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Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:29 pm

A lot of people including those who are members here are probably wondering is Windows 8 worth the upgrade and what are the benefits.
After some extensive reading and testing here are my results that you can decide for yourself.

Before I begin I am going to list the Minimum Requirements for those who have older PC's that "Windows 8" will not run on.

They are as follows:
If you want to run Windows 8 on your PC, here's what it takes:

•Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2 (more Info)
•RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
•Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
•Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:

•To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch (more info)
•To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
•To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
•Internet access
•Secure boot requires firmware that supports UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B and has the Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in the UEFI signature database
•Some games and programs might require a graphics card compatible with DirectX 10 or higher for optimal performance
•Microsoft account required for some features
•Watching DVDs requires separate playback software (more info)
•Windows Media Center license sold separately (more info)
•BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
•BitLocker requires either Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 or a USB flash drive (Windows 8 Pro only)
•Client Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and additional 2 GB of RAM (Windows 8 Pro only)
•A TV tuner is required to play and record live TV in Windows Media Center (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)
•Free Internet TV content varies by geography, some content might require additional fees (Windows 8 Pro Pack and Windows 8 Media Center Pack only)

To check if your PC meets these requirements, you can run the Upgrade Assistant.

I have provided some screenshots from one of my laptops to compare, and explain differences between Windows 7, and Windows 8.

The first difference you will notice on Windows 8 is the Metro interface

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The Metro interface can be used as a Touch Screen in the same manner as you would use your Android or Ipad, or you can access this interface via Mouse. The Metro interface is very convenient in sorting applications in their own groups on unlimited screen space. Such as the way Nero 12 opens below in this new interface.
You can customize your device's Metro interface, adding for instance access apps, web pages, images and even people - or at least their picture, contact details and your combined communication. Metro is bold and striking to look at, and you can change its color scheme to suit your taste. You can also log in to an account, and take your settings and apps with you wherever you roam, similar to using your Google account with Android. Each tile offers live information, so you can see how many emails are in your inbox, for example, without having to open an application. Metro is scalable, too: so if you zoom out the tiles rearrange themselves in a meaningful way.

Image

Metro is one of the new features that scares off many Windows 7 users who don't have a touch screen, but the interface is mouse friendly and you don't have to use it at all as the tradition desktop of Widows 7 is still present just by clicking the Desktop tile in the metro interface. To use older software in Windows 8, you have to use Desktop. This is an app in its own right, and opens up into an environment that looks and acts in virtually the same way as Windows 7.

Image

The 4 corners of the traditional desktop will now give access to the metro interface, open apps, the start menu, power options and settings just by moving the mouse to the corner areas.

Speed:

One of the main reasons to update to Windows 8 is because of speed, it is faster than Windows 7 and allocates ram much better.
Startup times are 40 percent faster than Windows 7 on the same hardware, and that the memory footprint of the new OS is 10 to 20 percent better.
Windows 7 uses 389MB of system memory, Windows 8 only 330MB. And this in an operating system that includes more functionality. An older Asus UltraBook with a second-generation Intel chip could boot from cold in just 8 seconds. However, Windows 8 was intended to be what is called "always on, always connected". You don't boot and shut down Windows 8.The OS was designed to be always running switching on and off instantly like a smartphone. The power draw of an Intel-system on a chip Windows 8 slate, using virtually no power in sleep mode, with only the occasional tiny peak when it checked for or received data.

The below graphics compare memory consumption on an old netbook running Windows 7 at idle, and then with the same machine running Windows 8.
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Windows 8 has a better scheme for the prioritization of memory allocations made by applications and system components. This means that Windows can make better decisions about what memory to keep around and what memory to remove sooner.

For example, antivirus programs do various checks on files when they are being opened by other programs. The memory that the AV program allocates to check virus signatures is usually a one-time allocation (it is unlikely that specific memory will be needed again). On Windows 7, the memory is treated as if it had the same priority in the system as other memory (say, memory allocated by a running instance of Microsoft Excel). If memory became scarce, Windows 7 could end up removing the memory that helps another running application (like Excel) stay responsive for the user, which wouldn't be the best choice for system responsiveness in this case.

In Windows 8, any program has the ability to allocate memory as "low priority." This is an important signal to Windows that if there is memory pressure, Windows can remove this low priority memory to make space, and it doesn't affect other memory required to sustain the responsiveness of the system.


The PCWorld Labs Windows 8 through a battery of tests and found it generally faster--sometimes a lot faster--than Windows 7 as seen in the charts below

Test Methodology

We tested using our WorldBench 7 tests, performed on the Labs' baseline system, which is built around a 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K processor. That CPU is coupled with 8GB of DDR3 RAM clocked at 1333MHz, a 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card. Our testbed system is certainly no slouch, but it represents what we’d call a middle-of-the-road PC.

We loaded the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 on the system, and compared our results with the numbers we already had for the same system running Windows 7.

Windows 8 ran through WorldBench 7, our comprehensive performance benchmark, 14 percent faster than Windows 7. Generally, any difference of 5 percent or more on WorldBench is noticeable, so this is a difference you should feel when you’re running a Win 8 machine.
Image

Startup Time

If you hate waiting for your PC to get going, you should like Windows 8. Our system started up at least 35 percent faster running Windows 8 than it did while running Windows 7. Under Windows 7, our average startup time was 56.2 seconds. Under Windows 8, that time dropped to 36.8 seconds
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That number is even more impressive considering that Windows 8 has a built-in handicap. To measure startup time, we command Windows to open a text file in the PC’s startup folder, and time how long it takes from when we press the power button to when that text file opens. Because Windows 8 starts up in the Metro interface, not the traditional desktop, our testbed had to boot up, load the Metro interface, and then load the desktop to get to that text file. The average time to reach the Windows 8 Start screen (without getting to the desktop) was even faster: just 23.91 seconds. And that was on a spinning-platter hard drive--if you’ve upgraded to a solid-state drive, your startup time will be even quicker.

Why is Windows 8 so quick to start up? With the latest incarnation of Windows, Microsoft has introduced a new “hybrid boot,” combining the speed and functionality of Windows’ hibernate mode and the benefits of a fresh startup session.

A bit of background: When you choose to shut down your PC, Windows closes all running applications and services, and then powers down. When you choose the hibernate option, Windows writes everything currently in RAM to a file on your hard drive, and then shuts down. This adds some time to the shutdown process, but your PC will boot faster and be right where you left it before hibernating. In Windows 8, shutting down your PC closes all running applications, but hibernates the underlying operating system. When you turn your PC back on, Windows 8 will load that saved state much faster. The bottom line is that it's just like a clean boot in a fraction of the time. The Building Windows 8 blog details the architectural changes.


Individual Tests

Our WorldBench 7 test also includes individual tests of Web performance, office productivity, and media creation. We measure Web performance using the handy WebVizBench benchmark. This test measures how well the system renders dynamic Web content, including JavaScript and HTML 5. For our testing, we used each operating system’s default browser: Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8, and IE 9 in Windows 7.
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The strides that Microsoft has made in hardware acceleration and browser optimization are evident here, with Windows 8 having a frames-per-second score that’s 50 percent better than the same system running Windows 7.

The differences aren’t as great in our Content Creation tests, which measure how well a machine performs in encoding audio and video, and in editing images. Our system running Windows 7 was a bit faster than the same system running Windows 8. Those differences were rarely greater than a few seconds, though, and the results could change dramatically once updated video drivers are introduced for Windows 8.
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Windows 7 won decisively only in our Office Productivity test. Our test uses the Productivity section of Futuremark’s PCMark benchmark tool, which includes typical office tasks such as editing text, launching applications, and scanning for viruses. On this test, Windows 8 was roughly 8 percent slower than Windows 7. It’s worth noting that Futuremark is in the process of updating its benchmark suites for Windows 8, and those updates could change this result.
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These performance numbers will likely shift in the coming months as Microsoft releases updated versions of its new OS. The Windows development cycle will stretch for months, and will include driver updates, performance tweaks, and general optimizations that are bound to improve things. Windows 8’s dramatic new interface may not be a runaway hit with PCWorld readers, but the numbers don’t lie: Even in its early form, this is promising to be the leanest, most efficient incarnation of Windows to date.
(Note these tests were done on the pre-release final of Windows 8 before major updates have been recently available)
http://www.pcworld.com/article/252383/w ... tests.html

Now for the main question- What is missing from Windows 8?

Traditional Start Button & Start Menu

The Start button and Start menu have been key Windows features since Windows 95, but are now gone. Windows 8 has no Start button, nor does it have the traditional Start menu. Instead, you mouse over the bottom-left corner of the screen to reveal the hidden Start button.
Image

Windows Aero, Transparent Glass, & Flip 3D

Microsoft no longer considers Aero a premium visual experience. All those animations and transparent glass effects are gone and you'll be seeing flat colors on the desktop. This also means that the gaudy Flip 3D will be going away – if you’re using a Windows 7 or Vista computer to read this, you can press WinKey+Tab to view Flip 3D right now.

Flip 3D was always a glorified tech demo that looked cool the first time you saw it, but was used by almost no one because it was less useful than the traditional Alt-Tab program switcher.
Image

DVD Playback & Windows Media Center

Many Windows 8 computers will come without DVD drives – which are being used less with the rise of Netflix and other media-streaming services – and including DVD playback costs money, so Microsoft will be removing the integrated DVD playback support from Windows 8. If you buy a computer with a DVD drive, it’s up to the computer’s manufacturer to include licensed DVD software (and many already do). You can always use VLC to play DVDs, anyway. Unsurprisingly, Windows DVD Maker is also being removed.

Windows Media Center is also being removed from every Windows version (even the Pro one), since it’s used by so few people. You can give Microsoft a few dollars using the Add Features to Windows 8 panel to activate Windows Media Center, if you like – this covers the cost of the codecs Windows Media Center includes.

Previous Versions & Windows Backup and Restore

The Previous Versions feature, activated in Windows 7 by default, has been removed. It allows you to restore previous versions of files from their Properties window. Windows Backup and Restore is also being deprecated.

The new File History feature replaces both Previous Versions and Windows Backup and Restore. Unlike Previous Versions, File History isn’t enabled by default. File History is also designed to work with files in your libraries and on your desktop – as well as your contacts and favorites. It’s much more limited than the Previous Versions feature, which worked for any file in and folder.
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Windows Update Desktop Notifications

Do you have Windows set to ask you before downloading or installing updates? On current versions of Windows, Windows Update appears as a system tray icon and a notification balloon informs you that updates are available. On Windows 8, you can still tell Windows to notify you before downloading updates – but these update notifications no longer appear on the desktop. All Windows-Update-related notifications appear on the login and lock screens – so you might not even see them if you automatically log into your computer.

Verdict:
There is some good and bad in upgrading to Windows 8, whether it's hardware compatibility, older software issues, losing Media Player or just the want of learning the new interface. It's a choice we all have for now but eventually Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows 7 as well as software and hardware venders who update drivers and AV programs. You will eventually be forced into the new format if you want to run a Windows based OS. For me, I always run the latest software and hardware and OS just for the sake of staying secure with vulnerability issues as well as staying up with the times. I have Windows 8 now on all my PC's and the speed and stableness for such a new OS is very surprising. I don't have any issues at the time as I am running all the latest software available. The Media Player issue is not a problem although I have it on Windows 8 the DVD playback can be acquired on many different players that are free such as VLC Playerwhich have many better features and support than the Microsoft player.

Would love to hear any comments or issues regarding Windows 8 that I can maybe help to clear up.

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:37 pm

i had it on my laptop but removed it, and put windows 7 back on here, after i found out many of my programs kept crashing or giving errors, Adobe audition, sony vegas pro. for video editing its not really recommandable

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:49 pm

Johnny2523 wrote:i had it on my laptop but removed it, and put windows 7 back on here, after i found out many of my programs kept crashing or giving errors, Adobe audition, sony vegas pro. for video editing its not really recommandable

Some of the older software has updates for Windows 8 such as Adobe Audition here.
I have the new Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Acrobat 11 that run excellent.

Vegas Pro 12 which I have is only for 64-bit operating systems and runs smooth on 8, I would guess it's crashing from video card driver issues.

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:48 pm

Can't use Windows 8 On my computer it is to old p4 2'6mHz from 2004 :facep: with 2.5 gb ram have Windows 7 installed and it runs extremely Stable for a long time without any troubles.

Hear alot of negative things around Windows 8, profs are waiting to install after the starting troubles are solved .

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:07 pm

As for me, I'll be back. I have a few . . . issues. ;)

rjm (after Win8 19th nervous breakdown :cry: )

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:51 pm

promiseland wrote:
Johnny2523 wrote:i had it on my laptop but removed it, and put windows 7 back on here, after i found out many of my programs kept crashing or giving errors, Adobe audition, sony vegas pro. for video editing its not really recommandable

Some of the older software has updates for Windows 8 such as Adobe Audition here.
I have the new Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Acrobat 11 that run excellent.

Vegas Pro 12 which I have is only for 64-bit operating systems and runs smooth on 8, I would guess it's crashing from video card driver issues.


i got the latest to :D and 64 bit, and this laptop aint even that old bought it at the end of 2011

6GB Ram
1GB videocard

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:27 am

I'm back. (It's not ALL Windows' fault. ;) I'm still under the weather. Whatever has been going around, got to California, and leveled me. Morphed into a stomach thing. Need a re-boot.)

Okay, as to Win8. I might just haul the machine back to the MS Store, and let them have a look at it. Could be a drivers issues - first thing it did, preparing to upgrade, was to wipe out drivers. Started there. So, okay, then installed it.

Fast? It is not fast. What happens, usually, no matter even if I DON'T shut it down at all, is that my wireless mouse doesn't work when I come back. (Which means, first of all, I can NEVER turn off the touchpad - major drag.) So I have to restart. When I do that, it crashes or freezes. Unlike previous versions, it comes on with a big "SAD EMOTICON." And "Sorry, but an error occurred." :roll: And so it restarts again. Takes a REALLY long time! At some point, it gets going. I could get used to the unnecessary "Metro" tablet-like interface, but all this other stuff is . . .

Now it has an option to "refresh." No way. I read somewhere that you have to reinstall your "apps." (Oh, yes, MS Word and Photoshop are no longer major computer programs; they are little bitty "apps." Like the free one on my phone where I draw football plays when I'm bored.) Okay, getting off-topic. Okay: apps. Getting Photoshop ON here in the first place was no walk in the park! I have the premium suite, with many programs. Uh, apps. Costs much money. Not going to wipe them out, and then struggle to retrieve them. So, no, a "refresh" would be an absolute last resort.

Perhaps a Win8 mouse might help, with fresh drivers. Or maybe there's a way to find out what it's missing, what got wiped out. I do not think this is a bluetooth mouse. Just a wireless one. It just makes everything untenable! Starts a process of failure that keeps on going. (And even now, I'm in danger of losing this post because of the touchpad!)

That should be a start there.

rjm (maybe if I felt 100%, this would be easier to solve)

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:53 pm

first thing it did, preparing to upgrade, was to wipe out drivers.


This was not a good thing especially depending on what drivers you wiped out.

I read somewhere that you have to reinstall your "apps." (Oh, yes, MS Word and Photoshop are no longer major computer programs; they are little bitty "apps."

Don't know where you read this but it's incorrect information.

Your slow boot problem and crashing is from removing drivers that are needed by windows. Unless you reformatted your PC, removing drivers before an upgrade is unnecessary and may be required for the upgrade for certain hardware to run such as the mouse or touch pad, sound etc . especially if they are integrated to the motherboard and are third party drivers that are not found on the OS disc .

Here's what I want you to try before you give up and turn it in .
I'm going to send you via PM http://www.speedypc.com/ don't download the demo as it's core features are locked .
This is one of the top of the line Registry Errors program and it's one of the only ones affiliated with Microsoft. (follow directions in PM).

Next thing to do is go to Desktop - right click on My Computer icon -select Properties- then in the Control Panel window at the bottom left click -Windows Update
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You will see quite a bit of updates for Windows 8 - Download them all including drivers and all Manual updates that automatic update hasn't installed in the past.

Important: Do not do the Windows Update until you have ran the complete system scan with the Registry program (speedy pc pro)

This should solve your problems.

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:48 am

I am praying. (Seriously. This is absolutely draining.)

The thing is that it was part of the "preparation for upgrade" to wipe out the drivers, and restart. Of course, I forgot to turn on the touchpad, so . . . but after it upgraded (which it did a bit too fast once I got a mouse hooked up, finally), the mouse is not the same lovable little mini-mouse anymore. And today, the battery played dead, then it restarted and came back to life. But the mouse worked! Still crashed, though.

Thanks! :D I think it'll be ok. Something is definitely missing, or misdirected.

rjm (I remember when I used to manually edit the Registry. In Win 95/98. I could do that, then. I wouldn't dare, now.)

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:59 am

Atleast do all the Windows Updates. I don't know what kind of Pc you are using, but it definitely has some issues for sure. You have more than Windows 8 problems could be motherboard issues with bios firmware updates as well .

What PC are you running?

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:32 pm

promiseland wrote:Atleast do all the Windows Updates. I don't know what kind of Pc you are using, but it definitely has some issues for sure. You have more than Windows 8 problems could be motherboard issues with bios firmware updates as well .

What PC are you running?


I'm on the Kindle now, so I can't give the model. Brand new: Sep. 2012, and ran perfectly before this. The best I ever had. So I think the software adjustments will work. Might do it tomorrow, but I have to go to a doctor's apt. (me, not the computer). Or shortly thereafter. I'm hopeful.

Something got messed up during the install, which was interrupted.. Because this is a GREAT machine! Samsung 17" 8 gigs RAM 1 TB Hard Disk, NVIDIA vid card chock full of memory. And it was trouble-free. The install got interrupted. It should fix with a software fix. (It erased a lotta stuff, so I might end up at the store, and they'll put back whatever got erased; they have good tech guys).

I should have let them do the upgrade, which they do. But I thought "me? Need help? I used be a *developer*!" Sin of pride.

rjm

And if it works out, those "live tiles" could be fun.

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:55 am

This is what I should have done. I now have the files and instructions. Bios update, and a drivers/software package.

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/win8u ... 8guide.pdf

rjm

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:22 am

The last of the driver package is installing now. All seems well. (Knock on wood!)

So, if anybody wants to call me names, now would be a good time, because I'm very relieved! It was really Heartbreak Hotel here for a while. I thought I had RUINED my new computer! I went to the Samsung site, found the update page, and all seems terrific! If the mouse stays stable, I can finally turn off that damn touchpad!

rjm

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:52 pm

rjm wrote:This is what I should have done. I now have the files and instructions. Bios update, and a drivers/software package.

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/win8u ... 8guide.pdf

rjm

Yep that's what I said here.
promiseland wrote: You have more than Windows 8 problems could be motherboard issues with bios firmware updates as well

Re: Windows 8 - Why To Upgrade - Issues

Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:04 pm

promiseland wrote:
rjm wrote:This is what I should have done. I now have the files and instructions. Bios update, and a drivers/software package.

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/win8u ... 8guide.pdf

rjm

Yep that's what I said here.
promiseland wrote: You have more than Windows 8 problems could be motherboard issues with bios firmware updates as well


I know. It needed a bios update! And a whole driver package.

So I kinda knew what to look for.

A million thanks to our resident tech guru!! :D

Also, the mouse needed a new battery. LOL! It was the canary in the coal mine.

rjm