Quick guide on upgrading a WinBook TW700 to Windows 10

It’s rather tricky to get Windows 10 onto a WinBook TW700, between WIMBoot’s inefficiency, the inability to delete things from the preload, and the limited storage available on a TW700, so I thought I’d write this quick guide on how to get the device updated. These instructions should work on any WIMBoot device – or, for that matter, any Windows 8.1 Update (and possibly earlier versions of Windows, I’m not sure if Win10 will run from 8.0 or 8.1 pre-Update) device that’s short on space. Please note that your profile and apps will NOT be migrated – I’d use User State Migration Tool, from Windows 10’s Assessment and Deployment Kit, to save profiles, and then restore them after you have the device reloaded. I’ve not used USMT in quite a few years, though.

Following this procedure will result in the loss of all data and applications on the device, and I will not be held responsible for data loss as a result. You are responsible for ensuring that you can get everything restored.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Two USB thumb drives of 8 GiB or larger capacity (one of these may not be necessary)
  • A MicroSD card or a third USB thumb drive of 8 GiB or larger capacity
  • A USB hub, keyboard, and mouse (shouldn’t be necessary, but it’s useful in case something goes wrong)

Here’s the procedure that I followed in a nutshell:

  1. Create a USB recovery drive and put it in a safe place. This will allow you to go back to the factory preload at any time. This is a good practice even if you plan on staying on Windows 8.1.
  2. Reset your PC (Microsoft directions, go to “Remove everything and reinstall Windows”). This is necessary to get free space back.
  3. When the Out-of-Box Experience comes up, connect to a wireless network, but do not log in using a Microsoft account (you don’t want any OneDrive data downloaded), and disable Windows Update (you do not want updates taking up the storage space you just freed).
  4. Use the Media Creation Tool on another Windows machine to create a install USB drive for Windows 10 Home 32-bit English (US), then connect that USB drive to the tablet and run setup.exe on it. You may not need to do this, it may be possible to use the Media Creation Tool’s ability to update the computer it’s running on, but I played it safe.
  5. The Windows 10 installer will mention that you need more space to install. Either use a USB hub to connect another thumb drive, or insert a MicroSD card, and select that drive in the installer.
  6. I personally chose to change the settings that would have migrated my profile and apps, and chose to only install the OS. This one’s up to you, though.
  7. Proceed to wait a while, while Windows 10 is installed. There may be a few points where the device freezes during boot, just shut the device off by holding the power button down, then release the power button, wait 5 seconds, and press it again, it will proceed normally.
  8. Go through the Out-of-Box Experience and adjust settings to your liking. Once this is complete, the device may be sluggish for a while, as it’s performing a lot of background tasks (updates, driver installations, and the like). Let it complete these before continuing.
  9. Delete your previous version of Windows. Why keep it around, when it’s just the preload missing the software that came with it, and you’ve got a thumb drive with the USB recovery drive?
  10. Somewhere along the way, a driver update will have happened, and Windows will have decided to run at 125% zoom. If you like this, leave it alone. If you don’t, go to Settings, System, Display, and change the size of text, apps, and other items to 100%. Do note that Modern UI apps are rendered smaller than in Windows 8 (and currently don’t appear to respect the system scaling setting), and Universal apps tend to have smaller UI elements than Modern UI apps did in Windows 8. However, Win32 apps are rendered the same at 100% as in Windows 8. This one’s up to personal preference, really.

That’s all there is to it. (Well, there may need to be a Bluetooth driver update, I haven’t checked that fully yet…) There’s still some glitches in Win10 (the on-screen keyboard only really works the way it did before when in a Universal app – Modern UI apps at 100% don’t quite behave right, and Win32 apps don’t move out of the way at all), but generally, things should work. And, it’s faster, lower RAM usage, and lower disk usage than before (Win10 has a much better compression mechanism).

20 comments on “Quick guide on upgrading a WinBook TW700 to Windows 10

  1. Important: the USB that you offer Windows in order to have enough room to install Windows is usually there to store the Windows.old files in the event something goes wrong. This drive must be formatted to NTFS, otherwise files larger than 4GB will bork, and a restore will fail. Also, an SD port might require a driver that UEFI doesn’t have built in, stick with USB.

  2. I think I am the only person to have a good experience updating my TW700 to windows 10. I inserted a 32gb micro-sd card in the slot, and started the upgrade process. Ia bout 40 minutes later, I had a working table with Windows 10. Once I deleted windows.old and turned off onedrive, I had a little over 7 GB free. The tablet is a little faster than it was with Windows 8.1.

    All and all, I had a good update experience.

    • Hi Pilotbuilder,
      Yours is the first positive TW700 upgrade that I’ve found.
      Now I have hope that it can be done simply.
      Can you give a general outline how you did it?
      Did you have windows 10 on the micro-sd card?
      Thanks!

      • I followed the instructions using this guide – had no problems upgrading my TW700. I have a 64gb microsd card already in the tablet, which I let the Windows 10 installer use as temporary space. Everything went quite well and smoothly.

    • I’ve been trying, and trying, but the Windows 10 upgrade doesn’t appear to recognize the 64Gb USB drive. It just starts downloading files and then displays the message that there’s not enough space. I’ve even deleted the temporary upgrade files.

  3. Hi — do your camera drivers work? I tried Windows 10 on a Winbook 7″ and they didn’t work so I retreated to 8.1. Thanks.

    • Just checked, they worked for me on my TW700.

      It’s worth letting the device stay plugged in and running for a while to grab updates, as Windows 10 can take a while to set things up after installation.

  4. I have a TW801 and my camera also did not work after upgrading to Windows 10. To get the camera to work I followed another guide in another forum which I have posted below. In step 2, make sure you DO NOT click the check box to delete the driver. My camera worked after doing the below.

    1. Type Device Manager in “Search the web and windows” in the bottom bar and click on Device Manager to open it.
    2. Click on Imaging devices and right click on Intel(R) Imaging Signal Processor 2400 and select uninstall. Complete the uninstall process.
    3. Click Action from the top bar and select Scan for hardware changes. This will automatically install the driver for the Imaging device again.
    4. Restart your computer.
    5. Try to run camera app again.

  5. ** DO NOT UPGRADE TO v1511 (Threshold 2) **
    After 3 failed upgrade attempts (from Win8.1) found this official post from Microsoft:
    “Winbook TW802 – November Update Freezes Tablet”
    http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_10-windows_install/winbook-tw802-november-update-freezes-tablet/1bb04d45-a294-4da8-8b10-0a634c29ca92?auth=1

    Burning a Release 1 (10240) ISO and will go that route for now.
    Has anyone ran CompactOS on their Winbook (new/improved WIMBoot)?

    • It’s worth noting that from that link, on the TW801, people reported success, so I’m not sure how this applies to the TW700… but I couldn’t get a successful update, even powering down and back up when it wanted to reboot (Bay Trail devices can be a bit cantankerous re: hanging when rebooting, and Windows was detecting the hang and rolling things back). I’m still on 10240 myself on my TW700.

    • They only have a 32-bit UEFI, though. Without a compatibility support module (legacy boot support), the only OSes that support a 64-bit kernel on a 32-bit EFI are Linux and OS X. I know someone who has one of these tablets, and his solution to getting 64-bit Windows running on one involved booting Linux, then running Windows inside of a VM, which obviously isn’t practical for normal use.

      And, even if there were a way to boot a 64-bit Windows on the TW700, 64-bit Windows requires at least 20 GB of hard drive space on C: (as 64-bit Windows has both the 32 and 64-bit libraries), and the TW700 only has 16.

      With 1 GiB RAM, there’ll also be performance benefits to the 32-bit version due to lower RAM usage.

  6. My Winbook 700 is trapped in update purgatory. Way back in November when the Windows “update that you can’t refuse” came out it was unable to download all update files for lack of about 2 GB space. You would think that it is simply a matter of selecting the microSD card alternative. But no. That box is grayed out. And forevermore, whenever the TW700 is awakened, like a zombie or a Manchurian candidate, it must go through the motions of “you have updates; updates aren’t working; fix the problem here; oops, can’t fix the problem…” The thing is, I can’t bypass this. I have to go through this every time I open up the tablet, even if it’s just coming out if sleep mode. Is there any solution?

    • Getting to 1511 can often be tricky, I recall that I disabled hibernation (admin command prompt, powercfg -h off) and shrunk the swap space to 256 MiB maximum, as well as uninstalling some things, to get enough free space.

  7. I just tried the above process to upgrade my TW700 to Windows 10. Before it got to the 20% point in the install, it rebooted, with the
    “We couldn’t install Windows 10” error;
    0x80070070-0x20004
    The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during INSTALL_RECOVERY_ENVIRONMENT operation.

    MSoft says this means I don’t have enough memory for the upgrade.

    The Media Creation Tool used an 8Gb USB drive and the TW700 had a 16Gb SD card installed.

    Any suggestions?

  8. I ran into a similar situation. I was forced to perform a “Clean Installation” of Windows 10 using the Windows Media Creation Tool with a USB drive. You will need a USB 2.0 Hub (costs about $7.00), USB mouse and USB keyboard because the touch feature will most likely be disabled during the installation.

    You will need to change the boot priority in the BIOS by pressing F2 during a re-boot and selecting the USB-HDD option. Please note the Plus Sign on the keyboard changes the boot priority (Shift + sign). On the Install Windows page, enter your language and other preferences, then select Next. Make sure you select 32 bit. Select Install Windows. Skip the enter the product key to activate Windows step. The BIOS contains the Windows License information and will automatically update the Windows activation even if skip this step (applies to tablets only). On the Licence terms page accept the licence terms and select Next. On the Which type of installation do you want? page, select CUSTOM.

    On the Where do you want to install Windows? page, delete all the existing partitions which will enable the entire 16 GB (14.8 GB) in the SSD. This deletes the OEM recovery partition that you had no access to anyway. Select the partition 14.8 GB partition and begin the formatting process. When you’ve finished formatting, select Next. Follow the rest of the set up steps. The Winbook will re-boot several times. Don’t touch the keyboard during this process. Eventually you will have a Clean installation of Windows 10 and Windows Activation will happen automatically once you connect to the internet. Skip signing into a Microsoft account and password set ups. This can be done later. When you are finished you will have about 6 GB free for apps and windows updates. You will also need to re-install drivers for sound, video etc. by using the device manager. Perform a “Google Search” for help. This method definitely works because I was stuck in Upgrade Purgatory for months. Good Luck.

  9. I am having trouble with windows media tool recognizing my 14gig USB flash drive. I have change the bios settings and no luck yet. I have been working on this for a while with no luck. These machines are pretty useless without the internal storage because after a couple of windows 8 updates, there is no room on the hard drive. Any tips or suggestions will gladly be welcomed. Thank you for this post. I still have hope on getting this little tablet running.

    • Just installed July’s anniversary edition v1607 on a TW700 after giving-up on the boot from ISO method. What works is to basically wipe Win10 (or any) back to clean install, using the Reset recovery option, which also ‘cleans’ the drive and most importantly leaves 6.3GB free. Then boot into Win10 and run setup.exe from your thumb drive. Previous attempts at an in-place upgrade failed due to lack of space — even with the 2nd thumb drive option. Since it’s an upgrade of a clean install, I recommend the “leave nothing” option, which discards previous OS and lay-down a pristine v1706.

      Wish I knew the workaround for USB boot. Read elsewhere to replace the *.efi file, but seems to be a Linux only solution.

      I love this dinky little tablet. Great for running Ross-Tech’s VCDS, thanks to a full size USB port.

    • The media creation tool is not very versatile. I recommend creating 32-bit ISOs from a 32-bit OS (treat x64 similarly). One indication of this is some sort of “media not bootable” error (ask me how I know). You’ll also need to format the USB drive with NTFS.

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