Installing Windows 8 on HP TouchSmart 600-1005xt: The final word

I bought the retail DVD version of Windows 8 Pro and installed it clean (the “keep nothing” option) on our TouchSmart 600-1005xt PC.

I ran into an issue during installation where it got hung up as close to forever as I care to measure at this Windows logo screen:

As of November 15 2012, a workaround I discovered during Windows “beta” appears to still be necessary on the 600-1005xt: in the BIOS menu* change the SATA Controller Mode to IDE, and install again. 

Once you get Windows 8 installed don’t change it back to AHCI; ACHI is a nonsense option on this hardware anyhow, and I’m not sure why it’s set that way from the factory.

Other workarounds I had to do during Windows 8’s “beta” period (installing a pre-release NVIDIA GT 230 video driver to gain performance, changing “disabledynamictick” to avoid freezing) seem no longer necessary either.  The PC was stable after install, then I ran Windows Update  and new drivers were pulled down for some of the hardware, including the GT 230, and it’s working great with these. The audio driver does not get installed correctly (volume controls, but no sound), so in Device Manager I found the audio device and chose “Update Driver”, and Windows Update then did the right thing. (It might’ve done this itself if I’d been patient.)

Great job Microsoft, NVIDIA, and HP in getting things wrapped up.

* To get into the BIOS menu on this device, after turning the PC on, press F10 at the HP screen. The SATA Controller Mode setting is under Advanced, SATA1 Controller.