Alternatives to 8.1's Windows Explorer and Task Manager?

clemenzina

New Member
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13
Location
London
I'm sure there must be a discussion already in existence but I can't find it.

Please don't tell me off for being a reactionary, but the fact that I am now landed with an 8.1 OS is almost devastating to me. I've made a start at making it bearable to use by installing Start8, and did something else that (can't remember what) so that booting up lands me on desktop very quickly.

Also, I discovered that Dell have reversed the default behaviour for the Fn keys: they're set to 'multimedia' so that they cannot be used as shortcut keys by third-party software. Fortunately that was easily changeable in Control Panel, once you knew (1) what had been done, and (2) where to find the setting. I wonder if this is now common in touchscreen laptops?

I need advice on these two issues:

My Windows Explorer's left panel is a complete mess, with all sorts jumbled together under 'This PC' instead of merely expanding into the drives and partitions that are physically on 'This PC', with everything else like TVs, PVRs and other networked gadgets showing separately.

I also find the so-called "ribbon" navigation and settings less straightforward. I don't want an Explorer replacement with bells and whistles, just one that looks organised and whose menus are easily accessible. One exactly like 7's would be perfect.

Task Manager in 8.1 only shows running programs in its small interface, and to see processes etc it has to become much larger, therefore interfering with things on my screen that I don't want covered up. Is there a compact replacement close to 7's version?

Thanks for any advice.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Clevo W230ST
    CPU
    Intel i7-4700MQ
    Memory
    8GB Kingston Hyper-X 2133MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 765m
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
The only alternative to Task Manger is Process Explorer. But you end up loosing a lot of features. Windows Explorer is built into Internet Explorer, so you cannot just up and remove it or disable it.

As for the small interface for Task Manager, that is on if you leave it in "Show Fewer Details". Windows Explorer Left pane options are the same way as you handled them in Windows 7. The Ribbon will not go away. You can minimize it. The Ribbon is actually more efficient than the old way that Microsoft had their menu items. As for the Function Key behavior, they went to the old Mainframe way, that you had Function Keys and PF keys. So that you had the use of 24 Function keys. Basically when set to just press the Function key or go Fn and Function key, it is just a reversal of which is the primary order of use, by user's choice. That can be changed in the Bios for all OEM machines. It is a permanent part of the UEFI bios.

Really you are not going to get much pity on this, because the mass majority is soon to be moving away from 8 to 10.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 17.2
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Toshiba Satellite C850D-st3nx1
    CPU
    AMD E1-1200 APU with Radeon (tm) HD Graphics 1.40 GHZ
    Memory
    12GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon™ HD 7310 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD
    Monitor(s) Displays
    LCD
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    Crucial M500 240GB SSD
    Mouse
    Logitech M525
    Internet Speed
    45/6 - ATT U-Verse
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    None needed. It is Linux.
    Other Info
    Arris NVG589 Gateway; Router - Cisco RV320; Switch - Netgear GS108 8-Port Switch & Trendnet TEG-S50g 5-Port Switch; Access Points - Engenius ECB350, Trendnet TEW-638APB; NAS - Lenovo ix2-4; Printer - Brother HL-2280DW; Air Print Server - Lantronix XPrintServer

    A/V UPS - Tripp-Lite Smart 1500LCD 1500 Va/900 W.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH
Ztruker, thank you for the links. I fear that anything suggested for Window 7 will mean more bells and whistles but I'll have a look :)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Clevo W230ST
    CPU
    Intel i7-4700MQ
    Memory
    8GB Kingston Hyper-X 2133MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 765m
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
Explorer++ as well as Process Hacker can be customized by disabling columns/icons to your liking.
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 8.1.1 Pro x64
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo E525
    CPU
    AMD A4-3300M @ 2,0GHz
    Memory
    6GB DDR3 1333MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    AMD Radeon HD 6480G 512MB shared
    Sound Card
    Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    WD 465GB
    Cooling
    Fusion Tweaker
    Keyboard
    Logitech K360
    Mouse
    Logitech M705
    Internet Speed
    50/50 MBps
    Browser
    Yandex
    Antivirus
    No AV & No Firewall
    Other Info
    Headphones: Sennheiser RS170
I was also going to vouch for Explorer++. I have mine to look like it's XP Explorer running in Vista. I only use it as a file manager though; not a shell.
 

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My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 x64 Professional
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    HP xw8600 Workstation
    CPU
    Two Intel Xeon Core2 Quad 3.2 GHz Processors
    Motherboard
    Proprietary
    Memory
    16 GB DDR2 800 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVidia Quadro FX 3800 PCI-E
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Samsung SyncMaster 213T 21" 4x3 Flat Screen
    Screen Resolution
    1600x1200
    Hard Drives
    Two Seagate Cheetah 300 GB SAS Disks
    PSU
    Proprietary
    Case
    HP xw8600 Workstation Case
    Cooling
    Two CPU Fans and a Larger Case Fan
    Keyboard
    PS/2 Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech USB Optical Mouse
    Internet Speed
    7 mbps
    Browser
    Firefox ESR 102
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender
    Other Info
    Two LSI 3000 SAS Adapters
Looks like Explorer++ is going to be the first one I try. Thank you!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Clevo W230ST
    CPU
    Intel i7-4700MQ
    Memory
    8GB Kingston Hyper-X 2133MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 765m
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
Nope! Explorer++, like the native Windows Explorer, is lumping all sorts of stuff under This PC. The 8 items under OS (C) shouldn't be there, they are on the network and should only be seen under Network.

Y80qcet.png

Does my problem lie with Windows 8.1, not with Explorer? I've never seen this before and I've owned many (too many!) laptops running Windows 7.

Where do I go from here?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Clevo W230ST
    CPU
    Intel i7-4700MQ
    Memory
    8GB Kingston Hyper-X 2133MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 765m
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
I don't see that in Windows 10 preview so maybe it will be better when you get to it?

2015-05-30 17_39_35-.png
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH
I did register to try Windows 10 but then decided to wait until it's "safer", as my laptops are all very busy and I can't spend lots of time troubleshooting.

Thanks again, Ztruker.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Clevo W230ST
    CPU
    Intel i7-4700MQ
    Memory
    8GB Kingston Hyper-X 2133MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce GTX 765m
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
If it were Windows 8 you could use Ex7forWin8, but it won't work under 8.1, I tried. sorry :(
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Asus M2N-MX SE Plus § DualCore AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2300 MHz (11.5 x 200) 4400+ § Corsair Value Select
    CPU
    AMD 4400+/4200+
    Motherboard
    Asus M2N-MX SE Plus/Asus A8M2N-LA (NodusM)
    Memory
    2 GB/3GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    GeForce 8400 GS/GeForce 210
    Sound Card
    nVIDIA GT218 - High Definition Audio Controller
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Hitachi 40" LCD HDTV
    Screen Resolution
    "1842 x 1036"
    Hard Drives
    WDC WD50 00AAKS-007AA SCSI Disk Device
    ST1000DL 002-9TT153 SCSI Disk Device
    WDC WD3200AAJB-00J3A0 ATA Device
    WDC WD32 WD-WCAPZ2942630 USB Device
    WD My Book 1140 USB Device
    PSU
    Works 550w
    Case
    MSI "M-Box"
    Cooling
    Water Cooled
    Keyboard
    Dell Keyboard
    Mouse
    Microsoft Intellimouse
    Internet Speed
    Cable Medium Speed
    Browser
    Chrome/IE 10
    Antivirus
    Eset NOD32 6.x/Win Defend
    Other Info
    Recently lost my Windows 8 on my main PC, had to go back to Windows 7.
You could try running Windows 10 as a guest under Oracle VirtualBox to play with it and see if it works for you. I do this as well as run it on my Toshiba laptop.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10 Pro X64
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo IdeaCenter K450
    CPU
    Intel Quad Core i7-4770 @ 3.4Ghz
    Motherboard
    Lenovo
    Memory
    16.0GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel Integrated HD Graphics
    Sound Card
    Realtek HD Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP h2207
    Screen Resolution
    1680x1050@59Hz
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung EVO SATA-3 SSD;
    2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 SATA-2;
    1.5TB Seagate ST3150041AS SATA
    PSU
    500W
    Keyboard
    Wired USB
    Mouse
    Wired USB
    Internet Speed
    3GB Up, 30GB Down
    Browser
    SeaMonkey
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender; MBAM Pro
    Other Info
    UEFI/GPT
    PLDS DVD-RW DH16AERSH
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