Monday, October 17, 2011

Windows 8 Tips-Windows 8 Tricks- Windows 8 Secrets

34. An Explorer secret
Windows Explorer now includes a Ribbon interface. This is context-sensitive, which means it displays different sections according to what you're doing - and so until you click on an executable file in Explorer, for instance, you'll never know that it has an Application section. Click this, though, and you'll find options to pin the file to the taskbar, run it as an Administrator, or another user, or troubleshoot compatibility issues if it won't run at all.

Similarly, there's a "Shortcut Tools" which appears when you select a shortcut, although this only has one option: to open whatever folder the shortcut is pointing at.

Windows 8 ribbon

35. Hiding the Ribbon
If you find the ribbon takes up too much space then there's an easy way to leave it hidden.
Hold down the Windows key, press R, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
Expand the Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Explorer section of the tree.
Double-click "Start Windows Explorer with the Ribbon minimised", set the value to Enabled and click OK.
And if you start Explorer, the ribbon won't be displayed by default. Click the Down arrow to the left of the Help icon if you'd like to see it.

36. Quick Access Toolbar
The latest Explorer features a Quick Access Toolbar immediately above the menu, providing easy access to options like "New Folder", "Minimise", "Undo" and more.
This is customisable, too - click the arrow to the right of the default buttons, in the Explorer window caption bar, and choose whatever options you need. And you can include add any other ribbon option on the Quick Access Toolbar by right-clicking it and selecting Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Windows 8 quick access toolbar

37. Disk error checking
Windows 8 now offers an extra option when checking a drive for errors. Right-click the problem drive in Explorer, click Properties > Tools > Check Now and you'll have two choices.
The first is the regular "Scan drive" option, which conveniently allows you to work while it runs, but may not catch anything.
The second is a new "Scan and repair" option, though. This locks the drive so you can't use it while the operation is running, and may require a reboot, but is more likely to fix all your problems.

38. Improved file copying
Try copying files in Explorer and you'll see an enhanced dialog which provides more information about what's happening. If there's a problem, you can click the Pause button to stop the operation for a while. And, if there are conflicts, deciding which files to keep and which to drop is easier than ever.

Windows 8 copy dialog

39. Mount ISO files in Windows 8
Need to take a closer look at an ISO file? Right-click it in Explorer, click Mount and you can view it as a virtual drive, launch the files it contains, or add more if you like.

40. Windows 8 Folder Options
The Windows Explorer Folder Options has moved: again. There's no Tools menu any more, but if you click File > Change Folder and Search Options then the old dialog will appear.
Alternatively, you can still load it from the old Control Panel. Hold down the Windows key, press R, type Control.exe and press [Enter] to launch Control Panel, choose "Large icons" in the View By list, and click Folder Options to open the dialog.

41. Open in a New Process
Windows 8's Explorer seemed stable to us, but if you find one instance keeps crashing and taking down others then try opening them by clicking File > Open new window > Open new window in new process. Explorer will then run the new window in a separate Explorer.exe process, so if it fails then other Explorer.exe instances are less likely to be affected.

42. Restart Explorer
If Explorer locks up for some reason, then regaining control is now very easy. No need to close the process any more: simply press Ctrl+Alt+Esc, select Explorer in the list and click Restart.

Windows 8 explorer

Windows 8 tips: troubleshooting

43. Virtual installation issues
If you've tried installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine you may have come across some problems. VMware Workstation 7 isn't up to the task, and Microsoft's own Virtual PC and Virtual Server also fail.
The best free option is to use the latest version of VirtualBox, then. VMware Workstation 8 and Parallels 7 on the Mac are also reported to work.

44. Troubleshoot performance problems
If your Windows 8 system seems sluggish and you don't know why, the new Task Manager may be able to help you uncover the cause.
Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch it, or right-click the taskbar and select Start Task Manager,
The Processes tab then gives you a detailed view of what's currently using your CPU time, RAM, hard drive and network bandwidth. The Performance tab gives you a graphical view of resource use, and the App History dialog shows which app is the most resource-hungry.

Windows 8 task manager

45. Metro apps won't launch
You click a Metro app, and the time moves but nothing else happens? This may be a display issue. Metro apps don't currently support screen resolutions lower than 1024x768, so increase your resolution if possible (launch the desktop, right-click, select Screen Resolution).
If that's no help, update your video drivers. And user account issues also seem to be a common cause. Try creating a new user account with a different email address to the one you're currently using.

46. Old Task Manager
If the new Task Manager doesn't quite suit your needs, then the old one is still easily accessible. Hold down the Windows key, press R, type TaskMGR and press Enter to launch it. (Typing TM will launch the new version.)
47. 16-bit Applications
Having problems running some ancient 16-bit application? It might be a good time to ask if the program is really essential. But if the answer is "Yes", launch the regular desktop Control Panel, open the 16-bit Application Support applet and click Enable.

48. Windows 8 crashes
When Windows 8 has a blue-screen crash it displays a far less intimidating status message than previous versions of the operating system. It also has much less information about the cause of the problem, though if you look immediately below the "now it needs to restart" message you may see something helpful.

Windows 8 bsod

49. Device Manager Events
If you've a driver or hardware-related problem with Windows 8, launch Device Manager, browse to the relevant device, right-click it, select Properties and click the new Events tab. If Windows has installed drivers, related services or carried out other important actions on this device then you'll now see them here, very useful when troubleshooting.

50. Repairing Windows 8
If Windows 8 stops working at some point (quite likely - it's a very early version) then there are new ways to restore normal operations.
If Windows will start, select the Metro Control Panel app, and click "General". Choose the Refresh option to essentially reinstall Windows while keeping your data. Alternatively, choose the Reset option: this restores Windows but removes your data and applications as well.
Windows 8 won't start? Then boot from your original installation disc, instead; choose your language and keyboard; click "Repair your computer", then select "Troubleshoot". Again, you may refresh or reset your PC. Click Advanced Options, though, and you'll find tools to restore Windows from a previous restore point or system image file, as well as an Automatic Repair option which looks for and fixes some common startup issues.

Or, if you don't like Metro, open the new Recovery applet in the old Control Panel: it has all these options and everything else you need to get your system working again.

Repair windows 8

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