Windows 8 – Can’t live with it, can’t get it the hell of my new laptop

My new Dell laptop just showed up. A 17 inch, fire red Dell Inspiron with a decent amount of memory and a hard drive that will work well for my needs. As I expected, it had Windows 8.1 and it took a mere 5 minutes of working with it to bring all the hate and loathing back to the surface. I hate the way it looks. I hate the way it works. I hate the way it hides things. And I hate the way panels keep popping out of the side. I can’t use Windows 8, it has to go.

Well, turns out that’s a lot easier said than done. Apparently Microsoft knew Windows 8 would be the biggest piece of crap they ever pushed out the door and actually took steps to keep people from removing it. It used to be you could just pop in the disk, boot from CD and from there remove partitions and format the drive so it would be pristine for the new OS. Oh not anymore, no sir!

You can’t actually do that to downgrade to Windows 7 and the installer actually jams because Windows 8 is a parasite. I am indeed coming late to this party, but this is the first time I’ve bought a machine with Windows 8 already on it. What the hell kind of engineering is this?

It appears I now have to jump through a series of hoops just to get this rat $hit OS off my new computer. I can’t stand the UI and I’m not going to spend every single day fighting against it. I know the heart of Windows 8 is the same kernel as Windows 7, but I can’t stand this Metro UI. It’s horrible to use and here’s the kicker. I have Stardock Windowblinds and have paid for multiple premium skins. Well guess what? None of them work with Windows 8. They have no idea how to skin the UI elements and no one is going back and updating them. I could live with Windows 8 if it looked the way I wanted. But it appears I’m screwed on both fronts. Stardock isn’t making an effort to upgrade any of their skins and Microsoft won’t let me turn off all these horrible elements. My god are we back in the 90s again?

So I see a couple of options before me. I can use another tool like Acronis True Image to boot into the Tools menu and blow the entire drive away. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think it could get rid of everything and start over. Since it’s technically Unix, it appears I blow Windows 8 all to hell and reinstall 7 like nothing ever happened. Needs a tiny bit more research before I commit.

I can also try and disable all the Metro UI elements. Articles suggest Windows 8.1 has more features I can disable to get rid of all this fluff and just have a desktop. There is even suggestion I can use Stardock Start8, which I already have, to disable just about everything. There is nothing charming about those "charms".

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when the first thing that needs to happen with a new computer is to reformat it. I can disable the Metro UI, but can I get the Stardock themes to work? The verdict is still out.

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