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  • Care to try W8.1? Quick guide for W7 die-hards

    Posted on radosuaf Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Care to try W8.1? Quick guide for W7 die-hards

    This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  BobbyB 1 day, 8 hours ago.

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    • #102730 Score: 1 | Reply

      radosuaf
      AskWoody Lounger
      18 pts

      You are probably sitting on Windows 7 and start to be worried about your what happens in 2020. You’ve heard Windows 8 is worst Windows ever. Maybe you even saw Windows 8 and somebody else’s computer and hated it right away. Well, my suggestion is – just give it a shot. If you’ll like it, you’ll buy yourself 3 years without Windows 10 :).

      Here’s what to do:

      1. Download a free 90-days trial:

      https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-8-1-enterprise

      You need to fill in a short questionnare and create a MS account if you haven’t got one already. The website says you might be contacted by MS, but I never have been, so no worries.

      2. Install with dual boot next to your current Windows 7, update (for the purpose of testing, just leave at automatic updates, install everything, initial search might take 2-3 hours), install drivers etc. – I won’t get into details, you know the drill.

      3. Tweak:

      a/ remove all Metro apps: run PowerShell as admin (to run anything in 8.1 just press Win and start typing, ‘powers’ in this case, then right-click PowerShell, select “Run as administrator) , type:

      Get-AppxPackage -AllUsers | Remove-AppxPackage

      That’s it. Remove Store icon from taskbar, remove Camera from the Start menu. You’re done.

      b/ some taskbar and Start Menu tweaks:

      * right-click on Taskbar and select Properties

      * go to Navigation tab and check “Show my desktop background on Start”, uncheck everything else

      * go to “All Apps” at the Start screen and pin your often used apps to Start screen (right-click, select “Pin to Start”), you can name groups and rearrange tiles to your liking

      * you can add various other places to the Start menu, just browse through system and right-click to verify if you can pin them – for example I have Windows Update pinned

      4. Start using – you’ll see it’s not that bad, there are more tweaks you can do, Noel might be your guide, but I prefer not to use any 3rd party software, there are of course many more tweaks within Windows itself, but this is meant to be a short, no-nonsense guide, so that’s it.

      5. Don’t like it? Just uninstall – while it is a bit more complicated than uninstalling an app, there are a lot of guides over the net how to do it, one here:

      https://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/210983-dual-boot-delete-os.html

      6. Like it? Uninstall (example link above) and start searching for a 8.1 key :). Try amazon, ebay, whatever you have locally – it does not matter if it’s 8 or 8.1, upgrade from 8 to 8.1 is free, try looking for a Pro version in case you might want to upgrade to W10 Pro in future – W10 Home version is useless.

       

      Any questions? I’ll gladly help.

      MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
      • This topic was modified 2 days, 22 hours ago by  radosuaf.
      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #102822 Score: 4 | Reply

      Noel Carboni
      AskWoody MVP
      96 pts

      I’ll be happy to contribute here as well. I find Windows 8.1 a VERY good and reliable system – once suitably configured and augumented. I agree with radosuaf’s advice to remove all Apps.

      I respect the desire not to use 3rd party software, but if you feel it’s okay there really is some out there that’s well worth looking into.

      My suggestions might be to check these:

      • Classic Shell – it will give you back a desktop start menu.
      • Aero Glass for Win 8+ – only if you’re seriously geeky (like me).
      • WinAero Tweaker – a nice set of panels for tweaking all kinds of things.
      • Folder Options X by T800 – simple but makes File Explorer more usable.
      • Sphinx Windows Firewall Control – powerful, maintainable firewall control, not subject to behind-the-scenes manipulation by Microsoft or software installers.

      Keep in mind that you cannot, as far as I know, directly upgrade the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation software to a licensed copy. I might suggest evaluating it and getting familiar with it in a virtual machine rather than dual boot, but both methods are viable.

      -Noel

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #102920 Score: 0 | Reply

        radosuaf
        AskWoody Lounger
        18 pts

        I might suggest evaluating it and getting familiar with it in a virtual machine rather than dual boot, but both methods are viable.

        True, haven’t thought about it.

        MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
        • #102958 Score: 1 | Reply

          Cesar
          AskWoody Lounger
          3 pts

          I might suggest evaluating it and getting familiar with it in a virtual machine rather than dual boot, but both methods are viable.

          True, haven’t thought about it.

          …unless you want to test your hardware with the new operating system. In that case, only the dual boot method would work; hardware in virtual machines is always emulated.

          César

    • #102824 Score: 1 | Reply

      Elly
      AskWoody Lounger
      11 pts

      Not ready to try it yet, but will have to be in the future. Supposedly there is a free option on my W 7 to upgrade to W 8… this might be a way to take a peek at what it would look like, without jumping all the way in. Could create a Microsoft account just for this one download with a throwaway e-mail?

      However, I would think there is a need to avoid any of the telemetry updates in W 8.1, so I wouldn’t just take anything even on a temporary trial basis. As I understand it, anything that dual boots has access to all the “stuff”. I’d go through the trouble of weeding out the undesireable updates… I don’t think I can use the upgrade to W 8 to dual boot in the long run, so it would just be a temporary look-see for me.

      Okay, I was being brave there. You’ll probably think I’m silly, but I hate the idea of experimenting on my only (right now) used daily device, even with image backups (I’ve never had to reinstall)… but I do want to check out W 8.1…

      Even VM is something I haven’t played with yet… barely getting comfortable trying out Linux distros from a USB stick… psychologically they aren’t “on” my machine, and are easily removed…

      Maybe a link to how to set up a dual boot in the first place? And any problems that could be reasonably anticipated?

      I appreciate your willingness to nudge me in this direction… a direction I will need to go eventually. Thank you, Radosuaf

       

       

      Elly-

      Win 7 Home, Group B

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #102825 Score: 0 | Reply

      ch100
      AskWoody MVP
      31 pts

      I personally think it would be a waste of time for those who are not already on Windows 8.1.
      Windows 10 is Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8.2).

      • #102835 Score: 2 | Reply

        Noel Carboni
        AskWoody MVP
        96 pts

        Windows 10 is Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8.2).

        No, not really. Windows 8.1 is a more current version than 7 with some support time left but WITHOUT the “destabilize it every 8 months” aspect. That’s huge.

        -Noel

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #102846 Score: 1 | Reply

        Elly
        AskWoody Lounger
        11 pts

        @ Ch100, for those of us who will never go to W 10 because of forced updates and telemetry, it will extend the length of security support for years. You are very clear that you are not concerned about those things, and have your expertise and reasons… but I can’t help hope that Microsoft will come to its senses and offer an operating system that can be secured against its marketing/ad scam, involuntary updates, and the ability to decline any and all telemetry, for home users… the users that really need those options to be there at a click, because we aren’t technically proficient and don’t have tech support.  There was a time I would have paid for that… and I have plenty of family and friends to this day that would prefer to stay with them. Having bouts of being unable to work due to disability I can say that any operating system or software that requires subscription or on-line access is a no-no for me. One time it took over 5 months before disability payments were authorized. Meantime, I had no income what-so-ever… just my savings, and that has never recovered. What a blessing to have my computer fully functional through those times. The fact that Microsoft is pushing/promoting/herding users into Malware 10 forever says it is no longer a corporation that I can trust. Migrating to W 8.1 is a stop-gap measure, part of keeping all my options open. Gone are the days of joyfully looking towards the next new thing. It feels much more like exploring a dark swamp, and wondering what will try to swallow me up next. Funny thing, all these years I was able to avoid any malware… now it looks like you have to dump the Windows experience in order to keep it off the system.

        Elly-

        Win 7 Home, Group B

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #102929 Score: 0 | Reply

          ch100
          AskWoody MVP
          31 pts

          @elly
          Based on what you say in your post, MacOS is for you, but then you will say it is too expensive. Really can’t have something for nothing. You will find out soon that Linux is not what appears to be and that there are good reasons why it has been adopted widely only at the server level.

          • #102996 Score: 0 | Reply

            anonymous

            Really? LMint is easier to use than Windows, and Elly is allready using live distros.

            [Edited by Woody]

        • #103001 Score: 0 | Reply

          anonymous

          Elly, is there a Linux User Group near you (University or listed locally)? You could get some help in installing a distro onto an external hard drive, and booting your computer from that, and keep your Windows as well. They might also be good sources of knowledge about good seondhand or even free computers in your area.

      • #102923 Score: 0 | Reply

        radosuaf
        AskWoody Lounger
        18 pts

        I personally think it would be a waste of time for those who are not already on Windows 8.1. Windows 10 is Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8.2).

        This is so not true – and I’m writing it as a person who literally HATED Windows 8 and had huge hopes associated with Windows 10. I won’t be repeating myself again, but 10 is pure evil, while 8.1 is an oldschool good OS.

        I do agree that if somebody got the so called ‘free’ upgrade to Windows 10 and used it to grab the license, then I wouldn’t pay the full price of 8.1, I couldn’t justify it myself. But I managed to get a license for 55 USD, which is about max I would pay for 8.1 – if not, they I’d stay at W7 as long as it’s possible and then move to whatever we’ll have in 2020.

        One more thing – Pro version is most common amongst 8/8.1, so if you’re on W7 Home, this is a good way to grab a W10 Pro license for cheap (I think you can still ‘upgrade’ for free).

        MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #102930 Score: 0 | Reply

          ch100
          AskWoody MVP
          31 pts

          This is so not true – and I’m writing it as a person who literally HATED Windows 8 and had huge hopes associated with Windows 10. I won’t be repeating myself again, but 10 is pure evil, while 8.1 is an oldschool good OS.

          Haven’t you just said that you hated Windows 8 and now promote Windows 8.1? 🙂
          What makes you believe that you will not say the same thing about Windows 10 at some time in the future?
          I also hated Windows 8 and still do it. 🙂

          • #102937 Score: 2 | Reply

            radosuaf
            AskWoody Lounger
            18 pts

            Haven’t you just said that you hated Windows 8 and now promote Windows 8.1?  What makes you believe that you will not say the same thing about Windows 10 at some time in the future? I also hated Windows 8 and still do it.  

            8 was horrible. 8.1 isn’t :). I do hope 10 gets usable over time, I seriously do. But the direction MS took is quite opposite, I’m afraid.

            MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
            • This reply was modified 2 days, 6 hours ago by  radosuaf.
            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #102863 Score: 0 | Reply

      BobbyB
      AskWoody Lounger
      1 pt

      If you want to try Pro or Core (Home Vers) you can find them here https://www.microsoft.com/en-ca/software-download/windows8 just select create .ISO for another machine. Ignore the Vers. with a letter after them e.g. N as they are a remnant of a little trade spat between M$ and the EEC over Windows Media Player i.e. the N Ver. doesent have it.
      Windows 8.1 can live on a machine in perfect harmony with Win10 and/or Win7. (Space permitting)

      Although major tip!!!! dont turn Windows update loose from the get go. Not because of the usual “update gripes” we have in here lol Its because the last time I fully updated an image (offline, dont worry about that) There’s at last count (Oct 2016) 2.3GB waiting in the wings for updates. Have fun 🙂

      • This reply was modified 2 days, 10 hours ago by  BobbyB. Reason: space permitting
    • #102927 Score: 1 | Reply

      Microfix
      AskWoody Lounger
      17 pts

      Probably the best viable option for Vista users who were not offered W10 free and will have no updates beyond April 11th 2017.

      | x64 Group B: W7 Pro & W8.1 Pro | | x64 Group W: 3 x Linux Hybrids |
        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
    • #102993 Score: 0 | Reply

      radosuaf
      AskWoody Lounger
      18 pts

      One additional note – you’d probably want to log into your computer using local account instead of MS one and MS made it a bit tricky during the installation process – details here:

      http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-install-windows-8-1-without-microsoft-account/

      MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #103160 Score: 0 | Reply

        BobbyB
        AskWoody Lounger
        1 pt

        Yeah good point its easy to miss if your not careful and they dont make it obvious especially with tired eyes on a late night in/reinstall. A little trick they seemed to have carried over to Win10 😉

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