Windows 8 and how you can make it work for you.
August 28, 2013
We've all been there. A shiny new version of Windows and a library of old and/or archaic games that cling to our hard drive through either nostalgia or love. But Windows 8 can be a jealous mistress and makes life very hard for these old games.
More than anything else there are two things which hurt my playing of older games: The first was Microsoft taking away my Star Menu. Why. WHY! I understand change is needed sometimes but you can’t tell me leaving me an option to use my Start menu was going to hurt anything. This new system makes finding and starting my old games twice as difficult as they have taken my file tree from me. Before, I could simply hit start, scroll to my game and voila. Now I have to figure out how to pin it to either a tile or create a shortcut. Don't get me wrong, I could do it, but its an extra annoyance for an already labored attention span.
To solve that problem I have provided two software options to add the Windows 7 style Start Menu back into Windows 8. The first one is free so I have included it. The second option cost $4.99 but really gives you a lot more features and is currently what I'm using.
Start Menu for Windows 8
Paid Windows 8 Start Menu
Microsoft has Windows 8.1 coming out soon with a promise to restore the Start Menu. However, upon showing, it's clear Microsoft just doesn't get it. Instead of giving its customers what they wanted, they now have a Start Menu that just brings users to the tile base Windows 8 menu. If you really miss the Windows 7 Style Start Menu, I highly recommend trying one of the two options listed above.
The second problem is one as old as windows itself: A new version comes out and can't or won't load your old games because it "to new" for them. Not many games have this issue mind you, but enough of my library has been effected that this advice is still worth noting. To get your old games working, try this:
Windows 8, like 7, and Vista before it has a Compatibility mode. This mode allows you to fool your games into thinking they are working on an older version of Windows. To run your game in Compatibility Mode, use the following steps below.
If you want geek it up check out this VOGONS forum which I found posted in the Just Adventure forums by CrisGer.
I hope these tips help get some of your older games running again and your Windows back to something you can use. I was a major Windows fan back in the early days but with stunts like the Windows Start Menu, its clear Microsoft just doesn't understand its user base anymore.
About the Author:
David Thrawn has been paying videos games since the early 80's and was a network manger for many years. Now he enjoys keeping up with all the new tech and writing about it.