After a number of challenging issues with the Pendo Pad 7 Tablet with its original Windows 8 (Std, non-Pro), the worst being the instability of WiFi connectivity, I thought that I’d try and upgrade the Pendo Pad to the recently released Windows 10 to see if it offers any improvement.
The Pad was not real useful anyway with the WiFi issues under Windows 8.1 so I figured if I “bricked” it I wasn’t losing much anyway.
The first challenge in attempting to upgrade the Pad to Windows 10 was the disk space required for the upgrade. With less than a Gigabyte free on the C:\ drive I thought it was going to be impossible.
I do have 32GB MicroSD card in as a D:\ drive but I wasn’t sure how of if this would be used during the upgrade process.
So I set about freeing up what disk space I could. Firstly I uninstalled Office 2013 to get about 2GB back on the C:\ drive.
Next I adjusted the pagefile; in fact I can’t quite remember what I did but I think I turned it off all together and deleted it off the C:\ drive. I also made sure there wasn’t any hibernate files either.
I think I ended up with just under 4GB free on C:\ drive.
If you are going to try and upgrade a Pendo Pad 7 to Windows 10 there are at least 4 things that you will need:
- As much space as you can get on C:\ drive
- A MicroSD card – at least a 16GB card
- A microUSB keyboard (I’ll tell you why later)
- The Windows 10 (32bit) Install files on a USB drive
So the first step is to clear as much space as you can on C:\ drive by deleting things like Office 2013, the pagefile, any hibernate files, any Browser cache files, any applications etc
You’ll need to copy the Windows 10 installation files onto the D:\ drive microSD card. They will take about 3 GB.
One trick with doing an in-place upgrade to Windows 10 is that you generally need to upgrade to the same version (e.g. Std, Pro, Enterprise etc) as the version that is currently installed. If you do this the upgrade process will preserve all installed applications, all user settings and all user data.
If you upgrade to a different version to what is already installed you will be told during the upgrade process that it will only preserve user data.
In my case I had already uninstalled all applications and I had no user settings or data that I cared about on the C:\ drive (any data on the microSD D:\ drive is unaffected) so I was happy to upgrade to any version.
I’d recommend upgrading to Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise to get the additional RDP and User Management functionality. I chose to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise because of other testing I need to do.
Copy the Windows 10 install files from the install media (in my case a USB drive plugged into the microUSB slot) to a directory on the SD card. I used the 32bit version. I don’t know if the Pendo 7 has a 32bit or 64bit processor but it only has 1GB of memory so it doesn’t really matter if you only use the 32bit version.
So once you are ready you can run the Windows 10 setup.exe from the install files on D:\ drive.
I got a message saying that there was not enough space on C:\ drive to save the recovery files (Windows.old) and offering to save them on to the D:\ drive (microSD card). Say Yes to this.
From there the install proceeded as expected, copying files (it took a while) and then eventually rebooting and then coming up with the Windows 10 set up screens asking for user details etc.
This is where it got interesting. At this point there are no touch screen drivers installed so you can’t answer the setup questions because any on-screen keyboard will not show up or work.
At this point after about 3 reboots to see if they would make any difference I thought that I had “bricked” the Pendo Pad. There was no way to answer the setup questions without a keyboard … unless I can plug in a USB keyboard using the microUSB slot … yep, I grabbed a normal USB keyboard that I had and used an OTG USB to microUSB cable and plugged in the keyboard. It took a while to be recognised (and I can’t remember if I had to reboot with the keyboard plugged in to get it to be recognised) but eventually it worked and I was able to answer the setup questions to finish the setup. Some of the setup screens require tabbing to options that are not displayed on the screen so a bit of guess work is required.
Eventually, I was about to get Windows 10 “working” on the Pendo Pad 7 but a few things, in particular the touch screen, still don’t work. Pleasantly, Windows 10 does recognise the Realtek RTL8723BS WiFI and Bluetooth card and so WiFi and Bluetooth do work “out of the box” but not perfectly (I’ll cover this off in a future post).
Also we have the same Power Profile issues as with Windows 8 in that High Performance is not available until you disable Connected Standby (which seems to be called InstantGo in Windows 10).
Now you can set up your accounts as you need them.
I’m only left with about 400MB of free space on C:\ drive. There is a Windows.old directory still on C:\ drive that is taking up about 4GB so this can be removed by going to Settings|System | Storage and clicking on the C:\ drive, then clicking on Temporary Files.and selecting to Delete previous versions of Windows.
After that you might be able to re-install Office 2013 from Office365, or find a way to install it on the D:\ drive (microSD).
More on my fun with Windows 10 on the Pendo Pad 7 in future posts.