Installing Chromium OS on a Venue 8 Pro (3845) en

By computer1_up on Monday 16 April 2018 18:51 - Comments (4)
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This one's in English, so that a wider audience can use this.

A few months ago, I purchased a Dell Venue 8 Pro second hand from a fellow Tweaker.
Thing's rather nice, decent screen and a very nice form factor. But it's limited by a kind of slow Atom processor and only 1GB of RAM (keep in mind that this is considered as a "lite edition" in this tablet series, most other V8P's have 2 or 4GB).

Windows doesn't exactly run great. So I decided to install something else.

Disclaimer: this is NOT a guide! It's merely a post that I report my progress with the install on. This post is AS-IS, without any warranties! Also, keep in mind that installing Windows on this tablet in case you want to go back isn't as straight forward as it might seem for this specific model. I've yet to find the right drivers for my touchscreen and other parts of the tablet.

Enter CloudReady by Neverware, a Chromium OS distro that's supposed to run on all kinds of hardware.

Getting my tablet to it was a little tricky, as I only had Sandisk USB drives lying around when I first tried doing this. They suggest using anything BUT Sandisk though. Why exactly? No idea, but I had trouble with using them. So I received a no-name USB drive at an event some time ago, which did work for this install.

What did help was using the Linux/Mac method on my PC rather than the USB maker they provide. This uses the Chrome OS recovery tool which you can download from the Chrome appstore.

Hooking up an old laptop dock which has support for external power via USB-OTG was the go to choice for me. During the setup, the on-screen keyboard will not be enabled by default. Using an actual keyboard to go through the setup is necessary, unless you plan on connecting to an open WiFi network, which might not be such a good idea to begin with.

So the tablet booted without any problems. The OS starts in a Live environment, which loads the OS in RAM (partially?) since I could disconnect my bootdrive.

Sound doesn't seem to work though, neither do autorotate and bluetooth. But since Chromium OS is based on Linux, I might be able to get around that.

This is where I'm going to end part 1. As soon as I'll get more done, I'll post part 2.