The Start Up Programs in Windows 8

With the introduction of Windows 8 Developer out, my take on this OS can be found HERE, left a lot of us users with a rather sour taste in our mouths. Not because of the OS itself, but because Microsoft left out a lot of features we gotten so used to out of Windows 8. One of these features is the Start Menu button, where we access all of our installed programs in Windows. I am happy to report that Microsoft did not do completely away with it, it just requires we users to think out side of the box to gain access to it.

Now there are several different ways we users can regain the Start Menu button, one is by way of a Registry hack, and another by a Ap that someone has made for us. By doing these “Tweaks” completely eliminates the Metro Start Up screen on Windows 8. This guide allows us to have our cake and eat it too. I will show you how to gain access to the Start Up Menu Program lists while keeping the Look and feel of Windows 8 intact. I implore you to read the Quick Launch Guide I did HERE, as you will need to unhide all of your hidden files and folders, also it will give you insight on how to do this “Tweak” easier. I should mention we will be placing this “Folder” as a Quick Launch So please read the Adding Quick Launch Guide.

On with the Show.

We at the DGC is not Responsible for your actions regarding your actions with the OS, If you crash, bash, or smash it you are on your own. Likely chance of this happening while performing this “Tweak” is nil to nothing.

Now after you have unhidden all of your files in Windows 8 (again Guide for that can be found HERE) and you are looking at your desktop, we need to unlock the task bar.

Goto an empty spot on the Taskbar and right click it, then to Lock The Taskbar and uncheck it.

If you have not already added My Computer, Network, Control Panel, User Folder. Please do so now (that can be found HERE). Now double click My Computer, and open it.

In the search window (it be the far right window, where the mouse is located at in the image), type in Start then hit enter.

This part gets a little confusing, you will need to locate the proper folder we need to use. You are looking for the folder with the address of C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs. (It is greyed out in the above image)

Now right click that search and open it up in a new window, fallow my mouse.

Now after you see that window open up on your desktop, Right click off to the left of the address bar (which has this displayed in it C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs)

Then to copy that entire address.

Return to the Taskbar, and right click it and then navigate to Toolbars.

Then navigate to New ToolBar.

You may have something else in this window, but it does not matter. Now right click (or highlight) the entire address that is displayed here.

And delete it, now right click in the address bar and paste the address C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs into there.

This is what you should have right now. Now Hit enter after you copied the address of C:\Program Data\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs.

Now just click Select Folder button.

That window disappears, but now we have a new Quick Launch of Programs on the right hand side of the Taskbar.

Now right click on the name “Programs”, then uncheck Show Text.

And we are all done, well almost. We have just gained the Start Menu Programs in Windows 8 with out eliminating the Metro Start up Screen. These next few images are me showing that it is indeed the “Actual” Start Up Menu” we have on previous OS’ from Microsoft.

Extra Images

Just before I close out this guide, we better relock the Taskbar. Right click on an empty spot on the Taskbar and then check the Lock The Taskbar option, wala we are all finished up.

Adding Quick Launch in Windows 8

When it comes to Microsoft  Windows one of the most important capabilities that a lot of us gotten used to was the Quick Launch. But with Windows 7 Microsoft did not give us the Quick Launch, forcing us user to go and find where it hides itself so we can use it. Here with Windows 8 Microsoft again excluded the use of the Quick Launch, once again forcing us users to locate it and put it on our desktops. So I am here to show you how to regain the all important Quick Launch on our Taskbar. This can be performed on both Windows 7 and Windows 8, the commands and places where the ever elusive Quick Launch hides is identical. Lets get on with this guide, shall we.

In case you get confused, just locate the cursor and fallow it. I made sure that it was shown through out this guide to make it easier for you to fallow ;). This will not mess up your machine, or cause it to crash.

It will help if you have the Icons on your desktop, or access to your C:\ Drive. For knowing how to get your Computer Icon on the desktop refer to my intro to Windows 8 HERE.Double click the COmputer icon and open it up on our desktop.

Like so, now double click on the C:\ Drive. All of these steps are necessary.

This is what you should have, if not then get here.

In Windows 8 we have a few more options available to us unlike previous versions of Windows. Now locate the View Tab, and to the far right you will see Hidden Items, check that. Now in WIndows 7 to un hide the files you will need to locate the Organize drop down menu, then goto folder and search options, Click on View, then find Hidden files and folders and expand it (if it is not), then click on Show hidden files, folders, or drives. Then Click Apply, and Ok.

Like this, look for the cursor if you are confused. After you are done, close the window.

Now move your cursor to the Taskbar and right click it, (any where on the task bar as long as it is not on start up to the far right of the Taskbar.) Then uncheck Lock the Taskbar (again fallow the cursor)

This is what you should have.

While that option window is still open, go ahead and move up to the Toolbars.

Then over to New Toolbar, and click it.

By doing this will bring up this window, Windows is asking for what you want to use a tool bar/Quick Launch. These next steps are going to be fast a furious, so please keep up ;). If you ar enot on the C:\ drive make sure you get there, we cannot go anywhere until you do.

Locate the Users folder and double click it.

This is what you should have (except your user name will be different)

Now double click on your user name for Windows 8 (Log On name in case you have multiple users.).

You should see AppData Folder if so double click it, or open it (same thing). If not then start from the beginning and start over.

Locate the Roaming Folder and double click it, or open it.

Locate the Microsoft folder and double click it, or open it.

Locate the Internet  Explorer Folder and double click it, or open it.

Now you should see the Quick Launch folder, if so just click on it and make sure it is highlighted.

After the Quick Launch folder is highlighted then locate the Select button and click on it (follow the cursor).

You will see a new Quick Launch appear on your Taskbar.

After seeing it, right click on the “Quick Launch” and uncheck Show Text.

Then right click on the Quick Launch once again and uncheck the Show Title.

Now you have just place the Quick Launch on your Taskbar. The only difference is that the Quick Launch is on the right and not on the left. To lock the Taskbar in place, just right click on and empty pot of the Taskbar and check Lock the Taskbar.

This concludes this quick Guide on how to get your Quick Launch on your Taskbar in Windows 7 and Windows 8 as these steps are identical on both of these OS’. Thank you and have fun with your new OS.

Windows 8 Developer Preview

There is nothing like the smell of a brand new Operating System. Just recently Microsoft made Windows 8 Developer Preview available to any developer/user a chance to get a sneak peak at the latest and newest OS. Windows 8 Developer Preview can be downloaded HERE. Yes this is a legit Download so you will not get in trouble for trying out this new OS.

Windows 8 is somewhat different from we are used to seeing from Microsoft. Microsoft added the capability of installing and using of aps (like Table/smart phone aps) into Windows 8. We no longer have the traditional “Start up menu”, all of our programs we installed gets placed on the Metro Start menu (this is the first screen you are taken to upon a boot up). But Windows 8 does carry over a lot of Windows 7 functionality we all got used, but again it is somewhat different. I am going to show you some of the changes that Microsoft did with Windows 8, to kind of get an idea on what to expect from this New Operating System.

I will have to warn you that I made some tweaks to the main Windows 8 GUI to better suit my unique needs. I will be doing separate articles on how to better customize Windows 8 and gain access to the standard Start menu programs with out modifying Windows 8 look and feel. Time to give Windows 8 a quick look through.

All of these images are off of my 8560w Workstation from HP, review can be located HERE.

Opening Screen (Metro Start Up)


This is the first screen we get as soon as we boot up our computers with Windows 8. As you can see it totally different from what the previous OS’ looked like from Microsoft. I got rid of all of the “Installed Aps” As these stock Aps did not suit my personal needs. But if you noticed the programs I installed onto Windows 8 are showing up on the main Opening GUI screen, this screen is called the Metro Start up Screen. Now we still have a desktop, to gain access to the desktop, just click the desktop button.

Desktop


Other then missing the Start button we all gotten used to, the main desktop looks identical to the previous OS’. If you noticed there is no way for us to gain access to our Computer, such as the Storage Devices installed onto our computers.

Icon Guide

 A quick interrupt, I ended making some minor little tweaks to Windows 8. This is one of them Tweaks I had to make, showing the Icons on the desktop. To gain access to the Computer, Network, Control Panal, Personal folders in Windows 8, we will have to place these Icons on to the desktop. This is no different from how you do this on Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Right click on an empty spot of the desktop Which is pretty much anywhere as we don’t have anything up on the desktop 😉 ). Then go to Personalize, and click it.

In the new window that pops up, locate Change Desktop Icons to the left side pane, and click that link.

This is where we can show the most common Icons and have them show up on the Desktop. Computer (access to our storage devices), User’s Files (Personal Folder), Network (self explanatory), Recycle Bin (this is already shown), and finally the Control Panel. Click/check the ones you want shown on the Desktop. I will show all of the Icons on the Desktop.


Click Apply and then Ok to save the settings. Like so, pretty simple. on with Windows 8.

Thank you, now back to my thoughts of Windows 8.

The Explorer Window(s).










As we can see the Explorer windows is not much different from previous Windows versions, other then Microsoft added some rather nice GUI tweaks to it. To name a few of these tweaks is we can Preview the files/images of our computer, Change the size of the Icons on the fly (Windows 7/Vista also could do this). We can unhide hidden folders on the fly, and with out having to go inside of the Folder and Search Options, unlike previous Window versions.

Task Manager







To gain access to the Task Manager, just hold the following buttons on your keyboard, CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. And, this is what you will be presented with. As we can see Microsoft even tweaked the over look of the Task Manager. I personally like the new look of the Task Manager myself. Now before any of you freak out about my “High Memory Usage of 50%+” I do not have any virus’ on my Workstation that is being caused from a rather uniquer program that uses a portion of your system memory as a drive for your various Windows/Program uses. That Program is called RAM Disk, I will get more into depth of this program on another article.

Control Panel

The Control Panel did not change at all. Good job Microsoft, for keeping one of the most confusing areas of the OS the same way.

Network


Other then adding a few new options to the top of the Networking window, it is not much different from what we are used to seeing in Windows 7. Minor Differences but not enough to confuse us completely on how to configure our Homegroup/Network(s).

Final Last Two Images

Since Microsoft did completely away with the “Traditional Start Up Menu”, I could not classify these last two images.
Now to gain acces back to Metro Start Up screen, just bring your Cursor to the far bottom lfet corner of the desktop and you will see a little menu pop up. If you click Start, it will bring up the Metro Start Up Screen, You will have other options like Search (Self Explanitory), Share files with other devices/network, Devices, and finally Settings. If you click on the Settings Option you will get this next Screen.
This one here, this is where we can restart Windows 8,  Turn off Windows 8, Hibernate Windows 8, adjust the Volume, and a few other things.

Final Thoughts

As I said earlier, this is just a quick introduction on what to expect from Windows 8. As we can see Microsoft did quite a bit of changes to this OS from what we are already used to seeing from previous OS’. I do not know what to think right at this moment and time. I do like the overall look and feel of Windows 8, but there are some things that made using Windows 8 a challenge. One of these challenges was there is no access to the Start up Menu Programs, so I had to go looking for where this Start Up menu was hiding within Windows 8 so i can make a Quick Launch out of it, so I can gain access to those programs that I installed. Granted, after you install a program it will be listed on the main Metro Screen, but I do not want to have to keep enter that screen to start up a program, also I like having access to my run command (which I had to go dig for as well). Turning off/restarting Windows 8 is rather awkward, you go from one side of the screen to the other so you can reboot/shut down the computer.

I am currently reserved about the usage of Windows 8 currently, I will have to admit the more I get use Windows 8, is the more I am starting to like it. But this was after I was able to make a few tweaks to it, otherwise Windows 8 would have came off my Workstation just as fast as I installed it (if not faster because it only takes a couple of minutes to format a drive.) As far as programs, I have not ran into major problems with getting most of the programs work in Windows 8, but I cannot vouch for them all. Drivers, I am using the ones that Hp has available on their website for the 8560w Workstation. I will have to say there were a couple of drivers I could not get to install on Windows 8, I do not use those devices so I am not missing anything, those drivers were the Finger Print validity, and one other minor thing.