Installing Windows 10 Technical Preview on the HP Stream 7 Pixabay

Installing Windows 10 Technical Preview on the HP Stream 7

Yesterday I shared my initial thoughts and impressions about the HP Stream 7 and mentioned that I had installed the Windows 10 Technical Preview on it.

The HP Stream 7 is one of those devices that if you try to upgrade Windows 8.1 to the technical preview using the Windows Update method you will get the error about it not being able to install on a compressed operating system.

This does not mean the device can’t run the technical preview – it just means upgrading to it is off the table. That means a fresh install is the only choice available to anyone who is seeing this error.

So I went off in search of a solution and found a great support forum post at the HP Support forums that gave me the basis for installing the Windows 10 Technical Preview on the Stream 7.

Of course, your mileage may vary depending on your device but the key thing is to create yourself a Recovery Drive so that, if all else fails, you can always revert your device back to Windows 8.1.

So here is a rundown of the steps I took to get Windows 10 up and running on the Stream 7.

1. Create a Recovery Disk by searching for create a recovery drive on Windows 8.1 on your Stream 7 and running that process. Once it is complete store this somewhere safe as it is your ticket back to Windows 8.1 if the Windows 10 install process fails.

2. Download all of the Windows 8.1 drivers from the HP Stream 7 Software and Drivers page and save them on a USB drive.  You will not need the Bios, Firmware, Diagnostic or Utility downloads. These driver files have cryptic numeric names so be sure to save them with a name that will remind you what they are for. This will make the driver install process much easier later on as there is one driver that must be installed first.

3. Download the 32 bit version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview, in this case build 9926, to your desktop computer. That ISO is available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-iso and you must be signed in as a Windows Insider to access this list.

4. Download Rufus to create the bootable USB drive that will contain the Windows 10 Technical preview ISO files. This is a straight download – no install necessary. Once it is running you need to make sure you select the following settings for the bootable drive:

- Partition scheme GPT partition scheme for UEFI computer
- File system FAT32
- Cluster size 4096 (the default)
- New volume label Windows 10 TP will work just fine and can actually be anything
- Under Format Options leave the default checkmarks in Quick format; Create a bootable disk using ISO Image and Create extended label and icon files.

Be sure to click on the ISO icon that is next to ISO Image and select the Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO you downloaded earlier.

Click Start and Rufus will build your bootable USB drive.

Rufus Options

5. Collect together a wired mouse, wired keyboard, a powered USB hub that has at least three ports on it plus grab an On-the-Go (OTG) cable. Since there will not be any touch or Bluetooth drivers when you first install Windows 10 on the Stream 7 you need the wired mouse and keyboard to interact with the install process. The powered USB hub is also where you will plug in the bootable USB drive with Windows 10 on it for the OS installation.

Funny note about this stage for me - the only wired mouse I had around was this one:

Wired USB Mouse

Here is what the entire Dr. Frankenstein setup looked like with the hub and everything hooked up to the HP Stream 7:

HP Stream 7 Install Setup

6. Make sure the HP Stream 7 has a good charge on it to run during this install process.  I started mine with the device having a 75% charge.

7. Once you have everything collected together and your bootable USB drive is ready it is time to start the install process.  Shut down Windows 8.1 on the Stream 7 and  plug the OTG cable into the Stream 7’s MicroUSB port then plug in a USB cable to connect the Stream 7 to the USB hub.  This usually uses a USB A to B style cable. Also plug in the wired mouse and keyboard to the USB hub.

Now start the Stream 7 back up and enter the recovery options menu by pressing the power button and volume down rocker together until the system begins to power up. On the menu you should see an entry for UEFI USB and then the install process for Windows 10 will begin.

At this point you should be in familiar territory if you have ever performed a Windows install. The system will boot the USB drive and start the install process.  When you are prompted about which type of install be sure to click Advanced as the upgrade option will not work on the compressed OS.  Once you are shown the list of drives on the screen delete all of the partitions that are shown and that should leave you with about 29GB of storage space on the Stream 7.

Now start the install process and the it will continue by copying the install files and getting things ready for the first reboot. Since the MicroUSB port on the Stream 7 is 2.0 this will be a slower process then you would normally experience installing Windows from a USB drive to an SSD – just the consequence of having to use the USB hub to access the installation drive.

Once this process is complete and the system is ready to restart be sure to remove the bootable USB drive with the Windows 10 install files on it because if you don’t the system may boot back into the initial install setup process.

After this restart the install process will continue and like I said earlier it will be very familiar.  Continue the install and setup until you arrive on the desktop.

Since there is no wireless drivers that means the install process will prompt you to create a local user account instead of asking for your Microsoft Account. You will be able to switch this account over to a Microsoft Account through PC Settings after everything is installed and working.

So once you arrive on the desktop it is time to install the system drivers that you downloaded earlier. You will need to grab the USB drive that you saved all of the driver files on and plug it into the powered USB hub. That drive will now be recognized and you can access it through File Explorer in Windows 10.

The first driver to install is the Intel Chipset, Graphics, Camera and Audio Driver Combo Pack. Once that is installed and you reboot you can install the other drivers in any order.  Those remaining drivers should be:

- Realtek High-Definition (HD) Audio Driver
- Goodix Touch Controller Driver
- Kionix G-Sensor Enabling Driver
- Realtek RTL8723BS 802.11n SDIO Wireless LAN Drivers
- Realtek RTL8723BS UART Bluetooth Driver

Some of these will prompt you to restart and some will not. Once they are all installed and you have rebooted one last time to make sure everything is working as expected then you can go ahead and check for Windows Updates, convert your local user account to a Microsoft Account, install your apps and get the system setup to your liking.

This process should work on other small format devices that have a compressed OS just make sure you have that backup and Recovery Drive as a safety net should the install fail for some reason.

Any questions or comments about the process please let me know and enjoy your Windows 10 testing!

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