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Upgrade Venue 11 I5 From 8.1 Pro To 10 Pro


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The purpose for this post is to share my personal experience with upgrading a Dell Venue 11 Pro i5 (model 7130) from Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Pro and then experimenting with Reset and Clean install. I am not trying to say this is the only way to do it, or the right way, just sharing what I got to work for me. In particular I suspect I really did something inefficient around the whole UEFI / legacy boot process from USB but I didn’t figure out what.


Dell site lists this device as upgradable to Windows 10.

I started with a stock 7130, reset it to factory image, then applied all available Windows and Dell updates (including BIOS to A16).

I used my Microsoft Account throughout except the one time there was no network connection.

Removed Dell’s encryption from the HDD (important).

Made a Windows 10 reservation and let the upgrade install without interference, including express settings.

Everything worked. The layout of icons on my desktop was even the same.

Checked Windows activation with [C:\slmgr /xpr] to confirm Windows 10 “permanently activated”

Updated things via Dell System Detect and available Windows updates


The upgrade added a new Recovery partition of 450 MB by shrinking drive space. It appeared that the original Windows 8 Recovery partition was left intact.


I created a Recovery USB following the Windows 10 process and selected “move Recovery content to USB” option.

The Recovery USB does not boot the 7130, perhaps I did something wrong? Heck with it, forge ahead…

  • Note: hold volume up during boot to enter BIOS or select a one-time boot

Complete Windows 10 Reset, nothing significant appeared to change on the hard drive


Use Windows Media Creator to create a Windows 10 Pro x64 install USB

  • Disable UEFI boot in BIOS
  • Enable Legacy ROMs in BIOS
  • Boot “legacy”

Followed build advice from these sites:

·         http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/SLN292679/EN

·         http://www.tenforums.com/tutorials/1950-windows-10-clean-install.html


Skip product key page

Deleted all existing partitions from inside Setup

Error on trying to install on empty SSD, “we couldn't create a new partition or locate an existing one. See the setup log files”

  • One post suggested the USB might be bad, so I built another on a different USB stick with no change in behavior\

Try booting UEFI (instead of Legacy) 

  • This appeared to allow instillation to proceed
  • On final reboot error message “Invalid partition table”
  • Remove USB, Restart into BIOS setup
  • Change Boot List option to UEFI
  • Disable Legacy Option ROMs
  • Secure boot enabled
  • Restart (no USB) gets to Windows

Device setup proceeded

Use Express Settings

Clicked “later” on the product key screen

No network connections

  • Create local account

Settings … Disk management showed

  • 450MB Recovery Partition
  • 100MB EFI System Partition
  • 118.69 GB NTFS Bitlocker Encrypted (C:)


Fair number of issues in Device Manager, off to support.dell.com and Windows 10 OS drivers for this device

  • Install WIFI-7130_Network_Driver_0JJ8H_WN32_3.7.2.59_A00.EXE, Restart
  • Wi-Fi now works, connect to home network

Dell System Detect using this device’s Service Tag

Can’t do Dell System Detect automatic driver detection from inside Edge, must use IE11

  • Install Intel Video driver Video_Driver_7W9YT_WN32_10.18.15.4240_A00.EXE
  • Setup says current versions are newer? Install the Dell package anyway…

Install Intel Display Audio

Install Intel HD Graphics Family

Restart to BIOS, disable Intel SpeedStep to have processor run full speed for now

  • Note: seems much faster but really suck down the battery, faster than the batteries will recharge at 0.45A

Dell System Detect indicated no missing drivers

Check Windows activation

  • C:\slmgr /xpr yields Windows is “permanently activated”


Create recovery drive (USB)

  • Settings > “recovery drive” > create
  • Still can't boot to it

Restart to BIOS, turn Intel SpeedStep back on

Device Manager (Settings > “device manager”) shows one problem  item “SM Bus Controller”

What to do about the lack of a "real" recovery partition?

  • Some articles say you don’t really need one? Not sure what this means...

Cursory test and everything seems to work


Full Windows 10 Reset of tablet

  • Remove files (no to disk cleaning)
  • Reset TPM
  • 28 minutes to “Installing Windows”
  • 53 minutes, the screen has been without display for a while…
  • 58 minutes, Restarted?
  • 72 minutes, hold power button down until it shuts down
  • Restart… completes startup in another 5 minutes or so
  • Provide wireless password, “Getting critical updates”
  • Sign in with Microsoft Account, create PIN
  • No Device Manager issues

Dell System Detect (via IE11): No driver updates required and everything seems to work

  • No visible changes to disk partition layout

The next test I intend to do (I will update this post) is a repeat of Full Reset but with "Remove files and clean drive" included. I want to see if all the drivers are still there after it is done.
















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Full Reset of tablet

  • Remove everything
  • Remove files and clean the drive
  • 24 minutes: Volume up to clear TPM
  • 27 minutes: Installing Windows
  • 31 minutes: Select US / time zone, enter Wi-Fi password
  • 33 minutes: sign in with Microsoft Account
  • 35 minutes: desktop available
  • [C:\slmgr /xpr] “the machine is permanently activated”
  • No change to partition structure

So somehow it recovers even with "clean the drive" selected.

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