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Posts Tagged ‘upgrade to Windows 8’

From Windows 7 to Windows 8: The Transition

June 1, 2013 2 comments

After a long and anguishing struggle, I now finally transitioned to Windows 8. NO! It’s not the “bloody UI” like most of the rants you’d hear or read about; it’s primarily the drivers and hardware vendor enhancement apps that perfectly worked on Windows 7 that failed to work on Windows 8. For those going through a similar fate, here is how I did the transition:

 

THE SPECIMEN

Lenovo IdeaPad Y460p
  CPU: Intel Core i7 @ 2.0GHz
  RAM: 4GB
  OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64
  HDD: WDC 750GB
   Partitions
    C: – OS partiton
    D: – OEM pre-defined partition with all the bundled enchiladas

Windows 8 Enterprise – got it from… Oops! Sorry, have to comply with the NDA

 

SETTING THE STAGE

Before you install Windows 8, make sure you don’t have any driver problems in Windows 7. You can verify this from the Device Manager. If you have incompatibility issues in Windows 7, you bet it’ll be more so in Windows 8.

 

PHASE 1: WINDOWS INSTALL

  1. If possible, do an in-place upgrade; you probably would have a smoother transition than I did
    In my case though, I can’t, it’s because upgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 8 Enterprise is not possible. Refer to this Windows 8 upgrade path just to be sure.
  2. For those with similar scenario, do a fresh install via DVD or USB.
    IMPORTANT: Do not format or remove your Windows 7 partition. Windows 8 will save everything related to Windows 7 in a folder named Windows.old.

 

PHASE 2: DEVICE DRIVER WORKAROUND

  1. After installing Windows 8, immediately check the Device Manager for unknown devices and update each driver. Begin the update by right-clicking on the device in question then select the Browse my computer for driver software option when the Update Driver Software – Unknown Device wizard appears.
  2. In the Search for driver software in this location field, type c:\Windows.old\Windows and make sure to select Include subfolders; very essential I should say. Click Next.

Chances are, Windows 8 would be able to use the drivers and you’re good to go. My previous attempts of the installation was a pain until I thought of this workaround. Unfortunately for me, the driver that worked on Windows 7 for the Belkin F5U409 didn’t work; I have this error:

This to me is an essential tool to configure Cisco devices via the Console. Even using the driver from Magic Control Technology Corporation didn’t work…

Another issue I had was installing the laptop’s enhanced features but I’ll get back to this later.

Now, these perhaps are vendor support issues but hypothetically, drivers written for Windows 7 should work since Windows 8, according to a Microsoft Technical Marketing team, is 70% Windows 7. Hmmmmm…

Hopefully, you’re doing well with the drivers on your end.

 

PHASE 3: RESTORING THE QUICK LAUNCH TOOLBAR

Didn’t I say the UI was not a problem? It’s because I had the Quick Launch toolbar working. I did it the same way I did in Windows 7; view post here. After restoring the toolbar, I arranged all the apps I needed in folders and moved the folders into the toolbar. I then opened the Taskbar Properties and set it like this:

By the way, don’t for forget to click OK to save the settings and dismiss the dialog. Here’s what I have thereafter:

The proverbial Windows orb is missing but just like in Windows 7, I seldom use it. Now, who needs the Start Screen?

 

PHASE 4: LENOVO IdeaPad Y460p EXCLUSIVE

This particular model has a number of features but what I really liked is the Slide Navigator. One fancy thing you can do is to zip/unzip the laptop screen. Anyway, the Slide Navigator didn’t work after the Windows 8 install. Here’s what I did to make it work:

  1. If you still have the Lenovo partition (drive D: in may case), you already have what you need but if not, download the following from Lenovo support:
    * Synaptics Touchpad Driver – Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
    * Lenovo Energy Management Software
    * Lenovo slidaNav 2.0 tool – there are two packages available. I used IN8STW20WW5.exe.

     

  2. Install the packages in this order:

      a. Synaptics Touchpad
      b. Lenovo Energy Management Software – a reboot will be required
      When you log in after the reboot, the Program Compatibility Assistant will appear.

      Just tick Don’t show this message again and click Close.
      c. Lenovo Slide Navigator

     

  3. If for some reason the Slide Navigator still doesn’t work, download and install:

    1. Lenovo MuteSync Second Display Control Driver – Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)
    2. Intel Management Engine Interface driver – Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit)

The Slide Navigator should work fine except for the One Key Theater system which I didn’t install; nothing against it, just a preference.

 

PHASE 5: ADDING AUTHENTICITY

Apart from using the Lenovo images for wallpaper and lockscreen background, launching System Properties shows you this:

Notice something under the System section? Here’s how I did it:

Find the Lenovo logo and other images somewhere in C:\Windows.old\Windows\System32\oobe\. At least this is where I got it from.

Well, that’s all folks!

Overall, my infatile Windows 8 Enterprise life (3 weeks now) is good thus far; hoping it will get better with the advent of Windows 8.1 (a.k.a SP1 much like Windows XP Reloaded with SP2) especially resolving incompatibility issues with hardware and apps making the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8 painless.

Hope this helps…

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