The best method for reinstalling the Start menu and orb on Windows 8 CP

Note: this tutorial is an extended version of the tutorial published yesterday.

We’ve covered a lot of ways to restore the Start button and Start menu in Windows 8; but this one, may be the best one yet. If you’re trying to figure out why, it is because in the Developer Preview of Windows 8, you could remove Metro by deleting the shsxs.dll file, but this is not possible in the Consumer Preview. Metro is now also cooked with the Explorer.exe itself. This method categorises what you’d like to see then simply adds a button for it.

However, if you’re all feeling lazy to click the link (which is highly recommended), then we’d suggest doing these steps before implementing the Start orb:


Creating a Start menu toolbar

· From the desktop, right-click the taskbar, point to Toolbars and select “New toolbar.”

· Type or copy and paste the following path into the Choose a folder window:

  %ProgramData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

 

· Click the “Select Folder” button and you’ll get a Programs menu on your taskbar.

· Right-click the taskbar and uncheck “Lock the taskbar” if you want to move the new Programs menu around.

· Drag and drop the grip at the left side of the toolbar to place it where the traditional Start orb and menu would be – at the left side of the Start bar.

· Right-click the “Programs” text if you want to change or hide its name. After you’re finished, right-click the taskbar again and select “Lock the taskbar.”

· There’s one catch with this method — it won’t actually show all your programs. The Start menu will not show all your programs because it actually grabs shortcuts from two different places. In addition to the system-wide ProgramData location, there’s a per-user Programs folder at the following location.

  %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

· As you can see from the screenshots, the Windows Defender shortcut — and a few other shortcuts do not appear in our toolbar menu.

· Create a second toolbar to list programs from this folder, or perhaps move shortcuts from the %AppData% location to the %ProgramData% location. Another option is creating a custom folder full of program shortcuts and using a toolbar that points at that folder instead.


The reincarnation of the Start orb

The next part of this tutorial is very easy so if you have already followed John’s tutorial from yesterday then you can simply follow this part. I’d suggest re-reading the steps in this article to ensure that you haven’t missed any steps.

ViStart is simply a third-party Start button replacement. It was originally designed to add a Windows 7-style Start button to Windows XP and cannow apply the Windows 7 Start button on Windows 8’s Consumer Preview.

ViStart wants to install other software when you install it – click the Decline button.

· Click the orb to see a familiar menu which is the best menu replica we've seen so far. However, we've not found a way to pin apps to the start menu but recently used apps will still show.

· Right-click the ViStart system tray icon and select Options if you want to configure it.

· You’ll find options for changing the default Web browser, email client and other program settings.

Why use this method?

ViStart takes over your Windows key. Pressing the Windows key opens the ViStart Start menu, not the Metro-style Start screen.

You can also still open the Start screen by moving your cursor to the very bottom-left corner of the screen, or from the Charms menu that appears when you hover your cursor over either the upper or lower-right corners of your screen.


Image credits: HowToGeek

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Cool. I'll give Windows 8 another try now that the Start Menu is back. Maybe it won't make any difference, but I'll try it at least.

Correction ...not 50/50, but rather 75/25 for snapping screens, and one thing that I would like is that Microsoft should allow multiple sessions for Internet Explorer 10 in Metro.

While everyone here has great ideas and points about the new start screen, you have to remember that once Windows 8 is officially released, there will be two different types of apps - metro based apps, and the current ones that we use on an everyday basis on our desktop. If you keep that in mind, you will learn how to work within Windows 8 efficiently.

As for the Desktop, it still exists because of current applications, and Microsoft is hoping that it will be a hit to consumers and developers, so they can move on with a different user interface approach.

As a tech geek just like every one of you, we all have to have an open mind. Windows 95 introduced us to a Start button (menu), and we all got used to it. Within Windows, the Start Menu has lost some of its luster because users are either creating shortcuts on the desktop or pinning on the taskbar, and that is just basically what Microsoft is trying to bring us into with the new Start Menu - pinned the most frequent apps or links on it. So it is not even a new interface paradigm, it is just a different approach.

16 years ago, Microsoft made a change with Windows, and maybe, now is the time to make the change once again, and just ask yourself this question, "if not now, when?"

RommelS said,

16 years ago, Microsoft made a change with Windows, and maybe, now is the time to make the change once again, and just ask yourself this question, "if not now, when?"

OR ask, "Why? If it's not better for desktop users."

For people that do more than just browse the web, look at email, and play music, why would we even want to use Metro apps? It completely disrupts workflow and multitasking.

Xilo said,
For people that do more than just browse the web, look at email, and play music, why would we even want to use Metro apps? It completely disrupts workflow and multitasking.

There is no difference if you are using metro apps from regular applications. In metro, you can switch the apps by swiping or pointing your mouse to the left hand side of the screen. It is no difference than switching an app from the taskbar. You can also split or snap two metro apps 50/50 on the screen as if you using your desktop.

That is why I am saying that you have two remember that there will be two types of application for the time being until every developers jump into metro design.

Okay, so we have to do a retarded mouse gesture, or I can just hit alt tab and not bother with Metro.

Wow, TWO whole windows side by side? That's so revolutionary man. Sorry but no matter what people say, Metro is good for nothing more than a casual "lets check facebook and email" person for desktop use.

I'm going to give this a try.

They really need to have the regular start menu as an option, especially for systems where Metro apps are not supported. I am using a Toshiba Netbook as my test system and it runs W8 desktop great, but none of the icons on the start screen work.

My company's average corporate clients have problems in using everything harder than copy/paste shortcuts... this means i could never and i say absolutely never tell them to use Win8. IMHO the absence of a "metro killer option" would be very very very stupid.

virtualmadden said,
Could you create a Symlink between the two locations it pulls start menu shortcuts for?

Couldn't you just make a library with them both, then link to that?

virtualmadden said,
Could you create a Symlink between the two locations it pulls start menu shortcuts for?

You can do anything providing there's a minimum of two directories. I mean it does work more or less but pinning will not work regardless of what you do.

jasqid said,
I got a great idea for getting your start ORB! Stay with Windows 7!!

Windows 8 has superior performance, security, etc. I guess you missed the memo.

jasqid said,
I got a great idea for getting your start ORB! Stay with Windows 7!!

Really? Who would've thought?

Ever heard of "Options" before?

To the News Poster, there is a new version of ViStart that not require the New Toolbar trick

ViStart 2.0 Build 3807 released

* Added Support for Windows 8 (experimental)
* Added Support for left,top,right taskbar on all OS's
* Fixed Windows 8 Shutdown bug

http://lee-soft.com/...ViStart%207.zip

worked, it doesn't require the new toolbar trick but still dont have the ability to Pin

Mayhem said,
To the News Poster, there is a new version of ViStart that not require the New Toolbar trick

ViStart 2.0 Build 3807 released

That's the version we used .
* Added Support for Windows 8 (experimental)
* Added Support for left,top,right taskbar on all OS's
* Fixed Windows 8 Shutdown bug

http://lee-soft.com/...ViStart%207.zip

worked, it doesn't require the new toolbar trick but still dont have the ability to Pin

That's the version we used .

A few tweaks are needed but the start screen is fine otherwise. I get by quite well without the start button. Good riddance.

laserfloyd said,
A few tweaks are needed but the start screen is fine otherwise. I get by quite well without the start button. Good riddance.

I'm glad it works for you. The rest of us would like OPTIONS...you know, the reason Windows has been such an overwhelming, worldwide success for the past 30 years?

I honestly dont get why people are hating on it so bad. I am enjoying the new start screen, there are few things that could be worked on in it. Few issues here and there but im sure it will be gone when it hits retail.

That's what I was thinking. It's like someone recommending Neowin, then saying while on the site never click ads under any circumstances, and use an ad blocker if possible.

YTZ said,
Stop using Start Menu. Everything u're using in now metro. Why don't you open for chances?

Interestingly enough, some people have different preferences and opinions.

YTZ said,
Stop using Start Menu. Everything u're using in now metro. Why don't you open for chances?

Another one of these "change for the sake of change" guys.

Seriously.

You like the change, I see that and it's great you do, however, as Panda X has said: different preferences come into play.

Hell, even nowadays I see the classic shell used...
You know... The Windows 2000 GUI! (on systems above 2000)

I like Luna and also Aero Glass, but did I bother telling everyone to swallow it or question their willingness for good change? No.

Is metro good change? To some yes, to some no.

Why do so many people struggle with this simple fact?

GS:mac

Panda X said,

Interestingly enough, some people have different preferences and opinions.

And indeed, unlike Apple's niche design model, Windows rules the world precisely because there are often six different ways to accomplish the same thing.

I, for example, first started computing back in the Amiga days, so I still use windows similar to that paradigm. I also have three 30" monitors just loaded with eye candy, etc.

My brother is a coder and so uses his Windows machine entirely differently.

While Metro is great on small touch screens, like tablets and phones, it SUCKS on the traditional desktop. Especially for multi-monitor, multi-tasking power users.

A "one-size fits all" model is anathema to the very success of Windows.

Glassed Silver said,
....

It's not just change for change sake. This is an preliminary step toward a new paradigm in computing which will see last century's Desktop and win32 stack becoming less and less important to our daily lives, as we come up with new ways to interact.

This change for the sake of change as you call it, is much like adding galvanized rubber to the iron rimmed wheel your ancestors used.

Just wait until computing hits the reinforced sidewall stage.

dotf said,

It's not just change for change sake. This is an preliminary step toward a new paradigm in computing which will see last century's Desktop and win32 stack becoming less and less important to our daily lives, as we come up with new ways to interact.

This change for the sake of change as you call it, is much like adding galvanized rubber to the iron rimmed wheel your ancestors used.

Just wait until computing hits the reinforced sidewall stage.


Uhm thank you, I like my "impractical" multiple windows (>2) on my 27" screen.

And live tiles are great, but after trying Metro, I think the main advantages are on mobile devices, my desktop runs better with classic windows or widgets.

I don't want to troll, but I'm just seriously happy that Windows is now more like a hobby OS to me... Think games, compatibility to some odd applications, etc...
This gives me some independence, I can safely say that using more than one OS gives you a good chunk of peace of mind and it's great knowing that the changes seem a little less impacting on your end than on others'.

Cause you know, it's your part time job when one OS doesn't (temporarily) suit you, not your full blown "aww man" experience!

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

Another one of these "change for the sake of change" guys.

Seriously.

You like the change, I see that and it's great you do, however, as Panda X has said: different preferences come into play.

Hell, even nowadays I see the classic shell used...
You know... The Windows 2000 GUI! (on systems above 2000)

I like Luna and also Aero Glass, but did I bother telling everyone to swallow it or question their willingness for good change? No.

Is metro good change? To some yes, to some no.

Why do so many people struggle with this simple fact?

GS:mac

The problem is that too many people don't give change a reasonable chance.

YTZ said,
Stop using Start Menu. Everything u're using in now metro. Why don't you open for chances?

Apart from web browsing and full screen media, what apps would I even want to use metro in? let alone ones that actually support it.

H.I.M said,
I think this article pretty much explains everything:

http://www.winsupersite.com/ar...ew-call-common-sense-142476


What a stupid article.
Sure he has some points when he explains why stuff gets scratched or not updated (e.g. his talk about why Explorer's shell looks the same still), but boy does he let out the "know it all" "I will teach and preach so listen and shut up or GTFO and don't waste my time"

His point is: Microsoft is moving in that direction so you have to like it.
He tries to make look criticism as "unenthusiastic" and "you should know better" and he's very very "I know that it's good for you, stop asking!

What an a**hole!
Never really liked Paul Thurott, but I never thought he'd be such a prick to his readers and be so narrow minded with "arrrgh! Change!!!! Embrace it or die"

GS:ios

Glassed Silver said,

Uhm thank you, I like my "impractical" multiple windows (>2) on my 27" screen.

And live tiles are great, but after trying Metro, I think the main advantages are on mobile devices, my desktop runs better with classic windows or widgets.

I don't want to troll, but I'm just seriously happy that Windows is now more like a hobby OS to me... Think games, compatibility to some odd applications, etc...
This gives me some independence, I can safely say that using more than one OS gives you a good chunk of peace of mind and it's great knowing that the changes seem a little less impacting on your end than on others'.

Cause you know, it's your part time job when one OS doesn't (temporarily) suit you, not your full blown "aww man" experience!

GS:mac


You like it now, sure. But the fact is that you MIGHT prefer metro if you give it some time. But you won't know that if you don't give it time.
I have used Windows since 3.1, and for almost every version I liked the previous version better to begin with before changing my mind. I now even prefer the Windows 7 control panel over the one from Windows XP (it took me long time to like that change).

And this is the whole problem - people will always prefer what they are already used to and as a result not give the new option a decent chance. Ideally, you don't want to "force" something upon people, but because people are people it is often necessary.

Lamp Post said,

You like it now, sure. But the fact is that you MIGHT prefer metro if you give it some time. But you won't know that if you don't give it time.
I have used Windows since 3.1, and for almost every version I liked the previous version better to begin with before changing my mind. I now even prefer the Windows 7 control panel over the one from Windows XP (it took me long time to like that change).

And this is the whole problem - people will always prefer what they are already used to and as a result not give the new option a decent chance. Ideally, you don't want to "force" something upon people, but because people are people it is often necessary.


I'm quite the opposite.
I have embraced almost all new things that MS brought to Windows' GUI over time. From the start even. (And I started with Windows 3.1, too *high five*)

Now, I generally agree that you need to give something a good long try, but I'll tell you this: Metro is good on a tablet, it's OKAY on a desktop and it's a no-go for heavy multi-taskers like me.
There are just some conceptual things about it that make it an instant no to me.
At least as "main GUI" and not being able to use the start menu gets me mad.

Then again, I live on OS X now and Windows is my holiday home when I play games or need compatibility to odd applications, but if I still were a full time Windows user, I'd rage.

"Then just stick to Windows 7!!!!!1one!" -> Oh how I like these people (some have said it here, not your post), but what do you want to do?
Use Windows 7 in 2020 still? Shall Windows 7 really be XP 2.0? Really?
Think about it guys, that logic works for a few years, after that it's bust. (let alone you can't get Metro which is useful for compatibility (some applications will only be available to that) or for some things where Metro actually is good.
(See? I'm not black/white thinking. )

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

What a stupid article.
Sure he has some points when he explains why stuff gets scratched or not updated (e.g. his talk about why Explorer's shell looks the same still), but boy does he let out the "know it all" "I will teach and preach so listen and shut up or GTFO and don't waste my time"

His point is: Microsoft is moving in that direction so you have to like it.
He tries to make look criticism as "unenthusiastic" and "you should know better" and he's very very "I know that it's good for you, stop asking!

What an a**hole!
Never really liked Paul Thurott, but I never thought he'd be such a prick to his readers and be so narrow minded with "arrrgh! Change!!!! Embrace it or die"

GS:ios

It's Paul Thurrott what else did you expect? It's the number one MS fanboy in the world.

I mean "But just so we're clear, it's a modern PC. Why the frick are you shutting down a PC? It's not 1989, people.". Paul Thurrott at his best.

Possession said,
You could go one up on simplicity... not install Windows 8 and stick with Windows 7 if you want a start menu that bad.

Great ideas. You are full of them.

Possession said,
You could go one up on simplicity... not install Windows 8 and stick with Windows 7 if you want a start menu that bad.

Yes, because aside from metro.. it's completely identical to 7.

I like the start screen, but I can see why a lot of people don't, and considering how easy it'd be to keep (as evidenced by the programs available), not to mention it's the biggest gripe about 8, MS should give the option.

shockz said,

Yes, because aside from metro.. it's completely identical to 7.

I like the start screen, but I can see why a lot of people don't, and considering how easy it'd be to keep (as evidenced by the programs available), not to mention it's the biggest gripe about 8, MS should give the option.

identical to 7 ???

im sorry but i had to switch to windows 8. I have a somewhat old laptop and windows 7 wasnt performing all that great. I use to have 80-90% cpu and ram useage, and system temp was around 180F. now with windows 8.. im almost never above 20% cpu. and system temps went all the way down to 118F

yes the start is different. who cares ??? how many apps does everyone use ?

if you have an app that you use ALL THE TIME. pin it to the taskbar

if you have an app that you use, but not all the time. pin it to the start menu.

if you dont use an app at all. dont pin it anywhere.

if you need a random app. do a search.

haters gonna keep hattin -_-

shockz said,

Yes, because aside from metro.. it's completely identical to 7.

I like the start screen, but I can see why a lot of people don't, and considering how easy it'd be to keep (as evidenced by the programs available), not to mention it's the biggest gripe about 8, MS should give the option.

Sometimes people should *NOT* be given the option. People are so resistant to change that given the option, most would never even give something new a chance just because it's different than what they are accustomed to. Should Microsoft still give people the option to use the Program Manager? People should be given choices in general, but some things deserve an expert's treatment, and that's what Microsoft is in this case. They've done the research and designed what should be a better interface, whether someone likes it the first time they use it or after two months.

Skwerl said,

Sometimes people should *NOT* be given the option. People are so resistant to change that given the option, most would never even give something new a chance just because it's different than what they are accustomed to. Should Microsoft still give people the option to use the Program Manager? People should be given choices in general, but some things deserve an expert's treatment, and that's what Microsoft is in this case. They've done the research and designed what should be a better interface, whether someone likes it the first time they use it or after two months.

Wow, that is an amazing improvement. I was thinking of reinstalling Windows 7 back on my machine, but I may stick with Windows 8 because it's so quick and lightweight!

Skwerl said,

Sometimes people should *NOT* be given the option. People are so resistant to change that given the option, most would never even give something new a chance just because it's different than what they are accustomed to. Should Microsoft still give people the option to use the Program Manager? People should be given choices in general, but some things deserve an expert's treatment, and that's what Microsoft is in this case. They've done the research and designed what should be a better interface, whether someone likes it the first time they use it or after two months.

Up until Vista I believe (might have been XP), program manager was included in the system directory.

ShareShiz said,

identical to 7 ???

im sorry but i had to switch to windows 8. ....

haters gonna keep hattin -_-

Was it really that difficult to notice the eyeroll?

Skwerl said,

Sometimes people should *NOT* be given the option. People are so resistant to change that given the option, most would never even give something new a chance just because it's different than what they are accustomed to. Should Microsoft still give people the option to use the Program Manager? People should be given choices in general, but some things deserve an expert's treatment, and that's what Microsoft is in this case. They've done the research and designed what should be a better interface, whether someone likes it the first time they use it or after two months.

Using your own example regarding program manager; it was kept alive for quite some time to give people the choice to use that or the new start menu / explorer combo. Eventually there was no need for program manager as it the newer alternatives were easier and more efficient to use. The same should be true for Windows 8; There should be a "legacy" start menu option as a fall back, and let the user base decide what is better and easier to use, then you can begin to phase out the old functions, such as the start menu. The way they are doing it is going alienate a big share of the user base.

Possession said,
You could go one up on simplicity... not install Windows 8 and stick with Windows 7 if you want a start menu that bad.

Well said, for the same kind of people that even prefer Vista over 7