Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Learning the fundamentals of Windows (including 8/8.1)

  1. #1


    Posts : 2
    Windows 8.1

    Learning the fundamentals of Windows (including 8/8.1)


    Hi guys,

    I realize there are great tutorials on this site, but what I'm looking for (and I'll do my best not to be hopelessly vague about it) is a way to progress from casual/confident home user - somebody comfortable navigating windows, tweaking things here and there, cleaning up/optimising other people's PC's (to an extent) - to somebody who has a proper understanding of the Windows OS, i.e. the registry, user profiles, and the general underlying organisation of the system.

    My problem is when I go searching for books and tutorials, I get completely bombarded by beginner material that's a little too basic (or at least appears to be - the kind designed to help people get used to the new Windows 8 interface etc, which I had no problems adjusting to), and on the other hand, material geared towards developers (which I'm not).

    So I'm wondering, for a home user who just wants to be more knowledgeable and in control of his system, and not be completely at a loss when, for instance, my desktop profile suddenly disappears, or why programs aren't simply placed in program files but seem to have all these additional appdata, local/roaming folders (these are some of the more recent issues that made me uncomfortable with how much I don't know) are there specific books/sets of tutorials, or even courses you might recommend to somebody like myself? Do you think the Microsoft MTA or MCSA courses would be worthwhile, or perhaps a bit overkill?

    Again, apologies if this is a bit vague, but I'd really appreciate any pointers.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Hi Les:
    I'm gonna be totally honest with ya, back in the day, I bought books, download reference material for the same purpose and poured over them til I was frustrated, bored or just plain sleepy!
    There is lots of handy reference guides you can get your hands on from the web.
    There is also lots of great sites, like this one, to be a member of and get lots of learning done; and this is one of the best sites by far! (still pluggin for that VIP membership! )
    Eventually I found the best way for me was 'trial and error', in other words 'mess with the system'. So, I got into the habit of always running a 'test machine' on another partition to fool around with til my fingers bled! I always scour the internet for reputable how-to sites or material, and joined the awesome group of folks here at Windows EightForums!
    It's amazing how much you can learn in a short period of time and then eventually help out as well as you keep learning.
    It works for me and it's also a fun approach, but you decide what's best for you. I'm just throwing some ideas out there.

    Greets!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,590
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    I agree with Edwin, "trial and error" worked for me, there's no substitute for experience. Make sure you keep your system backed up so you can restore it if one of your errors goes too far!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Les Whinen View Post
    Hi guys,

    I realize there are great tutorials on this site, but what I'm looking for (and I'll do my best not to be hopelessly vague about it) is a way to progress from casual/confident home user - somebody comfortable navigating windows, tweaking things here and there, cleaning up/optimising other people's PC's (to an extent) - to somebody who has a proper understanding of the Windows OS, i.e. the registry, user profiles, and the general underlying organisation of the system.
    Here are a couple of links to the Windows Bible; both Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 book which weighs in at nearly 1000 pages and seems to have been written while testing the Windows 8.1 Update so it may have everything you need.

    Windows 8 Bible: Jim Boyce, Rob Tidrow: 9781118203880: Amazon.com: Books
    Amazon.com: windows 8.1 bible: Books

    While you're on each Amazon page, scroll down to the bottom and you'll see a number of other books on Windows advertised, some of which are pretty comprehensive.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Here I go again but let me tell my story. Once upon a time, long time ago, I thought I knew everything there was about DOS 3, even passed some MS test. Then buy chance (or luck) I got MS manual for DOS, it was the size of an average encyclopedia !!!. After just a cursory look thru I realized i'm aware of only 10% of the content if even that.
    Moral of the story, better read (even if it's tedious) than sorry.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Texas
    Posts : 1,022
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    Here I go again but let me tell my story. Once upon a time, long time ago, I thought I knew everything there was about DOS 3, even passed some MS test. Then buy chance (or luck) I got MS manual for DOS, it was the size of an average encyclopedia !!!. After just a cursory look thru I realized i'm aware of only 10% of the content if even that.
    Moral of the story, better read (even if it's tedious) than sorry.
    Yep, Count . . . ya never know whatcha don't know until you start reading.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Learning the fundamentals of Windows (including 8/8.1)
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