Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation on ExoPC

In the previous post I have described a little more about my ExoPC tablet computer that I got one year ago in Barcelona from Intel. In this post I’ll describe how I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on it.

First, I downloaded 2.5 GB ISO file with the image of 32bit Windows 8 from Microsoft site. I have tried it in a virtual machine and it seems friendly and useful, so I have decided to continue.

So I have bought an 8GB USB drive (yes, I only had 1 and 2 GB drives that I could spare, one 4 GB that I needed and 16 GB in shape of a key that I didn’t want to use). Note that a 4 GB drive would be large enough. I have used another Microsoft tool – Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool – to create a bootable USB drive and copy the Windows 8 setup on it. Don’t get confused by the name of the tool – it’s not designed for Windows 7 (it works with any file and it works on Windows XP, too). I have selected the downloaded ISO and the tool made a bootable USB.

I then used the bootable USB with the ExoPC tablet. I have ran Setup and told the tablet to start from the USB. It did, and the setup had started. Note the betta fish that will display on the desktop so you’ll know you’re running Windows 8.

After setup checked that the tablet was ok it started to install. The first task for me was to tell it that I want a complete install and not an upgrade – which is not possible from MeeGo, by the way – only from Windows. I that had to select the disk and partition. None of the existing ones were ok, so I have deleted all three partitions and created a new one from the unallocated space. I have used all the space for this partition and have let Windows create another one for its needs.

I have decided to stick with the US settings and then the files were started to being copied on the tablet. The whole process was very fast, less than 10 minutes. On my virtual drive it took five times more.

After the files were copied the settings were updated and the tablet restarted – already into Windows 8, which continued the setup.

Soon I had to login with my Microsoft account (passport), answer some security and privacy related questions and that was mostly it! Note that Microsoft login isn’t necessary to use the OS on your tablet (you can use a local account)

First impressions? Great. The tablet works, the apps work, it’s responsive, nice looking and snappy. Wireless works, camera works, speakers work, keyboard works, touch works, two fingers touch works – everything out of the box.

I’m also impressed by the software it offers. Sure, there are not many Metro apps in the store, but there is desktop that can run Windows software! I have even installed Mihov Image Resizer (my most popular freeware program) on it and it works flawlessly.

So far I like it a lot and will keep it for sure. I sure hope the battery life will improve in comparison to MeeGo.


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