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Windows 8.1 questions...

VileReynard
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Windows 8.1 questions...

Much against my advice my son has requested that his old PC be replaced after a motherboard conflagration.
He wants to put Windows 8.1 on it.  Cry Cry
I haven't used windows since early XP days.
It will be a UEFI setup:-
Quote
CPU  	        AMD A8-6600K Quad Core APU (3.9-4.2GHz)
Motherboard    Gigabyte F2A68HM-HD2 FM2+ (mATX, DDR3, USB 3.0, 6Gb/s)
Memory (RAM) 8GB KINGSTON DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz (1 x 8GB)
Graphics Card  1GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GT 730 - DVI, HDMI, VGA
Hard Disk     2TB 3.5" SATA-III 6GB/s HDD

Questions:-  What's the best way to partition a Windows 2TB drive?
I don't fancy a single big chunk of disk called "C:\" Roll eyes
Alternately I could use Windows equivalents of ssh or rsync - but this will be slow because it's over wireless.
Is there free software available which will let me run Linux (some of the time) in a VM?
Can a VM access any of the hosts files (for backup purposes)?
How does backup work in Windows?
I don't really want to have to backup zillions of OS files when they are available on DVD.

24 REPLIES
nanotm
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

read up on robocopy for the backup stuff (its free and built into the windows command line by default) , you can choose any volume/directory/folder/file that you wish included and all sorts of really annoying longwinded batch files (unless you like coding) that allow you to automate the process to any chosen internal external or nas drive, but it can be a bit convoluted so if your like me then you will just use someone else posted on a blog  Wink
failing that you can always get a paid for product like cyberlink's backup software (Nero's backitup 12 doesn't work under w8.1 and the newer versions require a monthly fee to unlock them to actually provide the backup....) which allow you to chose exactly what you want to backup through a nice simple GUI, this is something I did for one of my w8.1 machines although I include the OS files because re downloading and installing all that software +updates is a nausea I can do without /
yes you can get vm software to allow you to mount a virtual pc running any os you like, the better ones allow you to access files etc if you want to from the main hard drive but unless your paying decent money then its a bit of a faff to get that functionality.
if your not going to install windows on an ssd then don't bother partitioning the drive before windows is installed up to date and working nromally, (you can always use the computer management feature at a later date to shrink the volume size and create a new volume on the disk if required in the future)
old thinking was to partition a drive to make it last longer, new thinking is that it causes uneven wear of the heads and speeds up drive failure .....
if your truly desperate to run .nix then you can always set the bios to allow you to use a dvd version of your chosen OS, but iirc w8(8.1) likes to set the drive into GPT rather than ntfs as part of the install procedure (but it wont let you install to one that's already formatted to gpt .....)
uefi is fun I hope your mobo recognises that the gfx card is uefi compliant or your going to have to redo the install a few times while you figure out what bios settings to use .......
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
VileReynard
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

Thanks for all that!
I'm currently running Linux on a UEFI GPT drive that has a number of partitions.
It was my first attempt at a UEFI boot - took ages to get my head round it.
I hope Windows is clever enough to align software clusters on 4K boundaries.
Quote
but iirc w8(8.1) likes to set the drive into GPT rather than ntfs as part of the install procedure (but it wont let you install to one that's already formatted to gpt .....)

That must make it a trifle tricky if you want to reinstall Windows?

nanotm
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

not really in w8(8.1) there is an option to do a refresh or a complete reinstall so no need to format the drive or anything like that
if you something nasty on the system and need ot start from scratch then your going ot insert the dvd boot into the recovery console run the command prompt window and use diskpart to wipe the drive and format it as ntfs ready for windows to do its thang

personally so far ive only used the inside windows options to sort out problems with the kids systems

as for the 4k, when it formats the drive at the start of the install process it will square the sector alignment away
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
wisty
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

Quote from: nanotm

yes you can get vm software to allow you to mount a virtual pc running any os you like, the better ones allow you to access files etc if you want to from the main hard drive but unless your paying decent money then its a bit of a faff to get that functionality.

I would really recommend Oracle's VirtiualBox. Its free and very very functional. It allows persistent mapping of drives and folders on the host machine  to the guest machine, or you can simply use standard network functionality ( the guest and the host(s) can appear on either the full network or a private network only visible to them).
It will certainly support Linux as a guest (or a host).
One neat feature I like is the ability to switch to "seamless mode" such that windows running in the guest appear to be on the host desktop, and cut and paste works just fine between them.
VileReynard
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

I'm not used to paying for software - only done in twice in many years!
But Windows seems to have got very user unfriendly.
These things like diskpart or various recovery options seem even more complicated than the days of NT4.
We shall see what happens... Tongue

nanotm
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

diskpart has been around since dos, as has robocopy its just that a lot of people had no idea about it and instead used the lesser commands such as xcopy or the basic format c: command which didn't allow for the larger disk with NTFS....

its different though i'll give you that but its a lot easer to use once you figure out how to find everything and hotlink it all to the desktop or get one of the addons to give you back the old fashioned start menu (which often causes problems when MS release a patch) but the software itself is a lot cheaper than it was 20 years ago (windows 98 was £150 retail versus the £25 for the pro version of w8 on release day)  its cool though and if you have a touch screen its so easy to use and sync all your w8 devices to each other with trusted devices all having the ability to view the browser history of each other and passwords saving to all the machines in your personal group.
not needing the notebook to remember the various username/passwords for stuff when your out and about as well as a bunch of other things that are new for the connected passport system like remote wipe /lock/purge options to name but a few that spring to mind.
of course the 2 step auth is a bit of a pain to setup but extremely useful in the event of losing a device ...
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
VileReynard
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

I haven't got a touch screen.
How would this work with a 24" monitor?
I don't want to sync everything as that probably involves cloud storage.
I don't have much trust in cloud storage.
What's this "passport system"?
It sounds like something I don't want - I've no interest at looking at somebody else's browser history.
Additionally, I don't want someone tracking where I've been...

nanotm
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

lucky its not for you then but for your nipper  Wink
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
VileReynard
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

He's an adult and hasn't used Windows for years - so in my opinionI think he will be disappointed.  Cheesy
It should be interesting from the point of view of the Linux versus Windows controversy though.
I will put a Linux VM in and see which gets the most use.
I've recently installed a Linux upgrade in a VM on a Linux PC - it appears to run at "bare metal" speeds.

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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

if he's an adult then maybe let him make up his own mind and form his own opinions.
VileReynard
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

That's the only reason I'm allowing him to give Windows a try.  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
I hope to persuade him to use separate admin and user accounts - but that is probably a lost cause. Cry

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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

"allowing"? you sound like a hoot.
nanotm
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

Unless you're installing a corporate version there is no such thing as separate accounts for admins....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
VileReynard
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Re: Windows 8.1 questions...

Quote from: chenks76
"allowing"? you sound like a hoot.

Well I'm paying for it.
Quote from: nanotm
Unless you're installing a corporate version there is no such thing as separate accounts for admins....

I wonder why Windows is plagued by viruses!