Windows 8 Gotchas/Tips/FYI
Here we will attempt to make a list of known Windows 8 gotchas/tips/fyi with solutions.
Post your gotchas/solutions here and @ZeroHour will edit this post and link to your post.
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Windows 8 Gotcha/Tips/FYI List:
Proxy Servers and Windows 8
Please click the links for further details.
- How to configure proxy server settings in Windows 8 (KB2777643)
Several methods are available to configure Windows 8 to use a proxy server to connect to the Internet. The method that will work the best for you depends on the kinds of apps that you are using.
We recommend that you use Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD) to configure Windows 8 to use an Internet proxy server. The configuration is performed through DNS or DHCP and require no settings on client computers. This means that users can bring computers and devices from home or other locations and automatically discover the Internet proxy server configuration.
If you prefer to statically configure client computers with their Internet proxy server settings, you can manually configure the settings in Internet Explorer or configure domain-joined computers by using Group Policy. Applications that do not obtain their proxy settings from Internet Explorer may have to have settings within each app to configure proxy settings.
Proxy Auto Configuration (PAC) file settings can also be manually configured in Internet Explorer or by using Group Policy. When you use Windows Store apps, the kind of app determines whether proxy settings that are obtained from PAC files are used. Additionally, the app may have to have settings to configure proxy settings.
- Using authenticated proxy servers together with Windows 8 (KB2778122)
: If you use an Internet proxy server that requires authentication, you may encounter problems when you use apps that connect to the Internet. Resolution
: You can reduce the effect of these issues by enabling unauthenticated access through your proxy server, preferably only for connections to URL addresses that are used by each app that is having a problem. Some proxy servers may suggest that you create an allow list (what they may call a "whitelist") of URL addresses.
To resolve these issues as they relate to using Windows Store apps or to using Microsoft apps that are included with Windows 8 or Windows Update, you can include the following addresses in an allow list on your proxy server and enable HTTP and HTTPS access to them:
To resolve these issues with other apps, you may have to contact the application vendor for information about which URL addresses to include in your allow list. Note
. Microsoft is aware of these issues, and we are investigating possible solutions. More information will be provided when it is available.
- Supporting proxy services with Static Configurations, Web Hosted PAC files and Domain Policy Configured Proxy « The Deployment Guys
Typical results in the following scenarios with Static Proxy, Web Hosted Proxy PAC Files and Domain Policy Defined Proxy is the following:
- Window 8 Network Location Awareness: NLA is required for Windows 8 applications to function properly by determining that you are connected to the internet by looking for a file called ncsi.txt on the internet and is the feature that tells the Windows 8 applications if your online. When this is working right your Network Icon will reflect you are online and when you access Windows 8 Application such as Bing Sports it will identify your access and function properly. Properly defined proxy services will enable this.
- Windows 8 Applications: In general testing Windows 8 applications will function as designed. Note: This is not a blanket statement for all Windows store application due to the lack of testing. I have tested the normal inbox apps and some additional application downloaded.
- The Windows Store Application updates: This feature is functioning while using Static or PAC files when the user is on public networks only. In some cases it has been noticed that the Inbox Windows 8 apps will be able to update while connected to the corporate network. If the updating is needed internally and you must use a PAC file you may wish to look at using WPAD. Another option is to use the PAC file model I describe below.
- The Windows Store Catalogue: Can be viewed and searched.
- Windows Store Apps Downloads: This feature is functioning while using Static or PAC files when the user is on public networks only to purchase apps and download. If the download is needed internally and you must use a PAC file you may wish to look at using WPAD. Another option is to use the PAC file model I describe below.
- Windows Update: For Windows updates it has been observed that Automatic Updates do not work with Proxy configuration but both User Activated updates in the Windows 8 WU and the Classic Update model they will work. Once the computer is on the public network it will be able to receive Automatic Updates or with the user checking for updates.
Missing apps/tiles after running SysPrep in Windows 8.1
Sources: Deployment Research / TechNet Forums
Shorthand, Microsoft kind of broke the Windows 8.1 GA image, and the result is that the Start screen items are missing for the built-in Administrator account, which of course is a royal pain when you want to prepare a reference image.
So far Microsoft seems not very interested in fixing this issue, despite several customers reporting the bug. Instead of providing a fix, they recommend Enterprise customers to ditch their current deployment methods and start using audit mode when preparing their reference image. This is of course beyond stupid. Most (if not all) enterprise organizations, are not using audit mode during their deployment. It's more or less only OEM's and system builders that uses that feature of the Windows Setup.
Workaround - Use the original Windows 8.1 RTM release.
The Start screen is only broken in the GA release of Windows 8.1, build 6.3.9600.16408 (SW_DVD5_SA_Win_Ent_8.1_64BIT_English_ML F_X18-96759.iso). The first RTM release of Windows 8.1, build 6.3.9600.16384, that was released before October 18, don’t have the issue. So if you are lucky enough to have a copy of that one around, you’re good to go.
Disclaimer: I don’t know if using the original Windows 8.1 RTM release is supported by Microsoft. I only know it works and doesn't have the Start screen issue.
Left: GA release / Right: RTM release
Configuring file associations in Windows 8.1
Source: Michael Niehaus' Blog
When you are using Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8, which behaves the same way), you may notice that some file types (mapped by file extension) are opened by modern apps while others may be opened by desktop apps. If you are a tablet user, you may not want the desktop apps; if you are a laptop or desktop user without a touch screen, you may not want the modern apps.
Fortunately, you can configure these mappings fairly easily through the PC Settings application by navigating to “Search and Apps” then “Defaults”, then click the “Choose default apps by file type” link at the bottom of the page to get to the full list of file extensions.
Obviously configuring all of those app mappings by hand isn't something you want to do on thousands of machines. With previous OS releases, you needed to poke in the necessary registry entries (or carefully install apps in the correct order) to get the mappings you wanted – it worked, but it wasn't much fun. Starting with Windows 8, there is an easier way to do this using DISM.EXE. Configure the mappings by hand once, then export them: