldn't start when I clicked it to download and install. It would show the activity animation to show that it is trying. But the it would give an error eventually. I could retry but it failed every time. 

After many attempts, I managed to get the download started. I think both the above phenomena happened because the server load was too high. I guess Microsoft didn't foresee that this many people will download the preview. I apparently wasn't the only one getting those errors. Others were getting the same error and it was all over the Internet. Plus, the download was so slow this time.

Anyways, now that I got the download started, when it was about to install it, it gave me the same error as before. I had to remove Dell Data Access Security. I didn't know it was there after the Refresh. Otherwise I would have removed it first. It seems that Dell is using a custom source for the Refresh and DDAS is also automatically installed when Refreshed. Sucks! I removed it but this time I didn't reboot. That did the trick. I could simply continue with the update!!! Phew!

It took a long time for the whole thing, must be because updating Windows generally slower and the slowness of the hardware making it even worse. Doesn't matter, the update was successful. Now all I hope is that I won't have to go back to vanilla Windows 8 because of a problem in 8.1. That would suck. 

It was late night so I didn't have much hands-on-experience with 8.1. I used it a bit in the morning and I felt that it was snappier than before but there were some UI clutches. I love how when you click a URL in Mail app, IE launches snapped to the side (50%) instead of taking over Mail app. The MetroTube app didn't work well with the update. It is completely broken. Have to use YouTube website from IE to watch YouTube until it is fixed.

I will write a separate blog post about my experiences on the tablet with Windows 8.1 Preview. 


  1. I installed 8.1 on my latitude 10 and haven't had any problems as you described. I upgraded my bios to A05 along with he chipset drivers and network drivers. No bugs so far.

    1. Doesn't Dell Data Access Protection come installed on it?

      Anyways, how do you like it so far? Its got some good additions, but it still needs some fine-tuning imho.

  2. Yen I haven't had any issues with dell data access. Working just fine. I'm running the latest version.

    Yes it does have some nice additions. The metro interface has more features and is overall more responsive. The windows store got a new facelift and the desktop now has a start menu. I'm kind of disappointed with the new start menu I must say. It essentially just brings you back to the metro interface and if you right click or hold press on your tablet it brings up a simple context menu. I hope this changes by the final version.

    1. it feels a bit faster on the tablet and some of the ui enhancements are nice (such as open last closed tab in IE), but it is still buggy. i've been getting a lot of app crashes, apps getting unresponsive etc. but it is just a preview, i understand that.

      oh btw, now you cannot bring the context menu on selected text by tapping on either limiters. you could do that before and it was faster than tapping and holding on the text. not happy!:(

    2. So after a few days of playing with it I have to agree that it is pretty buggy. I'm having random app crashes too and the new windows store doesn't download apps sometimes. Also like you said there are lots of ui glitches. I'm sure it'll be more stable by release.

    3. Sad isn't it? I mean, they had like 1 year to work on 8.1 and this is all they are bring into the table?

      They haven't fixed some issues either. I still get 'you are not connected to the internet' error. I wonder if they have fixed the problem where the thumbnails automatically get deleted over time.

      There are certain things to be happy about as well. That predictive text feature is a godsend on the tablet. Wish it showed 5 options instead of just 3.

      IE10 took forever to close the old tabs but on IE11, it's quick. Sure there are lots of bugs.

      Video player also is quick to load new videos. Only the initial video takes time to load. But it freezes in the middle of the video often.

      MetroTube doesn't work. It seems that the app doesn't support the new snap views.

      I also have this bug where the keyboard locks into the UPPERCASE mode even when I put it back to lowercase mode. It only happened/happens in IE but that's the only place I type. The only remedy is killing IE. They haven't fixed that yet.

  3. Well crap... I installed 8.1 2 days ago and have really enjoyed it. Until now. I was in desktop mode and copying some pictures I took to another file when It froze up on me. I walked away and came back 10 min later and it was still frozen. I decided (may have been a big mistake) shut it down with the power button (didnt work) so I did a battery pull. It wont turn back on. Ive been on the phone with Dell tech support and no luck. So my options are to A. have a site tech come to my house to look at it within 48 hours or B. have Dell send me a new one within 7-10 business days. This really sucks as this tablet was for work and had my MS office on it.

    1. Wow! that sucks. I don't think Windows 8.1 Preview had anything to do with that.

      I too had a problem when I had Windows 8. One day when I woke up and tried to wake up the tablet, a message showed up saying that I have to plug in the charger because the battery is too low. I pressed and held the power button to turn off the tablet and then plugged the charger in. There want anything else I could do. I came back after 15minutes to see if the tablet could start up. It didn't. The white power LED came on and off. Nothing else happened.

      I had to go to work so I left the tablet to charge. When I came back, the tablet still wouldn't start up. I pressed and held that start button, the power button, both... but nothing happened. But after a lot of combinations it suddenly started up. I don't know if it was any particular key combination or something else that brought it back to life. But I was happy that it came back to life because if I had to send it back for RNA, it would take a long time to get back to be because I bought the English OS version and they only sell the Japanese OS version in Japan. They have to ship it overseas.

  4. Apparently MSFT has released a bunch of updates to fix some stability issues with 8.1 Preview.


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