Windows8 Room

Windows 8 Basics, Tips, Tricks and other related useful Infos

For old laptops or palmtops like Willcom D4 or Viliv N5, since those can’t use store apps, you can make Windows 8 to desktop only mode using Windows 7 shell.

There’s a tool called Windows 7 explorer for Windows 8, and this is very nice tool allowing following merits.

  • Easily switch Win7/Win8 back and forth
  • Can configure shell per user
  • No system file mods
  • Enable autologin will make PC turn on and goes directly to desktop
  • Can use old style Start menus
  • Modern UI is not loaded to RAM, saving memory
  • Windows key will bring up Start menu

There are some demerits,

  • Can’t use Store Apps while in Win7 mode
  • Can’t take screenshots with Win + PrtScrn

This is excellent if you want to use old laptops with Windows 8 just to utilize Windows 8’s lightweight kernel.

Since this tool uses Windows 7 module, you will need Windows 7 setup media, or install.wim file (about 2GB) in sources folder copied from media.

Installation is simple. Download from this page.

After download, unzip ex7fow8_setup and run. (In screenshot below, sources folder is folder copied from Windows 7 setup media).

It will ask where to install, click “Install”.

It will then ask for location of Windows 7 file (install.wim), so place Windows 7 setup media and click “Find automatically” or specify install.wim by “Specify folder”.

It will show SUCCESS if it finds Windows 7 file.

Shell switch windows shows up, click “Use Windows 7 explorer”.

Then logoff.

After logof and sign back on, Start Screen is skipped and Windows 7 shell is shown. You will see old style Start Menu.

If you want to set back to Windows 8, launch “Switch shells” and set back.

Trying to launch Store app will just show error message.

I tried this on Willcom D4 SSD / Windows 8, and is working like a charm.

This post is also available in: Japanese

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