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So Long Venue Pro 11

Over the weekend, all attempts to upgrade the Dell Venue Pro 11 7130 to Windows 10 Insider Pro failed. Even Kari Finn’s clever trick of deploying an image with drivers pre-injected during a clean install (see this January 30 Win10.Guru blog post for details) didn’t stand the test of repeated use. The machine kept crashing with a WDF_VIOLATION green screen. We knew some Intel driver had to be at fault, but couldn’t find a fix or workaround. Then things got more interesting: even a clean install of the latest 1809 ISO failed, with the same error. That’s when I knew it was time to say, so long Venue Pro 11.

Why Say So Long Venue Pro 11

For me, problem-solving and troubleshooting eventually come down to a matter of time. When the time to address issues exceeds the value of services provided, it’s time to throw in the towel. Bullheadedness and curiosity kept Kari and I beavering away at this failing PC longer than common sense dictated. But now I have to say “enough is enough” and move on. I’ll be contacting my good buddy Ken Starks at Reglue, and asking him over to pick up the machine. His organization repurposes older PCs. It installs Linux, and gives them to under-served and -privileged school kids in the Austin area. Over the years, I’ve given him at least half a dozen laptops and a similar number of desktops. Also, lots of spare parts and a bit of cash here and there. I know it all goes to a good cause.

Shoot! I’ve got plenty of older laptops laying around, so I tapped my Lenovo X220 Tablet, purchased in October, 2011.
If you could read the Winver output on-screen, it says Build 18329.1.

After the Venue Pro, Then What?

I’ve been running Windows 10 on my two 2011 vintage ThinkPad laptops since the OS went public in August 2015. I don’t take the smaller screen X220 Tablet on the road much any more. Thus, I figured it would make a good Insider Preview machine. It’s got a Sandy Bridge i7-2640M CPU, 16 GB RAM, an older Plextor 256 GB SSD, and a second SATA 120 GB SSD as its data drive. My son won’t use it because he’s says it’s “too slow, and the screen is too small.” But I still find it capable and usable, and I like its touch screen, too.

After the recent experiences with the Venue Pro 11 I was concerned a machine that was 2-3 years older might also suffer driver or compatibility issues. I had absolutely no problem upgrading to the latest Insider Preview (18329.1) and the machine runs as well and capably as ever. I am expecting to acquire a couple of new laptops later this year. At that point I may revisit these venerable ThinkPads (my son wants us to buy “The Beast” version of the X1 Extreme for around $3150). Mr. Stark may be making another house call this summer!

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