To Windows and Back Again.

To Windows and Back Again.

9 Comments on To Windows and Back Again.

Just like the Hobbit’s tale I had a short trip there and back again, but mine was to Windows 8.1.

My Decision to Switch
There was a couple of reasons that resulted in moving my main computer to Windows 8.1. The main one was I write software for companies and use Visual Studio. This has not been a problem in the past as Virtual Box is fine for that but the convenience of not loading another OS to work was a plus.

The next reason is ac1900 network hardware only being compatible on Windows as of now. Even for wireless n, the RT2800USB driver seems to send large files corrupt for the USB-N53 [Ralink RT3572] adapter in Linux and the proprietary driver crashes the current Linux Kernel.

The last reason is being able to use the PC as a second screen in XBox One using Smart Glass.

My Experience
I bought a Windows 8 CD and installed it. It worked well and had an “interesting” interface. I updated the OS to Windows 8.1 straight away and did all of the updates. This worked great as well and I was starting to get used to the new interface. All was going well until…

I was not able to use the Windows 8.1 Smart Glass for my games and just complained it was not a tablet, also…

I got the black screen with the white cursor many people are complaining about when booting into the OS. I then called Microsoft and complained who in the end blamed it on hardware. I said I would update ALL of the drivers and firmware for all my hardware which I did.

Not long after that I was getting different BSOD errors and worked out this was my USB wifi adapter and booting my computer with my monitor turned off. I was persistant in living with this because the computer worked well “when it was working”.

After a while my PC started to freeze for a few seconds when loading the web browser tabs and other tasks. The one thing I could not live with was the OS temporarily locking up while “thinking”. This started happening only 3 weeks after install.

The Road Back
I really wanted to use Ubuntu Gnome but I found to get the interface the way you wanted it, I had to edit CSS and other files. Even though I work as a software developer, The last thing I wanted to do was waste my time making my computer interface look “pretty”. A lot of the gnome extensions are buggy and I could not get it to look the way I wanted to. Mint does the this a lot better by being able to edit the bar.

Ubuntu with Ubuntu Tweak and Unity Tweak makes it easy to get your interface looking great. I am using the zoncolorBrave gtk theme, zoncolorSlate icon theme, zoncolor cursor theme and zoncolorXtra-Basic window theme. I think it looks really good. I used to turn on wobbly windows etc. but did not bother this time.

I did miss the terminal console and many other Linux features while in Windows 8.1. It was a quick trip to Windows land and back, but I am glad I am back.

About the author:

Bill Payne started working as a paid professional software developer at the young age of 12 years old developing simple games and other applications for pre-packaged computers. Bill has since developed software for many industries such as direct sales and the the stock market. Bill has now started sharing his many years of software development experience through a blog on the MPSHouse website and one on one lessons.



  1. Matthew  - 5 January , 2014 - 10:20 pm
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    Could you tell your hardware details? How about other Windows versions working on it?

  2. Sven  - 5 January , 2014 - 10:22 pm
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    In my experience people think they need big efforts to go to linux and quickly get back to Windows simply because they are used to it. But once you’re used to Linux and all the advantages are so clear, there’s just no way back is there.

    • bill  - 6 January , 2014 - 3:03 am
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      I have been using Linux since Red Hat 3. I have always had a problem with the deterioration of the performance of Windows over time. I thought this had been fixed in the new Windows OS but found that to be untrue. I use Windows for work but push the benefits of Linux on my clients. Some have made the change and are happy with the security, stability and now a new version of Windows OS is out are happy not to have to pay for it.

  3. Kris  - 6 January , 2014 - 3:04 am
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    Considering you seem to have had problems with the wifi adapter under both Linux and Windows, are you not suspicious of it?

    • bill  - 6 January , 2014 - 5:09 am
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      Very good question! I should have addressed this in the post…

      The adapter worked fine under Windows Vista, Windows 7, and even Windows 8. I only had problems in windows after updating to 8.1. After calling Microsoft, they only support software that has drivers developed for Windows 8+. The problems with Linux with the proprietary driver is that it is for Linux kernel 2.6. The hardware itself is fine. I am going to buy another ASUS RT-AC68U router and use it as a bridge.

  4. Frederick Wrigley  - 6 January , 2014 - 3:27 am
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    Ubuntu GNOME? Why not use MATE?

    • bill  - 6 January , 2014 - 5:17 am
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      With the online stuff (like Amazon etc.) turned off, I do not mind Unity. I am not going to say it is better as I think Linux is about choice, and what I like may be different to what someone else likes. I am always testing out other distos in Virtual Box and do change my main OS to a different Linux distro when I like something in virtual.

  5. Connie  - 6 January , 2014 - 5:46 am
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    Your experience echoes mine. It is rather difficult to get back to windows at home even though I use windows exclusively at work. Like yourself I have made efforts to like windows, perhaps I am too old to change. Most folk I guess do not like the change form one OS to another and give up before making a decent go at it, which is why perhaps Linux is not so popular and xp still hanging about. But for me windows is not new. I use it daily. I just see that I give up more than I gain by moving to it at home.

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