Tag Archives: Windows 8

Restarting Windows 10 and Windows 8 in the safe mode

Prior to Windows 8, the procedure of restarting Windows in the safe mode was relatively straightforward: you would restart the computer, and then you would keep pressing the F8 key, about once every half second, before Windows begins to boot. With a bit of luck, Windows would detect the F8 key and display the black-and-white start menu:

The black-and-white start menu on Windows 7
The safe mode options screen in Windows 7

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In Windows 8 and 10, you are supposed to be able to press the Shift+F8 key combination to achieve a similar effect (although you would not find the black-and-white start menu there), except that the window of opportunity for the Shift+F8 keys is much shorter now and it may take you a few restart attempts to press it at just the right time.

If Windows does not want to recognize your Shift+F8 keys, don't despair: there is another way. Wait for Windows to start as usual, and then open the menu that contains the Restart command, but don't select it yet. (You can usually get to this menu by moving the mouse into the top-right corner, wating for the "charms" to appear, selecting "PC Settings" and finally clicking on "Power".)

The Power menu of Windows 8
The Power menu of Windows 8

Now press the Shift key, and while keeping it depressed, click on Restart (and release the Shift key, as well.) In a few moments Windows should prompt you what to do next:

The Restart options of Windows 8
The Restart options of Windows 8

To continue booting in the safe mode, select the middle option, Troubleshoot, and be presented with another screen of options:

The Troubleshoot options of Windows 8
The Troubleshoot options of Windows 8

Select Advanced options there to see yet another screen of choices:

The Advanced startup options of Windows 8
The Advanced startup options of Windows 8

Select Startup settings there, and see yet another screen (are we still counting?)

The Startup settings screen of Windows 8
The Startup settings screen of Windows 8

Press Restart on this screen, and after a few seconds we should (almost) reach the destination: the screen that finally lets us select one of the safe mode options:

The screen of Windows 8 that offers the safe mode options
The screen of Windows 8 that offers the safe mode options

Choose the desired safe mode option, and after a few seconds Windows 8 should boot into the safe mode! Be prepared to see some things not as they used to be: in the safe mode, Windows loads only the most basic components, to keep the running processes to a minimum. The screen may be black, the desktop icons may be moved, and so on. You should see the text "Safe Mode" displayed in each corner of the desktop:

A part of the Windows 8 desktop in the safe mode
A part of the Windows 8 desktop in the safe mode

When you are done using the safe mode, just restart Windows, and it should boot into its normal mode, as usual, without any additional intervention from you.

What if you want Windows keep booting into the safe mode every time, without going through the long sequence of the option screens every time? Here is how to set it up. First, open the System Configuration utility of Windows: you can find it easily if you have StartFinity, just use it to select Programs - Administrative tools to find this command:

Using StartFinity to run the System Configuration utility
Using StartFinity to run the System Configuration utility

Select the Boot tab on the System Configuration screen, and then select the Safe boot box:

The Safe boot option on the System Configuration screen
The Safe boot option on the System Configuration screen

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Press OK, and you may be prompted to restart Windows. You can do it right away, or after some time, but from this point on, whenever you restart Windows, it should boot into the safe mode.

How to disable the automatic reboot in the safe mode that we've set up above? Open the System Configuration utility, and deselect the Safe boot option. Keep in mind, though, that if Windows is restarted in the safe mode, the StartFinity icon may not be loaded automatically for you, but you can still start it manually using the StartFinity tile on the Start Screen, and then navigate to the System Configuration command as described above.

Yet another solution to this problem is to force Windows 8 and Windows 10 to behave in the same way as Windows 7. To do that, run Command Prompt "As Administrator", and enter the following command:

bcdedit /set {current} bootmenupolicy legacy

This should make Windows 8 and Windows 10 display the old-style black-and-white boot menu, instead of the fancy new one.

An update: If you have one of the latest builds of Windows 10, then it probably uses PowerShell instead of the regular command prompt. In such a case, the above command will NOT work! It must be entered into the "old" command prompt window, not into the PowerShell one.

Unfortunately, Windows 10 does not offer an easy way to open the "old" command prompt. Here is the trick that should get you started:

Click on the Windows Start button, and while the Start menu is displayed, start typing "cmd" (without the quotes). As soon as you type it, it should show Command Prompt as the best match. Press the Ctrl and Shift keys simultaneously, and while keeping them depressed, press the Enter key. This should launch the "old" command prompt "as administrator".

Good luck!

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AB Commander 8.5 certified for Windows 8

We've just released an updated version 8.5 of AB Commander file manager. This version was submitted to the Windows 8 Application Certification and we are happy to report that it passed the tests and is now officially compatible with Windows 8.

Besides the compatibility with Windows 8, this version offers several minor improvements and fixes, such as:

  • The Duplicate Current Tab command, the tooltips that show the full path, and the tabs, and several other improvements.
  • A new option: Invoke Go to Parent folder when double-clicking on empty space.
  • The horizontal scroll bars now automatically appear or disappear as needed on the Folder bars.
  • ... and a few other little things

As before, AB Commander 8.5 comes with a free 30-day license for you to try it out before purchasing it.

Happy file managing!

Press Release: StartFinity for Windows 8

For Immediate Release

For more information contact:
WinAbility Software Corp.

StartFinity, the missing Start Menu for Windows 8, is here

WinAbility Software has released StartFinity, a Windows 8 program that adds a Start button to Windows 8 desktop. When the Start button is pressed, StartFinity displays the Start Menu similar to the built-in Start menu of Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows. StartFinity enables Windows 8 users to utilize the familiar Start Menu interface to navigate to the Documents, Pictures, Music, and other folders, launch programs from the Programs menu, open Control Panel, or use the Shut Down menu commands to perform such tasks in a familiar fashion.

“While not the exact imitation of the Start Menu that Windows 7 has, StartFinity comes pretty close,” says Andrei Belogortseff, the founder and CEO of WinAbility Software. “The StartFinity Start Menu even comes with a search box where you can type a few letters of a program’s name you are looking for, and the matching items will be displayed as a list, for the user to choose from, pretty much like the Windows 7 search box does,” Andrei added.

StartFinity does not remove access to the new Start Screen of Windows 8: it adds a command at the very top of its Start Menu to allow the user to switch to the Start Screen at any time. The user has also an option to use the Windows key to activate the Start Menu (instead of clicking the Start button).

StartFinity can be used with both desktop and tablet computers running the Windows 8 operating system that offers the desktop mode. StartFinity cannot be used on Windows 8 computers that do not offer the desktop mode.

The full version of StartFinity can be purchased securely online from http://www.winability.com/ starting from $7.95 for a one-computer license. Multi-computer and site license discounts are available. StartFinity Starter edition is also available for free download from http://www.winability.com/startfinity-free/. For more information, visit http://www.winability.com or contact WinAbility Software at P.O. Box 630272, Rockville, UT 84763-0272. Voice/FAX: +1(801)303-7310.

# # #

Editorial Evaluation Copy Available on Request.

WinAbility software and Windows 8 get along just fine!

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Note: This article was written before Windows 8 was officially released.

As you probably know, Microsoft has announced recently several significant changes to the Windows user interface that are going to appear in the next major upgrade to Windows. Since they released a preview version of Windows 8 a few days ago, we've been eager to see how our software would perform on the new version. Especially since Steven Sinofsky made a point that any existing program that works with Windows 7 should work with Windows 8 as well.

Of course, we wouldn't expect our software to plug into the new Metro interface right away: any software needs to be programmed specifically to take advantage of it. However, since Windows 8 has a special compatibility mode to run the familiar desktop applications, we figured we should try to run our applications in that mode.

So, we've download the Windows 8 DVD image, installed it, and spent some time familiarizing ourselves with Windows 8. Turns out that the desktop mode is just one click away from the Metro interface. And when you make that click, you immediately feel at home. We've installed AB Commander, Space Investigator, Folder Guard, and USBCrypt on the Windows 8 desktop, and after a brief testing we didn't notice any major difference in their appearance or performance:

WinAbility software runs on Windows 8 desktop just fine

Sure, it's too early to do the real testing of our software on Windows 8, because a lot of things are going to change before Windows 8 hits the shelves. That's what we will be busy with in the coming months while Microsoft is getting Windows 8 ready for the prime time. Meanwhile, it's nice to know that our software runs on Windows 8 preview as it is.

As for our impression of Windows 8, the Metro interface is quite a significant change that will take some getting used to. It will probably fit the tablets and the smart phones just fine, while when it comes to the conventional desktops and laptops, we are not so sure. Time will tell!

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