Installing Windows 8 Release Candidate on the Samsung //Build slate

2012-06-05



As you all probably have seen all over the internet, Microsoft has released Windows 8 Release Candidate! I installed it onto my Samsung //build slate PC. And while doing so ran into a few issues I'd like to share, as I've found solutions for most of them.

Install from USB drive
I installed the Preview release onto the slate previously and used the USB/DVD download tool to create a bootable USB drive and then restarted the build slate from the control panel by selecting the option Advanced Startup.
But I was presented with a friendly message requesting me to insert a proper bootable device. This worked the previous time round :(...

Solution:
So instead I cleared up 20GB and installed the Release Candidate from inside the Consumer Preview. The end result is still a full re-install, so all is well. Remember to remove the Windows.Old folder. You can't do this from Explorer (all kinds of permission issues), but the Disk Cleanup tool will happily remove it for you.

Bluetooth keyboard causes all input to freeze.
After a clean installation the tablet would resist any type of input after an extended period of use. This would start with the keyboard disconnecting and shortly after that the mouse and touch input stopping to respond. You're basically left with the option to turn off the tablet by long-pressing the power button. This seems to be a long standing issue with Windows and blue tooth, as there are forum posts going back to Windows Vista with this issue.

Solution:
The basic solution which is provided is to not allow Windows to turn off the blue tooth adapter to conserve power and restart.
Even after this tweak input still freezes if I have the bluetooth keyboard connected. 

Update1: I've updated the driver for Bluetooth with the latest version from the Broadcom website. Let's see if that improves things.

Update 2: The new drivers seem to be a little more stable, but after a sleep/hibernate the problem still occur. I've posted a question in this issue at the msdn forums. Let's see what comes from that.

Update 3: Turns out the instability is being caused by the Intel HD Graphics drivers. Removed those yesterday and no freezes since then. I've reverted the Bluetooth drivers to the default Windows Update version.



Connect to a WPA2-Enterprise protected wireless network
Wireless networks at our office and at a lot of our customers is protected using WPA2-Enterprise. But the build slate would always keep trying to verify the server and not connect to the network. WPA2-personal works just fine. 

Solution:
After installing the Windows 7 driver for the Option GTM67x PCIe Wireless network adapter everything was back to normal. The driver can be downloaded from the Samsung support website. After installing the driver Windows Update will attempt to overwrite it with a newer version (which will again break WPA2-enterprise). Right-click the update in Windows Update and choose "Hide Update" to prevent this from happening.

Update: There is an even newer driver on the Atheros website. IT enables WPA2-Enterprise and re-enables the wifi on/off switch in the Wireless control panel on the tablet. The driver version is v9.2.0.474 and it can be found on the Atheros website. The site is a little hard to navigate, this is the direct link to the download.

Update 2: Microsoft responded to my support request and it turns out the new Windows 8 drivers support a new feature of the 801.11w spec. There is a bug in certain Cisco access points which causes the association process to fail. The Windows 7 drivers don't support this feature and thus connect without any issues.

Intel HD Graphics OpenGL support
OpenGL and OpenCL support for the Intel HD graphics adapter are needed to run Photoshop or Angry Birds. The drivers provided by default don't include the proper libraries to enable this support.

Solution:
Install the Windows 8 Preview drivers don't forget to restart after installing. Windows update will again try to push a driver update over this one, it will fail to install because the installed driver is 'either more compatible or better' according to the windows update error code. I chose to hide this update as well.

Update: I've since uninstalled the beta drivers from Intel to solve the stability issues with the tablet. And since the uninstall, the issues have indeed gone away. Yay! Now let's wait for a new driver version. 

Update 2: Ok, so the instabilities haven't gone away completely it seems. Today I had another freeze after not completely shutting down the tablet since Friday. I think I can live with that for now. The freezes also seem to be linked to the use of Google Chrome, as all freezes so far happened when Chrome is running and has been running for an extended period (playing music from Google Music in this case).

Update 3: Taking the tablet in and out of the dock or connecting a second screen to the HDMI port seems to trigger this as well. Turning the device off, placing it it the dock and the turning it one works just fine. This is, however, not how I tend to use the tablet.

Update 4: Intel has released a new set of drivers. Same version number, but b2 this time. They're on the same page as the earlier drivers. So far so good. The freezes still haven't completely gone away, but it looks like there is a fix on the horizon! And it looks like I'm not alone ;). Hang in there all!

Update 5: Freezing issues fixed by installing a hotfix from Windows Update.

Connecting the Samsung //Build Slate to a projector or a second screen
If your projector supports HDMI, this one is easy. Order the proper cable and you're all set. If your projectors are a little older (like the ones in our office), you'll need a set of adapter cables. I ordered the following cables to solve my issues.
Samsung has a Micro HDMI to VGA adapter, but I've been able to get hold of one, it seems to be on back order almost everywhere (I need to order through Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de for shipping to The Netherlands). I've ordered an adapter from DealExtreme instead, though I just found a few alternatives:
I will report back on the VGA adapters when I receive them. For the docking station, you can order a HDMI-A male to HDMI-D female adapter so that you can use the same set of adapters. Kabeltje.com can deliver the more advanced Accell HDMI to VGA adapter on request for €69.95 excl shipping in The Netherlands.

Update 1: The elcheapo adapter is indeed crap. The image comes across very bland and it's not workable with long (projector) cables. I'm going to be buying the Accell cable after all.

GPS adapter isn't recognized
The driver for the GPS adapter isn't distributed through Windows Update, nor with the Windows installation disk. A quick chat with Microsoft people unearthed that the driver is unstable and will be updated sometimes in the future.

Solution:
None really. Wait for a better solution. You can install the Windows 7 driver available from the Samsung support site, but I can indeed confirm that it's unstable
 

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