How I got the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on my //BUILD tablet

If you paid to go Microsoft’s Build Windows Conference last September in Anaheim, CA, you received a pre-release version of Windows 8 (the Developer Preview) running on pre-release Samsung hardware (which you can acquire with Windows 7) as the morally equivalent Samsung Series 7 Slate.

Now there’s a couple of ways to do it. In fact, I tried the USB key stick way. However, I couldn’t get it to work. Turns out there’s a few tricks including using a 4 GB USB stick (I was using a 16 GB model). If you want to try it this way, go over to the forums.

What did I do? Well, I followed in the foot steps of my fellow developer Ian Griffiths: I installed from an ISO over the network. Naturally if you have room, you can just do it locally.

First I downloaded the x64 ISO.

Next, I created a network share to the drive where I stored the ISO.

I then mounted the ISO using the new built-in ISO mounting feature in Windows 8.



From there I ran the Setup program.








I then answered a few questions. In particular, I had the choice of migrating my old settings. I said no.














Once things were updated and I had logged into my new install, I went to reclaim some space. My C: drive had a few extra folders that I wanted to get rid of:

  • $Windows.!BT
  • MSOCache
  • Windows.old

The MSOCache is a hidden folder used by Office 2010. I removed it manually. I then started to remove Windows.old manually first (it’s not hidden so I noticed it first). While possible, it’s easier to get rid of the two “Windows” folders by using Disk Cleanup.

Start the Control Panel.
Access the Performance Information and Tools
Click the Open disk cleanup.


Check Temporary Windows Installation files (see below) and DiskCleanupPrevious Windows installation(s):












Now on to installing Visual Studio 11.

Comments (1) -

Ian Griffiths
Ian Griffiths
3/2/2012 12:50:28 AM #

The option to remove the old version and the temporary installation files didn't appear when I first ran it. I had to click on the button at the bottom left of the dialog (not shown on your screenshot) to ask to clean system files.

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About the author

Brian A. Randell is a Partner with MCW Technologies, LLC. Brian is also currently a Visual Studio ALM MVP.

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