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

(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.

Having problems accessing your shares on your Windows 10 PC using SMB (or ES File Explorer)?

ES File Explorer is my favorite Android based file manager. Months ago I ended up uninstalling it from all of my Android devices due to one of the features I used to access the file shares on my local area network (in my home), using a networking protocol called Samba (or SMB),  stopped working. I ended up installing numerous other Android based file managers and experienced the same issue and came to the conclusion that a Windows 10 update broke the network connection. My Android devices could see my computer on the network, but would not allow me to connect. The only Android based file manager that worked was Xplore. After months of using Xplore I decided to revisit ES File Explorer to see if there was a fix and discovered the problem still existed. This time around my gut was telling me it was a Windows 10 network connectivity issue. I was bound and determined to find a solution…

I ended up landing at a site called WindowsTenFORUMS; and, low and behold, after some extensive digging I found a solution to my problem. I know there are numerous other people out there with this same issue and as a result, I decided to post the solution here, as well.

If you go to this LINK and scroll down the page until you see “waddles” (Junior Member), you will see the solution.

For quick reference, the solution is:

Hi There,

I had this problem (and bro’s posts did not help at all), but I discovered you can login using ES File Explorer without much issue, only that your username is not what you would expect.

Instead of using the full e-mail address of your Microsoft account, just use the first five characters. I’m not sure if that’s how it generates the username, but you can check what it exactly is by typing ‘whoami’ in command prompt, and your username will appear after the slash for the domain.

I almost gave up on ES File Explorer after figuring out that this instantly solved my problem.

What “waddles” is saying here is that if you go to the Windows Command Prompt and type in “whoami” you will see your username after the slash. For example, after typing “whoami” at the command prompt, my computer identified me as “asus-pc\rick”.  Now when I log into my PC, using ES File Explorer, via Samba (SMB), I use “rick” as the username; then, I enter my password as I normally would. This worked perfectly…

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

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Symptoms of a Failing Computer Power Supply

I have been doing IT for many years, working with hundreds of PCs, and I cannot remember having to replace the power supply in any of the computers I managed. Probably was just a stroke of luck on my part.

Power Supply

Recently that stroke of luck changed.  Have you ever heard that things happen in threes?  In this case, three was the magic number.

The following computer power supply failures occurred within a period of 3 days on 3 different computers that were around the 3 year mark in age.

First, my niece… Her PC would not boot.  Power was present to the monitor and other peripherals; however, no power to the computer. Suspected and later confirmed it was the power supply.

Second, my brother… His PC would not boot.  Power was present to the monitor and other peripherals; however, no power to the computer. Suspected and later confirmed it was the power supply.

Third, my PC… The domino affect. First symptom that I noticed began about a month ago. On occasions I would walk away from my computer, returning  an hour or two later to discover that my computer had shutdown and booted on its’ own. Second symptom was more recent. Following a boot of the computer I would go online and suddenly a lockup would occur to the point that nothing worked other than manually powering down the PC. When these two symptoms occurred, I often rebooted and worked with no problems and would not experience these symptoms again for days. Third symptom that occurred was that the computer would suddenly shut down. Then came symptom number four… Power was present to the monitor and other peripherals; however, no power to the computer.

Here are some symptoms you may experience that could indicate that your power supply is failing. Diagnosing power supply problems can be difficult; however, once you start seeing more than one of these symptoms, put the power supply on your troubleshooting checklist.

  • Circuit breakers popping when the PC is turned on
  • System startup failures or lockups
  • Noticeable change in how long it takes for your PC to boot and shutdown
  • Spontaneous rebooting or intermittent lockups during normal operation (small brownouts)
  • Memory Errors
  • HDD and fan simultaneously failing to spin
  • HDD file system corruption
  • USB devices power issues
  • Overheating due to fan failure
  • Electric shocks that are felt when the case is touched
  • Smoke
  • BIOS beeping codes detected

During the course of all that I was experiencing, I was leaning toward the power supply being the culprit and had prepared myself early on. As soon as I started experiencing the first round of hiccups, I made sure I had a backup of all of my data (which I religiously perform on a regular basis anyway). I also went to the computer manufacturer’s website to explore power supply problems and to determine if there were any specs on the power supply in my computer, and if there was any information available on how to remove and install the power supply.

The computer I own is a Hewlett Packard multimedia PC with a 300 watt power supply. What I found on the HP site for my PC was awesome. It showed, step-by-step, the removal process (with pics) and even a video on how to remove the front and side panels of the computer, where the power and drive leads for the power supply were located and what to be cautious of (such as static electricity).

Power Supply

I have been inside of computers many times and knew pretty much the rundown to remove and replace the power supply; however, something as simple as removing the case panels was a major help. When it came time to remove the power supply in my computer, the homework paid off. I had the panels off of the PC, the power leads to the motherboard and drives disconnected, the drives pushed forward to create working room, and the power supply removed within 10 minutes. All together, in my case, removal of (6)-six screws were involved. Note: While I was inside the case of the computer I performed a thorough cleaning, as well.

To replace the power supply, I ended up going from a 300 watt power supply to a 400 watt power supply made by Dynex (through Best Buy). The form factor of the Dynex matched my system perfectly. There are numerous power supply options available on the market (see here for an example)

Dynex Power Supply

Following the replacement of the power supply in my computer I noticed (2)-two remarkable improvements. My computer starts up noticeably faster and shuts down noticeably faster. For example, it took me 1.5 to 3 minutes to boot up prior to the replacement.  Following the replacement of the power supply, my computer now boots to the Windows 7 desktop in less than 1 minute.

In the end, diagnosing a failing power supply can be a challenge, but eventually the symptoms of things to come will rear its’ ugly head. Just be prepared, have your data backed up, and do some research.


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