Thanks to everyone who came along to the Microsoft event today at Modern Jago. I hope you all found it useful. I got feedback from a few people that my tip on not trusting company WIFI when trying to do remote debugging of Windows RT devices was useful (or any other type of device for that matter).
I have seen too many corporate level Wifi implementation, and a surprising number of home ASDL/Wifi routers, doing isolation between WiFi clients. So each client can see the internet fine, but not any another Wifi devices. My usual solution is as I did today, use a MiFi or phone as a basic Wifi hub, they are both too dumb to try anything as complex as client isolation. Or look on your Wifi hub to check if you can disable client isolation.
[Also see http://blogs.blackmarble.co.uk/blogs/rfennell/post/2013/01/22/More-on-HDD2-boot-problems-with-my-Crucial-M4-mSATA.aspx]
I have just reinstalled Windows 8 (again) on my Lenovo W520. This time it was because I moved to a Crucial m4 256Gb 2.5” internal SSD as my primary disk. There is a special slot for this type of drive under the keyboard, so I could also keep my 750Gb Hybrid SATA drive to be used for storing virtual machines.
I had initially planned to backup/restore my previous installation using IMAGEX as I had all I needed in my PC, but after two days of fiddling I had got nowhere, the problems being
- The IMAGEX from my hybrid drive to an external disk (only 150Gb of data after I had moved out all my virtual PCs) took well over 10 hours. I thought this was due to using an old USB1 (maybe it was a USB2 at a push) disk caddy, but it was just as slow with a ESata. The restore from the same hardware only too an hour or so. One suggest made that I did not try was to enable compression in the image, as this would reduce the bandwidth on the disk connection, it is not as if my i& CPU could not handle the compression load.
- When the images restored, we had to fiddle with Bcdedit to get the PC to boot
- Eventually the Windows 8 SSD based image came up, you could open the login page with no issues but got no cursor for a long time, it it was sloooow to do anything – I have no idea why.
So in the end I gave up, and installed anew, including Visual Studio and Office it took about 30-45 minutes. There were still a couple of gotcha’s though
- I still had to enable the Nvidia Optumus graphics mode in BIOS, thus enabling both the Intel and Nvidia graphics sub systems. I usually only run on the discrete NVidia one as this does not get confused by projects. if you don’t enable the Intel based one then the Windows 8 install hangs after installing drivers and before the reboot that then allows you to login and choose colours etc. As soon as this stage is passed you can switch back to discrete graphics as you wish. I assume the Windows 8 media is missing some NVidia bits that it find after this first reboot or via WIndows Update.
- Windows 8 is still missing a couple of drivers for the Ricoh card reader and Power management, but these are both released on the http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/ site. You do have to download these manually and install them. All the other Lenovo drivers (including updated audio I have mentioned before) come down from Windows update.
So the moral of the story is reinstall, don’t try to move disk images. Make sure your data is in SkyDrive, Dropbox, SharePoint, source control etc. so it is just applications you are missing which are quick to sort out. The only pain of a job I had was to sort out my podcasts, but even that was not too bad
After I installed Windows 8 RTM I still had two devices missing drivers. I have made a little progress
- Base System Device - was the Ricoh PCIe SDXC/MMC Host controller I used this Win 8 beta driver
- Unknown driver – seems to be the Lenovo Power Management devices. However the Win 8 Beta driver fails to install. I had to use the Windows 7 driver, installed OK and seems to show the right information in the tool tray, but in Device Manager it still says the unknown driver.
I guess I really need to wait until Lenovo ship their release drivers
First I thought I could do an in-place upgrade of my Windows 8RC PC, turns out you can’t (not sure if it would have been wise anyway) so it was format disk time.
I had hoped for a seamless install of Windows 8, but it hung after detecting devices. It seems it was the ‘old problem’ down to Lenovo/Nvidia Optimus graphics drivers issues. So I checked my bios settings which were set to Nvidia Optimus mode disabled (the only way I could get the RC to install), and changed it to Optimus mode enable and the install all worked without an issue. However though as a laptop it work find, including with a second external monitor. I did have to set Optimus back to disabled and run in discrete video mode if I wanted to use a projector. It seems the Optimus mode certainly gets confused with the Benq projector we have in the office, it will allow you to extend your desktop but not duplicate it. As soon as you switch back to discrete graphic mode all is OK (though you do lose the ability to run two external monitors)
On completing the installation I ran a Windows update which found an update Lenovo display driver (it had no effect on the Optimus issue) and Conexant audio driver (one I had to manually update on the RC to get Lync 2013 working).
However, on checking the Device Manager I was still missing drives for a couple of devices
I think they are Power Management and Intel AMT, but the beta drivers from Lenovo don’t seem to work so I will need to keep looking.
So now to see how it runs, first impressions are good, seem quick.
I have been really pleased with Windows 8 RP on my Lenovo W520, I have had no major problems. I have seen the issues with slow start-up of networking after a sleep as others have seen, but nothing else.
However today I tried to do a Lync audio call with Lync 2013 Beta and found I had no audio. Up to now I had just used the drivers Windows 8 installed which had seemed OK. It turns out I had to install the Conexant Audio Software 184.108.40.206 from the Lenovo site. Once I did this and Lync was restarted the audio leapt into life. As I remember I had a similar issue with Windows 7 and getting the audio to work correctly on my Lenovo base station.
Top tip: use the up to date drivers
I have been finding the ‘hit the windows key and type’ means to launch desktop applications in Windows 8 quite nice. It means I get used to the same behaviour in Windows or Ubuntu to launch things, no need to remember menu locations just type a name, all very slickrun . However, I hit a problem today, I hit the windows key, typed Visual and expected to see Visual Studio 2012 and 2010, but I only saw Visual Studio 2012
But both were there yesterday!
The issue was I had install SSDT (SQL Server Data Tools), this is hosted within the Visual Studio 2010 shell and had renamed my Metro desktop Visual Studio 2010 App to Microsoft SQL Server Data Tools. If I typed this the app was found and it launched Visual Studio 2010. I then could choose whether to use SSDT or Ultimate features as you would expect. This is the same behaviour as on Windows 7, it is just on Windows 7 you would have two menu items, one for SSDT and one for VS2010 both pointing to the same place.
Now I am a creature of habit, even if it is a newly formed one, and I like to just type Vis, so this is how I got the link back into the Metro desktop, might be other ways but this is the one that worked for me
- Found the Visual Studio 2010 devenv.exe file in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE
- Right click and create a shortcut on the desktop
- Rename the new desktop shortcut to ‘Visual Studio 2010’
- Right clicked on the renamed shortcut and selected ‘pin to start’
- Deleted the desktop shortcut, it is no longer needed as it has been copied, yes I found this a bit strange too, but I do like a clean desktop so delete it I did. You don’t have to delete it if you want a desktop shortcut.
I can now press the Windows key, type Vis and I can see both Vs 2010 and 2012, and I can still type SQL and get to SSDT
I posted recently on running Win8 RP on my Lenovo W520, well a few days on it is still working fine. I have adopted by usual practice of installing as few hardware vendor drivers/tool as possible, as I tend to find these make matters worse most of the time. However, I as expected I could not only rely on just what came with Windows 8.
- On installing Windows the only device not discovered was the single device ‘Intel Chipset’, this needed the Intel Chipset Support driver
- I noticed today that when on my docking station my speakers did not work. I expected to have to install the Lenovo provided audio drivers, but a check for ‘updated drivers’ on the audio device in device manager got the right ones from Windows Update.
- The fingerprint reader just work had to do nothing other than enrol my fingerprint in Control Panel –> Biometics, and unlike with the Lenovo version of the UI I had on Windows 7, I can now user a fingerprint to elevate my privileges via UAC. One issue seem to be the green LED by the reader does not light up, but as it works I can live with that.
I will report more things I need to do as I find them.
I tried to install the Windows 8 CP on my Lenovo W520 with no success as I posted about in the past.I was only able to install Windows 8 CP only if I disabled the Nvidia graphics card and just used the integrated Intel controller. This was of no real use as I need dual monitors.
With the release of Windows 8 RP I though I would try again.
The first attempt failed with the same problem, it hung detecting devices. I check the BIOS and noticed I was set to discrete only (the Nvidia setting). I knew the RP should work on the W520 as other at the office have got it working. So I changed the BIOS to Nvidia Optimus (the auto swap system between Intel and Nivdia) and tried again – and it worked. So this is the first post from Windows 8.
Now to find drivers for the other devices in the W520
Whilst preparing for the Black Marble Windows 8 event tomorrow (still places available for this free event) I hit problem with VS11Beta and Metro projects.
I was sorting out a demonstration of remote debugging, I had a Samsung tablet PC running WIn8CP and intended to use a WIn8Server CP running inside a VirtualBox VM on Windows 7 PC.
- I installed VS11 Ultimate 11 Beta on both devices
- On the Win8 Tablet I loaded the VS11 remote debugger monitor
- On the Win8 Server I loaded VS11
- I created a new Metro application project
- I set the project properties to point use remote debugging and target my tablet
- I pressed F5 to debug
- And got the error "We couldn't get your developer Licence for Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Please check your internet connection and try again."
I had a good look around for a solution, most posts pointing to issues with upgrading Win7 to Win8, talk of hotfix, patches and waiting 2 days for licenses to expire. Turns out it was none of these. I eventually found the answer on the MSDN forums, you just can’t do this at present with Win8Server beta. Seems it did work with the build conference release, but not now. You have to use the desktop build of Win8CP for remote debugging.
So I created another VM using the desktop Win8CP, followed same process and it was all fine. When I got to the place I was getting a warning dialog it asked for a LiveID and all proceeded as expect. I can now do a nice remote debugging demo.
Are you interested in Windows 8 Development?
Well if you are Black Marble are running a free event on Windows 8 on the 30th of May in Leeds.
Also Jon Fowler, one of our development leads has just started a series of blog posts on converting Prims to .NET for Windows 8 metro style apps. This is all tied to his port of Prism to Metro which you can download from Codeplex