Alternate Step-by-step Guide to installing Windows 8.1 Enterprise on the Dell Venue 8 Pro

Discussion in 'Dell' started by BenH, Dec 21, 2013.

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  1. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Alternate Step-by-step Guide to installing Windows 8.1 on the Dell Venue 8 Pro

    I present here one method of installing Windows 8.1 to your Dell Venue 8 Pro.
    StirCwazy has posted another method here which has some similarities and served as the inspiration to write this tutorial.

    I believe my tutorial has some advantages in the following areas:

    • I present an alternate method for creating the USB media with diskpart (vs. Windows 7 USB tool) which I believe is more foolproof and should help with some people who have had issues booting.
    • I utilize the "Dell Venue 8 Pro Win 8.1 Driver Cab" for driver injection which is a more comprehensive list of drivers.
    • I provide an AutoUnattended.xml file which will eliminate all interactive prompts during the install process. What this means is that no USB hub, keyboard, or mouse is required to perform the install.

    So why would you want to install your own copy of Windows 8.1 instead of what Dell provides? Actually, Dell's installation is relatively streamlined. They haven't included too much junkware on the system. However, you may want to take advantage of the features of another version, like Enterprise. Alternatively, you may be trying to squeeze an extra GB or two of space from your own basic install.

    Notes before you begin

    This method was tested with Windows 8.1 Enterprise, but technically should work for any version of Windows 8.1. However, some versions of Windows can simply be upgraded by entering a new product key in System Properties. If you are simply looking to upgrade the Home version on the DV8P to Windows 8.1 Pro, you should simply be able to purchase the upgrade and activate it without doing a full re-install.

    The AutoUnattend.xml file provided below will WIPE the entire eMMC (Hard Drive) on the DV8P in order to perform a 100% clean install of Windows.

    Therefore, if desired, you should move the recovery partition off the drive (see "Regain the Recover Partition" here). Having the recovery partition on a backup drive will allow you to reinstall the Windows 8.1 Home version shipped by Dell should you choose to.

    You may also wish to download a keyfinder program to find out your OEM Windows 8.1 Home Product Key as Dell does not provide a hard-copy of the Key. This should only be necessary if you try to install from your own copy of Windows 8.1 Home Media (OEM).

    Better yet, follow my Step-by-step guide to creating a factory backup image for the Dell Venue 8 Pro to get a complete image of your system to restore in the future in ANY scenario. If you do - consider also following my Step-by-step guide to creating a multi-boot Backup/Recovery and Install USB drive for the Dell Venue 8 Pro to create a single USB for all your needs.

    This document shows what the Default and Recommended Disk configurations are on Windows 8.1 UEFI-based systems:

    The default configuration is what would happen if you just let Windows decide.
    The recommended configuration places the Windows Recovery tools on their own partition and also creates a Recovery Image partition. This connfiguration is similar to the DV8P factory setup.

    Of course, since we want to maximize our drive space, the AutoUnattend.xml will not create the final Recovery Image partition.
    It will, however, create the Windows Recovery partition. This partition is only 300MB and it means the WinRE.wim file (approx 250MB) will be placed here instead of on the Windows drive. What this means is that we aren't really taking up more space with this partition, as we are freeing up approximately the same amount on the main Windows drive. Having the WinRE data on its own partition has certain benefits of recovery, which we won't detail here.

    Note there is conflicting information in the Microsoft documentation on what the default configuration is. The link above shows the default configuration without a WinRE partition, but in fact, a WinRE partition is the default as described here.

    For even more information on Windows 8.1 disk partitions see here.

    What you need

    1. Windows 8.1 DVD or ISO (e.g. en_windows_8_1_enterprise_x86_dvd_2972289.iso)
    2. An AutoUnattend.xml file - use mine: View attachment
    3. Dell Venue 8 Pro Win 8.1 Driver Cab - 5830-win8.1-A00-9Y5Y5.CAB
    4. Intel Platform Driver Installer - 5830_Drivers-for-OS-Deployment_Driver_3VR67_WN_603.9600.2067.26305_A03.EXE
    5. A 4+ GB USB drive
    6. A micro-USB OTG cable to connect your USB drive to the DV8P

    Create the following folder structure

    • C:\DV8PWin
    • C:\DV8PWin\Drivers
    • C:\DV8PWin\Image
    • C:\DV8PWin\Temp
    • C:\DV8PWin\USB

    Copy the Windows Files

    1. Copy the contents of your windows DVD/ISO to the C:\DV8PWin\USB directory.
    2. You should have a boot, efi, sources, and support directory as well as bootmgr, setup, and some other assorted files.

    Prepare the Drivers

    1. Extract 5830-win8.1-A00-9Y5Y5.CAB with Winzip/WinRar/CabArc/etc. to C:\DV8PWin\Temp
    2. Navigate to C:\DV8PWin\Temp\5830-win8.1-A00-9Y5Y5\5830\win8.1\x86
    3. Cut and Paste the 'chipset' and 'network' folders into C:\DV8PWin\Drivers
    4. Open C:\DV8PWin\Drivers\network\379GH_A00-00\production\Windows8.1-x86\Bluetooth-Driver\qcbtuart.inf in your favorite text editor:
    5. Find the section entitled [SourceDisksFiles] and remove all entries except:

      qcbtuart.sys = 1,,
      qcbtctrl.dll = 1,,​

    6. Find the section entiled [BTUART.Files] and remove all entries except:


      *This step is required since the .INF file lists driver files that are not needed/present and therefore must be removed.
    7. Run 5830_Drivers-for-OS-Deployment_Driver_3VR67_WN_603.9600.2067.26305_A03.exe and choose "Extract without installing" to C:\DV8PWin\Temp
    8. Navigate to C:\DV8PWin\Temp\Drivers and copy the "Audio" and "WCE" directories to C:\DV8PWin\Drivers

    Mount the Image

    1. Open an Administrative Command Prompt (i.e. Run As Administrator)
    2. Mount the Windows 8.1 .wim Image with Dism:
      dism.exe /Mount-WIM /WimFile:"C:\DV8PWin\USB\sources\install.wim" /index:1 /MountDir:"C:\DV8PWin\Image"

    Import the Drivers

    1. Import the drivers into the image:
      dism.exe /image:"C:\DV8PWin\Image" /Add-Driver /driver:"C:\DV8PWin\Drivers" /recurse /forceunsigned
    *There should be 57 drivers that import. If 57 did not import you should review the "Prepare the image and drivers" section above.

    Enable additional packages (optional)

    You can enable additional packages within the Windows installation so that they are automatically installed.

    1. I would highly recommend enabling .NET Framework 3.5 as it is needed by many applications (and 4.5 is not backwards compatible):
      dism /image:c:\dv8pwin\image /enable-feature /featurename:netfx3 /all /source:c:\DV8PWin\USB\sources\sxs
    2. I also prefer to have the telnet client enabled by default:
      dism /image:c:\dv8pwin\image /enable-feature /featurename:telnetclient /all

    Dismount the Image

    1. Dismount the image saving the changes:
      dism.exe /Unmount-wim /mountdir:"C:\DV8PWin\Image" /commit

    Modify the AutoUnattend.XML

    The AutoUnattend.XML is crafted with only a few options, including:

    • Create partitions
    • Assign License Key
    • Set Registered User/Organization
    • Set Computer Name

    1. Extract the file attached above
    2. Open AutoUnattend.xml in your favorite text editor (e.g. notepad)
      I would highly recommend you only modify the following section:

          <settings pass="specialize">
              <component name="Microsoft-Windows-Shell-Setup" processorArchitecture="x86" publicKeyToken="31bf3856ad364e35" language="neutral" versionScope="nonSxS" xmlns:wcm="" xmlns:xsi="">
                  <RegisteredOrganization>Registered Organization</RegisteredOrganization>
                  <RegisteredOwner>Registered User</RegisteredOwner>
    3. You can replace your product key with the one listed (default Volume License Key). The key I have provided is enough to install Windows, but it will not activate until you provide a valid key.
    4. You should replace RegisteredOrganization, RegisteredOwner, and ComputerName with your own values. If you would rather not set them here, simply delete the appropriate lines.
    5. Save the file and place in the root of c:\DV8PWin\USB\

    Prepare the USB Drive

    1. Insert your USB drive into the staging computer
    2. Run diskpart (from your Administrative Command Prompt)
    3. Run "list disk" to identify which disk is your USB (determine based on size)
    4. Run "select disk x" where x is the number of your USB disk (e.g. "select disk 1")
    5. Run the following commands:

      create part pri
      format fs=fat32 label="DV8PWin" quick

    6. Copy the contents of C:\DV8PWin\USB to your prepared USB drive:
      xcopy C:\DV8PWin\USB F: /e /c /i /f /h /k /j
      (where F: is the drive letter of your USB drive)

    Installing Windows

    1. Power off your DV8P
    2. Enter BIOS by powering on your DV8P and holding the Volume button down for 3-5 seconds
    3. In BIOS tap "Boot"
    4. Tap "Boot Option #1" and select the USB key
    5. Tap on the keyboard icon in the top right
    6. Tap F10
    7. Tap Yes to Save configuration and restart
    Your DV8P should now boot from the USB key and perform an unattended installation of Windows 8.1 Enterprise.

    Install System Apps

    Install any additional apps/patches from the Dell driver page
    As of the date of this writing, I recommend you install:

    Ambient Light Sensor Settings for Dell Venue 8 Pro 5830

    Dell Wireless 1538 WAPI Application

    Any others that might exist are optional, remember all the drivers should already be loaded from the previous steps.

    Additional Steps (optional)

    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2015
    Mesosphere, pilotxxx and Woody like this.
  2. pic.micro23

    pic.micro23 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello, Excellent tutorial.

    I think it'is missing one step in which you have to copy the contents of en_windows_8_1_enterprise_x86_dvd_2972289.iso to "C:\DV8PWin\USB"

    Maybe before the section "Prepare the Drivers"

  3. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

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  4. meandu229

    meandu229 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hope I never need it but have noted my cd key down so if I ever need to really that + this tutorial is all I need for a full winodws install isnt it?
  5. BenH

    BenH Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Dell does not provide a CD key for Windows with the DV8P. The only key they provide is the Office key. It is possible to recover the Windows key from the installed OS, but it is an OEM key and thus requires OEM media - which Dell does not provide.

    So if you want to fully rebuild as per this tutorial you need to get the media that matches your CD key. Since it is unlikely you will get a hold of OEM media, you will need either Retail or Volume (VLK) media and a matching key.

    I would recommend using the link in my sig to make a "factory backup" that way you can restore your whole system regardless. This method is more for someone who wants to do a fully custom Windows Install (and therefore likely has their own media and key).
  6. sjheeta

    sjheeta Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thankyou I was going nuts trying to figure out why nothing was mounting lol - thanks all!!
  7. sjheeta

    sjheeta Pen Pal - Newbie

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    a quick update, I have been having issues all evening with DISM. I am running Win7x64. Mount and Unmount are fine, but the drivers step kept failing. Was getting this error:

    "an error occurred while attempting to start the servicing process for the image" along with error code 0xc0000135

    turns out the issue was with the DISM version in Win7. In the 'Create Factory Backup' tutorial we have to download the 'Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment' and use that. Using DISM instructions in this environment is what worked for me.

    Good luck to all!
  8. Emily

    Emily Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks for the guide worked perfectly - I just have one problem:
    The Power Plan Settings only show Balanced - i remember before the wipe that there was a "Dell" Power Plan...

    Maybe this is because of some missing Dell software that isnt provided by Dell online...?

    Could someone make a screenshot of the preinstalled programs by Dell?

    Thanks :)
  9. Mikerman

    Mikerman Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hmmm, don't see a "Dell power plan" on mine.
  10. hpark21

    hpark21 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Quick question, I do NOT have 8.1 license key, but I do have 8.0 license key which seem valid to upgrade to 8.1

    Will that key work with 8.1 iso? (I do not have 8.1 iso file but I do have 8.0 iso file, is there a way to slipstream in 8.1 upgrade into 8.0 iso file?)
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