Windows 8… help?!?


People keep asking me about this and I thought it would make sense to share my answer on the internet and I can point people here to save my breath. ūüôā

So you bought or were bought a new, shiny Windows 8 laptop but you can’t find the start menu or how to turn off your laptop. While these are simple tasks that can be completed by dragging your mouse pointer to the corners of the screen, you want your good, old, faithful interface back. In my opinion, you have 3 options:

1) Download StartMenu8 from IObit, install and change the options to load at startup and boot straight to the desktop. Get your Windows 7 experience back.

Image from IObit website

2) Download and Buy Start8 from Stardock for £4.99, install and change the options to load at startup and boot straight to the desktop. Get your Windows 7 interface back and a Windows 8 twist!

Image from Stardock website

3) Find a Windows 7 disc of the same version, e.g. Windows 8 Pro -> Windows 7 Pro and a product key (this can be from anywhere other computer, you only use it to get through the install). Save all your files and documents, format your computer and install Windows 7. Ensure you backup your Windows 8 discs so you can go back to Windows 8 when the time is right. When trying to activate Windows 7 you will be prompted to call Microsoft because it isn’t a legitimate product key, at this point inform them that you have Windows 8 and provide them with your Windows 8 Product Key (usually on the bottom of the laptop or computer) and they will provide you with an activation code because you legally have downgrade rights with Windows 8.

Image from Microsoft

I must state that my preferred method would be to get used to Windows 8 and learn how to use it as this interface is moving to all Microsoft devices and will not disappear any time soon. If you really, really need the start button, I would go for option 2 and pay £4.99 as this provides a lot of good features. It does have a free trial to try it out before you buy.

If you have any questions or other alternatives, let me know if the comments.


Add Print Directory Listing to the Right Click menu

Based on Microsoft KB 321379

I had user request that he regularly wanted to produce a list of all files in a particular folder. This How-To is based on the following Microsoft KB Article

In essence it adds a menu to the right click menu, so you right click on a folder in explorer and click Print Directory Listing and either Prints it straight to a printer(standard functionality) or Opens it in Notepad(My functionality), you can then import it into Excel.

While the original functionality is good, it isn’t ideal.¬†The original will print the directory listing with modified dates, files size and some other info, straight to your default printer.

The right click option seen in the screenshot at the top of this post runs a script in:

Opening the script in Notepad, I changed it to show me just file names and paste it into notepad.

I change the script to:

@echo off
dir %1 /-p /-b /o:gn > "%temp%\Listing"
start /w notepad "%temp%\Listing"
del "%temp%\Listing"

You can now right click on any folder and choose Print Directory Listing(Wording can be changed by following This will then open Notepad and display a list of all the folders and files.