Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Trying to Get Started With Windows 8.1

  1. #11


    Thanks for the replies. I'll take a look at "Start is Back". I found "Classic Shell" and have been organizing things. It works pretty well, but I'll take a look at "Start is Back".

    As for the "Desktop Toolbar" you can add me to the multitudes that have never heard of it. I looked it up and couldn't even find any reference to it for 8.1. Can you elaborate on what it is and why it's better than a start menu? How do I create it, what does it does that's better than a start menu, etc?

    And how do I get to the TWO screens of the Metro screen? So far, nothing I"ve found even says there are 2 screens. Or are the irrelevant and I can ignore the whole Metro thing? Just out of curiosity I'd like to see the screens.

    BTW: I also removed at least 90% of the "modern" apps. One of the few I haven't dumped is OneDrive and that's 'cause it won't let me delete it (so far).

    As far as the desktop. Yes, I know I can put a massive number of icons on it, but I've always found that to be really slow and cumbersome 'cause the windows obscure them and I was constantly shoving stuff around to get to things.

    I like the layout CountMike has, but I do primarily image processing so I don't want anything on the desktop
    that's going to clash. All my backgrounds are middle gray - 127,127,127.
    I did what you suggested and bott directly to the desktop and now have a start menu.

    Just for fun I just created a Program toolbar. What does it do that the start menu doesn't? It looks interesting but what features make it better than a menu alternative?

    At least at this point, 8.1 is usable, and I have most of the software installed so I can switch syatems soon and actually try doing some actual work!

    How do I run a command that goes there no matter where you are? I haven't found one.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    How do I run a command that goes there no matter where you are?
    If you mean Command Prompt, put the cursor in the bottom left of the screen & right click the Windows start button.


    Click image for larger version

    Or use the Search on the Charms Bar---

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    As for the "Desktop Toolbar" you can add me to the multitudes that have never heard of it. I looked it up and couldn't even find any reference to it for 8.1. Can you elaborate on what it is and why it's better than a start menu? How do I create it, what does it does that's better than a start menu, etc?
    When you right-click the taskbar, the Toolbars cascade menu offers Desktop. If selected, the taskbar will have a 'divider' that can be slid open to reveal the desktop icons, including the Recycle Bin. Once they are revealed and accessible, the display of icons on the visual desktop can be turned off.

    BTW, in my DuckDuckGo search, sister forum, SevenForums, has a tutorial on the Desktop Toolbar. I would think there is one in EightForums. Edit: 'found' in "Taskbar Toolbar - Add or Remove". It has a screen capture of the tool in use. In SevenForums, "Toolbars - How to Use in Windows 7/8 and Vista" has a vimeo. I have not seen it.

    Some of the recent programs, during installation, offer a choice of either add a shortcut entry to StartMenu, the desktop or both. When one can, choosing the desktop exclusively keeps the StartMenu from bloating. The desktop icon shortcuts can then be easily managed via the Desktop Toolbar. Depending on how one organizes this Toolbar, it can function as a StartMenu, with the advantage of a drop-down cascade menu. One can slide the mouse cursor to one's delight over the plethora of choices until one selects. The Win 7 StartMenu was a click-click-click.

    And how do I get to the TWO screens of the Metro screen? So far, nothing I"ve found even says there are 2 screens. Or are the irrelevant and I can ignore the whole Metro thing? Just out of curiosity I'd like to see the screens.
    I don't use Apps, so I consider the Metro screens irrelevant. I had to deal with them in order to upgrade via the Store. AND, having Apps running on the 'other' Start screen is not using the resources wisely.

    Left-clicking the StartMenu takes one directly to the main Metro Start screen. Once that is uncluttered to a few entries, there is a small circle with a 'down arrow'. That takes one to the secondary Metro screen with the various desktop programs' homepage and uninstall links.

    As far as the desktop. Yes, I know I can put a massive number of icons on it, but I've always found that to be really slow and cumbersome 'cause the windows obscure them and I was constantly shoving stuff around to get to things.
    The Desktop Toolbar provides the solution to that problem. Although, I suppose you'll have to find the Desktop Toolbar first.
    Last edited by 10soonerlater; 23 Dec 2014 at 01:44.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Ah, now I get it for the desktop toolbars. Yes, I was familiar with it, I just hadn't used it on the Windows 7 system.

    I'll do some playing.

    I think I've got enough information now to spend some time rummaging around the system and eventually get things to where it's reasonably productive. I had hoped to use Windows 8.1 in it's natural state so it would be easier when I have to get on someone else's system, but now that I see that many of y'all have added bits and pieces to better fit the way you work, I'm doing the same thing.

    Off to play... Well, actually first off to Seagate to get a disk replaced. I've got a pair of pretty new 2TB Seagate drives. One failed in August and Seagate replaced it. The other has been working but when I plugged it into the 8.1 system it wouldn't boot 'cause it threw a fit about a SMART error. Put it on the Windows 7 system and it worked fine.

    Did a full disk wipe, full surface scan, and full format and it SAYS there are no bad blocks. But CrystalDiskInfo says there are FIVE reallocated sectors and even though it passes the test in SeaTools I can't get the 8.1 system to stop yelling about the SMART error. So, I'll do the RMA on this one too.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    I think I'm even more OLD SCHOOL than Gracie and I resist change like a bulldozer that someone's trying to pull backwards with a garden tractor.

    For over a decade, I've run Windows XP-Pro as my main (every day) OS and I've used the Desktop like MS originally designed it to be used. How many office desks do you see, with the phone, stapler, tape dispenser and Inbox all secreted away in drawers.
    "A clean desk is the sign of a weak mind". I always thought that little saying was 'Right On'.

    So when I installed Windows 8.1 on a laptop PC, I used the "Classic Shell" to set it up to look and work just like XP.
    Without any user password, my little PC jumps right to the desktop on boot up, just like XP or Windows 7.

    I do have a 64 bit AMD cpu, but I only use the 32 bit version of Windows 8.1, because of its GREAT Backward Compatibility.
    On my little laptop, I have even installed and run a 16 bit game that I bought back in 1990. See following pic.



    Please......no sheep jokes!

    And for us old Outlook Express users, there is Windows Mail which is disabled in Win-8, but can be re-enabled without any problem at all.

    So, if I were forced to start using Windows 8.1 as my everyday OS, I could do so without any serious mental stress.
    Every program that I currently use under Windows XP, will run equally well under Windows 8.1, by running them in Compatibility mode, and with "Run as Administrator" selected for the shortcut.

    I've done all of the above for my Oldster customers who don't adapt easily to Change, but are stuck with a new computer that uses Windows 8.1.

    Cheers Mates and Happy Holidays!

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Oh, boy, this ain't good! In truth I'm crusty enough to agree with TechnoMage! XP, desktop and start menu was the easiest system on which to find programs and run them for me doing actual work. I'll get used to 8.1 as I did to 7, but it sure seems far less geared toward actual productivity than to cutesy social stuff that I've removed...

    Anyhow, I've not gotten to the point where I'm dangerous! I know enough to get INTO trouble, but not enough to know how to get out!

    For example, at the moment I have NO startup programs. Yesterday I had a bunch, most of which were disabled, but a couple were enabled to start when I booted. Now, it's completely empty. I found a topic that talked about putting programs into startup, but when I got to the point where I ran the command "shell:startup" it said there WAS NO FOLDER... I'm guessing I clobbered it, but I don't know where it should be, so I'm not sure. I've gotta find something to tell me where it SHOULD be.

    I'm now at the point where there's going to be a fair amount of heavy sighing!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    C:/users/your name/AppData/roaming/Microsift/Windows/Start menu/Programs/Startup
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    C:/users/your name/AppData/roaming/Microsift/Windows/Start menu/Programs/Startup
    Yup, I found that one. Actually there wasn't one, so I created a folder called "Startup". Put in a test program, and it never showed up in the list of startup programs. I figured there must be some OTHER general/non-user-specific folder where things had to go.

    I have no idea WHAT I did to clobber the startup stuff, but I did.

    I also had the rude shock yesterday of going out and looking at all the processes and stuff running in 8.1..... GOOD GRIEF! I can't believe all the "stuff" that's sitting there. Apparently AISuite 3 creates at LEAST 6 or 8 processes and/or services, and there's a massive herd of other background processes!

    Oh, Samsung Magician has THREE things, and I haven't been able to find anything to tell me which, if any of them, I actually need:

    Samsung Magician Application -- what do I need this for?
    Samsung RAPID Mode Notification Utility -- does this do anything other than TELL ME something is doing RAPID?
    Samsung RAPID Mode Service --- I presume this one is actually doing RAPID mode?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 1,720
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    The default active Startup folder should be in:

    C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Some programs in Startup need to be run "As Administrator", you can set that in it's options. Out of 9 startup applications I have only one starting from that Startup folder. Might be best to reinstall applications you want in Startup but the less there is faster will Windows start and less RAM and CPU cycles be used during normal use. It's best to have just absolutely necessary ones, ones needed all the time.
    I'm not sure about that Samsung stuff, maybe somebody that has that SSD can tell you better about it but I think that RAPID service has to be installed and enabled to auto in Windows Services. RAPID mode is actually a disk cache running in RAM and is supposed to speed up SSD writes but I don't know how much it helps with only one SSD which is much faster than a HDD anyway.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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Trying to Get Started With Windows 8.1
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