Newsletter Archives

  • Got an older computer?

    Summertime maintenance tip for an older computer:

    Open it up.

    Seriously, open up the computer case and take a look inside. Chances are it may look a bit like this:

    That’s the actual inside of a Windows 7 computer that  I had at the office. Even if you decide to keep an older Windows 7 or 8.1 or … in a few years a Windows 10 after it’s end of life occurs, make sure you take the time to give your computer some physical maintenance to the computer hardware itself.  You will probably find dust bunnies like crazy inside any computer that’s been sitting on or near the ground.

    Dust can cause your computer to overheat.  It can also cause symptoms like…

    • Computer refuses to turn on at all?
    • Computer works for a while and then randomly shuts off without warning?
    • Laptop keyboard gets hot after several hours of use?
    • Computer seems to slow down and runs sluggish the longer it is running?
    • Strange buzzing or whistling noises suddenly start coming from your computer?

    So open up that case and see what’s in there.  Even if you don’t plan to upgrade the RAM or hard drive make sure you review how clean it is inside.

    Then take alcohol and clean the keyboard. Or consider investing in a new one. Often when someone asks me for advice about buying a computer, I tell them to go to a physical store and try out the keyboards of laptops. Often each manufacturer puts a unique “spin” on their keyboards. The Apple like flat keyboards don’t work well for me.  Other brands can have a wrist rest area that is so huge that it makes the keyboard uncomfortable.  The youngsters at the office that have Apple devices love their Apple keyboards so much that we buy them an apple keyboard and mouse for their Windows devices. (Tip get this software for those Apple keyboards on your windows devices)

    Bottom line, this summertime tip — clean up the inside of your desktop style computer and clean that keyboard. You will find that both are really dirty and ….. well…..quite disgusting.

  • Ghacks report Defender bug

    Martin reports postings about defender scan files filling up hard drives. I’m plain old Defender here and not seeing this issue so it appears like it’s an interaction between Defender and possibly Sophos? Note that to see that location you’ll need to have “Show/hide” box ticked to show Hidden items and then you’ll have to click through a UAC prompt to see into that Store folder.

  • If you think you are having a bad day

    Off topic wonder for a Friday

    You could be a Captain for a ship.

    I think they are going to have to remove a few containers to lighten the load, don’t you?  How much of the world’s technology shipments are impacted by this I wonder?

    What would you do to unstick it?

  • Tips for speeding up Windows PCs



    By Nathan Segal

    With each update and upgrade of our Windows machines, overall speed seems to take another hit.

    Additional memory and a solid-state drive can significantly improve the performance of some systems, but there are other factors to consider. While researching this topic, the Microsoft Doc article “Speed up your computer” popped up in my search results. It provides a helpful summary of tweaks that might put more zip back into a hard-working PC. Here’s my hands-on take on those suggestions.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.43.0 (2020-11-02).

  • Tools for monitoring drive health


    By Lance Whitney

    Today’s PC storage media — traditional disk-based drives and newer solid-state models — are remarkably reliable.

    And that’s sort of a problem: we can become lulled into forgetting that they do fail — that there’s always a chance of a catastrophic malfunction, especially as the drive ages. So it’s good practice to periodically check your drive’s health and find potential errors before they result in lost data.

    There’s a plethora of utilities for checking the reliability and condition of both traditional platter-based drives and solid-state drives. Most use information gathered by the Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (S.M.A.R.T. or, simply, SMART) tools built into nearly every modern drive.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.5.0 (2020-02-03).

  • Solving search problems in Windows 10


    By Lance Whitney

    Most of us rely on Windows’ built-in search to track down files, apps, settings, and other content.

    But sometimes a search fails to generate the results we’re expecting. If that happens often, it’s probably time to peek under the hood to check your search settings.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.43.0 (2019-11-25).

  • Resolving Windows network-connection problems


    By Lance Whitney

    Troubleshooting networking issues in Windows 10 can be a maddening process. When your PC refuses to make a connection to the Web, Windows’ built-in diagnostics tools can help.

    But when troubleshooting, it’s also useful to have some understanding of how Windows networking works. Firewalls, network adapters, and various properties and settings all play a part in whether you have a fully functioning Ethernet or wireless connection.

    This topic can be deep and complex, but here are some basic diagnostic steps that you should try first.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.41.0 (2019-11-11).

  • Using the ipconfig command to troubleshoot network problems


    By Lance Whitney

    When you’re having trouble connecting to a network, Windows’ command-line option IP Configuration can reveal helpful information.

    Network-connection problems can crop up anywhere and in various ways: at home, at a hotel, connecting to a network printer, opening webpages, and so forth. Connection issues can be relatively simple or complex. For example, you might have an IP-address conflict, where two devices are trying to use the same address — and the solution is a quick IP refresh. Or your system could have trouble resolving addresses: you can connect to a site or server via its IP address but not through its name. That might require some deeper digging.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.37.0 (2019-10-14).

  • LangaList: Is high disk usage a RAM problem or a PC problem?

    Another pearl of wisdom from Fred Langa:

    If a PC is running slow despite having reasonably current and otherwise-healthy hardware, then too-little RAM is for sure a prime suspect…  start by loading up on RAM: It’s usually the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to improve performance.

  • How to fix OneDrive file-synching problems

    Because it’s included with Windows 10, there’s a good chance you’ve used OneDrive as a helpful tool for backing up files and/or synching them between devices.

    But as with any program, you can run into hiccups with OneDrive; files don’t get backed up, synching fails, and so forth.

    See the full story in the June 3, 2019, AskWoody Plus Newsletter (Issue 16.20.0)