Thursday, July 25, 2013

[Article] Managed to install Windows 8 on my Dell Latitude 10 tablet after all

It's yet another blog post about my tablet woes. It's almost ready to be sent for repairs but there was one issue. I never mentioned to them (Dell support) that I had Windows 8.1 Preview installed on my tablet. While I don't think that is the cause of all the issues I've been having, especially the touch screen issue, there was a good chance they would put the blame on me if I mentioned it to them. They'll just say they cannot support Windows 8.1 especially on Preview state, and that I'm on my own. They are all the same. They never accept it as their fault. Neither do we, but hey, the customer is always right.

So as a last resort onmy end, I wanted to re-install Windows and see what will happen. I tried to boot off the bootable Windows 8 32bit USB stick that I just created but for some reason the POST screen never allowed me to change the boot device nor get into BIOS. Usually it shows a message saying press F2 to enter BIOS and press F12 for boot options. I don't know why it didn't show them. 

Forgot to mention one thing though. Since I didn't have the touch screen working, I had to connect my G15 keyboard to the sole USB port on the tablet and plug in the mouse and the USB stick to the two USB ports on the keyboard. Thank goodness for these new gaming keyboards coming with USB ports. And mine isn't new either. I've had it for 4 years and I got it second hand too. But the darn thing only has USB1.1 ports so it was horrendously slow.

I digress. So trying to boot off the USB stick didn't work for whatever bizarre reason. Then I got an idea. Why not just launch the setup from within Windows? I haven't done that in Windows 8 ever. That's the way you usually upgrade Windows - from Windows 7 that is. I don't like the idea of upgrading the OS. I always clean install. I didn't know what would happen in my case. One, because I didn't know if I could just install without a serial key. Two, because I had 8.1 Preview already installed. Three, what about the drivers?

At this point I didn't really care. I simply went ahead with it. Luckily it didn't ask for the serial key. It's already built into DELL's bios I believe and my Windows 8 setup picked it up. Great. Then it asked me whether I want to keep the data or do a clean install. I didn't have any data the tablet because I got rid of it and made a temporary local account as I have to send it back for repair. So I chose the clean install method. It was getting late and it was so slow going, I went to sleep leaving it to install Windows while I was dreaming happily about a Haswell rig. 

When I woke up in the morning, the setup was completed and it was waiting for me to enter the new user account details. It seems the Wi-Fi driver wasn't installed so it only offered me to create a local account. Anyways, within seconds I was inside Windows desktop. 

I checked the device manager and there were a lot of drivers missing. So I installed the chipset drivers and the wireless drivers that I downloaded from the Dell site via my desktop PC. They installed fine. But the touch screen was still not working. I just checked to see if the driver was installed but the driver didn't seem to be installed. Previously it was there under Human Interface devices section - or so I felt, but not anymore. I couldn't find any applicable driver on DELL website either. But it could well be because the touch screen hardware is not working. But if that is not the case, we have another problem at our hands. At least, now I don't have to explain Windows 8.1 was causing all these issues.

Anyways, there wasn't much time in the morning so I left it to download and install Windows Updates and came to work. Maybe Windows Update will be able to take care of the drivers. I will check it tonight when I get back home. 

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