The Windows 8 Guide, volume 2 (e-book)

Working with Windows 8

Windows 8 Guide, Volume 2

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For this second Windows Secrets ebook on Microsoft’s newest operating system, we gathered the most useful stories from our archives on working with Windows. Although all of this information has appeared in the Windows Secrets newsletter, we think you’ll find this concise reference helpful for getting the most out of an operating system that will be both familiar to Windows users — and often disconcertingly different. In The Windows 8 Guide, Volume 1: Getting Started with Windows 8, we provided the information you need to smoothly transition to the OS. Some of the topics include:

  • What you need to know about Win8 and Windows RT before you buy
  • Your first hour with the new OS
  • Simple steps for setting up Win8
  • Customizing your new installation
  • Understanding Win8’s File Explorer
  • Essential keyboard shortcuts for working faster


There are many changes in Windows 8 that confuse even seasoned Windows users. In Volume 2, we begin with a discussion of Microsoft accounts. Like no version of Windows before it, Windows 8 is deeply tied to the Internet. Going forward, Windows users will have to have an MS account to download native Win8 apps from the Microsoft store, access SkyDrive-stored files online, and do other Web-connected tasks. Understanding Microsoft accounts tells you what‘s required and what’s optional.

Section 2 – Win8’s backup and restore tools – delves into the operating system’s two backup and restore systems. One is completely new; the other works almost identically to Win7’s system.

Section 3 offers some tips on Windows 8 oddities and how advanced users can make it work a bit faster.

The last section gives step-by-step instructions on setting up a dual-OS environment. Whether testing the new OS, providing a bullet-proof migration path, or simply staying in a multi-Windows world, Two ways to put Windows 7 and 8 on the same PC gives the pros and cons of virtual-machine and dual-boot strategies.
We hope you’ll find this ebook a valuable addition to your technology library.

Happy computing with Windows 8!


Table of Contents


Part 1: Before using Windows 8

  • Understanding Microsoft accounts
  • What, exactly, is a Microsoft account?
  • How Windows 8 uses a Microsoft Account
  • The hidden risks of Microsoft Accounts
  • The choice depends on your security sensitivity


Part 2: Win8’s backup and restore tools

  • Win8′s built-in, hidden, image/backup tool
  • A no-reformat reinstall for Win8
  • File History: Restoring previous versions
  • Give Win8 access to older backup files


Part 3: Working with Win8’s idiosyncrasies

  • Bypassing the Windows 8 sign-in password
  • With Windows 8, “off” isn’t really off
  • Finding Safe Mode in Windows 8 isn’t easy
  • Tweaks for improving Win8 performance
  • Apps that restore the Start menu
  • Acquiring apps at the Microsoft Store


Part 4: Advanced topics

  • Two ways to put Windows 7 and 8 on the same PC
  • i. Living in a dual-Windows environment
  • Part 1: Installing Windows 8 on a virtual machine
  • Part 2: Setting up a Win7/Win8 dual-boot system



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