Windows 8 theme: Nightfall and Starlight panoramic theme

Microsoft has been continuously releasing themes for Windows 7, today Microsoft has released a theme for Windows 8 as well. This theme can work on both Windows 8 developer preview and on Windows 8 consumer preview. The theme is named as Nightfall and Starlight panoramic theme and consists of 9 very beautiful wallpapers. Being Panoramic images these images would extend on both the screens if you are using dual monitors of same resolution. If you are using a single monitor, the central part of the wallpaper is shown.

Here are the details of the theme-

“Designed to extend seamlessly across dual monitors with identical resolution settings, this dramatic free theme for your Windows 8 Consumer Preview desktop also shifts your glass color to match each stunning, wide-angle image. Explore distant galaxies, verdant meadows, steep mountains, and serene seas without ever leaving your chair”

You can download this wonderful theme from here

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[How To]Make Windows 8 Consumer Preview Portable

This tutorial will guide you to Make Windows 8 Consumer Preview Portable

You will need:

  1. USB Stick or External Hard drive
    Must be greater than 16GB

    Preferably USB 3.0
  2. Lots of Time

I have also created a video where you as how to port Windows 8 consumer preview on external drive. You can view the video or continue reading the article-

THIS IS RECOMMENDED FOR ADVANCED USERS ONLY

  1. Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO file from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso – Make a note of the product key
  2. Download the Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK) from http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=5753
  3. Download and install Virtual Clone Drive from http://www.slysoft.com/en/download.html(This step is only required if you can’t already mount ISO files).

When the WAIK has finished downloading, mount it (using the Virtual Clone Drive) and then open the installer which will appear as a CD drive. Once the setup loads click ‘Windows AIK’ from the sidebar and follow through the installer.

Once the installation is complete navigate to (If it was installed to the default location):

C:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools

If you have a 64 bit computer open the “amd 64” folder. Alternatively, if it is 32 bit open the “x86” folder. Copy the “imagex.exe” file and paste it in the root of the C drive (C:\). If a warning message appears click ‘Continue’.

Next, mount the Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO. Then open command prompt by typing “cmd” in the start menu. Right hand click on it and select ‘Run as Administrator’.

Plug in the external hard drive or USB stick. WARNING: All existing data is going to be erased from the device.

Next, enter the following commands:

diskpart
list disk

All the disks currently connected to your computer will then be displayed.
Replace * with disk number you are going to be installing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on.

select disk *
clean
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs quick
active
assign
exit

Replace @ with the virtual CD drive letter (the mounted ISO).
Replace # with the drive letter of the external hard drive or USB stick.

C:\imagex.exe /apply @:\sources\install.wim 1 #:\
bcdboot.exe #:\windows /s #:

To finish the installation you will now need to restart your computer. Make sure that it boots from the USB stick or external hard drive. (If you don’t know how to do this check with your PC manufacturer or look in the bios settings). The computer will then restart several times (make sure it boots from the USB stick each time).

Next, enter the product key and confirm you agree to the terms and conditions. Then fill out the personalization settings to complete the installation.

You now have a portable copy of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Remember not to remove the USB stick or external hard drive whilst the computer is running the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Comment below to let me know how you have got on

Windows 8 How-To: Metro App Close and Shutdown

Windows 8 How-To: Metro App Close and Shutdown

Posted by on March 15th, 2012, in Windows 8 and tagged ,

Windows 8 app shutdown

A metro app runs in one of three possible states, active, suspend, or performing some defined background activity like the Mail app. When an app is not on the screen, it’s either off or suspended in the background waiting to be waken up but will be forced to shut down if the system determines that more resources are needed.

So basically, you don’t need to worry about closing down the running Metro app. Simply press the Windows button to switch to Start Screen or go to the Switch menu to switch to another running app.

But if you insist, here are the easiest ways to completely shut down the full screen running app.

Using Keyboard

The easiest way is to use the old fashion Alt+F4. Once pressed, the current running app will be terminated immediately.

Use Mouse

Hold the top edge of the app and drag down to the bottom edge. It’s more like throwing the app to the bottom ground.

You can use your mouse to close the background app from the Switch Menu. Simply right click the app and click Close.

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Use Touch Screen

Swipe your finger from the top bar to the bottom, much like using the Mouse, but be patient and swipe a bit slowly than usual.

Use Task Manager

It’s not the most efficient but certainly most powerful way to shut down an app. It’s guaranteed that an app will be closed completely.

Press Alt+Shift+Esc to bring up the Task Manager, find and select the app, and click End Task.

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Windows 8 How-To: Set Up VPN Connection

 

VPN is a widely adopted network protocol especially in business environment that provide remote office or user a secure and encrypted access to a central organization network. It’s a fairly complicated technology that requires both ends to follow the same method and setup in order to build the communication channel.

This how-to tutorial uses the built-in network setup in Windows 8 to create a VPN connection that connects to the remote VPN server built in Windows Server technology, namely Routing and Remote Access (RRAS). The steps described in this post is quite similar to the way in Windows 7, with only a few changes mostly because of the Metro UI.

To set up:

1. Open Network and Sharing Center.

You can open it from Control Panel or search “Network” from Settings Search panel (Win+W).

image

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2. Go to Set up a new connection or network

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3. Choose Connect to a workplace, and click Next.

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4. Click the first option Use my Internet connection (VPN).

5. Type in the Internet address, either a valid domain or IP address of the remote server, and a name you want to name this connection.

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6. Click Create and Done. You can now safely close the Network and Sharing Center.

To use the VPN connection:

Press Win + I (letter i) or click Settings from Charms menu to open up the Settings panel, click the network icon at the bottom part of the panel to open up the Network Connection side panel.

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You will see the created VPN connection listed there. Simply click or tap it and Connect.

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How to change the properties of the VPN connection

Right click the VPN connection from the Network Panel shown as above, and choose Properties.

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Or, open the Properties of the connection from Network Connections, which you can open through Change adapter settings from the left panel of Network and Sharing Center. Through Network Connections window, you can launch, rename, delete, and change settings of the connection.

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There are a lot of settings you can change but they all depend on the settings on the remote VPN server. Settings have to be matched in order to build the connection. We will be covering more in the future once we have more chances playing with the new VPN server in Windows Server 8.

Hope this tutorial helps in some way to make your life easier

Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup will check to see if your PC can run Windows 8 Consumer Preview and select the right download. Setup also features a compatibility report and upgrade assistance. Built-in tools for creating an ISO or bootable flash drive are available for some previous versions of Windows (excluding Windows XP and earlier). You can find system requirements and additional information in the FAQ and in the links on this page.

Note before you download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software.

ISO images

An ISO image must be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. Instructions are provided on this page. Developer tools are available for download from Windows Dev Center.

Important: If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you’ll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC, which is typically DVD media. If you don’t have recovery media, you might be able to create it from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer’s website for more information. After you install Windows 8, you won’t be able to use the recovery partition on your PC to go back to your previous version of Windows.

English

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — 1288519C5035BCAC83CBFA23A33038CCF5522749

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — E91ED665B01A46F4344C36D9D88C8BF78E9A1B39

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Chinese (Simplified)

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.4 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — DF69B851F9A81DECBB16648CC452461894416EB0

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.6 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — E29A2072745A48C14A1C2E5A61F5230841BEDB45

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

French

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — A9358E6799ABEEF29EDBA054AD34849C02C7F51F

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — 2EF8013B9F50B93AEAC8068F4827E2C1DC0DC0B1

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

German

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — DB1003A47C266697B3832BE2A23319988EE34495

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — 91075AEA665C5D6F42A24714B3A3390762C94457

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Japanese

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — A8F0DB12CAECEA0BE8B27EA124F2234212D9103A

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — C8A322ED86058086207CAAECD46B4DDACF9E247A

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

System Requirements

Windows 8 Consumer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher

Additional requirements to use certain features:

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch
  • To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

 

How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview from an ISO image

The easiest way to convert an ISO file to a DVD in Windows 7 is to use Windows Disc Image Burner. On a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista, a third-party program is required to convert an ISO file into installable media—and DVD burning software often includes this capability. One option is the USB/DVD download tool provided by the Microsoft Store. You can also download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup, which includes tools that allow you to create a DVD or USB flash drive from an ISO file (Windows Vista or Windows 7 required).