Windows 10 on a Tesco Connect Tablet

A while back I mentioned that I'd got a dirt-cheap Windows 8.1 tablet. I still have it, and I'm using it, the keyboard I mentioned and a three quid Bluetooth mouse to write this here post.

However, I'm not using Windows 8.1. I've upgraded to Windows 10, and I'm loving it. I had a couple of issues though, so I thought I'd document them for the internet to see and learn from.

The easy bit - installing Windows 10

The easiest bit by far! With the tablet plugged into the mains - I'd already found out how long it could take by being a bit rubbish with the installation on my laptop - I fired off the installation utility I'd downloaded from Microsoft and hung around for the start to answer the various questions it had before it got on with the meat of the install.

Helpfully the installation could all be handled by the touchscreen - no need for a keyboard to be plugged in, which would be necessary in older versions of Windows, as the chances of a Bluetooth keyboard working at the low level the installer runs at are slim at best.

Once I had the percentage complete on screen, I went to bed. And woke to Windows 10, where the next stage of the adventure begins.

Getting the privacy right

Much has been made about what data Microsoft would like to get access to from your computer. There's a lot of weird and slightly disturbing, tin-foil hat stuff being reported. I'm not an expert, so can't make any professional recommendation - I just turned everything that sounded a bit creepy off. My unprofessional recommendation is to not blindly click 'next'.
See? Slightly OTT... Finally I got to the desktop. Hooray! Then I turned the tablet from portrait to landscape, and nothing happened. I checked whether rotation lock was on, and it was. So I turned it off, and... still nothing.

Rotate, dammit!

Now, I went looking for the manufacturer's website for this tablet some time ago. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha fat chance. These things are churned out unbadged as OEM devices, pass through a middleman company responsible for branding and packaging, and end up on a shelf somewhere for sale. In the case of this Connect-branded one, the manual only refers to a Tesco helpline - no support site, and no driver downloads. Caveat emptor, as they say.

But seeing as they're rebranded OEM devices, there's a chance that there's some information out there somewhere. And, as I mentioned in my post when I got the tablet, this one is identical to the Linx ones sold in Sainsbury's (and also all over the place online), and Linx have an unofficial user forum that's incredibly active.

I discovered the gyroscope/accelerometer in the Linx tablets are made by Kionix, and in the forum there was a download for the drivers for it. Checking the Device Manager in Windows on mine showed the same device. Result!

If you happen to drift past this website looking for these drivers, you're in luck - I've shared them on Dropbox here. The filename of the installer is kxaccel-1.0.13.20-win8-x86.exe, the installer is signed by Kionix, Inc and is a shade over 4MB.

Back to the story. Installer was run, I rebooted to be on the safe side, and when the desktop came back up... the screen was sideways! I turned to correct it, and it rotated to keep the screen 90° out of whack. Grrr!

Rotation correction

Back to Googling around the issue. I found talk of a change to the Windows registry, and .reg files were available that would fiddle about with the settings. After checking that nothing dodgy was likely to happen by merging the .reg file, I fired off the merge and rebooted for it to take effect. Held my breath and... upside down. Always upside down.

With my Determined Hacker hat on, I started modifying the registry settings, using trial and error and a little bit of educated guesswork. There's an entry called Orientation which is clearly a set of flags. Seven values; the first six are 0 or 1 and the last is 2, which I suspected would be an end marker. Six values - something to do with X, Y and Z axes, I reckon.

So! With a of effort and several reboots to get the registry values to be re-read... I achieved it! And no, I have no idea what the values actually represent :)

Here's the contents of the .reg file, if you have stumbled across this post in need of help. You can download it from DropBox here, or save the text below in a file called something.reg, double click to run it, accept the warnings and reboot...

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\ROOT\SENSOR\0000\Device Parameters\kxfusion]
"ACPI\\SMO8500\\1-0"="{CDA4B5F8-53B4-4E7C-8A73-0D69852FBEBA}"
"Orientation"=hex:01,01,00,00,01,00,02

And after all that...
Tada! ... tada!