• Randy’s remedies: Juice, heat, glass, social, grid, and malware

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    #2479800

    SUPPORT By Randy McElveen Let’s finish up that list of remedies from Randy’s top 10 customer-support issues: Identified! In this article, we’ll tackle
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    • #2479842

      I’m a paid up PLUS member. What do I have to do to read this article on the internet in its entirety? What steps do I have to take?

      Thanks.

      • #2479851

        Log in (near top right).

        Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.608 + Microsoft Edge/365

      • #2479854

        The newsletter should have been emailed to you as well. Email me at sb-at-askwoody.com if it’s not in your inbox or junk mail filter.

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

    • #2479899

      Randy, your “It’s dead” section prompts this question.  Back in June Windows Update showed my Dell XPS8940 a firmware update.  After this update, whenever I shut down the Dell it will not turn back on.  Pushing the power button does absolutely nothing.  Imagine my panic!  Fortunately I used my iPad to find a Dell Support page that explained how to do a hard reset, just as your advice in today’s column suggested.  However, the problem persists — so much so that I never power down my Dell any longer.  Any thoughts?  I’ve considered rolling back my firmware to a previous version, but I’ve never done that and it scares me a bit.  I’d really like to understand why this is happening before blindly trying things.  Leaving the Dell powered up costs me some ¢¢¢ but is safer.

      • #2479926

        If the firmware update was a BIOS update, you can download the previous BIOS version from the Dell website and apply it.  This may well get you back to normal operation.  Agreed that BIOS updates are not for the faint-hearted.  The update may well have changed a BIOS setting that provokes the unwanted behavior, but this is unlikely.

      • #2479951

        Back in June Windows Update showed my Dell XPS8940 a firmware update. After this update, whenever I shut down the Dell it will not turn back on. Pushing the power button does absolutely nothing.

        Instead of using Windows Update for firmware updates, we run the Dell tools to update the firmware and drivers. Driver updates from Microsoft are disabled on our Dell XPS8940 machines. These machines don’t have any known current issues.

        Also, perhaps check what the power button does in the BIOS and/or Windows settings.

    • #2479929

      Getting started with the fix for the red screen shown in Remedy #1 is fairly simple.  The red screen is a browser hijack.  Ctrl-Alt-Delete calls up Task Manager and one can kill the browser.  Hopefully, one has another uncontaminated browser to use, a good rationale for having a choice of browsers to use.  Next up is to run one or more of the malware/anti-virus tools, downloaded as required.  Not all software that takes over one’s computer is that easy.

    • #2479970

      Randy,

      Just read your piece on eliminating dust from our computers.  Excellent advice!

      That said, I would add that one must be careful to not over-spin the fans when blowing them out.  I actually prevent the fan from spinning by putting my finger between the blades, before the fan begins to spin!  Then you can blow to your heart’s content to remove all of the mice, poodle dogs and elephants without damaging the fan.  In an extreme situation, allowing the fan to gain speed could actually cause the fan to deform or even explode.  The fan bearing could even be damaged.

      As always, just my opinion!

      Montana Bob

      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by b.
      • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by Montana Bob. Reason: Added instruction
    • #2480605

      That said, I would add that one must be careful to not over-spin the fans when blowing them out. I actually prevent the fan from spinning by putting my finger between the blades, before the fan begins to spin!

      Yes, although not practical with a laptop.  🙂

      After reading that section of Randy’s article I investigated undusting (as my English as a second language partner calls it) my trusty 10-year-old Thinkpad X230. I could not find any documentation of which vents on the laptop were fan intake and fan output to know for sure which ones to shoot some air through. I settled on some vents on the bottom (as Randy indicated) based on a diagram of the fan assembly which shows them to be directly under the CPU chip and with two parallel tubes running from above the CPU over to the fan. A few short not too strong shots of air through there so as not to over-spin the fan didn’t yield any dust out what appear to be the output vents.

      Now I am monitoring CPU temps to see if they change from historical levels. I hope they stay low because the videos and documentation I have seen for disassembling the X230 to get to the fan to manually clean it are not for the faint of heart.

      • #2480625

        Quote:  “Yes, although not practical with a laptop.”

        True, but in that case, or a situation where it is impossible or impractical to prevent the fan from spinning whilst blowing air through it, then the blowing of air must be limited to short bursts so as to prevent over-spinning the fan.

        As always, just my opinion!

        Montana Bob

    • #2481040
      1. If you are going to clean a dirty old computer, put it in a garbage bag first or take it outside so that you don’ tblow dust all over the house/office.
      2. Some vacuums have a reverse port that will let you turn the vacuum into a hurricane blowing device.
      3. I have never had any problems spinning the computer fans too fast during cleaning.

       

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