By default Windows installs all programs into the C:\Program Files and C:\Program Files (x86) directories. If the hard drive you have the operating system installed on is running out of space though, or you just want to have the OS on a separate SSD, you might want to consider changing these default installation paths.
Be warned before you go on though! Microsoft does not officially support changing installation directories (see here). You are responsible for all consequences.
Furthermore, since we are going to edit the Windows registry for our causes, you should have that backed up first in case something goes wrong. Here's how: http://www.faqforge.com/windows/backup-your-windows-registry/
Now that you have been warned, let's get started: Open a Run... prompt and enter regedit. I will be referring to our new installation path as E:\Program Files and E:\Program Files (x86), so replace these paths with the ones you want to have (you can choose other names as well). Now browse the left registry pane for the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion key. Click on that key once to show its contents and locate the ProgramFilesDir and ProgramFilesDir (x86):
Double click those values and change C:\Program Files to E:\Program Files as well as C:\Program Files (x86) to E:\Program Files (x86). Furthermore it might be safe to change all other paths directing to the old directories to point at the new ones as well. That's it if you are on a 32bit system, close the registry and reboot your computer.
64bit users have one more step to go. Close the registry and open another Run... prompt. This time, enter %systemroot%\sysWOW64\regedit. Another registry windows will open. Repeat the exact same steps here that you have done before. Afterwards, close the registry and reboot your computer.
Windows 8 has set some file types to open in full screen Metro applications which can be really annoying, especially if you just wanted to have a quick look at a photo or something. To stop this, you can determine certain applications to open all types of files they are able to open (e.g. Windows Photo Viewer for picture files - jpg, png, etc.).
To do so, hover your mouse over the top right corner to open the Charms menu and open the Search charm. Enter default programs into the search bar and open the search result with the same name. In the appearing window, click on Set your default programs (the first menu option).
In the new window, select one of the programs on the left that you want to use as general default options for pictures, videos, music or another type of files and click on Set this program as default afterwards:
Your files will now be opened in comfortable window applications!
The programs that are run on system startup are managed in a special application on Linux. Open Startup Applications from the distribution's main menu to find a list of programs already being run everytime you log in - you have the option to enable or disable existing entries, edit or delete them and to create new ones - click on Add to do so.
A new window with three text fields will open:
Name: Enter the name of the entry that will be shown in the previous menu.
Command: Enter the terminal command that launches the program you want to start - to see if you got the correct one, test it in a terminal (e.g. firefox, nautilus). If you want to start a program with root privileges, append the gksu string before the program's name (e.g. gksu nautilus).
Comment: Enter the comment that will be shown below the name in the previous menu.
Click on Add afterwards and close the startup applications window. Reboot your machine to test the configuration.
If you open a file with an extension that is unknown to Windows, it will react with the following prompt:
I cannot remember to have used the web search a single time, that is why I disabled it long ago. One can accomplish that with a simple registry entry. Open your Windows Registry by entering regedit into a Run... prompt and browse the following key in the left frame:
Now you will have to create a value if it is not already present for some reason. Go to the right frame, right-click it and select New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it NoInternetOpenWith and set its value to 1.
Close the registry. Now, upon opening a file with an unknown extension, Windows will skip the web search prompt and head straightforward to the list of software available.
Sometimes it is necessary to just put a file that does not want as you want in the trash can. And sometimes doing this simple thing is not possible, because the file is being used by another program or is bound to other processes . If this is the case, the file is treated as if it was "locked" and changes cannot be done to it. If you are sure that the file needs to be deleted anyway, there is a tool called Unlocker that is able to cut off any file from its bonds so that it can be moved, renamed or even deleted. This can be pretty handy if your computer too stubborn to see its mistakes.
Unlocker is available for both 32 bit and 64 bit systems on the emptyloop homepage: http://www.emptyloop.com/unlocker/#download
To be able to use Unlocker with a rightclick, make sure that the Explorer extension is checked during the installation process.
To delete files afterwards, rightclick them and select Unlocker. The opening window will tell you if the selected file is locked or not and gives you the option to move, rename or delete it instantly.