Windows 8

Windows 8.1 F.A.Q.

Updated: 19 Feb 2017

1. What is Windows 8.1 ?

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 is the next version of Windows for desktop, laptops and tablet computers. It will update existing Windows 8 PCs.

2. What is new in Windows 8.1?

There are several major changes to Windows 8.1 compared to Windows 8.0.

a) New Metro style interface supports large and smaller buttons (see above).
b) Personalisation with photo slideshow for locksreen, more colours and more backgrounds.
c) Can select multippe apps at the same time to resize, rearrange or uninstall them.
d) New apps are not added to Start screen automatically, but added to a 'new' section.
e) Improved apps included esp. Photos, Music, snap views etc.
f) Updated Windows Store with more informaiton and search bar.
g) Start button, using a Windows logo, added to bottom left.
h) Can boot to different screens and optional direct to the desktop.
i) Windows 8.1 will be free for Windows 8 users via Windows Store.
j) Internet Explorer 11.
k) Admin menu, by right clicking the start button.

Complete list of new features are on Technet.

3. Where can I get Windows 8 from?

You can buy Windows 8 from your PC stockist or directly from Microsoft's Shop.
The Windows 8.1 update is available for Windows 8 users from the Store app on Windows 8.
See instructions here.

4. Will my existing hardware and software work on Windows 8.1?

The minimum system requirements are similar to Windows 7 and 8: 1 GHz processor with support for PAE, NX and SSE2,
1 GB of RAM (32 bit) or 2 GB or RAM (64 bit), 16 GB (32 bit) or 20 GB (64 bit) of Hard disk space and
DirectX 9 capable graphics card with a WDDM driver. More information is here.

5. What MultiTouch capable monitors and pads are there?

There a number of monitors that support MultiTouch for use with Windows 8.1. A sample of models are below:

* Ilyma Touch Screen Monitors.
* Dell Touch Screen Monitors
* Touchscreen Solutions

There are also a few MultiTouch pads you can use with Windows 8.1:

* Logitech Wireless Touchpad
* Apple Magic Trackpad (for Mac or PC)

You can add touch input to your existing monitors or laptops using this hardware:

* GTouch Touch Screens
* Keytec add-on touch screens

6. Can you run Windows 8.1 on non-Intel/AMD processors?

Yes, Windows 8 will run on ARM processors. ARM processors can be found on smaller mobile devices such as Smart Phones, Apple iPad, Asus Epad Transformer, Apple iPod, Nintendo DS and the TomTom.

7. Can I get replacement Start Menu utilities?

Yes, there are a few tools around including Vista Start Menu, StockDock menu, Start Menu 7, and Vistart.

8. If I run it in VirtualBox, I cannot install the VBox Additions?

You can install the additions as long as you disable the Driver Signing checks first using BCDEDIT.exe tool in the command prompt. See Windows 8 Hardware page on how to turn it off.

9. What settings are need to run Windows 8.1 in Virtual Box?

* Memory. RAM: 1.2 GB or more
* Hard Disk: 20 GB or more or use dynamic storage.
* Display. Video Memory: At least 128 MB. 2D Acceleration and 3D support.
* System. Chipset: ICH9. Features: IO APIC. Acceleraton: VT-x/AMD-V, Nested Paging. Processor: PAE/NX.

10. Is there a Windows Server 2012 version out?

Yes, you can try out the evaluation version of Windows Server 2012 from Microsoft.
A evaluation of Windows Server 2012 R2 is also available.

11. How do I add a program to the new Metro start menu screen?

Press the Windows key and F key to load the search screen. Enter the program's name in the search box and select 'Apps' for the type of files to search (does not press Enter otherwise it will start the program immediately). A list of applications will be listed on the left side. Right click the application and at the bottom click on 'Pin to Start' to add it to the menu. You can also select 'Pin to taskbar' to add it to the taskbar area on the desktop.

12. I cannot find my program on the Start menu, how can I start it?

a) Press the Windows key and the F key to load the search screen (or click the minus sign at the bottom right of the screen and select Search from the pop up menu). Enter the program's name in the search box and select 'Apps' for the type of files to search, press Enter to start the Program.
b) Press the Windows key and the R key to bring up the Run dialog box, and enter the name of the program or enter the path of the program and click on OK (use the Browse button to locate the program).
c) Press the Windows button to switch to the desktop, right click the desktop, select New Shortcut and enter the path and name of the program to add an icon to the program on the desktop.
d) To access the folder where the program shortcuts are, you can create a shortcut to c:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu.
e) Press the Windows key and the X key to bring up the power or admin menu for qucikly accessing administrative tools such as Command Prompt, Run, Computer Management, Event Viewer, Programs and Features.
f) Install a third party start menu program such as Classic Shell.

13. How do I access Settings and the Control panel?

To access Windows 8 settings, press Windows key and the C key to view general Windows 8 settings (or click the minus sign at the bottom right of the screen and select Settings from the pop up menu).
To access the Control Panel, select the Desktop option on the start menu, open the Folder window from the taskbar (at the bottom left), then select Computer, then on the ribbon select Open Control Panel.
On the ribbon there are also links to 'Uninstall or change a program', Manage (your computer) and the System Properties.

14. How do I logout, restart or shutdown my computer?

a) Click on your account name at the top right of the start screen and select Sign Out. You can restart or shutdown when you have signed out by clicking on the Power icon at the bottom right.
b) Press the Ctrl + Alt and Delete keys together. Then you will get options to Lock the workstation, Switch to another user, Sign out (or logout) or load the Task Manager.
If you click on the Power icon at the bottom right, you will get the option to Shutdown, to do an emergency restart, press the Ctrl key and then click the Power icon.
c) Create a shortcut to the Shutdown.exe program and add the -l option to logout immediately.

15. Libraries are turned off in Windows 8.1, how do I turn them on?

You can turn them on by opening Windows Explorer window, click the View tab, then on Options. On the General tab, under Navigation pane, you can then tick the option 'Show libraries'.

16. How do I display the desktop first instead of Start menu when I signin?

Right click the Taskbar on the desktop and select Properties. Click on the Navigation tab and enable the following options to display desktop at signin and show apps when you click on the Start button:
a) Enable 'Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in'.
b) Enable 'Show my desktop background on Start' (if available).
c) Enable 'Show the Apps view automatically when I go to Start'.

17. How do I add or change programs on the Admin menu?

If you right click the Start button on Windows 8.1, you get a pop up menu with the following options: Programs and Features, Power Options, Event Viewer System, Device Manager, Network Connections,
Disk Management, Computer Management, Command Prompt [(Admin)], Task Manager, Control Panel, File Explorer, Search, Run, Shutdown and Sign Out, Desktop.
You can modify this menu using the Win+X Menu Editor for Windows 8.