Moving right along
Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2012 11:47
I played with Windows 8 from the first public preview version all the way to the final release. I never trusted the thing completely and it was always installed on as a dual-boot option.
As of October 26th we got our hands on the final Windows 8 Pro release and decided to replace the candidate preview with the official version and a clean installation. The first thing we noticed was that the installation on a Samsung 256GB SSD from a USB 2.0 stick takes some 10 minutes, if that. It is really fast and it needs only a few clicks of interaction.
As of October 25th Alienware offers drivers and a new bios for the MX11 R3 with Optimus and Nvidia Geforce 540M graphics. Of course, we downloaded the necessary files and started installing them.
The first thing that caught our eye was that Nvidia’s driver, provided by Alienware, failed to install. Alienware offers 267.21, A01 that dates April 20th 2011 and Beta of 285.62 dated October 31st 2011. You get the picture how old these drivers really are.
Luckily Nvidia offers a new driver at Nvidia.com and we downloaded the GeForce 306.97 driver, dated October 10. Despite the fact that this driver worked flawlessly on the release candidate version of Windows 8 Pro, as well as on RTM version, it started to show us a brand new BSOD. Microsoft kept blaming Nvidia’s driver for the continuous reboots and crashes. When we took the driver down the machine regained stability, but HD 3000 graphics from Intel were the only choice.
We don’t know if this is an isolated case, but for us Nvidia 306.97 takes Windows 8 Pro down almost immediately after boot. Use the comments below to share your experience and we will update the article once we get to the bottom of this issue.
It is starting to look as if Microsoft wants you to buy a new PC – notebooks with preinstalled Windows 8 - as this is the way to get the guarantee that everything will work like advertised. Not much luck for people with ancient notebooks it seems.