Windows 8.1

Santilli

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Would anyone be able to quantify the difference in file transfer between 7 and 8?

I think Tannin has an excellent point, in that Windows 8 means I will NOT be buying any computer with it installed.

While I get the wanting to have a computer like a phone, shouldn't it be the phone more like the computer?

I pretty much despise the idea of having finger prints all over my beautiful viewing screen. On a phone I don't have much choice.
On a computer? I'll never have a touch screen, unless someone is giving away a Panasonic with a touchscreen.
 

Tannin

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I agree with Dave. Well, OK, I'd quibble about a couple of (relatively minor) Windows 8 only "features" which do not afflict Windows 7 - there is some weirdness with dialogue boxes that even Classic Shell can't entirely iron out, for example, and a few other things which aren't occurring to me at this time of night. But these are not showstoppers, and they are in any case at least equaled by similarly stupid Win 7 design "features" which are actually fixed by Windows 8.

Mr Santillli sir, Dave is right: Windows 8 plus Classic Shell is clearly superior to Windows 7. Of course, you can also improve Win 7 by running Classic Shell on it, but it stil doesn't match Win 8 with Classic Shell.
 

Clocker

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How do Classic Shell and Start8 compare? Advantages/disadvantages of each?

Maybe I'll finally use my $40 Win8Pro disk. If I were to do a Fresh install, are there any recommendations? Slipstreaming 8.1 ? Do I need a Hotmail account? Thanks....I have not been able to follow this stuff!
 

Mercutio

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When you set up Windows 8, it prompts you to create a Windows Live account, which you might already have because you're a Hotmail, Windows Live, MSDN or Xbox user. You don't HAVE to create a Microsoft account, but you lose one of the nifty advantages of Windows 8, which is global storage of your user settings and apps via Skydrive. Your Windows 8 serial number won't install on valid 8.1 media (or at least my product keys wouldn't), so you will definitely have to start with Windows 8 and upgrade. But that's not a big deal: the 8.1 upgrade is more or less a service pack install.
As I recall Start8 is a commercial product while Classic Shell is free.

There's nothing wrong with Windows 8. Even without a Start Menu replacement, it's just as usable as 7 was and it's the first Windows OS I've encountered that's subjectively faster than its predecessors in every way. Some things changed. It happens. We've dealt with changes before and lived through them. You'll live with Windows 8 or 8.1 or 9 as well. Or maybe you'll move to Linux and be a big enough nerd to assert full, permanent control over your UI. Which is also a perfectly valid option.
 

ddrueding

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How do Classic Shell and Start8 compare? Advantages/disadvantages of each?
If you take out the fact that Classic Shell is free and Start8 is $5, the only difference I care about is that when there is an update to Start8, it (by default) will install a trial version of other software. I hate this trick, and will excuse it reluctantly on free software. However, it is annoying enough that I've removed software I paid for and replaced it with free software on customer machines.
 

time

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Even Java updates do this now, threatening to infest your machine with McAfee's pestilence.

I guess Larry must need the money to pay for his America's Cup defense.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The trick for Java and Flash is using either the corporate updaters for those products or digging up an appropriate third party updater like Ninite that takes care of it.
 

ddrueding

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Even Java updates do this now, threatening to infest your machine with McAfee's pestilence.

I guess Larry must need the money to pay for his America's Cup defense.
Indeed. But those are free and therefore partially excused by me. That I paid for a product and that company now saddles me with additional labor to maintain that product (removing their other crap when my users update) is unacceptable.
 

Clocker

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Anything functionality wise that Win7 can do that Win8 can't?
 

LunarMist

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Something strange happened. :dunno: My point was that Win 7 has some compatibility with older hardware/software that 8 lacks.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Anything functionality wise that Win7 can do that Win8 can't?
Windows 8 uses very hardware dependent version of Hyper-V and does not have the "free" XP Mode VM that 7 Pro, Enterprise and Ultimate were able to use. You're extremely lucky if you happen to have found a laptop with a mobile-class CPU that supports full hardware virtualization as required for Hyper-V.

Of course, nothing stops you from using VirtualBox or VMware workstation on the same machine, so that's kind of a nit-picky difference unless you were specifically depending on the free OS license.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I don't think Search has ever worked properly on Windows. 8's insistence on context is annoying and 8.1's is better in that respect, but it's something Microsoft has yet to legitimately get right in any edition of Windows.
 

Tannin

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I don't think Search has ever worked properly on Windows.
Hmmm .... It actually worked pretty much as expected on Windows 95, 98, and 2000. Windows XP borked the interface and out of the box was useless, but by setting preferences you could fix it and it worked fine after that. Primitive but perfectly usable. Not a patch on Everything or various other third party ones, but good enough to get the job done most of the time. Win 8 search is utterly unusable, the worst MS search of all time.
 

Tannin

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If you take out the fact that Classic Shell is free and Start8 is $5, the only difference I care about .....
Also, Classic Shell is vastly, repeat vastly more responsive to what YOU want. The options it gives you are fantastic! Classic Shell is Windows the way it always should have been. And you know what the best part is? It's that your idea of how Windows should look and act and my idea of how Windows should look and act are very different, but with a few one-time mouse clicks, Classic Shell gives us both exactly what we want. Who said the best things in life aren't free?
 

Bozo

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Back in the Windows beta testing days, Search was one of the biggest complaints of the beta testers. MS just ignored us.

And Bing is about the same; useless.
 

Stereodude

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Is there a RDP hack for Windows 8 or 8.1 like there was for Windows 7 so you could use remote desktop on the non Pro / Enterprise / Ultimate versions?
 

P5-133XL

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I didn't know there was a version limitation to remote desktop but if there is, use one of the imitations like VNC. I personally don't use remote desktop on anything because it is incompatible with folding so I use TightVNC, but there are many alternatives.
 

Stereodude

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As it ships you can't connect to a system running Windows 7 Home Premium using remote desktop. However, some people figured out how to re-enable that with a patcher that modifies a few of the windows system files. I'm guessing that Windows 8 / 8.1 have the same limitation for the non Pro versions.

In my experience remote desktop works much better than any of the VNC flavors I've tried in terms of performance and responsiveness. Especially when using it over a WAN link.
 

CougTek

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In my experience remote desktop works much better than any of the VNC flavors I've tried in terms of performance and responsiveness. Especially when using it over a WAN link.
Indeed. Time and I did some experiment with RDP a few years ago and it felt a lot more responsive than things like Teamviewer, Croosloop or VNC. We did it through an Hamachi VPN, between Québec and Australia (hard to find more distant places on Earth than that).
 

Clocker

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So I am using 8.1 Pro now and it seems to rapidly being easier to navigate as I get familiar with it. Not to bad, actually, even without Start8 or any other replacement. I'm trying to go without it just to learn the base OS.

One thing I DID find out, networked HP OfficeJect 8500 Pro A909 can no longer scan directly to a shared folder on this Win8 computer. Was fine when I was running Win7. Some research let me know it's a firmware issue with the printer...the A910 series got the firmware update to fix this very (Win8 only) issue but I guess HP decided the A909 was too old which is BS! Lucky for me I have a work around, I scan to a shared network folder on my WHS instead.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Something I'm seeing with 8.1 is weirdly long latency in wireless networking. I'm not sure why and at first I thought it was confined to Intel wireless adapters, but I've since observed it on Realtek as well. Basically every third or fourth ping request even to my local router jumps from less than 5ms to the 2 - 3 second range. For a LAN-local device. A consequence of machines I upgraded from Windows 8? My Surface Pro is fine. So far I've observed this on a couple Thinkpads, an HP ProBook and a Gateway Vomitbook.

Also, Windows Defender can no longer be disabled from the Services Console. Users have to specifically open the Windows Defender applet in control panel and turn it off from within the program. That's only a big deal to me because Windows Defender configures systems to ignore entries in the hosts file, preventing a completely valid form of malware prevention and ad blocking.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Another hilarious artifact of a Windows 8.1 upgrade: My non-default libraries and non-default subdirectories disappeared. When I went to add them back I was told the folders in question were already part of the relevant library and that those library names already exist. I had to re-set my libraries to default before I could recreate the libraries the way they had been prior to the update.
 

P5-133XL

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Defender does not update its anti-virus lists unless you do it manually or have the Windows auto-update turned on. It is possible (me) to want to auto-update defender and not auto-update Windows.

I have observed Win8.1 lagging with wireless too. Still it is much better than 8.0 where I would have my domain controller disappear from the network list (after not accessing it for a few hours) until I waited for a full network search to finish. I was never able to find the cause or the solution but the upgrade to 8.1 fixed it.
 

Chewy509

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Anything functionality wise that Win7 can do that Win8 can't?
There are a couple (as already mentioned).
Additional ones are:
1. Backup and Restore has been deprecated in Windows 8. It's now File Versions, if you are using the integrated backup solutions. (Backup and Restore can use network shares as a backup source, and looking at the documentation (and I could be wrong), File Versions is local backup disk only).
2. DX9 based GPUs are no longer supported. (Typically 40, 50-series and older Intel chipsets with integrated graphics). eg, no Atom based NetTops unless you have an Ion based one. (Most netbooks are out as well, due to the 1024x600 resolution they have, vs the 1024x768 requirement for Windows 8 - but that's been known for a while, and honestly I doubt a Atom based netbook could handle Win8 anyway).
3. Very limited support for U320 SCSI (U160 SCSI support is basically dead), with SCSI support being pushed for SAS controllers.
4. Rumored the 16bit application support in 32bit Windows 8.1 is basically broken... (not that people care, since everyone I know is using 64bit Windows these days).
5. Windows XP Mode (for Pro versions) is gone. (No idea when this happened). MS Virtual PC is not supported on Windows 8, instead they want you to use the Hyper-V client offering instead. (no idea how that works on Windows 8 Pro, most people use VMWare or VirtualBox).

Can anyone think of anything else?

Compatibility guide/changes: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/hh848039(v=vs.85).aspx
 

Chewy509

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Just something I've noticed... A lot of the complaints here are similar to what people whine about switching to Mac or Linux... eg, file copy being slow, wireless not working as it was (or should be), ZIP file extraction painfully slow, Library information being screwed up...

Not boasting about Windows being crap or anything, but just highlighting a general trend in the little problems being mentioned along the way... With all these little problems, is moving to Windows 8 really worth it? (as they say, death by a thousand paper cuts).
 

Clocker

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There are a couple (as already mentioned).
Additional ones are:
1. Backup and Restore has been deprecated in Windows 8. It's now File Versions, if you are using the integrated backup solutions. (Backup and Restore can use network shares as a backup source, and looking at the documentation (and I could be wrong), File Versions is local backup disk only).
I'm using File Versions to backup to a network folder on my file server. Didn't even need to create a mapped drive, it just uses the machine/share name. I like how File Versions works. You can tell it how often you want it to save a version of a file that's changing (i.e. 1hr for example) and tell it how long to save old versions (i.e. Daily, ever 3 months, forever whatever you choose). Also, if the network location you're saving to is temporarily not available, it'll cache the changes on your local drive (you can specify how much space to allocate to this) until that network source becomes available again.

I also like that it doesn't do any compression on the files, it just copies them over so they can easily be accessed if needed.

File Versions bascially eliminated my need to setup and configure GoodSynch.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Just to be clear, Windows 7-style backup is still present in Windows 8. It's called "Windows 7 File Recovery" and it's exactly the same as the backup tool that was in Windows 7 but getting to it in Windows 8 is a little bit obtuse unless you know the exact name or where to look for it. You're given a choice: If you turn on Windows 7 style backup you can't use File Versions and vice versa.
There's nothing that stops you from enabling Shadow Copies like you could with every previous version of Windows, though.
 

P5-133XL

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The Win7/8 backup is incredibly slow and has disk-size limitations as well as advanced-format issues. Restoring is quick though.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I'd just like it if Microsoft were consistent in how backup operates between Windows versions. Home and Pro versions of Windows have different capabilities and backups created on older versions of Windows can't be read on newer ones.
 

Chewy509

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I'm using File Versions to backup to a network folder on my file server. Didn't even need to create a mapped drive, it just uses the machine/share name.
Thanks for the info. As I said, the documentation doesn't make it clear. (And I only have Win8.1 in a VM solely for using "remote assistance" with the rest of the family who lice interstate, so certainly not a big user of Windows these days).
 

Chewy509

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I'd just like it if Microsoft were consistent in how backup operates between Windows versions. Home and Pro versions of Windows have different capabilities and backups created on older versions of Windows can't be read on newer ones.
My favourite was how backup sets created with NTBackup on Win98 was incompatible with NTBackup on Win NT4/2K... (and vice versa).
 

Chewy509

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The one thing I liked about the Win7 backup, was the backup itself was a dynamically sized VHD, which could be booted using VMWare/VirtualBox on another machine... (Most people didn't realise the backup file itself was a VHD, that literally was a block for block copy of the existing harddrive).
 

Tannin

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Just something I've noticed... A lot of the complaints here are similar to what people whine about switching to Mac or Linux... eg, file copy being slow, wireless not working as it was (or should be), ZIP file extraction painfully slow, Library information being screwed up...

Slow file copy is a Win 7 bug, Chewy. The horrible slow Win 7 file copies are a thing of the past with Win 8, which is truly excellent in this regard.

Worth upgrading to? If you are running XP or Vista, sure, Win 8 + Classic Shell is an upgrade in all respects. If you are on Win 7, please yourself. If you are happy with 7, keep it as-is. If you are buying new anyway, 8 is the better choice but 7 is OK.
 

Clocker

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I tried to give the Win8 Metro UI as much of a chance as I could. But, it really just sucks on a PC. On a phone or tablet I could see it working just fine.

Feels soooo good to have Classic Shell installed. Thanks for the tip!

I love the Win8 file copy dialog box. It dynamically shows the file transfer speed as it goes up and down with different files (i.e. lots of small files go smaller than my larger video files when transferring over my network). 112MB/s is not too shabby from my WHS box to my PC, with no type of Raid. Got the same speeds with Win7 by the way.
 
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