When I first installed Windows 8 on Virtual PC, I ran into a problem: the Guest Additions were not compatible with Windows 8. I had to use Recovery mode to refresh my Windows 8 installation. The Recovery mode was automatically invoked after I failed to boot the virtual machine up several times. I tried the Guest Additions today, thinking that it would be compatible with Windows 8 after a few months passed. It turned out that the Guest Additions were still not compatible with Windows 8. I ran into the same problem again; the virtual machine booted up to a black screen. I tried to reboot the virtual machine several times, hoping that it would invoke Recovery Mode for me to uninstall the Guest Additions. However, the Recovery Mode did not run automatically this time. I found a trick to force the Windows 8 virtual machine to boot to Recovery Mode. All you have to do is to disable the network adapter. Here are the steps:
I was working on an Excel spreadsheet this afternoon. I needed to create a new spreadsheet and keep the current one open. For some reason, after I created a new file, I can not view the original file that I worked on. I tried to close every file and re-open the original file, it did not help. I first thought the workbook was minimize or hidden, but they were not the cause.
After fiddling around with the menu, I finally got it to show up again. Here is what I did:
Afterwards, I was able to see my workbook again.
One user reported that regular users could not run Photoshop on one of our servers, but admin users could. Whenever a regular user tried to run Photoshop, this message popped up.
The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000022). Click on OK to terminate the application.
The cause for this problem was that the application was installed for the original admin user only. All the files did not have correct permissions for regular users. In order to fix this problem, you’ll need to grant permission to regular users to access these files, including all the *.EXE, *.DLL and *.OCX files. If you use Windows Explorer, you’ll need to do this for all of the files, which is a fairly tedious process. It’s much faster to use commands to do this. Here are the steps.
- Run an elevated command prompt.
- Change directory to the program directory.
- Enter the following command:
cacls *.exe /e /g builtin\users:r cacls *.dll /e /g builtin\users:r cacls *.ocx /e /g builtin\users:r
The biggest change of Windows 8 is the Metro interface. While the Metro interface is good for a tablet, it’s not designed for desktop computers. I upgraded my main workstation to Windows 8 a while ago. I use the desktop about 99% of time, and I only use the Metro interface when it’s necessary.
I found that if you have multiple monitors, you can configure it so that Metro only shows on the second monitor. This works very well, and the interface does not interfere with the applications on the main monitor. Here is how to do it.
This activates the Metro interface on the second monitor. From now on, whenever you press the Windows key, the Metro interface will show on the second monitor. Note that this change only applies to the current session. You’ll have to do it again the next time you log on.
My work desktop crashed a few days ago, I thought it might be better to install Windows 8 on it instead of trying to fix the Windows 7 installation. After a few days, I really missed the gadgets that were on my desktop before. I first tried some clock programs from the App store and did not like them at all. I decided to find out if I could just get the Windows 7 gadgets back.
To my surprise, it is not difficult. All you need to do is to install a program called 8GadgetPack from this site:
Just install it and you can use the Windows 7 gadgets again. Not only I was able to use the default gadgets, I could also use the gadgets I downloaded before I upgraded my machine to Windows 8. The program is actively maintained and it’s free. Give it a try if you want to use Windows 7 gadgets again.
Dell is offering a free eBook for those who register on their site.
The book gives a nice overview of the new OS. The printed copy of the book sells for about $14.00.
From the Back Cover
Just want to get going with Windows 8? This book was made for you!
Windows 8 looks and acts differently than previous Windows versions. The touch-friendly Start screen and new apps can confuse even the most experienced Windows user. This book helps you master Windows 8 by getting you started using the new interface, finding that missing file, creating a network, using Windows 8 on your tablet, and more.
- The big changes — tour the Start screen, where you load apps and programs, see where the desktop went, and use the Control Panel to customize Windows 8
- Touch and go — get acquainted with the many features designed for touchscreen devices
- Tour the web — use Internet Explorer, set up and use e-mail, access your social networks, and do it all with more security
- When you have to share — discover how to protect everyone’s privacy and how to set up a network
- The magic of media — play CDs, digital music, and movies, or work with photos transferred from your camera
Open the book and find:
- Straightforward explanations of unique features
- Which version of Windows 8 is right for you
- Tips for touchscreen users
- Whether you should upgrade to Windows 8
- Easy, do-it-yourself maintenance tips
- How to download apps from the Windows Store
- The easy way to back up your PC
- Ten things that will drive you crazy and how to fix them
- Use the Start screen to launch apps
- Send e-mail and link to social media accounts
- Create music playlists, watch videos, and organize photos
- Troubleshoot common problems
A user has asked me to install Cisco AnyConnect client on several machines. It’s tedious to visit each machine and install the client one by one. I tried to see if there was an option for silent installation and, indeed, there is. You can actually use the MSI option with the executable. Here is an example.
This tells the program to install quietly without GUI. Combine this with the psexec utility, and you can use this command to install the client on a remote computer.
psexec -c \\computer_name anyconnect-win-3.1.00495-web-deploy-k9.exe /qn
It only takes a few seconds to install the client.