Windows 8’s cloud storage of personalized system settings can lead to unexpected changes. Here’s how to control what’s saved and what’s restored.
Plus: Curing ‘disc not recognized’ errors on CD/DVD drives, why VeraCrypt won’t work with Win8, and salvaging an XP system after a disastrous error.
Win8’s personalization shows up in Win10
Reader Jim Wills runs both Windows 8 and Windows 10 Technical Preview in virtual machines on a Mac. He was very surprised to see that custom settings for one Windows OS almost immediately showed up on the other, unbidden.
Automatic synching of personalization and customization settings across systems is a standard Windows 8 feature — and it’s also part of Win10 Preview. (The fact that the virtual machines were running on a Mac is irrelevant.)
As you might expect, the newest versions of Windows include tools for controlling what’s saved, synched, and restored.
- “I run Windows 8.1 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview in separate VMware Fusion sessions on a new iMac. It works well for me. The iMac has enough computing power to run both VM sessions simultaneously.
“I thought it would be wise to change the desktop background on one version of Windows so I could quickly recognize which I was using. But that didn’t work; a few seconds later, both the background and the rest of the set theme were replicated on the other Windows system.
“So, I have to look at the title bar to know which system I am using. That’s not a problem. But here’s the question: Besides the theme, what else is being shared?”