Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Are there different versions of Windows 8?

  1. #1


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1

    Are there different versions of Windows 8?


    Hi,

    I am having more and more issues with Windows 8.1 on my main computer while my Windows 8.1 ultrabook from Lenovo works correctly. Both machines are running Windows 8.1, but it seems they are running different versions. The Lenovo's Windows 8.1 is stripped down, without the possibility of installing Hyper-V, while the one on my main computer can install it. I don't intend to install Hyper-V; this is just an example showing that the two machines are running two different variants of Windows 8.1.

    Are OEMs like Lenovo, Dell, HP, etc., installing a different version of Windows 8.1, maybe with less problems, than the one that we can order from stores like TigerDirect, NewEgg, etc.? If that's the case, does that mean I am stuck and should just throw this PC away and buy a preassembled machine with Windows 8.1 preinstalled? This is quite bad as preassembled desktops I saw are either low end or come with too stylish gamer-oriented cases I don't like at all. And I don't want to pay >500$ because Microsoft decided that now, we cannot install Windows ourselves.

    My Windows 8.1 on my main PC is more and more unstable, having issues when shutting down (stuck at the "Shutting down" message), causing the ASUS Anti-Surge to trigger, audio is failing each time I start Ableton's Live and forces me to reinstall the M-Audio driver (rebooting doesn't fix it), all Metro apps are crashing systematically, pressing Windows-X doesn't always work. When falling back to the mouse to select something in the menu, the pointer drifts a bit several times I click so that selects the wrong item (probably GUI elements are too small or mouse is not accurate enough).

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 179
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center


    It might've been that Lenovo have Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8.1 with Bing) while your main PC have Windows 8.1 Pro (with or without Media Center). Just go to system properties to see which edition of Windows those two have and here's a comparison between editions:

    Compare Windows 8.1 editions

    On the above page, Client Hyper-V is only available on the Pro and Enterprise Editions.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    That might explain why there is no Hyper-V option on the ultrabook. Is it possible that some features from Windows 8.1 Pro are causing problems? That could be quite shocking that now the non-Pro version works better than the Pro, but it seems to be what I am observing. I cannot just downgrade from Pro to non-Pro, because my serial number is for Pro version so I would have to purchase another copy of Windows 8 just to downgrade. Quite bad.
    Might be a motherboard issue, though, because I am getting again and again this message about Anti-Surge that triggered. But in that cas, how can I pick a motherboard for a custom build? I am reading issues after issues with boards that I can get from TigerDirect and NewEgg, so it seems to be a trial and error process. Is it because Lenovo uses plain Intel boards rather than the Asus ones with many different non-Intel chips added to the Intel basis? I looked at Intel board for desktop PC but connectivity was quite limited, but maybe I will have to sacrifice connectivity for stability.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    Virtuawin seems to be the one blocking the Windows-X key combination from time to time, but I cannot just get rid of it, otherwise I have no efficient way to navigate between more than two windows (alt-tab becomes almost unusable with multiple windows unless I have multiple desktops). My ultrabook doesn't have Virtuawin (yet), because I am using a small number of applications on it and it has a touch screen, so at worst I can tap on the icons in the task bar. But I can't believe Virtuawin is causing audio failures.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 179
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center


    I wouldn't think it's the editions are what's causing problems. Rather, it might've been driver incompatibilities with Windows 8.1. All Windows 8 editions (maybe except RT) have the same driver framework and driver model so even if you change to non-pro, you might still get problems. Anyways, I would try a "trial" double booting on your main PC with a fresh install of 8.1 and see if the new install fixes the issues.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1


    The problem is that reinstalling Windows breaks the boot loader, preventing Ubuntu to start anymore, and there is no clear simple instructions to restore the bootloader; I have to search for this 15 minutes each time it breaks. Installing Windows 8.1 fresh on another partition will cause even more problems: the boot loader of the old and new windows will be linked and I will not be able to just remove the old Windows partition if reinstall fixes the issues. Moreover, reinstalling takes too much time because of the two many drivers to reinstall, and each driver causing reboot. Again, I might have picked the wrong motherboard; maybe simpler boards would require less driver installs, but I don't know what board to use and don't really want to pull my PC apart and assemble a new machine. The system is working correctly with Ubuntu.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 179
    Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center


    I would've have to point it to Virtuawin as the problem. It might've been that Virtuawin is trying to load apps on the virtual desktop which some programs and metro Apps aren't coded to run in that manner. Or it might've been that the keyboard and mouse shortcuts that Virtuawin currently uses are causing conflicts with Window's shortcuts, etc.

    FYI, Windows 10 will have virtual desktops so you wouldn't need a 3rd party software for that functionality. In the mean time, you can probably get by with 2 monitors and switching between them with taskbar or alt-tab.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,592
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    I'd first suspect VirtuaWin as the culprit as well. I've never used it, not sure what it would take to uninstall/reinstall it to see if that improves things.

    BTW, you can see exactly what version of Windows your machine has by right-clicking on the Start button and selecting System. At the top of that page is a section labeled "Windows edition" that will tell you what version of Win 8.x is installed.

    The different versions of Win 8.x use the same OS kernel, but Pro and Enterprise versions include other features (such as Hyper-V).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Just to show you that you are not alone -- I've had Windows 8.1 32-bit failing on me repeatedly during the past couple of weeks. This is after virtually no problems since I installed Win8 and upgraded to 8.1.

    My guess is that these problems have been related to the "bad" Windows updates that have happened recently.

    I got so tired of doing almost daily image restores, that I have clean-installed Win8.1 64-bit and am using that now. I had to do an initial set of 54 updates -- but all of them went without a hitch, and the resulting system appears to be stable.

    So, you might look into doing an in-place reinstall.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    It is not the version of Windows. Your Ultrabook most likely doesn't have the necessary CPU requirements to enable Hyper-V, most likely it's missing SLAT. I also believe that Hyper V requires 8.x Professional, so if you don't have 8.1 Pro on your Ultrabook, that could also prevent you from enabling the feature.


    Does your Windows 8.1 computer support Hyper-V? - Tech Page One
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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