Installing Windows 8 Release Preview On The Acer Iconia Tablet

by Chris on June 1, 2012 · 29 comments

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Today Microsoft released the Windows 8 Release Preview which puts us one step closer to the final version of Windows 8. The Release Preview is considered to be code complete which means that everything is done and they are now just doing bug fixes. I installed both of the previous versions of Windows 8 onto my Acer Iconia W500 tablet and took some time to install the Release Preview today. The install was as smooth as ever and this time around all drivers were installed instead for the gyroscope. Here we have captured the install for those who own and want to install the Windows 8 Release Preview on the Acer Inconia.

USB Install Tool

I used Microsoft’s USB install tool to do my installs as I find it to be much faster than using DVD’s. This tool takes the .ISO image and puts it onto a USB drive and then makes it bootable for the install.

Boot Select On the Iconia

One of the options in the BIOS of the Acer Iconia is to use F12 to determine which device you want to boot from and that is what I did here.


Selecting the USB drive allows the install to begin


Installing Windows 8 Release Preview

One the install loads you start by selecting your language and keyboard options like a normal Windows Install.


On the next screen you just hit the big install now button.


Setup begins to load and then you must type in the Release Preview Key located on the download page



After typing in the key you will then have to accept Microsoft’s EULA


At this point you have the option to execute an upgrade or do an advanced install which is what I did to get a clean version.


On the Advanced install screen I went ahead and deleted the existing partitions and installed Windows 8 on the new available space



Immediately after choosing the partition the install begins to unpack all the files needed. This part took about five minutes however, the rest of the install when very quickly.



The features install went very quickly then after finishing up the Acer Iconia reboots



Configuring Windows 8 Release Preview

After the Acer Iconia reboots, it is time to run through the configuration of Windows 8 with the first thing being which color you want to use. This is the first thing you notice is different as there are way more colors that the previous versions.


Now you select your wireless network and put in the credentials for it.



Now we will run through a few screens of some basic settings you can take the express settings which take the basic options that Microsoft recommends.


I walked through the customized settings just to make sure I had what I wanted. The first group of settings are for protecting the machine with automatic updates and other options.


The next group of settings are about providing Microsoft with information to help improve Windows which are now off by default.


The final group of settings are about sharing data between apps and automatically checking online for solutions to problems.


At the end of the install it is really just signing into it with your Windows Live ID


If you don’t have a Live ID you can also create one at this time



If you have a previous existing ID, aster logging in you will be shown your security verification info which basically sends you a text message to add the device to your Microsoft Account


After hitting next, there are some final configurations that take a few seconds then your Metro UI will show up when it’s done and already start displaying your information just like Windows Phone.


The one thing that I really love is the fact that settings are synced between machines. Even though I just installed Windows 8 onto the Acer, flipping over to the desktop shows the same background image as on my Windows 8 laptop.



It was nice to see the majority of the drivers were installed without me having to get them. So far the majority of the changes seem subtle although the Release Preview seem to be running a lot smoother than the consumer preview but that could be just because of a fresh install. We will dig into the release more later however if you want to try out a decent tablet grab an Acer Iconia W500 and install Windows 8 on it.

  • C.R.

    Is it safe to delete every partition on w500 to make a fresh install? I read somebody had his system unbootable after a full deletion of system partitions. Thanks in advance.

    • Chris

      That is what I did not sure why anyone would run into issues with that

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  • Blattlaus

    Thanks for the post. I’ll be updating my Iconia this weekend. Did you go back to Win7 for this install, or go straight from Win8 Consumer Preview?
    If I remember correctly on my initial install of the CP, all the drivers were fine except for Bluetooth and Gyro. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • Chris

      You got it please do!!

      • Blattlaus

        Wow- don’t ask me what I just did, but I’m up and running. Went into UEFI not Bios and it asked me what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to reinstall windows, I had a USB with the ISO on it, typed in the windows key for flash/USB and it asked if i wanted clean install or keep setting. At first I said to keep the settings, but that didn’t work, so I went with the clean install. 30 minutes later I re-entered my windows ID and low and behold its up and running- Windows 8 release preview Build 8400. I really don’t think that’s supposed to happen, but God must really look out for the idiots. 😉

        Quick assessment- much smoother, and touch swipe commands seem to work much better- especially swiping in from the sides to show the charms or menus. Going to download apps and place with the sports tile.

  • Myclevername

    Awesome. Will try this once my back up completes. I burned to an ISO disc….should still work right? Thanks for this.

    • Chris

      I see no reason why that would not work

  • Myclevername

    I cannot get into BIOS to start this process. How do I do that? I’ve tried holding the windows button at the same time ans the volume up button and then the power button and then hitting F12. Tried it with F2….tried it with F1…I cannot seem to beat the screen and the Consumer Preview alaways loads before I can get to a BIOS screen. Can you please let me know what I should be doing? Should the ISO DVD be plugged in? Or does that come later? It’s pissing me off. I just want some BIOS blue screen man! waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    Any and all help apprecited. thanks

    • Chris

      Back away from the keyboard ad take a break lol. You have to use F2 initially to get you into the BIOS. But the damn thing boots so fast you can miss it so i start tapping F2 before i even turn it on. Give that a shot should get you in. And I would leave the DVD plugged in so that it can pick it up in the BIOS or if you plan to use F12 to choose it after you enable it.

      • Myclevername

        Not sure exactly how I got in but I think it was a combination of hitting F2 and F12 back and forth until BIOS opened.
        I’m up and running the new release. Just gotta figure out how to get Office back on here since I bought it as a download and have no disc.
        Thanks for this awesome tutorial.

    • Sjobsox

      To enter BIOS setup, turn off your Aconia W500, then press the Windows button and power button simultaneously. (My advice is to press the windows button first and keep it in while pressing the power button.) A cursor will show up in upper left corner and you can press F2, F12 or … whatever button you like to press :-)

      • Sjobsox

        Sorry for the typo! It should be “Iconia W500” of course

  • Bcjoe

    To get F2 to work and get to the BIOS, you may have to have the unit running, hold the power button for more than 5 seconds to power it off. The creates a not normal shut down. When you restart with the window + power button, you will have more time to hit the F2…Good Luck!

  • crumbug

    Did you use the 32 bit version or 64? Does your camera work? Mine worked once but now the camera app shows nothing from either camera. I am running X64.

    • Chris

      I used the 64bit version and have no issues with the camera (at least with skype)

      • crumbug

        Could you get g sensor to work with X64? If so, how?

        • Ken C

          First there is absolutely no reason to do x64, you have less than 4GB of RAM and it will actually perform worse than x86 due to the extra layer needed to run x86 code on top of x64. That’s an over-simplification but trust me you do not want to run x64 on less than 4GB of RAM. To top it off, some of the Acer drivers are x86 only so they just on’t work. Now with that out of the way, to get the g sensor to work you have to install no only the Acer driver but also two of the Acer apps from their download section. Device control and the auto-rotator blocker as well since the switch is part of it.

          • Ken C

            Oh and the camera works, but I’ve noticed I need to open the Acer camera app first once. Then the metro camera app works after that, both sides. Haven’t bothered to dig into that further yet. forums have more info.

          • crumbug

            thanks ken, ive switched back to 32 bit and everything is running so wonderfully fast, and im soo happy to have my g sensor drivers running again… I don’t think ill ever install the 64bit win8 even after commercial release.

  • Tyrone

    It keeps telling me it can’t create the partition on the drive see setup logs I followed your exact steps.
    Can you tell me what your boot order is and if you have an ad card plugged in too?
    Heard of this error before?

    • Chris

      Haven’t seen that error before and no additional card plugged in. Just for a test try using a windows 7 install first and see if it can handle your partition doesn’t make sense why windows 8 installer can’t do it

    • Greg

      I received this error because I had a memory card installed. Removed the card and it worked

    • Blikkies

      Hi, I got the same issue after deleting the partitions. I removed the SD card and restarted the setup. Everything ran perfectly after that.

  • Blikkies

    Thanks for you post Chris

    • Chris

      No doubt and thanks for checking in!!

  • Praveen

    Could we use the same for development purpose .. meas installing the window 8 application from the local machine.

  • MKJohn

    Chris. Thanks for your post. Without this, I did not have the courage to go in and delete the partitions!! All works great and I am actually impressed with Windows 8 and it runs so well on the W500 I cannot believe the difference to Windows 7.

    • Chris

      I do it so you don’t have to!! :) No Problem. I still use mine for tailgating but might switch over to the surface but I am still happy with the W500

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