Windows 8 FAQ

Windows 8 Compatibility

1. Does Windows 8 comes with DOS?

Windows 8 runs with a NT kernel rather than the old kernel like Windows 9x/Me. With Windows 8 it is not possible to boot to DOS mode. Although you can boot off a DOS disk, the C: drive must be formatted as FAT32 if you want access from DOS. Windows 8 can emulate DOS but does not support Real Mode drivers or some old DOS tools. If you wish to use such old programs then install Virtual Box and install DOS inside that virtual environment!

To load a windows shell, press the Windows key and the X key and select Command Prompt (or press Windows+R, then enter cmd.exe) you can then run command line type programs, type Exit when done.

Try Dosbox for extra DOS compatibility including 286/386 realmode, EGA/CGA/VGA support, PC-Speaker/Tandy 3-Voice/Adlib/SoundBlaster sound support and XMS, EMS memory support. Also try Vogons web site for Forums on getting old games to work on new OSs.
You can also access the Recovery options when you reboot by pressing F8 during boot up or press the Shift key before selecting Restart on the power options.

Recovery options

Continue - Exit recovery options and return to windows
Troubleshoot - Refresh (reinstall windows only and settingskeep data) or reset (clean install) your PC using advanced tools
Turn off your PC - Switch off immediately.

2. Can I get old programs to run under Windows 8?

Yes, you can get old programs to install and run using the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter (msdt.exe) wizard which will allow Windows 8 to run as a Windows 7, Vista or earlier machine. So, if a program fails to run or install natively in Windows 8 you can fool it to think its an older OS. See the Compatibility tab of the properties of an Program file or shortcut to a program file. If a program fails to install, set the Compatibility mode to older Windows for the Setup.exe program on th CD/DVD.

You can install Hyper-V (see Programs and Features) or Virtual Box to run and emulate another version of Windows hosted on your Windows 8 system, but will need a Windows disc or image to install the other OS.

Check the manufacturer's web site for Hardware and software compatibility.

3. Where is IIS (web server) in Windows 8?

Windows 8 comes with a web server called IIS 8 which can be installed via the Control Panel, Programs, Turn Windows Feature on or off, Internet Information Services. Tick the box next to IIS and click OK.

You can set up your web pages in the default C:\Inetpub\wwwroot folder or a location of you choice using IIS Manager console.

4. How do I share a printer on an Windows 8 with an older PC?

Yes, you can enable sharing on Printers in Windows 8 with older versions of Windows. Windows 8 provides three levels of drivers: x86 and x64 Type 3 User Mode drivers in the Additional Drivers tab for other versions of Windows. If your printer is not listed, use Windows Update to locate some additional drivers to use.

5. How do I manage disks in Windows 8?

Windows 8 uses a graphical interface called Disk Management which can be accessed via the Computer Management console in the Administrative Tools. This will allow you to create, delete, modify, shrink or expand partitions and assign drive letters.

On the command prompt you can access disk management with the diskpart.exe command.

Disk manager

6. How do I backup files in Windows 8?

Windows 8 comes with the File History tool located in Control Panel, System and Security, File History which can be used to do regular backups of files. You can backup to Hard disk, CD, DVD or to a network location.

7. Can I Compress files or folders with Windows 8?

You can compress files or entire folders by opening the properties of the file and folder, select Advanced and then tick Compress contents to save disk space.

8. I cannot run Java applications or Applets. Where can I download Java?

You can download the Java Runtime files (JRE) from the Java website. You can also download the Software Development Kit (SDK) and program developments tools such as NetBeans (7.0 or later) from the same site.

9. How can I network my older PCs with Windows 8?

First make sure you have the Client for Microsoft Networks and TCP/IP installed and configured which is available on all versions of Windows. Also, check the Workgroup name you are using, the name will most likely be Workgroup. You need to change the new PC's workgroup name to match the existing workgroup. Also make sure File and Print Sharing is enable on all PCs and usernames and passwords are set up the same on all machines.If you have a Firewall enabled, you should make sure that File and Print Sharing is excluded from the firewall to allow sharing through your firewall.

10. Can I dual boot with an older version of Windows?

Yes, you can. It is important that you install the older version of Windows first, preferably the C: drive, and then install Windows 8 on another partition.
Windows 8 will then store its boot files on the main boot volume (usually C:) .

11. Can I access NTFS partitions from DOS or Windows 9x?

You can also create a Window PE (Pre-installation Environment) disk using the Windows ADK (Automated Deployment Kit), to create a cut down Windows 8 disk with command prompt.

12. Where is the E-Mail Client in Windows 8?

Windows 8 comes with a new E-Mail program and a new Address book setup. In Windows 8, it is called Mail, your old address book will be stored as Contacts in your user profile. It is not possible to import or export old mail into Windows 8 Mail. Make sure your old Email program is setup for IMAP and mail is kept on the server before changing to Windows 8 Mail.

13. Which software will NOT work on Windows 8?

Older versions of Antivirus products, disk utilities , CD/DVD Burner software such as Easy CD or Nero or earlier and some Internet Security products. Check with the manufacturer for compatibility before installing them. Ideally, remove such products from your old Windows installation before upgrading to Windows 8 as they may prevent successful installation.

14. I am unable to access Serial or Parallel ports with my old software?

Due to the nature of Windows 8 and to make it more stable and secure. Software must use operating system functions to access hardware and not directly like under DOS or older version of Windows. You will need to find newer versions of the software or rewrite yourself using Window's OS functions.

15. Is there a compatibility kit I can use?

Try the Application Compatibility Toolkit (part of the ADK) from Microsoft.

If you have Windows 8.1 try the newer Application Compatibility Toolkit.

16. How can I create a boot disk from Windows 8?

Insert a floppy disk in the A: drive, open My Computer, right click 3 1/2 Floppy (A:), and select Format and then select opton Create an MS-DOS startup disk. This will contain dos and a few startup files on the disk. It will NOT contain any CDROM drivers. Other types of Boot disks can be found at

To create a bootable USB drive or DVD disk, use the Windows 8 USB/DVD Download Tool.

If you do not have a floppy disk drive, or want to use a bootable DVD ROM, then you can build a Windows PE or a System Repair disk. This will give a cut down version of Windows which allows you to diagnose Windows 8 problems.

To create a Recovery Drive goto Control Panel, Click on Large icons for Category, then select Recovery and Create a recovery drive where you can create a bootable USB, CD or DVD.

17. How do I format a 720K disk in Windows 8?

Windows supports 1.44M disks with Format command and using My Computer. To format 720K disks, you need to use the extra parameters of the Format command from the command line. Enter the command: Format A: /N:9 /T:80.

18. I cannot view some video files with Windows Media Player?

Try changing the View mode from Full Mode to Skin Mode (Ctrl + 2) which may be more compatible with older video files.

19. I cannot open HLP files on Windows 8?

Windows 8 does not support the old .HLP files as it does not have the Winhlp32.exe program anymore. See KB 917607 for more information and the download WinHlp32 tool.

20. I cannot open the Security Policy (secpol.msc) console?

The security policy console is no longer provided on the Home editions of Windows 8. The only way to make security changes is to use Regedit or the various Tweak tools for Windows 8.
Download Tweak-8. Some security settings can be found in HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System.

21. I cannot connect to shares using the old NTLM v1 authentication?

Windows 8 uses NTLMv2 by default which is more secure than the old NTLM method. You can change the authentication using the Security Policy editor (secpol.msc) in
Local Policies, Security Policies, Network Security. If you do not have access to secpol.msc, then you can change the registry for LSA services in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\ CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa and change the LmCompatibilityLevel from 3 to 1 (use NTLMv2 security if negotiated so you can use both systems).

22. Is Window Media Encoder compatible with Windows 8?

No, the old Window Media Encoder series 9 is not compatible with Windows 8. This has been replaced with the new Expression Media Encoder 4 which you can download from Microsoft Expression. The Encoder comes with a new interface which you can import many different video and audio video types (wma, wmv, avi, mov, mpg, wav etc) and create and encode new projects with it.