Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

How To Remove Windows 8 From Dual-boot (or Multiboot) Machines

Easily Remove Windows 8 Beta from Your PC

The time has come for me to uninstall Windows 8 Developer Preview (I just could not adapt to Metro). Here’s how I did it.

To test out the new Windows operating system, I had created a 3rd partition on the machine’s hard drive and installed the Win8 DP there. The other 2 partitions held a Vista and a Win 7 operating system. My concerns about removing Win 8 centered on the fact that Windows 8 had installed its own bootloader — would simply deleting the (Win8) partition prevent the other OSes from booting? To eliminate that possibility, I started the operation by editing the machine’s BCD file ¹.

** Backup Your Important Files To Another Location Before Doing Things Like This! **

1) Download BootICE (or EasyBCD) and extract it. ¹ It is a “portable” app, so you can run it from a thumb drive, or your Desktop. Double-click to Run (aka Open) the bootice.exe file.

2) Click on the BCD Edit tab, then click the “View / Edit” button.

3) In the left column, click on the “Windows 8” entry and turn it blue (aka “select” it)…

.. and then click the “Del” (delete) button.

4) Reboot the machine. You should now see the old style multi-boot menu. Choose one of your older OSes (in my case, I chose Windows 7).

5) Now you can go into Disk Management and delete the partition where you had installed Windows 8, and reclaim the space it took up.

5a) Press the Windows Key + “R” key to launch a Run dialogue box, and type “diskmgmt.msc” (no quotes) into the run box.

5b) Right-click on the appropriate drive in the list, and click on the Delete Volume option in the context menu. You will be prompted and warned that all data will be lost, select “Yes” to continue. (You did make a copy of anything important, right?)

5c) You should now see “empty” space.. and the top bar has turned black. Right-click on the the partition the partition with the blue header, directly before it, and select Extend Volume from the context menu.

A “wizard” will open – simply click “next”, “next”, OK.

That’s it. You’re done. Windows 8 is gone, and your machine is back to how it was before you installed the beta.

¹ Note: This is for machines where at least one of the other operating systems is Vista/Win 7 (which uses a bcd boot loader). If the only other OS in your multiboot setup is XP, you might try the msconfig method instead of Steps 1 – 3. A tutorial for that is here.

 Today’s quote:A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” ~ Mark Twain

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

May 17, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Items Of Interest | Latest Social Networking Craze | March Is Half Over?!

Some things you might wanna know…

* Pinterest’s popularity attracts cyber scammers

“Pinterest is the latest social networking craze — and that means cyber criminals aren’t going to let you share images of your favorite summer sandals, button bracelets and vegan cupcakes in peace.

According to Symantec researchers, miscreants have begun flocking to the fast-growing virtual pinboard. Instead of posting images that lead to legitimate websites, these scammers are pinning alluring bait, such as offers claiming to give away a free $100 gift card.” Read more..

* 16 reasons NOT to buy a new iPad

With the U.S. and nine other countries awaiting the 8am arrival of the latest iPad, David Gewirtz attempts to shut down Apple’s reality distortion field and save you some money.” Read more..

(“Reality Distortion Field”. That’s one way to phrase it..)

* Why does my computer stalk me with pictures of shoes I shouldn’t buy?

For the past two days the shoes I thought I’d gotten out of my system have been stalking me relentlessly across the Internet.Read more..

(On this one, the comments are readworthy, too.)

Echidnas are one of few mammals to lay eggs.

* The Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print

“It was probably inevitable, but on Tuesday, it became official: the Encyclopaedia Britannica is finally going out of print.” Read more..

(Apparently.. some people care…)(In case nobody has told you yet, books [with paper] are living fossils [aka “dead man walking”].)

The lastest from Fred Langa:
* Step by step: How to safely test-drive Win8

Using safe, free virtual PC software, you can set up and run the Windows 8 Consumer Preview inside your current PC without affecting your other programs or your installed version of Windows.

This method lets you test-drive Windows 8 without having to make potentially risky changes to your current setup. There’s no need for dual-booting, special partitions, and so on.” Read more..

* You do know the IRS is not going to send you an email, right? (Tis the season of tax/refund scam emails. [Just delete any emails you see claiming to be from them.])

*     *     *

Today’s quote:The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.” ~ Michelangelo

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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March 15, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, hackers, how to, Internet, Internet scam, News, security, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download + Lightning Deals

And – Robot Cars

Folks,
The “Consumer Preview” (beta) edition of Windows 8 is now available for download, for those who are interested in trying out Microsoft’s next generation operating system.

For more information, and to get the download, click here. (I do advise reading the FAQ’s first.)

Note: “Windows 8 Consumer Preview is stable and has been thoroughly tested, but it’s not the finished product. Your PC could crash and you could lose important files. You should back up your data and you shouldn’t test Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your primary home or business PC.”

And:

Can I uninstall Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

No. To go back to your previous version of Windows, you’ll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.

Amazon “Lightning Deals”

Those interested in electronics might like to know that starting at 5:00 a.m. Pacific time today, March 2, 2012, there will be a series of Friday-only Lightning Deals in the Amazon.com Electronics Store. See all deals.

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Reading reco: Robotic cars get boost from Alex Padilla’s bill

Robotic cars may have just turned a corner in California. Several years after Google’s autonomous vehicles began zipping up and down the state’s highways, a legislator has introduced a bill that would potentially clear the way for everyday use.

In an interview with The Chronicle, Padilla said that 99 percent of accidents are caused by human error, mistakes that the driverless cars mounted with cameras, sensors, lasers and intelligent software are unlikely to make.Read more..

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Today’s quote:As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” ~ Ben Hogan

.. It’s getting to be more like Minority Report every day..!

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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March 2, 2012 Posted by | Microsoft, News, PC, Windows 8 | , , , , | 1 Comment

Win 8 Part 2 | Restore the Menu Bar | PC Giveaways | More..

After I got Windows 8 DE installed (a quick and – for me – painless process) and got past the (painful) ‘bump’ that was my introduction to the Metro “interface” (see, My First Day With Windows 8 (Part One)) it was time to start doing the post-install steps, and also my “customizations” to make the computer “more me” – things like setting a Desktop wallpaper, and configuring some settings to my liking.

I was able to skip right to “tweaking” (aka “customizing”), as Windows 8 detected all my hardware and installed the appropriate drivers automatically.. even my old webcam (impressive) .. and even the wireless network printer (not directly connected)(even more impressive). There was only one ‘glitch’ – even though the printer was detected and appeared to be “installed”, it would not get out of “offline mode” and actually print. So, I “deleted” it, and then clicked on “Add a printer”, then on the device, rebooted, and badda-bing, badda-boom – working printer. Just too easy.

So the first thing I did was to get rid of a ton of those Metro “secret squares”, as they are utterly irrelevant to me, by right – clicking on each one and either choosing “unpin” or “remove”. Then I simply dragged the remaining squares into an order/arrangement more to my liking. I had found that I had to research on the web how to interact with Metro, so I had read Paul Thurrott’s 8 Is Enough: Post-Setup Configuration.
Learn about the new Task Manager, and more – click the link.

Today’s Quick Tip: I am just “old school” enough that I prefer just having my menu bar visible in Explorer.. having to press Alt is not “cool” and “neato” to me. So.. “tweak that”.

In older versions of Windows, the menu bar was always visible in Explorer. In Vista and Windows 7, the menu bar is now hidden by default, and you must press the ALT key to see it. These simple steps will cause it to always be visible.
(The “menu bar” gives you the familiar File | Edit | View |Tools | Help ‘drop down’ menus)

1) Launch Explorer by opening Computer (or Documents, or Pictures..), then press ALT to access the menu bar.

2) Click on Tools and then on Folder options.

3) In the Folder Options window, click on the View tab, and click to place a check in Always show menus.

menus

4) Click on Apply and then OK.

That’s it. You’re done. (Should you decide you prefer the “more screen real estate” no menu bar look, simply repeat the steps and un-check the box.)

Today’s free download and first giveaway: (an “oldie but a goodie”) It has been a while since I have mentioned one of my fave little computer protection apps – WinPatrol.

Clean up your Taskbar, ActiveX, Brower and Startup programs. WinPatrol monitors and exposes adware, keyloggers, spyware, worms, cookies, and other malicious software. This program puts you back in control of your computer with no need for constant updates.
Download WinPatrol (Window XP, Vista, Windows 7 including x64 support)

To help celebrate Scotty’s 14th birthday, BillP is giving away – PRIZES to Thank you for your support

Happy Birthday Scotty!

On November 19th, 1997 the first release of WinPatrol was made public and generated 1252 downloads. This year is the 14th anniversary of WinPatrol and we’d like to celebrate it with a bang and plenty of prizes.

Click here for the 4-1-1.

Here’s another sweepstakes you might want to know about..

Perhaps we’ve gone a little overboard this holiday season? Nah, we didn’t think so either. Enter the Windows and Southwest Airlines® Holiday Sweepstakes for a chance to win:

  • A Windows 7 PC…every day
  • One of 10 Epson® Artisan® 730 printers
  • Or the grand prize of free flights for a year on Southwest Airlines®

Click here for the 4-1-1.

Sure they did….

Today’s quotable quote:The thoughts of Plato and Machiavelli… don’t seem quite enough armor for a world beset with splitting the atoms, urban guerrillas, nineteen varieties of psychotherapists, amplified guitars, napalm, computers, astronauts, and an atmosphere polluted simultaneously with auto exhaust and TV commercials.” ~ John Fischer

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 16, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, free software, how to, Microsoft, PC, software, tech, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

My First Day With Windows 8 (Part One)

This weekend I did something I am going to advise you not to do..

Just so we are clear: I have been using personal computers since the term “IBM clone” was coined. I became a “computer nerd” (Geek) with the advent of the “graphical user interface” (click-able icons). I have been building/repairing Microsoft Windows PC’s since Windows 95 was launched, and have been “in the trenches” making each new tech advancement work with our machines ever since.
Windows 3/95/98/ME.. Windows NT/2000/XP.. Windows Vista/7. (The good, the bad, and the ugly.)

Since September, I have been aware that a “Developer’s Preview” edition of next Microsoft operating system, Windows 8, was available for download and trial (see Windows 8 Developer Preview available as free download) but have had neither the time, nor that much interest, to install it. This weekend I made the time.

A Tech’s First Impressions:
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s operating system of the future, and they are adapting to the fact that that future is being shaped by tablet PC’s and smart phones. Touch-screens. Gestures.

I downloaded and installed the smallest package – the plain 32-bit – onto a partition (“dual boot) of a HP Pavilion desktop PC. Installation went smooth, and was quite quick. After the second (and final) reboot, I saw a screen like this..

Okay.. now what?

Where’s the login?

Where’s something I can click?

So I started clicking at random all over the screen. And tried all the well-known keyboard shortcuts. And pounding both fists on the keyboard. Then I threw my wireless mouse at the wall, and – finally – something happened, I saw a plain, puke greenish login screen – yay! (I found out later, this is the “lock screen”, and I was supposed to ‘slide’ it up with my finger.. or, double-click on it [which I thought I had..])(The up arrow works too.)

Double-click.. why didn’t I think of that?

[attention Microsoft: the Android and Apple lock screens have WORDS on them instructing us what to do.. why don’t you copy the whole idea?]

Well, I know how to log in, so, next I saw.. the Metro interface

Uh.. what? Where’s the Start button?

Store. Shopping. Weather. Paintplay… no thank you.

Please.. where is the Start button???

I clicked on Paintplay. Why not? It was just as irrelevant as any other secret square.

This filled my entire screen.

Yippee. Don’t care about a doodle pad. So, time to try something else.

But.

How do I get out of Paintplay? Note that there is no “red X” in the upper right corner?

Whaaaat? No red X? Okay.. maybe the Esc key.. nope. Maybe that gray X in the lower right.. nope.

Backspace?

Alt+M? .. Ctrl+Z?

Maybe I could “grab an edge” and shrink the window to mere inches.. nope.

Holy jumpin catfish. I couldn’t get out of a program! So I killed it in Task Manager after I discovered that good ole reliable Ctrl+Alt+Del still worked.

10 minutes in, and I am feeling good and stupid.

Later, I went on the Internet and researched, and found out I was supposed to press the Windows key.

Why didn’t I think of that?

The Windows key! The one I practically never touched in 20+ years!

I clicked on other secret squares, and each and every time, whatever it was that opened, filled my entire screen.

This might be OK if I was on a 7″ tablet.. or smaller yet smart phone. But it is NOT how I compute and get work done. I use windows (often, side by side). I have rather large monitor.. I don’t need a 23″ wide doodle pad...
[attention Microsoft:
what is the name of your operating system? Why did you name it that.. all these years ago now??]

I simply could not figure out how to turn off my machine either. The power button has gone missing……….

Yes. I did find the “Desktop” secret square.

Out of time for today: I have run long, and out of time for today, but will be back with more on this. Yes, my first brush with Metro was incredibly frustrating, and for the first time ever, a new Windows version made me feel like a moron. (I know, some of you out there are laughing at old Tech Paul. But you take away my Start button, and it seems I am lost. The Start button has been there since Windows 3 {1990}) But I am not totally displeased with Windows 8. Not at all.
Just the Metro UI.

Hate it. Simply and utterly.

My first impressions of Windows 8 confirms what I have been reading: Microsoft is trying to make one OS fit all devices – tablets and phones and desktop PC’s.

But here’s the thing: One Size Fits All never does.
Ever.

Attention Microsoft: I want the ability to completely disable Metro to be a “one click” On/Off setting (call it “Classic mode” if you must) in Windows 8 — and I suspect I am not at all alone in that. Someday, when I buy a Windows tablet, I might prefer the Metro. But on desktop machines, controlled by keyboard and mouse, Metro is .. well, this is a family website; I cannot type what I really think, so I will simply say that I almost downloaded a file from a Russian server just to make it go away. I want Metro gone that badly.

Of course, my frustration with Metro would have been greatly lessened had I read this article first.

But come on. A professional technician has to research just to do basic computing moves? Like exit a program??? It’s not intuitive for a multi-decade Windows user??????

Maybe I’m just too old.. and should retire.
nah. Windows 7 is the cat’s pajamas. I’ll just stick withit (maybe forever?). But.. I will be back with more – happier – Windows 8 (Developers Preview) articles soon. Maybe.. tomorrow?

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 14, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, News, PC, tech, Windows, Windows 8 | , , , | 12 Comments

Windows 8 Developer Preview available as free download

Netflix Loses 600,000 In Price Hike Revolt

Some of you will want to get your hands on the newest OS in town – Windows 8 – at the first possible moment, and be the first on your block to give it a test drive. You’re in luck. A very early version is now available to download – free.

From Microsoft: The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment ¹. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.Read more..

I do not want to dampen any enthusiasm you may be feeling, but if you are thinking this is a way for everyone in the world to get a free copy of Microsoft’s next operating system, so you won’t have to buy it, because someone at that company had a generosity attack, well – wrong.
(Curiously, though, I did not see a mention of an expiration date.. hmmm..)

And I put a superscript ¹ in the quote: “production environment”, to you and me, translates to “your main machine”. They are saying install it on a for-testing (aka “spare”) machine.

The L.A. Times has a good article that, if you are considering downloading and installing this release, you want to read first, here: Windows 8 Developer Preview available as free download

I have not yet had time to download this.. and may (read “probably will”) wait for the beta..
(If a reader has installed this, I think we would all be happy to hear your impressions.)

Netflix In The News: Netflix dims outlook as subscriptions, shares slip

“Netflix’s decision to raise prices by as much as 60 percent is turning into a horror show.

The customer backlash against the higher rates, kicking in this month, has been much harsher than Netflix anticipated.” Read more..

I guess I understand, and even kind of admire certain ‘public protest’, but I think it is misguided here and won’t be joining the revolt, and dropping my Netflix.. in fact, if I had the funds, I think after the price tumble, now might be a good time to pick up some stock.. (no, I don’t know a single thing about the stock market.)

Today’s quote:There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.” ~ John Mortimer

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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September 17, 2011 Posted by | computers, free software, Microsoft, Windows 8 | , , , | Leave a comment

Curious About Windows 8? | Cure Update Install Troubles | E3 | More

The other day, I mentioned that “tech” is evolving at a tremendous rate, and things are – indeed – changing. If you read sites like mine, you probably have heard that Windows 8 “is coming”. (Which kind of adds a certain emphasis to what I wrote back in March: It is time to face facts and finally dump Windows XP.)

I don’t know if you know this, but a lot of “tech journalism” is.. well, in a word, hype. But, if you are curious how our technology is changing, Microsoft’s vision of the future, and what Windows 8 might be bringing us, Woody Leonhard just published the best write up/review to date (aka “not hype”) on Windows Secrets: What you need to know now about Windows 8.

If you’ve heard that Windows 8 is for the dogs or that it will look like a phone, you haven’t heard the whole story.

Permit me to step you through what we know about Windows 8 and give some insight into what we don’t know. Microsoft has dropped a few hints — some intentionally, some inadvertently — about where we’re headed.

One thing’s for sure: Windows 8, as we know it now, represents a huge departure for Microsoft — a rethinking of the way people interact with their machines. Some of it’s familiar; some of it’s scary. A whole lot of it is very new. Like it or not, Win8 will likely change the way we work through our PCs.Read more..

… I know some of you are thinking, “What?! Windows Eight?? Seven just got here!”

Tech gives birth to the next generation every 18 months (to 2 years). It’s called “Moore’s Law”.

*     *     *

Troubleshooting Help: Get Rid of Windows Update and Service Installation Pack Issues

Windows Update is a critical part of Microsoft’s operating systems. However, it’s also one of the more fragile Windows components, with update issues among the most common problems that plague users.Read more..

*     *     *

Heads Up! You Have Exactly Three Passwords, Don’t You?

“An independent analysis of passwords leaked after Sony was hacked show why most of us need to stop being lazy about protecting our information.” Read more..

[Truth (as I see it): most of you use a single password over and over. And over. Has your bank account been drained by a hacker yet? No? You are one lucky son of a gun! (so far). With luck like that, you should be buying Lotto tickets.]

*     *     *

Related: Citigroup acknowledges data security breach

Citigroup Inc. has publicly acknowledged a breach of its systems that exposed the data of about 200,000 bank card holders in North America.

Citi said the information stolen by hackers include account numbers, email addresses, phone numbers and other sensitive data. Details about the breach are scarce. The Financial Times reported that the breach was discovered by the bank in early May.Read more..

Seems I read some headline like that, oh.. three times a week?

*      *      *

I Love Big Brother: Facebook Turns On Facial Recognition, Prompting Concern

“Security firm Sophos on Tuesday expressed concern that Facebook’s facial-recognition technology had been turned on by default. The social-networking site acknowledged that it should have been more communicative about the service’s roll-out, but did not announce plans to make it opt-in.” Read more..

Concern? Where’s the outrage? Yes folks, people with a little IT security savvy place tape over their webcam’s lens, and remove it when they want to “vid”. (The little green light does not have to come on, you know.)

Crazy world gettin’ crazier…

*     *     *

On a lighter note: E3 2011 is in progress. Those of you with a bit of “gamer” in your blood may want to visit Gamespot and watch their videos of the Expo. See what’s coming our way in terms of ‘cutting edge’ tecnology. To visit, click here. The “live” feed for today starts at 10 Pacific.

Today’s quote:Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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June 9, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, mobile, News, security, tech | , , , | 1 Comment