Microsoft Releases Windows 8 to Much Fanfare, Other Retailers, Not So Much

Today I went to my local Microsoft Store in the Phoenix Metro area.  It was my first time being in a Microsoft Store and I was impressed.  Microsoft made sure their employees were knowledgeable on the products including the limitations of Windows RT and the Surface RT.  I would have liked to see more tablets, they had the Surface RT and an Asus tablet that also ran Windows RT.  There were many Laptops, ultrabooks, all in ones, and even a few desktops.  They also had a Perceptive Pixel display outside the door running Windows 8.  That was a lot of fun to play with.  There were lots of people in the store and many waiting in line to buy a Surface RT.

So after that, I went over to the nearest Best Buy.  They had a great choice of laptops and ultrabooks, and the did have the Lenovo Yoga which is impressive I have to admit,  As an update a different Best Buy I went to had many all in ones and desktops running Windows 8.  They did have the same Asus tablet running Windows RT as the Microsoft Store.  We really had the place to ourselves.  I talked to a sales associate and asked them if that Windows RT Asus tablet could run traditional Windows apps.  He responded with it depends on the application.  I let him know that Windows RT could not run any traditional Windows applications only the ones in the Windows Store.  It seems like Best Buy is going all out with Windows 8 for computers but not so much with tablets.  I was told that there will be more coming in the next month or so.

After that, we went to the other big box electronics store in the Valley of the Sun, Fry’s Electronics.  They had maybe 4 Windows 8 machines in the store. The best Windows 8 machine there was a Sony convertible tablet / laptop.  What I did find interesting they had a live demo of Windows 8 with live Q and A every few hours.  I kind of felt like we were asking questions to candidates, instead of seeing about a new operating system.  There was a lot of good info there, though.

I was really hoping to see more tablets and convertible laptops and ultrabooks at the launch but I have been told every store I went to that they are coming.  We will see but as far as the retailers they seem a little apprehensive about Windows 8 and I can understand.

Fix for The Screen Resolution is Too Low for This App to Run

Update:  The best fix I have found so far is to upgrade to Windows 10.  So far Windows 10 is working well on an old Netbook I have that has a 1024 X 600 resolution. It seems to handle the smaller screen size better.  I have not seen the need for this fix in Windows 10.

In Windows 8 when you try to run one of the Windows Store (Metro) apps you get a message saying “This app cannot open” followed by “The screen resolution is too low for this app to run.”  Then is gives you a shortcut to “Change your screen resolution”.  If this has happened to you chances are you are trying to run Windows 8 on a Netbook, Tablet, or older Laptop.  I have found a way around, however.  Pictured below is the error I am talking about.  The lowest screen resolution supported by the Windows Store apps is 1024 X 768 but the computers highest resolution is 1024 X 600.

The Screen Resolution Is Too Small for Windows 8 Apps

The Screen Resolution Is Too Small for Windows 8 Apps

You first want to download the current Intel driver (or whatever driver from your Graphics Card Manufacture) for your device.  For this article, I will be using a tablet that runs the Intel GMA 3150.  You can download this driver from HerePlease note if your computer uses the Intel GMA 945 you do not need to download the driver just skip this step.  You have to install the driver first or your machine may just boot up to a black screen (directions are below to reverse this if you have changed the registry before installing the driver) The install will ask you if you want to install the older driver and you want to select Yes.  When the install finishes it will prompt you to restart, do this and continue on.

Now you are going to want to open Regedit.  The quickest way to get to Regedit is to swipe in on the right side of the screen to the Charms Bar comes into view and then select Search.  In the search box type Regedit and then select the result.  Once you have the Registry Editor (Regedit) open go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SYSTEM, then ControlSet001, then Control, Then Class, then {4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318} (this value could vary on different computers) and then 0001 (If your computer has the Intel GMA 945 click on 0000) then double-click on Display1_DownScalingSupported (you can also click on Edit and then Find and type in Display1_DownScalingSupported)  Change the Value Data from 0 to 1 then hit OK.  Close the Registry Editor and restart the computer.

Registry setting you have to change for Windows 8 apps to work

Registry setting you have to change for Windows 8 apps to work

Now it should have changed the resolution to 1024 X 768 and if it has you will notice things seem stretched on the screen a little.  To check this go to the Desktop and right-click on it and select Screen Resolution.

Now it supports Windows 8 Apps

Now it supports Windows 8 Apps

If you have done this with the driver that comes with Windows 8 your device may just boot up to a black screen, this can be fixed.  restart your computer and hit the F8 key repeatedly until you see Please Wait on the Windows 8 boot screen (If you have a tablet you will want to connect a keyboard to do this).  You will then see a screen that has two options.  See Advanced Repair Options and Restart My PC, you want the first one.  You then want to select Troubleshoot, and then select Advanced Options.  From here select Startup Settings and then click on Restart.  You then get a list and on that list you want to hit number 5 Safe Mode with Networking (you can just hit the 5 key on the keyboard).  Now just open Regedit and change that setting back to 0 then restart your computer, everything should boot back to normal.

I hope this gets people able to enjoy the Windows Store (Metro) apps in Windows 8 on some older machines.

Install Windows 8 on Dell Inspiron 640M

As I have installed Windows 8 on different computers I have access to I have noticed that it runs well on hardware that came with Windows Vista or newer.  The Dell Inspiron 640M is an exception to this as it came with Windows XP but was supposed to be Windows Vista capable.  I would say that faster Windows XP machines will run Windows 8 well.

As for this install, I did a clean install of Windows 8 Enterprise.  The install went well without any issues but there were a few drivers missing, now first run Windows Update as this will install a few drivers then there will only be two more that you need to install.  The first one is the Ricoh R5C832 which you can get from Dell’s support website.  This will install all but one device wish is a video device, now Windows Update may have installed it but in my case it did not.  You can grab the driver from Intel’s support website.  It is for the Intel GMA 945 and you want the one from Intel’s site not from Dell’s site the Dell one will not install in Windows 8.  After you install these you should have a clean Device Manager.

Device Manager and System Properties in Windows 8 on Dell Inspiron 640M

Device Manager and System Properties in Windows 8 on Dell Inspiron 640M

Overall the system does not run bad, you can tell it is an older system and a ram upgrade would probably do it well.  I would say that this machine that came with Windows XP and was Windows Vista Capable is also Windows 8 Capable.  This is great for light computer use like Facebook, e-mail, photos, and just general web use.  I even was watching online videos without any issue.  Below is the Windows 8 Experience Index.  I also ran the Passmark Performance Test and the machine gets a 411.8.

Windows 8 Experience Index on Dell Inspiron 640M

Windows 8 Experience Index on Dell Inspiron 640M

These Vista Capable computers I think as a rule of thumb are as old as you want to go for installing Windows 8.  Those of us that are tech enthusiast will want to install it on older hardware but so far I am not sure I like Windows 8 on older machines than this.  I would suggest it on this machine, though, it really does run well.

Install Windows 8 on a Lenovo B560

Lenovo makes some great computers and for those of you that don’t know Lenovo bought the computer side of IBM so there are some tried and true things and designs that they have.  The Lenovo B560 is part of their Value line and is not the best machine but is still very nice for the money.  This is actually the laptop I got for my wife to replace her HP Netbook.  I have wondered for a while how Windows 8 would run on this machine so I convinced her to let me down it for a few days to test it.

As with all my tests, I did a clean install.  This type of install will give you the best performance but requires you to reinstall all programs and copy back your data.  You can do an upgrade from Windows 7 which will keep your programs, settings, and data.  I installed Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit on here and the install went very well.  Simple straight forward Windows install but there was one driver missing.  You want to download the Lenovo Energy Management software.  It has the driver you want, however, the software throws up a compatibility warning every time Windows loads, you can just disable the software from startup in MSConfig.  I have not seen any issues with the software running, however.  After this is installed I would suggest running Windows Update and checking for any updated drivers.  After you do this you should have a clean Device Manager.

Clean Device Manager and System Properties in Windows 8 on Lenovo B560

Clean Device Manager and System Properties in Windows 8 on Lenovo B560

Windows 8 performs great on this machine and I am not surprised. Windows 7 ran great on here and Windows 8 does as well.  This laptop is a good performer for web browsing, document editing, and picture editing.  I think with more ram it would be even better and I am planning on that upgrade soon.  The Windows Experience Index from Windows 8 is below.  I also ran Passmark Performance Test on here and it got a 681.9.

Windows 8 Experience Index on Lenovo B560

Windows 8 Experience Index on Lenovo B560

This laptop is ready for Windows 8 and I do suggest the upgrade is you are thinking about it.  Now I tried to install Hyper-V 3.0 and was told I could not because this processor does not support virtualization functions.  So as long as you are not looking to use Hyper-V then Windows 8 will be a great upgrade.