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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#1
JorgeA

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Well, I've been experimenting with the Windows (8) Developer Preview in more depth, and I'd like to share my thoughts and experiences.

Program compatibillity is of course one of the most important factors in deciding whether to switch to a new OS. I was also curious to see how the Metro interface would handle newly installed programs. So I downloaded and installed current versions of Firefox (9), HandBrake, and Spybot Search & Destroy (1.6.2). These three programs have worked flawlessly so far.

If the program goes through an installation process, a new plain tile with the program's name will appear at the far end of the Metro start screen. If you expect to use the program often, you can drag the tile over to the left end, although that process is somewhat clunky.

One interesting (not sure if good) outcome is that the individual subprograms within a main program get their own tiles. For instance, after installing Spybot I ended up with tiles for main Spybot, the file shredder, the update function, and uninstall. I wonder if it's possible to merge these back into one tile -- install enough applications, and you could end up with hundreds of tiles and tons of Start screen pages to scroll through. The current, "classic" All Programs menu makes for a much more compact lookup experience.

One note about Spybot 1.6.2: Remarkably, this little program works without modification or glitch not only on Windows 8, but all the way back to Windows 98 (and 95, for all I know).

The same thing, unfortunately, can't be said for the Spybot 2 beta, which I tried using before 1.6.2. It didn't work: I kept getting errors about a missing this and an invalid that, culminating in one of the newfangled BSODs with the "sad" emoticon. I suppose that it was a bit optimistic to run beta software in a pre-beta OS and expect everything to work.

The crash leads me to an observation about the new BSOD: It automatically reboots the system after a few seconds -- plainly not enough time to take down the error information (which additionally is given in small, low-contrast type, which means that it takes even longer to discern what it says). This is not a step forward. Feature improvement: Do NOT reboot automatically, give the user the chance to pause the process so he/she can write down the error information! If this is already possible, then for heaven's sake tell the user how to do it (in easy-to-ready type) ON THE BSOD SCREEN.

I just returned to the Windows 8 preview after letting it work overnight. Went back into the Start Screen, and lo and behold! the weather app has once again returned to showing me the weather in what it sems to consider the center of the universe -- Anaheim, California. I've already changed it to a town in my own state TWICE, and (thought I had) removed Anaheim from the display options. What's up with that?

Update: Next time I returned from typing this to the Metro screen (it's on a different PC), the local weather info had returned on its own. That's good, but I thought that a selling point for these Metro tiles was that they provide information the user wants, so why not just give the local weather that the user has selected, in the first place?

More about app tiles: You can't right-click on an app in the Metro Start Screen to reach the context menu in order to look up properties, rename it, scan it with security software, or run it in administrator mode. For that you have to go to the Desktop... and be lucky or prescient enough to have a program icon for it, since you can't get into the REAL Start Menu. Right-clicking on a tile (or on the search result, if you used the Metro Search function) simply places a check mark of mysterious significance in the upper right.

One last thing: I haven't found a way to select Safe Mode if you want to boot into it for a given reason.

--JorgeA

EDIT 2/26/13: Added subtitle

Edited by JorgeA, 26 February 2013 - 09:11 PM.



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#2
Win2k3EE

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Hello every1! I have to say I like Win8 so far...I'd like though some improvements here and there...:D

#3
Kelsenellenelvian

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I would like to try Win8 out but after all I have read it wouldn't be a good idea because I like my PC and OS to work for me not the other way around.

#4
MagicAndre1981

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If the program goes through an installation process, a new plain tile with the program's name will appear at the far end of the Metro start screen. If you expect to use the program often, you can drag the tile over to the left end, although that process is somewhat clunky.


yes ,this is ugly. Very often you have 2 icons (1 of the program and 1 of the uninstaller) which look the same, so it is difficult to see which is the one you want. So you must unpin the uninstaller first. Doing this after each install is horrible. :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad:

The crash leads me to an observation about the new BSOD: It automatically reboots the system after a few seconds -- plainly not enough time to take down the error information (which additionally is given in small, low-contrast type, which means that it takes even longer to discern what it says). This is not a step forward. Feature improvement: Do NOT reboot automatically, give the user the chance to pause the process so he/she can write down the error information! If this is already possible, then for heaven's sake tell the user how to do it (in easy-to-ready type) ON THE BSOD SCREEN.


this is the default setting for the last Windows version. Uncheck the option in the advanced system properties.

More about app tiles: You can't right-click on an app in the Metro Start Screen to reach the context menu in order to look up properties, rename it, scan it with security software, or run it in administrator mode. For that you have to go to the Desktop... and be lucky or prescient enough to have a program icon for it, since you can't get into the REAL Start Menu. Right-clicking on a tile (or on the search result, if you used the Metro Search function) simply places a check mark of mysterious significance in the upper right.


when you try a rightcclick you see a new bar at the button with advanced settings and the option to unpin apps. Here you can choose to run applications as admin.

One last thing: I haven't found a way to select Safe Mode if you want to boot into it for a given reason.


press SHIFT and F8 the same time. This took me 2 weeks to figure this out :realmad:
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#5
JorgeA

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The crash leads me to an observation about the new BSOD: It automatically reboots the system after a few seconds -- plainly not enough time to take down the error information (which additionally is given in small, low-contrast type, which means that it takes even longer to discern what it says). This is not a step forward. Feature improvement: Do NOT reboot automatically, give the user the chance to pause the process so he/she can write down the error information! If this is already possible, then for heaven's sake tell the user how to do it (in easy-to-ready type) ON THE BSOD SCREEN.


this is the default setting for the last Windows version. Uncheck the option in the advanced system properties.

Thanks, Andre.

I have yet to get a BSOD in Win7, so I hadn't run into this issue. I guess I can say that I got a BSOD in Win8 before I ever had one in Win7. (For Win8 fans -- yes, I know this is only a pre-beta version...)


More about app tiles: You can't right-click on an app in the Metro Start Screen to reach the context menu in order to look up properties, rename it, scan it with security software, or run it in administrator mode. For that you have to go to the Desktop... and be lucky or prescient enough to have a program icon for it, since you can't get into the REAL Start Menu. Right-clicking on a tile (or on the search result, if you used the Metro Search function) simply places a check mark of mysterious significance in the upper right.


when you try a rightcclick you see a new bar at the button with advanced settings and the option to unpin apps. Here you can choose to run applications as admin.

Hmm, I did see that bar along the bottom, but it didn't register -- attention was focused on that mysterious new checkmark in the top right corner of the tile.

Now, let's do a click comparison. Suppose you're in the Desktop and wish to run Spybot (or any other program) as an administrator, and you don't have a desktop icon for it, but it's listed (without being pinned) on the Start Menu because you use it fairly regularly. In Vista and Windows 7 you can click on the Start orb, then right-click on the icon for Spybot (or whatever), then click on "Run as Administrator." That's three steps.

In Windows 8, to accomplish the same thing from the desktop (which is where most real work will be getting done from), you click on the Start thingie that replaced the orb, then (assuming you've moved the tile to the initial screen because you use it fairly regularly) you right-click on the program tile. Next you click on "Advanced Settings," and then click on "Run as administrator." That's four steps.

And if you want to rename the file, or scan it with an antivirus program, or view the Properties, then after clicking on Advanced Settings you have to click on "Open file location," then right-click on the file in Windows Explorer, and only then finally get to perform the action you desire. That's two additional steps, for a total of six, or twice as many as in today's Desktop.


One last thing: I haven't found a way to select Safe Mode if you want to boot into it for a given reason.


press SHIFT and F8 the same time. This took me 2 weeks to figure this out :realmad:

Wow. But, thank you for the information!

--JorgeA

#6
Aloha

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JorgeA,

I think you don't need to install any extra antivirus or anti-spyware programs. Just go to Action Center and make sure all the options there are on; Network firewall, Windows Update, Virus protection, Spyware and unwanted software protection, Windows Smartscreen, and so on ... Windows Defender works fine and it keeps my computer completely clean.

#7
JorgeA

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JorgeA,

I think you don't need to install any extra antivirus or anti-spyware programs. Just go to Action Center and make sure all the options there are on; Network firewall, Windows Update, Virus protection, Spyware and unwanted software protection, Windows Smartscreen, and so on ... Windows Defender works fine and it keeps my computer completely clean.

Aloha,

Thanks, but I don't trust having a single malware application, that's why I use Spybot resident as a second line of defense (it doesn't conflict with your main AV program).

Most importantly, though, I set it up on this Windows 8 Preview as a test of the new OS. It passed that one. :)

--JorgeA

#8
MagicAndre1981

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The Defender is crap. It slows down Windows soooooooooo much. Uninstalling the 5 Defender packages makes Windows 8 much, much faster.
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#9
JorgeA

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In the Vista desktop, it takes at most four actions to launch Windows Defender: Start --> All Programs --> scroll to Windows Defender (if necessary) --> click on Windows Defender.

From the Windows 8 DP desktop, you can click on Start, type "def" (three keystrokes), click on Settings, and then click on Windows Defender. That's a total of six actions. How is that better?

There is no Metro tile for Windows Defender. There must be a way to create one. Then you could be in Defender in one click. Even so, that's no improvement over having a Defender shortcut on the Desktop, which also gives you one-click access.

And I still haven't found a simple way to open a context menu for an application, comparable to right-clicking the program's listing on the current Start Menu.

--JorgeA

#10
JorgeA

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Some further notes:

1. In the Win8 preview, putting a CD or DVD in the optical drive has zero effect for me -- that is, not only does the autoplay window not pop up, but the disc isn't even listed in Windows Explorer. (The same discs show up fine in the same PC if I boot into Windows 7.)

2. On the other hand, USB flash drives are found right away. Playing a movie in Windows Media Player (again in Win8) gave me audio that was quite a bit behind the video. (The same file, when played on our TV -- the TV has a USB port -- was much better synchronized, though not perfectly.)

3. There is no Word or Microsoft Works installed, so out of curiosity I tried to open some DOC files off the flash drive. Though I was in the Desktop, a Metro-style popup appeared, inviting me to visit the app store for a program that could open the file. This is in contrast to Windows behavior up till now, which is to ask, in a neutral way, which program I'd like to use to open the file.

--JorgeA

#11
MagicAndre1981

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1. do you use an IDE DVD drive? If es, configure it as master

3. Word was never part of Windows.
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#12
JorgeA

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1. do you use an IDE DVD drive? If es, configure it as master

Thanks, I'll have to check on that. The DVD drive is internal. Why would that change make any difference, considering that the same drive works in the same computer in Windows 7? I wonder if it might simply be another feature that's missing from the Developer Preview.

Just to make sure -- note that I'm not talking about booting from CD/DVD, I'm referring to reading a CD/DVD when in Windows.

3. Word was never part of Windows.

Yes, I know. :) I was testing to see what Win8 does when you give it a file type that it doesn't know about: you get pointed to a (Microsoft) app store.

BTW, one of the many optical discs that didn't get recognized was Office 2000. I wanted to see if that suite would still work in Windows 8. Confirmation will have to wait.

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 31 January 2012 - 12:43 PM.


#13
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MS probably get the idea for App Store, from Apple-Store or Sony's PSN.
More updated version of search Web for non-registered extension, but instead letting user search in wild-web, Microsoft has done it for users (with a price).

To milks more money from the users, visiting the Microsoft App-Stores might be the default action, instead of classic action to look for programs in user' harddrives.

I bet my two cents, that MS will not make it easy to change suggested the app-store vendor (from MS app-stores to another),
just incase some independent vendor decided to setup their own app-stores.

Edited by Joseph_sw, 31 January 2012 - 01:55 PM.


#14
MagicAndre1981

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Thanks, I'll have to check on that. The DVD drive is internal. Why would that change make any difference, considering that the same drive works in the same computer in Windows 7? I wonder if it might simply be another feature that's missing from the Developer Preview.

Just to make sure -- note that I'm not talking about booting from CD/DVD, I'm referring to reading a CD/DVD when in Windows.


I also talk about the same:

http://social.msdn.m...9b-5f11ec0fc453
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#15
JorgeA

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MS probably get the idea for App Store, from Apple-Store or Sony's PSN.
More updated version of search Web for non-registered extension, but instead letting user search in wild-web, Microsoft has done it for users (with a price).

To milks more money from the users, visiting the Microsoft App-Stores might be the default action, instead of classic action to look for programs in user' harddrives.

I bet my two cents, that MS will not make it easy to change suggested the app-store vendor (from MS app-stores to another),
just incase some independent vendor decided to setup their own app-stores.

Joseph,

I'm afraid that you are going to be totally correct on this. :angry:

Not just a way to milk more $$$ from Windows users, but also yet another step in the dumbing-down of the PC, in this case channeling users to prefabricated sources for approved programs.

--JorgeA

#16
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Thanks, I'll have to check on that. The DVD drive is internal. Why would that change make any difference, considering that the same drive works in the same computer in Windows 7? I wonder if it might simply be another feature that's missing from the Developer Preview.

Just to make sure -- note that I'm not talking about booting from CD/DVD, I'm referring to reading a CD/DVD when in Windows.


I also talk about the same:

http://social.msdn.m...9b-5f11ec0fc453

Andre,

Thanks very much for the link, I read it. Here's a question --

Do you think this CD/DVD issue is a "design flaw," or a "feature" of Windows 8? Maybe optical disc recognition simply didn't make it into the Preview. But if the problem is actually a "feature" and people have to start tinkering with the insides of a PC case just to get standard, factory-installed devices to work, then without question Windows 7 will be the LAST version of Windows that I use. Until they fix this (among many other things).

--JorgeA

#17
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Optical drives on my machine work fine with the developer preview build, so I suspect it's more a "your machine" problem for some reason with the Win8 DP than a Win8 problem specifically. Not sure what it would be, though.
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#18
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Optical drives on my machine work fine with the developer preview build, so I suspect it's more a "your machine" problem for some reason with the Win8 DP than a Win8 problem specifically. Not sure what it would be, though.

cluberti,

That's reassuring -- at least it's not a general problem. Could it be an imperfect download or installation?

Anyway, it looks like I'm not the only one having this issue. In addition to the one MagicAndre linked to, there's this one.

@MagicAndre: I looked at the specs, and FWIW my Win7/Win8 PC's optical drive has a SATA interface.

--JorgeA

#19
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ok, if you use SATA drive, the new Zero power feature might be the cause :

Operating System Now Controls Power to Optical Disk Drives
Platform
Clients – Windows Developer Preview
Servers – Windows Server Developer Preview

Description
In previous versions of Windows, power to the optical drive was not managed when the optical drive was not in use. Now, if there is no media present in the optical disk drive (ODD), the operating system turns off the power to the optical drive. This feature is called zero power ODD (ZPODD). The feature is applicable only to optical drives that use a Slimline SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) connector.

Manifestation
We have not found any negative impacts from this new behavior; however, you should be aware of it as it may result in unexpected behavior of media-writing software.

Mitigation of Impact
To revert to always-on status, turn off this functionality in the Registry. The absolute path to the registry value is:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom\Parameters\ZeroPowerODDEnabled
Its type is DWORD (32 bit), and if its value is 0, then ZPODD is disabled; if it’s any other value, then ZPODD is enabled.


change the value and try again. Also starting with Windows 7, EMPTY drives are hidden by default. So if you don't have a DVD in the drive it is not shown. Also check this, please.

Edited by MagicAndre1981, 01 February 2012 - 07:34 AM.

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#20
JorgeA

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Andre,

Thank you for this information.

If I open Windows Explorer in my Windows 7, and the ODD is empty, when I click on Computer in the left panel the drive does show up in the list of drives in the right panel. If I then insert a disc, the listing will change to give the disc's title.

In my Windows 8, there is no listing for the ODD anywhere. Inserting a disc makes no difference: the ODD doesn't appear anywhere.

Therefore, when I saw the quote (which I assume comes from Microsoft)...

Manifestation
We have not found any negative impacts from this new behavior; however, you should be aware of it as it may result in unexpected behavior of media-writing software.

...I just had to laugh!

As I said before, it's ridiculous that, for Windows 8, average users would have to resort to Registry tweaks in order to recover basic functionality.

Now, as to the Registry item:

Description
In previous versions of Windows, power to the optical drive was not managed when the optical drive was not in use. Now, if there is no media present in the optical disk drive (ODD), the operating system turns off the power to the optical drive. This feature is called zero power ODD (ZPODD). The feature is applicable only to optical drives that use a Slimline SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) connector.
...
Mitigation of Impact
To revert to always-on status, turn off this functionality in the Registry. The absolute path to the registry value is:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom\Parameters\ZeroPowerODDEnabled
Its type is DWORD (32 bit), and if its value is 0, then ZPODD is disabled; if it’s any other value, then ZPODD is enabled.

I don't have that line in my Registry. It goes as far as HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\cdrom\Parameters\ but then the only thing under it is Wdf. I found no reference anywhere to ZeroPowerODD. (In case it helps, I have Build 8102.)

Notes on Windows Update: Clicking on the Metro tile for Control Panel to check for updates takes you to a screen that merely tells you that there is an update available -- there is no useful information about the update (other than the file size -- not even the name!) to help you decide whether you want to download it right away. Looks like another attempt to get users to unquestioningly download whatever comes down the pike.

If you want actual information on the update, you have to go to the "classic" Windows Update window. To get there from the Desktop takes six actions: click on Start --> Control Panel --> scroll down to "More Settings" --> click on it --> click on System and Security --> click on "Check for updates" under Windows Update. In my Vista Desktop, it takes three actions: Start --> click on Control Panel --> click on "Check for updates" under Security.

--JorgeA

#21
MagicAndre1981

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try to create the DWORD and set it to the value 0. Does this help?
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#22
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try to create the DWORD and set it to the value 0. Does this help?

Andre,

I don't have much experience editing the Registry, but I tried both (1) creating a new ZeroPowerODDEnabled key under Parameters with its own DWORD, and (2) creating a new DWORD value within Parameters. Neither change seems to have made any difference. Also tried switching their values between 0 and 1, and still no listing for the optical drive or disc.

Which of the above methods (1 or 2) should be the correct way to modify the Registry for this purpose?

--JorgeA

Edited by JorgeA, 01 February 2012 - 03:18 PM.


#23
MagicAndre1981

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you must create a DWORD (32Bit) under parameters and set it to 0.

If this still doesn't work, install the feedback tool and send a feedback report. MS promise they read every feedback.
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#24
5eraph

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Try rebooting after making each change, JorgeA.

#25
JorgeA

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Try rebooting after making each change, JorgeA.

5eraph,

Thanks for the tip. I tried it -- no dice. :no:

--JorgeA




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