Like many people out there using Windows 8, I am trying to adjust to life without a traditional Start Menu. I am actually starting to grow fond of the new Metro menu. However, after 16 years of being able to click on a button, I find that it is slowing me down to have to place the mouse pointer in the bottom left corner, and wait for the menu to pop-up so I can click on it. This especially becomes troublesome when working in a virtual machine.

Other than hovering in the corner hoping to get the start menu option before my mouse leaves the VM, I can hit the Windows Key or Ctrl+Esc on my keyboard, or install a third party tool to add back the classic start menu.

Personally, I find that using the keyboard to open the start menu slows me down.  As I am sure it is with most power users, clicking on the start button and navigating the start menu is a very fluid motion. I find that either hovering over the corner, or hitting the Windows key just seems a little more cumbersome.

As far as the third party tool, I do not want to use them for a couple of reasons. One, if I get the old start menu back I will never adjust to the metro style. Two, I am never a fan of installing any unnecessary applications on a machine,  especially when it is a server.

So, to solve this issue I have created an executable that does nothing more than open the metro start menu when you click on it. It does this by sending Ctrl+Esc command to the machine. I then pinned the executable to the task bar, and moved it to the far left (right where the start button has been since 1995). Below are the steps I preformed to achieve this.

Note: The steps below are to create a button to take you to the new metro style start menu. This will not create a Windows 7 style start menu.

1. Create a VBScript file named StartMenu.vbs with the following code and save it to C:\StartMenu

2. Open C:\Windows\System32\iexpress.exe
3. On the Welcome screen, choose Create new Self Extraction Directive file and click Next

4. On the Package purpose screen, choose Extract files and run an installation command and click Next
5. On the Package title screen, give you package a title (I used StartMenu) and click Next
6. On the Confirmation prompt screen, choose No prompt and click Next
7. On the License agreement screen, choose Do not display a license and click Next
8. On the Package files screen, click Add, select the StartMenu.vbs file created in step 1 and click Next

9. On the Install Program to Launch screen enter “cscript startmenu.vbs” (minus the quotes) in the Install Program box.
10. Ensure the the Post Install Command box has <None> entered and click Next

11. On the Show windows screen, choose Hidden and click Next
12. On the Finished message screen, choose No message and click Next
13. On the Package Name and Options screen, enter the name for the executable you want to make. (I entered C:\StartMenu\StartMenu.EXE)
14. Select Hide File Extracting Process Animation from User and Store files using Long File Name inside Package and click Next

15. On the Configure restart screen, choose No restart and click Next
16. On the Save Self Extraction Directive screen, choose whether or not to save the directive and click Next
17. On the Create package screen, click Next
18. After the package is created click Finish
19. You should now have a executable named StartMenu.exe
20. Navigate to C:\StartMenu and right click on StartMenu.exe and choose Pin to Taskbar

21. You should not have an icon on you task bar that looks like this image
22. You can now drag the icon to the far left and you now have a button to take you to the metro start menu.

Now there is no more needing to hover in the corner, and you can still enjoy the metro interface. Once you have created this executable, you can copy to any Windows 8 Server or Client and pin it to the task bar.