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Old 10-29-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Windows 8 -- pleasantly surprised!

I just got my new laptop and it came with Win 8. I thought I would hate it and I was fully prepared to wipe it and install 7. But hey... this is not bad at all! No I didn't like the Metro/Modern interface but StartIsBack took care of that in a jiffy. After having removed some of the junk that came preinstalled (b'bye useless ASUS apps & Mr McAffee) this modest little machine runs great. I've been a Win 7 devotee for a couple of years now but this has me thinking that maybe I should upgrade my stationary machine to 8 as well.

Very pleasantly surprised. I've been sort of frowning at all the posts singing Win 8's praise here but I have to admit: you guys were right. Great audio OS.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:34 PM   #2
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I just got my new laptop and it came with Win 8. I thought I would hate it and I was fully prepared to wipe it and install 7. But hey... this is not bad at all! No I didn't like the Metro/Modern interface but StartIsBack took care of that in a jiffy. After having removed some of the junk that came preinstalled (b'bye useless ASUS apps & Mr McAffee) this modest little machine runs great. I've been a Win 7 devotee for a couple of years now but this has me thinking that maybe I should upgrade my stationary machine to 8 as well.

Very pleasantly surprised. I've been sort of frowning at all the posts singing Win 8's praise here but I have to admit: you guys were right. Great audio OS.
Is there a way to jettison the metro overlay altogether? I hate the look of those stupid looking tiles.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:39 PM   #3
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mattias, you got an asus laptop then, what are the other relevant specs? meaning hard drive, RAM and CPU mainly

is it possible that you just got a good hardware config for audio, and that's where the performance is coming from?

@ Doc Brown - yeah that stuff is putting me off win 8 for sure, especially after getting a lenovo win 7 with it's own 'tiled apps' type of desktop - I soon trashed that
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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it takes about 2 seconds and a download of one of the many programs to bring it back to what 7 looked like.

It's a minor annoyance, but worth the new features imo.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
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I must say I'm liking Win 8 too. I installed Classic Shell to bring the start menu back and add all the other GUI tweaks I like. I have it set to totally bypass the metro screen on boot and just go straight to the desktop.
Win 8 and REAPER work really well here.

I haven't updated to 8.1 yet. Not really sure there's anything enticing enough to justify messing with a system that is already working reliably.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:57 PM   #6
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I recently updated my Windows 8 with the 8.1 update that came out a few days ago, and with that came an option to bypass metro at startup, so no 3rd party shell app needed for me anymore to deal with metro. And to Hamish- I had great audio DAW performance with 7, and even better with 8 with the same hardware. I wanted to hate Microsoft for years, but my DAW experience has been awesome with 8 (8.1).
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:38 PM   #7
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What's better in terms of features and performance in 8?
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:41 PM   #8
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I don't do benchmark tests and all, I leave that for the people who care to...lol.
All I can say is that I have less issues, better CPU performance, and can run bigger projects with more plugins on 8 than I could 7 with zero hardware changes. That tells me that the OS is handing loads better and doing well with real-time audio (and with nearly NO TWEAKS... goodbye Viper!)
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:05 AM   #9
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What's better in terms of features and performance in 8?
besides what's already been said, (quickness of the gui, performance, etc) there are a couple that stand out to me:

1. pauseable file transfers (which i've appreciated)
http://en.wikipedia.org
-- also shows multiple operations at once in the same screen which helps find everything (I hated it before), and it seems to more intelligently deal with file collisions.

/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_8#File_Explorer
2. new winkey shortcuts
3. can mount iso natively

im sure there's more but it really comes down to performance
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:24 AM   #10
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besides what's already been said, (quickness of the gui, performance, etc) there are a couple that stand out to me:

<EDIT>

im sure there's more but it really comes down to performance
I'll echo Mr. Merrill's statements- Windows 8 is just not the horror story you've read about. The Metro interface, while useless, once it's bypassed, you won't really notice much of a difference in how the OS works, and I have noticed that it is NOTICEABLY faster than Win7- especially boot times.

That said- there's always gonna be haters. I know more than a few folks who are still running XP SP3 because Win7 is "bloated". Whatever. Hate all ya want- me and Win8 get along fine.

(Oh- I should mention that I've now been running 8.1 with Reaper 4.54 for the better part of 2 weeks, and everything is fine here. No problems whatsoever.)
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:01 AM   #11
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Really W8.1 is good and quick. As already explained by others.
At the moment I only could not find an option to play audio in explorer (as in W7 it WMP was embedded into explorer view - here in 8.1 I can not find that and have to open file first in order to listen). But this might as well be just my lack of settings knowledge ...
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:06 AM   #12
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An issue I've had with Windows since Vista was that it would eat away at available HDD space, notably on the C: drive as time went on, despite me not having put significantly large files there. How does 8 remedy this issue, if at all?
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:18 AM   #13
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Win 8 runs perfect here, with the classic shell or something else I never needed Metro, and while I don't need 8.1 at the moment - it runs just wonderful here too, streamlined a bit, yes.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:22 AM   #14
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An issue I've had with Windows since Vista was that it would eat away at available HDD space, notably on the C: drive as time went on, despite me not having put significantly large files there. How does 8 remedy this issue, if at all?
Hmmm... I had only 8GB at my c-drive with xp (to keep my image files smaller), and always had 3GB free. In Win8 I strictly install only very necessary updates, leave all that I won't need alone, and up to now I have no big problems - even though the 8GB times are certainly gone . I don't use Internet Explorer, Windows media player and stuff. And after a software developer told me he never did Win8 updates, firewall&antivirus being fine, I tested that too. Otherwise I delete all unnecessary crap (why would I need 2189 e-mails on my c- drive for example) and senseless temp files, saving me 1GB or something all in all. CCleaner doesn't delete stuff I would later like to have back again too - no, in fact it runs great here.
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:45 AM   #15
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I don't do benchmark tests and all, I leave that for the people who care to...lol.
All I can say is that I have less issues, better CPU performance, and can run bigger projects with more plugins on 8 than I could 7 with zero hardware changes. That tells me that the OS is handing loads better and doing well with real-time audio (and with nearly NO TWEAKS... goodbye Viper!)
That's really interesting - as 8 was being released, I heard grumblings about how it could very well turn out to be a latency-ridden OS. I was thinking 'MS get it right every second release, so I'll wait till 9 comes out before I switch'. Now I'm rethinking that. Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:29 AM   #16
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An issue I've had with Windows since Vista was that it would eat away at available HDD space, notably on the C: drive as time went on, despite me not having put significantly large files there. How does 8 remedy this issue, if at all?
If that is your biggest issue, my honest opinion (not to be rude, of course) is that this is a new age in OS's and computer hardware and things like HD space, larger OSes, etc, are not problems anymore in my opinion. Larger HD's, affordable RAM, and more powerful CPU's make OS's larger than 2GB's (gasp!) no problem. Windows 7&8 eliminate the need for most of the infamous "audio tweaks" so popular in the XP days (again, in my opinion). I spend much more time working in audio and much less configuring the OS.....Microsoft finally did me a favor and I am not desperately trying to get linux to work for audio anymore.
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:41 AM   #17
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How about driver issues ?

Any problems getting and installing drivers you need for audio work ?
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:03 PM   #18
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How about driver issues ?

Any problems getting and installing drivers you need for audio work ?
M-AUDIO FTU has still the SAME PROBLEM - you need to turn the sound card off before computer goes to sleep or similar, or the OS crashes.
But this is M-AUDIO's fault as I was informed.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:03 PM   #19
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mattias, you got an asus laptop then, what are the other relevant specs? meaning hard drive, RAM and CPU mainly

is it possible that you just got a good hardware config for audio, and that's where the performance is coming from?
It's an ASUS X401U, a small and cheap notebook with a dual core AMD E2-1800 processor, 4GB RAM and a 500GB 5400 hdd. So no, not exactly a super duper audio machine.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:15 PM   #20
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...aaaaand now Win 8 appears to be broken. :|

I shut the computer down before I left from work and Windows installed a bunch of updates. When I started it up again when I got home I got as far as the ASUS startup screen. Then the screen went blank and flicks on and off at like 1.5 sec intervals, and the hard drive is very, very busy with something. It's been doing this for half an hour now.

Normal updating behavior?
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Old 10-30-2013, 05:21 PM   #21
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...aaaaand now Win 8 appears to be broken. :|

I shut the computer down before I left from work and Windows installed a bunch of updates. When I started it up again when I got home I got as far as the ASUS startup screen. Then the screen went blank and flicks on and off at like 1.5 sec intervals, and the hard drive is very, very busy with something. It's been doing this for half an hour now.

Normal updating behavior?
One of the first things I do with any Windows installation is to turn off automatic updates. I have done this since the 90's and only ever do a Windows update if I am having a problem and the update is specified to fix it.
To be honest, Windows updates have caused more problems than they've fixed for me, hence my policy.

I also do regular OS backups just in case something does break or a drive dies. That has saved me TONS of work the few times I've needed to restore.
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Old 10-31-2013, 12:00 AM   #22
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Not only windows. Every OS I used got into trouble from time to time if you allow automatic updates. I also got the habit of disabling them as a start many years ago and of course, checking what's listed to be updated. Then selecting what to update and what not and when. You need to check forums and Goggle a bit to be warned about particular problematic updates, but not a big issue. I never rushed and tried to have the last fully updated systems, just systems that work.

I've been using Mac OS, Windows and Debian based Linux distros for years and it's all the same in every camp. Don't ever enable automatic updates and you'll be fine. The only really necesary ones are security updates, but never rush to get the last one. Check out there if it goes smooth or if it breaks something. If they do, wait until it's fixed. It doesn't use to take too long. Once fixed, get that security update. Go this way and your computers will be more reliable and trouble free than most of the machines out there. I hardly ever have major problems in any OS.

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Old 10-31-2013, 01:00 AM   #23
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Firewire isn't working so good under 8 using a MOTU 828mk2 with a TI card. Can't go below 256 spls. This may be MOTUs fault as it looks like RME may have fixed their drivers now, not 100% sure on that though.

http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/viewtopic.php?id=15505

It's flawless on 7 at 128 spls on the same machine, using the legacy driver.

The legacy driver is no longer signed under 8 so you need to use a hack to be able to use it, but it still doesn't work as good as it does under 7. Still get clicks/pops.

Even the Thesycon FW driver doesn't help.

I rolled back, unfortunately, because apart from that i love 8 and 8.1's even better, but thats a deal breaker for me.

Those panoramic themes are sweet. Looking for a W7 hack for those ATM.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:28 AM   #24
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bizzare really, hardly any computers being made with firewire, and microsoft go and make fundamental changes to their driver architecture, stuffing up the few FW peripheral manufacturers.

I've given up on FW, because I want to use a laptop, and I'll get the RME UC USB interface to have something to use when I upgrade my laptop.

RME make a MADI interface that works using a 34 mm card, I don't know why they don't do something like FF400 or UFX on the card too. Before microsoft 'improve' USB.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:19 AM   #25
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One of the first things I do with any Windows installation is to turn off automatic updates. I have done this since the 90's and only ever do a Windows update if I am having a problem and the update is specified to fix it.
To be honest, Windows updates have caused more problems than they've fixed for me, hence my policy.
I used to do that with XP but as I've let W7 update itself with zero issues for two years now, I thought it might be safe to let 8 do it as well. Now I know better.

It's up and runnning again now, though I had to revert back to the factory installation. Luckily I hadn't installed all my stuff yet, just the essentials. Windows update is now OFF :P
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Old 11-01-2013, 01:29 PM   #26
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I used to do that with XP but as I've let W7 update itself with zero issues for two years now, I thought it might be safe to let 8 do it as well. Now I know better.

It's up and runnning again now, though I had to revert back to the factory installation. Luckily I hadn't installed all my stuff yet, just the essentials. Windows update is now OFF :P
Nothing like first hand experience to teach us eh?!!
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Old 11-01-2013, 02:25 PM   #27
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Nothing like first hand experience to teach us eh?!!
Quite so
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Old 11-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #28
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M-AUDIO FTU has still the SAME PROBLEM - you need to turn the sound card off before computer goes to sleep or similar, or the OS crashes.
But this is M-AUDIO's fault as I was informed.
Fault? No. If you read on their website, none of their devices support Sleep mode. Remove the device, then use Sleep mode, then reconnect. This is extremely well documented, and by design.

I leave Windows Updates on. Someone has to find the bugs in order to keep them fixed right? In any case, it's important to be on top of things. Of course things haven't always been rosey for me, but hey, I've worked through all my problems. I have Windows 8.1 Pro x64 with Media Center Pack working flawlessly with a plethora of unsupported software and hardware.

I've had laptops not work with my firewire interfaces, and then after a BIOS update, work extremely well. There's a lot that comes into play, so keeping things up to date is important to at least test. I had a motherboard in an old computer that I had always tested the latest BIOS update to a point where revision 1.B worked perfectly, 1.C completely broke it, but I went back to 1.B and made sure I plastered that info all over the internet in the hopes it helped someone.

I can understand not staying updated all the time, but program updates wouldn't really happen for the most part without someone finding the bugs....
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #29
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Fault? No. If you read on their website, none of their devices support Sleep mode. Remove the device, then use Sleep mode, then reconnect. This is extremely well documented, and by design.
Just read it and they can call it by design all they want but it is very, very bad design. I'd go so far as to say they are either stumped or mopped themselves in a corner so badly, they call it by design to save face and yes, squarely their fault; publishing their mistake doesn't remove fault.

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Someone has to find the bugs in order to keep them fixed right?
Yep, I'm one of them but musicians/engineers who aren't geeks shouldn't.
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Old 11-02-2013, 11:23 AM   #30
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Fault? No. If you read on their website, none of their devices support Sleep mode. Remove the device, then use Sleep mode, then reconnect. This is extremely well documented, and by design.
this is plain bullshit. Try to work on a laptop with such soundcard and see if you remember to disconnect or put it off just before you close computer.

So, yes, they did not do it (M-Audio), but not because it would be a FR, but because they do not care.
For normal people this IS A BUG. If I write that the computer works only every second day, because I do not support working all days, this is plain bullshit.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:40 PM   #31
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...aaaaand now Win 8 appears to be broken. :|

I shut the computer down before I left from work and Windows installed a bunch of updates. When I started it up again when I got home I got as far as the ASUS startup screen. Then the screen went blank and flicks on and off at like 1.5 sec intervals, and the hard drive is very, very busy with something. It's been doing this for half an hour now.

Normal updating behavior?
If your computer shuts down due to running out battery DURING windows update, you need to try system restore (run safe mode IIRC) to undo the half-baked updates. Yes, those half-baked updates will cause problems, and this is how I fixed it when my computer couldn't start up after updates... because it shut down before it was finished.

I don't understand any haters of Windows 8. I love metro. It's just a new start menu, and it's a better one. The vertical start menu is an old invention and needs to go.
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:22 PM   #32
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There are plenty of interfaces (that aren't m-audio) that will have a BSOD after waking the machine from a sleep mode, it's not an issue special to M-Audio, they make a point to say the interfaces don't support sleep. If you're going to use a product how it wasn't intended to be used (and you were warned), I don't see why you're complaining. For M-Audio to write the driver to stop the services when sleep mode is initiated and then start them when the machine wakes up would only make the initialization times a whole lot longer. Where's the convenience in that? When your machine can shut down and turn back on faster than it can sleep and wake up, I think there's a simple decision to be made.

I do a fair amount of my work on my laptop, and I don't put it to sleep until all devices are disconnected. Flash drives, audio/video interfaces, SD Cards, they all get removed before I close the lid. Practice safe and responsible computing, and follow the recommendations from the manufacturer. Outside of my MBP, none of my machines are set to use Sleep mode. On or Off, that's it. No hibernate, no sleep, no suspend states. I don't have interface related BSODs that way.

The Asus X401U is a pretty nice laptop, I picked one out for a friend who needed a new laptop for school, and she loves it. Not a single problem so far. The build quality and finish are great. Never used it with an audio interface though, so no idea how it performs, beyond "good enough for basic student usage."
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Old 11-02-2013, 01:31 PM   #33
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Where's the convenience in that?
Not having a BSOD which places files with open write handles in grave territory for corruption. They should make it work and provide best effort at minimum. Way too many of them work with sleep mode and all of mine do. It's a completely reasonable expectation and I wouldn't purchase it if they don't at least attempt to support such basic functionality.
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:32 PM   #34
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I do a fair amount of my work on my laptop, and I don't put it to sleep until all devices are disconnected. Flash drives, audio/video interfaces, SD Cards, they all get removed before I close the lid. Practice safe and responsible computing, and follow the recommendations from the manufacturer.
Ok. This is you. You like it the difficult way. How about 99% of others?

But: do you always pull handbrake when you park your car? You never speed up, right? You check all the lights on your car every time before you start driving, don't you? It says so in the car manual, honestly ...

But here is the deal-breaker: WE ARE OFF-TOPIC . That said Win8.1 is not faulty and my second comment is almost irrelevant.
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Old 11-02-2013, 04:47 PM   #35
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I completely agree that Windows 8.1 is fine. It gave me a very serious scare when I first upgraded that turned nearly $3000 worth of gear on my desk into paperweights. It took about 4 days for me to work through it, and get my gear all back up and running, but I was able to. Now that it's all working again, I have no reason to complain about Windows 8.1.

The Avid Artist series controllers work fine, the M-Audio ProFire 2626 works fine, Reaper works great, Pro Tools 11 works great, and the Adobe Master Collection works with no errors. I'm sure there will be people who have problems with their installs (there always are) but that goes without saying. Having a standalone installer would let people compare MH5's to make sure the file isn't corrupt, but that's all I would change. All my drivers are installed and working, so I can't complain. I'm sure someone else will though.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:48 AM   #36
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Default The word is backup!

I don't mean to kill the joy here, but, has anyone heard of system backup? Isn't that a good insurance against losing what you have installed, and not to mention, wasting hours on hours re-installing?

A computer is always a high risk for something going wrong. software crash, power surge on the grid, and so on... It doesn't matter if you use Vista, 7, 8, Mac or Linux for that matter. It is never a question if it goes wrong, it is always a question of when.

What's the point on using $3000 on software, plugins etc, if you cannot afford using $150-$200 buying a USB-docking station, a HD for backups, and a decent backup software.

Personally I use Acronis software for backups, an USB-docking station to do regular system backup. If something crashes, it takes me approx. 30 mins, then I'm back-on-track.

Once again, sorry for killing the party!
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:14 AM   #37
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Backup for audio is a necessity, I am sure all here do so.
However OS has nothing to do with file storage etc.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:26 AM   #38
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Quote:
I don't mean to kill the joy here, but, has anyone heard of system backup?
Yup, its just not the point at hand here.
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Old 11-03-2013, 09:54 AM   #39
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Yes you're right the point on this thread is using and upgrading to Windows 8 (8.1)
Well, my point was if you're afraid of losing any software, settings, and so on, also in an upgrade situation, a system backup (not file backup) is the way to go... but I'll leave it there.

However urednik, I find it very odd that you claim that file storage has nothing to do with OS. Without OS of some sort, there is no way of storage any data. But I guess I misunderstand what you actually mean.

Sorry for party pooping!
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Jason Brian Merrill View Post
it takes about 2 seconds and a download of one of the many programs to bring it back to what 7 looked like.

It's a minor annoyance, but worth the new features imo.
Please don't stop there. Got the download link??
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