Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview: How to Fix Device Driver Compatibility Issues

The Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview upgrade process doesn’t maintain special drivers you previously installed.. Here’s how our senior contributor Todd Ogasawara fixed the problem.

I find that Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the beta release Microsoft unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC 2012) this week, installs over the previous Windows 8 Developer Preview with few problems.

But this version of Consumer Preview doesn’t maintain special drivers I previously installed.

Here was my problem and how I resolved it. My Asus Eee PC T91MT Netbook with its multitouch display would only support 800 x 600 resolution after I updated it with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. It’s a problem because the bulk of Windows 8 apps requires a minimum of 1024 x 768 resolution just to run.

What to do?

Well, it’s possible to download new display drivers from the Asus website.  Your PC maker in all likelihood lets you do this, too. But try running the installation file in Windows 8 Consumer Preview and you’ll find another problem — a compatibility warning that freezes the whole system.

I found the solution and it should work in most cases. Just right-click on the driver installation file and use either the Troubleshoot Compatibility option or, alternatively, manually select the Compatibility tab in the Setup Properties menu.

When I did this, Microsoft’s troubleshooting tool determined the right compatibility setting to be Windows XP (Service Pack 3). Luckily, I happened to know that the driver was for Windows 7 — because that’s what shipped with my Windows 7-based T91MT Netbook. So I clicked the correct OS from the options, as you see in the screenshot above.

If you’re not sure what compatibility mode to choose, use Microsoft’s Troubleshooting Wizard.

If you are sure, as I happened to be in this case, then definitely make use of the manual selection process I describe here.

Notice the Netbook’s display defaulted to a 1024 x 600 resolution after I installed the driver. But wait. That still wasn’t good enough to run my apps. So I changed the display resolution to 1024 x 768. This Netbook will display at that slightly higher resolution.

After I did this, all was well. Now I am happily running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in all its apparent glory. We’ll see. I’ll be testing it for you in coming days and weeks right here for .


  • Thanks for the info! Nevertheless my main issue is that my notebook’s resolution is 1024 x 600 (that’s the maximum), so unfortunately I cannot fully enjoy Windows 8, and its also a pain in the ass since some features simply does not happen to appear! DO you think there is a way to sort of “force” the computer in getting a higher resolution even though it is not made to be?

    • You are welcome.
      There are three possible answers to your question depending on which netbook you have.
      1. No.
      2. Sort of… Some netbooks are limited to displaying 600 vertical pixels but can be set to 1024×768 in a mode where you have to “scroll” the 1024×768 display inside of a 1024×600 visible window. I believe the Asus Eee PC T1000 series can do this.
      3. Yes, maybe… If you attach an external monitor. The extended display should be capable of showing at least 768 vertical pixels even if the main display cannot. However, I have not tried multiple displays with Windows 8.

  • Actually, yes, @Boulawa, there is. I spoke with Todd about his how-to when it unfortunately, wouldn’t work for me, either. We tried really hard to get it to work, but it either does, or doesn’t…

    I Googled, “force 1042×768 resolution on a netbook” and came up with the following link.

    The method described here worked for me, and *MAY* also work for you, but please keep Todd’s response in mind. It may not work for you and then you may need to attach an external monitor to your PC in order to undo the registry changes you made, in order to get the netbook’s internal display working again.

    If you try this, please be aware that you may need to blow the netbook to get it working again. Please only attempt the method described in the link above if you are comfortable working with the Windows Registry, and if your netbook is not a critical machine for you.

    I hope this helps.

    Chris Spera

  • I have a problem with my genius tablet(m 712),the pen pressure is not working at all,it seems that the driver is not working,what should i do?

    • There are a couple things you can do. Here they are in no particular order:

      1. Ignore the issue
      2. Download the driver and install
      3. Download the driver and install via Windows 7 Compatibility Mode

      1. If you ignore the issue, what are you losing? How important is the pen pressure issue to you? If it doesn’t materially effect some of the things that you’re doing, then you may be able to live with the loss of functionality. If not, then you’ll need to move on to the other suggestions.

      2. If you can download and install the driver from the tablet’s product page, and it works, GREAT! If not, then you may need to blow the tablet and try the next suggestion. Installing any driver in compatibility mode over the top of a driver that’s already installed, may cause issues and problems not only with the driver, but with the registry.

      3. If you can download and install the driver via Compatibility Mode from the tablet’s product page, and it works, GREAT! Please be aware that, as Todd mentions, once you pick a particular Windows version in Compatibility Mode, the driver won’t install any other way. If this doesn’t work, you may be out of luck. If you want to try a different Compatibility Mode for the driver install, you’ll need to rebuild the tablet from scratch in order to do it.

      Windows 8 is currently only a Consumer Preview, and if your tablet is going to have native Windows 8 support, then this is a temporary issue at worst.

      I hope this helps.

  • Thank you for your help,
    i tested all of your suggestions before but unfortunately they did not work.
    as i need my light pen for doing my job,it seems that i have to use older versions of windows.

    • That’s probably the best thing to do – go back to Windows 7. If this is truly a mission critical feature for you, then you’re likely not going to like the BETA status. This is just one of the things that can crop up with Windows 8 before it is released.

      You should also try contacting the tablet’s manufacturer. They may have an update you can use either now, or in the near future that may solve the problem. Its at least worth an email to them…

      Chris Spera

  • How is the testing going? I have the same model but I put a 2gb stick in it. Hopefully it will perform well. Thanks for the video tip! That was my number one concern.