Friday, November 02, 2012

If you're upgrading to Windows 8, read this

I bit the bullet last weekend and retired my six-year-old notebook PC running Windows XP. To replace it, I switched to an under-used Samsung notebook that I'd installed the consumer preview version of Windows 8 on earlier in the year. Unfortunately, the only option I had was to do a clean install of the released version of Windows 8 Pro. I reinstalled the software I need and transferred my data files from my XP system, but I found that writing emails and documents on the new computer was an exercise in frustration. My cursor bounced around the screen, randomly jumping back into the text, and highlighting blocks of text that were deleted as I typed.

I did some research online and learned that the problem I had wasn't uncommon, starting with Windows 7. When I did the clean install of Windows 8, my vendor-specific drivers were replaced with generic Windows drivers, and my trackpad driver was replaced with Microsoft's old PS/2 mouse driver. I downloaded and installed the latest drivers for my PC from Samsung's website, and all of the problems I had were fixed. So, after you upgrade to Windows 8, especially if you did a clean install, go to your PC vendor's website and install the current drivers. Signed Windows 7 drivers seem to work fine under Windows 8. Don't assume that Microsoft will install the latest, or even the correct, drivers for you.
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