‘Upgrading’ my Lenovo W520 to Windows 8.1

The upgrade experience for Windows 8 Enterprise is basically a reinstall, as you lose some many desktop apps and settings. So I decided to do a clean install, my PC was in need of a repave anyway.

My PC has 3 disks, a bitlockered SSD for the OS, another bitlockered drive used for data and a non bitlockered drive I use for ISOs, downloads etc. Just to be on the safe side I removed the bitlocker encryption on my second drive, then I deleted the contents of my SSD and re-installed.

All seemed to go OK, the OS installed and then a rebooted but then hung. I then remember the problems I had had installing Windows 8 RP, if I did not have the Intel video card enabled (I usually have it disabled as I find having both it and the Nvidia confuses projectors). Once I enabled both video cards the setup completed and I was able to join the PC to the domain and associate my LiveID with the domain account.

On checking device manager I saw a few items were missing drivers

  • Microsoft basic display adapter – Just used Window update and it found the Nvidia driver
  • Base system device –  This needed the Ricoh Media Card Reader driver from the Lenovo site
  • PCI serial port –  This took a while to find but in the end I needed the Intel Management Engine Interface 7.1 and Serial Over LAN (SOL) Driver from the Lenovo site

I also found, as before, I need to use Windows update to update the soundcard drivers, the default ones  were working on the laptop, but not via the base station outputs.

I then set to installing my desktop applications. Other than Office and Visual Studio I tried to do this all with Chocolatey, thus building up a script to make this easier in the future e.g

cinst poshgit
cinst 7zip
cinst notepadplusplus
cinst WindowsLiveWriter
cinst sysinternals
cinst skype
cinst git-tf
cinst eclipse-standard-kepler

This left me with one issue, i could not work out how to setup fingerprint login. In Windows 8 there was a Biometric icon on the Control Panel, but not in Windows 8.1. So I installed the Lenovo provided fingerprint tools, as I had to do in Windows 7. This allowed me to scan a fingerprint and associate it with an account. However, then i tried to login or unlock the screen with the fingerprint I got a message that ‘cannot use a fingerprint for a domain user’. Now in previous versions of the OS there was a checkbox on the Biometric control panel that set whether fingerprints could be used for domain accounts, but as i said before this tool is not present in 8.1.

After much searching, using Google as Bing found nothing, I found that you now have to enable fingerprint usage via a Windows 8.1 settings not the control panel. Once this was done my fingerprint scanner worked as expected.

So just need to re-bitlocker my PC and we are good to go.

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