Software Selection for 08/15/2019 – IsMyHdOK 1.84

IsMyHdOK 1.84

Source: SoftwareOK.com

(Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Server 2000-2016, XP, Vista, x64/x32/x86)

IsMyHdOK is a small program but effective solution to easily check the Performance of a Windows Volume eg. Partition!

Key Features in HD Test Tool

◆ Benchmark Suitable for SSD and HD and other drives
◆ Arbitrary Test Time:
◆ Quick Test (~ 15 sec)
◆ Short Test (~ 30 sec)
◆ Long test (~ 60 sec)
◆ Very long test (~ 4 min)
◆ Screenshot after the Benchmark

Calculate The HDD / SSD / SHDD / SC / USB Speed!


Click Here For More Software

Software Selection for 08/03/2019 – Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Downloader Tool 8.16

Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Downloader Tool 8.16

Source: FreewareFiles

Screenshot for: Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Downloader Tool 8.16

Microsoft removed the disk images of its Windows operating system from Digital River, making it difficult to get untouched ISO files. Now, you can now use Microsoft Windows ISO Downloader Tool to easily download genuine disk images for Windows 10, 8.1 and 7. Additionally, you can download Office images for Windows and Mac. The handy software connects directly to Microsoft’s server.


Click Here For More Software

Software Selection for 07/29/2019 – NirLauncher 1.22.19

NirLauncher 1.22.19

Source: Major Geeks

NirLauncher is a suite of all the tools from NirSoft. Currently, it has over 200 tools wrapped into this one package. NirLauncher is a suite of tools that are intended to make your daily computer use easier. Tools include; password recovery, network monitors, the ability to view Web Browser info (like cookies and cache), to file search and more. [License: Freeware | Requires: Win 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP | Size: 28.8 MB ]

Click Here For More Software

 

Software Selection for 07/28/2019 – Tweaking.com Windows Repair 4.5.3

Tweaking.com Windows Repair 4.5.3

Source:  Freewarefiles.com

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair is a tool designed help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including; registry errors, file permissions, issues with Internet Explorer, Windows Updates, Windows Firewall and more. Malware and poorly installed programs can modify your default settings resulting in your machine working badly – or worse.

With Tweaking.com Windows Repair you can restore Windows original settings fixing many of these problems.

Screenshot for: Tweaking.com Windows Repair 4.5.3

Click Here For More Software

What’s On My PC – Software Selection for 07/28/2019

[UPDATE] Desktop Info v1.18.0

(Windows, Portable App)

Desktop Info displays system information on your desktop in a similar way to some other desktop information tools. Unlike others, this application looks like wallpaper but stays resident in memory and continues to update the display in real-time. Uses very little memory and nearly zero CPU. Perfect for quick identification and walk-by monitoring of production or test server farms. Everything is customizable including language.

Click Here For More Software

Quick Tip: Did you know that the Google Chrome browser has a built-in task manager?

Google Chrome has a built-in task manager that will help you troubleshoot what tabs and extensions are causing issues. From the task manager, you can kill or end those processes that may assist you in troubleshooting what may be the culprit. Very, very seldom have I had to use the task manager, but is good to know it is there when things start slowing down.

You can quickly get to the task manager in Google Chrome by hitting the “Shift+Esc” keys together on your keyboard. You can also get to the task manager by accessing Chrome’s menu by clicking on the three dots at the top right corner of the browser, then “more tools”, then “task manager”.

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode | Android Authority

If you’re trying to troubleshoot problems with your Windows 10 PC, one option is to enter Safe Mode. In Windows 10 Safe Mode you can safely uninstall troublesome programs, resolve driver issues, diagnose hardware conflicts, and more. But how to boot in Safe Mode is less obvious in Windows 10 than we’ve seen in older Windows releases. In this guide we’ll show you how to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode using version 1809 (October 2018 Update).

Windows 10 Safe Mode options

Source: How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Latest Windows 10 Update Causing Freezes, Sluggish Performance | ExtremeTech

To summarize the article from “ExtremeTech” on this issue:

Microsoft has mucked something up again. The latest patch update (KB 4493470) released on Patch Tuesday, April 9, appears to have caused significant performance problems for multiple groups of users.

Some users are reporting freezes upon login, while others claim lengthy times to boot to desktop. It sounds as if either the same issue is causing both, or that some individuals may be rebooting before the desktop has loaded, thinking the machine is permanently frozen.

The issues seem linked to the use of antivirus products from specific manufacturers, including Avast, AVG, and Sophos, with Sophos coming in for particular problems.

Windows10PLAEN

Source: Latest Windows 10 Update Causing Freezes, Sluggish Performance – ExtremeTech

Chromebook Support Sites and Phone Number

Here is a handy list of Chromebook support sites and phone numbers…

Google Chromebook (Googles Main Help Site)

Acer help site | (866) 695-2237

ASUS help site | Chat with us | (888) 678-3688

Chromebook Pixel (2013 & 2015) | Request a call

Dell help site | (800) 624-9897

Google Pixelbook Help Center | Contact support

Google Pixel Slate Help Center | Contact support

Haier help site | (877) 337-3639

Hisense help site | (888) 935-8880

HP help site | (800) 474-6836

Lenovo help site | (800) 426-7378

LG help site | (800) 243-0000

Samsung help site | Chat with us | (800) 726-7864

Toshiba help site | (800) 457-7777

How to view installed updates in Windows 10?

An update history is available on your computer so you can see which updates were installed, and when. To see the update history on your Windows 10 computer, do the following:

Right Mouse Click on the Windows 10 Start  button (at the bottom right corner), then select Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update  View update history.

Windows 8 icon

When you are at the “View update history” window you will see a listing of the updates installed on your computer. If you click on any of the updates your browser will launch and you will be taken to the Microsoft website where a summary of what the update is about will be presented.

Viewing the update history list is a good troubleshooting tool when an update fails to install and/or you are experiencing a problem with an installed update. Although this is not recommended, you can also use this list to remove (uninstall) specific updates; but, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

If your computer won’t start, don’t panic (yet)…

What to Do When Your Computer Won’t Start | PCMag.com

What to Do When Your Computer Won't Start

Been there and done it; from both ends of the spectrum.  Have assisted people where panic set in because their computer would not start; and to be honest, I have felt that despair when my own computer did not start.  Sort of does something to you, but always remember, the sun will still come up tomorrow.

Click on the source link below at PCMag to get a good rundown of what to do (try) when your computer fails to start.

Source: What to Do When Your Computer Won’t Start | PCMag.com

Windows 10: “We removed some recently installed updates to recover your device from a startup failure.”

Why were recently installed updates removed?

Windows 10 has the ability to detect when a Windows 10 update is not playing well and will automatically remove the update. When these updates are removed and fail to install, this is an indication of an incompatibility issue and may end up requiring troubleshooting on your part (or could actually be a bad update from Microsoft).

From what I understand, the update that was removed will not try to reinstall for 30 days. This window of time gives Microsoft and their partners the opportunity to fix the update if it is, in fact, a problem created on their end.

You can read more about this at the source link below.

Source: Why were recently installed updates removed?

Windows 10 Recovery Troubleshooting Guide

I pulled this Windows 10 recovery troubleshooting guide, links and all, directly from Microsoft’s website that is very helpful in determining what recovery option to pursue when Windows 10 starts to go belly up or has went belly up (and won’t start) .

If you’re having problems with your PC, the following table can help you decide which recovery option to use. For help with black screen or blue screen errors, see Troubleshoot black screen problems or Troubleshoot blue screen errors.

 Problem  See this section
Your PC isn’t working well and you recently installed an app. Restore from a system restore point
Your PC isn’t working well and you recently installed an update. Remove an installed Windows update
Your PC isn’t working well and it’s been a while since you installed an app, driver, or update. Reset your PC
Your PC won’t start and you’ve created a recovery drive. Use a recovery drive to restore or reset your PC
Your PC won’t start and you haven’t created a recovery drive. Use installation media to restore or reset your PC
Your PC won’t start, you haven’t created a recovery drive, and resetting your PC didn’t work. Use installation media to reinstall Windows 10
You want to reinstall your previous operating system. Go back to your previous version of Windows

Source: Recovery options in Windows 10

ZDNet Recommendation: Bookmark The Windows 10 Version 1809 Update History Page

I do have to agree with ZDNet’s recommendation on bookmarking this page which is the support resource Microsoft created to improve transparency after the problems experienced in the rollout of version 1809. Version 1809 is the Windows 10 October 2018 release.

The Windows 10 version 1809 update history page alone has over one million page views and counting and if you are like me, somewhere along the line you have experienced an issue with a rogue update. Highly recommended for troubleshooters to bookmark this page, “Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 update history

Source: Microsoft: You really should bookmark this Windows 10 update history page | ZDNet

Addictive Tips Roundup of the “6 Best Computer Remote Control Tools and Software for 2019”

Years gone by, when I was an IT Manager I often used remote access software to assist users on the network. Some of the names mentioned in this roundup, I am familiar with; others, are new to me…

The reasons why anyone would need computer remote control are almost as diverse as there are users. Some telecommuting users need to access their work computer from home. Others do the opposite and want to access their home computer from work. Or perhaps your organization’s IT department needs the ability to remotely control its user’s computers to fix problems. No matter what the reason, controlling remote computers is a key component of many organizations.

Source: 6 Best Computer Remote Control Tools and Software for 2019

PingInfoView – Ping to multiple host names/IP addresses

One way to test the reachability of a host on the internet is to “ping” the IP address of the host or the hostname (i.e. http://www.google.com). When you perform a ping, it measures the round-trip time for the message to be echoed back to your computer.

A nice little utility, with a GUI, is PingInfoView by NirSoft. PingInfoView is a small utility that allows you to easily ping multiple host names and IP addresses, and watch the result in one table. It automatically pings to all hosts every number of seconds that you specify, and displays the number of successful and failed pings, as well as the average ping time. You can also save the ping result into text/html/xml file, or copy it to the clipboard.

Source: PingInfoView – Ping to multiple host names/IP addresses

TraceRouteOK | FREE GUI Interface For the Trace Route Command

This blog post is for the people out there that carry a tech toolbox. If you are one of those people, then I am sure you are familiar with the Windows trace route command (tracert). The traceroute command is a computer network diagnostic tool for displaying the route (path) and measuring transit delays of packets across an Internet Protocol (IP) network.

To further enhance the use of this command I came across a FREE utility called TraceRouteOK that provides an easy to use GUI. To make TraceRouteOK portable, you will need to create in the TraceRouteOK working directory a file named TraceRouteOK.ini … Notepad can be used to create this file.

Features:
– Very small program
– Variable host name query time
– Selectable timeout for pings
– Very fast data route query
– Portable
– Multilingual

SOURCE: SoftwareOK.com -TraceRouteOK

NirLauncher – Collection of more than 200 portable utilities from NirSoft

NirLauncher is a collection of more than 200 portable utilities from NirSoft. If you are into working on and troubleshooting computers, this will be right down your alley.

Click on the screenshot to get a full-size view. See features below.

NirLauncher Features

  • NirLauncher can be used from USB flash drive without need of any installation.
  • NirLauncher and all the utilities in the package are completely freeware, without any Spyware/Adware/Malware. This package doesn’t contain any 3-party software, toolbars, Web browser plugins, or other unwanted surprises. It will not install any software on your system and it will not change your Web browser homepage or other settings on your system.
  • NirLauncher package includes variety of tools that you may need for your daily computer use, including utilities to recover lost passwords, to monitor your network, to view and extract cookies, cache, and other information stored by your Web browser, to search files in your system, and more…
  • For every utility in the package, you can easily run it, view the help file, or jump to the Web page of the utility.
  • When using it from USB flash drive, the configuration of every utility is saved into .cfg file on the flash drive.
  • On x64 systems, NirLauncher automatically run the x64 version of the utility, when there is a separated x64 version.
  • NirLauncher also allows to add more software packages in additional to the main NirSoft package.
  • NirLauncher allows you generate plugin files for BartPE (Launcher -> Generate BartPE Plugin Files), so you can easily use the utilities of NirSoft from a bootable live windows CD.

Source: NirLauncher – Collection of more than 200 portable utilities from NirSoft

Computech Windows Tweaker 1.0.0.0

If you are a computer tech, this utility (called Computech Windows Tweaker) may be of interest to you. Based on what I am seeing at the Major Geeks software download site, Computech Windows Tweaker is described as a “niche utility for anyone looking to hide or show drives, disable the Firewall, USB storage, UAC, Remote RPC, Security Center, Offline Files, and Action Center temporarily. It might also be able to re-enable these, especially after a virus or malware infection”. It appears (based on the version number) it is a relatively new app; which means, this will only get better as the development progresses. Also, I downloaded and found that this is a portable app.


SOURCE: Major Geeks – Computech Windows Tweaker 1.0.0.0

If you are experiencing network or internet connectivity issues, try this program…

Here is a portable program for the tech toolbox (or can be installed), called “Complete Internet Repair” that may be able to help you if you are experiencing any of the problems reflected below that is related to network and/or internet connectivity issues:

  • Internet or network problem after removing adware, spyware, virus, worm, Trojan horse, etc.
  • Loss network connection after installing/uninstalling VPN, firewall or other networking programs.
  • Unable to access any website or can only access some websites.
  • Pop-up error window with network related problem description.
  • No network connectivity due to registry errors.
  • DNS lookup problem.
  • Fail to renew the network adapter’s IP address or other DHCP errors.
  • Network connectivity issue with limited or no connections message.
  • Windows update does not work.
  • You are having problems connecting to secured websites (ex. Banking).
  • Internet Explorer stopped working or crashes all the time.
  • Sticky proxy server settings.
  • A few other internet errors, but we will not discuss all here.


SOURCE: Rizonesoft – Complete Internet Repair

Windows Repair Toolbox (freeware) – Helps you repair a Windows system, by making the process faster, easier and uniform…

When you diagnose or repair a computer problem there are specific software tools that are readily available to help resolve those specific issues. Most techs will carry with them software tools on a stick (flash drive) to test, diagnose, fix, resolve malware issues, recover data, etc… You have to be knowledgeable of what software tools to download and where to download them from. This can be a problem when you are not familiar with these tools.

A solution that has really helped me is the Windows Repair Toolbox. The Windows Repair Toolbox is free software that has been set up to help you gather up (download) the software that you need and then serves as a dashboard to launch the software. For example, I am not in the business anymore of helping people with their PC’s at home; however, when Mom called with a malware infection, I used the Windows Repair Toolbox to download the software that I needed in order to resolve the problem.  I cannot say enough about how valuable this software is. As a matter of fact, I keep a copy of this software on each of my computers to perform regular maintenance…

The tools are categorized by their function, and the program will automatically download the correct version for the Windows edition in which you’re working. When you finish, simply uninstall the tool, and all downloaded software is also removed. Or you can choose the portable version of Windows Repair Toolbox, and just run it from a pen drive.

– Ability to select several tools to run successively in unattended mode, in order to perform malware removal, system cleaning and repair, and disk defragmentation. A email letting you know that the automatic repair is complete, and containing the logs, can be sent to you.

– Displays relevant information about the computer to be repaired: CPU temperature, name and % time; amount of RAM installed on the system and % of use; Disk model, capacity, rotation, SATA version, basic health check; amount of free space left in the system partition; Windows edition and install date; System boot time; and more.


SOURCE: Windows Repair Toolbox

Are you stuck trying to install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update?

Yesterday (October 17th) was the rollout date for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Instead of waiting for the update to rollout to my computer, I ended up forcing the install by using the Update Assistant on my laptop to test out the installation experience. In a nutshell, the installation stalled on me on two occasions and spit out an error code (for which I was unable to see what the error code was). In other words, I was stuck.  I ended up going to Google to research further and found this article, “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update common installation problems and fixes” at WindowsCentral.com that helped me punch through the install process. After running the Windows disk cleaning utility (right click start > run > type in: clnmgr > click on “OK”) to delete the temporary install files, I was then successful in completing the installation. In the end, the installation process (which was mostly unattended from my end) took hours.  I then moved to my 2nd computer (desktop) and decided to let the install run during the night. This morning when I checked the desktop, the install process had also failed. I will be working on this computer to narrow down the cause.

From my experience, with these major Windows 10 OS updates, expect problems…


SOURCE: WindowsCentral.com – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update common installation problems and fixes

 

Using A Smartphone To Check If An Infrared Remote Control Is Working

I just had this happen to me. Purchased a new TV (that is in my RV) and the remote control was not working. I didn’t have batteries readily available to swap out. The remote control was an infrared remote control and with an infrared remote control, you can not see the light through the infrared blaster lens with the naked eye (when the power button is pushed).

The main technology used in home remote controls is infrared (IR) light. The signal between a remote control handset and the device it controls consists of pulses of infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, but can be seen through a digital camera, video camera or a phone camera.  [source: Wikipedia]

I remembered a trick I read where you can take your smartphone camera, turn it to the rear-facing “selfie” view, point the remote to the “selfie” screen (about arms length away) and push a button on the remote (like the “power” button) and you should see a light flicker (on the smartphone screen). I did this and did not see any light flicker, confirming there was an issue with the remote. When I got home, where I had batteries, I tried the same trick with the smartphone; and, guess what I could see the light shine and flicker in my smartphone’s camera “selfie” screen (confirming the remote was now operational). I further confirmed the operation of the remote with the TV when I returned to my RV.

So, if you ever need to troubleshoot your infrared remote control, give this trick a try.  It does work…

 

Windows Repair Toolbox – Best FREE Portable Software To Help Diagnose And Solve Windows Computer Problems

There are many good (FREE) software utilities out there to help fix specific problems with your Windows computer; however, you need to know where to find them.

The Windows Repair Toolbox solves that problem by giving you a dashboard menu of choices to perform malware removal, system cleaning and repair, and disk defragmentation. These tools can be run successively in an unattended mode; and, when done, will send you an email (with log results) to let you know that the automatic repair is complete. You can even add your own software utilities to the Windows Repair Toolbox; however, from what I see that is included, they are some of the best out there.

I do have to advise you, that when you use tools to diagnose Windows problems, you are doing so at your own risk; however, when your back is against the wall and you have run out of solutions, Windows Repair Toolbox may be that shot in the dark you were looking for. Windows Repair Toolbox is available as a portable app, which makes it nice for those who run around helping others with their computer problems.

Features:

  • Download and run “on-the-fly” the best free portable software when it comes to diagnose and solve several kinds of Windows problems. The tools are categorized by their function, and the program will automatically download the correct version for the Windows edition in which you’re working. When you finish, simply uninstall the tool, and all downloaded software is also removed. Or you can choose the portable version of Windows Repair Toolbox, and just run it from a pen drive.
  • Ability to select several tools to run successively in unattended mode, in order to perform malware removal, system cleaning and repair, and disk defragmentation. A email letting you know that the automatic repair is complete, and containing the logs, can be sent to you.
  • Displays relevant information about the computer to be repaired: CPU temperature, name and % time; amount of RAM installed on the system and % of use; Disk model, capacity, rotation, SATA version, basic health check; amount of free space left in the system partition; Windows edition and install date; System boot time; boot environment.
  • Allows you to add your own favorite tools to the program;
  • Allows you change the program icon and title bar text;
  • Allows you to perform quality assurance tests after the repair is complete;
  • Allows you to save notes about the repair process;
  • Provides 1-click access to some useful Windows tools;

SOURCE: Windows Repair Toolbox 

Recent Windows Update Causing HP Computer Black Screen At Login (here’s a fix)

I had this happen on my Daughter’s NEW Hewlett Packard Notebook PC… If you have a HP computer, you may experience this issue. In our case we ended up doing a full reset of the computer… Below you will find a link for instructions to keep the “black screen” from occurring and preventing you from taking alternative action (such as a full reset). In our case, we learned of the fix after the fact. and my Daughter needed her notebook PC to be functional for her classes ASAP (therefore, we performed the full reset). After learning of the fix, I had her perform the steps necessary, as outlined in the source link below, to prevent the issue from occurring again. Reportedly this issue stems from a recent Windows update…

Windows 10 update causes HP login lag, here’s the fix


SOURCE: MSPOWERUSER.COM

 

SysGauge – A FREE System And Performance Monitoring Utility

SysGauge, a system and performance monitoring utility, available as a portable app, is a nice utility that you may want to consider for the tech toolbox. Appears to support all versions of Windows, XP to Present… Windows Server versions also supported.

One notable feature of SysGauge that I was impressed with is the system analysis feature. Just press the ‘Analyze’ button located on the main toolbar and SysGauge will perform a quick system status analysis of your PC that will check the CPU usage, memory usage, the operating system status, the disk space usage for all disks and produce the results in a nice dialog summary.

In summary:

SysGauge is a system and performance monitoring utility allowing one to monitor the CPU usage, memory usage, network transfer rate, operating system performance, the status and resource usage of running processes, file system performance, USB performance, disk space usage, disk read activity, disk write activity, disk read transfer rate, disk write transfer rate, disk read IOPS and disk write IOPS for individual logical disks or all physical disks installed in the computer.


SOURCE: SysGauge System Monitor

Kaspersky System Checker – A Portable Free Tool To Scan Your PC For A Range Of Problems

If you are experiencing issues with your PC, Kapersky System Checker may help you resolve the issue.  It is not designed to fix anything; but, is designed to give you a lead on what the problem could be… I look at this as another tool in the tech toolbox that may help you troubleshoot a range of problems such as:  malware, missing updates, poorly configured Windows or application settings, a shortage of hard drive space, and more.  Simply download and run. No install is necessary.


SOURCE: DownloadCrew – Kapersky System Checker 1.2.0.290

Geek Squeak #17-017: Here is a program for Microsoft Windows devices that displays the resource use of the computer on the Windows taskbar….

Just found a pretty neat Windows resource meter, called XMeters, over at ghacks.net. What makes this resource meter so different is that the hardware readings are displayed on the Windows taskbar, which keeps it in sight at all times and is not out of view when opening programs.

Image result for xmeters

XMeters is a handy system monitor for the Windows taskbar that provides you with important real-time hardware readings. It offers customization options to a degree, but could use a couple more (opening another program instead of Task Manager for instance, or colors to distinguish heavy resource use better)….

SOURCE: ghacks.net


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An Option To Fix Google Assistant On Your Android Phone

Google Assistant is Google’s new artificial intelligence personal assistant that allows you to ask Google questions (or give commands) and engage in a two-way conversation with Google. I have been playing around with it and it is very cool. I especially like that I can do hand’s free texting using Google Assistant when driving or I can ask Google about my day or any question for that matter. To determine if it is on your phone, simply hold down the “Home” button on your phone and you should be greeted with the “Hi, How can I help?”. In my case, I was waiting patiently for the Google Assistant to download to my Android phone and when it finally did, I ran into an unusual problem. I decided to do a blog post on this describing the problem I ran into and how the problem was resolved.

Google Assistant

The problem I ran into (in short summary) is that after I had determined Google Assistant was on my phone, by checking the version numbers of the Google App, it simply was not working correctly. When I held down the home button nothing would happen. If I tapped the home button it took me to the old Google Now screen.  At the Google Now Screen when I went into the settings, I noticed that it was the settings for Google Assistant (and not for Google Now). At first I thought that my phone being a mid-ranged phone wouldn’t support all of the Google Assistant settings; therefore, I only was entitled to maybe a lite version of Google Assistance.

Finally, after suspecting there was a software (or app) conflict and after searching the internet for a solution (with no luck), I found the Google Search and Assistant Help ForumForum’s are great for troubleshooting problems. After searching and browsing the forum I was unable to find a solution that matched the problem I was experiencing; therefore, I had to join the forum and describe the problem with hope that someone may be able to help. Part of the problem, when describing an issue, is finding the right words. When it comes to computers, electronics, smartphones, etc…; they all have a language of their own.

In this instance, I described the problem as follows:

Why is it when I launch Google Assistant it appears to launch Google Now?

When I launch Google Assistant via the home button it appears to launch Google Now.  I am not seeing the Google Assistant launch screen “how can I help”…  I also noticed that some of the Google Assistant features work and some do not.  For example, if I say “OK Google” , “read me the news” (from my customized list), it takes me to Google Play and plays a song from “the news”...

Within 24 hours a “Community Specialist” in the forum (named Lucas) came back at me with some things to try:

Lucas – Community Specialist said:

Hi Ramblinrick,

Welcome to the Google Search and Assistant Help Forum!

Just to confirm, is your Google app updated to the latest version? To check, visit Play Store and go to the Google App page. If you see update button, try updating the app that may help resolve this issue.

If that doesn’t help, try to reset the app and then try to update again. To reset go to device Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data. This step will reset the app to factory condition and all the personalization and preferences will be reset to original.

Please let me know how that works.

Best,

Lucas

The solution:

I followed the instructions and found that by doing a reset of the app was the solution (Settings > Apps / Application manager > Google > Storage > Clear Cache and tap on Manage Space > Clear Data).  Google Assistant is now performing flawlessly and we are now having conversations with each other on a daily basis. A big thanks to Lucas, whoever and wherever you are, for your assistance.

World Route by Softperfect

NICE FIND by TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog… With the World Route tool you can easily find out what gateways your data goes through and how fast it travels. You will receive comprehensive route details, with each city and country conveniently marked on the map. Simply enter any IP-address or website and see the path network packets take to that destination. AVAILABLE as a full install or as a portable app…

TCAT Shelbyville - Technical Blog

Here’s a visual aid to tracert currently free at Softperfect.  You can use this to see where internet delays are happening with a website.  This tool comes in portable and with an installer.

https://www.softperfect.com/products/worldroute/

Capture

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(Almost) Everything You Need To Repair Windows Problems In One Small Handy Tool

I am really impressed with this portable tech toolbox called Windows Repair Toolbox (see source link below); and, can see it as a real asset to anyone who assists others that are experiencing computer problems.

The developer has created a dashboard of sorts that will assist you with downloading the necessary tools to fix or troubleshoot a PC. Most of the downloaded tools will land in a downloads folder that is a subfolder of the Windows Repair Toolbox folder (which keeps everything together in one place). There are some downloads that are full downloads (for example, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware).  Another nice feature is that you can add your own custom tools.

(Almost) everything you need to repair Windows problems in one small handy tool.

Source: Windows Repair Toolbox – (Almost) everything you need to repair Windows problems in one small handy tool.

Odd Solution To The Internet Not Working

Assisted two neighbors today that (during the past several days) lost their internet connectivity. One box was hard wired and the other was wireless. Both situations, which I eventually resolved, has me wondering what broke the connection. I am thinking a Windows update, but not even sure on that. I ruled out malware in both cases; but who knows, may have been something in the wild. It may be a coincidence, but both computers experienced the same exact issue. One box was Windows 8 and the other Windows 10. After checking the modems, routers and cabling; determined the issue was occurring at the computer level. Reboots often will resolve problems (such as power management issues); however, in these two cases, the magic of a reboot did not work to resolve the problem. It was after running the ping commands and the ipconfig commands from the Admin Command Prompt that I determined the issue (in both cases) was at the network adapter level. In both instances the properties of the network adapters (in the device manager) displayed that the adapters were working properly. I was also thinking possible Winsock issues where the TCP/IP needed reset. Anyhow, while I was in the network card adapter properties, I clicked on the “driver’s tab” and clicked on “update driver” knowing it would be impossible to update the driver from the internet (due to no internet connection). The driver update failed, but guess what, the internet connection in both cases immediately came back to life.

question marks - Proof That Blog 

I am not an everyday tech, as I once was years ago, and I am puzzled over this. If you have any insight to this, please leave a comment that may be helpful to myself and especially to others.  Thank you…

Fix Printer Problems – Windows 10 Anniversary Edition

I had installed the Anniversary Edition of Windows 10 when it was released and it appeared the upgrade occurred without a hitch, until today I went to use my printer (Brother DW-2270). The anniversary edition was showing two instances of my printer in the “Devices and Printers” in the control panel; however, it was showing that there was no driver installed. As a result the printer was a dead duck and was being recognized by the computer… At this point I attempted to remove (and uninstall) both instances of my printer from the “Devices and Printers” and the “Device Manager”.  One instance of the printer uninstalled; however, the second instance would not, no matter what I attempted. I am sure some type of registry tweak would have done it, but I was not in the mood to go looking for that sort of fix. I then visited the Brother’s website, downloaded the driver and attempted to make Windows use the driver. Again, no luck. I finally went back to the Brother website, found an uninstall tool for their drivers and then downloaded their full install software package for printers. I ran the uninstall tool and it indicated “success” and then I installed the printer software as if I were installing the printer for the first time. This time, it worked.

I decided to post this here on the blog, due I know of other instances where folks have experienced similar printer issues after installing the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition. The only help I could find on the Microsoft site for this problem was HERE, which tells me this may be a global problem.

Fix Printer Problems

I Use CCleaner, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, And Bitdefender Antivirus Free To Keep My PC Safe (and Clean)

… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-014)

I have been involved with computers for nearly 30 years. I have never installed any “paid” antivirus software products and have solely relied on common sense and the FREE products that are available (and suitable for computers in the home). I have never had a virus on any of my home based computers. As you noticed, I mentioned “common sense” as one of the factors, which may be easier said than done. I do believe that you have to develop that sixth sense (or gut feeling) in knowing when you are entering potentially dangerous territory. On the software side I currently use three products to help keep my computers (at home) safe and clean.

CCleaner – Without a doubt, CCleaner is the number one optimization tool that not only cleans your computer, but also aids in keeping your computer safe. There is a FREE version and a paid version. I have always gotten along just fine with the free version.

Laptop showing the CCleaner interface - 1 billion downloads

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware – Detects and removes malware on an infected computer with industry-leading anti-malware, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit tech. Scans for the newest and most dangerous threats. Safely removes malware. One thing to point out at the start is that the FREE version of Malwarebytes is only a scanning utility and does not provide real-time protection. You can get the real-time protection by purchasing the commercial version of their software. Don’t let this deter you from downloading the FREE version. I use the FREE version and make a habit to manually download the updates and perform routine scans of my computer. If I was going to purchase protection for my computer, I would definitely go with the “paid” version of this software (so that it runs continuously in the background, stopping infections before they happen. Scans automatically and halts attempted attacks).

Malwarebytyes Anti-Malware

Bitdefender Antivirus FREE Edition – What I like about Bitdefender is that it is “smart and silent”. Once you install the FREE version, you will have to register with an email address; then, after that you will not even know it is on your computer. Bitdefender has a great reputation and has been well reviewed. As a reminder, when installing antivirus software; always remove (uninstall) any other antivirus software you have installed on your computer.

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MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF

A NEW Tool For The Tech Toolbox – Saw this on betaNews, “Investigate your PC’s RAM use with ATM“… This tool, called ATM performs an in-depth, low-level look at your PC’s system memory use. If you are a troubleshooter, ATM may be right up your alley. Being an old dumb PC Tech, this one was definitely above my level of comprehension (which isn’t much these days)…

ATM

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Easily Control Automatic and Unwanted Windows 7 & 8.1 Upgrading to Windows 10 – Here is a “How To”  @ Tech-for Everyone on using a utility called Never 10 that will disable the Windows 10 Upgrade (wiith just one click). Many folks are sticking to or reverting back to earlier versions of Windows due to the privacy concerns in Windows 10.

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Windows 10 Secret Apps View Basket

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REFURBISHED
(GREAT RATINGS)

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19″ LCD

HP Desktop Core 2 Duo 3.00GHZ 4GB 1TB DVD Windows 7 PRO 64 Bit , WIFI ,19" LCD

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Geek Squeaks (#2016-02) FEATURING — Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs — and MORE GREAT STUFF

Great Reference Book On Upgrading And Repairing PCs – If you are contemplating a career as an IT Professional or you are an IT Professional, you may want to consider purchasing the 22nd Edition of Scott Mueller’s Upgrading and Repairing PCs. Get “practical answers about PC processors, mother-boards, buses, BIOSes, memory, SSD and HDD storage, video, audio, networks, Internet connectivity, power, and much more. You’ll find the industry’s best coverage of diagnostics, testing, and repair—plus cutting-edge discussions of improving PC performance via overclocking and other techniques.”.  Also, be sure to check out Scott Mueller’s online Upgrading and Repairing Forum.

Upgrading and Repairing PCs

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Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart – Since I started out today’s post with a book on upgrading and repairing PCs, I thought I would throw in this Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart that you may find of interest. There is also a book on this as well — CLICK HERE .

 Boot Failure Troubleshooting Flowchart

Boot Failure Flowchart

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Use Disk Space Organizing Software To Keep Your Computer Clutter Free – Using disk space organizing software can help you keep your computer from turning into a junkyard by visually showing you what files and folders (and where) are consuming hard drive space.  To help me in this situation I use the portable app called GetFolderSize. There is also a full install version if you are not into the portable apps. GetFolderSize works as a disk analyzer that lets you see a folder tree where you can easily locate files and folders that you have “lost” and cannot even search for because you have forgotten what you named them! I have added GetFolderSize to the Downloads Page, listed under the portable apps swarm.

GetFolderSize

GetFolderSize

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Fast Free File Shredder – Another portable app that landed in my lap is OW Shredder. This portable app is an advanced security tool which allows you to completely erase secret data with all drive traces from your hard drives by overwriting it. Individual files, free disk space and entire volumes can by erased. I have also added this portable app to the Downloads Page

OW Shredder

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Turn An Android Device Into A Home Video Monitoring System – If you have a tablet or an old Android phone lying around, you can put it to good use and turn it into a video surveillance camera by using the Android app called AtHomeCamera. This app is worth a try before you go out an buy and expensive setup. All platforms are supported, including Windows PC、Mac、iPhone、iPad、iPod, Android phone, Android tablet and Smart TV. Used together with AtHome Video Streamer, you are able to keep an eye on your home when you are outside, and receive alerts right away in case of any incident!

AtHomeCamera

 AtHome Camera - Home Security- screenshot

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HWiNFO Upgraded To V5.0 (FREE System Info Tool)

HWiNFO, in a nutshell, is a FREE System Info Tool (or system profiler) that will tell you just about everything you would ever want to know about your computer’s configuration. Little to no footprint (if installed) and is available as a portable app. Once the information about your computer is retrieved by HwiNFO you can export (or save) the information in various report formats (such as Text, HTML, or XML). A good tool for the tech toolbox…

HWiNFO

Features

  • comprehensive hardware information of your computer
  • system health monitoring (Thermal, Voltage, Fan, Power)
  • table, Logfile, Graph, Tray, Gadget, LG LCD reporting
  • text, CSV, XML, HTML, MHTML report formats
  • frequent updates
  • available as SDK (custom client)
  • 3rd party add-ons (Rainmeter plug-in, Samurize plug-in, Sidebar Gadget to display any sensor value, LCDHost plug-in, Mini WebServer, RivaTuner/MSI Afterburner/EVGA Precision On-Screen Display, HWiNFOMonitor Sidebar Gadget including graphs, bars, etc.)

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A 5 Stars Windows Repair Utility

First statement I need to make here is that the Tweaking.com – Windows Repair utility, featured in this article, is for those who are computer techs and the geeks in the family. Second statement I need to make is that I cannot say enough about how good this utility is.

Tweaking.com - Windows Repair

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair has helped me personally make repairs to computers where the Windows operating system has become corrupted; whether it be from end user error, a malware infection or Windows just stopped playing nice. It has served me (just recently) in repairing a Windows Update issue (where Windows stopped playing nice), a Windows Service issue (caused by a Windows Update) and in repairing a winsock/dns issue that surfaced after removal of a malware infection from a PC. I always have an updated (portable) version of this utility available.

Word of advice – Follow the steps as exactly outlined with this utility and as always use the internet to research any clues you are seeing that may be the cause of the issue. This will ensure that you can pinpoint what option to select when attempting a repair. If not sure, run the utility in its’ entirety, but be patient as it goes to work.

Tweaking.com – Windows Repair is an all-in-one repair tool to help fix a large majority of known Windows problems including:

 Unhide Non System Files
 Repair problems with .lnk (Shortcuts)
 File Association
 WMI
 Windows Firewall
 Internet Explorer
 Windows Installer (MSI)
 Hosts File
 Policies Set By Infections
 Icons
 Winsock & DNS Cache
 Proxy Settings
 Windows Updates
 CD/DVD Missing/Not Working
 Reset Registry and File Permissions
 Register System Files
 Remove Temp Files
 and more… 

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Three Must Have Diagnostic Tools by Windows Sysinternals

Windows Sysinternals is host to numerous advanced system utilities and technical information that is available (for FREE) to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications. There are three of their utilities that I consider as “must have” utilities; and, the beauty of these three is that you can run them live from Sysinternals.

BgInfo – Displays relevant information about a Windows computer on the desktop’s background, such as the computer name, IP address, service pack version, and more. You can edit any field as well as the font and background colors, and can place it in your startup folder so that it runs every boot, or even configure it to display as the background for the logon screen. By default when you first run BgInfo it will display more than what is actually being shown in the screenshot and is very useful in getting good baseline visual information about any Windows based computer you may be troubleshooting.

BGinfo

Autoruns – Shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and when you start various built-in Windows applications like Internet Explorer, Explorer and media players. These programs and drivers include ones in your startup folder, Run, RunOnce, and other Registry keys. Autoruns reports Explorer shell extensions, toolbars, browser helper objects, Winlogon notifications, auto-start services, and much more. Autoruns goes way beyond other autostart utilities.

Autoruns

Process Explorer – Shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded AND isuseful for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.

 Process Explorer

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A Swiss Army Knife Of Powerful Network Tools

As a blogger there are those times when you run into what I call “writer’s block” and everything shuts down. Today, I did come across, what appears to be a pretty nice suite of network tools called Essential NetTools that will hopefully get me back on track. This set of tools is primarily geared toward the network administrator.

Essential NetTools

Essential NetTools is a set of network scanning, security, and administrator tools useful in diagnosing networks and monitoring your computer’s network connections. It’s a Swiss Army knife for everyone interested in a powerful network tool kit for everyday use.

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Use CompTIA Troubleshooting Theory To Troubleshoot Computer Problems

What is the CompTIA Troubleshooting Theory? The theory consists of six systematic steps that you follow to effectively identify a computer problem. It is important that you stick to the steps in the order as listed.

By following these steps you eliminate jumping around and wasting hours on a problem. You may find that once you have exhausted all avenues, to the best of your abilities (and knowledge), that it is time to take the problem to another person (or higher technical level) for possible resolution.

It is best practices to always maintain a document trail of your findings so that in the future you are better prepared to effectively deal with future problems.

The six CompTIA Troubleshooting (Theory) Steps are:

  1. Identify the problem – Question the user and identify user changes to computer and perform backups before making changes.
  2. Establish a theory of probable cause – Question the obvious.
  3. Test the theory to determine cause – Once the theory is confirmed, determine the next steps to resolve problem. If the theory is not confirmed, establish a new theory or escalate.
  4. Act – Establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and implement the solution.
  5. Test and prevent – Verify full system functionality and, if applicable, implement preventative measures.
  6. Report – Document findings, actions, and outcomes.

Here is a nice video on the Explanation of Troubleshooting Theory:

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A GUI Front End To Microsoft’s Check Disk Program

Running chkdsk from the Windows Command-line creates and displays a status report for the disk and (with the proper switch parameters) can list and correct the errors that is found on the disk.

To make this an easy process and a nice addition to the tech toolbox,  go to Chris’ Realm and download Chkdsk-GUI. The GUI passes the settings selected within the GUI and then launches the command line disk checker in the normal way, using the correct switches.

chkdsk-GUI

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