My Week with Windows 8…

On Monday I was shown that you could get the Windows 8 Pro upgrade for the measly price of £25, a bargain considering this is Microsoft we are talking about..

I no longer have a desktop to upgrade, everything is run virtualised on my HP Microserver, so I created a clone of my Windows 7 Desktop and proceeded to upgrade..

Away went the Windows 8 installer downloading all of the required files and checking the guest it would live on for supported hardware.. No problems here and the installation started and ticked away up to 100% advising me it would reboot during the process..

Only after it reboots does it come back with an error.. “Windows 8: HAL_INITIALIZATION FAILED. You PC ran into a problem that it couldn’t handle, and now it needs to restart”. At least they try and soften the blow with a smiley 😦 Amazingly I wasn’t surprised by this in the least.. After all this is Microsoft we are talking about !

Tuesday, I removed the old Virtual Server 2 software I had been using for a while and tried again with VMware Workstation 7.. Still no joy, once again I was greeted with the Bluescreen of Smiley..

Wednesday, After a bit of reading around the web, I upgraded to VMware Workstation 8 and started the install once more. Starting to get a bit miffed at the lack of information and the fact you have to go through the whole initial install process only for it to fail, surely they could tell you before hand..? Sure enough the install failed and the Smiley was on screen once more 😦

Thursday, More research, and I started to test different device drivers and it was only when I went to HP Microserver home I noticed that a new BIOS was released the tail end of 2011. Down it came and down went the server, applied the new BIOS version, checked all the settings were correct for visualisation support and booted up the server..

With much anticipation, the Windows 8 upgrade was started once more.. It rebooted.. Expecting to see the Smiley, I was greeted with the personalise screen. Finally I had a fully operational Windows 8 Virtual instance to play with..

Moral of the story is, ensure your hardware is compatible and that all aspects of it are bang up to date..

And now I have Windows 8 whats my impression of it ?… Its all a bit Windows 3.1 meets Windows Vista designed for Tablets.. I’ll be sticking with my Mac Book Pro and Android tablet..

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6 thoughts on “My Week with Windows 8…

  1. the thing that would really annoy me is that the HAL checker should already have determined your hardware suitability and flagged the issue before you have go through the install and bounce it. also, why cannot MS provide a better error message. we have had many many MS OS versions and still the same generic bland vague message.
    lucky you had cloned your source image!!
    I”ll stick with a linux distro – upgrade = £0

    • Thanks for your comment Graeme,
      I guess I was going for that point in there somewhere too. It never ceases to amaze me that M$ can produce excellent software, but still have such a shortfall to install it.
      Glad to see your still sticking with Linux.. you should try a Raspberry Pi as a thin client device!

      • my Pi has been on order forever.
        should arrive this month.

        costs about the same as the cheapest Windows 8 upgrade!!!

      • Not quite sure what its long term tasks will be but for now it mixes its chores up between Development, Media Centre and thin client device.. the XBMC build is good for streaming content from the server. Just need to box it!

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