Win 8.1 RTM - first impressions

Today I have done a clean install of Windows 8.1 RTM (Build 6.3.9600) onto my Z77 RAID0 system.
These are my first impressions and experiences:

  1. Installation of Win8.1 RTM
    • Source: Original MS ISO file named “Windows_8.1_EN-US_x64.ISO”.
    • Installation Medium: USB Flash Drive Sandisk Cruzer Slice 8 GB
    • Used USB Tool for the creation of the bootable UEFI mode image: Rufus (you can get it >here< for free)
      Here you can see the settings i used:

      Rufus EFI mode settings.png

    • Sort of installation: clean UEFI mode (CSM DISABLED) onto a GPT partition as Dual Boot System (Windows 8 on the other partition)
    • Detection of my Z77 RAID0 array: No problem, no loading of an F6 driver needed
    • Problems during the installation: None, but my legal Win8 Upgrade CD Key has not been accepted by the Win8.1 RTM Setup.
      Solution: After having inserted the generic Win8.1 Pro Retail RTM Key, I was able to complete the OS installation.
    • After having completed the OS installation
      • Activation: No problem with my legal Win8 Upgrade CD Key
      • Installatiion of additional features:
        • Windows MediaCenter: No problem with the Key I got from Mcrosoft in 2012.
        • .NET Framework 3.5: Due to the changes of the .NET Framework 3.5 it was impossible to download the needed files from Windows Update.
          Solution: The offline installation of .NET Framework 3.5 from my OS installation medium works flawlessly by running the PowerShell as Admin and entering the following command:
          "Dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source:X:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess"
          (without the quotation marks, the "X" has to be replaced by the letter of the Win8.1 source drive, for details you may look >here<).
      • Problems:
        • As the Preview version Windows 8.1 RTM doesn't detect SSDs, which are running in RAID mode, and sees them as Hard Disk Drives. Bad consequence: The Win8.1 Optimizer (former Defrag Tool) will defrag them instead of sending TRIM commands.
        • Even worse: As you see here, the users are not able to run the Windows Experience Index (WEI) from within the "System" GUI:

          Windows 8.1 RTM without easy WEI option.png

        • Solution:
          • Run the Win8.1 Powershell as Admin, enter "WinSAT diskformal" (without the quotation marks) and press "Enter".
          • Run the Win8.1 Optimizer. Now the RAIDed SSDs are shown as "Solid Disk Drives" and can be optimized by sending a thunderstorm of TRIM commands.
        • First Impressions of the OS while working
          • Very good: Detection of the hardware
            • After having completed the OS installation, the Device Manager was absolutely "clean", that means, that the Setup had detected all my devices without any problem. There were no "Unknown" or yellow marked devices within the Device Manager.
            • The Intel HD4000 Graphics Adapter driver has been automacly updated a few seconds after the OS was up.
            • Once running Windows Update the first time, an actual Intel LAN driver has been offered.
          • Very impressing (if compared with the Preview of the OS): System Stability
          • Increasable: Performance of my RAID0 system
            Here are my first benchmark results running Win8.1 RTM:
            (from the left to the right: Win8.1 generic Intel RST(e) RAID driver v12.0.1.1018, Intel RST(e) driver v12.7.2.1000 WHQL and Intel RST(e) v12.8.0.1616 WHQL:




          • Warning for Intel RAID users running Win8.1 in UEFI mode:
            Don't try to "downgrade" the inbox Intel MSM RAID driver v12.0.1.1019 to any "classical" Intel RST driver (lower than 11.5.x.x.xxxx) . You will get a BSOD at reboot, which cannot be repaired.

          Very nice post, thanks for taking the time to give us a great review.

          Sorry if I missed it, but what OROM are you running ? after some testing on this X79, I find the best read was the 11.6 OROM over the 12.7, and the 12.7.2 driver.

          This is on the 8, not 8.1, will be running the 9600 buy the end of the day.

          My Intel Z77 SATA RAID Controller uses the latest UEFI SataDriver v12.7.0.1936.

          I have the 11.6 and 12.7, OROMS, but seem to get the best read from the 11.6.
          Boy, this 9600 seems pretty snappy. I had a winsat of 980 read on this, highest of all 8 and 8.1 testing.
          Now, will start trying soft like nero and the other 50 things.

          Running Norton beta, Avira, Bit, Avast, F, won’t run on 8.1 now. Usually always run Avira as it doesn’t flag on some innocent things.

          EDIT by Fernando: Quoting corrected.

          Avast v9.0 Beta is running fine with Win8.1 too.

          Avast v9.0 Beta is running fine with Win8.1 too.

          Thanks, didn’t see the BETA anywhere, but just googled it, found BETA 1 9.0.2000.

          Fernando. Microsoft has already released Isos officialy. Comparing the isos that I have for now, the POrtuguese (Brazilian ones) are the same ones that were leaked. The hash are the same. I can not confirmed about the English ones. Can you?

          Leaked one:

          RELEASE DATE: 08/21/2013
          BUILD: 6.3.9600.16384.WINBLUE_RTM.130821-1623
          FILE: 9600.16384.130821-1623_x64fre_Client_PT-BR-IRM_CCSA_DV5.ISO
          SIZE: 3,895,308,288 byte
          SHA-1: 02E396B71FE198A655D95D60B2A2D37FFB09A431
          MD5: 0DA5EC5F3E7243AE962A8FEBD735847F

          WZT x64 (core/pro) RTM:
          Filename: Windows_8.1_EN-US_x64.ISO
          sha1: BC2F7FF5C91C9F0F8676E39E703085C65072139B
          MSDN RTM - Windows 8.1 (multiple editions) (x64) - DVD (English)
          Filename: en_windows_8_1_x64_dvd_2707217.iso
          sha1: BC2F7FF5C91C9F0F8676E39E703085C65072139B

          WZT x86 (core/pro) RTM:
          Filename: Windows_8.1_EN-US_x86.ISO
          sha1: 802CFCD3A411D99C097EA7E747F0B6697F9BDAC4
          MSDN RTM - Windows 8.1 (multiple editions) (x86) - DVD (English)
          Filename: en_windows_8_1_x86_dvd_2707392.iso
          sha1: 802CFCD3A411D99C097EA7E747F0B6697F9BDAC4

          I think it is just a matter of names.

          Yes, the English Win8.1 Pro ISOs Microsoft is offering since yesterday for MSDN subscribers, seem to be exactly the same as the ones, which were leaked by WZT in August.
          Nevertheless this is not the "final" Win8.1 version, which the users can expect in October.
          According to Microsoft the work on Win8.1 is not yet finished.

          I was directed by a reader at my site. I have run into similar problem. Could you check out:…1-rtm-and-ssds/ and see if you have the same issue?

          @ TweakHound:
          Welcome at Win-RAID Forum and thanks for your contribution.

          I have just checked the registry of my Win8.1 RTM system: There is no “EnableSuperfetch” entry, but as far as I remember I ran the “winsat formal” command after the OS installation.
          In my eyes the “wrong” Prefetch and Superfetch registry settings are less important for SSD users than the fact, that the MEI link is still missing in the currently available Win8.1 images. This is a severe problem for SSD users, who don’t know the relationship between this feature and the sort of “optimization” they get by running the Windows Optimizer.


          interesting. So we go from the frying pan into the fire. Can you elaborate or link to resources for:
          “the MEI link is still missing in the currently available Win8.1 images. This is a severe problem for SSD users, who don’t know the relationship between this feature and the sort of “optimization” they get by running the Windows Optimizer.”

          Look >here< and >here<.

          Thanks for the feedback!

          Thanks Fernando, although this experience it isn’t relate to this Windows cause I’m using Windows 8 Pro. My experience was in Windows some how the windows experience need it to be refresh and I follow and did it but when it got to the disk test it did finish it. I told my self maybe cause I’m OC, reset Bios default speed the same issue no different, then I told myself how that happen, now I’m going to loss performance cause the relation on WE Test and SSDs, well I left it along for a while cause at less the difrag was recognizing the SSDs in, o by the way my system is in Raid0, then it was not till today as I was reading this thread and I gave it a tray to run the winsat from the Powershell and walla, when back to Computer Information and the test shows. Hey Fernando by the way I’m having problems in logging in guy helpme out here

          @ The Veteran(t):
          Welcome at Win-RAID Forum and thank you for your comment regarding the SSD detection by running Win8/Win8.1.

          Zitat von Gast im Beitrag #14
          Hey Fernando by the way I’m having problems in logging in guy helpme out here
          You have been registered as “The Veteran”, but you obviously didn’t confirm it by hitting the link within the eMail you got.
          Maybe your problem has something to do with your nick name (with/without a “t” at the end?).
          If you should not be able to solve the problem, please send me a PM.


          Hey Fern : have you actually done any testing to see that if winsat is not run, that TRIM is not being sent on non-raid and on raid arrays ?

          I have seen that WEI can help the OS to get better results from the drives, but nothing that say’s optimize is useful.

          There is no need for windows optimize, only for defrag for HDD, the OS TRIM’s the drive as data is deleted, so the optimize is for show. If TRIM wasn’t sent Garbage Collection will always take care of it. Unless you have some of the oldest SSD’s.

          Actually I haven’t tested it, but I will do it, when I am installing Win8.1 the next time.

          I must say that that was a great informative review of your installation. I have been thinking of going to Win 8.1 but have been a little hesitant but might give it a try.
          It is rather unsual that MS would not think of people running SSD’s in Raid? bad error by them.

          I do like so far what I have seen here and will be back every so often. :slight_smile: Hopefully I will be able to contribute .

          @ Gryphon49:

          Welcome at Win-RAID Forum and thank you for your contribution.