Jan 25

Windows 10 and the Asus VivoTab Issue with Atom Drivers

I made the mistake of updating the chipset drivers from the ASUS site today.   They installed fine but when I rebooted I went into a nice blue screen loop.   I was able to get to the recovery screen and do a system restore after putting my bitlocker key in.  I am very happy it was stored in Onedrive.    The device has not been correct since.  The interface became unresponsive and froze several times.   Permissions on applications were not set and gave me no way to set them.

The first thing I did was in reapply the latest Windows 10 build over my current install.  I mounted the iso on the device and ran setup.  The process took about 45 minutes and did not help my situation.

The solution:

I did the following to resolve the interface, touch, permission and lockup issues

  • created a new local account
  • assigned that account local admin rights
  • log in as that account
  • delete the profile for my other account
  • create a new account
  • login again
  • redownload all my metro apps

The interface is working great.  Now I just need to figure out how to reset the modern app perms.

Nov 16

Windows To Go 8.1 Updated with Steam Quick Transfer

I have written a few post about the magic of Windows To Go but I figured it was time to revisit it since Windows 8.1 was released.   Windows 8.1 brings tethering and the store to WTG so nothing major there.   My goal with Windows To Go is to have a portable game machine that I could run on my work laptop and never touch it’s hard drive.   After re-reading my old post I made some assumptions about diskpart that I will clear up in this post.   I am going to rebuild my WTG disk but this time I want to add my 250GB Steam library without re-downloading any of the content.

Goal:  Create a step by step process for creating a Win8.1ToGo drive with all Steam data that can run on any laptop/desktop.

Previous Post:  http://www.splanic.com/uncategorized/windowstogo-can-i-take-my-wow-with-me-part-2/

Pre-work

  1. Download Windows 8.1 – Quick Link to MS site: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx  – This is the eval version it will last 90 days, you can use slmgr /rearm twice on it for a total of 270 days.  Hopefully this process will be easy enough you can rebuild in 270 days.   By using the eval means you do not need to buy a separate copy of Windows 8.1 for the portable game machine.
  2. Extract the install.wim from the newly downloaded ISO. It is located in sources\install.wim.   I suggest downloading 7zip, its free and will quickly extract the file.   http://www.7-zip.org/
  3. Obtain Imagex.exe This is included in the WAIK which is a free but large download here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=5753
    1. Alternatively you could use dism.exe that comes with win7,win8 and server 2008/12.
  4. We will be playing games off this drive so I suggest buying a decent size USB 3 Hard drive.  I purchased a 500gb drive for this, this is the only thing you are buying so make sure it is fast.

Drive Prep

  1. Open an Admin command prompt on Win7/8 or Server2008/2012
  2. type in diskpart
  3. List Disk – Verify the number of the disk that your USB drive is located on.   If you have any question type “List Disk” before and after the drive is plugged in
  4. Sel Disk x – X = the disk number from list disk
  5. Clean –  Everything on that drive will be wiped at this point
  6. Create Part Primary – This will use the full drive for the WTG install.  If you want to use 400gb you would type Create Part Primary Size=400000
  7. Format FS=NTFS Quick – This will format the new partition with NTFS
  8. Active – Sets the drive as active

Installing Windows 8.1 To Go

  1. Open an Admin command prompt
  2. Apply the image,  There are two ways I would suggest the DISM method
    1. dism /apply-image /imagefile:install.wim /index:1 /applydir:x:\ – x: is the drive of your USB device
    2. imagex.exe /apply install.wim 1 x:\   –Where X is your USB drive
  3. bcdboot x:\windows /s x: /v   –This is where the magic happens, make sure to replace x: with your drive letter.  This command varies depending on OS. If you have any issues run bcdboot /?

Adding Steam Content to the USB Device

  1. Locate your Steam folder on your workstation
  2. copy the steam.exe and the \steamapps folder to a new folder on the USB drive
  3. When you boot your Win8toGo workstation run steam.exe as an Admin,  it will rebuild the program files and use your \steamapps content
  4. Your games will be ready to play in minutes

If you have any questions feel free to drop a comment on here.   You now have your steam library available on any laptop/desktop that has a compatible with Windows 7 sticker on it.   You can even do this on your encrypted work laptop that you would never dare installing a game on.   This process will not touch the hard drive of the machine you boot windows to go on.  Enjoy!

 

 

Jan 31

Windows 8 – A Quick User Guide Part 1

Obviously as a IT person I spend some of my nights and weekend helping family and friends with their PC issues.  Seem like after Xmas this year many people rushed out to buy new PCs.  To their surprise Windows 7 was no where to be found.   This guide is to help people with some of the basics in Windows 8.    I have been running the release version since it came out and the last two pre-releases prior to that.  The OS seems as stable as Win 7 the only thing to learn is how to quickly navigate.  When you learn the keyboard shortcuts you can navigate this OS with blazing speed.

The new interface is now referred to as the Metro interface, The modern interface,  The Windows 8 interface, The Windows 8 Metro Interface or Live Tiles.   I honestly have no idea what Microsoft wants to call it so I am going to just call it the Metro Interface(Microsoft will not be happy).

Charms

charms

Microsoft introduced the term Charms with this version of Windows.   You can get to the charms by using windows key + c.  It will open the 5 icons on the right of your screen.  The most important thing to remember about Charms is they are per application.   If you select The search Charm while you are in the store it will search the store if you do the same while you are on your desktop it will search your PC.

Quick Charm Tips:

  • Search the Store by windows + c in the store
  • Open Classic Control Panel -> Charms on desktop – settings – control panel

Other Helpful Keyboard Shortcuts

I have had a few questions about navigating from people not on touch devices/monitors….  I will note some of the good ones below and spend some time on the following two MS pages for a full detailed list..

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/mouse-keyboard-whats-new

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/keyboard-shortcuts

  • Windows Key + x –> Helpful tools (command prompt, computer management, run, control panel,device manger)
  • Windows Key + p –> If you have multiple monitors this will help you configure them
  • Windows Key –> back to metro
  • Windows Key + Tab –> Bring up your metro apps on the left side.
  • Windows Key + Q –> Search in your current app
  • Windows Key + Z –> In a metro App this will bring up the bottom menu (I think they call it the context Menu)

One more tip… To log out, shutdown, put it to sleep just hit Ctrl Alt Delete then the button on the bottom right

I will put some more stuff together soon.  If you want to make comments or have me add anything please use the google+ community site

Google+ Direct Link to Comments: Comments

Oct 31

Windows 8 The Journey Part 3

So I am a few days into Windows 8 and its time to share what I think.    The first thing that I wanted to bring up is everything just works.   I have had no issues, no slowness and no lockups.

Things I like you may not know about

  • The number one thing about the pro version is HyperV is now included!   As many of you know I once tried to get Windows Server 2008 R2 to run as a gaming machine and failed.  Now you can play games and setup a lab!
  • The default config for dual monitors is one screen metro and one screen desktop.   This is a nice touch
  • XBOX Smart Glass… Not much there now but you can tell this could be a huge deal soon.
  • Changes to Task Manager are very nice…. App history is something that has been needed for a long time
  • Where the hell is the Search in the Metro store?    This needs to get resolved soon

 

Would I recommend Win8 to everyone?   Not yet… but if you don’t mind upgrading why not try it?  The price is right and the upgrade is fairly easy.

 

Oct 28

Windows 8 The Journey Part 2

I got back to my machine to discover Windows 8 successfully installed.    I logged in to find all my “settings” had moved over but as I expected my apps did not make the move.   I wanted to dig into the “upgrade” to see what it did.

This did not lay an OS down over my old OS.  It created a Windows.old Folder which was a exact copy of the old folders

 

 

 

 

I quickly moved these off my SSD so I can look at the folders later.   It the did what appears to be a fresh installed followed by a version of USMT.

I am pretty happy with the results so my next step is to start re-installing applications.  I run most my applications on a standard drive and save my SSD for OS and the main game I am playing.

  • Steam – Go into the install folder and re-run steam.exe as an administrator.  This will re-trigger the setup of steam.  If all goes well all your steam content will be up and running in a couple minutes.
  • Carbonite – I re-installed the client over my previous folder.  Everything worked and it only need to upload a few mb of new data.
  • iTunes – I de-activated my old iTunes install before I started the install.   I re-installed over the old folder and everything worked.  I did not have to reconfigure any of my content folders.