Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Performance review, how to install and fix issues

Recently, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview which is like a public beta available for free to test on your PC.

In this post I will discuss how to install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and fix issues like installation failure, system_bad_config error, ‘something happened’ error and others that are countered post installation.

The first step is to download either the ISO file from Microsoft website or the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup which will guide you regarding download and compatibility.

All the systems that can run Windows 7 can run Windows 8. However the system should have minimum 1 Ghz processor, 1 GB RAM, 16 GB free space on C drive and DirectX 9 graphics or later.

It is advisable that you download directly from Microsoft site. Once you download the ISO file you have two choices: either you can burn a DVD using any third party image burning software or make a bootable USB drive using Windows 7 bootable USB tool that is available at the same page where the Windows 8 ISO is.

If you have the DVD then just insert it in the slot and start your system. If your boot priority is set to DVD drive slot as first the installation should start else go to boot priority and make it to top and start it again. Same with USB pen drive. Change the boot priority to USB and start the system.

You wont have to do much after it starts. A graphics of fish releasing bubbles would appear and you would have to wait and give inputs as and when it asks. 15-20 minutes and it should be installed.

General problems during installation:

1. Blue screen with system_bad_config error while installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview:There seems to be a problem with the ISO file that you downloaded. It might be corrupt. Re-download it and try again. It should work. Else do it again.

2. Something Happened pop up: If you are executing the setup file of Windows 8 Consumer Preview from a hard drive using ‘run as administrator’ you might find this pop up after 12%, in some cases may be later. Your set up file is corrupt. Just download the file again and make sure to scan your pen drive before pasting it. Use Windows 7 tool to extract the ISO and re-run. You should get lucky this time.

Issues after installation:

1. Resolution issues on Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Some of you might find that your screen looks faded, text appears shadowy and blurred. One solution is to go to desktop from the Start tiles, right click, choose personalise and then change resolution. If the box that has resolution options is inactive and shows the lower resolution you got an issue.

Go to Windows update through control panel (which you should find under apps) and click on it. It will let you know of some updates. Select all and install them. Your driver should be updated and your screen will look gorgeous now.

If it doesn’t solve the problem you can go to your manufacturer’s website and download latest video driver and install it. You should do good now.

2. Where is the shutdown button: Many of the familiar buttons are no more on Start page. You will have to do a workaround here. Ctrl+alt+del is one option. Another is alt+f4. But how about installing a shortcut on the start page. Find the ‘how to’ here.

3. How to go beyond Welcome screen: Once your system starts you will get the welcome wallpaper with time and date but you are confused after that. Don’t worry, just take your pointer to the bottom left click+hold and swipe towards above. It’s similar to the smartphones with swipe to reveal. You should get the user name screen, punch in the password and you will get to the Start panel.

4. How to remove/unpin tiles: Right click on the one you want to remove and the options should be at the bottom. Choose either of the ‘unpin’ or ‘remove’.

5. How to get to Start screen from desktop: Just take your pointer to right corners/bottom corners and it should reveal a slim row of icons. Choose start from there.

6. How to go to all programmes/apps: Right click at any place that has no tiles and you will get an icon at the bottom of your screen.

7. How to install tiles for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail etc in Windows 8 Consumer Preview: This is a tricky one but simple. You will have to click on the Internet Explorer tile from the start screen. (Not the one in Apps). Type the website you want to bring to Start panel. Once it opens, you will see an icon besides the address bar at the bottom which appears like a pin. Just click it and you will have that website as a shortcut on your Start screen.

8. How to arrange tiles on Start screen: It’s simple. Just click and hold and move it wherever you want it.

9. How to install other softwares: When you run any setup you will get message in the middle if screen checking compatibility of that software. If it is connected to net you will get a message to execute it but if it isn’t you will just get an option to click ‘ok’, clicking which voids the action. Don’t worry, just click the ‘learn more’ or similar link that is below the message and then click ‘run anyway’ and installation should start.

10. How to return to desktop from any app: When you are inside any app or any tile from Start panel like Internet Explorer you wont get to see the desktop. Either use Windows+D or take the pointer to the top left corner to reveal a rectangular snapshot of the desktop. Click it to reach desktop.

11. How to reach the my computer/Explorer: Use either the ‘explorer’ tile from Start panel or Windows+E to reach My Computer or Windows Explorer.

The general performance review for Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

The new Windows looks great and is easier to use once the user gets used to it. As it has a completely revamped UI users are left wondering how to use and get things done.

However, once the general feel has got into the user it works great and is fun. Most if the software and applications that ran on Windows 7 can run on the Consumer Preview as well.

I am yet to encounter an issue or bug that can hamper my work on my PC.

If you have encountered any issue regarding installation or on Windows 8 in general the guys at Microsoft Answers are ready to help. Else, you might leave your question in the comments and I might get you an answer.

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