Update #1: Samsung has released Windows 8 drivers to support better touch and rotation with Windows 8. Please go download them now!
Update #2: There is a forum post outlining how to get WiDi (wireless display) working in Windows 8. Since I don't have a WiDi endpoint and thus can't test this, I can't really speak to the effectiveness of the instructions.
This is an update to my previous post about running Windows 8 Developer Preview on the Samsung Series 7 Slate. Until we get Windows 8 logo'd hardware, I believe this to be the best developer device for doing early explorations into Windows 8 development on.
That said, this is still beta-level software. Tread carefully. :)
Obligatory Warning You Will Probably Ignore
What you're doing here is erasing a computer. You can screw things up if you do them incorrectly. This worked for me, but it may not work for you. If you get stuck, I may not be able to help you, and Samsung may not be super excited about helping you out with a Windows 8 problem. Also, Windows 8 is pre-release software, so expect some occasional bumps in the road.
Although you can upgrade your existing Windows 7 partition to Windows 8, I'm a big proponent of the "clean slate" mentality, so this blog post was written with that in mind. If you're insistent on doing an upgrade instead, please remember to do the pre-installation steps (0 and 1), because they apply whether you're paving or clean installing. Then in step 2, instead of booting the USB device, just insert it into the USB slot while booted into Windows 7 and it should offer to run setup and do the upgrade for you.
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download
- Making a bootable USB thumb drive from the Windows 8 ISO
- Samsung Series 7 Slate Software Downloads
- Samsung Series 7 Slate drivers for Windows 8
What You'll Need to Get Started
- A bootable USB device to install Windows 8; meaning, either a USB DVD drive or a USB thumb drive. If you want to use the latter, follow the instructions linked above to make the thumb drive properly bootable. You'll want a 4GB+ thumb drive for Windows 8 x64. Your machine has 4GB of RAM, so don't bother with the x86 (32-bit) verison of Windows 8. Installation from a USB thumb drive is a LOT faster than installation from a DVD (and doesn't waste a blank DVD).
Pro-Tip: format the USB device as FAT32, not NTFS, if you want to enable UEFI boot (which should speed up your already quite fast booting process on this device). When booting, if offered two different versions of your USB boot device, choose the one with "EFI" in its title.
- A keyboard and mouse is highly advised for some parts. You can get by without it, but it's... painful. If you're planning to use a USB keyboard, bear in mind that you'll be booting off of a USB drive, so you'll either need a USB hub, or you'll need to use the optional dock to get yourself a 2nd USB port.
Step 0: Update your firmware (before you delete Windows 7!)
Your machine may have shipped with the latest firmware, but it's worth verifying that to be sure. A relatively new firmware (version 08FW at the time of this writing) is necessary to ensure that TPM and Bitlocker work correctly, and will also be necessary for screen rotation support when the driver becomes available.
Boot into Windows 7. Visit the Series 7 Slate Downloads page, click on the Manuals & Downloads tab, then the Firmware link, and download the firmware updater. Run it to ensure you are on the latest firmware.
Note for advanced users: I created a "boot from VHD" version of Windows 7 for updating my firmware. It "costs" me about 20GB of my drive, which is kinda steep, but it's worth it to have something that allows me to upgrade my firmware whenever there's a new version. Besides Windows 7, all I've installed is the Samsung drivers/software necessary to update the firmware. Once the Samsung tools become fully Windows 8 compatible, then I'll be able to reclaim this. If you need help understanding how to do this, Scott Hanselman's Guide to Installing and Booting Windows 8 Developer Preview off a VHD illustrates the steps excellently, which work for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Step 1: Make some machine settings changes
With the machine in a powered off state, press the POWER button, then quickly tap (but do not hold) the HOME button. Now be patient, you should see the boot menu (of which one option is to boot into the firmware). Don't get anxious and hit it a second time, because you're almost sure to accidentally escape out of the boot menu; trust me, I think I did this 3x before I learned to be a tiny bit more patient. :)
The contents of this menu will vary depending on which boot features you've enabled; for me, they were:
P0: SAMSUNG MZMPA128HMFU-00000 (this is your SSD drive)
SMI USB DISK 1100 (this is my 8GB USB stick that I'm planning to boot from)
Realtek PXE B02 D00 (this is the network boot via Ethernet)
Enter Setup (this will drop you into the machine settings again)
Attaching a USB keyboard helps navigation here a lot (though you should attach it before you power on the device; I don't think it will detect it if you try to plug it in later). If you don't, then you'll need to use the hardware keys to navigate:
- Rotation Lock (on the right, below the power button)- Enter
- Home (the only button on the face of the device) - Escape
- Volume Up/Down (on the left, below the USB port) - Move the cursor up/down
- Hold Rotation Lock + Volume Up/Down - Move the cursor left/right
Use the USB keyboard (or the volume up/down keys on the device) to select "Enter Setup", then press Enter (or Rotation Lock on the device). Once in the firmware, the machine settings screen is displayed:
The BIOS changes we want to make/verify are all on the Advanced page:
- CPU Power Saving Mode : Enabled
- Hyperthreading : Enabled
- Execute Disable Bit : Enabled
- Legacy USB Support : Enabled
- UEFI Boot Support : Enabled
There are two additional interesting settings on the Boot page, which you may or may not want to change:
- TPM Support : you'll want to Enable this if you want to use Bitlocker to secure the contents of your slate. Some corporate environments (like mine) require that you use Bitlocker, and TPM means you won't have to carry around an extra USB key with Bitlocker booting codes on it.
- PXE OPROM : you'll want to Enable this if you have the optional dock, and you're planning to install Windows via the network, as network booting requires a physical Ethernet connection. This is probably not useful right now with Windows 8, but you may find it useful if you decide to revert back to Windows 7 at some point (assuming you're on a network with network boot support).
Navigate to the Exit page, and choose "Save Changes and Reset". But before you do that, read ahead just one more paragraph.
Step 2: Boot the USB device to install Windows 8
When the machine reboots after we save and exit the settings screen, once again we want to tap and release the HOME button once to get to the boot menu. This time, navigate to the USB device that you're booting from and select it. (Remember, if you're not using a USB keyboard, you can use the device keys Volume Up and Volume Down to move, and Rotation Lock to select.)
The Windows 8 installation includes enough drivers to do mouse emulation for the slate's touch screen, so I was able to touch my way through the install process. I nuked both the Windows 7 partition and the factory restore partition, because I was confident that I would rather reinstall Windows 7 from scratch anyway. Just bear in mind that your slate didn't come with a Windows 7 DVD (or thumb drive), so unless you have an extra Windows 7 DVD hanging around that's usable for this, you'll want to preserve the factory restore partition. Me, I wanted that extra 20GB back. :)
Since there is no on-screen keyboard, if you want to do any advanced partitioning, you'll basically have to boot with a USB keyboard connected for the installation. Tapping the down arrow on the partition size edit box over and over again gets old REALLY fast. :)
After you've picked your installation partition, the system will do its copy thing and then reboot to finalize the installation. Now Windows 8 is running in full swing, and final settings (like connecting to WiFi and logging in with your Windows Live ID) are touch-friendly operations with on-screen keyboards available.
After your initial logon, you're on the Start Screen. At this point, I'd recommend connecting your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (if you're using USB, then there's no connection necessary other than just plugging things in). FWIW, the Start Screen is great on this slate, but classic desktop mode can be challenging without a keyboard and mouse. I wouldn't recommend it for anything other than casual usage, and instead limit yourself to the Start Screen (and touch-designed apps) when you don't have a keyboard and mouse.
Alternatively, you can use the provided pen for light mouse-like usage. This slate comes with both a real digitizer as well as touch screen, and it turns off the touch functionality when the pen is nearby, so it's actually quite nice to write with using the provided pen, as you can lean the edge of your hand on the glass to write without triggering any touch operations. Honestly, this is a great slate for people who like to write, and I suspect I'll get a lot more use out of OneNote with this than any previous PC.
Regardless of what kind of precision input device you're using, we're going to make some changes and do some work in classic desktop mode next.
Step 3: Run Windows Update
From the Start Screen, swipe in from the right edge, tap Search, and then search for "Windows Update". Tap on the Settings sub-search, and then tap on "Check for updates". This will launch the desktop version of Windows Update. If you're careful with your taps, you might be able to use this app without resorting to a mouse or pen.
Force Windows Update to search for drivers, even if it thinks you're up-to-date. This will end up giving you most of the drivers you're missing. For me, this included nearly 20 updates in total. As is typical with Windows Update, you will probably need to reboot one or more times to get everything updated properly. Continue to install/reboot dance until Windows Update comes up empty.
Step 4: Install Drivers For Missing Devices
When you look in Device Manager, you'll probably have two "banged out" devices that are missing drivers. One is the rotation sensor (for which there aren't any drivers yet), and the other is a device that's covered in the Intel Chipset drivers.
Head back to the Series 7 Slate Downloads page. Click on the Manuals & Downloads tab, but this time click on the Driver link, and download the driver named "Chipset". Install this driver and reboot. One of your two mysteryous devices with no driver should have gone away now.
Update: Samsung has released Windows 8 drivers to support better touch and rotation with Windows 8. Please go download them now!
Step 5: There is No Step 5
That's it! The Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 just continues to make my blissfully happy with my investment in this "developer-quality laptop without a keyboard". It really shines!
Time to enjoy your new Windows 8 slate!