Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:02 pm

So I've decided to go all out and have just installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on both my desktop and Laptop.

On my laptop I'm using a bootable VHD (Virtual Hard disk) so it's still using all the native hardware acceleration etc.
My Desktop I had a spare "test" 40GB partition for situations such as this
I still have dual-boot with Win7 if I need it, and it's almost worth rebooting just to see the sexy new boot manager menu

I'm going to start using it "full time" and see what works and what doesn't work, and also to see how I manage to deal with all the differences in UI stuff. So far it took me about 10 minutes to work out the main ones (like app switching and "no" start menu) but after that I'm really liking it. I was thinking it might just be all messy and complicated, but it really does work well.

Will update this topic as new points of interest arise.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:47 am

Stuff that works
  • Steam works, I just pointed to my existing STEAM cache so no need to reinstall anything
  • BF3/Origin works - I just pointed to my existing Origin cache so no need to reinstall anything
  • Office 2010

Issues and stuff that doesn't work

  • .NET 3.5 doesn't install from the "add features" due to a known issue with domain joined computers that have a WSUS (Windows Update Server) on the local network, which is what I happen to have. Simple enough to do run a command to install though and it's unlikely to be an issue for most "home" users playing around with it. link to the manual install steps
  • I haven't got the fingerprint reader working on my laptop yet. The drivers load OK though. I haven't really looked at it though and suspect I just haven't installed something else it needs. UPDATE: Needed .NET3.5 installed, all working now
  • The AMD drivers for my laptop don't seem to recognise the Hybrid graphics setup. It all still works but you get an error from the AMD Catalyst app when you login and it's using the on-board Intel graphics. Simple enough fix is to just set the laptop to disable Hybrid mode and just use the AMD graphics
  • Had problems with the Logitech Gaming Software throwing an error when I had the "latest" video drivers installed using the Windows Update version. It seems to be the same version as the one downloaded from AMD which does work. For some reason the driver version reports *slightly* differently. e.g. "8.023.01" and "8.23.01"
  • 3DMark06 doesn't work. Reports an issue initialising something in DX9. Not sure if video drivers are the cause or not but not particularly worried about it.
  • Needed to manually run the PBSETUP to install PunkBuster for BF3, but no dramas with it working after that
  • Multiple Monitors works well, but it can make it tricky to get to the "Shutdown" button with the way the "Charm" on the right hand side works. There's probably a better way do use it but given I've only used it occasionally while setting up new stuff it's not a big deal. UPDATE: Winkey-C brings it up easily
  • The CPU on my laptop just seems to run at 100% clock speed so there seems to be something missing with the power settings that let it throttle the speed down. Will need to see if my desktop does the same thing or not. UPDATE: This is because I have the Hyper-V feature enabled.

Hyper-V (Microsoft Virtualisation Server) is also included in Windows8 desktop version now which is really good if you want to run virtual machines. In the release version I expect that will be a "Professional/Enterprise/Ultimate" edition feature. In fact I home they simplify the editions and forget about "Home Starter/Home/Home Premium" or whatever all the multiple versions are.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:28 pm

A bit of Win8 sexiness...

The new progress details when doing a file copy. Notice you can now pause a copy:
win8-filecopy.PNG


And the new look taskmanager showing you specific details about each key process and what it is using
win8-taskmanager1.PNG

win8-taskmanager2.PNG
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Brad » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:41 am

So how are you finding Win 8 for day to day?

I have a failing hard drive on my main partition - I will probably replace that partition with an SSD, but I'm not sure whether to be trying Win 8 or stick with Win 7.
Also, is there an upgrade path from the Consumer preview to the final product?

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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:03 pm

Really enjoying it. There are still quirks and annoyances, it is Beta after all. Overall I like it.

You might be able to upgrade to RTM, but generally it's not supported and no guarantees it would be possible. I'm getting pretty good at setting up my machine on fresh installs and have started using it a an opportunity to clear out the stuff I "tested" and never removed. I keep all my big data stuff that doesn't need fast access (like music/videos/downloads) on my hard drive and just use mount points on my SSD to point to it. That way everything is still "C:\xxx" and I don't have to mess around with multiple drive letters.

Chances are you could probably just run Win8 without any dramas. There might be another beta before final RTM, but you've got until the start of next year before you have to worry about it, and by that time you'll be due for a whole new computer anyway ;)
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Brad » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:08 am

The "release preview" is out today - requires a clean install.
Exactly one day after I installed the CP. Grrrr.

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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:50 pm

Yeah, the joys of beta. I'm going to fresh install anyway. My desktop is running it on the hard drive so I was waiting for the RC to do a fresh install on the SSD. My laptop has it installed in a Virtual Disk, so likewise wanted to re-install to the native disk.

I've already heard a few good things about stuff being improved, so I'm really kken to see how it goes. Not sure when I'll get to re-install though. Finishing up one huge project and about to start another.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Brad » Sat Jun 02, 2012 9:52 pm

Did a clean install onto my new ssd. Can't say I'm thrilled by the new metro interface. I have these new 24" 1920x1200 monitors - Having to run things full screen is such a silly waste of real estate. The first thing I end up doing for all of the standard windows apps is finding an opensource alternative. Once I got rid of the metro junk, it feels pretty similar to windows 7.

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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:19 am

I see metro is more aimed at smaller screen devices like tablets and phones. I don't really use any metro apps other than the IE metro version, I just use it as the new start menu and run pretty much everything else on the normal desktop.

It's an interesting (brave?) move by MS to make such a radical change. I think they are going to struggle for a few years yet trying to make the metro and desktop experiences work together. If you have a tablet that *only* runs metro, then that makes sense, but while I am getting used to it, I still find my brain needs to switch modes when flicking between the two interfaces.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Brad » Sun Jun 03, 2012 5:50 pm

Hmmm, Can't get my x-fi card working on anything other than the most basic level with microsoft drivers. The creative drivers are unable to recognise the card so refuse to install. I know it is beta, but its been 6 months?

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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:53 pm

Manufacturers don't usually release drivers until things get to RC because of potential changes, so hopefully more driver support will come now.
Most drivers from win7 should work, and one suggestion is to try setting the driver install to run in Win7 compat mode.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Brad » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:58 pm

Thankfully there is a hacked version floating around - finally got working drivers.
After playing BF3 without positional audio I was about to buy some of those headphones you guys were raving about.

It does seem to take a couple of goes to get some drivers installed, but they seem to get there eventually. I haven't rebooted this many times since windows XP.

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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:38 pm

The only drivers I've had problems with is the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS) with the latest AMD video drivers. There must be some function the LGS tries to call that doesn't work on the latest drivers. Going back a version sorts it though.

I'll see what happens when I re-install with the new Windows later on sometime.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Piers » Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:20 pm

Don't get me started on LGS; I have two different versions installed because the latest version has dropped support for my joystick.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mort » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:13 pm

I still have to use the crappy old software for my "new" G700 *GAMING* mouse because LGS doesn't support it. I like a lot of logitechs products, but they really could do a better job with their software and driver support.
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