Monthly Archives: June 2012

How to create a user account in Windows 8

There are many ways to do the same basic task in Windows 8 we have been doing for many years. Creating a user account is one of them and today, we take a quick look at how to create a user account.

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On your keyboard, press Windows Key + C

Click Change PC Settings

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Under PC settings, click Users

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Under Other Users, click Add a user

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The type of user you will want to create will be dependent on if you will want to have seamless integration with online services such as Skydrive, Hotmail and other services. Syncing is another component of user accounts in Windows 8, with a Microsoft Account, you will be able to do this across all your Windows 8 PC’s, this includes syncing themes, app settings, and some passwords. A Microsoft Account also lets you download apps from the Windows Store. If you are not planning on using these services, then its best you use a Local Account. As the name suggest a local account stores data only on the PC where it is created. A local account works just like a traditional Windows account we have been using in Windows 7 and prior versions of Windows.  It does not integrate with online services and cannot be synchronized across PC’s.

For the purposes of this review, I will only be creating a traditional Windows Account or what is known as a Local Account.

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Click the link Sign in without a Microsoft account

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Click Local account

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Enter the User name, account, confirm it and create a hint just in case you forget. Click Next after completing these steps.

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If you would like to enable Parental controls on the account you just create, check the box, otherwise, click Finish.

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Thats it!

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Filed under 8 Journal, Windows 8

How to add and use a second monitor with Windows 8

Windows 8 includes some fun and innovative improvements when working with hardware. One of the new improvements in the OS is better support for multiple monitors. Windows 8 makes it easy to add a second monitor using familiar commands available in Windows 7 today. Lets take a look at how to add and configure a second monitor to a Windows 8 PC.

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First thing, Connect the monitor to your VGA port on the PC or if you have a discrete video card with support for DVI or your computer supports HDMI, you can connect it to that.

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Press Windows Key + P on your keyboard. This will bring up a Metro menu with a list of options.

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In my case, I need some additional screen real estate, so I would go with Extend. Extend will place a copy of the Windows desktop on the second monitor with its own options separate from the main monitor. See below.

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second monitor on the right.

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The above shows a physical idea of what it looks like.

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One of the great things I have noticed about multi monitor support is, you can have both the Windows Desktop app one screen and Start Screen on second monitor.

Configuring Settings.

If you have unique requirements, you can adjust these using Screen Resolution Control Panel.

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Click Screen resolution.

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This will open the Screen Resolution Panel, here you can make detailed adjustments for each monitor, for example, the default screen resolution for monitor 2 is 1366 x 768, I can specifically adjust this just for that monitor without affecting the main monitor.

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You also have the option of adjusting the orientation of the monitor if supported, so if you read a lot of web pages, you can change from land scape to portrait.

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Fun Options

One of the other great things about muli-mon support in Windows 8 is the ability customize the user experience. For instance, you can have a different wallpaper just on one monitor. Lets take a look at how to do that.

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Right click the desktop and click Personalize.

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Click Desktop Background.

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Ok, so there is nothing different about the interface, well, here is where the fun part comes in.

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You will notice you now have the option of selecting the monitor where you would like add the background. In this case, I am adding it to my second monitor. Lets see the results.

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Multi-mon support different wallpapers

Changing Taskbar options

One of the things you will notice by default, Windows 8 displays the Taskbar on the main display and second display, you can change these options if you wish.

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Right click the Taskbar, click Properties

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You will notice some new options on the Taskbar properties, Multiple Displays. Here, you can choose to have  the option of displaying the Taskbar buttons, only on the main monitor or you keep the default and have it on both. I personally recommend you keep it on both for convenience, since this will allow you to quickly access applications or the Start Screen.

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If you do want to change it, just click in the Show taskbar buttons on: list box and select Main taskbar and taskbar where window is open. See below:

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You can also customize how icons are displayed on the second monitor.

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Click Apply and OK and there you have it. You will notice this does not remove the Taskbar.

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Multi-Monitor support in Windows 8 also supports the new Snap Feature. So you can snap your favorite Windows 8 Apps while interacting with other apps. Windows 8 definitely makes being a power user a lot more fun and easy. Task like these use to be complex and required third party support in some cases. If you have not tried it, definitely check it out.

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Filed under 8 Journal, Windows 8

Part 3–Prepare to migrate from Windows 8 Consumer Preview to Release Preview

A lot of persons have been asking about this, how do I upgrade from the Windows 8 Consumer Preview to the Windows 8 Release Preview. The reality is, there is no in place upgrade path at all. The installation wizard only gives you the option of doing a custom install, with a unique option of keeping your personal files by moving them to the Windows.old folder. Please note, you will have to reinstall any applications and drivers you were using before. In this article, we take a look at how to do it.

You can reference our previous articles about migrating from the Consumer Preview or Developer Preview at the following links:

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The first thing you need to do is boot to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview desktop and start the installation there. In this option I am using a DVD to install the Windows 8 Release Preview. The same options apply if you are using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant (Web Installer).

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When prompted, enter your product key then click Next.

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Accept the End User License Agreement then click Accept.

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Now this is the part that has been getting people a bit anxious. Not to worry, although it says Nothing, it will simply move your current Windows 8 Consumer installation to the root of the hard disk in a folder called Windows.old, you will be able to retrieve your personal files from there after the installation is complete. You can do the Easy Transfer as additional precaution. Click Next to Start the installation.

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Click Install

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Wait while Windows 8 installs, your computer will be restarted several times.

Recovering your personal files and settings

After the installation is complete and you have setup an account, you will be booted to the Windows 8 Start Screen, go to the Windows Desktop App.

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Right click your User folder, click Windows Explorer

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Open the hard disk where Windows 8 is installed

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Open the Windows.old folder

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Open the Users folder

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Here you will see all the personal folders listed from your previous installation. You can open and copy over the contents of each folder into their respective directories in the Windows 8 Release Preview.

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Contents from within one of the folders (My Documents).

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Simply highlighting and dragging over the folders using the left click mouse button, the release, this will give you the option of replacing the folders in the current folder in the Release Preview.

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Once you are certain everything has been copied over successfully, you can right click and delete the Windows.old folder to recover additional disk space.

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Filed under 8 Journal, Windows 8

How to join a Wi-Fi Network in Windows 8

Wireless networks are all around us, if you happen to be at the airport, a bank, a fast food restaurant or even your place of work, you likely can join a Wi-Fi network to access the Internet or other resources. Wireless networks are also very convenient for mobile users who are on the go.

In this article, we take a quick look at joining a wireless network in Windows 8. The principles that apply to Windows 7 are pretty much the same, although you might operate a bit differently depending on where you are at in the Windows 8 interface, whether it is the Windows Desktop App or the Start Screen. Let’s take a look at both:

Start Screen

Of course, the first thing you should always check for is to see if the Wireless adapter switch on your laptop is turned on. This can sometimes can be a physical on or off switch on the front of your laptop or at the side. Some manufacturers will often use embedded keys to turn on the wireless adapter, so a Function key will do it. Check the documentation that came with your mobile device for instructions.

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Click Change PC settings (Press Windows key + C) to bring up this menu.

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Select Wireless

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Make sure Wi-Fi is set to On.

Joining a Wireless Network:

Go back to the Windows Desktop App, then click Wireless Network icon in the notification area:

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Click it.

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This will display a list of available Networks, click the one you know is available to you.

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Click Connect

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Wait while it connects.

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Some networks might have additional authentication requirements.

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When you are finish, click the VAN icon in the Notification Area and click Disconnect.

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Filed under 8 Journal, Computers and Internet

A Quick look at using Windows Defender on Windows 8

One of the core features now built into Windows 8 is early Anti-malware scanning. Windows 8 now includes Windows Defender, built up on the foundations of its successful Antivirus and AntiSpyware utility Microsoft Security Essentials. Due to the changing landscape of security, having Antivirus built into the Operating System is a logical move that guarantees a safer environment for users who either refuse to pay for commercial Antivirus utilities or do not do a sufficient job at keeping their Antivirus updated.

Recently, a student came by my office informing me her thumb drive was infected with viruses. She knew this because all of her files were hidden. This sounds like the infamous shortcut virus which hides the attributes of a file. It tends to be mischievous not damaging. Luckily, I had Windows 8 on my system, but I was a bit hesitant since this is pre-release software. I also had a bit of issues removing the same virus earlier this year when I had the Developer Preview installed. Anyway, lets see how it goes.

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The minute I plugged in the thumb drive, a notification pops up on screen indicating it had detected malware and began taking action by cleaning the infection. The notification is very informative and alerts the user immediately of the problem. You can click the notification for further details which will open the Windows Defender utility:

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From here you can click ‘Show details’ to see what was detected and proceed to apply an action, in this case I chose remove.

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If it turns out that you had the shortcut virus, you might have to open a command prompt with Admin privileges and type the following command:

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This will allow you to restore the file attributes. And that’s it.

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How to install and configure Skydrive App for Windows

The Skydrive App for Windows has been out for a while now, but I never got around to posting a tutorial about it. I use it often since I want to keep files available across many devices, which includes multiple PC’s at home and work and mobile devices such as my iPod Touch. In this quick tutorial, we take a look at downloading, installing and configuring it including a tip for getting additional storage.

What is Skydrive App for Windows?

Back in 2007, Microsoft launched Skydrive on Windows Live. This was the company’s first major move to embrace the popular term called Cloud Storage. Skydrive is basically an online hard disk, it requires that you have a Internet Connection to sync and store files across multiple systems. With the Skydrive App, you can not only sync files, you can also access them offline. Skydrive includes a familiar Windows Explorer interface that makes it easy to drag and drop files in it, organize and manage them.

Installing Skydrive App:

First, go to:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/skydrive/download-skydrive

Then click Download Skydrive Preview for Windows

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Double click the setup icon:

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Wait while Skydrive installs

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After the installation is complete, a quick setup wizard will be launched:

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Click Get started to begin

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Sign in with your Windows Live ID

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Click Next, you can change the location of the Skydrive folder if you want, but we will stick to the default for now.

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Check the box to make ‘Make files on this PC available to me on my other devices’ then click Done.

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That’s it, Skydrive will automatically start syncing your files over the Internet between your PC’s you install and sign into. The above shows Skydrive synced on my Windows 7 PC. The below shot shows my Windows 8 PC:

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Below is my Skydrive in the Cloud accessed through Internet Explorer:

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Skydrive works only with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. For Windows XP users, you can access Skydrive through http://skydrive.live.com

Get more storage:

By default, Skydrive offers users 7 GBs of free online storage, but you can get some more using the following options:

In the Notification Are of your Taskbar, right click the Skydrive Icon:

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Click Manage storage

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Select one of the available storage options, which includes 20, 50 or 100 GBs for an annual fee.

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Filed under 7 Journal, 8 Journal, Computers and Internet

How to Activate Windows 8

Although Windows 8 does a great job taking care of product activation by self activating the minute it detects an Internet Activation, there are times you might have to invoke it yourself. Here is a quick look at how to activate your Windows 8 PC if it does not Activate automatically for you:

First, right click the left hand corner of your Windows 8 screen:

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Scroll down to Windows activation:

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Click ‘View details in Windows Activation’

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Click Activate

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Wait while Windows 8 activates.

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And that’s it!

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Click OK and start enjoying Windows 8.

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