I have to admit, I was getting a little scared. I had just ordered all of the parts for a new computer and I had ordered a copy of Windows 8 for it. I read the horror stories from Max and others about how bad Windows 8 was, how frustrating it was to use, how terrible the new Metro interface was for everything other than a tablet. Undaunted, I pushed forward. The system was built and on the first power up, the bios was there in its full glory and I was ready to install the OS. Still time to back out, but I decided to give it a try.
First, the installation was a breeze and fast. No issues or problems and absolutely no hiccups along the way. I had read other reports about the installation taking forever and always saying that it was “getting ready” or “preparing”. I had expected it to be a long haul and instead was confused at first when it was done so quickly. I thought it must have just been the first step with many more to come, but no – it was done. Windows was up and running.
But, oh no – there was the Metro interface. I clicked on “desktop”, loaded Firefox and then downloaded “Classic Shell” from sourceforge. With it installed, everything looks pretty much like the old Windows 7 and there have only been a few times since then that I have ever even seen the new interface. Many things have proven to be easier than I expected and I was almost done with the installation and transfer of all of the apps. One last task to perform…
And oh boy, that created a doozy of a situation. I installed my video card to power my multiple monitors, downloaded the latest drivers from NVidia and installed them, rebooted and…
Nothing. No problem I thought, just bring it up in safe made and see what the issue is. Err, where is safe mode
. Microsoft has almost stolen it. You can tell it to boot in safe mode if you have Windows running – great – just when you don’t need it. Several web sites said, just keep pressing shift and F8 during the boot process. This did not work and another site basically said, this will only work if you have a crazy slow machine because it goes through this phase so quickly. I had a 3.4GHz i7, so let’s just say my F8s did nothing. Tried the rescue disk I had created – no ability to set safe mode boot from there. I finally put the old graphics card back in and it booted fine with that and so managed to tinker with things until the new graphics board was working. So, I overcame my issue although with no help from Microsoft.
My final conclusion – I have never brought a new system up with so few problems, and so far, apart from safe mode, have easily found ways to bring back every piece of functionality I used to enjoy in Windows 7 and have some new exciting stuff that I am still exploring. But a great big thank you to Sourceforge! Without them giving me an interface I was familiar with the outcome may have been so different. The big question is - why didn't Microsoft do that?Brian Bailey
– keeping you covered
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