Friday, September 16, 2011

Windows 8 Developer Preview on ASUS R2H (take 2)

Thanks to a comment from Prof Julie on the previous post pointing to a forum thread where someone has succeeded in installing Windows 8 Developer Preview on ASUS R2H, I tried again this time not running the setup.exe from Windows 7, but from a bootable disk.

Here are the steps this time:

It took about 30 minutes to copy the files, extract and go through the configuration screens. I reused the 13 GB partition used for Windows 7, with 4.5 GB free after installation.

Logging in with the Ethernet connected after a couple of minutes I see it managed to download a wireless driver and start seeing wireless networks available – there are more updates to apply, some for Authentec fingerprint sensor and I see a wireless driver update as well…

Interesting part is that it’s got Aero Peek and transparency with the default Microsoft Basic Display Adapter, something that wasn’t available in Windows 7. Responsiveness is pretty much on par with Windows 7 and out of the box the pen calibration is off (cursor shows above-right to the finger nail / stylus, something that I guess can be fixed through calibration).

Screen resolution is the physical 800x480, can’t seem to be able to get it higher than that – I won’t install the previous Vista video driver, never used the higher resolutions provided by the ASUS tools, found those too blurry to use, maybe once in a blue moon just to get around a window that was too tall (for most I used to drag the task bar to the right to get to the bottom of the window).

Task Manager is largely improved to show more in-depth information, where previously I had to use Process Explorer to get some of that information – should be very handy for servers (I am involved every now and then in customer performance assessments and troubleshooting – it’s nice to have the tools already on the system rather than having to download them).

Windows Explorer got the ribbon, with the ability of collapsing it using the up arrow thingy in the top right corner…

Turning a few things off: like animations and theme sounds, Offline Files, Print Spooler, uninstalling Windows Gadget Platform, disable Bluetooth device and service, SD card controller, bringing My Computer icon to the desktop (right-click, Personalisation), getting there…

Here is a screenshot of the main start screen – have I mentioned that all the screenshots were taken from an RDP connection with full theme / transparency support from my Windows 7 laptop? Smile easier for me to post from here…

I don’t know what else to try for now, I’ll set it up for normal use and see how we get along – doesn’t seem to miss anything, we’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks. I’ll take it for a bus ride maybe next week and see how the battery fares but looks very usable to me, not missing Windows 7 already.


  1. Great news and I'm glad the link I provided helped you get it going! I've got an ASUS R2H that's still running XP that I haven't used for at least a year.

    I'm really interested in Windows 8 and this looks like it could breath new life into the ASUS....maybe late next week when I have a few days to work on it, I'll give it a go! Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Thanks! Although R2H is probably not the best device for W8 (older hardware, lack of hardware acceleration) it's nice to see it working through 4 version of Windows :-) Funny enough I started the blog about 5 years ago because of it :-)

  3. Nice will give this a go in a VM. Windows 8 looks great so far, can't wait till it's released.

  4. I've got the new BSOD running it on Windows Virtual PC (W7 Pro) and then tried with Sun's VirtualBox and went further but it got stuck a few times in the extraction and then at the configuration screens. But others see they got it working fine, so good luck!

  5. Hi,

    Please i need help, the Asus R2H doesn't see my usb key??
    I followed all your advise, in window 7 i see the removal disk for usb key but at start R2H after enter esc key and press removal disk, start on hard drive???

    Please help!

  6. Hi Michael,

    I believe I had the same issue until I went into BIOS > Boot > Hard Disk Drives (I think) and moved the USB key before the HDD drive. Try that.

  7. Any word on battery life? I have the r2h (bought recently) and want it for travelling. was toying with linux but settled on nlited xp - is this faster/more effecient than xp?

    also, will the W8 DP ever become locked (ie when they release the full OS)?

  8. @An Other Dan
    I've just had it with me the other day for about 2 hours and still got some battery left.

    I will (and recommend you to use) Battery Bar - - it shows you the wear level and all. If you just got it might be an idea to re-format the battery (there is an option on the BIOS) to get a more accurate reading.

    No one knows when W8 will be released - they said "when it's ready". There's rumours about a beta release sometime beginning next year and release the end of 2012 - which makes sense, you won't sell a lot of units during summer, but more during winter holliday seasons. We'll see...

  9. Hello !
    I also installing Windows8 in R2H (2G RAM).
    Some problems - not all dialogs fit to 800*480 screen (for. ex. setting IE home page). Can only use 1 monitor same time (internal or external). If external monitor is connected before power on - your get picture to external monitor with supported resolutions. From youtube only 240p is acceptable, no performance for 360p and up.
    Audio became much better if your additionally installing R2H Vista audio driver - also this driver detects internal or external speaker connection automatically. If your install atkmedia, then button in left down opens media player. I also disabling Windows defender to get some additional performance.
    I not trying GPS yet.

  10. Some more tweaks :
    for screen rotating I use iRotate - working, pen little bit out of calibration, but usable.
    If your installing Asus Settings center, physical button in right down became work and your can adjust screen brightness (also volume) !
    Also in browsers your can zoom in (out), for ex. in IE your need activate status bar.
    Only remaining problem - cannot use internal and external display same time.

  11. You seem to be using it quite a bit, thanks for posting your findings.

  12. I cannot GPS to get work - i trying device switch utility, changing COM port settings etc., but after trying to search device in PC Navigator software, software hangs up totally. Any suggestions (like GPS test utility, port settings etc.) ?
    Trying com1, com2, baud rate 9600, 4800. Not tryijng GPS in Windows7, but in XP and Vista no problems.

  13. Now also GPS working - your need in GPS software set port settings manually (with detecting PC hangs up)