Photo tagging or editing metadata in Windows 8 and RT

Posted Posted in Windows 7

 

 

There have been several folks in the Microsoft Answers Forums complaining about not being able to add keywords, or other information using the Photos App in Windows 8/Windows RT. In fact, you can’t even display this info in the Photos App. The Photos App is a light consumption app and other than being a place to consolidate images from various sources, has no other functionality. If you want to VIEW existing metadata like tags, and have a little more control, there’s a great app called Gallery HD in the Windows Store that works on Windows 8/RT.

 

If you want to edit/add metadata like tags, author, subject, etc., this can be done from the classic desktop libraries explorer interface. For Windows RT, there are not a lot of other options to manipulate meta data, but for x86 versions of Windows 8/Pro, there are third party programs you can download and install.

For anyone looking for a simple built-in way to add this kid of information, this is pretty simple.

 

1. From the classic desktop, navigate to the Library.

2. Select the View tab

3. Insure that the details pane is selected (if you don’t see the ribbon and menus, hit the ALT key on your keyboard and enable the items you need).

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4. Navigate to your Pictures library

5. Extra Large Icons and Details Pane should be selected in the View tab (select if needed)

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6. Click or Tap an individual image.

7. The details pane will display all the metadata and allow editing/adding of tags, author, subject, etc..

Surface Pro Cannot Perform System Image Backup

Posted Posted in Surface, Windows 7

 

 

I love my 128GB Surface Pro. I can’t wait for a driver for Wacom pressure sensitive support and a fix for legacy desktop scaling, but other than that, Surface Pro is a wonderful electronic companion that does just about everything.

As with all software, there are bugs. And I think I’ve found a corker. On my Windows 7 machines, I’ve always installed all my apps and configured them and then performed a system image backup (using Windows 7 built in create system image backup tool) both to an external hard drive and over the network. As I added major apps, applied Service Packs and major app updates, I’ve renamed those backups and performed new image based backups. WHS performs the same kind of image based backups, too.

Windows 8 emphasizes some dumbed down recovery methods, including system refresh. The refresh will keep some, but not all of your files. You will lose your installed desktop programs and will have to re-install and configure them. Most Windows Store Apps will be retained, but if you bought a Surface Pro, you bought a machine to run real desktop apps.

So, after having my Surface for 6 days and installing desktop apps, I bought myself a new USB 3.0 external WD Passport portable drive and got ready to use the system image tool that I knew was included (but hard to find) in Windows 8. I was chagrinned to find that it didn’t work as advertised. Here’s what I did:

On the Start Screen, I typed in windows 7 file recovery and then selected Settings

 

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The control panel applet appears (you can also find the applet in the classic control panel when the show small icons view is active). I next selected Create a system image. My external hard drive connected by USB was detected.

 

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A confirmation box appears with everything preselected (you cannot deselect any because this is a full image of all partitions on the drive/SSD) and the backup location I had selected.

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I tapped Start backup and the following screen displayed (so far so good).

 

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Then, another positive reinforcement that things were working as they should:

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What happened (or did not happen) next is the source of my aggravation and complaint.

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I reformatted the WD drive, tried 3 other drives, sacrificed a rubber chicken, with NO success. I checked the Microsoft forums. Uh Oh, others had experienced the issue and MS Support was clueless, offering solutions like chkdsk and/or sfc /scannow. The real issue is that the hidden partitions that contain the recovery partitions and the secure boot partitions don’t contain enough free space for VSC (Volume Shadow Copies) themselves.

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/surface/forum/surfpro-surfgetstart/windows-7-file-recovery/a73b83ff-2511-44d9-b8a7-85bfd1135e87 is what Surface Pro owners are experiencing.

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8-system/there-is-not-enough-disk-space-to-create-the/48532922-25bb-46fb-af8b-475ff05f55ce shows similar problems on other systems dating back before the release of Surface Pro.

 

Here is the (really not too informative) breakdown of space allocation on my Surface Pro. The three small factory partitions must be the issue.

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The @Surface folks on Twitter did not understand my tweets on this and kept trying to tell me about freeing up space by creating a USB flash drive bootable recovery device and deleting the 7.8 GB recovery drive. This is not the issue at all. I finally pointed them at a YouTube video demonstrating the process above. They finally tweeted “ http://www.twitter.com/surface/status/302581927423115264 “ but I am not holding my breath.

 

In the meantime, I am investigating third party image creation tools. But I maintain that if Microsoft offers the tool on Surface Pro, it SHOULD work, or they should document it in a KB prominently.

 

If you have comments, feel free to contact me on Twitter @barbbowman

Fixed: IE9 “Only Secure Content is Displayed” warning

Posted Posted in Connected Home, Microsoft, Software, Technology, Windows 7

For a very long time, it seemed as through every site I visited with IE9 created an annoying prompt about secure content and encourage me to show all content. I’ve seen fixes that involve lowering your security etc., but never thought THAT was worth the risk. I had an “Ah HA!” moment while troubleshooting a similar annoyance with a wordpress plugin. It turns out that this issue occurs if you are logged into Facebook using https (and you should be using https) and have elected to always stay logged in that since nearly every site in the world has a Facebook Like button or some tie in to Facebook.

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My solution? (Edited 8/9/2011) Stay logged into Facebook with Firefox, but NOT with IE. And strictly use Firefox for Facebook. (And note that this warning does not happen when I use Firefox to browse other sites while still logged into Facebook because Firefox is displaying mixed content by default.). Microsoft has other solutions posted, but they involve allowing mixed content to kill the prompt, or not allowing it ever (which kills the prompt) and even adding Facebook’s https site to the trusted zone. I prefer to use IE for financial sites and keep prompts and elect to only display secure content. And I am not by any means advocating dumping IE9.

I’m almost always running at least two browsers, but I just had not figured out what was causing OE to behave this way. There may be similar situations with other Facebook type sites or plugins, but with Facebook being by far the most widespread, my solution solves 99% of the problem for me. Now I know, and if you didn’t know this before, I hope this is helpful.

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Microsoft RAW Codec and Windows Media Center

Posted Posted in Connected Home, Digital Photography, Media Center, Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows Live, Windows Media Center

Yesterday (see previous post) I wrote a little about the newly released Microsoft RAW Codec. One of the first things I did was try my latest batch of Nikon RAW NEF files from a balloon festival earlier this month. I had so-so results, especially inside Windows Media Center, where thumbnails appeared, but after selecting an individual image file, WMC could not display it. This set of images was shot with a D7000 DX camera, in order to take advantage of the longer reach of FX lenses used with it. I normally carry both a D700 and a D7000.

As it turns out, for whatever reason, the Microsoft RAW Codec does not support the D7000. I’m not sure why, since Adobe and others now support it, and the D7000 has been available since mid October 2010.

Anyway, if you have a supported camera, the new codec most definitely is supported inside Windows Media Center if you want to view your RAW images there. You won’t get detailed EXIF info in View Details, but you certainly can display your images on a large screen. The screen capture below shows one of the folders (highlighted) from an Orchid Show I attended in 2009 where I shot with my D700 and the Nikon 105mm Macro lens. Thumbnails appear as expected.

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