Etc.

Morning, folks. Hope you had a good weekend. I am typing to you this morning from my recently upgraded main PC.

On Friday, I did something I hadn’t even considered doing with past versions of Windows: running the upgrade script to update my main system, taking it from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro. I’ve preferred clean installations for ages, but after hearing the process could be relatively painless, I decided to give it a shot. After making a full image backup of my system, I downloaded MS’s upgrade tool, paid my 40 bucks, and let the script work its magic.

The only real casualty was Acronis TrueImage 2012, which the installer insisted was incompatible with Win8. I had to uninstall it, and then everything else went off essentially without a hitch. When the process was completed, my PC was running Win8, and all of my settings were still very much intact—network shares, permissions, remote desktop config, installed software, the works. I had to reinstall my printer drivers, but everything else seems to work just like it did before the upgrade. So far, I’ve not run into any problems that would shake my confidence in it.

And, yes, like Cyril noted, Win8 feels an awful lot like Win7. I’m not complaining, though, since my big worry was that the desktop experience would somehow be compromised. Instead, Win8 feels faster than Win7. The one place where there’s a big UI change that affects everday use is the Start menu, but it turns out the new Start screen is shockingly pain-free to use. You still roll the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and click to use it. Yes, it fills the screen, but the GPU-accelerated Modern UI stuff runs stupid-fast on a powerful desktop. Instantly, then, you can start typing in order to find the program you want, which is how I used the Start menu 90% of the time in Win7. Once you’ve picked your program, the GUI transition back to the desktop is again instantaneous. The Start screen works just as well as Win7’s menu, despite the different look.

Also, I’ve been playing with Win8’s Modern UI on my laptop, a little dual-core Pentium CULV system that’s just a half step above a netbook. On it, installing and updating Modern UI apps feels reasonably fast and smooth, like a fairly snappy tablet running Android or iOS or maybe a bit better. When I ran the same initial set of app updates on my desktop PC, though, the progress bars flew by with rapid violence. Like a dork, I laughed out loud at it, the contrast was so huge and comical.

It’s kind of nice to have the same software running on hardware spanning the gamut from a couple of watts to hundreds, so that comparisons are possible. Desktops may end up getting a new sort of respect out of this arrangement, once folks compare Surface to Sandy Bridge.

Comments closed
    • tbone8ty
    • 7 years ago

    where is the shut down and restart button?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      right hand charms menu, settings,then power

    • rwburnham
    • 7 years ago

    “the progress bars flew by with rapid violence”

    That made me laugh.

    • nstuff
    • 7 years ago

    I actually performed the in-place upgrade over top Win7 64bit Ultimate. The process was painless and only took about 20-30 minutes. I was impressed. The only casualty are the Logitech G930’s that apparently now want to be detected, undetected, detected, undetected, for about 5 minutes straight. Logitech says Windows 8 support is coming, but not here yet.

    I agree that the metro “start menu” is mostly painless for launching non-metro apps. It’s slightly annoying that it completely covers your whole monitor to quickly launch another app, but they made the transition so quick, that it’s only a minor quibble.

    My real beef is how the metro apps themselves must take up 66-100% of the whole monitor and kills multi-tasking. If you want to play a simple card game, you must use up nearly all of your 20″+ monitor to play the game. And please don’t tell me the 33% / 66% screen-sharing feature is a good substitute. If the future is metro, then they have a long way to go to remotely match the feature-rich “classic desktop” with regards to multi-tasking on a desktop PC.

    Now, for the tablet, the fact that apps take up 66% – 100% of the screen makes perfect sense on a 7-10″ screen where screen real estate is precious. And being able to share two metro apps on that tiny screen is a nifty feature for a tablet. But for the desktop, it is overly constricting. If you have two monitors, you can’t even have two metro apps running concurrently, each on their own monitor. Amazing to me that they made it so restrictive.

    I haven’t looked too much, but if there is a tweak out there to allow metro to run in a window, then that would be perfect. You could launch several metro apps in separate windows and use them all concurrently. Why this isn’t a built-in feature for those of us using Windows 8 on a desktop is beyond me.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Completely agree about Metro apps (or even other programs) taking up too much space for the information they display. I hope, based on Windows Phone 8 adding additional tile sizes, that something a *bit* more customizable and suitable is coming for regular Windows 8.

      What has bothered me the most so far is that if you are in desktop mode and open a file that is default opened by a Metro app it rips you away from the desktop and goes full screen Metro. This happened to me when opening a pdf and it was not only jarring, but was counterproductive to what I was doing. (I wanted to read the pdf alongside another program.) It’s one thing if you’re already in Metro UI, but Windows should absolutely not change which UI you’re in in a case like that.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    OMG SSK WAS RIGHT!

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      DON’T ENCOURAGE HIM!

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        IT’S TOO LATE!

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          I hope this won’t affect the SSK/Neely/Meadows love triangle :O
          I would hate for this to end that!

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            No worries, I’m RIDING the bench ready to sub in!

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            oh don’t you worry, meadows needs a break once in a while, you can sub in anytime….

            and chrispy, you’re looking fine…

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]desktops may end up getting a new sort of respect out of this arrangement, once folks compare Surface to Sandy Bridge.[/quote<] That's a bit of a stretch. The reality is they'll probably lose even more when people compare Ivy Bridge [b<]tablets[/b<] to the old laptops they're looking to replace, which already replaced their desktops years ago.

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    I haven’t read about Windows 8 hard disk footprint yet. Has MS decreased the Windows bloat compared to past versions? How much hard disk space is taken up after a full Windows 8 Pro install with all the updates? Inquiring SSD upgrade minds want to know.

      • Ryu Connor
      • 7 years ago

      One major change to the footprint of the OS comes from a more intelligent default page file size.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      A fresh install for me is ~17GiB.

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    How do I just bring back recent items?

    How do I search from one box for all items (docs/apps/settings,) not search, hit down arrow to where I need it, and hit enter?

    How do I get to documents/pictures/downloads in windows key+mouse press like I have on every other version of windows since the dawn of time? Note I know shortcuts can be created, I just work with a ton of systems and that fluidity and consistency is important, especially between 4+ versions of an Operating system…

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.wmlcloud.com/windows/complete-list-of-windows-8-keyboard-shortcuts-hotkeys/[/url<]

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        Great, but what happens when I go back to 7, or Server 2008, or XP, or Vista. Like I do all the time?

        Recent items + some standard consistency between Operating systems is just absolutely crucial. I’m going to have to buy a third party shell it seems. Even Vista I could adjust to.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          well, it’s not there. so either use it, or not. i realize you might not like it, but it’s how it is.

          • dpaus
          • 7 years ago

          [Yoda] Use it, or use it not. There is no ‘going back’ [/Yoda]

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      Ah, a usability issue. Those don’t exist, we must blindly accept the change for the sake of change. A phone GUI on a desktop is a good idea because the advertisements say so. You aren’t allowed to disagree, or SSK will troll all over you, saying he loves windows on one side, while spouting his love of APPLE out the other. Please, nobody notice the hypocrisy.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        lol. you know i don’t love apple. i just think they’re leading the market in some regards. that’s not the same thing.

    • Goty
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t know why this should come as a surprise. The changes from 7 to 8 are relatively minor even compared to the Vista -> 7 upgrade.

    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    I posted this in another post, but i have to repeat, if you are using motherboard proprietary drivers, such as:

    Digital VRM control
    USB on/off drivers
    overclocking software
    Windows BIOS UI

    It WILL cause problems. I spent hours trying to figure out what was causing so many BSOD errors (and the errors were always different) but it was Gigabyte’s software that was causing the problems. The pre-install scan didn’t catch them for some reason.

    Aside from that, yeah, the upgrade was great. The performance increase was so noticeable that I installed it on my laptop as well.

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    isn’t it strange that after all the qqing about the new interface, we’ve decided it’s
    [quote<] Start screen is shockingly pain-free to use [/quote<] who would have thought?

      • cygnus1
      • 7 years ago

      yup, how ’bout that.

      • Geistbar
      • 7 years ago

      People, especially enthusiasts, are terrified of change. Many people still cling to XP, and I’ve known far too many people that will immediately hit “cancel” the moment an update notice pops up. These people saw that there was something changing for Windows 8, so they “knew” that it was bad, instantly. I suspect in the long term it will end up like the ribbon interface — lots of teeth gnashing followed by most (not all, but most) people adapting to it and moving on without any complaints. Once people get dragged, kicking and screaming all the while, to make a change they’re generally OK with it (unless it’s actually a rather bad change, of course).

      I’m still somewhat worried about the future direction of Windows, in that MS seems to be going for a far more “closed garden” approach, but it’s nice to see that all of the Metro-interface worries haven’t amounted to much.

        • phez
        • 7 years ago

        the only thing thats “changed” is you get a multicolored-rainbow assault of boxes, tiles, and icons versus a simple list of items.

        if the end functionality is the same, its not somuch “change” as it is just “different”. and that is not reason for praise.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          the end functionality is improved. it’s faster.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            How is looking through a list of pictures, rows, and icons (many of which flash, animate, sizzle) faster than a simple alphabetical list that stays consistently where you expect it to be?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            they don’t move any more than win 7’s. they’re in the same place they always are. that being said, scott says that
            [quote<] Instead, Win8 feels faster than Win7. [/quote<] i understand you're frustrated with it, but having a start screen SAVES me clicks. either i don't have to click all programs for anything, and if i need to search, it still works. i realize the hit boxes are bigger in 8, but i'm not sure how that's an issue, it's not like they move all over the place. i understand you have issues with it.

            • phez
            • 7 years ago

            win8 is one hell of a placebo.

      • bjm
      • 7 years ago

      Go Sinofsky!

      • rrr
      • 7 years ago

      Because opinion of one guy apparently is opinion of everyone? I’ve used it, and do not agree at all. Same about shitty Facebook timeline. Corporations are retards, changing stuff just for the sake of change, without addressing, why is it even needed in the first place.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        YEAH. I GOT EVERYTHING DOWN WITH COMMAND LINE, WTF IS THIS CRAP!?

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          And yet you don’t know how to embed urls in TR’s comments.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            tell me about it. i’m as dumb as a rock.

          • rrr
          • 7 years ago

          If you do, I don’t see a problem.

          Do you? Everyone uses what they want to, so why are you getting so butthurt about me not liking Metro?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i don’t. see my next post where i say i’m as dumb as a rock. i can’t do ANYTHING command line (linux terminal not included). i’m not posterior sore, i’m just saying that the argument “never change anything cause i like it” is little weird. there are alternatives to replace it with the start menu. that’s all. i understand where you’re coming from, but since it IS so easy to replace the startmenu, i just don’t understand why people are so mad about it.

            maybe it’s because i’m so stupid that i like metro? does that make sense?

      • Bauxite
      • 7 years ago

      [mandatory plug][url=http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/<]Classic Shell[/url<][/mandatory plug]

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      No, that’s pretty standard for propaganda.

      • TEAMSWITCHER
      • 7 years ago

      Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Swimming, swimming, swimming.

      • dashbarron
      • 7 years ago

      Indeed SSK.

      I’m a little ashamed that 90% of the TR audience was QQing and whining about the start-menu…which has relatively 0 impact and still functions wondefully, if not better. This is an [intelligent] tech audience.

    • DPete27
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]the progress bars flew by with rapid violence. Like a dork, I laughed out loud at it, the contrast was so huge and comical.[/quote<] Sounds like my experience/reaction when I installed Win7 on my first SSD. Just rediculous.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      Watching Windows 8 boot from an SSD is equally jarring. it barely gets the Windows logo up on the screen and I’m at the login page.

        • drfish
        • 7 years ago

        I’m trying to get the “Ultra Fast” boot setting to work on my new ASrock board. Supposedly it means a 1.5 second boot time – and from what I’ve seen with just the regular “Fast” setting I believe its possible. I’ve also seen a few Intel boards boot Win7 super fast (~10 seconds) with the proper UEFI settings enabled (or disabled rather).

        • tootercomputer
        • 7 years ago

        I have the same experience on my old Gateway C2D laptop with Win 8 Pro on a 120G SSD. Also, if you want, there is a way to turn off the log-in page so that it boots directly to the Metro Start. It’s really fast. Gotta give MS credit for doing that right. Win 8 plus the SSD gives this old Vista-era laptop a new lease on life.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          anyone who wants to disable login, go to start, type “netplwiz” and uncheck require password at login. enter your password, and you’re good to go.

    • Helmore
    • 7 years ago

    Nice to hear. One nitpick I have, could we stick with calling it Metro, instead of ‘Modern’? ‘Modern UI’ seems so generic.

      • Sargent Duck
      • 7 years ago

      There is a retailer in Germany (Metro AG) that was going to open a lawsuit against Microsoft for trademark infringement. Rather than go to court, Microsoft just decided to change the name to “modern Interface”.

      It’s lame, but your nitpick is actually a several million dollar nitpick.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Only for Microsoft. We can call it whatever we want :p

          • superjawes
          • 7 years ago

          OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH. That’s why so many people call it Rainbow Colored S***.

      • xii
      • 7 years ago

      Ah, the joys of generic naming.

      That sounds a bit like what lots of Linux distributions have done with their application menus. For the sake of “user-friendliness”, they renamed popular software packages to “web browser”, “e-mail client”, “text editor”, etc. Of course, once you’ve installed different desktop environments and multiple applications, you just end up with lots of “web browser” and “text editor” options in your menu, without knowing which actual application lurks behind the respective menu options.

      I guess by the time Windows 8 comes around, we will have the “Modern Modern UI”, and Microsoft will happily have become more like “New New iPad” Apple.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Could be worse. Using XFCE on Fedora 17 and I could never find the calculator app. Turns out it’s called “speedcrunch”. Yeah, not quite what I would have guessed. I had assumed it was an archive file manager.

        Edit: typo

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    I don’t think I’ve ever done an in place upgrade to any version of Windows… [i<]Maybe[/i<] from 3.1 to 95 but that was too long ago to remember for sure - though it might explain why I haven't done it since. I'm happy with Win8 though, switched my laptop and main PC to it this weekend, installed it [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=83983<]on my new HTPC too[/url<] but that's not in daily use yet. Of course its not all perfect, [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=84325<]this is more than a little upsetting[/url<], still trying to work around that limitation.

      • Bauxite
      • 7 years ago

      Ditto, windows in-place upgrades are for [s<]beta testers[/s<] suckers. Make a new partition/drive/whatever, install to that, migrate anything you need. The amazing part is when you find out half the stuff you have added over the years you don't use/need/want anymore and end up with a clean system again. (for awhile anyways)

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 7 years ago

    Thank you for being the guine gerbil for us all. It appears I should drop the coin on Win8 while it’s still cheap.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    It’s frightening how well the exact same process went for my wife’s laptop. I did the full fresh install on my desktop, but she wanted to see if I could get away without reinstalling everything on hers. So I tried it and it was amazing. Like you I had to reconnect the printer, but otherwise it was perfect. She’s been on it for a week and her only complaint is that it also apparently reset the sleep time on the Balanced power profile. I showed her how to change it back and life has been very good.

    She’s all set up with the Metro email and calendar apps and the Metro version of Chrome and she’s very rarely on the desktop.

    Don’t forget to get a free Windows Media Center key for each of your PCs. Forge tipped me off to that – it’s free until January.

      • Ryu Connor
      • 7 years ago

      The amusing part is the upgrade process leverages tools that were available for the WinXP to Win7 transition. Microsoft just got off their tushes and integrated it into the install.

      Traditionally business had to setup this migration process in a custom install instead.

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