Windows 8 Tips

Hey, this looks completely different, help!


General tips on win 8

To change settings, only a few are in the app interface, go to the desktop to change more.

DO NOT change the default browser! What happens if you do, then when a site tries to open a popup, I think it tries to open it in the default. and get's confused. Also apparently some of the internal interfaces rely on IE10 being the default.

I'm sure this will change in the future, but resist Firefox and Chrome asking to be the default until you use the system for a while.

Get your start menu back!

Go to, get Start8, best $5 you ever spent, restores original start menu and has even more customization... I run on the windows 8 desktop most of the time.


What's the difference between Windows 8 RT and Windows 8 Pro?

(This issue is somewhat confused by the difference in the hardware between the Microsoft RT and Pro tablet, explained later) .

RT is a limited version of Windows 8. Both versions have the "Metro" application interface, and will run "apps".

Both RT and "pro" run apps in this interface, like a tablet.

The difference is the desktop... which looks like the standard Windows 7 desktop with one exception, no start button in the lower left. (More on that later)

On RT you cannot add any programs that run on the desktop, just what is provided: Office 2013 Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and OneNote.

Pro is basically Windows 7 with the tablet-like "Metro" interface added.

Note that Internet Explorer can run in both the app interface (Metro style), and also on the desktop.

What is the difference between the hardware for Microsoft RT & Pro tablets?

The major differences are weight and thickness. Also, the Pro will make more heat, it has a vent slot around the periphery (of course it is an i5!)

The RT is really thin and light, same specs as an iPad.

The Surface pro is thicker (1/2 inch thick) and heavier (2 pounds vs. 1.34 pounds)

The Pro has a 1920 x 1080 vs the RT 1366 x 768.

Both use the same keyboards, have HDMI output and USB. There is a 3.0 USB on the Pro.


Turn off that stupid onedrive

 Jeeze, I hate the cloud. With all the stealing of information, now this stupid onedrive comes on all the time. This should work in windows 7 up.

  1. Run gpedit.msc. from the run box, or command line..
  2. Expand Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components
  3. Select OneDrive
  4. On the right hand side, double click Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage
  5. Select the Enabled radio button
  6. Notice you can turn off a couple of other aspects.


Getting rid of that annoying skydrive icon everywhere

IE10 - 2 of them?

There's sort of "two" versions of IE 10, the Metro version (the icon is white with a blue background), and the "desktop" version (the icon is a blue E with a gold ring). Many websites may need to be run in compatibility mode... and I'll be darned how to turn this on in the "Metro" version. So you can make IE come up in the desktop version by going into the tools menu, then under programs, you will see a checkbox that says "open internet explorer on the desktop"... check this and it will open the familiar desktop version.

Surface Tablet tips

You have an abbreviated keyboard... there are no function keys identified, but just use the top row (not counting the ESC key) for 1 through 12 (the del key is not part of them) WITH the Fn key below.

ctl-alt-del can be simulated by pressing the windows key ON THE TABLET and tapping the power button. You get LOCK, SWITCH USER, SIGN OUT, CHANGE PASSWORD, TASK MANAGER... wahoo


Hybrid sleep and shutdown modes

New features are these "hybrid" modes. The hybrid sleep mode has been around a while, but the hybrid shutdown mode needs to be understood.

To do a fast startup, instead of "booting clean", the system actually does a "hibernate" of the kernel session. So when you start up, the operating system kernel just comes out of hibernation, and then you start your programs.

The problem is that if there is a problem in your kernel session, it won't go away because you are not really doing a "clean boot" from scratch.

I normally set my laptop to hibernate when closing the lid, and many modern laptops are SSD drives, so I can have my fast startup anyway. I WANT to be sure when I reboot, it REALLY reboots.

So I disable the hybrid shutdown, has solved a number of issues for me and people I've helped.

Go to the power options in the control panel, under "change what the power button does", and uncheck the "turn on fast startup". Be aware you may have to click the link that says "change settings that are currently unavailable".


Find local ssids in RT.

netsh wlan show networks mode=bssid



create a new dword (32bit ) valueLayout_MaximumRowCount and set to the rows desired, in this case 4, but seems I could not increase it, only decrease it. Stay tuned.


Getting slingplayer to work with windows 8 RT

It's been done:


Windows 8.1:


  • Search integration: Windows 8.1 features a single search feature that will return results for a search from your computer, your applications, and the web.
  • Updated basic apps: The standard Windows 8 apps are updated and retooled in 8.1, including the mail, photo, people, and calendar.
  • Cloud storage: SkyDrive is the default location for saving documents as opposed to the C: drive, for example.
  • Internet Explorer upgrade: With Windows 8.1 you get the updated Internet Explorer 11.
  • Apps: One of the new apps included with 8.1 is Fresh Paint, an updated and modern interface version of the venerable Paint program.
  • Search improvements: Besides integrated search, Windows 8.1 also includes several new Bing apps, such as Bing Sports, Bing Travel, and Bing Health & Fitness.
  • Windows Store: The Windows Store has been redesigned to be simpler to use and to provide you with a better shopping experience. Apps should be easier to discover with 8.1.
  • Compatibility: Windows 8.1 is completely compatible with all Windows 7 apps, including Office 365.
  • Adaptable windows: In Windows 8.1, you can have up to four apps on the screen at the same time and you can size and arrange those windows anyway you choose.
  • Multi-monitor support: Windows 8.1 has a more coherent approach to support for multiple monitors, whether operating in the modern interface or on the traditional desktop.
  • Across devices: Personal settings for desktop backgrounds, favorites, documents etc. can synchronize across various Windows 8.1 devices.
  • Social connections: Windows 8.1 Preview expands on the concepts of social connections by integrating social features into Outlook, the Mail app, the People app, and Skype.
  • BYOD: Coupling 8.1 Preview with Windows Server allows more flexibility when managing personal devices in the enterprise.
  • Security: Enterprise-grade security is available through enhanced access control, data protection, and encryption.
  • Connectivity: Windows 8.1 Preview includes several improvements to connectivity, such as enhanced mobile broadband functionality, NFC based tap to pair with enterprise printers, and native Miracast wireless display capabilities.
  • Annoyances: Many of the complaints about Windows 8 revolve around what I would classify as simply annoying. Windows 8.1 Preview fixes a few of these:
    • Shutdown/Restart/Sleep: A user can now Shutdown, Restart, or put a PC in Sleep mode from the Desktop by right-clicking the Windows button (where the old Start Button used to be) and navigating to the appropriate menu item. Total number of clicks required for the procedure - two.
    • All Apps: Users can see all the available apps by clicking the arrow on the Start Screen. (To see the apps in Windows 8 you had to right-click on an empty part of the Start Screen.)

Office tip,


Show hidden drivers and unplugged devices

To work around this behavior and display devices when you click Show hidden devices:

  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
  2. At a command prompt, type the following command , and then press ENTER:
    set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  3. Type the following command a command prompt, and then press ENTER:
    start devmgmt.msc
  4. Troubleshoot the devices and drivers in Device Manager.

    NOTE: Click Show hidden devices on the View menu in Device Manager before you can see devices that are not connected to the computer.
  5. When you finish troubleshooting, close Device Manager.
  6. Type exit at the command prompt.
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