Category : Windows 8

Easy Reinstall – Windows 8

Windows 8 – Easy Reinstall
Reinstalling Windows used to be a pain because you had to find all your cd’s, dvd’s, product keys and whatever backups you have of your software and or data. Simply re-installing and getting operational again could easily take you more than a day. Windows 8 has streamlined the whole process, making it much easier for you, in less time as well.

First go to the Change PC Settings link from the Settings page. Under the General Tab, you’ll find you can “Refresh your PC” or “Remove everything.” Select the first option to restore Windows to its factory setting while leaving your personal documents, files and personalizations intact. If Windows is running sluggishly, or there’s a problem with the OS settings, or something has gone wrong with your hardware/software setup, then this is the choice to go for.

Using the second option performs a full reinstall, clearing out all your files and wiping the hard drive (so you’ll need to make sure you have everything backed up). Use this when you have a serious problem with Windows (such as a virus or a ton of spyware) and want to go back to square one.

My Week with the Surface Pro

I recently had the opportunity to spend a week using one of Microsoft’s new Surface Pro tablets, and let me tell you it’s a pretty powerful little machine. It’s very quick, responsive, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In the following lines here, I’m going to give you the good, and the bad in my eyes.

The Good:

As I originally stated, the surface is a pretty quick little machine, and boasts some pretty impressive resolution. It has a native 1,080 x 1,920 resolution. The touch screen is responsive.

The front and back facing cameras are also decent and the video quality is quite acceptable.

It comes with a stylus and some of the features are quite neat. I tried writing rather sloppy on the tablet in cursive and it seemed to pick up each and every one of my characters. I thought this was a pretty neat little feature.

The Bad:

If you are someone who has a difficult time seeing the smaller screen of the service, you might want to adjust the resolution. Well it turns out when you adjust the resolution, you can no longer utilize the full screen of the device. You have the black bars at the sides of the screen. I really wish there were some more options in light to adjusting screen resolution to something that will utilize the whole screen.

If you by the entry level 64 GB model of the surface you will soon find that after you install your office apps and small other things, you only have roughly 20 GB of free space available to work with. That is easy to overcome, but it requires you to purchase an additional x-SD card to store items on. After spending close to a $1000 dollars on the device, that is the last thing I want to do.

Mobility: I found quite often that while using it on the go, that I wanted to use a keyboard and a mou

Finally….

Overall I think this is a very fast and capable machine put out by Microsoft. Like or hate Windows 8, the device itself is quite impressive although I’m not sure it’s for everyone.

Windows 8 to Go Tested

Just the other day I thought I would go ahead and test out the windows 8 to go feature that is included with Windows 8 enterprise. I used a USB 2.0 device that had a 128 GB Solid State drive in it and began my work. I initially tried setting it up using the built in gui but soon found that while formatting the drive it would lose its drive letter and then fail. I eventually had to use the command line and the image.exe application from the Windows automated installation kit (AIK). It took about 12 minutes to get the whole thing setup and I was off. When you first plug it in it looks like you are starting your computer for the first time and it sets up the devices. The first time you boot it on a specific machine it does this but the second time it works fine. Once loaded, I was able to load all the applications I need and all drivers were detected as they should. Overall the response and interaction was as if I were sitting at my normal computer.

Windows Intune

Users always on the go? Having a hard time managing remote workstations? Need to ensure updates are installed on mobile workstations? Want to push apps to remote workstations? Well look no further, try Windows Intune. I recently came across a client that had many mobile users and we were having a very tough time managing them and ensuring they are up to date. What I came across was Windows Intune.

Windows Intune is essentially a cloud based management system for remote workstations. It gives you the ability to monitor antivirus activity using Windows Intune protection, as well as a web based update console that is much like WSUS on Windows server. It’s a very simple and easy project to use if you have many remote workstations. It literally took me about 10 minutes to get it setup and I was pushing agents out to the workstations. It even sent me an email alert when a computer detected malicious items on one of the PCs.

Furthermore if you sign up for Windows intune which is about $7 per workstation per month, you are given the ability to install Windows 7 Enterprise on your workstations. Microsoft essentially gives you a volume license key for the enterprise software for each pc using Windows Intune.

So if you are looking for an easy way to manage remote systems that never connect to the domain, I would recommend trying Windows Intune.

http://youtu.be/FidwAXN1mGQ

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Blue

Windows 8 blue is the code name for the upcoming milestone build of windows 8, also known as 8.1. Slated to go RTM around August 2013, 8 Blue has the potential to bring back a few familiar items. What exactly? Well the inter-webs have been bustling with rumors of Microsoft bringing back both the start button as well as allowing users to boot right to the desktop rather than the metro style apps. In my eyes this would be great for business users as many of them are going to stick with the tried and true computer at a desk and really have no need for touch screen or the fancy new tile layout.

Personally I do not mind no start menu as I typically pin all of my programs to the task bar and operate from there, but there are quite a few people of whom could easily get confused. I would compare it to having no steering wheel in your next car, and you have to figure out how to drive it.

What do you think?

Smaller Windows 8 Tablets on the way.

The rumor mill has been churning lately about what Microsoft’s second edition of the surface may look like. Well if rumors are true, you will be looking at a 7 inch version of the tablet. It appears that Microsoft has decided they needed a smaller tablet to compete with the likes of the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and iPad mini. What makes it even more interesting is that Microsoft recently changed its policy regarding the resolutions Windows 8 could run on. They are now stating it can run on as low as 1,024 x 768, when it was originally only slated for devices with 1,366 x 768 or higher. Yikes!

Windows 8 – Boot Directly to Desktop

One of the most annoying features of Windows 8 is the metro screen. Many users would prefer to simply boot directly to the desktop. There are rumors that the next update to Windows will add this feature back along with possibly the start menu. However until then, there are ways to make your OS boot directly to the desktop.

Use Classic Shell.
1. First of all download and install Classic Shell software using following link:

Download Classic Shell for Windows (http://www.askvg.com/classic-shell-get-classic-start-menu-and-explorer-toolbar-buttons-cut-copy-paste-etc-back-in-windows-vista-and-7/)

2. After installing Classic Shell, open Classic Start Menu Settings window. You can open it either by going to “All Programs -> Classic Shell -> Start Menu Settings” option or by right-clicking on Start button and selecting “Settings” option.

3. Now go to “Windows 8 Settings” tab in Settings window and make sure “Skip Metro screen” option is enabled.

4. That’s it. Apply the changes and restart or log off and get ready to directly boot into Windows 8 Desktop.

Toolbox for Windows 8 App

Toolbox for Windows 8
Toolbox is a productivity app found in the Microsoft Store that helps users customize their workspace with essential tools to help work and play better.

Toolbox allows you to view and play with up to 6 different tools at once, giving you the power and flexibility to customize your workspace for maximum productivity.

There are currently 11 included tools, with many more on the way!

Included Tools:
Web Browser
Calculator
Unit Converter
Facebook
Voice Notes
Notifier
World Clock
Weather
Doodle
Stopwatch
Notes

Keyboard Shortcuts App For Windows 8

Keyboard Shortcuts is an app you can find in the Windows Store that can teach you the shortcuts for Windows 8, Mail and Calendar. This app will help you to master the Windows 8 for the apps you’ll use most while running Windows 8.

Also in app search will help you to find the shortcut you are looking for Just launch the app and start typing. You will receive suggestions as you type and the results grouped by product.

Features
– Over 120 keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8, Calendar and Mail apps.
– Keyboard shortcuts are organized into color coded groups for each product.

Windows 8 Cheat Keys App

For those struggling to use the new Windows operating system, Microsoft was kind enough to offer an app in their Windows Store called “Windows 8 Cheat Keys”. The app is free to download and use. It offers an array of short cuts to help you maneuver thru Microsoft’s latest operating system. The app shows you how to pin items to the taskbar, how to rearrange tiles, hide those annoying notifications, and how to print screen. I found this free app to be very useful in learning short cut keys I wasn’t even aware about. One of the easiest way to find something is to simply start typing from the start screen the name of the app or file and Windows will find it for you.