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Win8 CP - Interesting findings

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#1 ericgl

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:25 PM

Please share and post here all the interesting stuff you've found digging through Windows 8 Consumer Preview (build 8250).

Note: I've installed Win8 CP x64 on a 2.5" SATA HDD on a Toshiba U400 laptop (ICH8 chipset) with AHCI set in BIOS.

Here's what I've managed to find so far:

1. keyboard shortcut: Windows Key + Plus: open the magnifier

2. keyboard shortcut: Windows Key + Space Switches between languages

3. Turning-off UAC does not allow Metro apps to run.

4. In the registry path: HKLM\System\ControlSet001\Control, the default value of BootDriverFlags is now 0x0000001c (28).

5. The new file-system ReFS (codenamed Protogon) will first appear on the Server versions of Windows 8.
Microsoft will enable ReFS on the consumer versions once they feel its ready for the masses (probably through a Service Pack).

6. Taking-out the HDD from the Toshiba U400 laptop and placing in inside an old Dell Inspiron 6400 with ICH7 chipset was smooth.
Win8 booted normally even-though this laptop doesn't have AHCI support. I placed the HDD back into the Toshiba U400 laptop and Win8 booted normally.
So Win8 is now more portable than ever. I didn't have to create a Windows 8 To Go USB stick.

7. Video files in MKV container are still not supported out of the box. So much for consumer-friendly :-(

8. WCID USB drivers are being worked-on by device manufacturers. Windows 8 final RTM will have some WCID drivers pre-built which have WHQL certification by the time it comes out.
This means that besides HID and Mass-Storage USB devices that require no special driver when connected - other device classes will also require no driver at all, or only once per driver class.
So this is good news.
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#2 ericgl

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:45 PM

In the Windows 8 partition (C:), besides pagefile.sys and hiberfile.sys, there is now also a swapfile.sys. I don't recall seeing this file in Windows 7.
Here's a (noob :wacko: ) question: why does Win8 need both a page file and a swap file? aren't these two the same?

There's also a BOOTNXT file there ,which I also don't remember seeing in Windows 7.

Edited by ericgl, 05 March 2012 - 01:47 PM.


#3 ericgl

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

- The size of the System Reserved partition is now 350MB, instead of 100MB in Windows 7.
- The Text-to-Speech voice is now a male voice, which sounds more human and natural than in previous versions of Windows.

Edited by ericgl, 05 March 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#4 panreyes

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

Probably BOOTNXT is a simple option file which tells BOOTMGR if it should boot as usual or boot troubleshooting utilities.

#5 sambul61

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

ericgl

Interesting finds. I think support for mkv playback and VHD mount in Win Explorer will be added in RTM, as Hyper-V integration is finalized. As to page and swap files both present, it might be related to efforts to improve memory usage and ensure Tablet compatibility, and may be gone in RTM. :)

Interesting "insider' Video on OS optimization.

#6 ericgl

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:25 AM

More good news, folks.
- CMD.exe, which is now called "Command Processor" can now be easily customized in terms of background color, font color and font selection.
People were able to do this before, but now now it's much easier, and your selections are remembered.

- I took out the 2.5" HDD and this time I put in inside an Asus laptop with HM55 chipset. Again - Win8 booted without a problem.

I'm starting to like this OS!! :good:

#7 ericgl

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:11 AM

I've found a bug with the Intel graphics driver build 2548 (which comes with Win8 CP).
It worked great on the Asus laptop with HM55 chipset, but when I put the HDD back into the Toshiba U400 laptop with ICH8 chipset, it caused flicker and screen corruption.
Going back to graphics driver build 1930 fixed the problem.

So while Win8 CP is portable out-of-the-box, graphics drivers are still not as "portable".

Anyway, continuing digging...

#8 ericgl

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:06 PM

Windows 8 is all about adjusting to the changes in the UI. Personally, I don't have a problem with adjusting to the changes, and I can do almost anything as quickly as in Win7 (or even quicker).
However, if you still miss the Start Menu and feel that you really can't live without it, here's a simple workaound:

1. Open Windows Explorer->View tab->check "Hidden items"

2. Right-click on empty spot on the Taskbar -> Toolbars -> New Toolbar...

3. Point to C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu, and click "Select Folder"

4. The new toolbar will show up on the taskbar, giving you a "Start Menu".



#9 fujianabc

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 01:43 PM

*
POPULAR

  • The new boot menu is actually a win32 GUI program. It's c:windowssystem32bootim.exe. You can even execute it in normal windows environment. It is equivalent to execute the command “bcdedit /bootsequence {xxxxx}” to set a temporal boot sequence in the next boot and then reboot.
  • The new bootsect.exe supports to write the boot sector in the exFAT file system. And the new bootmgr can read data from exFAT partition. The format.com in windows 8 can format an exFAT fs with boot sector. And it is easy to boot winpe from exFAT usb key or exFAT hard disk partition. If you rename grldr to “bootmgr” and place it in a bootable exFAT partition, you can boot grub4dos from exFAT now! :clap:
  • Windows 8 supports usb boot natively!! :clap: You needn’t make any change in registry or other place to make windows 8 usb bootable. Just extract install.wim to usb device with imagex.exe and create boot files with bcdboot.exe, then you can setup and boot windows 8 on a usb device.
    • Windows 8 can place pagefile.sys on usb boot device. So a computer can boot with only usb drive without the complaint of no virtual memory.
    • In usb boot windows 8, when you plug off the usb device. The system will not crash, everything just stops. When you plug in again, the system recovers.
    • The setup.exe program still cannot install windows 8 to usb device directly. So you need to install windows 8 manually with imagex+bcdboot.
  • The UEFI boot is user friendlier than previous version Windows. You can boot windows 8 with UEFI even on a MBR disk. It is no need GPT+UEFI, MBR+UEFI is also OK. Just use the /f:UEFI parameter in the new bcdboot to create the UEFI boot files on a FAT16/32 partition, and execute bootmgfw.efi in the UEFI environment.

Edited by fujianabc, 06 March 2012 - 01:52 PM.

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#10 ericgl

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 02:02 PM

Open CMD.exe, and type: Format /?
The help for the FORMAT command will show up, and at the end it mentions ReFS (/I:State) - switch for enabling or disabling integrity.

#11 edborg

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 05:15 PM

Windows 8 is all about adjusting to the changes in the UI. Personally, I don't have a problem with adjusting to the changes, and I can do almost anything as quickly as in Win7 (or even quicker).
However, if you still miss the Start Menu and feel that you really can't live without it, here's a simple workaound:

1. Open Windows Explorer->View tab->check "Hidden items"

2. Right-click on empty spot on the Taskbar -> Toolbars -> New Toolbar...

3. Point to C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu, and click "Select Folder"

4. The new toolbar will show up on the taskbar, giving you a "Start Menu".

Good find! :good:

I'm starting to like this OS!! :good:

To me, it seems a do-it-yourself OS :rolleyes: if one has to dig to find out the basic tools to operate.
Or perhaps this is only an attempt to educate those users who are addicted to "old" things like menus :crazy: to behave "the right way"! :dubbio:
It has always been a typical MS approach to give you what they think you should want!!!.
edborg

#12 Chefkeks

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:25 PM

Another finding: Bitlocker without TPM supports now a password for operationg system drives. Windows 7 only supports a USB Flash drive. Another small but really nice improvements, especially for older Computers without a TPM module. Check the group policy setting: Windows Key + R --- gpedit.msc --- Under Local Computer Policy navigate to Computer Configuration Administrative Templates Windows Components Bit Locker Drive Encryption Operating System Drives and double click on Require additional authentication at startup.

#13 sambul61

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

It has always been a typical MS approach to give you what they think you should want!!!.

Actually they give you what they want in this case - a much higher revenue stream. Just copied the idea from Apple Apps Store, and the way to push the user - give no other choice. If coupled with blocked boot of unsigned OS versions, will give very large revenue boost with little effort, since most Tablet Apps will be developed by 3rd parties. Sure, hackers will always have their choice, but not the "public at large". :) However, Win8 enterprise version will have normal UI for sure, meaning any version can be tweaked to have it.

#14 paraglider

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:50 PM

Other option for a windows 7 like start menu is vistart - http://lee-soft.com/vistart/. That's what I am using.

There is also Stardock start8: http://www.stardock....roducts/start8/

#15 panreyes

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:36 AM

ViStart is not exactly the same. Also, it gives an error on my computer when shutting down or rebooting.

#16 ericgl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:59 AM

I'm not a big fan of using a 3rd party app to add basic OS functionality.
However, you might try this app if you really need a Start Menu: Start Menu X

Just for the sake of trying new stuff, here's how Start Menu X v4.2 (default) looks like on my Win8 CP:
Posted Image

Note: I don't really need this menu, so I uninstalled right after I took this screenshot.
Installing it doesn't require a restart, but uninstalling did require a restart.

#17 ericgl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 10:39 AM

When using a two-monitor setup, you can now have a single wide wallpaper span across them.
Posted Image
More info here: http://windowsteambl...r-and-more.aspx

#18 MedEvil

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:01 PM

Havn't tred it yet on Win8, but Classic Shell is, imo, the best Startmenu replacement.

:cheers:

#19 paraglider

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:20 PM

Classic shell did not work for me on windows 8. It installed and ran but did not add a start menu.

I also am not a big fan of having to use 3rd party apps to get a start menu. But once you install more than a few programs the Metro start menu becomes unusable. It becomes one huge mess of buttons where its impossible to find anything. Also why did MS make it so hard to shutdown / restart.

#20 ericgl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:24 PM

The quickest way I found to Shutdown/Restart Win8 CP is to click Desktop and press Alt+F4.

Thinking about it, when using a tablet without a physical keyboard, one would have to either:
1. Go to Desktop, bring-up the On-Screen keyboard (shortcut on Taskbar or Desktop), and then press ALT+F4.
2. In Metro, Touch his user-name, select Sign Out, flick-up the Screen Saver, touch the symbol on the bottom-right corner.
3. Create a shortcut on the Desktop for ShutDown, and another one for Restart.
4. Use a Metro app for Shut-down released by some frustrated developer :) .
5. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL, and touch the symbol on the bottom-right corner.

Quick reminder on how to create a ShutDown shortcut:
1. Right-click the desktop->New>Shortcut
2. type: %windir%system32shutdown.exe -s -f -t 0
3. Click Next -> Name it what you like -> click Finish.
4. Optional: Give it a Shutdown icon by right-clicking the new shortcut ->select Properties ->Change Icon -> Select the red shutdown icon
5. Optional: Drag the icon to the Taskbar, and pin it there. This gives you a truly one-click Shutdown.


NOTE: Perhaps going to Power Options and changing the behavior of the Power Button to Shutdown would be the simplest way.

#21 paraglider

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:28 PM

Never would have guessed that.

#22 MedEvil

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 01:59 PM

Well, there's always the button on the computer. ;)

:cheers:

#23 Chefkeks

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:54 PM

I always use Windows Key + I which opens the settings (Charms bar -> Settings) and right there you have the shutdown options. So far easiest and fastest way is Windows Key + I ;)

#24 ericgl

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:56 PM

I always use Windows Key + I which opens the settings (Charms bar -> Settings) and right there you have the shutdown options. So far easiest and fastest way is Windows Key + I ;)

Hmmm...I overlooked that one. Thanks!

#25 sambul61

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 03:43 PM

You can boot windows 8 with UEFI even on a MBR disk.

Before one can boot Win8 from MBR partitioned disk, it may need to be installed to it. :) Unless you mean boot from VHD... There are reports on the web, Win8 doesn't want to install onto MBR partitioned disks, thus requiring to convert MBR disk to GPT, and then partition it. Anyone can share findings on that?





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