Project of the day: Install Windows 8 Retail Pro on Inspiron 17R SE (7720)

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Rassal, Oct 11, 2012.

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  1. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    Hi,

    This morning i woke up with a silly idea... which would be to install Windows 8 on my Dell Inspiron 17R SE (7720).

    So i grabbed it from my Technet/MSDN account so i can get a valid serial number and downloaded the .ISO. (I will change my serial number on Oct. 26th as i already pre-ordered Win8 for this laptop from Microsoft for 15$, it was qualified for it... ).

    So i started windows 7 as usual and inserted the DVD in the laptop to get prompted to... windows update... which i already had completed, so this step only took 30sec..

    After this, i was prompted with the serial number request, which i provided and then Windows 8 installer proceeded with system inspection, only to report that:

    • Dell Touchpad was incompatible with windows 8 and needed to be uninstalled
    • Intel USB 3.0 eXtensible Host was incompatible and had to be uninstalled.
    • I had only 15gb left, and the upgrade requires 20gb
    • Microsoft Security Essentials is incompatible with windows 8 (there is a new version of this in Windows 8, so it had to go away)
    • Have to reboot to reflect the changes

    So i proceeded with this, and i am currently upgrading my windows 7 installation to windows 8. Not the best thing to do i know... but i just want to know if everything works with the upgrade process.

    Now, once this is completed, i will report if everything still works... hoping the USB 3.0 will work natively in Windows 8.

    I will come back later...
     
  2. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    Do now worry... i can revert back to windows 7 using my True Image backup... so if i need to come back to where i was, i will... i also had refreshed all my benchmarks on windows 7 yesterday following the official nvidia 306.97 drivers.

    So i will compare the result of my benchmarks once all bits and bytes are resolved following my Win7 to Win8 upgrade. I know that Windows 8 isn't the best approach to users with it's MetroUI, but i tried Start8 by Stardock, and it's restoring what i liked about the start menu... so i will be testing the overall performance of Windows 8 with what i had with Windows 7.

    Stay tuned!
     
  3. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    Installation complete...

    Only problem so far is with the microsoft account i should bind to my PC... it had a problem, what else could be wrong?

    Back to my old desktop... so far so good... now it's assessment time for stability testing. Overall, took barely 30min to upgrade.
     
  4. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    Ok... so far...

    • No more Sidebar (desktop gadgets)... need to see if i can restore this in Windows 8... might be a way...

    This is fixed, sounds like in Windows 8 RTM there is no more sidebar program installed, there are numerous ways, i found an installer that restored this functionality for me, and all is working as it should now.

    • Firefox doesn't seem to work... it keeps telling me that firefox is already running... have to go back using IE10... yeurk!

    I was running firefox 14... upgraded to Firefox 15, restarted, and now, i have no errors anymore...

    My touchpad is working without any dell software installed... good news... USB also seems to work, will have to perform extensive data transfert to see the overall speed improvment over usb 3.0 in Win8.

    No yellow ! in the device manager, so all devices are working properly... no sounds like i have a better drive available for the ethernet card, which i didn't got offered in windows 7... guess it's a windows 8 driver...
     
  5. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    So far so good... only a couple problem of permissions (NTFS permissions) in my user folder, that was resolved by adding my local account...

    Sounds like Windows 8 doesn't grant administrator permissions on an administrator account for certain folders, this can be worked around by adding your local account to the file or folder with Full Control setting... which worked for me. I guess this is a result of upgrading from Windows 7 instead of doing a full windows 8 install from scratch... but i wanted to see if a windows upgrade works, and it works... some problems might not be easy to solve for the average user, as i am an IT professional and a Microsoft certified partner...

    What so ever... it works! And i only tampered like 30 min to solve the minor problems, everything is like when i left windows 7, except, that i am now running Windows 8 Pro...
     
  6. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    The Windows Experience Index in Windows 8 goes up to 9.9... just discovered this... so no more max at 7.9 anymore.

    This is what i had in Windows 7 with 306.97 drivers:

    Windows Experience Index = 7.2
    Processor = 7.6
    Memory (RAM) = 7.7
    Graphics = 7.2
    Gaming Graphics = 7.2
    Primary Hard Disk = 7.8

    This is what i have now with Windows 8 Pro with the same 306.97 drivers:

    Windows Experience Index = 7.2
    Processor = 7.9
    Memory (RAM) = 7.8
    Graphics = 7.2
    Gaming Graphics = 7.2
    Primary Hard Disk = 7.9

    But running my games, i am getting the same performance as i was in Windows 7... so i will keep using windows 8, so far i have no reasons to go back to Win 7...
     
  7. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    Ok... after more extensive testing, i was forced to un-install and re-install Steam. For some reasons, some of the games were not detecting steam anymore. So after a full re-install of steam, the games, and patching session, all is working well.

    So far i am getting a couple FPS more in every games... will install my Futuremark benchmarks tonight and will proceed with this later on.
     
  8. outersquare

    outersquare Notebook Enthusiast

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    is there any improvement in battery life?
     
  9. realG

    realG Notebook Consultant

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    Cool writeup, thanks for sharing!

    Just out of interest, does the Fn+F3 turn off the touchpad even with the default Windows drivers? That's the only reason I have the Dell drivers installed, it wouldn't work on my 7720 (Win7 64bit) otherwise.
     
  10. Rassal

    Rassal Notebook Consultant

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    With the Windows 8 native driver, no it doesn't...

    But i re-installed the driver on Dell website, and everything works... FN+F3 disables the touchpad as it was in Windows 7 but inside Windows 8... so go figure why the compatibility test says this driver wasn't compatible... it works flawlessly.

    Hope this helps.
     
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