Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Surface RT Customization Questions

  1. #1

    Surface RT Customization Questions

    Hey guys,

    I just bought a Surface RT at the Microsoft store as it was on sale yesterday only (I paid $400 for the 32GB model, and got a free keyboard base )

    A major turn-off is that since it runs on an ARM processor, it doesn't work with regular x86 executable files like I'm used to. But there's no way I was paying more than twice the price to get a Surface Pro.

    So I have a few questions, as I am getting used to the Metro "Modern Start Menu" interface. I used to hate Windows 8, and still do for actual PCs, but it seems to work nicely for touchscreen devices. I'm going to list off some questions.

    1. Is there a way to make a shortcut to the PC Settings on my start screen? From what I've found via search engines, it's quite convoluted to access the Metro settings in the first place, and all of the places offering .exe files of course won't work for Windows RT so I need another idea. Is there some file I can make a shortcut to, then pin that shortcut to start? I've already made shortcuts to shutdown /s /t 00 and /r /t 00 so I can have Shutdown/Reboot buttons on my start screen.

    2. Is there a way to make something like an "app drawer"? Since the icons are substantially larger than Android OS (even when they're half-sized), having a start screen icon for all my apps seems counter-productive as I'd have to spend forever scrolling. I know Windows 8 has an "All Apps" option that lists them in a much smaller, easy to access view... can I make a shortcut to that list?

    3. Are Windows Store apps allowed to have Explorer shell integration? I ask because I'm looking for something that can unzip different types of archives (other than just the standard .zip). There are a bunch of paid apps, and the two free ones I tried didn't work inside Explorer - they had to be run via Metro. I can see the appeal to doing this, but I'm used to running software like 7-Zip and WinRAR on my desktop/laptops so I can just right-click on an archive and hit "Extract to Folder". It's even quicker than the built-in ZIP extractor a it works in one click, not a whole menu like Windows has.

    If it IS possible, can someone recommend me an unzipping app that's in the Windows Store? Thanks.

    4. On the note of apps, is there something like Media Player Classic Home Cinema for Windows 8? I've seen literally tons of players, including some purporting to be Windows Media Player 8-10 ports, and so on, most of them aren't free. What do you guys suggest for playing different video formats? Windows Media Player seems pretty nice, but ultimately there are some things it just won't play.

    5. Other than Remote Assistance (which is a pain since I can't just keep the thing running), is there a remote access program that lets me control my tablet FROM a PC? I usually use TeamViewer, but that only lets you do outgoing connections at the moment.

    6. Is it possible to disable BitLocker encryption? I'm using my Microsoft account to sign in, but for some reason the main drive (C drive) is encrypted by default, which is annoying as the recovery options won't work without me having the key backed up.

    7. On that note, is there a way to wipe out the Windows RT that's on there and reinstall a new copy without the wasteful recovery partition? Ordinarily I'd just get an ISO and copy it to a flash drive, but RT is OEM only. I can make myself a recovery drive using the 4GB recovery partition, but will that let me use the whole space for storage once I boot from it?

    Thanks for any help!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Posts : 1,127
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    the updated version of Windows RT will be released in a few months (you can try the preview if you like) so some of these questions should be revisited then since some things will be changed making talking about it moot.

    1) I think this was addressed in Windows 8.1 and the updated Windows RT... but in the current version, it's 1 swipe to bring up the charms bar and 2 taps (settings > PC settings).

    2) the updated Windows RT will allow you to have multiple tile sizes including the super small one. Also, if you place your tablet in portrait/vertical mode and go to settings in the charms bar, under tiles, there should be a "show more tiles" option.

    4) everyone's waiting for the Windows RT port of VLC and it's still coming. see:
    Follow-up report about the WinRT port - Yet another blog for JBKempf
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Ah, I don't want to get the 8.1 preview before I make myself a recovery flash drive.

    But that reminds me, is it possible to make folders in the Metro start menu? I like having the administrative tools on there, but they get a bit annoying with all the space they take up, it would be easier to just make a folder called Tools and stick them all in there.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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