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October 19, 2013


Do not read this if you do not care about computer operating systems, and if you don't, good for you.

I have been a loyal Microsoft user forever. FOREVER. I have stuck with Windows even when it was really, really bad (Hello, Vista!). I WANT Microsoft to make good software that I can use, I really do. But whoever decided that it would be a good idea to, basically, combine two operating systems, which look completely different, and which require two completely different sets of behaviors on the part of the user -- well, I hesitate to use the word "insane," because as a rule insane people are not paid for being insane, but -- this is UNBELIEVABLY annoying to those of us who actually have to use our actual computers to work, OK? I'm talking about people who have been using a keyboard and mouse (or touchpad) for many years, and are fine with that. I'm talking about PEOPLE WHO DO NOT WORK ON A TABLET, WHICH IS A LOT OF US, OK, MICROSOFT?

Right now I would pay a person a fair amount of money to come to my house and return me to Windows 7, which was a fine operating system for me. Except I don't believe anybody can actually do that.

One last thing: I am writing this on a Mac.

Postscript for true nerds: Yes, I "upgraded' to Windows 8.1. That is what inspired this rant.


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As someone who makes a living doing PC repair in Indian River County, I get this a LOT. I've started building custom Windows 7 PCs because you can't buy new machines with Windows 7 any more, and 8 is flat out unusable.

Depending on your machine, you may in fact be able to roll back to 7. A good number of computers have driver support for both operating systems.

If you want me to come down there, let me know :)

Welcome to Mac world. You will be fine.

Abandon Windows and install Ubuntu on the hardware you used Windows on. (Install Mint if you want the multimedia stuff pre-installed) You don't have to be a Linux geek to get it installed and working. Oh yeah...and never pay for an operating system again.

Bravo, Dave! I hated Windows 8 I took the new Laptop
back to the retailer and demanded and got a full refund. Windows 8 could be the proof that Satan is real, and apparently works for Microshaft.

Windows 8 seems like Vista II to me. They took a bad OS and somehow managed to make it even WORSE!

I agree: Mac OS X FTW.

The only way to get Windows 7 back would be to re-install it from the original installation disk. You'd also lose any files currently on your hard drive, so be really careful!

Dave - I made the same rant to my cousin a few hours ago, and he had me install Classic Shell, which is here: http://www.classicshell.net/

Basically, it gives you the classic Start button back, so, for the first time in months, I can see what's on my computer & find programs! YEA!!! You do not have to view the silly Apps page if you don't want to - can set it up to boot to the Desktop screen with the classic Start button, too.

It's worth a try....took me a total of 10 minutes this afternoon to install/configure.

Yep. Classic Shell is what I was going to post, too. Granted, I already consider Classic Shell mandatory on Windows 7, but even more so if I were forced to use Windows 8.

I never let ANY system "upgrade" me. I'm on a version of iTunes that's at least three years old. I need to buy one of the remaining Windows 7 machines while they're still out there.

Well said by Dave. Windows 8 is AWFUL.

Wasn't Windows 8.1 supposed to be the fix for Windows 8??? This is not good, not good at all.

The traditional shell, as well as the start button, are part of the Windows 8.1 "upgrade". It's still awful, but awful in a slightly less fashion. Now it's medium-awful like a Kardashian, instead of terribly awful like a Cyrus (Either father or daughter version).

The general tone of this website keeps me from using the right language to describe Windows 8.

The only reason I purchased a new PC was because my Window 7 PC had a error that requires reloading W7 to fix. which I can't find. Oh well

Don't worry, they're working on a patch for that. It'll fix half the problems and delete all of your email contacts. You'll also have to upgrade all of your Office programs so that no one on lower versions can read your files.

Tell us your true feelings Dave.

Windows updates are the opposite of Star Trek movies. Always avoid the odd-numbered Star Treks and the even-numbered Windows versions.

I am using it right now on a new laptop. At least it's not a touch screen! But the email apps don't include everything, I have to go to the email addresses via the browser anyway. Same issue with my ipad... Once upon a time, Sonny, we called the stuff on the computer "programs," then "software," now "apps," and on 8 it's "charms?" Really?? It's still just stuff on the computer that limits what you can do!!! Annoying....Now get off my touchpad!

Yea for me! I don't care! :)

XP was the last worthwhile Windows version. All since are pretty much ugly, sloppy tries at keeping up with the Jobs-es. Leave the dark side Dave - switch to MAC.

I have 3 Mac's in my household. They do well.

Thank you for mentioning this, I am in the process of trying to downgrade from 8.1 too, or at least get some of the stuff that used to work under 8.0 to be usable in 8.1. I've got one program (at least, but this one I used daily until yesterday) which I can open, only it opens as an APP now instead of a program and there seems to be no way to use that APP on my desktop. Times like these I wish they'd just go back to DOS, and come to think of it, I'd better check to be sure I can get a DOS prompt.

The problem is all the people who thought Windows 7 was good software. It only encouraged Microsoft, and now you all have Windows 8. Bwah ha ha. (Running WinXP, next OS will be Linux.)

I hate to tell you this, but there is no such thing as Windows 7. What they are marketing as Windows 7 is really Windows 6.1. I have 6.1.7601 on my machine.

Come on, you guys don't like Windows 8? It's great!

No, just kidding. Unfortunately when I needed a new PC I had no other choice. Fortunately, for what I use it for it hasn't been as awful as some of you have experienced.

If I knew a darn thing about PCs these days, I'd help, but I'm more of a Linux/Mac guy now. I've learned long ago that people should make their own decisions about what computers they want to use, so I'm not going to try and convince you otherwise. (Do try out Scrivener though….available for Mac and PC…amazing writing tool).

One additional thing I will say: Do not try and get help from one of the retailers (whose name rhymes with Pest Pie) with people that will "help". They'll charge you an arm and a leg.

Three engineers were riding in a car: a mechanical engineer, a chemical engineer, and a Microsoft software engineer. The car stalled, and they rolled it to the side of the road.

The mechanical engineer popped the hood, looked in and said "Look. The drive belt is loose. All we have to do is tighten it up and the car will work just fine."

The chemical engineer replied "No, that's all wrong. The problem is fuel contamination. We have to drain the fuel, filter it, and then everything will be A-OK."

The Microsoft software engineer told the other two "No, I've seen this problem before. We have to get back in the car, close all the windows, shut down the car, get out, get back in, start up the car, open all the windows, and then it will run."

In other news,


I've heard good things about Ubuntu

I'm typing on a Windows XP. I understand that MS will stop supporting XP in the spring, and I'm not thrilled with the idea of even upgrading to Windows 7.

The way Windows 7 deals with Word is not friendly. It's annoying.

I did the same thing. I sent back to Amazon a Windows 8 laptop and bought a Windows 7.

If you are a social media freak, then Windows 8's busy desktop may be for you, but if you actually want to do some work, it's a nightmare.

I dual boot with Mint Linux. Works great with Windows 7, but Windows 8 has a "secure boot" feature that makes it difficult to install and run Linux. Just another reason to stay with Windows 7...

Wise people keep the old system disk, offline, and put the new software on a new disk. Then, after realizing how badly the new software is broken, you can remove the new disk and put the old disk back in.

Dell's website has 36 brand-new laptops with Windows 7. Imagine that, they must be selling.

I put Start8 on my wife's win8 machine and we never see anything but the old desktop. http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ It works great.

Lenovo is also still selling desktops and laptops with Win7.

I've been using Microsoft operating systems longer than Dave. Since vacuum tubes. Since before they thought to put the abacus right in the computer. I suffered through DOS 1.x, Windows 386, 98, ME, Vista, all that.

A few months ago, I put Win8 on this fancy new touchscreen computer. Installed Classic Shell (fantastic program, that; everyone needs it). And for the first time since the dawn of my computer time, I eventually decided to go back down one level, to Windows 7, which is quite good. Win8 sucks more than a black hole.

By the way, Padraig, you're not wrong about odd/even versions. Microsoft has two primary codebases for the operating system. One (Win2K, Win7) is sound; the other (Win98, Vista) sucks. The engineers at Microsoft know this and snicker about it. But it doesn't always come down to an odd/even number. They should just slap a red "DO NOT USE" sticker on the logo every time they use the bad code base.

My daughter bought me a computer with window 8 pm it and I had her return it.

NO kidding. It is horrid!

MICRPSOFT? When was the last time you talked to anyone but your inner circle of engineers?

Ditto what Duncan Idaho said: never pay for an operating system again, have all the features you want any time you want them AND exponentially reduce your chances of being hacked. The White House runs on Linux, as does NASA, the International Space Station... (source: hubby is state gov't computer security geek).

I looked over Windows 8 when I was looking for a new laptop.
Best Buys' guy asked me how it was? "I don't care for it", I said.
"Neither does anybody else", he said, grimly. "And," he added before I said anything, "you can't install Windows 7 over it. It invalidates the warranty."
So, I'm on my second Mac.

Well, that certainly got you a lot of useful information.

Delete the machine -- not the OS, the whole machine -- and start over. Dell will sell you a brand new laptop with win 7 64 on it. Look at their 'business' models, not their 'home' offerings. The desktop I bought this summer even started up out of the box in old-mode. The HPs we'd been buying had to be lobotomized by hand, but Dell ships that way.

FYI, be extremely careful about switching to Linux unless you aspire to geek-hood, or you're married to a geek.

I'll second what Omniskeptic said. I've been running Linux in various ways since you what to download it on floppies (Slackware, anyone), and use it at work every day. For what I work on, it's great. For my job.

I ran Linux at home, along side Windows boxes of various flavors. I finally switched to Mac (where I can get at all the UNIX stuff I want), because between Windows and Linux I was sick and tired of playing system administrator at home.

Don't miss Windows 8.1. I can point you, or touch you as the case may be, to the final evaluation download link before pubic release if depression is a form of operating system pleasure you may wish to experience. Oh, Windows XP will be retired in April 2014. No more security updates or the micro$oft clown credit card accepting support team to pay for asking questions like, "my start menu is missing. Can I speak to the Windows 8.1 clown?"

One thing you don't understand about Windows 8.1 is the added jalapeno jack and youdomenow fast express processing unit enhancer gyrogypsy hardcore fatal processing power multilink uzi security center cock thing you have full control experience.

I can not only bring you back to 7, but I can make your Windows 8 installation a cock experience.

Don't miss Windows 8.1. I can point you, or touch you as the case may be, to the final evaluation download link before pubic release if depression is a form of operating system pleasure you may wish to experience. Oh, Windows XP will be retired in April 2014. No more security updates or the micro$oft clown credit card accepting support team to pay for asking questions like, "my start menu is missing. Can I speak to the Windows 8.1 clown?"

One thing you don't understand about Windows 8.1 is the added jalapeno jack and youdomenow fast express processing unit enhancer gyrogypsy hardcore fatal processing power multilink uzi security center cock thing you have full control experience.

I would not only be happy to install Windows 7 for you, bit I would be happy to make your Windows 8 operating system one which would be nothing less than a cock operating system you will enjoy for years to come.

I believe I double posted which is cock.

This is from my spousal unit -- what I know about computers could be put on the head of a pin.

Wait. My wife informs me that the equivalent of 10 Brittanicas can be put on the head of a pin. Damn technology is even ruining metaphors.


Go to this article. Has lots of tips, but the important one is "Classic

I would read the whole thing and follow the advice.

I bought my computer last year right before Windows 8 came out. The next computer I buy will be a Mac.

Et tu, Bloggus...?

Windows 8 is insane. We all said as much when it was still in beta. Yet, nothing.

Windows Vista works perfectly well once I ditched Internet Explorer and switched to Mozilla Firefox. Turns out all my Windows problems were directly related to Internet Explorer. I've used Firefox for years now and I don't even remember the last time I had a crash or any serious Windows issues.

*Looks around. Hands Dave a nice cold beer and gives him a backrub* Now don't you feel better?

When my current PC dies (Windows 7 Ultimate, because I also have XP programs), if I can't find a PC with Windows 7, I'm switching to MAC. I have tried repeatedly to use Windows 8, but unfortunately you can't use an OS as a boat anchor. Amen, brother.

I really have trouble believing that Microsoft was dumb enough to simply throw away its business client base.

I'm running a small IT services shop these days, and we have LOTS of people come in asking us to install Win 7 or XP over the Win 8 on their new PCs.

Can't be done, usually. But adding that start menu (Classic Shell) makes people pretty happy. I do some other useful tweaks too.

Win 8 is a nice upgrade to Win 7....once you put the start menu where it belongs.

Seriously do the classic shell thing. We will be installing that when we upgrade on our corporate PCs next fall. Fun and exciting.

Why didn't you clone the drive running Windows 7, then try updating to Windows 8.1 on one the clones?

Or skip the cloning of the Windows 7 C drive and get a blank hard drive and a case, format the new hard drive (NTFS) and put the blank hard drive into your computer then force the computer to boot from whatever media holds the update to Windows 8.1, once the "update" was successful and the external Win8.1 had copied to the new internal C drive, you'd enter whatever license activation code you'd need to fully run Windows 8.1.

So then in either case if Windows 8.1 wasn't to your liking, you could have simply swapped the C drives and easily gone back to Windows 7.

Acronis True Image (Home) will allow you clone the entirety of your C drive. (No I don't work for Acronis.)

Instead of cloning and as long as you had a couple of hundred GB of space you could have installed RollbackRx (by HorizonData)on the Windows 7 C drive. RollbackRx runs before Windows, and can pretty much roll the system back out of anything, provided the drive isn't busted, so it could probably roll back the system from Win8 to Win7. It's much much much more powerful than MS System Restore. (Don't work for HorizonData either.)

Now that the horse is out of the barn: The way to do it, but it takes a lot of work, days:

Get a blank drive of the right type, and case. then format it. Then copy all the files from the Win8 computer you need to back up to a 2nd external drive, not the blank one. Get a copy of the version of Windows7 to which you hold the license, put that copy on a flash drive or optical drive. Remove the Windows8 C drive from your computer and put the blank formatted drive in. Then force your computer to boot from the media holding your copy of Windows7; there are boot options listed if you hit ESC during the boot. You want to get into the BIOS. As Windows7 boots from the external source it should be copied to the blank internal drive. Activate Windows 7, get updates, and reinstall all of your software.

Cloning to start with was probably the best idea. Then you're sure you have a Window7 C drive to use if the “update” fails.

I'm with you, dave. Windows 8 and 8.1 are the software equivalent of trying to design a vehicle that is both a race car and a school bus.

I was waiting for 8.1 to save the day but now it looks like my new laptop will go on eBay and I will be forced to join the rest of my family and move to Mac. Funny that their Windows Phone OS is now great but they are destroying their core PC business.

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