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How I modded my Windows 8 installation - How (not) to install Windows 8

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c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Windows 8 is officially out today.


Warning: Due to its content, the following should not be tried by anyone.


None of this should be done blindly by anyone who doesn't understand what this is. Most people would just cherry pick from it. It's mostly useful for making your master drive image which you slightly edit every month or so.

Do not try anything that looks remotely confusing or you will mess up your system.

This is for long time experienced users of Windows who like to tweak things. It's like a reminder list for people who do some of this stuff anyway. Or they'll do the same things but with specifics they themselves prefer. It's definitely not "the way to install Windows 8" for most people.


[Skip to part 2 ; first three pages contain personal pre-installation information only.]

EDIT: Finally Done:




Windows 8 Installation v1.0


[SKIP TO PAGE 4 ; FIRST THREE PAGES CONTAIN PRE-INSTALLATION INFORMATION ONLY.]

* Setup BIOS and partition your hard drive (one physical drive "divided" into C Drive, D Drive…) so that you can install your operating system on one of the partitions, install your software, set it all up to your liking, then back up the entire partition onto DVD disc(s) (or another partition) for easy restoration in the future without having to go through the entire Windows, drivers and software installation process again. Be sure to partition and/or format Windows 8 drive under Windows Vista/7/8 and not Windows XP to get a correct partition offset.
* Physically disconnect Internet connection cables to avoid being prompted to setup unnecessary Microsoft Accounts and so that nothing interferes with custom setup. Always reboot when prompted. Windows 8 offers full video card resolution without video card drivers. Since video card drivers may cause problems, try to install them and any other drivers closer to the end of your installation process, just after making a drive image of the installation work done before installing drivers.

* Windows 8 has an Auto-arrange feature which cannot be turned off. You can move Desktop items on Windows 8 to any other place on Windows 8 Desktop but you cannot move files/folders inside any Windows 8 directory. Dragging files/folders inside any directory was found to crash some system using Windows Vista (and Windows 7 Alpha releases) so Microsoft simply turned this feature off entirely in both Windows 7 and Windows 8 (!) Registry edits disabling Auto-arrange on Windows 7 and 8 break other Windows features. You can choose how files/folders are Auto-arranged but you cannot arrange them randomly yourself. They will always be displayed as Auto-arranged by Name, Type, Size, etc.
Unlike previous versions of Windows, you may *not* select a custom drive letter for Windows 8. It always sets drive letter C: to the partition where it is installed, regardless of where you install it from: DVD/USB or from another version of Windows. Therefore, Windows 8 developers force us to use this workaround to keep all drive letters uniform on all operating systems on our multi-boot machines: To select a drive letter for Windows 8, other than C:
1. From previous version of Windows installed on another partition, set the drive letter of the empty partition where you want to install Windows 8, for example drive letter W.
2. Stay inside the previous version of Windows and from there first install onto drive letter W either Windows Vista or Windows 7. Installing retail DVD version of Windows 8 from Windows XP is only possible for the 32-Bit version of Windows 8. This is because you cannot install 64-Bit version of Windows from 32-Bit version of Windows and if you try to install 64-Bit version of Windows 8 from 64-Bit version of Windows XP, you will get an error message about Windows XP Service Pack 3 being required. It seems that Windows 8 developers forgot that there is no such thing as SP3 for Windows XP 64-Bit. Service Pack 3 is only available for 32-Bit Windows XP.
3. Now reboot into drive letter W: and from there start Windows 8 installation which will then preserve all existing drive letters including its own drive letter W and will rename existing Windows folder to Windows.old and install to \Windows folder on the same drive letter as the current Windows installation. Follow instructions below on how to delete Windows.old folder.
4. Boot Configuration Data must be changed in the image containing the partition with BCD data: Boot from Windows 8 CD > Press any key to boot from CD.. > Next > Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Automatic Repair > Windows 8
* If you install Windows 8 FROM another OS, you will be prompted for the following:
Get the latest
These updates will help make the installation smoother.
Go online to install updates now (recommended)
No, thanks
Next

SELECT: No, thanks

Product key
The product key should be with the box the DVD came in or on your email receipt. When you connect to the Internet, we'll activate Windows for you.
It looks similar to this: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

Enter Product key [there is no Windows 8 trial mode without Product key.] > Next
License terms
Please read this so you know what you're agreeing to.
CHECK: I accept the license terms > Accept
>
Choose what to keep
Keep personal files only
Nothing
Help me decide
Next
>
Ready to install
You won't be able to use your PC while Windows installs. Save and close your files before you begin.
>
To recap, here's what you've chosen to do:
Install Windows 8 Pro
Don't keep anything
Change selection
Install
* To install Windows 8 from USB: Connect your USB Flash drive then type this in Windows 8/7/Vista DOS [Windows XP DOS cannot be used for this]:

• diskpart
• list disk
• select disk #
[of USB Flash drive]
• clean
• create partition primary
• select partition 1
• active
• format fs=NTFS quick
• assign
• exit

Now copy all contents of Windows 8 ISO to the USB Flash drive, then reboot and hold F8 or F12 to get a boot selection menu from which you can choose to boot from the newly created USB Flash Drive. Optionally, delete autorun.inf (because autorun.inf files are now routinely intercepted by antivirus software.)


* If installing from DVD/USB: Setup Language, Time and currency, Keyboard or input method > Next > Install now

* Enter the product key to activate Windows [there is no Windows 8 trial mode without Product key.] > Next

* CHECK: I accept the license terms > Next > Click on: Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) > Select Drive Partition to install to and begin the installation process during which the computer will restart several times.



• Personalize - Pick a color you like and give your PC a name – any name you want. You'll be able to personalize more later.
SELECT: Blue [8th color from right] or for Laptops Blue [10th color from left]
Enter computer name (it cannot be the same as your User name which you will be asked to enter later) > Next
[If you are connected to Internet, you will be asked if you want to turn sharing and connect to other devices here.]
• Customize > From the drop down menu, SELECT: Don't set up Windows Update (not recommended)
• Automatically get device drivers, apps, and info for new devices: OFF
• Help Protect your privacy and your PC:
Turn on Windows SmartScreen Filter to check files and apps with Microsoft: OFF
Turn on Internet Explorer SmartScreen Filter to check URLs and downloads with Microsoft: OFF
Send a Do Not Track request to websites you visit in Internet Explorer: ON
> Next
• Send Microsoft info to help make Windows and apps better:
Leave everything OFF here.
> Next
Settings
• Check online for solutions to problems: Set everything to OFF here.
• Share info with apps: Set everything to OFF here.
> Next
[• If you are installing from another OS, you will be prompted to Set up Region and Language here.]
• Sign in to your PC: Enter only your User name. Leave all other fields blank > Finish.

If you did not disconnect your internet connection, you will have to create a Microsoft account here and enter a password, otherwise look for this link at the bottom: Sign in without a Microsoft account then select Local Account.

After you enter Windows 8 environment, right-click on the lower left corner > Desktop > to switch to standard Desktop. Do the same to exit an open Windows 8 window.
Hover mouse over lower right corner to be able to select Settings > Power > Sleep / Shut down / Restart.
[If you upgraded] To free up a considerable amount of disk space: Hover mouse over top right corner > Search icon > click on Settings > type this in the search box:
clean > Click on Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files > Select the system drive > OK > Click on Clean up system files button > Select the system drive > OK > CHECK: Previous Windows installation(s) and scroll down and CHECK: Temporary Windows installation files > OK > Delete Files

You may enable the hidden actual Administrator Account so that you can have ultimate Administrator privileges that surpass privileges that user accounts 'with Administrator Privileges' have. Apps from Windows Store may not start when logged in to this account however. They may only work if you are logged in as a User 'with Administrator Privileges'.

In order to get to Windows 8 programs, remember to Hover mouse over lower right corner > Start > now Right click anywhere except on Metro windows to see and select All apps in lower right corner.

All apps > scroll to right and Right click on Command Prompt > More links appear at the bottom > Click on Run as administrator [second from right] > Yes > type in:
net user administrator /active:yes

Start [which, remember, only appears after you hover mouse over lower right corner] > Click on your user name [upper right corner] and Sign out

Now click anywhere to see the newly enabled real Administrator account > click on it.

Start > Right click anywhere > All Apps > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Manage another account [second from the bottom on the right] > Click on the old account > Delete the account > Choose to Delete Files or Keep Files > Delete Account

* [Disable User Account Control:]
Start > Right click anywhere > All Apps > Run > type
msconfig
> OK > Tools TAB > Click on Change UAC Settings > Launch > Slide down to Never notify > OK > Boot TAB > Change Timeout if using a multi-boot > Advanced options... button > select number of processors you have > OK > OK > Restart
* [Always log into Windows 8 as an Administrator without password requirements:]
Start > Right click anywhere > All Apps > Run > type
control userpasswords2
> OK > Users TAB > UNCHECK: Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer > OK
(A dialog will appear that asks you what user name and password should be used to logon automatically.)
Enter existing password or leave blank if you never entered your password > click on OK
The system should now boot into Desktop automatically without the logon prompt.

* [Always boot into Windows 8 Desktop, bypassing Windows 8 Metro:]
Simply install Classic Shell: http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/files/
OR:
Right click on the lower left corner > Click on the yellow File Explorer icon > View > Options > View TAB > SELECT: Show hidden files, folders, and drives and UNCHECK: Hide extensions for known file types > OK > Now go to Computer > C Drive > Windows > Right click on empty space > New > Text document > name the file NoMetro > Open it in Notepad and enter the following:
[Shell]
Command=2
IconFile=Explorer.exe,3
[Taskbar]
Command=ToggleDesktop

File > Save > Rename the file's extension to .scf so the file is now called NoMetro.scf (even if .scf extension is not visible)
Right click on the lower left corner > Run > control schedtasks
Task Scheduler Library > Create Task… [upper right] > Name: NoMetro > Triggers TAB > New… > Drop down menu > At log on > OK >
Actions TAB > New... > Browse to C:\Windows\NoMetro.scf you created above (even if .scf extension is not visible) > Open > OK > OK

RESTART THE SYSTEM, it should boot into Windows 8 desktop directly and without password.


CLASSIC SHELL SETUP: http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/files/
UNCHECK: Classic IE9 if you want to keep new Internet Explorer settings.
Right click on Start Menu > Settings > Start Menu Style TAB > Windows XP > Yes
Special Items TAB >
Favorites: Display as a menu; CHECK: Show Log Off ; User documents and User pictures: Don't display this item ; UNCHECK: Show Help and Support
Skin TAB > CHECK: Large Font
Windows 8 Settings TAB > Disable active corners > All > OK
Start Button TAB > Custom Button > Button Image has to be a single .bmp or .png image of three different buttons top, middle, and bottom button depicting normal, hot and pressed button style.

If Classic Explorer Bar disappears, go to any folder > View > Click on down arrow under Options > CHECK: Classic Explorer Bar. Right click on any Classic Explorer Bar icon to enter Settings > All Settings
[Backup drop-down menu allows you to save/restore settings]
SELECT: All settings > Navigation Pane TAB > CHECK: Don't fade buttons
Tree item spacing: 5 or 10 [Expand only folders that are needed on the left.]
Auto-navigate to the selected folder: Always
[Optional] Title Bar > CHECK: Disable breadcrumbs > to revert to old folder address bar display.
Toolbar Settings > CHECK: Big buttons
Large icon size: 32
CHECK: Same size buttons

Toolbar Buttons Tab > SEPARATOR, Back, SEPARATOR, Forward, SEPARATOR, Up, SEPARATOR, Refresh, SEPARATOR, Copy, SEPARATOR, Paste, SEPARATOR, Cut, SEPARATOR, Delete, SEPARATOR, Undo, SEPARATOR, Custom Command, SEPARATOR, Properties, SEPARATOR, InvertSelection, SEPARATOR, SelectAll, SEPARATOR
Right click on Buttons > Edit Item > to be able to assign custom icons and button name labels.
Right click on empty space next to Folder Buttons to LOCK/UNLOCK the toolbars and be able to move them to the left.
[Classic Shell restores Start Menu and its Run… command. If it is not installed, use Windows 8 Metro Search to enter commands you would enter next to Run…]
* Customize Quick Access Toolbar in the upper left corner of any folder.
* [Disable System Restore:] Right click on computer > Properties > Advanced system settings > System Protection TAB > Configure > Disable system protection > OK > OK
* [Disable hibernate mode in Desktops] from DOS > powercfg -h off
[To get to DOS: Start Menu > Windows System > Command Prompt]

* [Disable Indexing] Right click on every drive > Properties > UNCHECK: Allow files on this drive to have contents indexed in addition to file properties

* [Increase AUTOCHK Initiation Countdown, so you have more time to skip disk checking if you need to]
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager
Change the value of AutoChkTimeOut to 5 to set the value at 5 seconds.
(If AutoChkTimeOut is not there, right-click on Session Manager > New > DWORD (32-bit) Value)

* [Get rid of "Windows can't verify the publisher of this software" warning when installing drivers:]
gpedit.msc command is available on Windows 8 Pro, it is not available on Windows 8 (non-pro) version.
Start Menu > Run > gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Driver Installation > Double click on Code signing for device drivers > Enabled > (below Enabled) click on the down arrow next to 'Warn' and select Ignore > OK
* [Get rid of Popup Balloons from the task bar:]
Start Menu > Run > gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Double click on Turn off all balloon notifications > Enabled > OK >
For non-Pro version of Windows 8, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced Right click on Advanced and create a new 32-bit DWORD named EnableBalloonTips Double click on it and give it value of 0
* [Get rid of Open File - Security Warning]:
Start Menu > Run > gpedit.msc > User Configuration > Administrative Templates >
Windows Components > Attachment Manager >
In the right pane, double click on 'Inclusion list for moderate risk file types' > Enabled > Under 'Options: > *.* > OK
Do the same for 'Inclusion list for low file types'
* [Get rid of Open File - Security Warning for downloaded files]:
Scroll up and set "Do not preserve zone information in file attachments" to Enabled
Then also
Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Network and Internet > Internet Options > Security TAB > Custom Level > scroll down under Miscellaneous > Launching Applications and Unsafe Files (not secure) > Enable (not secure) > OK > Yes > OK

Open File - Security Warning may still appear for files downloaded earlier. Those files need to be stripped of alternate data streams using streams.exe program http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897440.aspx
from DOS: streams.exe -d -s <directory path>


[If taskbar thumbnail preview interferes with your work, the following did not work in Windows 7 to disable it and it does not work in Windows 8: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Turn off taskbar thumbnails > Enabled > OK ]
So the workaround is this:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
> Right click on Advanced and select New DWORD and name it
ExtendedUIHoverTime
Double click on it and give it a large value like 99999999
This effectively disables taskbar thumbnail preview because you would have to hover over the task bar for a long time to actually see the thumbnail preview.

* First apply any Service Packs then Start Menu > Control Panel > Windows Update > Change settings > Under Important updates, select: Never check for updates > OK > Check for updates [upper left] > View available updates before applying them to make sure to UNCHECK any hardware drivers. Never use Windows Update to update hardware drivers. Right click > Hide update.
[Install hardware driver updates only from manufacturer web sites and only after imaging the system.]

* Right click > Unpin Task Bar icons and Enable Quick Launch: Right click on an empty space on the taskbar > Toolbars > New Toolbar >
%userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch
> Select Folder

Right click on an empty space on the taskbar > UNCHECK: Lock the taskbar > Left click on the dotted lines on the left side and hold them, then drag it to the right PAST the Quick Launch toolbar and release to get the Toolbar on the left side.

Right click on the taskbar > UNCHECK: Show Text and Show title then above it View > Large Icons

Quick Launch: Show Desktop, Notepad, Drive shortcuts, Email, Firefox
Lock the task bar again.


* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > System and Security > Administrative Tools (near bottom) > Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler (Local) [upper left] > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Windows > Maintenance > Right click on WinSAT > Disable [Or else it will run every week assessing your computer score, interrupting and disrupting you while you are using your computer.]

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > System and Security > Action Center > Change Action Center settings [on the left] > UNCHECK everything > OK [so it takes affect, clicking on anything else would bring the checks back.]

> Change Action Center settings [on the left] > scroll down and click on Problem reporting settings > Never check for solutions > Change report settings for all users > Never check for solutions > OK > OK > OK > File > Close


* Start Menu > Run… > services.msc > Click on Name to line the list Alphabetically > Scroll down to Windows Error Reporting Service and double click on it then (in the middle of the window) where it says "Startup type:" SELECT: Disabled > OK

Scroll down to Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service and double click on it > Stop > then (in the middle of the window) where it says "Startup type:" SELECT: Disabled > OK

Scroll up to Offline Files service and double click on it > Stop > then (in the middle of the window) where it says "Startup type:" SELECT: Disabled > OK

Scroll down to Superfetch and decide if you wish to disable it, most people do not. [Disabling it reduces hard drive activity. Enabling it again will result in increase in initial hard drive activity again since it may a while for Superfetch to figure out your usage patterns. If you disable Superfetch, you can then delete contents of the Windows\Prefetch\ folder.]

Scroll down to Windows Defender Service and double click on it > Stop > then (in the middle of the window) where it says "Startup type:" SELECT: Disabled > OK > File > Exit
Right click on Taskbar TAB > Properties > Taskbar buttons (in the middle): Never combine > (Notification Area) Customize… button > Click on items you choose to Always hide (Volume, Windows Explorer, Action Center) > OK > OK > REBOOT

* Right click on Desktop > Personalize > Display [lower left] > Custom sizing options > 120% > OK > Apply > Sign out now > Log back in

* Right click on Desktop > Personalize > Display [lower left] > Select Icons from drop down menu and CHECK: Bold > Apply > Set Title bars 14 ; Menus 15 > Apply

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > System and Security > System > Remote settings > UNCHECK: Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer


Advanced TAB > (Under Performance) Settings… button >
UNCHECK everything that starts with "Fade" or "Slide" > Apply > OK

Advanced TAB > (Under Startup and Recovery) Settings…button >
UNCHECK: Automatically Restart > OK > OK


Go inside any folder > View > Medium Icons > CHECK: File name extensions
View > CHECK: Hidden items

View > Options [on right] > Change folder and search options > View TAB >
CHECK: Launch folder windows in a separate process
UNCHECK: Hide empty drives in the Computer folder

> Apply > Apply to Folders button > Yes > OK >


* From Windows 95 to Windows XP Explorer has had a STATUS BAR which displayed very useful information at a glance. Microsoft Developers have removed most of that information and have done so in a way that even Classic Shell or other programs cannot restore it.
The alternative is to activate View > Details Pane.

* Microsoft Developers have also removed Advanced Appearance Settings from Windows 8.


* To change scroll bar size. Go to:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics
Both ScrollHeight and ScrollWidth should have the same value. Use value -350


* When using a word processor (for example) change the window color from white to off white:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Colors and change the value of: Window to 255 243 215


* Set Recycle Bin default view to Details > Original Location ; Date Deleted ; Size

* Start Menu > Programs > Windows Accessories > Notepad: Format > CHECK: Word Wrap
then Format > Font… > Verdana 14 Regular > OK


* Get rid of "-shortcut" text when creating shortcuts:
Start Menu > Run... > regedit > go to registry key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer
Click on Explorer then in the right pane, scroll down and double click on: link > change its value to 00 00 00 00 > OK [This will take effect after rebooting.]

* Get rid of a warning after unchecking 'Hide Protected Operating System Files' option:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\SuperHidden\
Delete WarningIfNotDefault

* To insert right click > Notepad option:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\*\Shell\
[If it's not there, create it: Right click on * > New > Key > Shell ]
Right click on Shell > New > Key > Notepad > Double click on (Default) in the right window and enter value
&Notepad

then right click on Notepad > New > Key > command > Double click on (Default) in the right window and enter value Notepad.exe %1

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay > UNCHECK: Use AutoPlay for all media and devices > Save [bottom right]

* Change Drive Letters: Right click on Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management > Right-click on drives > Change Drive Letter and Paths > File > Exit

* Disable Internet Explorer Security Settings Check or else you will get this message when opening Internet Explofer: Your current settings put your computer at risk.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Security
Right click on Security > New DWORD Value
DisableSecuritySettingsCheck > Double click on it and give it a value of 1

* Disable 'You have new apps that can open this type of file' nag from showing up *whenever* you install new software. Copy this into Notepad and save as a .reg file then double click on it to import it into registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer]
"NoNewAppAlert"=dword:00000001


* Make ALL of the bandwidth available to you:

Start Menu > Run... > gpedit.msc > OK
1. Expand "Computer Configuration" > "Administrative Templates" > "Network"
2. Highlight the "QoS Packet Scheduler" in the LEFT window
3. In the right window double click on "limit reservable bandwidth"
4. Under the Setting TAB SELECT: "Enabled"
5. Where it says "Bandwidth limit (%)" change it to 0 and Click on OK > File > Exit
Since gpedit.msc is not available on Windows 8 (non-pro) version, go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\
Right click on Windows > New > Key > name it Psched
Right click on Psched and create a new 32-bit DWORD named NonBestEffortLimit with value of 0

> REBOOT


* Configure Mouse + cursors:
Start Menu > Settings > Control Panel > Mouse > Pointers TAB > Scheme: Magnified
[For Busy and Move, select to Use Default button; Custom: Help Select, Alternate Select, Link Select]

* Right click on desktop > Personalize > Desktop Background > Change Desktop Background > Save Changes.

Setup and change desktop icons [upper left].
[For all OS after Windows XP, Recycle Bin switching b/w Full and Empty does not work for all custom Recycle Bin icons.]
Screen Saver [lower right] > Change power settings > Change plan settings > Turn off the display: 3 hours > Put the computer to sleep: Never >

Change advanced power settings >
Balanced > Require a password on wakeup > No
Hard disk > Turn off hard disk after > Setting: Never > Apply > OK > Save changes

* Change User Account picture > SHIFT + Start Menu to start the Metro screen > click on user name in upper right corner > Change account picture > Browse…

* Right click on desktop > Personalize > Sounds > Sounds TAB >

Under Windows: scroll down and click on Asterisk >
Under Sounds: scroll up and SELECT (None) >
then turn off all other sounds from the list that may annoy you.
> Apply, then (above) Save As… to save your sound settings to be able to restore them in case they get reset when other Themes are applied.

Recording TAB > Raise recording levels

Playback TAB > Raise playback levels > OK

> REBOOT

* Place drive shortcuts shortcut in
C:\Users\[user name]\My Documents\ [Also add REVISIONS folder shortcut here]
C:\Users\[user name]\Pictures

* Start Internet Explorer: Don't use recommended settings > OK

Right click on empty space next to IE tabs > CHECK:
- Menu Bar
- Command Bar
- Status Bar

UNCHECK: Favorites bar
then Right click next to Command Bar > Customize > SELECT: Show All Text Labels and then SELECT: Add or remove commands (below Show All Text Labels) >

COPY Separator PASTE Separator CUT Separator PRINT Separator TEXT SIZE Separator FULL SCREEN Separator TOOLS
> Close

* CTRL+H > Drop down menu > View By Order Visited Today

* Tools > Internet options [bottom] > General Tab > Set Home Page to about:blank

Advanced TAB > under Browsing,
UNCHECK: - Notify when downloads complete
- Reuse windows for launching shortcuts

then go down under Multimedia and
UNCHECK: Enable Automatic Image Resizing

then go down under Security and
CHECK: Allow software to run or install even if the signature is invalid
UNCHECK: Check for signatures on downloaded programs

Content TAB > Auto Complete Settings button > UNCHECK everything > OK
> [next to Feeds and Web Slices] Settings >
UNCHECK: Automatically check feeds and Web Slices for updates

Privacy TAB > UNCHECK: Turn on Pop-up Blocker (if using Internet Explorer for testing purposes and not as a default browser) > OK

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Clock, Language, and Region > Date and Time > UNCHECK: Notify me when the clock changes > Internet Time TAB > Change settings… > Server: time.nist.gov > OK > OK > Change date, time, or number formats > Additional settings… > Date TAB > Short date: dddd, d MMM

* Open any folder and use the search bar to search for anything > [Next to File Home Share View] click on Search > Advanced options > Change indexed locations > Select locations and Modify > Only the Start Menu should be CHECKED > OK > Close
* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > System and Security >
Windows Firewall > Turn Windows Firewall on or off > Turn off Windows Firewall for both options > OK > Advanced Settings > Windows Firewall Properties > Firewall state: Off > OK

[Disable Windows Firewall (along with Defender which was disabled earlier) if you are going to use third party software such as Comodo Firewall, since these Microsoft programs intercept incoming traffic but do not offer an option to intercept personal data being sent *out* from your PC. Third party Firewalls do.]

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > System and Security > Under Administrative Tools, click on Defragment and optimize your drives then wait a minute to see the Optimize Drives window > Change settings > UNCHECK everything > OK > Close

* [Increase file transfer speed] Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off [second from top] > Scroll down to
Print and Document Services, click on + and UNCHECK: Remote Differential Compression API Support > OK

* Right click on Desktop > Personalize > Save theme (upper right side) > Save As…

REMOVE START-UP ITEMS AND SHELL EXTENSIONS as you install programs
+ START APPLICATIONS TO SET UP OPTIONS + Place Shortcuts on Desktop

* Other Applications (except for AntiVirus)

If an application insists that an older version of .NET Framework be installed, instead of running its Setup.exe file, try running its .msi setup file instead.

File extensions may not open with a double click until you actually once:
Right click on a file extension > Open with > Choose default program... > [if it is not on the list] Scroll down > More options > CHECK: Use this app for all .* files > Scroll down > Look for another app on this PC > Browse to default program to open file extension with.

• XnView default file extensions:
.bmp .gif .giff .jpe .jpeg .jpg .pbm .png .tif .tiff

• Winamp default file extensions:
.mp3 .wav .flac .cda .mid .midi .ogg .m3u

• Daum PotPlayer default file extensions:
.3gp .ac3 .amr .evo .flv .m2ts .m4v .mkv .mov .mp4 .ra .ram .rlm .wmv

* Copy custom icons to Windows\DefaultIcon folder ; Edit default icons with Types: http://izt.name/apps/types/

• Use Types to set right click 'Open in Sound Forge' for .mp3 .wav and .flac files.
"[insert path]Sony\Sound Forge 8.0\Forge80.exe" "%1"

• Use Types to set right click 'Open in Sound Forge' for .mpg .avi and .vob files.
"[insert path]\Sony\Sound Forge Pro 10.0\Forge100.exe" "%1"

• Use Types to set right click 'Open with Daum PotPlayer' for .mpg .avi and .vob files.
"[insert path]\DAUM\PotPlayer\PotPlayerMini64.exe" "%1"

• Use Types to set right click 'Edit in Avidemux' for .avi files.
"[insert path]\Avidemux 2.6\avidemux.exe" "%1"


* All file extensions which open with the same program switch to the same icon in Windows 8. To set separate icon for each of these extensions, use this work-around: For example, for *.flv :

0. Use Types to Remove the icon for one of the file extensions, reverting it to program's original icon, then icon TAB > Red X to remove the custom icon.

1. Create a folder and inside it create an empty .exe file for each individual file extension. For example, create folder C:\Windows\IconSet\
and inside it create an FLV.exe empty file.

2. Now Right click on an any *.flv file [not FLV.exe] > Open with > More options > Scroll down > Look for another app on this PC ... > Browse to the empty FLV.exe file > OK
You will get a 'This app can't run on your PC' error > Close

3. Start Types > Double click on .flv > Set the Icon in the Icon TAB then go to Actions TAB > Click on Open then click on the yellow folder and browse to the program you actually want to use to open .flv files > "C:\Program Files\DAUM\PotPlayer\PotPlayerMini64.exe" "%1" [for example]

Then go to Types > Icon TAB to set the custom icon.
C:\Windows\DefaultIcons\flv.ico [for example]

* Change icons for .mp3 .wav .flac .cda .mid .midi

* Rebuild your Windows 8 icon cache: Make this file so it can refresh your icons when you double click on it. Enter the following into Notepad and save it, then change the extension of the saved file to .bat

@echo off
taskkill /IM explorer.exe /f
cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows
del /f /s /q Explorer\IconCache *.*
start explorer.exe

* Prevent Right click menu insertions for .uga:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.uga
Right click on .uga > Permissions… > System > CHECK: Deny Full Control > OK > Yes >

* Start Widows Media Player 12 > Custom settings > Next > UNCHECK everything > Next > Choose the file types that Windows Media Player will play > Finish >

Right click on Windows Media Player top bar > Show menu bar

View > Skin

Tools > Options > Player TAB > UNCHECK: Add local media files to library when played
Privacy TAB > UNCHECK everything
UNCHECK personal preferences in all other TABs.

Start a video file.
ALT+1 or ALT+2 or ALT+3 sets the default video size.
CTRL+1 or CTRL+2 or CTRL+3 sets the default play mode.

Choose ALT+2 and CTRL+2.

Disable Media Player automatically checking for updates:
Start Menu > Run... > regedit >
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Policies \ Microsoft \
Right click on Microsoft > New > Key
name it
WindowsMediaPlayer
Right click on WindowsMediaPlayer > New > DWORD Value > Name it
DisableAutoUpdate

Double click on it and enter the value of 1

* To change drive icons: Start Menu > Run... > regedit > Go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer
Right click on Explorer > New > Key > DriveIcons
Right click on DriveIcons > New > Key > the name should be the drive letter, for example C >
Right click on C > New > Key > DefaultIcon
Double click on (Default) in the right pane and set the path to the icon file. If the path is to an icon library, then add the number of the icon inside the library to set the drive icon to, for example c:\windows\system32/shell32.dll,74


* Make sure file extension custom associations start with programs they are supposed to.
Word: .doc ; Excel: .xls ; Notepad: .diz .nfo ; WordPad: .rdf .rtf .wri ; Firefox: .swf .htm .html
Microangelo Studio: .ico ; ImgBurn: .ibb ; Windows Media Player .mpg .avi ; Adobe Reader: .pdf
Also check .rar .zip .7z ; Internet Explorer: ftp shortcuts

* To prevent Windows Media Player from automatically launching if an Audio CD is inside the optical drive when you double click on it, go to Start Menu > Run… HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AudioCD\

Deleting the entire AudioCD key would display the contents of the Audio CD
[since sometimes there is extra content on it.]

The same applies to DVDs. Delete this key HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\DVD to always access contents of a DVD without an external program launching to play the content when you double click on your DVD drive shortcut.

* Third party software like freeware Types http://types.sourceforge.net/ can be used to insert commands into the Right Click Menu

Edit with Photoshop for .jpg .bmp .gif .png .tif
Both Edit and Edit with Dreamweaver for .htm
Open in WordPerfect for .txt
Edit in MPEG Streamclip for .mpg .mov .mp4
Edit with GIF Animator for .gif

* Add default Grayscale Scan resolution 138 DPI (1600 x 1200).
* Add Color Scan resolution 200 DPI.

* Place folder shortcuts in Send to Menu and remove unneeded items from it:
C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\SendTo\

* Change location of Windows Shell folders to folders of choice, for easy backup / restore:
[Saved Games, Desktop, Favorites, Documents, Programs, SendTo, Start Menu, Startup]
Start Menu > Run... > regedit > go to registry key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ User Shell Folders

If Saved Games String Value is not enter, right click on Shell Folders > New > String Value
{4C5C32FF-BB9D-43B0-B5B4-2D72E54EAAA4}
Double click on it and enter the custom location of your Saved Games folder.

> REBOOT




* Favorites Menu Order
[Saved previously from HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ MenuOrder \ Favorites Click once on Favorites and then (on the menu) click on Registry > Export Registry File... to save this file.]

* regedit Favorites are:
• Restore Desktop Layout
for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\JOConnell\Desktop\Layout 1920 x 1080
• Delete autocheck autochk *
for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Session Manager

• Favorites Menu Order
for HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Explorer \ MenuOrder \ Favorites

* Enable copy-pasting into FTP pages from Internet Explorer. Enter the following into Notepad and save it as a .reg file, then double click on it > Yes

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FeatureControl\FEATURE_INTERNET_SHELL_FOLDERS]
"iexplore.exe"=dword:00000001


* Hide drive-letters from the Send To menu, so you can select only the drives you need in the SendTo menu by placing their shortcuts in the Windows SendTo Menu folder:

Go to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Explorer
Right click on Explorer and cerate a new DWORD value clled NoDrivesInSendToMenu
Double click on NoDrivesInSendToMenu and give it a value of 1.

* Microsoft Office icons

* Now install AntiVirus

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Hardware and Sound > Again check both Playback and Recording properties (Raise Volume Bars) for audio devices and check system sounds > OK

* See C:\Users and delete unnecessary items from Desktop and Start Menu and Favorites

Delete unnecessary sample files (from places like Documents…)

* Remove items from the Right click > New menu.

* Save current Display settings to a file:
Right click on Desktop > Personalize > Save theme (middle right side) > Save As…


* Go to a folder where only music files are and adjust View to Content. Then go to Options [on right] > Change folder and search options > View TAB > Apply to Folders > Yes > OK [This sets the default view for all folders containing music, not other types of folders.]
Do the same for a folder with pictures, using a view of your choice such as Large Icons.

* Suggested Backup point [just before potentially unstable video card and other drivers are installed.]


* Video Card Drivers + any video card software

* Drivers for other cards, update all drivers, install Scanner Software

* Once again, right click on Taskbar TAB > Properties > (Notification Area:) Customize… button > Click on items you choose to Always hide > OK > OK >

Jump Lists TAB: UNCHECK everything > OK

* Right click on an empty space on Desktop > New > Folder > name it AllTasks.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C}
[This will create a folder called AllTasks with shortcuts to many Administrative functions in Windows 8]


* If you have a key for Windows 8 Media Center Pack: Shift+Click on Start Menu to open Metro Windows 8 interface > Search > Add Features > Settings > Add features to Windows 8 > I already have a product key… > The computer will reboot several times by itself before finally settling in… with a Desktop Watermark in the lower right corner > Activate Windows (again) > Refresh and Watermark will disappear.

Windows Media Center > Custom Setup > Next > No thank you > Next > No > Next > Next >

* COMODO Firewall Blocked Files

* When you open a CD or DVD, you may see message Files Ready to Be Written to Disc (1) desktop.ini

To disable it, delete contents of this folder then right click on it:
C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn
or
C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Burn

Properties > Security TAB > Edit > Click on any user name > (to the right of Full Control) CHECK: Deny > OK > Yes > OK

* After updating Microsoft .NET, force the installed updates to be compiled:
Use DOS to get to the location of ngen.exe
and execute
NGEN queue status
NGEN executequeueditems

For example:
cd C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319
NGEN queue status
NGEN executequeueditems

* Start Menu > Run… > services.msc > Click on Name to line the list Alphabetically > See if anything else needs to be Stopped then Disabled. Make sure to Note what you have disabled as it may prevent software you actually need from starting. Most services should not be disabled.

* Start installed programs once

* Start Menu > Control Panel > Administrative tools > Task Scheduler > scroll down >
Double click on Consolidator [if it's there, it is part of Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program] > [right pane, scroll down] Delete

Also Delete other Task Scheduler tasks such as ConfigNotification, Proxy, etc.

* Right click anywhere in Desktop > New > Shortcut >
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C "%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Shows Desktop.lnk"
Right click on the newly created shortcut > Pin to Start


* SHIFT+Start Menu to remove Metro screen shortcuts.


* Make an Image and make sure to Verify Image after transferring it to its backup location.

* Addendum: How to change default icon for an extension in Windows 8 without using an external program.
For example .mp3
Start Menu > Run... > regedit

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.mp3 then in the right windows look at the value for Default
for the example of .mp3, it's WMP12.AssocFile.MP3

That means, go to
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WMP12.AssocFile.MP3\DefaultIcon
to set the icon for the .mp3 extension

However, if you changed the program that opens the .mp3 extension, then go to
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.mp3\UserChoice
and there double click on Progid which reveals the XXX.AssocFile.mp3File

Now you'll be able to change the DefaultIcon found under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\XXX.AssocFile.mp3File\DefaultIcon

* Examples:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CMS5.AssocFile.mp3File\DefaultIcon
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CMS5.AssocFile.wavFile\DefaultIcon
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WP16Doc\DefaultIcon
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Applications\WP.EXE\DefaultIcon
(Has to be newly created.)

[Reboot is *required* for icon change to take effect.]

[Some file types (like .pdf) use thumbnail previews to show the contents of its files. This means that any static icon you choose may never actually show up in Explorer.]
[In case of problems with .mp3 & .wav icons, try setting default icons for WMP12.AssocFile.MP3 and it's WMP12.AssocFile.WAV then Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Set Default Programs > Windows Media Player > Choose defaults for this program > CHECK .mp3 and .wav > Save >
Now use Default Programs again to set your custom application as the default program for .mp3 & .wav files.]


EDIT v1.1:

Internet Explorer 10 > Tools > Manage add-ons > Search Providers > Right click on Google > Set as default

• Use Types to set right click 'Open in Sound Forge' for .wav .flac .mpg .avi and .vob files.
"[insert path]\Sony\Sound Forge Pro 10.0\Forge100.exe" "%1"

* Start Menu > Control Panel > [View by: Category] > Hardware and Sound > AutoPlay > UNCHECK: Use AutoPlay for all media and devices > Set everything to Take no action > Save

* Right click on desktop > Personalize > Desktop Background > Change Desktop Background > Save Changes.
[Right clicking on the selected picture allows you to assign separate backgrounds to different monitors.]

* Right click on desktop > Personalize > Sounds > Sounds TAB > Playback TAB > Raise playback levels > Right Click > UNCHECK: Show Disconnected Devices

EDIT:
• To disable Driver Signature Enforcement:
Start Menu > Run... > shutdown /r /o /f /t 00
System will restart > Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
Select: Disable Driver Signature Enforcement


EDIT:
Disable Internet Explorer message when opening Internet Explorer: Your current settings put your computer at risk.
Simply copy this into Notepad and save as a .reg file then double click on it to import it into registry:

Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"DisableFirstRunCustomize"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"DisableFirstRunCustomize"=-


EDIT: Start > Right click anywhere > All Apps > Run > type
msconfig
> OK > Services TAB > Click on Service to Alphabetize the display order > Scroll down and UNCHECK: Shell Hardware Detection [it disables Scan and Fix Flash Drive nag] > OK > Restart


EDIT: * Disable 'You have new apps that can open this type of file' nag from showing up *whenever* you install new software. Copy this into Notepad and save as a .reg file then double click on it to import it into registry:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer]
"NoNewAppAlert"=dword:00000001

EDIT: * * Right click anywhere in Desktop > New > Shortcut >
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /C "%appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\Shows Desktop.lnk"
Right click on the newly created shortcut > Pin to Start
 
Last edited:

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
Overall I rate Win8 as an epic fail. With every release they make claims to reinventing the wheel while only making the white wall wider.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Having not gotten around to testing it yet, does the setup as posted thus far not make it look like Windows 7, and therefore as good/bad as Windows 7?


I thought the complaints mostly relate to default option of mandatory metro, which can be taken care of as posted, making Win8 boot into Win7-looking Desktop straight away? So is there anything else in specific or just the fact that it's a hassle to set it up that way?


 
Last edited:

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
I didn't try the straight into classic desktop mod, but did the other shortcut to getting to the desktop when needed. I assumed the mod worked and wasn't really my beef with 8. I actually mostly tried to use the device with Metro enabled since that's the "micro$oft way". They make billions in profit each year, who am I to judge their decisions? :D

With no benefit to using win8 I'm simply not going to spend the time to upgrade to it. Fresh install? Depends on availability of win8 license. Most OEMs machines I'll come in contact with will have win7 licenses so I won't be bothered with win8 until I have to. There's nearly no reasons to upgrade I can find. IE10 will be on win7 soon enough, and the remaining performance enhancements are all intended for tablet use. I'm also sure the new taskmanager will end up in win7, whether through a hack or simple cut/paste of the executible. :p I also don't feel spending even 20 minutes (but more likely 30+) making windows useable is "good" for anyone. If I can't be productive with it out of the box and have to hack it to make it 'work' then it's an epic fail. This is just my opinion, I'm sure there's going to be people who just like to tinker who will find nothing wrong with this. Historically I've been a relatively early adopter of every OS since XP, and yes - even had Vista for almost 2 years. This will be the first OS from M$ I will be passing on indefinitely.
 
Last edited:
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Right.

Ever since people first started testing Win8, the ones who hated it seemed to say Metro. Then I said how I could not see a situation where we could not make it boot looking just like Windows 7, so what was the problem?


So I think Win8 is a problem for people less tech savvy than us but since we can boot into Desktop, why not go Win8, given a choice. But yes there is not much reason to pay $ to upgrade, until we get touch screens.
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
No reason to upgrade, reinstall all my apps, play with other minor annoyances that will likely come up. And yes, I get to pay for a worthless upgrade. It's simple math for me. Wake me when the hype subsides.
 
OP
c627627

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
People are reporting that some programs which work under Windows 7 do not work under Windows 8. Isn't Windows 8 basically Windows 7 + Metro GUI, which can be disabled? Everything that works under Windows 7, also works under Windows 8 for me and in case of problems, doesn't this help:
 

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theELVISCERATOR

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
FPS gamers and touchscreens just dont mix easiest fix to Win8 is never to go there.

Let it turn into ME. Win9 better be just like win7 in operation or I aint moving till FORCED at gunpoint.

My brother called and was trying to install BF2 on Win8 and it was a hoot. complete disaster.

Nice guide though to help those forced into it.