Loading the Windows 8 Developer Preview on my Acer Iconia W500 Tablet Pt. 1

Loading the Windows 8 Developer Preview on my Acer Iconia W500 Tablet Pt. 1

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With the release to web of the Windows Developer Preview yesterday, I chose my most suitable PC for the task to get it up and running. The W500 is a slate device with a keyboard docking station attachment, and as you can see from it's Windows 7 WEI score - it's at the low end of the scale in terms of CPU power, but is more than adequat with it's on CPU GPU.


After backing up the existing Windows 7 instance to WHS, I attached a keyboard so that I could change the default boot device to the 8GB USB flash drive I had preloaded with both the 32 and 64 bit versions, but installed the 32 bit version due to the system only having 2GB of RAM which is not upgradeable.

Setup took about 15 minutes, so there have been some obvious improvements to this process, and for those of you familiar with the setup process of Windows 7 you will find a similar folder structure, as well the as the expected WIM files. This means I can still use my favourite approach of preparing a bootable install flash drive with diskpart via the following steps within Windows. The 32 and 64 bit installs both fit onto a single 8GB flash drive, and don't really benefit from trying to apply compression as most of the space is taken up by the WIM files which are already compressed.

1. Insert USB flash drive

2. Run diskpart

3. Type "List Disk" (or "lis dis") to determine which drive is the flash drive

4. Type "Select Disk x" (or "Sel Dis x") with x being the drive number of the flash drive

5. Type "Clean"

6. Type "Create Partition Primary" (or "Cre Par Pri")

7. Type "Format FS=NTFS QUICK"

8. Type "Active"

9. Type "Exit"

10. Use your preferred ISO extraction tool to extract the files out the flash drive.

There were a few little hiccups I experienced prior to a succesful install, and that involved removing the CF Card I was using for additional storage, changing the boot device order to put the Flash Drive first and then the SSD second (the boot order I had was preventing setup from being able to select an appropriate hard drive), but then everything went smoothly, and as I also called out, quite quickly. There are still a few devices in Device Manager that need some attention, and I'll look into that when I get a bit more time to explore and play.

  • This sounds great I also have the w500 & thinking of installing w8 please let me know how it works out.

  • Hi Rob

    So far performance has been good, I haven't loaded much more on it, so am not running into space issues etc that can be a problem with something with a small SSD. The only hardware components showing issues in device manager are Bluetooth and Away Mode, with Bluetooth being the higher priority for my troubleshooting. I'll do some more posts updating how it's all going, so keep watching.



  • the Bluetooth Sensor on mine works perfectly with the Acer Drivers from their website.   Everything else is running smoothly and I use a 32GB micro-sd card as my storage so space is not too much of an issue.

    The only thing i can get working is the accelerometer (g-sensor) even with the drivers form Acer, so i can get it to rotate automatically.   Do have the same issue?

    Windows 8 is awesome and its so sweet to have this preview build in my hands. I intend to build some nice metro apps for it, it will be fun cos' the dev tools are quite easy to use.

  • I just installed windows 8 on the Acer.  It runs very smooth.  I can not get the G Sensor to work either.  I have not attempted Bluetooth yet, but I am confident the Acer drivers on the web will work.

    I am having trouble getting 'Flicks' to work, am I forgetting a driver?

  • I keep getting the "Failed to create/find an existing partition error" I formatted my drive to clean install, so now I can't do anything until I install WIN 8. HELPPPPP!!!!

  • Never mind, I just removed my SD Card and its working

  • To "PLEASE HELP" - glad you sorted that out quickly! I also found my boot device order needed to be changed, which stopped me in my tracks for a short while =)

    Bazza - Thanks for the BT tip - I hadn't looked into yet, but that will save some time. The problem with the SD Card approach though is that there are some apps and OS features that don't cooperate with removable storage, and unfortunately for me these were some things I use daily. I did find that doing things like sharing it out as a file share, and then connecting as a drive letter, worked around some of these issues, but not all.

    Jeffrey - I'll check this later tonight when I get back to playing versus working.

  • Auto Rotate works nicely with touch application download from acer.

    My bluetooth works great too.  I am able to tether and airplay music from my iphone 4.  

    Still no flicks.

  • BT and G Sensros are not working. Drivers for W7 are not workimg with the current build of W8. I tried to install both devices manually with no luck. All other stuff is working well.

  • the drivers work fine if you install 32bit windows 8 on the tablet rather than 64bit

  • Installed "Device Control" and then "Auto Screen Rotation Blocker" from Acer got the auto rotate works!

  • installed win 8 32bit still no problems what so ever all hardware working to my knowledge only complaint is that I'm missing an alt key and the acer software wont replace the win 8 keyboard. Good thing it comes with a keyboard dock!

  • Hi Guys,

    I wrote a similar guide on how to install windows 8 preview with screen shots for those interested


  • I lose my pass word account in Microsoft account

  • nice information for Acer tabs.

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