The Glitch - A Friend in Computing

The Glitch was conceived during 2004, and started out simply as a site to assist people with computer problems. Today the site has grown considerably and has become a one-stop shop for many aspects of modern computing and communication


Windows 8

Q. What is Windows 8?


A. Windows 8 is Microsoft's latest operating system, it is the replacement for Windows 7. Windows 8 will build on the strengths of Windows 7 with improved security, faster startup and a new touch-optimized interface, (a compatible touch screen device will be required to get the most from these optimizations).

Q. When can we expect to see Windows 8?


A. It is likely that Windows 8 will be available to purchase, by the general public, a some point within the forth quarter (Q4) of 2012.

Q. Will there be a downloadable preview of Windows 8?  


A. A developer preview of Windows 8 is already available, and a 'Consumer Preview' will be made available at the end of February 2012.

Q. What are the hardware requirements of Windows 8?  
A. The hardware requirements of Windows 8 are unchanged from Windows 7; so the good news is that you shouldn't need to upgrade your system in order to run Windows 8.

(Click here to view the system requirements for Windows 7)

Q. Why do I get the error 'Windows cannot read the <Product Key> setting from the unattend answer file' when starting a Virtual Machine install of Windows 8?  
A. This is often due to the inclusion of a 'Floppy Drive' device within the VM. Simply 'power down' the VM and edit your hardware settings and uninstall any 'Floppy Drive' device(s), then simply power up your VM again and re-start your Windows 8 virtual machine install.

Q. Why do I get the error 'HAL INITIALIZATION FAILED' when creating a Virtual Machine install of Windows 8?  
A. This error often occurs due to an incompatible virtual environment. If you are using an older version of 'virtual machine software' to create a Windows 8 Virtual Machine, you may well get this error, the solution is to upgrade your software package. As an example, you would get this error when trying to use 'VMWare Workstation 7', the resolution is to upgrade to their newer version 8. 

Q. What are the main versions of Windows 8?
A. Windows 8 comes in a number of versions, but there are only two main consumer editions:

Windows 8 - Is the main consumer version
Windows 8 Pro - Is for business users and enthusiasts/technical users

Q. What other versions of Windows 8 are there?  
A. The two main consumer editions above will be the only versions available to buy as 'stand alone' products in the UK, but there are at least two other versions of Windows 8:

Windows 8 RT - Is the ARM version of Windows 8 which will come pre-installed on suitable devices.
Windows 8 Enterprise - Will only be available via Microsoft 'Software Assurance' agreements, normally only purchased by organisations.

Q. Where has the 'Start Menu' gone in Windows 8?
A. Both the developer and customer preview versions of Windows 8 do not have a 'Start Menu' on the Windows 8 desktop; it looks like Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to remove this functionality. Many people have complained about this missing feature, the only option available is to install a third party utility to re-introduce the 'Start Menu' functionality.

ViStart is one such utility, visit the following site to download it:

Q. What is a virtual DVD in Windows 8?
A. A new feature of Windows 8 is that it brings native support for ISO and VHD images, allowing much easy access to these types of file.

If you double-click a standard ISO image file, it will automatically mount as a virtual DVD in Windows 8, allowing you to access the contents of the file as if you had already burned the ISO to CD/DVD; previously you would have had to install additional software to gain this level of functionality.

In much the same way, if you double-click a standard VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) image file, it will automatically mount as an additional hard drive ready for browsing!

Q. What is SkyDrive?
A. Skydrive is 25GB of free, on-line storage space, provided by Microsoft. This storage location is nicely integrated into Windows 8 and appears as a virtual disk in Windows Explorer. This means you can move files to and from your on-line storage, just as easily as if it were a local drive.

The maximum size of any one file that can be transferred is 2GB.

Q. Is it true that Windows 8 will have anti-virus software built-in?  
A. Yes, Windows 8 will come with a version of 'Microsoft Security Essentials' (MSE) anti-virus software pre-installed. It has been re-branded 'Windows Defender', but it's essentially the same freely available anti-virus software that you can download for previous versions of Windows.

Q. How do I shut down Windows 8? New Item
A. This is another one of the big changes to Windows 8 (because of the missing Start Bar), but there are a number of options:

1. On the 'Charms' menu (invoke with Windows key+C or move the mouse to the top or bottom far right-hand side of the screen), click on the power icon and select "Shut down".
2. If you are at the Windows 8 desktop simply click the taskbar and press Alt-F4
3.  For the more technical minded people, here is a list of commands you can add to shortcuts, icons or menus to create your own 'shut Down' options:


Option Command
Shutdown shutdown.exe /s /t 00
Restart shutdown.exe /r /t 00
Logoff shutdown.exe /l
Lock rundll32.exe user32.dll,LockWorkStation
Sleep/Hibernate rundll32.exe powrprof.dll,SetSuspendState
Switch User tsdiscon.exe



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