Author Topic: Advice Please on W8.1  (Read 8538 times)

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Offline Xas1953NC

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Advice Please on W8.1
« on: November 22, 2015, 03:25:13 PM »
Hello all, a few days ago I received an unexpected present but have been ordered that I can unwrap it and have a look but cannot use it until the 1st. Of December which is my 80th birthday. As a result I have been Googling for advice and info but will appreciate any feedback from you based on your experiences and advice. The present is a Lenovo Notebook LN G50-30 N2480 8gb 1TB 8M with 15.6 screen and 8.1 OS. I will use it basically for graphic work. I have read various info re upgrading to W10 but do not fancy that just yet due to its infancy but would probably do so as the free update period nears expiration. I was contemplating, if affordable, to have W7 installed but do not know when Microsoft will pull the plug on that OS. I have read about the SuperFish adware crap but do not know if it is installed. I intend to also uninstall any existing free trial stuff and offers and install AV of my choice. Thank you.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 09:39:32 AM »
You are well advised to steer clear of Win 10 at the moment as since the recent November updates, it has caused problems for a number of people.

Should due to having Windows Update settings set to Automatic you get the Window icon in the Taskbar for Win 10, you can download and use the options in GWX Control panel to keep it at bay and it is best to change the update settings to Check for but let me choose and then you can hide those you don't want.

Clicking on each and then on the More info link in the right pane will show you what each relate to and you want to hide any Telemetry or ease of upgrading related.

This is for the GWX Control Panel http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/gwx_control_panel.html

They were supposed to have removed Superfish but it would depend how long your Lenovo has been on the shelf.

You can run this removal tool as a precaution though and that should do it.

https://support.lenovo.com/gb/en/product_security/superfish_uninstall
Tom.

Offline Xas1953NC

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 10:08:11 AM »
Hello Boggin, thank you for the info. My wife and a friend both have W7 and I uninstalled the 3 particular kb files that caused the W10 icon to appear in their taskbars. My friend inadvertently installed them again upon installing a later batch of update tuesday files even though he had hid them on a previous occasion when he realised they had popped up again. Will the GWX prog prevent them again from being inadvertently installed? My friend had been having problems with his system as although he did indicate he wanted to be informed only of available updates they were still being downloaded and installed without his say so.  As my desktop computer has Vista Home Premium I do not have that problem. Thanks.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 10:16:32 AM »
When you download the GWX Control Panel you will see the options for the different scenarios and then click on whichever applies.
Tom.

Offline Dougcuk

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 04:38:54 PM »
You say you might choose to install Windows 7 - to replace the supplied Win8.1
- but you don't explain your reasons behind that suggestion
- and it is difficult to advise without knowing your requirements and expertise.

It does take a fair amount of preparation (downloading all the correct drivers and utils) and setup time to do that conversion
- and you can run into some install problems depending on how much experience you have.

While it can be satisfying to know exactly what drivers and software you have installed the process can take
most of a day to get everything installed and updated and that is just the basic install.
Then you have all your security and application software to install and configure.

If it is just the need to be back on a familiar GUI (Desktop and StartMenu) then my advice
would be to install the Classic Shell menu replacement. http://www.classicshell.net/
For most day to day operations you can believe you are running Windows 7
- and it is only when you dig a little deeper you can tell the difference.

Windows 7 is supported until January 2020 for security updates
Windows 8 is supported until January 2023
See here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/lifecycle   

I have been installing Microsoft OS's since MSDOS v3.2 in 1986 and used Windows v2 (with 286 and 386 CPU's)
I myself will be sticking with Windows 7 for as long as I can, as I did with WinXP
- but have used the Win8.1 + Classic Shell combination for many of my customers
who wanted a classic Windows system on new  hardware.

The GWX Control Panel is a must have if you want to take control of the Win10 upgrade process
Doug Collins - Computer Support Engineer - London UK

Offline Xas1953NC

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2015, 06:31:52 PM »
Hello Dougcuk, I was thinking that W7 would perhaps have certain benefits over W8.1 as Microsoft does not always get it right when introducing new operating systems. I sometimes use my wife's W7 Home Premium computer so am used to the the layout etc. What benefits does W8.1 have over W7? I read that Pokki is loaded with W8.1 which apparently gives one the choice of a start menu similar to W7/Vista. I am not keen on touch screen application. Although my own desktop has Vista Home Premium I am not contemplating using the laptop with Skype, Email facilities etc. But mainly for graphic work as I am an amateur photographer who also makes slideshows with added music purely for family use. I already do this on the Vista and have a 2TB usb external drive purely for graphic backups hooked upto it. The laptop will mainly be used at home so will be ethernet connected. The router has a spare socket and is situated in the now spare bedroom and my computer room is next door so will only need a short run. Thanks for your input.

Offline Xas1953NC

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 02:23:24 AM »
Hello Boggin, I downloaded the GWX file from MajorGeeks but did not realise it is one of Shane's gems until I read the text file. I clicked on the text file hyperlink which took me to Shane's website and downloaded the GWX file from there also. I notice there is a size difference in the two files. Does this mean that the second file is the latest updated version of GWX. Thanks.

Offline Boggin

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 03:27:46 AM »
I just checked the Author's site against the MajorGeeks download buttons and they were both 4.19MB - where did you find Shane's link ?

Tom.

Offline Xas1953NC

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 07:12:40 AM »
Boggin, I have sussed what happened. I used your link to download GWX from MajorGeeks and did so from one of their own links. After coming out of it I thought I would go back and click on the Author's link to see who they were. I did not use your link but typed in the browser which gave a number of MajorGeeks links to choose from. I selected one and from there clicked on the author's link which took me to Shane's Windows Repair page that is why I assumed the GWX file was one of Shane's gems. I then typed in Google to find GWX on Tweaking.com and downloaded what I thought was an update to the MajorGeeks one. It is only on a download replicate of the whole thing over again I realise Shane's file is a bat. one and the GXW Control Panel one is an exe file.
I shudder to think what severity of Senior Moments I shall suffer when I turn 80!

Offline Boggin

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 08:08:53 AM »
Hey - I get them all of the time and I'm 67 :lol - should I have put "only" in front of that :)
Tom.

Offline Dougcuk

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2015, 12:42:59 PM »
Been away for a few days - hence the delay in responding.

In terms of advantages of Win8.1 there are a few obvious areas:
- Support for the new full screen Apps and the Windows Apps Store
- Faster Startup (up to twice as fast) and Shutdown (up to 25% faster)
- Slightly faster performance overall (around 10%)
- Browser performance much improved (50%+) using hardware acceleration 
- Improved Battery life on laptops due to better energy saving methods 
- Upgraded Security features - more resistant to malware attacks     

I had not heard of Pokki before and having looked it wouldn't be my choice
- it may be that if its design appeals then Win8.1 would be better for you
Classic Shell replicates the traditional StartMenu interface which is my choice
- but does allow you to access the Win8 Start page at any time

The main things that annoy me about Win8.1 (once Classic Shell is installed)
- The half baked GUI, parts are "Metro" style while others are Classic style
- The random replacement of system controls with dumbed down "Metro" style panels 
- The new ribbon menus of Windows Explorer, I find it slower to access features 
- The dumbed down menu system for Internet Explorer (plus the two versions Desktop & Metro)
- Loss of some classic controls such as Manage Wifi Networks

Once you have started an application there is really little difference between Win7 & Win8
- until you trigger an external service like printing
- and a few older applications are more compatible with Win7, but most will run on either

As I said before if I had Win8.1 already installed I would likely stick with it
- but if installing from scratch my choice would be to go with Win7
- but this is really just personal preference for Classic Windows interface (stuck in my ways at 58)

GWX Control panel has been updated several times recently and is currently at v1.6.0.1
- and has just aquired an installer version in addition to the standalone exe version
- latest info here: http://blog.ultimateoutsider.com/2015/11/the-gwx-control-panel-faq-frequently.html
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 12:47:27 PM by Dougcuk »
Doug Collins - Computer Support Engineer - London UK

Offline Xas1953NC

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2015, 03:10:50 PM »
Hello Dougcuk, thank you for your very comprehensive info in response to my request. I did not receive an email prompt re your info  but have just now signed in and saw your input. I have compiled a list of the free programs I would like to install on the laptop which have also been successfully installed on W7 and Vista for some time. A few of them state they are compatible with W8 but do not mention W8.1. I was wondering if they would install without a problem. Thanks once again.

Offline Dougcuk

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2015, 07:24:58 AM »
The changes from Win8 to Win8.1 mostly affected the "New Style" (aka Metro) interface and Metro Apps
- so it is almost certain that if a classic application or utility works on Win8 it will be ok with Win8.1

Some manufacturers play safe and say Win8 (and/or Win7) is not supported for older versions of their software
- this can just be a ploy to make you purchase an upgrade or it can mean there are actually issues
- even Microsoft are guilty of this compatibility misinformation for there own applications (such as Office 2003)
- the only way to be certain is for someone to try it out
- either check yourself or look for reports by others on support forums

There is a potential risk is that malware will exploit a flaw in an older application to attack your system.
Another risk with older "unsupported" applications is that a future Windows update may break something
- not a high probability but if it happens you are then on your own as it is unlikely to be fixed

The only major change in compatibility is if you are changing from 32bit to 64bit Windows
- support for 16bit executable formats was dropped (both COM and 16bit EXE no longer function)
Doug Collins - Computer Support Engineer - London UK

Offline Xas1953NC

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Re: Advice Please on W8.1
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2015, 08:34:51 AM »
Thanks for that Dougcuk, I have all the files copied to a folder to port across to the laptop. As it came installed with W8.1 I shall stick with that. I shall purchase a usb external hdd for any data that is possible to be stored externally as I follow that practice with Vista and my wife's W7 system.