Sunday, March 4, 2012

Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Acer Iconia Tab W500

While trying to install Windows 8 Consumer preview on my Acer Iconia Tab W500, I ran into a few issues. It was a little problematic because I had Windows 8 Developer preview installed on it.
But, I was able to finally install it and here are the steps for anyone else struggling -
Create a bootable flash drive -
  • You would need a USB flash drive with at least 4GB of available space.
  • Download the ISO file of the version of Windows 8 Consumer Preview (64 bit or 32 bit) you want from here - Also keep the product key, available on the site, handy.
  • Download and install the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool form here.
  • Connect the USB drive and start the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool.
  • Provide the ISO file, click USB Drive then select the USB Drive and click Begin copying.
  • Wait for it to finish it’s job (5 to 10 minutes depending on your machine)
Booting the Tab with the USB Drive on it
When you start your tablet by pressing Windows key and the power button simultaneously and press F2, the BIOS should show up. But if you have Windows 8 Developer preview installed, it would not show up. Because of the hybrid boot which uses advanced hibernation functionality on shutdown to allow faster startup times. To enter BIOS you must disable Hybrid boost.
Here’s what you need to do -
  • Open Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound -> Power Options.
  • Click on "Choose what the power button does" on left hand side.
  • Click on "Change settings that are currently unavailable".
  • Uncheck "Enable Hybrid Boot" at the bottom an option, under Windows shutdown settings.
  • Shutdown the tablet, connect to the keyboard and insert the Flash drive.
  • Press the Windows key and the power button simultaneously to turn on the tablet.
  • While a cursor appears at the top left corner of the screen, press F2 to enter the BIOS set-up menu.
  • Change your setting to select the boot device, I enabled selecting boot device but pressing F12.
  • Restart the Tab and press F12 to see the boot options, select the flash drive.
That’s it!
Acer drivers and software
You can download and install the Acer drivers and software that came with the device from Acer’s support website -


  1. I managed to install right out of the box, no problem, but now only certain apps work, and I can7t get into the settings (the app) to add a user accunt (MS Live). The store runs and I was able to update, but hardly any others run. The splash comes up, but then closes. The task manager shows them running, but can't execute fully.

    Any help?

    1. Sorry, I didn't try the upgrade.
      What I did was - backed up my data, did a clean install after formatting the C drive and it all worked for me.

  2. Hello. I have tried to install win 8 cp and I have had problems. I do not have sufficient disk space if I install from win says I need 16gigs available. If I install from the USB boot it stops me and says I must install from WIN 7 boot!! I just tried to do a custom install and then format the drive...but it says I will lose all of the Acer special software. Do I need the ACER special software? Or should I format the d partition and then boot from USB? Thanks for your help... ALan

  3. Hello. I have the USB boot ready and it starts on my w500 tab. BUT...If I choose the typical install it says I must boot into WIN 7 first and then install...which tells me I need 16 gigs free to install and it won't let me continue. I can't seem to get more than 12 gigs free.
    If I do the custom install it won't install...with no explanation except to see the logs...where are they?
    If I try to install the 'custom' install and try the format of d, it warns me I will lose all of the special ACER files that came with the computer.

    Can I format and wipe everything and then install WIN 8 without losing something of real importance?

    Thanks... Alan

    1. Hi Alan,
      Due to the limited hard drive capacity, I could not find a good way to do an upgrade to Windows 8 on this pad.
      Which led me to back-up my data, format the hard drive and do a clean install.
      I haven’t had any issues with any missing Acer driver/software yet. Windows 8 has been able to take care of everything.

      Only thing that I lost is - the screen orientation change does not rotate windows now.
      I never cared about it, but while replying to your post I found out that you can download all the Acer drivers from Acer support website -

      So, I will install them, including the Auto Screen Rotation Blocker, this evening and see if that will fix it.
      Will post an update, if it works with Windows 8.

      Apart from that, you can download and re-install all your Acer Drivers and software from the Acer support site. [Updated in the post]


  4. Thank You...Mayank. I will format the drive and let you know. THANKS AGAIN!! Alan

  5. Mayank
    I deleted the partitions 1 & 2 and made a new partitions.... I formatted them... But no matter what I do, it will not let me go "next." It continues to say "We couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. For more information, see the Setup Log Files."

    It certainly looks like I did the partitions correctly. I made the partition 1 10.7 mb for windows install. I tried to install on partition 1 and on partition 2.

    Always, it talks of the log files...which I can't find.

    Can you help? ALan

    1. Microsoft recommends 16 GB available hard disk space for 32-bit & 20 GB for 64-bit.
      Try creating a partition that size (at minimum).

  6. OK... I made the partition 1 16.6 gigs and there was no change. They are both listed as primary There is an error message 0x80300001.

    Do I have to install a driver of some sort? There is an option to install a driver???

  7. Mayank

    I got it going. I hope it makes it!!!

    No Need to do the partition...just delete them all. BUT FIRST... I had to remove the extra SD card and then re-start win 8 cp.

    I will report what happens.


  8. Hi Mayank, I actually had problems with the USB Download tool so I wrote a blog up on how to do this manually

    link here if you are interested, I will also link back here for your hybrid boot trick which helped me out when I tried to reinstall it :)

  9. I was eventually able to have Windows 7 and Windows 8 Consumer preview dual booting on the Acer Iconia Tab. I had to free up enough space so I had at least 16GB for the new partition (ended up with 18GB free) through various methods of disk cleanup, removing software, etc. Then I was able to shrink the C partition enough to create an 18GB D partition. Some tips on shrinking here were helpful:

    Then I created the bootable USB as mentioned in this article, however it didn't boot for me (disc read error ...). No matter though, you can boot into Windows 7, then run setup.exe from the sources folder on the USB image. This walks you through installing Windows 8 on the new partition and you have it dual boot.

    One issue, don't set Windows 7 as the default boot OS as described above with dual boot, otherwise you get stuck at the Windows 7 boot screen which does not work with the standard USB dock, so you have no way to select Windows 8 unless you attach an external USB keyboard.

  10. My first priority after receipt of the Acer W500 was transplant surgery to change out the 32GB MSata with 128GB's. W8 is a superior OS combination with this tablet. I had put it on the obsolete shelf with W7 and hadn't touched it for months. Now with W8, it is a daily use tool again, not for work, but at home for non-desktop browsing and keeping up with social networks.