Installing Windows 8 on Lenovo ideaPad S10-2

posted Jan 31, 2013, 3:07 AM by Webadmin Safepark Consultancy   [ updated Feb 2, 2013, 1:26 PM ]
Just before the expiry of Microsoft's offter to upgrade any computer to Windows 8 for just 229 DDK incl. VAT it was decided to attempt to install Windows 8 on our Lenovo ideaPad S-10-2. This was a dual boot system with Windows XP Home on the C-drive, and openSUSE on an extended partition. The latter was also in need of an upgrade.
First we ran Microsofts upgrade assistent. That showed we would have some problems executing the upgrade. First of all Windows 8 needed access to the NX bit on the processor. This was almost a showstopper. However, on YouTube we found a video showing a beta realease of Windows 8 starting up relatively fast on exactly a Lenovo ideaPad S10-2. Conclution: If the beta would install, then properly the GA would also. Some googling and reading showed the NX bit was there, but that it was not available with older bios. So, we upgrade the bios to latest version from 2009.
The upgrade assistent still told us, there would be problems with some apps not starting due to the low screen resolution of the ideaPad S10-2. However, the mentioned YouTube video convinced us that install should be possible. The upgrade assistant also informed us, that some features of the Windows XP installation on the Lenovo would not work with Windows 8. E.g. the quick start buttom. We ignored that and proceeded to buy the upgrade. The  first attempt was rolled back to XP are about 2 hours work. Windows 8 installed fine. However, during configuration we properly made two bad choices: 1) To logon to the system with a Microsoft account, and 2) To let Windows 8 automatically choose some system settings. That was yesterday.
This morning we gave it a second try. This choosing to logon with just a local acount, and to manually decide some settings during the configuration. This worked! After the installation we installed needed software such as Chrome, LibreOffice, PDFCreater and Skype. We also removed most of the built-in apps by releasing them from the start screen, since resolution problems prevented them from starting. Our installed software started fine from the start screen.
So how does this upgrade experience compare with upgrading from one version of openSUSE to the next? The fast that I just need to download a small progam - the upgrade assistant - and this then completes the almost everything without much user input. However, I would appreciate some more on screen information during the upgrade, much as openSUSE installers can do. I actually believe it would be a relatively simple task to create such an application for upgrading from one version of openSUSE to the next. It would basically be a small script to change repositories and then run zypper to perform the upgrade.
Also we have to admit, that the Lenovo ideaPad S10-2 starts up in less than 30 seconds from power on. to Windows 8 login. This is significantly faster than in Windows XP.