Installing the Windows 8 Developer Preview on a Dell Inspiron Duo


Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that this is the defacto way to upgrade this tablet to the Windows 8 Developer Preview, but this is what I did (so far so good, all the usual disclaimers etc)

The basic steps I took were:

  • Back up the supplied Windows 7 installation using the instructions provided
  • Install Windows 8
  • Run Windows Update
  • Download Windows 7 drivers from Dell
  • Install the drivers

Installing Windows 8

  1. Download the Windows 8 image (DOWNLOAD)
  2. Mount the downloaded iso file (I used MagicISO)
  3. Run the setup program and follow the installation instructions given

NB I chose the 32bit O/S over the 64bit owing to the limited memory available on the device (2GB) and the fact that Dell supplied the 32bit version of Win7 with the machine, rather than the 64bit  in the first place).

NB An alternative methodology might be to burn the downloaded image to a DVD Drive then utilize an External DVD Drive instead of using MagicISO.

Running Windows Update

This is essentially the same process as for Windows 7 – from the Win8 menu choose Control Panel and walk through the following screens before finally running Windows update:





Download Windows 7 drivers from Dell

From the DELL support page identify your machine and proceed to download all the Windows 7 drivers:



Follow the instructions to download the drivers to your local hard drive.

Install the drivers

You should end up with a folder of drivers and applications similar to that below:


Run each application setup program in order, top to bottom, waiting for each to complete, with the exception of R297914 – this is the WIFI network driver for Atheros and caused issues with my system (I installed it but then had to roll back to the previous driver).

After installing all the applications reboot your system (you should receive a prompt to do so)

NB At the end of this process the tablet was performing well but I still have a couple of unidentified devices in device manager.  (It should be possible to find drivers for these but at this point in time I haven’t done so – if you do so please post a comment at the end of this blog article)


Performance Rating:


Other related links:

Rotating the Screen on a DELL Inspiron Duo under Windows 8

Installling Windows 8 on an ASUS EP21:

~ by Ian on September 28, 2011.

42 Responses to “Installing the Windows 8 Developer Preview on a Dell Inspiron Duo”

  1. Is your accelerometer working well? screen rotation, etc…..?

    • I think I read somewhere that Dell havn’t got the accelerometer driver for Windows 8 working yet (they are activelly working with Microsoft).
      My guess is that these are the two missing drivers?

    • Not working here either. Other than that I am really liking the interface while in tablet mode.

  2. I tried to install win 8 dp on my dell duo but it gets stuck at 2% (Expanding files) no matter what i do (not too many things :)) )
    I burned the iso to a DVD and attempted a clean install using an external DVD unit. My guess is that somehoow along the process it loses comunication with the DVD..but it is just my guess.
    How did you install Win8 using MagicISO?I dont really understand if you made a clean install or you user a virtualisation software such as virtualbox?

    • I did a clean install onto the DUO (I used MagicISO to host the Win8 installation ISO as I didn’t have an external drive avaiable).

  3. are there any particular settings to be made/changed from the BIOS in order to have it installed correctly?

    • I made no changes to the default BIOS settings. I am aware that there are a number of different DUO Sub-Models so maybe tat is having an impact on your install.

  4. Did Windows 8 improve battery life?

    • Thats a good question – I don’t know is the answer (I bought the Duo specifically for this purpose so didn’t have the luxury of using it for any extended amount of time under Windows 7)

      • Any chance you can check the battery life other users have been reporting on Windows 7 and compare it to what you’re getting now? I’d really appreciate it! 🙂

  5. wouldn’t 64 bit improve performance despite less memory. i.e can process faster so poss less memory required ?

  6. Most of my tiles don’t work. ie, desktop, settings is all that work. everything else just sits for a minute and then goes to a blank green screen. any advice?

  7. Res is set to the recommended 1366×768. i have also tried 1024×768 and the same thing happens. Any other ideas?

    • working now. It was the UAC!! I set it to the minimum without being off and now it works. weird but I guess that’s why its a dev edition.

      • Glad you got it working, good to know about the potential UAC issue , hopefully that will help others who hit that issue. What exactly did you need to do with ot?

      • You just have to go into the UAC setting from the User Profiles icon in the control panel and then change the UAC control to anything above the lowest setting (never notify).

  8. Anyone knows if a dual boot is going to be OK on the duo?
    Just got my Duo – would like to compare stuff like battery life, touch performance.
    So I’d prefer to keep Win7.
    Saw this link –

  9. Installing the Windows 8 developer preview using USB memory stick would be the easiest way.. However you can burn the files to a DVD and install it to a testing computer as well..

  10. i finally did it 🙂 It took e some time …checking out a bunch of forums related to my previous issue (the setup hang at 2% when expanding files) but finally i managed to install windows 8 dev prev. on my Dell Duo.The problem was caused by the speed at which the DVD was burned 🙂 When burned at 4x instead of 8x it installed in 30 mins.

  11. Hi all
    A have a big problem…
    I decided to install win 8 to my duo by usb memory
    I start the installation and everytning is ok, the process goes right step by step but when comes the moment when win needs to restart he do it but the installation starts again at the begining an so that again and ag….
    So the duo cant load any win !? What can i do… Please help 😦

  12. I installed WIN 8 and everything is roughly normal…
    But there is a one big problem ! When i open any link (for example youtube) which includes video-it plays only te audio but not show me any vdeo(just black blank)… I installed every drivers and can fix this problem… can you help me ?
    10x 🙂

  13. i mean can’t fix this problem

  14. Can anybody help me :S

  15. Thanks for a great post, Ian!

    I installed Win8 Consumer using a USB drive and it worked great. I’ve downloaded the drivers and installed most but like others couldn’t get the accelerometer working — not a big deal to me.

    My biggest problem is the JBL Audio Station — I instaled the Duo Dock software but it’s not coming up. I went through the repair and that didn’t work either. Any ideas?

    My other problem is that when I dock the Duo, it will work on WiFi but not with a cable — it says the cable is unplugged and I know it’s a good cable. I’ve uninstalled Realtek and tried using the Microsoft driver and no go.

    Any help is appreciated!


  16. Can you please give me a link to the Wi-fi driver, because I downloaded the driver from the official support web-page of Dell and it crashed so badly that the system couldn’t boot and I had to delete the whole win8 partition and install the whole system a second time. Thanks in advance

  17. how will the WiFi driver will work???????

    • For mine Windows 8 just picked up the correct driver and prompted you for which WIFI connection you wanted to connect to.

  18. It is strange to see just how many different blogs there are on this subject.
    I don’t know if I will need to come back, but it is nice to know I found the one that offers some practical stuff if this should come up for me again

  19. Anybody found a way to get the dock station software to work? I had the same issue as above; tried everything I know to do, no luck. Thanks for any tips on this. The dock works; sound, the white charging light, usb, card reader, etc. but no alarm clock when you dock; nothing happens at all.

  20. Nope, I’m still at the same stage as before… I gave up trying to get the dock software to work — it recharges the Duo and plays good sounds through the JBL speakers. I’ll try again with the RTM version of Windows 8 and see what I can do. I did upgrade the Qualcomm driver and got my BlueAnt earset to work with Skype and Lync which was handy.

  21. alguém tem o backup do Windows 7 que vem nele?

  22. whoah this blog is great i love reading your articles.
    Keep up the good work! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this info,
    you could aid them greatly.

  23. Hi exceptional blog! Does running a blog such as this take a large amount of work?
    I’ve very little understanding of computer programming but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic but I just had to ask. Thanks!

  24. I found a fix… finally!!

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