Loading the Windows 8 Developer Preview on my Acer Iconia W500 Tablet Pt. 2

Loading the Windows 8 Developer Preview on my Acer Iconia W500 Tablet Pt. 2

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The number of hits on my last post showed that there are more than a few of you out there loading Windows 8 onto your W500, so I thuoght I would get this post up to answer a few questions that have come through and share some more things to make it a better experience for you.

In this post I will cover some of the reader supplied tips for drivers, and how to approach the storage limitation of the device.

Firstly, drivers... here's what Device Manager looks like after the installation, I've expanded out a few of the things I want to highlight, alongside the devices that aren't working. As you can see, the out of box driver experience is very, very good. A friend with another tablet device had to spend a bit of time gathering things like the camera drivers and more, but I really only have two things to look for here.

Firstly – the Bluetooth device driver package that is downloadable from the Acer website addressed the Bluetooth error.

The second device listed with issues is AMD Away Mode. Away Mode was introduced primarily to support Media Center PCs to allow them to go into lower power utilisation modes while still being able to work with any Media Center extenders, such as the XBox 360, or some of the media devices that were previously in market from Linksys, D-Link, Toshiba and HP. If you aren't familiar with Away Mode, take a look at these articles to learn more.

Description of the new Away mode for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

Away Mode In Windows Vista

At this point I don’t see a big need to spend much time addressing this missing driver, but I’m a little bit OCD when it comes to device drivers, Microsoft Update, and regular backups, so I know I will dig a little deeper into the solution.

The final thing I wanted to discuss this time was addressing using an SD Card to expand the storage capabilities. While it seems obvious, stick in SD Card, instantly have more storage available, but there are some things to look out for. There are some applications that don’t like installing to, or having default data save locations set on removable storage. There is a fairly easy away around this, and that’s to create a VHD file on the SD Card, and then mount it. If you haven’t done this in the past, here are a few screenshots for you to get an understanding of what needs to be done.

Fire up Computer Management or Disk Management to get started. Firstly, where would you like to create the VHD, and what format would you like it to be. I’d recommend sticking to VHD and Fixed Size for this exercise.

New Bitmap Image 21

Once the VHD is created, and this could take a while depending on the size of the VHD and the speed of your device, you can attach the VHD.

New Bitmap Image3

You will see this dialog, where you select the VHD you just created.

New Bitmap Image 2

And then once you have done that, you will now have a new drive letter that doesn’t experience the restrictions that a removable drive will have.

New Bitmap Image 3

The next step – start filling it up!

  • Humm thats much helpful to the users and must be accessed by most peoples. It is a "Technogies" and may be submitted at http://www.technogies.com

  • Can't wait to hear how this setup actually works for you. I might go out and buy a W500 if it's real-world usable.

  • Wow, as a W500 owner I just wanted to say thanks for these articles.  They are very helpful and very much appreciated.

  • Does it run well enough to justify buying a W500 for this purpose?

  • Russ, Andy - the main concern I have with this device right now is that the resolution is too low to run Side by Side apps in Metro. This isn't just a problem with this device, but any device with less than 1368 horizontal pixels. At the price point though, I think this is good value, but if I had to purchase right now the MSI Windpad would be my choice due to the 4GB of RAM and 64GB SSD options, and the clincher is the TPM inclusion.

  • Where do you see the MSI Windpad with those options?  Also, isn't the resolution lower on that device than the Acer?

    Looking for a device to try out Win8 on for developing apps.  Would like to have most of the features work, including side by side in Metro, if at all possible.

  • Hi Mike

    www.msi.com/.../WindPad-110W.html has the specs, but it has the same screen resolution, so the S x S functionality will still be a problem, but the TPM means it would be much more usable as a work machine for me.

    After the Acer and MSI, I think the next devices up are larger, and don't have the same type of battery life, so there are other trade offs that need to take place.

    Maybe in the next post I should do  pros and cons of the different slate devices in market, but I think it might be too early for that.



  • I went with the W500 in the end and im very happy with it, I have installed the 64bit version and I have everything working except the g-sensor that irritatingly only has a 32bit driver on the acer website.

  • Thanks Mark!  I'm disappointed Microsoft hasn't been providing more of this sort of information.  They've probably got a lot of folks wanting to try things out, but weren't lucky enough to attend the Build conference and get a machine that supports everything.

    And yes, an article on the various tablet devices would be cool.  Perhaps some sort of table that shows what is supported/working and what is not.  That way folks could find the best device for what they'd like to try out.  Heck even a list of touch monitors that are supported might be also interesting.



  • Hi Mike

    One of the problems that we have these days is that what can be written here in the blogs, while often based on personal experience or opinion, can be misconstrued by some as an official Microsoft statement, so we have to be a bit careful with our wording and topics to ensure we don't ruffle the wrong feathers.

    I will howerver happily post my experiences with any hardware I get my hands on, more than happy to share my experiences. I've got a coupe of older machines I am going to try it on when I get the chance, I'm thinking it could breathe some new life into them.



  • Hi Mike,

    I have just noticed a problem with the microphone level essentially there inst any sound unless you crank the boost up and talk directly into the mic holes. ive been searching to find a solution but im coming up blank it seems the mic has an unknown driver any suggestions?

    I have the latest realtek drivers from the acer site and im running x64


  • Sorry I meant Mark not Mike* in the above post

  • Hi Russ - I need to test this out, I mainly use my Plantronics USB headset for Lync/Skype calls.

  • Hi Mark,

    Interestingly Skype is one of the only programs that seems to do ok, in the microphone config under sounds however without being 10-15cm from the mic holes im lucky if my voice reads 10%.


  • I've tried 5 times to install W8D on my W500, and each time it goes into an endless reboot loop.  I've updated the bios and ran the "repair" function in W8D, but it doesn't find anything wrong.  Very frustrating, since so many people seem to run W8D on their Iconia without any problems. I've gone back to W7 for now, but I really liked what Microsoft was doing for tablets with W8D.

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