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Old 04-14-2014, 04:55 PM   #21
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I hated Windows 8 until someone told me about the Windows key X shortcut from the desktop. That helped me easily find a lot of the admin stuff that I needed (like control panel, command prompt etc).
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:37 PM   #22
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I decided to never consider Windows 8 because of this video:



Does 8.1 solve some of the issues he discusses?

Would buying a laptop that has a touch screen solve the issues?
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:10 PM   #23
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With 8.1 update if you don't have a touch screen you boot to the desktop. That solves one problem.
When I started with 8 it took about 4 days to get used to using the charms to shutdown etc. You can place what icons you like on the desktop. Start in 8.1 goes to a version of the tiles. However in 8.1 update metro style apps now have title bars where you can close them.
If you have a touch device then the trick is to learn to swipe.
All in all the problem I think is that many reviewers had only a day or 2 to get used to the new interface before they wrote their reviews. That is not enough time to get use to the new interface.
BTW if you are in the administrators group you can also shutdown the machine from a command prompt: just type shutdown.exe /s in the command prompt, and the machine will shutdown a minute later.
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:41 PM   #24
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I got about half way through the video, that was enough for me (may watch the rest later). Here's my story:

I just bought a new laptop, with the intention of putting Linux on it. But I figured I better make sure Windows boots, and check out the hardware while it is under warranty, so I could be sure it was a HW problem and not some Linux/HW combo problem. Then my plan was to make Windows restore disks (8.1), and wipe windows from the drive and make it all Linux (Xubuntu version). Just like I did on my previous machine.

But like that guy 1/2 way through, I couldn't figure out how to make restore disks. I recently replaced a crashed drive on a friend's Windows laptop, used an iso I downloaded and the product keys, and it went OK - so I'm familiar with the process (even though I'm not very familiar with Windows). But this guy couldn't figure it out on Win 8 either. I gave up, just like him. I just installed Xubuntu alongside Win, rather than wipe it, but that's lame. Like he says, if your drive crashes, those discs they offer to make need the repair partition from the drive - which is crashed. It is insane. Catch-22 anyone?

I also couldn't figure out how to do anything in Win 8.1. Like he says, apps would pop up full screen, I didn't know how to close them. And when I opened a new tab in the browser, I could not find out where that tab went. I was lost. Right clicking that little icon in the LL corner was a bit more straightforward, but still thinks acted oddly.

To be fair, I didn't spend much time with it, as I didn't plan on using Windows much if at all. But there was nothing that made me want to spend more time with it. Shouldn't a new OS encourage you to try it out? And why should you have to study up to do something on a computer these days? There should be enough 'hinting' to make things obvious. That was the point of the GUI. Maybe it's great when you learn your way around, but it was a frustrating start. Glad I don't need to mess with it.

The new Xubuntu has messed up a few little things in a minor way, but I expect I'll find a way to make them work, or there will be some options posted. But that's a small % of the UI, most everything is either as familiar and usable as before, or improved.

Another weird thing - I will honestly say it took longer to get Windows started the first time, than it did to perform a complete fresh install of Xubuntu, and have that boot to the desktop. Seriously. Windows took a long time to configure and install stuff, with no progress bar or hint what it was doing and how long it would take. And then it forces you to create a Microsoft account with them, then retrieve secret codes that they email you separately that you need to enter before you can continue. What if you were starting this up, and didn't have another computer nearby to get that email? Another Catch-22? And the start-up screen displays my email address at the log in! Geez, shouldn't my email address only be accessible to someone who can log in to my computer? INSANE.

-ERD50
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:52 PM   #25
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For future reference you go to the recovery icon in the control panel. Today however it is recommended that you go to a 16 gb + usb stick for a recovery drive. You insert the drive and start the process and off you go. In Windows 8.1 you go to the taskbar and navigation entry in the control panel, and in the navigation pane you can click to start up in the desktop. (I have the update installed ). Once your on the desktop, you can go the the charms go to the metro interface to find the apps you want and set up shortcuts to the desktop.
It just takes a few days. The start menu now has a shutdown icon as well as a search icon.
You can bypass the MS account by entering a fake one and letting it fail, then it will allow a local account. (I use only local accounts and because I have 8 and 8.1 pro have used group policy to set it up so that microsoft accounts are not allowed. (This is what a sys admin at a small company would do also disable sky drive because you want to keep the corporate date from the hands of MS)
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Old 04-28-2014, 09:53 PM   #26
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For future reference you go to the recovery icon in the control panel. Today however it is recommended that you go to a 16 gb + usb stick for a recovery drive. You insert the drive and start the process and off you go. In Windows 8.1 you go to the taskbar and navigation entry in the control panel, and in the navigation pane you can click to start up in the desktop. (I have the update installed ). Once your on the desktop, you can go the the charms go to the metro interface to find the apps you want and set up shortcuts to the desktop.
It just takes a few days. The start menu now has a shutdown icon as well as a search icon.
You can bypass the MS account by entering a fake one and letting it fail, then it will allow a local account. (I use only local accounts and because I have 8 and 8.1 pro have used group policy to set it up so that microsoft accounts are not allowed. (This is what a sys admin at a small company would do also disable sky drive because you want to keep the corporate date from the hands of MS)
Note that pro also gives you the ability to logon to a second machine from a first, so for example I can logon to any of the laptops from the desktop.
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:46 PM   #27
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For future reference you go to the recovery icon in the control panel. Today however it is recommended that you go to a 16 gb + usb stick for a recovery drive. You insert the drive and start the process and off you go. ...
I didn't have any 16GB sticks handy, I may try that later. It still wasn't clear to me if that would recover to a totally new (or newly re-formatted, re-partitioned) hard drive, or whether it still was going to look for 'stuff' on a recovery partition on that hard drive.

-ERD50
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Old 04-28-2014, 10:49 PM   #28
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I didn't have any 16GB sticks handy, I may try that later. It still wasn't clear to me if that would recover to a totally new (or newly re-formatted, re-partitioned) hard drive, or whether it still was going to look for 'stuff' on a recovery partition on that hard drive.

-ERD50
If you have not destroyed the recovery partition that came with the system, it will offer to copy the files to the stick. so that it can restore from a bare disk. If you have installed linux did you destroy the recovery partition? It should be on the order of 16 gb in size for windows 8. (It may depend on the model, since the recovery there installs all the junk that the system came with such as trial versions of office (which is why it is so large the os itself comes on 1 dvd).

Futher note that the recovery option will restore the computer to the way it shipped from the factory wiping linux in the process. You might want to run clonezilla and save the linux partition.
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:07 PM   #29
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If you have not destroyed the recovery partition that came with the system, it will offer to copy the files to the stick. so that it can restore from a bare disk. ....
Thanks. Yes, I left all the windows partitions in place when I installed Linux. I just shrunk the Windows partition and the 'Lenovo' partition (which I think just held some special apps from Lenovo), created some new partitions, and installed Xubuntu alongside Windows. Windows seems to put something in its partition that only lets you shrink it to half its original size (can't think of any valid reason for that, other than to screw up Linux installs). But I just put a folder inside that Windows partition, and I have it mount at start-up and have it bookmarked in my file manager, so it's not really wasted space.

I'd definitely need to clone my Xubuntu if I were to attempt a re-install of Windows. It probably would just over-write it. But if I go that route, I'll probably drop a re-formatted old laptop drive I have into the machine, and install Windows to that. For the few (if any) times I might need to try something in Windows, that's good enough. And considering it really isn't taking up all that much room on my hard drive (which is larger than my old machine anyhow), I'll probably just leave it in place so I can dual boot if needed. But a recovery system would be good to have in case that drive goes south.

-ERD50
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Old 04-28-2014, 11:46 PM   #30
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Thanks. Yes, I left all the windows partitions in place when I installed Linux. I just shrunk the Windows partition and the 'Lenovo' partition (which I think just held some special apps from Lenovo), created some new partitions, and installed Xubuntu alongside Windows. Windows seems to put something in its partition that only lets you shrink it to half its original size (can't think of any valid reason for that, other than to screw up Linux installs). But I just put a folder inside that Windows partition, and I have it mount at start-up and have it bookmarked in my file manager, so it's not really wasted space.

I'd definitely need to clone my Xubuntu if I were to attempt a re-install of Windows. It probably would just over-write it. But if I go that route, I'll probably drop a re-formatted old laptop drive I have into the machine, and install Windows to that. For the few (if any) times I might need to try something in Windows, that's good enough. And considering it really isn't taking up all that much room on my hard drive (which is larger than my old machine anyhow), I'll probably just leave it in place so I can dual boot if needed. But a recovery system would be good to have in case that drive goes south.

-ERD50
Was the lenovo partition between 10 and 20 gb in size? If you go into diskmanagement (under computer management in administrative tools) look at the partition table. see if there is a partition called recovery.
Note that win 7 partitions also wont shrink more than 50 % due to some windows files being at fixed locations and some files being open such as the pagefile. (At least with the windows tools).
Depending on how computer savy you are you could go to sysinternals and using the disk2vhd tool there create a virtual hard drive. Then load virtual box, or your favorite linux virtualization tool, and run windows 8 as a guest inside the virtualization environment. (Note that if you have the disk space clonezilla will also back up Windows partitions and only save the used blocks, it knows which blocks are not used on NTFS and does not save them). Given the need of windows just sometimes running windows 8 as a guest might be the way to go.
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Old 04-29-2014, 09:46 AM   #31
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For future reference, the number one way to figure out something is not to search around in Windows help, it's to google something like this:

"how to make windows 8.1 recovery disk"

That rarely fails.

That video resonated with me (I hate that expression!) because it mirrored how I feel about so much Windows stuff: stupidly designed.

I'm a little more convinced to go to Windows 8.1:

1. After a week or two of terrible frustration, I'd probably get used to it.
2. It makes sense to jump to the latest from my eight-year-old XP machine
3. I'd like a laptop that will slide further into my roll-top desk.

Has anyone upgraded and found that they could painlessly migrate all their applications (with something like laplink) to the new machine?
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Old 04-29-2014, 10:11 AM   #32
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IMO, as for cloning the best approach is to get a third party software (there are freebies out there) where you can boot from disc or flash drive and clone the whole hard drive (emergency partition and all) to an external drive for safe keeping.

When I moved from XP to Win 7, my computer only came with an 80GB drive. Kinda overkill, but I ended up cloning the original drive to a 1TB, then added a 1TB secondary and physically removing the original for safety should I need to get back to the beginning. Of course this required opening up the case and such... I had time to kill
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:32 PM   #33
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If your computer itself is still good here is an idea. I just left OfficeMax and they will wipe clean my hard drive and install Windows 7 for 79.00 total. I am retired and only use a few programs so backing up Quicken and a few others is pretty simple and then I would have a "clean" computer.....
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:52 PM   #34
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Has anyone upgraded and found that they could painlessly migrate all their applications (with something like laplink) to the new machine?
When I made the switch I didn't have that many applications to re-install, I guess, because it was pretty painless for me (despite the fact that my hard drive on the old computer was fried, so transfer was impossible). I always worry about having enough copies of Norton left available so that I don't have to re-buy it but it worked out this time. One of my programs from 2001 was so outdated that it doesn't work on Windows 8.1. Such is life and I kind of expect that with thirteen year old software.

I keep all my documents, photos, and so on, backed up on my external hard drive and it is simpler than simple to just copy those over.
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Old 04-29-2014, 12:56 PM   #35
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All in all the problem I think is that many reviewers had only a day or 2 to get used to the new interface before they wrote their reviews. That is not enough time to get use to the new interface.
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It just takes a few days.
But that's the thing. I don't want to spend a few days just to get it to work. I don't want to have to download a utility from the internet. I don't want to learn from some guy on a message board in India that I need to type Control-Alt-Shift-F2 with the cursor in the upper right corner. I don't want to edit assembly code. Yes, I am exaggerating - a little - but I don't want to spend a few days just to figure out how to do things that I previously knew how to do. I know what "but it's all so easy" means in practice.

Yes, I can figure things out when needed. But that is not how I want to spend my time when it comes to computers - especially non-Linux PC's used for simple tasks. I want to turn them on and have them work with minimal effort. I want to do simple things in a short amount of time. I consider computers to be tools, not playthings.

Personally, as I contemplate ER and the loss of work systems, I'm thinking of going with a Windows 7 laptop for simple and Microsoft-specific tasks, and a Linux desktop (probably Ubuntu although we are Red Hat at work) for software development and more complex tasks. I could dual boot, but I would rather have two independent systems. I don't have a tablet or smart phone.

The video was great (and funny).
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:05 PM   #36
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I have a Windows8.1 laptop only because that was the only OS available at BestBuy at the time. I installed RetroUI right away so I can actually use it right away (Windows8.1 was very frustrating and annoying, which I expected having heard some gripes from people...) RetroUI may not be the best software around, but it was the first one I've found googling, that would bring me back the Start Menu (and RetroUI lets me pin apps to the task bar.) If I had known then, I would have probably gone with Classic Shell (open source with a very good rating. I got RetroUI for $5 although it had like a 14 day trial period.)
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Old 04-29-2014, 01:08 PM   #37
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Right. Last time I got a new computer is was a few weeks before things were back to normal. That was actually better than I had expected.

For me, I've got a million programs and utilities installed. It isn't copying the disc contents that I'm worried about, it's reinstalling all the apps. It's getting all those things working along with my options and settings. Band in a Box, clippath, puretext, phonetray, printer over the network, macro express, scrivener, and many more.

Yesterday, due to some malware (search.conduit.com -- system restore didn't fixt it), I needed to reset Firefox. Took a half day to get things pretty-much back to normal.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:10 PM   #38
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Trying out some laptops in stores ("showrooming"), I've found that for some, the keypad buttons are way too hard to press. I've seen complaints about that online as well. Has anyone had that problem?
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:29 PM   #39
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I bought an HP laptop, my first Windows computer since I built a PC back in the late '90s which ran Windows 98.

HP laptop had touch screen and came with Windows 8. I upgraded to Windows 8.1. Tried some of the apps. in the Win 8 store but found myself installing some desktop apps -- Thunderbird, Chrome, iTunes, Quicken and Lightroom.

So most of the time is spent on the desktop.

Touch screen still works for desktop apps, which were more designed for mouse control. But I picked up a cheap wireless Logitech mouse too, because the trackpad on the laptop is pretty bad.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:48 PM   #40
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Trying out some laptops in stores ("showrooming"), I've found that for some, the keypad buttons are way too hard to press. I've seen complaints about that online as well. Has anyone had that problem?
No. I use a USB keyboard. I don't like any laptop keyboards except for occasional use.

-ERD50
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