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back to article Microsoft unveils file-move changes in Windows 8

Microsoft has been throwing out crumbs on forthcoming features for Windows 8, but dodged serving up the main course. Windows 8 will clean up the system for downloading files to your PC and changing file names, Microsoft has said on its newly launched Building Windows 8 blog. The successor to Windows 7 will combine file download …

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FAIL

You can

There is a feature to allow all activity without bugging you.

It's dangerous, go for it.

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FAIL

Call yourself an Administrator?

Stop dragging real Windows Admins into your group. Apart from the advantages UAC provides in terms of compatibility for naughty legacy apps, it enables Admins to run apps under a different security context from within the GUI (without running "runas" from the command line).

And that's alongside preventing prick "Administrators" who "know best" from ALWAYS running with high privillages which is the biggest single reason why most XP and older machines are so full of crap and viruses.

I assume you're one of the "Administrators" who knows only ever executes files you've compiled yourself and checked the source code as you always run with elevated rights. Anything else would be foolish as I'm sure a professional like yourself would agree with...?

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IT Angle

They have

As others pointed out; MS has done just that and in multiple ways and forms.

Powershell; a command line interface giving you access to just about everything you'd want to control on Windows.

MMC (management console); a (customizable) GUI which gives you GUI access to just about everything you'd want to control / configure on Windows.

The "run as administrator" option. Messing in \program files or \windows\system32 and getting access denials? "start -> all programs -> accesoires -> right click on 'explorer' and 'run as administrator'". Now you can even completely trash your Windows directory if you'd want to.

If there's one real flaw to be found here its that MS picked up too late on decent OS security, which is also the main reason why you might need to adapt when moving from XP to Vista/Win7 administration. I'm not making this up btw; its something many MS engineers have declared themselves.

And I totally agree that if you're new to Windows 7 it maybe a little hard to find the admin tools since they are a little buried and some changed location (again). Obviously because the OS - by default - is aimed at end users.

But Window admins should know their way to TechNet by now IMO. Here is an excellent place to start, the Windows 7 TechCenter. Also with direct links to the TechNet library (which contains more detailed information on Windows administration):

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/dd361745.aspx

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Silver badge

But,

Are you Sure? (Y/N)

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What I really want to see

is a file copy queue. So if I drag 10 files from disk A to disk B, they start copying. But now, if I drag another 10 files, it starts a second queue of 10 files copying at the same time.

Now, there are time I may be copying 100 large files from disk A to B and then want to copy a small file from A to B at the same time, and want that concurrently, but the majority of time it would be far more sensible (and less thrashing) to append the second block of ten files to the original queue.

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Meh

Directory Opus

Surely downloads are done by your browser usually, and it's not like you are going to be using IE is it.

Also, anyone worth their geek wings should be using Directory Opus in place of Windows Explorer anyway, it is simply brilliant, and no, I have no connection with the company.

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Happy

Re: Directory Opus

Classic, I still use D Opus whenever I fire up my old Amiga. It felt like such a step backwards when I finally had to move to a Mac as a main work machine.

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Alert

Pricey Windows Explorer substitute

Directory Opus on a single computer (plus an additional personal laptop).

Purchase now for only AUD $85 [55 GBP, 89 USD]

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Silver badge
Windows

Maybe I am being a bit slow here but.........

"According to that data, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files are "far and away the most heavily used features within Windows Explorer" and account for half of all commands."

...................did one actually need a survey to realise that? Given that once you have launched an application (and later close it - just two actions) and are working within it then the above actions very often occur time and again. Especially if you are working with two or more related files. However, having said that I hope that their efforts actually lead to genuine improvement for the user.

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File Locks and Ending Processes

Personally I'm hoping for improvements to the way "open" files and rogue processes are handled so that as the admin I could actually force a process to end or forcefully remove a lock from a file. As it is, some naughty applications (I'm looking at you Outlook) can even stop you rebooting cause of this.

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Alert

What!? Undeletable Files?! Impossible.

@Semaj

Killing handles to open files?

You should REALLY try Process Explorer from Mark Russinovich, formerly of SysInternals and now part of the Borg proper.

Workflow:

1. Open Process Explorer

2. Press CTRL+F

3. Type in the name of the wayward file

4. TA DA! There's the program that's holding it (usually Adobe Acrobat Reader)

5. Kill the process and the file is deletable.

Honestly, is it that hard?

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Taskkill

taskkill /pid <PID> /f /t

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Boffin

re: file locks

I've used Unlocker for years to, um, unlock files. It works great for most files (sometimes it will prompt you to let it unlock a file after a reboot).

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FAIL

NT still got this wrong

It's just more robust to zombie the file and delete it when all the files are done. About half the time some installer needs to reboot its because it can't replace a file on disk and has to do it with MoveFileEx (i.e. wait until after reboot).

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File Locks Suck

These locks are the bane of my life! Why can't I rename an open file!? Or move one to a better folder while I'm editing!? I can't believe Win7 didn't fix this. It has been possible on a UNIX system for years... If they can sort this out then I might actually start to use their O/S. I'm not interested in comments like "a user should know better than to rename an open file" etc. Computers are supposed to make our lives easier!

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Got it Already

I should have said that I already use that one and it works well much of the time but there are still occasions when it fails to make any difference.

The one I remember recently was magicdisc on win7. Neither task manager or process explorer could kill it.

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Anonymous Coward

Thank you...

I've been using Process Explorer for a while. I actually replaced XP task manager with it. I guess it works for Win 7 too.

And I don't use Windows Explorer anymore, I use 2xExplorer Z1. Or xplorer2 (square).

IT's fast, it's dirty, it show two windows bundled together to make copy/paste trivially easy by putting both windows side by side. It compares folders (inclusive content of files) on a single button-mash. It moves / copies files on a single button, and lets you overwrite without confirmation prior to beginning the copy. It lets you take a look at files binary (with corresponding hex view), or lets you edit txt files directly. It can split / merge files, without a zip/compression tool too.

And joy of joys, it shows you drive letters as buttons, just like WINDOWS FREAKING WORKGROUPS 3.11 used to do.

Check the UI here:

http://www.programlar.com/files/img/prg/prg/24/4124/2xexplorer-z1,1,out.jpg

http://netez.com/2xExplorer/

http://www.free-downloads.net/programs/2xExplorer

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Silver badge

People

Forget about the Explorer - it will never do anything right because, I'm sure, people who wrote it never used it themselves for anything (otherwise they would have known that it's useless since when they first released it with Win'95).

Nothing will ever make it work.

Use a proper file manager like FAR or something else...

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Silver badge

Interesting

I see that there are at least 5 members of the Windows Explorer Appreciation Society on this forum...

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Pint

Windows 7 and Internet Explorer

Net Applications had this to say about IE and Windows 7:

"Browser Wars"

Microsoft skipped XP support for Internet Explorer 9 in order to compete more effectively on Windows 7.

In July on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 hit 18.5% share worldwide and 24.8% in the United States.

There are indications that this strategy is working.

Although Internet Explorer lost usage share on XP, on Windows 7, Microsoft increased global usage share, going from 54.6% in June to 54.8% in July.

In the U.S., Internet Explorer share on Windows 7 grew 0.6% to 68.1%.

Microsoft has been pushing Internet Explorer 9 and Windows 7 as the best browsing experience on Windows 7 because of IE9's use of hardware acceleration and integration with the Windows 7 user interface.

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/

IE 9 and Win 7 have about the same market share in the states.

If I had to pick a loser in this round of the browser wars, it would be Firefox.

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Silver badge
FAIL

For web browsers...

... the underlying OS doesn't matter. Otherwise you could claim using the same method that Lynx on BSD is king because of its 80%+ market share on this OS (note: number plucked out of bum).

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Coat

@Dan55

I suspect Safari is the king on BSD.. ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

On the Edge of Sleep

Really, does anyone care about Windows anymore?

It's the OS you have to use at work, but otherwise....Zzzzzzzz

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MJI
Silver badge

Need it unfortunately

Its what most people run their businesses on.

Servers - pick 1 of the 3 you want

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Bronze badge

Consumers...

Have little to no choice, purchase a new laptop or PC and it likely to be Windows all the way down.

Try getting a machine with anything else installed at an on-line or a brick consumer electronics shop.

A heat gun makes the COA labels very easy to relocate ;-)

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Bronze badge

Meh

The only new bit is the conflict panel, and it doesn't look like it's going to work well for anything other than images and it's debatable whether it makes that easier, reminiscent of the PHD sync error dialogs on OS X that my users don't want to deal with.

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Silver badge
Thumb Down

Lots of improvements I'd like

1.Sort out your damn' focus stealing. An application should only ever come to the foreground if it (or its icon if just launched) was the last thing clicked.

2.If I'm navigating around the Start menu then leave the bloody thing open. No matter what else happens don't take it away from me. Especially not when you detect that I might about to click something.

3.If I click on a text box then just put the cursor where I clicked. Don't highlight the entire contents.

4.Sub-pixel addressing might be clever and might be cute but some of your users just can't handle it. At all. Make it optional and if there's a system setting then bloody honour it in all your applications!

5.Sort out the context menu in Explorer. If you can't populate everything within a tenth of a second then populate as much as you can and fill the rest in in the background.

6.Try and work out why nearly everything I do results in an hourglass. It's getting annoying.

7.For MMC hosted apps - please remember whether the action pane was last left visible or not.

8.A special plea:Sort out the craptastic performance of the Event Viewer. It should not take a quad core machine with 4GB of RAM half a minute to populate.

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Go

to extend your point 1

for the love of $deity, ban the model dialog. This has been a complaint of mine since the introduction of the GUI. there is ABSOLUTELY nothing that so important an application has to interfere with my usage of another app. If you need to tell me something to continue, pop the dialog and go to sleep until I respond.

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Anonymous Coward

Wow, they're making changes to copying and renaming files?

IDGAF, I use TeraCopy and Free Download Manager anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

This would be a great oppurtunity to

add things like tabs, or information about the size of a directories contents.

bet they won't bother though.

yes i know about foldersize and qt tab bar, the point is that ms should add them themselves.

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Silver badge

Indeed.

"That means IE is precisely at the point it was in 1998 when it finally nudged past Marc Andreessen's Netscape to become the most widely used browser for the *fist* time."

Indeed. Not quite grammatical, but I think that we can all agree with the sentiment.

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FAIL

what about search...

how about they fix windows search while they're "fixing things"... it's abominable.

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Facepalm

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

I don't think anyone has ever found anything they were actually looking for by using windows serach.. except maybe by accident.

I have "searched" a single directory which contains only the file I'm actually looking for and it still hasn't found it!

ummmm... I was doing it to prove a point to a doubting colleague :-)

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Bronze badge

So downloading a file is a function of the operating system now?

Fine, but everywhere else it is a feature of the web browser.

Or are we back to saying that they're really the same thing?

Well... third-party, sophisticated file downloading programs are popular and useful. Napster, Limewire, RapidShare....

Of course Windows can share files on the na!etwork too - sometimes when you don't want it to...

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Need more options

[x] don't try to thumbnail/summary content on optical drives unless asked.

[x] likewise network drives

[x] don't try to thumbnail image files which are, say, 15k x 10k pixels. Kill thumbnail process which consumes more than X ram.

[x] disable the feature where thumbnail/summary threads hang and hold files open.

[x] don't look inside zip files when searching files (unless I say so)

[x] don't even pretend you know what a zip file is.

[x] don't do stupid magic things (like deleting an html file when I delete the directory alongside it) without asking first.

[x] don't obey any drag &drop command which took less than 0.4 second to execute

[x] don't do 'undo' without asking if ok, if the action being undone was more than 20 seconds ago.

[x] don't do 'paste' without asking if ok, if the cut or copy was more than 20 seconds ago.

[x] don't create shortcut on drag/drop based on dubious criteria

[x] produce a suitably humble apology with full and proper explanation, when I try to rename something to a reserved name, like "Con.Air.avi"

[x] don't claim that filenames like ".foo" are not allowed.

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Flame

The List

1) Dump Libraries. What have they done for me lately? Annoy the hell out of me when even after being "removed" by a registry hack, they continue to be the first stop for WordPad ( I like a fast doc viewer, focus guys ). Bonus fail: Self-opening a subdirectory in the Libraries while I'm negotiating the drive tree and in so doing changing my target directory without my input. This is shite, KILL IT.

2) Process prioritzation. The OS should be focused on doing what the user wants as fast as posible. I opened Firefox, then went to open the Start menu, Firefox should take a backseat to the Start menu, which should take a backseat to STILL following what I'm doing.

3) Don't dynamically generate the Start menus. These things do not change every 40ms. There is an icon cache, why not generate the tile and click framework for say the control panel once and have it ready to go instead of needing 15-20 seconds to whip it out? Do not rebuild it every time it is accessed, rebuild it when it is CHANGED, by user input. This is just plain bad.

4) Dump the Registry. If you MUST have a central reference for the OS stuff, fine. But smack programs and applications back to ini and cfg files in their own directories. They are not part of the OS, they can stay in their corner until called for. Bonus: Backup and reinstall is as easy as copying a directory. Yes, I like when all the contents of one thing are in the same box.

5) 4 is what some expected for a pc version of the XBox, to be included with some or other version of Windows. The XBox still has a purpose as an affordable standalone games machine, but why not let those of us who have the hardware and bought the game use it to make pixels scream? Drop in a title, it makes a directory to keep its kruft in, job done. Uninstall bits like XBox nominal. Bring on the Game Player. :)

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Backup and reinstall is as easy as copying a directory

Actually, it was a deliberate design decision by MS to allow/require applications to spray their shit all over the OS like some sort of diarrhetic goose.

They did this to stop people from copying office from their work PC to home PC.

Back in the 90's it was possible to copy the MS office folder from one PC to another and have a perfectly good, working copy.

Forced installs were a way of combating that practice, so I wouldn't be holding my breath and expecting that to change anytime soon.

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Anonymous Coward

@Goat Jam

That's some pretty powerful conspiracy theory you've got going there.

No, they added the registry to centrilise all configurations information and unify the way that it was handled. I personally prefer a fully journalled database to store my config settings, rather than a bajillion .conf files scattered all over the filesystem at the whim of the software author.

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Silver badge

Fine. Keep the registry to force installs for the program,

but FFS put the user specific config files in an easily copyable location.

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Silver badge
FAIL

Centralise all configurations

You say that like it is a *good* thing to do.

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Linux

Firefox rocks Antarctica

MS really dropped the ball on this. Great little gizmo for market share, btw.

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Anonymous Coward

the api now supports

Let me guess,

ztree and a sticky rollup transparent console?

or was that process hacker replaces the task manager?

or was it classic menu replaces the seach and no find start button

or did you have to code your own interface to control windows?

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Facepalm

CPU usage

On the whole, I applaud MS for updating the file copying to be more in line with other OSes. However, copying large or multiples of files often seemed to take forever, so it'll be nice to watch a little graph animating and using up extra CPU cycles while I pull my hair out.

THIS is the whole problem with windows. Stop treating Windows users like children .. "ooh look at the little uppy downy graph, that'll keep my attention while it takes forever to copy my files". Yes, Mac OS does it too, but it's a more efficient system with less bloat to begin with, they can afford to do that. MS needs to strip all the legacy crap out of Windows and start afresh. The exception is the legacy .ini files, they were a superior option to the registry. Need to back up your applications settings? Just copy the 5kb .ini file. Uninstalling a program leaves it settings behind? Delete it's folder and .ini file. I know there's other settings in the Registry, but a lot of it is pointless or not used frequently enough. Reduce it's size to the essentials and let apps keep their settings in their own folders.

Animated and oversized rendered buttons are not required, nor is a massive registry of settings you might never use. It's bloat. It takes process cycles to re-draw those buttons and animate them. That's the kinda crap that delays button presses and menus displaying. It's too busy blitting and cropping and masking and fading to do the actual function you requested.

Of course half the problem is the users, "look how super cool my desktop looks with all my gadgets and animated effects". Then the next complaint is "I think I have a virus, it seems to be running awful slow" or "Maybe I need more RAM". NO, just turn off the pointless animated playschool graphical shite. Then you can get some work done or get extra FPS for your game.

That's the way linux based OSes tend to do it (we'll forget Gnome 3 and Unity for now). If you want animated windows and spinny cubes and snow flakes and more bloated shite on your desktop, you turn it on. When installing windows I have to go and turn off all these fading menus and animated buttons & drop-downs and blahblahblah. Fast, efficient code and graphics are key for a lean, smooth running system.

PS. Why does a .co.uk site keep insisting that there's no u in colour? Ah, you're probably hosted in the US of A? That'll be the reason then. FFS.

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Holmes

whatever happened to..?

... the replacement file system for NTFS?

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wsm
Facepalm

Windows Exploder can't do math

The problem with MS file management has always been that the progress indicator for copying or moving files took the total number of files measured against the rate of transfer for the most recent few files to arrive at a total time estimate, which was updated periodically. This made for time estimates of, at first, 2 minutes, followed by 3 days, then 18 hours, 14 minutes, 98 minutes, and so on.

Using the total number of bits to transfer divided by the transfer rate would have been better, but apparently too complicated for MS programmers.

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Windows

Quelle surprise

"According to that data, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files are "far and away the most heavily used features within Windows Explorer" and account for half of all commands."

It's a file manager, FFS.

In other news, getting in and out of a car, driving to destinations and carrying passengers and loads are far and away the most heavily used features of a private motor vehicle.*

*Except in certain chav locations, where the main activities are listening to crap music, standing around in crap clothes drinking crap booze and dealing crap drugs.

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Paris Hilton

you forgot

shagging on the back seat

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Trollface

On second thoughts...

Bring back XTree Gold.

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Bronze badge

Ztree

its a free version and it works with win 7

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AB

@Armando 123

Only the BOFH uses rm to 'rename' files...

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