Windows 8 Developer Preview Install Screenshots

Microsoft released a Developer Preview version of Windows 8 at the BUILD conference on 13 Sep 2011.

Here are all of the the screenshots from a clean install of this build of Windows 8.  (Windows 8 M3, build 8102 – pre-beta Milestone 3).

When you power up the machine, the process of booting from the DVD begins.

The Developer Preview announces itself.

You get to the first install screen, where you get to select the language. Under the “Language to Install” option, English was the only choice.

After clicking Next, you get a screen giving you the option of doing the install or starting a repair operation.

After clicking the “Install now” button, the install starts.

The first thing you’ll see is the license agreement.

You then get the option to upgrade or do a clean install.  Note that, according to the keynote, you can not upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8, but must do a clean install.

Clicking on the Custom button to do a clean install gets you to a page where you select a partition to install Windows 8 to.

The install process then starts.

Things proceed quickly, with the “Expanding Windows files” step taking the longest.

Once the basic install steps have completed, Windows tells you that it’s going to reboot before continuing.

Windows 8 now boots from the hard drive for the first time.  It announces itself once again as the Developer Preview and says that it is “Preparing”.

It then says that it is “Getting Devices Ready”.

When this step is complete, we see that Windows is “Getting system ready”.

And Windows will reboot once again.

After the reboot, we do some more “Preparing”.

And finally, we see the first configuration screen and the first appearance of a Metro style user interface.

In the first step, we give the PC a name.

We then see a Settings page, where we can accept the default recommended settings, or choose “Customize” to set things up explicitly.

When you select “Customize”, you’ll first be asked whether to turn on sharing.

You’ll then see some security-related settings (shown below as two separate screen captures).  It’s actually a little disappointing that they’ve made the text so large that you’re required to scroll to see everything on this page.  They should have either split this into two pages, or used a smaller font so that you could read everything without scrolling.

You’ll then be asked questions about what information you’re prepared to share with Microsoft.  It’s nice that they ask our permission for all of this, but you should note that these options are all ON, by default.

You’ll then see a settings page related to updates.

You now see a Log on screen, where you can log into Windows using your Windows Live ID.

You enter your e-mail address and Windows Live password.

Windows goes off and does something will all of these settings.

You get one more “Preparing” screen.

And Windows does a little more work in configuring your settings.

At this point, you’ll get a brief glimpse of the Windows 8 desktop.

Finally, the Metro user interface shows up, listing all of the apps that you can launch from Metro.

As you scroll to the right, you can see the full set of apps that show up in Metro in this developer preview.

At this point, Windows 8 is up and running.

Note that you can switch to the classic Windows desktop by clicking on the “Desktop” app in the Metro interface, or by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard.  You’ll see the familiar Windows desktop.

Clicking on the Windows icon at the lower left will switch you back to the Metro user interface.

Quick Tip – Making Windows on 2nd Monitor Visible

I’m a big believer in using two (or even three) monitors on my main development machine.  I have two monitors on my home development machine (24″ Dell and 22″ off-brand) and having the extra real estate of that second monitor is invaluable.  I use it often, putting different applications over on the 2nd monitor and then dragging-dropping work/files between the monitors.

But I have a slight problem when I remote into my home machine from work.  Windows 7 supports mapping multiple monitors on the remote machine to multiple monitors on the local machine.  But at work, I just use a single monitor.  So I only see the windows that are being shown on the main monitor of my home machine.

The problem arises when I click on an icon in the taskbar to see a window and it doesn’t show up–because it exists on my second monitor.  Because I’m only seeing my main monitor, I don’t see the application’s window and can’t click on it.

The fix is simple.  Do the following:

  • Left-click on the application’s icon in the taskbar, to make it active
  • Right-click on the icon in the taskbar and select Move
  • Click one of the arrow keys once (it doesn’t matter which)
  • Now move your mouse–you’ll see an outline of the application appear on the screen and you can place it where you like

This works on both Windows XP and Windows Vista.  Windows placement in Windows 7 works a bit differently, so I’m not exactly sure the best way to do this in 7.

How Do I Bring Up Task Manager from a Remote Desktop Session?

Here’s another little trick that I assume most people know, but perhaps not.

When you’re connected using Remote Desktop and you need to kill a task, or to check on CPU or memory performance, how do you bring up Task Manager?  If you press Ctrl-Alt-Delete, you’ll get the Windows Security dialog in the host machine–not on the remote machine.

To bring up Task Manager in a remote session, just use the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl-Shift-ESC.  This will directly open the Windows Task Manager on the machine that you’re connected to.  Voila.

Hijacking Vista Special Folders on Start Menu

Ok, this wasn’t obvious, so it’s worth sharing.  What I want to do is to create a new sub-menu in the black area of Vista’s start menu, where you normally have a folder for your username, then “Documents”, “Pictures”, “Music”, etc.  I want a brand new folder where I can stick whatever shortcuts I want.

Here’s a picture of the final result.  Note the “famThings” folder, which is the custom folder that I wanted.  Also note that I was able to stick a file out here, as well as a sub-folder.

Hijacked Start Menu

As far as I can tell, there is no way to add a whole new slot for a sub-menu here, other than the default built-in menus that are part of Windows.  You can turn them on or off by tweaking the Start Menu properties, but I didn’t see a way to create a new one.  Perhaps there’s a registry hack to do this, but a quick Google search didn’t turn anything up.

So what I did instead was to hijack one of the pre-canned special folders and use it as the folder that I wanted.  I chose “Favorites”, because I use Firefox and my favorites are not stored here anyway.

Here’s how you do it:

  • If the Favorites folder doesn’t already show up here, turn it on:
    • Right-click start menu globe, select Properties
    • Go to Start Menu tab
    • Click Customize
    • Find entry “Favorites menu” and make sure that it’s checked
  • In Windows Explorer, navigate to C:UsersmynameFavorites and delete all the junk in there (assuming you don’t use Internet Explorer and store your regular favorites here).
  • Place whatever files you like in this folder, including files, sub-folders, or shortcuts
  • Now rename the Favorites folder to whatever you like
  • Log out and back in, or just restart the Explorer (e.g. by killing the explorer.exe process from Task Manager and then restarting)

Voila!  Now you have your very own custom menu at the top level of the Start Menu.

But Wait, That’s Not Enough

Here’s a little addendum, after the fact.  When I originally tried everything I described above, it worked—for a short time.  But then at some point, the directory name reverted back to “Favorites”.  What’s going on?

What’s happening here is that your Favorites folder is a “special folder”, in that it contains a little hidden file called desktop.ini that specifies some of the behavior of this folder in Windows Explorer.  Below is the original contents of desktop.ini :


This little file tells Windows Explorer a few tidbits about how the folder should be displayed, including its name and the icon used.  This overrides the actual folder name and the default folder icon normally displayed for folders.

So to achieve what we want, actually renaming the folder, we could just delete desktop.ini.  Alternatively, we could keep the file and just change the value of the LocalizedResourceName attribute to be what we want.  The other benefit of keeping this file is that you can change the actual icon displayed at the top of the Start Menu when you select the folder.

For example, let’s say that I have an icon file showing a cute little potted plant and I want that to be the icon associated with my famThings folder.  I could change desktop.ini to read:


Then I copy the Plant.ico file into the famThings (formerly Favorites) folder and set it to hidden.  (So that it doesn’t show up in the Start Menu).

Now you get what you want—a properly named special folder whose name won’t change.  And, at no extra charge, a custom icon for the folder.  Note that the special icon now shows up not just on the Start Menu, but as the folder icon anywhere in Windows Explorer:

Custom Icon

How to Reboot Machine While Connected Through Remote Desktop

I assume that everyone who uses Remote Desktop in Windows knows this already, but just in case…

I use Remote Desktop all the time to connect back to one or more machines on my home network.  I have a single static IP address and then have terminal server running on every box behind the router on a different port.  So I can connect to any of my machines remotely, by using a different port.

Being able to remote connect to any/all of my machines is huge.  I consider Remote Desktop to be one of the most critical tools that I use on a daily basis.

But  I occasionally find that there is something funky on one of my home machines that leads to my wanting to reboot it.  For example, I sometimes run into a situation where I can’t connect to the machine from outside my network, but I can still remote from a different machine in my home network.  So I remote to the “visible” machine, then remote over to the “invisible” machine.  Rebooting the problem machine seems to fix the problem.

The problem with rebooting is that the Shutdown and Restart options are removed from the Start Menu when you’re connected using Remote Desktop.

But not to worry–you can still reboot the machine, just using the command prompt.  Here’s the magic command (Windows 7, Vista or Windows XP):

shutdown -t 0 -r -f

That’s a “zero” after the -t option, indicating shutdown in zero seconds.  The -r option indicates a restart, rather than shutdown.  (Don’t forget this one)!  The -f option forces all applications to terminate.

So this is a critical command, worth remembering!