OneDrive on Windows 8.1 Updated with New Features for Desktop Users!

One of the updates for Patch Tuesday on June 10, 2014 was for Microsoft OneDrive. This update brought significant UI update for desktop users. Let’s check it out. Continue reading

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Microsoft Updates Windows Store to Show Really Large Screenshots

Microsoft has quietly updated the Windows Store in Windows 8.1. The update is server side. That is, you will not need to update your operating system to see the changes; it is automatically available for all users of Windows 8.1. What is the update, you might ask? Basically, the screenshots in the app landing page are huge! It actually looks pretty nice. Before this update, the screenshots were much smaller, and you could see more of the panoramic view of the Store. But now, with the much larger screenshots, most of your screen is used by the app screenshots.

Here are some screenshots. Note that the resolution is 1920 by 1080. Before the update, I observed the app screenshots to be much smaller and I could see more stuff on screen than I can now.

Flixter App Landing Page

Windows Store Large Image

McAkins Online App Landing Page

McAkins Online App Updated With Improved UI

McAkins Tile Wide v2

Preview and Install

Hi folks! It’s Nazmus here, reporting to you that we have updated the official McAkins Online app. The update (now at version 1.1.0.3) is in certification with Microsoft and should be rolling out to you in the next few days. If you are running Windows 8.1, you will get the latest version automatically. If you are on Windows 8 or have turned off automatic app updates in Windows 8.1, you will need to manually update this app from the Store.

So what’s in this new update?

The most noticeable thing is the new look and feel. The app sports a cleaner, more beautiful design. The colors are pleasing to the eye and the entire design follows the Windows 8 design language. Gone are the gradients and unnecessary clutter!

The new update sports a new tile design that look cleaner and fits right in with your Start Screen! The tiles are live, so you will be notified of your latest posts without even having to open the app!

We fixed several annoying bugs, including the NaN bug that prevented content from showing up on the home page. We also made some performance improvements.

Check out the screenshots below to see what the new version looks like.

Help & Tips Explore Great Windows Apps and Games Xbox Games for Windows Playing a Video

Download Windows 8.1 ISO Using your Windows 8.0 Key

Folks, we have some GREAT news for you! A Microsoft community member have figured out a loophole that lets you download Windows 8.1 using your Windows 8.0 product key! The community member’s name is Tom. Here’s his tip.

Easy Steps to get Windows 8.1 ISO

Step 1: Go page and click on the “Install Windows 8″ button. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

Step 2: Run the file and enter in your retail Windows 8.0 product key. Click Next.

Enter Windows 8 product key

Step 3: It will show you the version of Windows that is to be downloaded. Click Next.

Ready to Download Windows

Step 4: Download should be started. Cancel the download immediately by clicking the X button on the upper right of the setup Window.

Downloading Windows 8

Step 5: Go to this page again and, now, click on the “Install Windows 8.1″ button.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

Step 6: Run the file and it should say “Download is interrupted”. Close it and run the file again. It should now start downloading Windows 8.1.

Downloading Windows 8.1 50%

Step 7: Once the download is complete, you will be given the option to create an ISO file. Do this and you now have an ISO file that you can use at your disposal.

You can now also use this ISO file to burn to a DVD or USB and use it to refresh or reset your PC! This is great to see the community members stepping up to make up for the stupidity of Microsoft not willing to give its paying customers an ISO file.

Thanks to Tom for finding this awesome workaround! Here’s Tom’s original forum post: http://www.eightforums.com/installation-setup/33164-how-download-windows-8-1-iso.html

This post was originally published in McAkins Online

[OBSOLETE] We Have Found a Solution to the Refresh and Reset Problem in Windows 8.1!

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Windows Blue

Warning! This solution doesn’t fully work and is now obsolete!!! We have a newer, easier, and more reliable solution that does work and have been tested multiple times with success! Please see the new article on how to download a Windows 8.1 ISO using you Windows 8.0 retail product key. http://mcakins.com/2013/10/19/download-windows-8-1-iso-using-you-windows-8-0-key/

I am very excited to share with you guys that my efforts to find a solution to the frustrating refresh and reset problem in Windows 8.1 has not been fruitless. As you may now, we have blogged earlier that if you upgrade your retail copy of Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 using the Windows Store, you will loose the ability to refresh or reset. Well, I have good news for you, as I have discovered one way to regain the functionality in your Windows 8.1 install!

As you may recall from the previous blog post, when you upgrade to Windows 8.1, you cannot refresh or reset your PC due to missing installation files. To make matters worse, Microsoft stubbornly refuses to provide any ISO image or recovery files to go along with the Windows Store upgrade. However, the good news is that Microsoft is providing an ISO of Windows 8.1 to any users for free. This ISO is the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation for IT professionals. And because all Windows 8 ISOs contains the files necessary to install any edition of Windows, you can use the Enterprise evaluation ISO to refresh or reset your Windows 8.1 PC!

Please follow the steps to restore the refresh and reset functionality to Windows 8.1

Tutorial Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Step 1: Download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation ISO

Please go to the following link to download the Windows 8.1 Enterprise ISO. Remember, you MUST download the version (32-bits or 64-bits) that match your current install of Windows 8.1!

Download link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx?CR_CC=200320080

If you are using 64-bit Windows 8.1, download the 64-bit version of the evaluation. If you are using 32-bit version of Windows 8.1, then download the 32-bit version of the evaluation. If you don’t do this, it will NOT work.

Step 2: Mount the ISO Image

Right-click on the ISO image you downloaded and click “Mount”. Then, open “My Computer” aka “This PC” and double click on the ISO image you mounted.

Mounting ISO

Step 3: Locate and Copy Install.wim

Once you have double clicked on the mounted ISO image from “My Computer” aka “This PC”, go to the “Sources” folder. In that folder locate a file called “install.wim”. Right-click on it and click “Copy” to copy the file to the clipboard.

Finding Install.wim

Step 4: Setup the Refresh Folder

Open “This PC” and go to the C drive. There, create a new folder called Win8 (You can call it whatever you want, actually. Just remember to replace ‘Win8′ with the name you have given it in the steps below).

Paste the Install.wim file you copied earlier in this folder.

Pasting Install.wim

Step 5: Some Command Prompt Magic

Open the search charm and type “CMD.exe”. Do not press enter. Right-click on the first result you get below the search box and choose “Run as Administrator”.

Once a Command Prompt window opens, type the following commands:

reagentc.exe /setosimage /path C:\Win8 /target c:\Windows /Index 1

That is all you have to type. Press enter.

It should say:

Directory set to: \\?\GLOBALROOT\device\hardisk0\partition2\Win8

REAGENTIC.EXE: Operation Successful.

C:\Windows\system32>

Please replace “Win8″ if you named that folder something else. Also, if your copy of Windows is installed on a different lettered drive, replace the letter c with the appropriate letter in “C:\”.

Step 6: Refresh or reset your PC from PC settings

Now, whenever your PC is not running well, you can use the refresh and reset functionality in PC Settings.

For more information on how to do this, please see this Microsoft support article: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/restore-refresh-reset-pc

Refresh or Reset Windows 8.1

Concluding Thoughts

Since Microsoft failed to provide a proper solution to this problem, we as the community must help each other out. I really hope this helps you solve the refresh/reset problem in Windows 8.1. If you have any questions whatsoever, please leave a comment below. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can Inshallah (God Willing).

Helpful Links

Instructions on how to Reset and Refresh Windows 8 without DVD from our friends at IntoWindows

http://www.intowindows.com/how-to-reset-or-refresh-windows-8-without-dvd/

Download Windows 8.1 Enterprise Evaluation

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh699156.aspx?CR_CC=200320080

Warning! If You Upgrade to Windows 8.1 Through Windows Store, You May Loose The Ability to Refresh and Reset

Ready to Refresh Windows 8 (1)

I am reporting to you with a very important precaution for anyone who has Windows 8 retail and is planning to upgrade to Window 8.1 for free through the Windows Store. This is serious because you may loose the ability to refresh or reset Windows once you do the upgrade, and there is no easy way to fix this, currently. This applies to every one who bought and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 (including those who took advantage of the $40 upgrade offer).

Here’s a quick background on what the reset and refresh functionality is. Basically, it is a “push-button” reinstallation of Windows. The refresh option allows you to reinstall Windows while keeping your files and settings intact, and the reset option allows you to do a easy, once-click, clean install of Windows. This feature is very important, as you might need to reinstall your OS if you are experiencing slowdowns or are infected by a computer virus.

If you have purchased and installed a retail copy of Windows 8 and have upgraded to Windows 8.1, you have essentially lost this crucial feature, Please see below for details on this. Below, please refer to the scenario that applies to you. You either upgraded to Windows 8 electronically or used an upgrade DVD or ISO.

If You Installed Windows 8 Electronically from Windows.com

Many have installed Windows 8 electronically from Microsoft. This includes many who took advantage of the $40 upgrade offer. If you have done this, the web installer created an ESD file on your hard drive that allowed you to refresh or reset your Windows 8 PC.

The ESD file is located in a hidden ESD folder on your main drive (usually the C drive). It is a few gigabytes in size and provides all the necessary files needed to reset or refresh you PC at anytime you needed. See the image below:

Windows ESD files to refresh and reset (3)

You were also given the option to delete the ESD file using Disk Cleanup if you wanted to free up some disk space, but that would mean you would loose the ability to refresh or reset.

Windows ESD Installation file in Disk Cleanup

After You Install Windows 8.1 Through the Windows Store

When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, you are not provided with an updated ESD file. Windows 8.1 cannot use the original Windows 8.0 ESD file to reset or refresh. As such, if you attempt to refresh or reset Windows 8.1, you will see this error message, asking you for the Install media. However, you were never provided the install media and you are stuck! Please see the image below:

Insert Media to Reset or Refresh

If You Installed Windows 8 from a DVD or ISO Image

You might have purchased a Windows 8 upgrade DVD from a retailer. Alternatively, you might have purchased Windows 8 upgrade electronically from Microsoft, but, instead, you might have created an ISO image, burned it to disk and installed it from there. In either case, the following applies to you.

Windows 8 installations that were done through the DVD or ISO can only refresh or reset using the DVD or USB drive containing the installation files. When you need to reset or refresh Windows 8, you will first need to insert the Installation media in your drive and then reset or refresh your PC from PC settings.

After You Install Windows 8.1 Through the Windows Store

When you upgrade to Windows 8.1 through the Windows Store, you essentially get a brand new OS. Therefore, you can’t use your original Windows 8.0 install media to reset or refresh Windows 8.1 if you ever need to. Even if you have your original Windows 8 install media in the drive, you will get an error message when you attempt to refresh or reset your PC, asking you to provide the install media. However, you were never provided the install media and you are stuck! Please see the image below:

Insert Media to Reset or Refresh

Final Thoughts

If you care about being able to refresh or reset your PC for any reason, I suggest you do not yet upgrade to Windows 8.1 until Microsoft comes out with a fix or the community finds a solution to this problem. Of course, one solution is to give Microsoft over a hundred dollars to get a Windows 8.1 DVD, with which you can refresh or reset, but that is not a pleasant solution. We’ll keep you posted when a solution arrives, God Willing.

Tip from How-to-Geek: How to use the Kiosk Mode in Windows 8.1

We ran into a How-to=Geek articles that we thought our readers my benefit from. The Article is a tutorial describing how to make use of the new Kiosk Mode feature of Windows 8.1. The tutorial is well-written with descriptive screenshots. If you are interested in the Kiosk Mode feature, do check out this article!

How to Easily Put a Windows PC into Kiosk Mode With Assigned Access

Windows 8.1 GA Sneak Peek — Windows 8.1 Apps on the Windows 8 Store

At the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October 18, new apps will flush into the store. Many of these apps are exclusive to Windows 8.1 and are not compatible with Windows 8.0. But how will Windows 8 users see these exclusive Windows 8.1 apps? As it turns out, Windows 8 users can, indeed, see Windows 8.1 apps on the Windows 8 store.

When Windows 8.1 launches, exclusive Windows 8.1 apps will be listed in the Windows 8.0 store with a big banner asking them to update to the new OS if they want to take advantage of the app. This is what it will look like.

8.1 app on Windows 8

 

As you can see, Movie Moments is an app incompatible with Windows 8. Therefore, users of Windows 8 still see the app on the Windows Store, but rather than an Install button, they have a button that takes them to the Windows 8.1 download page. Microsoft wants to do the best they can in order to promote the new OS as well as get users to the latest version so that developers can target more customers while taking advantage of the latest features and APIs of Windows 8.1.

Source: BUILD 2013

Windows 8.1 RTM Adds A New Desktop Friendly Feature Since the Preview

Windows 8.1 Preview came with a handful of new features that made it easier for desktop users to use the OS, including boot to desktop, combustibility of the start screen to appeal for the desktop usage scenario, and better multitasking. Windows 8.1 RTM adds to the list. Thanks to our friends at Into Windows for discovering this feature.

In Windows 8.1 RTM, Microsoft added the ability to return straight to the desktop after closing metro apps. Currently, if you close all metro apps on screen, you will be taken back to the start screen. In Windows 8.1, you have the option to set it so that once every metro app on a monitor is closed, you are automatically taken back to the desktop. This is useful if you use the desktop primarily and open metro apps once in a while. A good scenario is that you double click on a photo on File Explorer and are taken to the Photos app. Once you close the photos app, you will be returned back to File Explorer; neat!

You set this option from the navigation tab in the Task Manager properties, the same place you set the boot to desktop. Here’s a picture (via Into Windows).

Show-desktop-after-closing-apps-in-Windows-8.1-step2_thumb

Source: Into Windows

Windows 8.1 May Have Featured App Showcase on the Start Screen

We all are anxiously waiting for the general availability of Windows 8.1 on October the 18th. We are hoping that we will also see some influx of new apps designed for Windows 8.1 and apps that Microsoft has promised us in the 2013 BUILD conference, namely Facebook and Flipboard. Another thing we might find in GA of Windows 8.1 is a new presentation of featured apps on the Start Screen.

The new Windows (8.1)

If you see the image above (acquired from the Windows Website), you will notice that the Store Tile features a more prominent live tile. In Windows 8.0, the Windows Store tile was a live tile, but it would only show the number of app updates available. In Windows 8.1, it appears that the Windows Store is showing featured apps that users can download. You may already know that the RTM version of the Windows 8.1 allows you to set the Store tile to large, and on the picture above, it makes sense as to why one would want to do this. It seems that if you set the tile to large, you can see a collection of featured apps that Microsoft recommends.

Of course, if you choose to do so, you can turn off the live tile for Windows Store, or make it a small tile. You can also unpin a tile, as before. I am personally very excited for this feature, as it allows me to see new editorial app pics without having to launch the Windows Store. Secondly, it looks kind of nice. What do you think? If you are already running Windows 8.1 RTM, let us know if this feature is already available to you.

Update: This feature is not yet available in the RTM release that has been provided to MSDN and TechNet subscribers (as well as Dreamspark Premium users). It is very likely that it is part of the massive post-RTM updates that is coming before GA. All current RTM users will be able to download the updates from Windows Update for free in the near future.

Place a Clock on your Start Screen with Asparion Clock

Asparion Clock (1)

Preview and Install

I am a big fan of Asparion software on the Windows Store. But this one is one I particularly like. I have been looking for a good clock tile for my Windows Start Screen, to compliment the weather and news tiles. As McAkins noted on a recent post, the Start Screen is a true dashboard with Windows 8.1. A clock is essential for any dashboards. Well, I am pleased to say that I have finally found a great tool for the job!

Asparion Clock is an app downloadable from the Windows Store that allows you to place one or more customizable clock tiles on your Windows Start Screen. You can add many clock tiles to your Start Screen, each with different time and appearance. You can have the tile display your System Tile (which you can set from the PC settings interface), or you can use a custom time. Each tiles can have a different look as well, with some being digital clocks and other being variants of analogue clocks.

Of course, Asparion Clock is useful as an app itself. You can have multiple clocks set up and view them from the app. The app is also customizable, allowing you to configure the app with any foreground and background color. You can even configure the snapped mode for the app! The app has timer and alarm features as well, if you are interested. However, I personally use it for the live tile feature because the alarms and timer are built in to Windows 8.1.

Here are some more screenshots:

Download it here: Clock (Live tile, alarm, timer)

How to Delete the Windows.old folder after a Windows Upgrade or Reinstall

If you have upgraded Windows or reinstalled it without formatting your hard drive, you may notice that there is a Windows.old folder on the C drive (or a your primary hard drive partition). This folder contains files from the previous windows install. The folder is used to back up potentially important personal files or to roll back to the previous OS in case of an installation failure. However, the folder takes up large amount of disk space. If you have personal files in there, you can move them out of the folder, but everything else is pretty much useless. You will want to delete that folder to save disk space. But you need to delete it properly, and we’ll show you how to do just that!

Note that if you are on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 (or their server and ARM counterparts), most of the content of the folder will automatically be deleted after some time. But you might still want to do a full cleanup. You cannot simply delete it like a normal folder, as Windows will block you from doing so. You will need to use Disk Cleanup.

This will clean up the Windows.old content completely and give you back large amounts of disk space. However, we must launch disk cleanup as an administrator. Follow the steps below, it should work.

Try these steps (in exact order) to remove the Windows.old content:

If you are running Windows 7:

  • Step 1: Open the Start Menu and on the search box, type “Disk Cleanup”
  • Step 2: Right-click on “Disk Cleanup” and click “Run as Administrator”. You might need to click “Yes” or type your password. Please do that.

Please go to Step 8 below

If you are running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1:

  • Step 1: Go to the desktop, either by clicking the desktop tile or by pressing “Windows Key” + D on your Keyboard.
  • Step 2: On your Desktop, open the charms. If using touch, swipe from the right edge. If using a mouse, point mouse to lower right corner and pull up. If using the keyboard, press the keys “Windows Key” + C.
  • Step 3: Click the “Settings” charm.
  • Step 4: Click on the “Control Panel” option.
  • Step 5: On the control panel Window, click on the search box and type “Admin”.
  • Step 6: On the search result, the first item should be “Administrative Tools”. Click on “Administrative Tools”.
  • Step 7: When the “Administrative Tools” folder opens, find the item that says “Disk Cleanup”. Right click on that item, and click “Run as Administrator”. You might need to click “Yes” or type your password. Please do that.

Please go to Step 8 below

 Steps 8-10 works for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1:

  • Step 8: On the “Disk Cleanup Drive Selection” dialog box, click OK. Wait for Disk Cleanup to search your hard drive. When it finishes searching, it will pop open the Disk Cleanup Dialog Box.
  • Step 9: You will see many entries to check off. Please find the entry that says “Previous Windows Installation”. Click that. You will see how much disk space you will be saving. If you want, you can check off other items too to clear up even more disk space!
  • Step 10: Once you checked off the items, click OK to start cleaning your heard drive. This will delete the Windows.old folder and its contents! Warning: Anything on that folder will be deleted!

Hyper for YouTube Gets Massive Update

 

We previously blogged about our YouTube app of choice on Windows 8/RT. It is Hyper for YouTube. It is an amazing YouTube app that is packed with features and also allows the ability to play YouTube videos in the background.

Well, we have a massive update for this app that brings loads of new features. For instance, the now-playing interface has been updated to show more options with just a click on the full-screen video. The non full-screen mode has been also updated to make it more concise and standard looking. However, the first thing you will notice on this update is the new first run wizard. After the update, a wizard will guide you to setting up the app with regions, color scheme, account linking, and more. The update also brings other UI changes and the ability to pin videos and channels.

Another change is the ability to upgrade to Pro version, which allows for more color schemes, advanced features, and batch YouTube video downloads.

If you have Windows 8.1, you should automatically have the latest version. If not, you can update it manually from the Windows Store. For Windows 8 users, you will need to do a manual update.

Download: Hyper for YouTube

Windows 8.1 – The Subtle Improvements

With the new announcement, the internet is buzzing with the discussion of the major features of Windows 8.1. Therefore, I will not reiterate the things you may already know. Instead, I want to focus on some subtle changes in Windows 8.1 that you may have not known. There are many subtle improvements in Windows 8.1, but on the leaked build I am using, they are not yet enabled. There are other minor changes that I am not going to discuss yet because they are incomplete and will be refined further in future builds.

Start Screen Tattoos

In Windows 8, you could choose a limited number of static tattoos. The colors the tattoos are predefined and depends on the background color you chose for your Start Screen. In Windows 8.1, you are able to customize the colors of the tattoos independent of the background color of the start screen. You do this by setting the secondary Start Screen color. In this example, I have picked a blue tattoo on a black start screen, and I, then, selected an orange tattoo on the black start screen.

Furthermore, you can also have some animated tattoos in Windows 8.1. This is the closest to the resource intensive “Dreamscene” feature of Windows Vista Ultimate. But these animations on Windows 8.1 are nearly not as resource intensive.

Windows 8.1 Orange Tattooo

Windows 8.1 Orange Tattooo

Open Metro Apps in New Window

In Windows 8, Metro Style apps can only run in a single Window. On the Start Screen, if you right-click a metro app, you only see the options to unpin/pin, uninstall, and tile size options. In Windows 8.1, however, you have a new option when you right click a tile of a Metro App. This option is called “Open in a New Window”. This essentially allows you to open multiple windows of a Metro Style app.

Windows 8.1 Multiple Windows

Desktop Tile Improvements

In Windows 8, tiles of Desktop apps are uninteresting, as they only show the icon of the app with a background tile being a similar color as that of the Start Screen. In Windows 8.1, Desktop app tiles have background colors defined by the primary color of the app icon. For example, Microsoft Word will have a blue tile background, Excel with a green tile color, and Visual Studio with a purple tile color.

Modern File Manager

Windows 8.1 will come with a modern File Manager, labeled as “Skydrive”. I don’t agree with the naming of the app because this “Skydrive” app can do a lot more. Unlike other metro style apps, this app has full system access. If you look at the permission of the app, it shows that the app is trusted and has full access to the OS. For example, the file manager can open .exe files, which no other metro style app can do. If you have downloaded third party file manager apps, you will know that they cannot open .exe and other system files. The “Skydrive” app can open any files and access almost any location of the hard drive.

Windows 8.1 File Manager

Internet Explorer 11 Brings Massive Upgrade to F12 Developer Tools

IE11 Dev F2 8

From the leak of Windows 8.1 build 9385, we can see some massive upgrade for Internet Explorer 11 developer tools. This was demoed by bavogames, on a YouTube video.. The developer tools is designed make it easy to work with web pages with the source code of a web page and test web page performance. The developer tools for Internet Explorer has remained virtually unchanged since Internet Explorer 8. But this changes with IE11.

The developer tool seems to be getting new features as well as a visual overhaul. The dev tool, which can be brought up by pressing F12 on the keyboard, adapts the look of Visual Studio and Microsoft Office 2013. The design of the dev tool is truly what one would expect a “Metroized” desktop apps to look. We thank bavogames YouTube channel for the tip and video demonstration.

Check out the video demo of Windows 8.1 build 9385, which shows the dev tools of IE11 in action, here: bavogames