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    WOODY’S WINDOWS

    Best of both worlds: Add Win8 features to Win7

    By Woody Leonhard

    Windows 8 generated a lot of derision and angst — but it also brought some updated desktop capabilities that are begging for a place in Windows 7.

    If Microsoft won’t update Windows 7, you can do much of it yourself — for free. Here’s how.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/woodys-windows/best-of-both-worlds-add-win8-features-to-Win7/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.[/td]

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    • #1381987

      I tried Windows 8 last night for the first time. I was somewhat annoyed when I tried to find Windows Explorer. Of course, since they renamed it, it doesn’t come up in the search but like other things Microsoft, they don’t tell you what to search for instead.

      Windows 7’s Windows Explorer may no longer have an “Up” button but it’s got a better approach… just click on a level in the address bar. You can go as far up the path as you desire. Here’s a screen capture.
      33474-OneClickUp

      • #1382038

        I use the same procedure too. It’s useful as Office products use Explorer as the FIle Open/Save dialog and that’s the quickest way to move around the folders.

        It’s a pity that more apps don’t use Explorer that way (like Photoshop)!

    • #1382059

      I agree that TeraCopy is a huge improvement over the Vista/Win7 file copying features–much faster and more reliable! However, I’ve run into one limitation that needs to be worked around: at those times when it is necessary to copy/move files into or out of protected folders, the Windows’ built-in copy would escalate privileges via a UAC prompt, but TeraCopy simply fails. In that situation, I run TeraCopy, right-click, choose Options, and temporarily uncheck “Use TeraCopy as default copy handler”.

      Jonathan C

    • #1382164

      Woody,
      Great column as usual. Xplorer has been a longtime favorite and I’m rushing to try Teracopy, However, Windows7 doesn’t need an up-button. Clicking on any part of the address bar takes you to that level of the address. So built in to the address bar is a multi-level up button.

      Ray K

    • #1382312

      Yeah, although the button is a tad more convenient, it’s not essential thanks to those cookie crumbs. What I find the most helpful (and which *is* included in Windows 7) is the shortcut key, Alt + Up. (And there are similar shortcuts for going backward and forward.)

    • #1382327

      Ya, I pretty much agree with every word for a change, been using Teracopy since XP was knee high to a grasshopper. Not so sure about the task manager, don’t really want a thing of beauty if that’s so, I want to get a process killed or see what is occupying the CPU or see how much RAM is occupied, and get out, nitty gritty stuff. Like Woody, I’ll be waiting for Blue now, see if it gets any better, my copy of 8 has it’s first week of dust on it and I see no reason to pick up a duster anymore.

      • #1382514

        Following Woody’s suggestion to download this software as listed in the most recent Windows Secrets issue, it turns out to be a piece of crapware. My MSSE ccaught two adware notices. But, that was not really a surprise, because going through the download routine, had I simply allowed the installation without checking each step, I would have been hit with several additional browser add ons. Fortunately, Win Patrol gave me the option to deep six them. Bottom line is that the terra copy (downloaded from cnet,com btw) has gone into the trash bin.

        Xherm

        • #1382617

          Following Woody’s suggestion to download this software as listed in the most recent Windows Secrets issue, it turns out to be a piece of crapware. … Bottom line is that the terra copy (downloaded from cnet,com btw) has gone into the trash bin.

          You should have used one of the links Woody provided for TeraCopy.

          Bruce

    • #1382517

      Gotta be more savvy these days; CNet has fallen a long ways both in integrity and quality. Try the source you should be seeking out if you have a mind to.

    • #1382679

      I have been using Powerdesk Professional from Avanquest for years. Version 9 is the latest and it has many of the features you have been mentioning. It has a Size Manager which visually graphs the usage of folders on your computer (although it is very slow in producing the resulting bar graph). I use the program a lot for comparing, moving or syncing files between computers on my home network albeit it is slow on large files. So much slower that when copying or moving large files I use Windows Explorer or File Explorer.

    • #1382807

      I tried BETTER EXPLORER beta and it looked like a worthwhile replacement for Windows Explorer. The installation went smoothly starting with downloading and installing .Net 4.0 (or was it part of the Better Explorer installer package). It launched a little slower than Win Explorer but appeared to have a lot more functionality. I played around with it for awhile before realizing there were some .NET updates. After downloading and installing the updates (I think there were 5), Better Explorer stopped working. It would not open most of the time and when it did open the window would be mostly empty. Uninstalling and reinstalling did not correct the problem so was forced to uninstall and go back to Windows Explorer. Has anyone else experienced any problems with Better Explorer? Woody Leonhard indicated he had been using it for awhile with no problems.

      • #1384522

        I tried BETTER EXPLORER beta and it looked like a worthwhile replacement for Windows Explorer. The installation went smoothly starting with downloading and installing .Net 4.0 (or was it part of the Better Explorer installer package). It launched a little slower than Win Explorer but appeared to have a lot more functionality. I played around with it for awhile before realizing there were some .NET updates. After downloading and installing the updates (I think there were 5), Better Explorer stopped working. It would not open most of the time and when it did open the window would be mostly empty. Uninstalling and reinstalling did not correct the problem so was forced to uninstall and go back to Windows Explorer. Has anyone else experienced any proghblems with Better Explorer? Woody Leonhard indicated he had been using it for awhd ile with no problems.

        Yes I also went through those same steps! And ended up uninstalling Better Explorer. My reasons were more preformance releated. My firewall sho wed me that “better” is just a front end on explorer and slows down finding things considerably. I’m on i7 8 gb W7 64 bit system so slow is rare. This up / down thingy is not worth it I don’t really like depending on .net anything so I’ll pass for now .

        • #1384854

          I have decided that BE is simply too slow. I uninstalled it, but could not get the native WE explorer.exe to work. I received an error message that I should make some file associations. that would not work, because I could not even link to the control panel. So, I reinstalled BE as a stopgap. But, I want to uninstall it and replace it with the original windows explorer.exe. How do I do this? Thanks

          Sherm

          • #1384865

            This problem I had as well not being able to use explorer and control panel being blocked. BUT it was not due to the removal of BE.

            I had being trying to restrain explorers priveleges via my firewall software. I had to allow WE to keylog and access clipboard etc etc and that fixed the problem. I did not like the solution but that was what happened.

            In your case I suggest uninstalling BE again and then do a system restore back to where you were before any of this BE testing started.

            If you can restore from a systems image even better.

            You could go on to windows mr fix it and see how that works as well.

            Good luck

    • #1382825

      I have noticed that it can be slow to boot up the first time, but otherwise….no difficulties.

      Sherm

    • #1384529

      I am not sure I would call it a problem, though I have noticed that BE takes longer to boot than WE….I do like a couple of the convenience features and will keep using it, at least for now…

      Sherm

    • #1384856

      You could contact them for help here: http://better-explorer.com/about-us-contact/

      Jerry

    • #1385173

      Thanks everyone…BE is now uninstalled and I am back to my default explorer.

      Sherm

    • #1385519

      I did what I thought was a reinstall of BE, checked in the add/remove programs, which told me the program was not there. Obviously it was not in the registry. Then, just to be sure, I did a registry cleaning with CC…rebooted, and found the default explorer program working….

      Sherm

    • #1385607

      I just got a message from a reader (not Shermank; I hope he will log on here and make his identity known to all of you):

      Hi there,

      Following your recommendation of Better Explorer, I tried to install it and ran into some potentially serious problems.

      The .NET framework failed to install properly so that Better Explorer wouldn’t run. Unfortunately, BE had set itself as the default file explorer so windows explorer wouldn’t run from any of the normal methods. Not only that, control panel wouldn’t run. I tried to uninstall BE, but typing uninstall in the search box simply gave a message that .NET wasn’t installed.

      In the end I managed to install the latest version of .NET framework, which made BE run and I was able to untick its option to be the default file manager. Perhaps you could publish information on how to get back to windows explorer if you get stuck like this.

      Thanks.

      I haven’t hit the problem, but .NET is such a snarly creature that it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. As you note, when you hit a problem involving .NET, the best thing to do is to manually install the latest version and see if that dislodges anything. Wish I had a magic bullet, but I don’t…

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