Archive for Windows 8

Cannot Burn DVD in Windows 8.1 Movie Maker

After upgrading a Windows 7 computer to Windows 8.1, I discovered that Windows 8.1 Movie Maker does NOT offer the ability to burn movies to DVDs. Yes, it was there for Windows 7, but removed in Windows 8.1. Bummer!

If you need a FREE solution, the one I have been using successfully is called DVDStyler.


Quick steps:

  1. First, use Movie Maker to create your content. When finished, select to save it to your disk, creating a WMV file.
  2. You may wish to review the online instructions for creating a DVD with DVD Styler.
  3. Startup DVD Styler. Here are some simple steps for creating your first DVD:
  4. The Welcome screen let’s you define a new project. The three things I do on this page are:
    • Change the wording in the “Disc label” field
    • Set video format to NTSC
    • Set aspect ration to 16:9
    • Click OK
  5. Next you can select a template
    • Change the wording in the “Caption” field
    • Let’s use the default template, so click OK
  6. Now we can customize the DVD and drop in your video file
    • Right click on “Disc Title”, select Properties, then change the text as desired
    • Along the left border, you will see vertical tabs for ‘’”File browser”, “Backgrounds” and “Buttons”
    • Click on “File browser” and a File Explorer frame will open. Browse to locate your video file.
    • Simply drag your video file down to the bottom of your screen where you see the message “Drag your video files from the File Browser to here”
  7. And finally, let’s burn the DVD
    • Insert a writeable DVD in your drive
    • Click on File –> Burn DVD
    • If you have more than one DVD drive on your computer, be sure that the correct DVD drive is selected
    • Sit back and wait until you get the message that the burn was successful.
    • Click  the “Close” button, and pop out the DVD
  8. Multiple copies?
    1. If you wish to burn multiple DVDs, simply repeat the instructions in Step 7 above.
    2. Fortunately, burning the additional DVDs won’t take as long as the first one, as it has already created the temporary DVD output files required.

Windows 8.1 August Update Rollup

Microsoft released the August 2014 update rollup (KB 2975719) on Tuesday August 12, 2014. This is an optional update, but does provide two new feature enhancements:

  • Precision touch pad improvements
  • More information on the Windows Update tab in PC Settings

Although these don’t seem to be significant at first reading, they are certainly improvements that I have been waiting for.

More importantly, this appears to indicate a change in how new features are released. Until now, new update rollups might come out a couple of times a year, containing a slew of new features and enhancements. But, it looks as if Microsoft will release new features and enhancements on a monthly basis, in smaller chunks.

I like that!

If you want to read more about the August update rollup, check out Ed Bott’s writeup on ZDNet.

IT Camp: Windows 8 in Tampa

Microsoft will be hosting a Windows 8.1 IT Camp on Friday May 9, 2014 from 9am-4pm. The day long session is titled “Empowering People-Centric IT with Windows 8.1 for Professionals”. The audience for this hands-on event is geared for IT Decision Makers and IT Managers.


This event takes place at the Microsoft Office in Tampa Florida. The address is: 5426 Bay Center Dr, Suite 700, Tampa FL 33609

Click here to register

WHS 2011 and UEFI GPT Partitions

Yes, this info is a year old, but I’m just getting around to having customers by Windows 8.1 computers Smile

One of my customers is using a Windows Home Server (WHS) 2011 system to backup his office computers. He just obtained a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro laptop. I install the WHS connector, and attempt to backup the laptop, and it died sitting at 1%. I rebooted both the laptop and the server, with the same result. Both systems are current on patches.

Then I discover that there is a Microsoft hotfix for the WHS server that is required to properly backup computers with UEFI/GPT disk partitions.


There are plenty of web sites posting this information, but none fully address the process, which I will do. What the KB article does NOT tell you is that after installing the hotfix, the workstation will need to apply an update to the Launchpad before the backup will function properly.

Part 1 – from the WHS Server

  1. Login to the WHS system, and go to the Microsoft KB2781272 link and click on the button “Hotfix Download Available –>”
  2. You will be offered three versions of the hotfix. the first version listed is the most recent one.
  3. Select it, and fill in your email address. Microsoft will send you an email with a link to download the file
  4. Look for the email, download the file and move it over to a temp directory on the WHS server. I created a temp folder labeled “UEFI-Hotfix” under the Downloads folder.
  5. Double click on the file, which is a self-executing zip file, and it will expand out the contents to your temp directory. If you are not able to do so, right click on the file and look to see if the file has been “blocked”. If so click on the Block button.
  6. You will be prompted to select a folder to unzip the file. Use the “Browse” button and go to the temp folder you created.
  7. Locate the actual hotfix file (labeled Windows6.1-KB2781272-x64.msu, double click and install it.
  8. You will be prompted to reboot the server

Part 2 – from the Windows 8.1 computer

  1. From the computer in question, startup the WHS Launchpad. Note: you don’t need to sign in, just start it up.
  2. You should then see a task activity button indicating that an update to the LaunchPad is being installed.
  3. Once that is finished, you should be able to successfully create a backup.

Error 0x8024402c When Installing Windows Store Apps

I truthfully don’t use many apps, whether it’s with my Windows 8.1 desktop, Surface 2, or my Windows 8 Phone or Surface2. But I did want to download an app today to my desktop, and I immediately encountered error 0x8024402c.

The first recommendations I found when doing a Bing search was to open Internet Explorer and make sure that the ‘Use a proxy server for your LAN” was unchecked. Which it was in my case.

Then I found this suggestion to reset Store Cache, which worked immediately, and with no rebooting of my desktop computer:

  1. Press Windows Flag key + R to open the Run box
  2. Type: wsreset.exe and press OK
  3. Wait until it’s finished, then try downloading your app!

From XP and Vista to Windows 8.1 over the years

My trusty (and crusty) Dell Optiplex 745 has been a great workstation for me over the past seven years.

  • I started with Windows XP on the workstation.
  • Over the 4th of July weekend in 2007 I upgraded my workstation to Vista and wrote about my experience here.
  • Then in October 2009 I did an in-place upgrade of my workstation from Vista to Windows 7, and wrote about it here.
  • So here we are in October 2013, and I finally decided to proceed with a double upgrade this weekend – first to Windows 8, and then Windows 8.1.

Once again my experience was fantastic. Here is a summary of my process:


I knew I had collected a lot of older 3rd party utilities and apps on this workstation over the years. So, I first took time to review and uninstall those apps that I did not need or use. I recommend doing this before proceeding with the upgrade.

For Quicken, I did a final download of all my accounts and then did a backup of my Quicken database.

I also cleaned out temp files using CCleaner, and reviewed my various Download directories and removed anything I no longer needed.


Please be sure you have a full system image backup of your workstation before proceeding. That’s just being smart. In my case, I still run Windows Home Server in-house, and fired up a backup of my workstation.

Verify Hardware/Software Compatibility

My only complaint was that it appeared that Microsoft bundled the Upgrade Assistant with the actual setup of Windows 8 – which means that you had to obtain/purchase a copy of Windows 8 prior to determining if your workstation is compatible.

However, with kudos from, I found that Microsoft does indeed have a standalone Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant which you can download and run.


I was pleasantly surprised to find that I only had 13 items that I needed to review, and the majority of those were older 3rd party utilities that I really don’t care if they work or not. The only significant app that was flagged that I was concerned with was Quicken, as I was still running Quicken 2011.


Upgrade to Windows 8

I then used my Action Pack subscription to download the Windows 8 Professional iso file, and burned it to a DVD. Running the in-place upgrade took quite a while,  but lo and behold, when it finished I was setting at a Windows 8 login.

Before proceeding with upgrading to Windows 8.1, I thought it would be advisable to check out the workstation – Internet, Office, Quicken, and printing, and everything looked good.

Upgrade to Windows 8.1

I went to the Windows Store app looking for the Upgrade to 8.1, but it wasn’t there. So, I decided to run Windows Update and install all Windows 8  related updates, and then rebooted. After that, the Windows store app showed the 8.1 Upgrade option.

Final Comments

Jump in and learn Windows 8. Buy yourself a book.

There’s even a free Windows 8.1 eBook from Microsoft Press!

Free Windows 8.1 eBook

Microsoft Press has made available a free eBook, written by Ed Bott, titled Introducing Windows 8.1 for IT Professionals Technical Overview.

That certainly is a mouthful – but this 130 page eBook is jammed pack with information.

Here is the Table of Contents:

  • imageIntroduction
  • Overview of 8.1
  • The 8.1 User Experience
  • Deploying 8.1
  • Security in 8.1
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Delivering Windows Store Apps
  • Recovery options in 8.1
  • 8.1 and Networks
  • Virtualization in 8.1
  • Windows RT 8.1
  • Managing Mobile Devices

Windows 8.1 now available!

imageThe much-anticipated upgrade to Windows 8 …

Windows 8.1

is now available today (October 17, 2013).


Upgrading to Windows 8.1 is free and easy. Just start up Windows 8, click on the Windows Store tile, and click to start updating!

image  image  image

After Windows 8.1 has been installed, and you restart your computer. you will be have a chance to set additional Express Settings. You can choose to take the default settings, or customize them on your own.

After logging in, you will have an option to generate a security code (6 digit pin code) for you to use in case of suspicious activity with your account.


Windows Phone 8 – Phone Home Please!

Admit it.


More than once you’ve misplaced your phone, and it was right under your nose the whole time. With my Windows Phone 8 I can now use the WindowsPhone web site to locate my phone. It displays a map of it’s current location. And it gives me the ability to send out a really annoying beep to help me locate it if it’s close by, or lock or erase it if it has been stolen.

  • Go to the WindowsPhone web site, and login using your Microsoft Live account.
  • Near the top right hand side of the screen, locate your name.
  • Hover over the Windows Phone drop down box, and click on Find My Phone.
  • You will then be displayed a screen with a map of where your phone is currently located, and options top Ring, Lock or Erase.
  • Go ahead and click on the Ring link – ANNOYING, but oh so helpful.

WHS 2011 and UEFI support

Microsoft released a hotfix (KB 2781272) earlier this year to add backup support for UEFI-based client computers that contain a GUID partition table (GPT) formatted disk. The hotfix addresses four issues that are defined in the KB post.

Please note that prior to installing this hot fix, it is necessary to remove those client computers that contain GPT-formatted disk from the WHS 2011 dashboard, and select ‘Do not archive backup’.