Technical

How to Install Windows 10 Preview on a WinBook TW700

I picked up a couple WinBook TW700’s from MicroCenter back around Christmas time and after seeing some good stability results running Windows 10 preview on my Surface Pro 3 I thought the tablet would be a good device for the OS, too. I decided to do a clean install completely formatting the “hard” disk so I could get back the recovery partition space. The install is pretty much like on any other computer, but there are some driver issues that you need to be aware of so I wanted to post the steps here. This was with the current technical preview release build 10041 so any future builds may be slightly different and, hopefully, an improved experience with driver updates.

First of all, if you ever want the option to rollback to your Windows 8.1 install, you’ll need to create a recovery USB drive. Plenty of info on how to do that on the Internets so I won’t try to cover it here. For what it’s worth, I didn’t bother. 😉 Once you’re comfortable on that front, hit up the Windows Insider site to download the latest Windows 10 build. You’ll need a USB stick at least 4 GB to use for the tablet install so procure one if you don’t already have one. Format the USB to FAT32, mount the Windows 10 ISO on your computer and copy all of the contents of the ISO to your empty USB stick.

Now head over to your tablet. Since drivers aren’t available for many of the devices on the 700, the easiest way I found to get them updated post-Win 10 install is to copy the existing. Navigate to c:windowsSystem32DriverStoreFileRepository and copy the entire FileRepository folder to another USB stick and keep it handy. Now get a USB hub plugged into your tablet so you can have at least three devices plugged in at once. You’ll need to attach a USB keyboard, USB mouse and your USB drive with the Windows 10 installation files. Once that’s all hooked up, restart the tablet. When it’s starting up, hit F12 to get into the boot menu so you can choose to boot from the USB. From here on out it’s a basic Windows install so have fun with that and come back when complete, formatting your drives during the process if you so wish.

Now you should have a nice clean Windows 10 install and noticed that pretty much nothing works, except the USB mouse and keyboard :). Remove the Windows 10 USB and plug in the USB with the drivers. Launch Device Manager and you’ll see many yellow exclamation points. For each one you see, right click to update the driver and choose the option to search a local folder for drivers and select your USB. This will take some time and new ones will pop up after updating others, so just be patient and keep going until all the exclamation points are gone. Once Device Manager is clean, restart the tablet. After it comes back up, you’re up and running and all devices, including the touch screen, should be working. Lastly, run Windows Update to grab any updates there and restart if prompted. Unplug the USB hub and have fun tabletting on Windows 10!

17 thoughts on “How to Install Windows 10 Preview on a WinBook TW700

  1. Great guide! Thanks so much for putting this together.
    Could you possibly upload your driver repository? I lost mine as I was installing Ubuntu on it and now I want to try running the technical preview on it.

    1. I don’t recall, I’ve since installed build 10130 and after removing the windows.old folder and any other unnecessary items I have 2.3 GB free.

  2. I have 2 WinBook TW700’s. I tried installing Windows 10 Preview on one following the above directions. Everything is working pretty well (including the touch screen after I installed the all the drivers from the above download site). My problem is I can’t seem to get the thing to connect to the Internet. Which drivers do I need to get this working?

  3. I’ve tried and tried to get this TW700 to boot from USB. Can anyone give me some tips?

    I’ve used Rufus to make my bootable sub
    I’ve used a keyboard to set boot order in bios and I’ve pressed f12 during start up.

    Every time I press the option to boot from my HPusb thumb drive the screen just blinks and nothing happens.

    I’ve tried going through the startup recovery-restart option in the Windows8.1. But nothing is working. Please help.

    1. Try the thumb drive in another computer and see if it works, you may need to use a different drive. You don’t need to install Win10 on that computer, just see if it starts up.

  4. I still need to install the RTM version on mine. When I do, I’ll post back here if anything changes from the above.

    1. The problem with the RTM install is that you still can’t upgrade this machine. You have to do a clean install which = no way to activate windows. 😓

  5. I followed another guide to modify the efi bootManager. I can find it if someone wants it.

    But the key to getting all my drivers installed was to start with the Intel I2C driver and install it first from my driverstore backup. It found all the other missing hardware.

  6. Rodney how did you get past the install boot issue. I have a working USB (tested on another computer) but when I boot with it on the W700 I just get a blue screen and never get the Windows Setup Menu

    Thanks

    1. The problem I was having seems to be related to building my USB via windows running inside of Parallels on my MacBook. Once I started using an actual PC to create the USB boot drive I was able to get it working just fine.

  7. Okay, I spent a night and was able to successfully upgrade this tablet to Windows 10 using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. The steps to do this require an 8 GB(or larger) SD Card and a comparable flash drive(8 GB or larger). Now, one thing to mention is that Windows 10 will end up wiping out the factory restore partition so you will want to create a backup if possible. I won’t go into that here, there are guides. After that, first thing you will need to do will be to perform a factory reset on the tablet through the Windows Recovery settings. Once the factory reset is done, you should have around 4-5 GB of space on the tablet. Now you will want to download the 32 bit Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Run the tool. It should download the Windows 10 files, create install media, and then attempt to launch the Windows 10 setup. It should error out with a “Setup has failed to initialize the working directory” message. This is because of the lack of disk space. At this point, you will need to install the SD card. Copy all files and folders from the directory c:\$windows.~ws to the SD card, and then delete everything inside the C:\$windows.~ws directory, but leave the empty directory there. Launch Disk Management. Select the SD card partition and choose the option “Change the drive letter and paths”. You will select ADD and choose the option “Mount in the following empty NTFS folder”. Type in c:\$windows.~ws and select OK then OK again. Now navigate to c:\$windows.ws\sources\windows and launch the setup.exe file located there. Now, since this is actually running off the SD card and we freed up several GB of space, the install should proceed. It will then request you to connect an external drive to the system for it to copy some of the restore information to, in case you wish to revert back to Windows 8.1 in the future. After that point, it installed without issue for me, and shows about 4 GB of free space when done. Actually seems to run a little smoother than Windows 8.1 did on this tablet for me.

    1. Nice use of the Media Creation Tool! I actually just updated my tablet with Win 10 RTM but I used the method described in the blog post and it worked great. I wiped out all the drive partitions to make one as large as possible, which meant when I installed Win 10 I needed a license key. If you don’t have a key, don’t go this route.

  8. I actually tried doing as Robert said but for some reason (maybe it got updated and something changed?) the media creation tool wouldn’t create everything it needed to (the setup exe within c:/$windows.~ws) so changing the directory to the sd card did no good. However I did find a work around, I factory reset the system and as he said you should have somewhere around 5gb, at this point you should then change your page file to 16mbs which will then give you your 7gbs (enough to download the needed files). Hope this helps someone!

  9. I finally got mine to boot from usb. I had to name the usb drive “recovery”. It has something to do with the requirements from microsoft to be certified to work with windows 8 and above. Its a common problem so just google it for details. There are actually a couple of things you can name it besides “recovery”.

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