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    How to Master Reset your Dell Inspiron 15 to bring it back to factory settings

    I can’t stress enough how important the Master Reset is to your Dell Inspiron 15–or any device for that matter–if you are already bugged by a serious settings or firmware related issue. With Windows 10, you can actually reset your laptop without deleting your files and you can also do the full reset which will delete everything you saved in it to make it like it’s new.

    In this post, I will walk you through in doing this procedure so that you’ll be guided accordingly on what you need to do so as not to compromise your files and data. If you are currently having issues with your Dell Inspiron and don’t have a clue what to do next, then I suggest you reset your computer to make every problem go away.

    Continue reading this post as you may find it helpful. However, if you are looking for a solution to a problem, I suggest you visit our Dell Inspiron troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this laptop. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by completing this form.

    Detailed instructions on how to Master Reset Dell Inspiron 15

    Before we begin, there are things I want you to take note. First, make sure your laptop has enough battery and with that I mean around 75%. However, to make sure your computer won’t die on you while in the middle of the reset process, plug its charger to the wall outlet and connect your laptop to it. Another thing is your files and data. Reset will delete them all so take time backing them up before you follow the steps below. If, however, there are files that you haven’t backed up yet and you need to reset your computer, you may need to do the reset that won’t delete your files.

    Now, if you’re ready to reset your Dell Inspiron 15, here are the things you need to do…

    1. Type ‘reset’ on the search bar.
    2. Click ‘Reset this PC’.
    3. The Update & Security window pops up and under Reset This PC section, click on GET STARTED button.
    4. You will have to choose at this point; your options are ‘Keep my files’ and ‘Remove everything’.

    You can do these steps if you don’t have problems logging into your laptop. However, if you can’t get past the lock screen for some reason, then this is what you need to do…

    1. From the lock screen, press and hold the Shift key.
    2. While holding Shift, click the power icon and then click Restart and continue holding the Shift key until you’re prompted to ‘Choose an option’.
    3. From the given options, select ‘Troubleshoot’ and you will be given three new options.
    4. Select ‘Reset this PC’.
    5. Now, you will have to choose between ‘Keep my files’ and ‘Remove everything.’
    6. Since we’re doing a master reset, let’s choose ‘Remove everything’ but I assume that you’ve already made a backup of your important files and data.
    7. After clicking ‘Remove everything’ the reset process will begin and your laptop will take time preparing for the said process.
    8. After the preparation is done, you will be brought to a different screen and you will choose between ‘Just remove my files’ and ‘Fully clean the drive’.
    9. Click ‘Fully clean the drive’ to do the Master reset.
    10. You will be prompted again to confirm if you really want to reset your laptop so click the RESET button to continue.
    11. The reset process will begin and you will see the Dell logo on the screen with the reset percentage at the bottom. Depending on how much data and files you saved in your laptop, the process may take up to an hour or two so you really have to wait or leave the computer while it’s doing its thing.
    12. Once the reset is finished you will see the “Hi there” screen wherein you will have to start with the usual setup process.

    As far as Master Reset is concerned, that’s what you need to do. As you may already know, the reset is very helpful in fixing almost all system related issues and even performance problems such as slowing down, random reboots, sluggishness and frequent shutdowns.

    I hope that this tutorial can help you one way or another. If you still need our help after this, then feel free to contact us anytime.

    Connect with us

    We understand that for many computer users, troubleshooting is really difficult that’s why we’re here to help you find a solution…for free. All we need is information about your computer and the problem. Just fill up our Computer issues questionnaire here and give us the information we need. Also include your own observation on how and when the problem started or what you were doing when the problem emerged. We will help you find a solution to fix your problem or advise you what to do.

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    How to fix your Dell Inspiron that can’t connect to Wi-Fi [Troubleshooting Guide]

    There are times when your laptop fails to connect to your home Wi-Fi. It might be due to a system glitch or a minor issue that could be fixed by a simple reboot especially if the started without apparent reason or cause.

    We’ve been contacted by some owners of the Dell Inspiron regarding this issue so we really have to look into it. We will try to look into every possibility and rule them out one by one until we can determine what the issue is and try to formulate a solution that might fix it.

    If you are a Dell Inspiron owner and are currently experiencing similar problem, continue reading below as this post may be able to help you. However, if you are looking for a solution to a different problem, visit our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the common issues with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that might be similar with yours and feel free to use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after this then feel free to contact us as we will try to help you.

    Troubleshooting Dell Inspiron that can’t connect to Wi-Fi

    This is a common problem with laptops or any computer for that matter and I personally have encountered it several times already. Sometimes it occurs out of the blue without apparent reason and sometimes it happens after I’ve done something on my computer or tweaked some settings. I know a thing or two on how to deal with this problem and I’m gonna share it with you. Don’t worry, it will be easy to do and very effective…

    Step 1: Reboot your laptop

    A simple reboot is very effective in addressing a connectivity issue especially if the problem started without any reason at all. Sometimes the system glitches regardless of what operating system is running on your device.

    Try to reboot your computer normally by either clicking the Start button followed by Turn Off Computer and then Shutdown. You may also use the CTRL + ALT + DEL combo to shutdown your laptop. If it’s not responding for some reason, press and hold the Power key for 10 seconds and your device will turn off after that.

    After a successful reboot, try to reconnect to the Wi-Fi you’re having issues with and if the problem was as minor as a glitch, you should be able to use your computer normally now. However, if the problem persists, try the next step.

    Step 2: Turn Wi-Fi off and on again

    Turning off and on the Wi-Fi in your Dell Inspiron will refresh the connection between your device and your network equipment. I know I listed it as the second procedure but it doesn’t actually matter if you do this first before a reboot. You only have to do this once and if the problem is not really that serious, this is more than enough to make your laptop connect to your home Wi-Fi again. However, if the problem continues to bother you after this, then move on to the next step.

    Step 3: Power Cycle your network equipment

    After you’ve done the basic troubleshooting procedures in your computer and the problem continues, then you should go after the network equipment like the modem and/or router. By simply turning them off and back on, you’re already fixing the most common issues these devices may encounter. It also refreshes the connection to your computer. Others may think it’s absurd to do this but trust me when I say that it works more often than not.

    After this and your Dell Inspiron is still not able to connect to the network, try to see if other devices can because if so, then the problem is with your computer and not your connection. However, if other devices cannot connect to the same network as well, then it might be an issue with the network equipment. You should call your Internet service provider to have it taken care of.

    Step 4: Uninstall / reinstall network drivers (optional)

    Drivers play a big role when it comes to connectivity and there are times when these small applications get corrupted or become obsolete. If you know how to uninstall specific drivers then do it and then make sure you reinstall the most updated drivers. If this is something that you can’t do on your own or if you think you can mess up your laptop instead of fixing the problem, then you shouldn’t do it. You may need to employ the services of a technician.

    Step 5: Reinstall operating system (optional)

    For us who know how to reinstall the operating system, this is always our last resort and it’s very effective in fixing problems that have something to do with drivers, applications and the system itself. However, I understand that not all users know how to do this so it’s optional. After doing step 3 and the problem continues, you may already resort to bringing the phone to a tech to have the problem fixed.

    I hope that this troubleshooting guide can help you one way or another. If you still need our help after this, then feel free to contact us any time.

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    How to create Windows 10 PC backup or restore from backup

    Before doing any drastic hardware or software troubleshooting, it’s highly recommended that you create a system image backup of your operating system. Doing so can save you a lot of heartaches later on when something goes wrong. Creating a copy of the entire system before installing major updates, like when updating from Windows 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10. If you created a backup of your Windows 8 operating system before upgrading to Windows 10, you can also use it to roll the operating system back.

    Creating a full backup of your Windows 10 system is simple. As long as you have the right drive to store your data to, the most that you can do is to follow the steps below.

    When it comes to making a backup, we suggest that you either use an external hard drive with enough memory or USB flash drive. Both of them are relatively easy to get and a lot of good brands are really very affordable.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.


    Format the backup drive

    Before you store your backup to either an external hard drive or a USB flash drive, be sure to format it properly. To minimize compatibility issues, use the current Windows 10 PC to do it.

    How to format an external hard drive in Windows 10

    1. Connect the external hard drive to your Windows 10 PC.
    2. Right-click the Start button.
    3. Open Control Panel.
    4. Click Administrative Tools.
    5. Click Computer Management.
    6. Click Disk Management.
    7. Right-click on the drive or partition to format and click on Format.
    8. Select the file system and set the cluster size. Click OK to format the drive.

    How to format a USB flash drive in Windows 10

    1. Plug in the USB flash drive to your computer.
    2. Open Windows File Explorer. If you already have one folder (any folder) open, proceed to the next step.
    3. On the left pane, look for your USB flash drive.
    4. Right click on the name of your flash drive.
    5. Click Format.

    After clicking Format, a new window will provide a set of options that you can configure. Depending on what devices you’ll be using your flash drive with, we suggest that you use Fat 32. This file system is compatible with almost all popular operating systems so it offers you a wide range of compatibility options. However, Fat 32 is limited in terms of handling file sizes. The most that it manage is a file no larger than 4GB. If you’ll be moving files to the flash drive larger than 4GB, we suggest that you use NTFS file system.

    For Allocation unit size, your preferred option should depend on the purpose you have in mind for this particular USB stick. Remember, the larger the allocation size you use, the faster your hard drive becomes. However, storage space will fill up a  lot quicker. If you have a small-sized USB flash drive like an 8GB or 16GB flash drive, consider using the default 4096 bytes.

    For the Volume label, you can change it to whatever name you want so you can easily identify the drive.

    1. Once everything is set, hit the Start button at the bottom.
    2. Click OK once formatting is finished.

    How to create Windows 10 backup

    Now that the target destination for your backup has been prepared, it’s time to begin creating a full backup.

    1. Turn on your PC.
    2. Right-click on the Start button.
    3. Open Control Panel.
    4. Click on System and Security. If your Control Panel is arranged by either Large icons or Small icons, make sure to change it to Category in the View by tab.
    5. Click on Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
    6. On the left pane, click the Create a system image.
    7. When the Where do you want to save the backup? window shows, select the On a hard disk option.
    8. Using the “On a hard disk” drop-down menu, select the storage to save the backup.
    9. Click the Start backup button.

    The entire process of creating your backup may take a long time depending on the speed of your machine and the amount of data it has to work on. The backup will consist of a full backup of the operating system as well as other data found on the main drive.

    With Windows 10, a new feature named Shadow Copy will be created during the backup process will allows you to continue using your machine even when the backup procedure in on the way.

    After the backup process is finished, you can proceed with the creation of the system repair disc.

    1. As a final step, be sure to disconnect your backup drive properly and keep it in a safe place.

    Steps on how to restore system image backup

    The opposite of creating a backup is to restore the state of the operating system into a previous version. Some of the situations where you may want to restore a Windows image backup include:

      • no boot: Windows won’t run normally after restarting your PC.
      • new program installation gone wrong and you want to undo it

     

    • when replacing the hard drive of your computer

     

    Since we’ve already covered the steps on how to create a full backup of your Windows 10 PC above, we presume that you’re seeking the steps below with a good backup handy. Obviously, you can only restore the previous operating system state if you managed to create a backup beforehand.

    Below are the steps you want to follow:

    1. Connect the drive that contains the backup. It can be a USB flash drive or an external hard drive.
    2. Connect the disk that has the system repair files in it (the one you created after creating your backup).
    3. Start or restart the computer. The Windows Setup wizard should popup. If your phone boots back to the operating system and Windows Setup wizard did not appear, you’ll have to make sure that the BIOS settings of your machine is set to boot from USB or DVD. To know how to access BIOS settings in your machine, consult its documentation or contact the manufacturer.
    4. In Windows Setup page, hit Next.
    5. Hit Repair your computer found at the bottom-left corner.
    6. Click the Troubleshoot option.
    7. Click the System Image Recovery option.
    8. Choose the target OS (Windows 10).
    9. You should now be at the Re-image your computer page. Select the Use the latest available system image option.
    10. Click Next.
    11. If you’ve recently added a new hard drive to your computer and you want to use the previously saved backup, select the Format and repartition disks option. Using this option means that you want to erase everything in that drive including whatever partitions or data it may currently hold.
    12. Click Next.
    13. Click Finish.
    14. Click Yes to confirm that you want to proceed the re-imaging procedure.
    15. The restoration process will begin and may take some time depending on the speed of your computer.

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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    How to clear Windows PC storage to free up space on your hard drive

    Having not enough storage space may not be a critical issue but can still be a nagging problem if left unaddressed. If you constantly get a reminder or error that your #Windows10 PC is running low of space but can’t decide what action to take first, our brief guide may help.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

     


    Uninstall apps and other programs

    This should be the first consideration that you should do. Many Windows users tend to install apps or programs in their computer, then forget about them days later. Unused games, for example, can take several GBs out of your hard drive so if you no longer play one or more, be sure to remove them from the system. Today’s games can expand considerably once installed so if you have a limited hard drive space, a couple of them can easily eat up 100GBs.

    Uninstalling a program is easy. Here’s how:

    1. Click on Start button.
    2. Click Settings.
    3. Click System.
    4. Click Apps & features.
    5. Go over the list of apps and click on the program you want to remove.
    6. Then, click on Uninstall button.

    If the buttons below an app or program are greyed out, that means that said item is part of the pre-installed applications. You won’t be able to uninstall them.

    You can sort the apps by size, name, and install date,  by clicking the second box below the Search box.

    Use USB flash drive or external hard drive for music or downloaded contents

    If you haven’t adapted streaming services like Pandora or Spotify to listen to music at this time and still continues to store your favorite tracks locally, we suggest that you transfer them to a removable media like a USB stick.Such devices come in variety of sizes and capacity and can be useful tools in freeing up more space in your hard drive.

    If you tend to download large files all the time such as movies, you may want to consider saving them directly to a secondary storage device like a hard drive or USB flash drive instead of keeping them in your computer.

    Turn off Windows 10 Hibernation feature

    We only recommend this option if you badly need a few GBs of space in your computer. If your intention to free up space is more of maintenance rather than need, you can simply let Hibernation feature enabled.

    Hibernation is a Windows feature that moves content in RAM to the hard drive. This allows a user to shut down the computer without losing the current session. Content in RAM can vary depending on your machine but it should be a minimum of a couple of GBs. Contents from RAM are moved to  the hiberfil.sys file located on the hard drive. Turn off Hibernation only if you have virtually no GBs left in your device.

    To disable Hibernation in Windows 10, follow these steps:

    1. Right-click the Start button.
    2. Find and click Command Prompt (admin).
    3. If you set User Account Control setting to high, you may prompted if you want to open Windows Command Processor or not. Hit Yes.
    4. In the screen that shows, type the following command to turn off Hibernation: powercfg /hibernate off
    5. Hit Enter key.

    Use OneDrive Files On-Demand

    Another good alternative to save space in your hard drive is to use Microsoft’s OneDrive Files On-Demand. OneDrive Files On-Demand allows you to access your files without having to download them to your hard drive. This means that the files don’t physically take up precious space on your drive at all. All your files are saved in a remote server somewhere so they’re basically online-only types. As long as you have internet connection, these files will be accessible to you anytime.

    To use OneDrive Files On-Demand, follow these steps:

    1. Sign in to your OneDrive account.
    2. If you deleted the OneDrive icon in the taskbar, you can look for it using the Search icon.
    3. Right-click the OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, and select Settings.
    4. Click on the Settings tab.
    5. Under “Files On-Demand,” check the Save space and download files as you use them to enable the feature.
    6. Click OK.

    Once you’ve enabled OneDrive Files On-Demand, you can then opt to keep your files online only. Online-only files won’t take up space in your hard drive. Online-only files are indicated by a cloud icon in File Explorer. You won’t be able to access online-only files when you’re offline.

    Keep in mind though that when opening an online-only file, your computer will automatically download it to the OneDrive folder so you can then continue using it even when you don’t have internet connection. To free up space in OneDrive folder, follow these steps:

    1. Open your OneDrive folder.
    2. Select the files and folders to keep only in the cloud.
    3. Right-click the selection, and select Free up space.

    Save local files or documents to the cloud

    Aside from freeing space in OneDrive folder, you can also move (not copy) your local documents to OneDrive folder first. Doing so syncs them up to the cloud, making them online-only files as well. Once you’ve synced all of them, you can then do the Free up space procedure to clean up OneDrive folder.

    Remember, OneDrive not only supports documents but other files types like photos, videos, music, etc. If you want, you can save these other files types to the cloud if you badly need more space. Microsoft only offers up to 5GB of free OneDrive storage. If you need more, visit Microsoft’s website for pricing schemes.

    Delete cache and other temporary files

    Windows can pile a lot temporary files if left unchecked for a long time. It’s not unusual for the Temp folder, where temporary files are kept, to balloon to several GBs. Temporary files are files used by the operating system to load files quickly or to retain temporary settings or customizations. To free up space in the Temp folder, kindly do these steps:

    1. Turn on your PC.
    2. Right-click on the Start button.
    3. Click Run.
    4. In the Run window that appears, type %temp%. Depending on the size of the Temp folder, it may take some moments to load the files fully.
    5. Highlight everything in the Temp folder by pressing CTRL+A.
    6. Delete all highlighted files and folders.
    7. Tap or click Skip if you’re presented with a File In Use or a Folder In Use warning during the temporary file deletion process. This is the way Windows remind you that the file or folder being deleted is being used by another program. Selecting Skip tells Windows to let the file or folder stay so you can move along with the deletion of other files or folders.
    8. Wait until all temporary files are deleted. This can take seconds or minutes, depending on the total size of the files and folders.
    9. Finally, locate Recycle Bin on your Desktop, right-click or tap-and-hold the icon, and then choose Empty Recycle Bin.

    Use Disk Cleaner to erase unnecessary system files

    Another easy way to get rid of junk files is by using Disk Cleaner. This procedure erases a lot of often-forgotten files tucked in the system somewhere. These files can include:
    Windows Update Cleanup.

    • Windows upgrade log files.
    • Downloaded Program Files.
    • Temporary Internet Files.
    • System created Windows Error Reporting.
    • Delivery Optimization Files.
    • Recycle Bin.
    • Temporary files.
    • Temporary Windows Installation Files.
    • Previous Windows installation(s).

    To use Disk Cleanup tool, you can do the following:

    1. Launch File Explorer by opening any folder.
    2. On the left panel, find This PC and right click on it.
    3. Select Properties.
    4. Click the Disk Cleanup button.
    5. Click the Cleanup system files button.
    6. Delete the files you want to delete.
    7. Click OK.
    8. Click Delete Files.

    Erase junk files with Storage sense

    Microsoft recognizes the fact that a lot of Windows 8 and 8.1 users may find themselves short of available space following their Windows 10 upgrade so they equipped their latest OS with Storage sense. This new feature scans the system and identifies possible junk system files that a user can delete easily. Such junk system files can include the old version of your Windows OS, which can take about 10GBs.

    To use Storage sense:

    1. Open Settings.
    2. Click on System.
    3. Click on Storage.
    4. Under “Storage sense,” click on Change how we free up space link.
    5. Under “Temporary files,” check the files you want to delete, including:
      • Delete temporary files that my apps aren’t using.
      • Delete files that have been in the recycle bin for over 30 days.
      • Delete files in the Downloads folder that haven’t changed in 30 days.

    Once you’ve completed the steps above, hit the Clean now button.

    If you want, you can delete the previous version of Windows under Free up space now section. This option is only available during the first ten days after installing a new feature update.

    Use Compact OS

    Windows 10 has brought a lot of new things that were absent from previous iterations. One such novel features is a tool called Compact OS. What it does is to allow a user to compress file size of installation files and programs.

    Before you decide on using this tool, make sure that you create a full backup of your system. Compact OS will modify core system files and programs and may potentially bring risks with it.

    1. Right-click the Start button.
    2. Find and click Command Prompt (admin).
    3. If you set User Account Control setting to high, you may prompted if you want to open Windows Command Processor or not. Hit Yes.
    4. Type the following command to compress the Windows 10 and applications and press Enter: Compact.exe /CompactOS:always

    Once you’ve hit the Enter button, Compact OS will begin doing its job. It may take 20 to 30 minutes depending on how fast your PC can speed things up.

    If you want to undo the changes, follow the same instructions but on step 4, use Compact.exe /CompactOS:never.

    Transfer non-system files to hard drive

    If all the above tweaks won’t help, or enough in providing the space you need, you should consider getting an external hard drive. If you tend to pile up stuff rather fast, an external hard drive can be a handy alternative. Hard drives are now getting thinner in size, gaining significant capacity but at the same time becoming more affordable.

    Once you have the hard drive, make sure to format it first using the computer you’re connecting it to. Here’s how:

    1. Connect the external hard drive to your Windows 10 PC.
    2. Right-click the Start button.
    3. Open Control Panel.
    4. Click Administrative Tools.
    5. Click Computer Management.
    6. Click Disk Management.
    7. Right-click on the drive or partition to format and click on Format.
    8. Select the file system and set the cluster size. Click OK to format the drive.

    Now that you’ve prepared the hard drive, you can begin moving (don’t use copy) non-system files such as photos, videos, music, etc. to it.

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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    How to scan your Windows 10 PC for viruses or malware [troubleshooting guide]

    Malware infection can take many forms and even those that practice every conceivable strategies to avoid them can still fall victims from time to time. If you think your PC may be infected by a virus, our suggestions below may help.

    Keep in mind that the most effective way to fix a malware infection is by prevention. Be sure to update programs and Windows regularly, never fall on clicking links from suspicious sources, never open spam or emails from unknown senders, and always activate your security software.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

    How to know if your Windows 10 PC is infected by a virus

    There can be a number of reasons why you would want to scan your computer for malware. Maybe you’ve noticed some irregularities with some programs or the computer has started showing those pesky popups again. Whatever your situation is, here are the common signs that you must watch out for that can signal presence of malware in your device:

    • Slower performance. Computers are expected to slow down as they age. Continued use can take a tool in the hardware and software in general. However, if you noticed that your PC has become significantly slower, even when you’re not running demanding programs, it may be due to a virus infection.
    • Random crashes. If your computer has suddenly become problematic and keeps crashing for no obvious reason, it can signal a malware infection. In some cases, the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) can occur while in the middle of doing a normal task. Make sure to scan your computer right away for possible malware.
    • IP address has been blacklisted. Under normal circumstances, your IP address should not be blocked or blacklisted. However, if you receive a message from your ISP or from any other source saying that your IP has been blacklisted, that can be a sign that your computer has become a zombie device for spam-sending botnet.
    • Antivirus won’t update, or won’t turn on. One of the first things a malware does is to disable your computer’s security software so it can do whatever it wants. If you noticed that your antivirus software no longer runs, or won’t install any update at all, there must be something wrong.
    • Hard drive is constantly running. You’ll only notice this when you’re not using your computer. If your PC is idle but the hard drive seems to continue working, it’s possible that a virus is trying to use it.
    • Strange Windows. Another good sign to watch out for is when your computer shows up  a popup on its own after boot up, telling you that it has lost access to drives.
    • Program runs or access the internet on its own. If a program open up automatically without you initiating it, or if your firewall notifies you that a program it trying to access the internet on its own, you can bet malware is active in the system.

    How to scan your Windows 10 PC

    If any of the signs above happen in your PC, you should seriously consider scanning it right away.

    Scan with Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT)

    MSRT is a free scanning software from Microsoft that’s designed to identify and remove known malware. It’s a limited security software that covers “prevalent malware” protection but we still recommend it anyway. If the malware present in the system is identified by MSRT, it can easily remove it for you. On top of that, you don’t have to shell out additional cash to buy it.

    To download and install Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool, visit Microsoft’s site in this link.

    We suggest that you do a full scan instead of a quick scan so a more thorough search is done. To save time, you can clear your computer’s temporary files first.

    Keep in mind that MSRT is not a substitute for a good antivirus program. To maintain higher level of security for your machine, install an antivirus product.

    Install antivirus updates

    If you have a non-Microsoft security software installed, make sure that it’s up-to-date. Like any other program in your computer, known bugs, viruses and malware may be fixed by simply hitting the update button. An antivirus product in particular needs to update its virus and malware definitions to allow it to identify new threats. By default, antivirus products should update themselves automatically every time internet connection becomes available but if you chose to limit it before, be sure to manually check for updates. Some malware may choose to disarm your antivirus right away by turning it off, or preventing it from updating. Look for the update button and see to it that it updates properly. Once the update is finished, begin scanning your machine right away.

    Make sure to scan the entire machine periodically

    Most antivirus programs, in order to make scanning convenient and fast, are set to do a quick scan only. Such type of scan only covers frequently targeted portions of Windows PC software that your antivirus has identified. While sometimes effective, it may not include other important parts of the software that can potentially hide malware. Let your antivirus scan every drive in your computer, including, if you have, and external hard drive/s or USB stick.

    How to remove malware or virus from your Windows 10 PC

    Generally, an antivirus scan should be able to identify and remove a malware from your machine. If that doesn’t happen, or if the antivirus won’t work because it’s being blocked or disabled by the malware itself, you can try more drastic solutions.

    Boot to safe mode

    Some malware may prevent you from logging into Windows, effectively logging you out to do basic troubleshooting like doing an antivirus scan.

    To fix this type of issue, you need to boot the phone to Safe Mode. This will prevent some viruses to load together with Windows, allowing you remove them manually if necessary. To load your Windows 10 PC to safe mode, follow these steps:

    1. Restart your computer.
    2. Once you get to the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down while you select Power icon (circle with a vertical line at the top). There should be at least three options: Sleep, Shut down, and Restart.  Select Restart.
    3. Wait for a few moments.
    4. When the PC has briefly restarted, select Troubleshoot.
    5. Then, click on Advanced options.
    6. Click on Startup Settings.
    7. Click on Restart.
    8. Wait until the PC has restarted wait for a list of options to appear. Select 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode.

    Remember, when Safe Mode is enabled, only the basic services and programs will run. If you picked Safe Mode only and not Safe Mode with Networking, even internet connection won’t work. If the type of malware infecting the device is designed to load automatically when Windows boots up, safe mode will prevent it from running.

    If you badly need your PC to surf the web to access tutorials and guides while troubleshooting, you can boot to Safe Mode with Networking by following the steps below:

    1. Restart your computer.
    2. Once you get to the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down while you select Power icon (circle with a vertical line at the top). There should be at least three options: Sleep, Shut down, and Restart.  Select Restart.
    3. Wait for a few moments.
    4. When the PC has briefly restarted, select Troubleshoot.
    5. Then, click on Advanced options.
    6. Click on Startup Settings.
    7. Click on Restart.
    8. Wait until the PC has restarted wait for a list of options to appear. Select 5 or F5 to start your PC in Safe Mode.

    Delete Windows 10 cache or temporary files

    Once the phone has booted to Safe Mode, the next thing that you want to do is to attempt a virus scan again. We would like to think that your antivirus will be able to fix the issue at this point. Before you do that though, make sure that you delete the operating system cache to speed up scanning. Some malware are designed to disguise themselves as temporary files so wiping the system cache may effectively purge them too.

    Alternatively, you can run the Disk Cleanup tool:

    1. Boot to safe mode
    2. Right click on Start button.
    3. Open Disk Management.
    4. Click File.
    5. Click Options.
    6. Click Disk Cleanup.
    7. Click Delete Files button.

    For more advanced steps on how to delete the system cache or temporary files, follow this link.

    Edit the registry

    Other types of malware can bury deep inside the system by creating false entries in your computer’s registry. Registry is a complex database of all possible operations in your machine. It’s a vital component of the operating system and for other programs that are designed to use it. Everytime you install a program, the registry is updated with a new set of instructions that are kept in a specific location. File references will also be added to allow other programs to interact with the newly installed program. Most programs utilize the registry in Windows machines. It is for this reason that, some malware may specifically target the registry to change computer behaviors. Troubleshooting the registry is a recommended step but only for those with advanced knowledge of Windows and computing in general. Tampering with the registry can lead to serious problems and can render a machine inoperable.

    Unless you know exactly what to look for in your computer’s registry, we would advise against it. However, one possibly helpful way is to look for obvious signs of malware entries in your registry. Try to look for unfamiliar names and Google them. Some misspelled entries may be a telltale sign of a malware so look them up too. If you are positive that you’ve identified a malware, right click on the entry and hit Delete.

    To check for false entries in your registry:

    1. Turn on your PC.
    2. Click Start button.
    3. Type regedit in the search box, then hit Enter
    4. Open the following directory by double-clicking on each folder in the hierarchy: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion
    5. Scroll down and look for folders that start with Run. Depending on your computer, you may see Run, RunOnce, Run-Disabled, etc. There can be as many as six entries there that starts with Run.
    6. If you noticed any misspelled or unfamiliar word, search it up in Google to know what it is. For instance, my laptop has an entry under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion named RTFTrack.exe because it’s a Lenovo. Other non-Lenovo devices will not have it.

    VERY IMPORTANT:  As mentioned above, tweaking the registry is not for average users. If you don’t know what you’re doing, or if you’re not sure that the entry you’re trying to delete is a malware or not, just leave it for now.

    How to create a back up of the registry in your Windows 10 PC

    To be on the safe side, be sure to back your registry up before editing it. You can do that by doing the following:

    1. Turn on your PC.
    2. Click Start button.
    3. Type regedit in the search box, then hit Enter.
    4. Click File.
    5. Click Export.
    6. Rename the registry file to the one you want.

    If something happens bad to the registry, you can simply re-open the registry, go under File>Import to restore your backup.

     

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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    How to delete Windows 10 cache or temporary files

    There are two reasons why you would want to get rid of your Windows 10 computer’s temporary files or cache:

    • to free up some storage space, and
    • to speed up antivirus scans.

    Temporary files are created and used by the operating system. They’re stored in the Temp folder.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.


    Steps on how to delete temporary files in Windows 10

      1. Turn on your PC.
      2. Right-click on the Start button.
      3. Click Run.
      4. In the Run window that appears, type %temp%. Depending on the size of the Temp folder, it may take some moments to load the files fully.
      5. Highlight everything in the Temp folder by pressing CTRL+A.
      6. Delete all highlighted files and folders.
      7. Tap or click Skip if you’re presented with a File In Use or a Folder In Use warning during the temporary file deletion process. This is the way Windows remind you that the file or folder being deleted is being used by another program. Selecting Skip tells Windows to let the file or folder stay so you can move along with the deletion of other files or folders.
      8. Wait until all temporary files are deleted. This can take seconds or minutes, depending on the total size of the files and folders.
      9. Finally, locate Recycle Bin on your Desktop, right-click or tap-and-hold the icon, and then choose Empty Recycle Bin.

     

     

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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    5 Best ASUS Laptops in 2018

    ASUS is among the most prolific laptop manufacturers in the world, and a year doesn’t go by without a few ASUS laptops hitting the best-seller lists of major retailers such as Amazon. Looking at the company’s current line-up, it’s safe to say that the next year won’t be any different. Below are out 5 picks for best ASUS laptops in 2018.

    Best Asus Laptops

    ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
    Asus ASUS ROG STRIX GL703VD 1099
    Asus ASUS F556UA-AB32 799
    Asus ASUS VivoBook S510 749
    Asus ASUS ZenBook 13.3-inch Ultra-Slim Laptop 699
    Asus Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54 649


    ASUS F556UA-AB32

    The ASUS F556UA-AB32 is one of our favorite laptops for everyday use. It’s affordable, stylish, future-proof, and powerful enough for everything from web browsing to video streaming to office applications to light gaming. Thanks to the highly efficient nature of the laptop’s 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor, the ASUS F556UA-AB32 offers a significantly longer battery life than many other laptops in the category, without being noticeably more expensive.

    The elegant design of the laptop is underlined by the crispness of the 15.6-inch Full HD display with ASUS Eye Care mode, which effectively reduces blue light levels by up to 33 percent to make reading comfortable, and to protect you from potential eye fatigue and other ailments. Despite being made for everyday use and not for demanding professionals, the ASUS F556UA-AB32 offers a wide range of connectivity options, including USB 3.0 Type-C, which has already been adopted by a number of smartphone manufacturers.

    ASUS ROG STRIX GL703VD

    If gaming is one of the primary activities you want to do on your next laptop, the ASUS ROG STRIX GL703VD will be right up your alley. This large 17.3-inch gaming laptop packs a desktop-level performance inside a stylish chassis that houses a 7th generation Intel Core i7 quad-core processor clocked at 2.8 GHz, 16 GB of DDR4 memory, 1 TB FireCuda hybrid drive, which up to 6x faster performance than traditional HDDs, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 dedicated graphics card with 4 GB of video memory.

    ASUS knows how picky gamers can be when it comes to the input devices they use to score points and frags. The ASUS ROG STRIX GL703VD features a full-sized keyboard with Aura RGB lighting, anti-ghosting technology, 4 zones of lighting control, and 4 isolated hotkeys that can be mapped to trigger complex macros. The keyboard is designed to survive at least 20 million keystrokes, which is on par with most mechanical keyboards.

    ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54

    The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 is a popular ultrabook that surprises with more than just its affordable price. Its 13.3-inch Full HD display keeps the overall size and weight of the laptop down, but not so much that there wouldn’t be enough space for a proper keyboard. In fact, the laptop’s full-size keyboard with 1.5-millimeter key travel is among the most comfortable keyboard we ever typed on, and the same can be said about the large touchpad with an embedded fingerprint reader for fast and secure authentication.

    Being a proper ultrabook, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 packs powerful hardware. More specifically, it features the latest Intel Core i5-7200U Processor, 8 GB of 1600 MHz LPDDR3 memory, and 256 GB Solid State Drive. The laptop also has three built-in USB 3.0 ports for fast data transfers and one USB 3.1 Type C port. To top it all off, the ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 has loud and detailed stereo speakers enhanced with SonicMaster sound optimization technology.

    ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54

    Some laptops are more versatile than others, and the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54 is definitely among them. This inexpensive convertible has a 360-degree hinge that allows it to transform from a laptop—Chromebook to be more precise—into a tablet. This means that you can switch between work and play without grabbing a different device.

    Because the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54 runs on Chrome OS, it uses the available hardware resources more efficiently than laptops with the Windows operating system would. As such, the laptop’s Intel Core m5 processor and 4 GB of memory are actually enough to deliver a smooth, stutter-free user experience. And because Chrome OS is developed with security and cloud in mind, the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54 automatically keeps all your files securely backed in Google’s cloud. What’s more, Chrome OS always stays up to date and protected against malware and malicious intruders.

    ASUS VivoBook S510

    We end our list of top 5 best ASUS laptops in 2018 with the ASUS VivoBook S510, a powerful laptop for demanding professionals and those who want something better than most 15.6-inch laptops in this price range offer. ASUS advertises the VivoBook S510 as the perfect combination of beauty and performance, and we can’t disagree. The laptop’s 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor and 8 GB of DDR4 memory provide excellent performance and a very long battery life. The 15.6-inch NanoEdge display has 80 percent screen-to-body ratio and a 178° viewing angle for accurate colors even at extreme angles.

    The ASUS VivoBook S510 has a large hybrid storage device that combines the benefits of an SSD with the huge storage capacities of a traditional hard drive to give you the best of both worlds. The laptop’s extensive connectivity options include USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, and a slot of SD cards. The single-piece keyboard with 1.4mm key travel the laptop comes with is comfortable for any hand size, and the spacious touchpad has a built-in fingerprint sensor for secure authentication.

    Best Asus Laptops

    ImgAmazon.com LinkBrandProductAmazon.com LinkPrice on Amazon.com
    Asus ASUS ROG STRIX GL703VD 1099
    Asus ASUS F556UA-AB32 799
    Asus ASUS VivoBook S510 749
    Asus ASUS ZenBook 13.3-inch Ultra-Slim Laptop 699
    Asus Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DH54 649


  • in ,

    5 Best Chromebox PC in 2018

    Chromeboxes are inexpensive personal computers running Google’s Chrome OS operating system. They are great for children or adults with minimal demands, and they are also popular as media centers for televisions. Thanks to Google’s continuous effort to make Chrome OS more capable, Chromeboxes in 2018 can do more than ever before while still costing much less than comparably powerful Windows-based computers. Let’s take a look at what we consider to be the top 5 best Chromebox PCs in 2018.

    Best Chromebox PC

    Asus Chromebox 2

    The Asus Chromebox 2 is a stylish machine with a simple design, powerful hardware, and a great selection of ports. Inside is a 5th generation Intel processor that draws only 6 watts at idle, making it more efficient than your average light bulb. Despite the remarkable power efficiency, this Chromebox can easily play 4K content and output video signal to multiple displays at the same time. Thanks to four USB 3.0 ports, with two front-mounted fast charging USB 3.0 ports to charge your mobile devices in half the time, you will have no problem connecting all your peripherals and storage devices so you can use the Asus Chromebox 2 just like a regular PC.

    When browsing the web or doing basic office tasks, the Asus Chromebox 2 produces only 17 dB of noise, and it stays below 31 dB even when playing games or watching high-definition videos. Just like all other Chromeboxes, the Asus Chromebox 2 is very easy to set up. The machine automatically downloads the latest updates from the Internet to keep you up to date and protected against malware and malicious hackers.

    Dell Chromebox 3010

    The Dell Chromebox 3010 is a premium Chromebox with workstation-grade hardware and a rock-solid build quality. This mighty little Chromebox is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 2.1 GHz, allowing it to handle just about everything you can throw at it. While 4 GB of RAM might not seem like a lot, especially if you’re coming from the Windows world, you can rest assured knowing that memory won’t be an issue. Chrome OS is an extremely memory-efficient operating system, and 4 GB allows you to do a lot more than just open a couple of websites and play music.

    The Dell Chromebox 3010 can be connected to the Internet either wirelessly or via a hard-wired connection. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, you can control the Dell Chromebox 3010 using a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse without any latency issues whatsoever. You can also pair the Dell Chromebox 3010 with your Bluetooth headphones and listen to music or podcasts as you do chores around the house.

    Acer Chromebox CXI2-i38GKM

    The Acer Chromebox CXI2-i38GKM is a highly flexible Chromebox with an included VESA mounting bracket that allows you to mount it to the back of your monitor or TV. Thanks to the ample processing power of the 5th generation Intel Core i3-5005U processor, the Acer Chromebox CXI2-i38GKM boots up in under 8 seconds, and it can provide crisp high-definition video output via either HDMI or DisplayPort. With 8 GB of memory, you can use as many apps at the same time as you want without any slowdowns or frame drops. The Intel HD Graphics 5500 can handle most Android games with ease, and it supports efficient video encoding to take the processing load off the CPU.

    Acer includes a USB keyboard and mouse with the Chromebox, so you can just connect everything together, press the power button, and enjoy your new computer. Other peripherals and accessories can be connected to any of the four available USB 3.0 ports, and the Acer Chromebox CXI2-i38GKM even has a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port for ultra-fast wired Internet connection.

    Asus CHROMEBIT CS10

    This affordable Chromebox-on-a-stick turns any display with HDMI into a full-fledged computer with 100 GB of Google Drive storage space, 16 of flash storage space, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. While lacking the processing power of larger Chromeboxes, the Asus CHROMEBIT CS10 has more than enough power for web browsing, multimedia, video chat, or light gaming. Because of its fast boot time, minimal power consumption, and sleek form-factor, we recommend the Asus CHROMEBIT CS10 as an inexpensive alternative to home theater PCs.

    Acer Chromebook R13

    Alternatively, you should consider purchasing a powerful Chromebook, like the Acer Chromebook R13, and connecting it to a display via HDMI or wirelessly using Chromecast. This way, you can enjoy the exact same operating system and access to hundreds of thousands of apps and games as you could with a Chromebox, but with the added benefit of owning a stand-alone laptop that you can take with you anywhere or keep it home as a backup.

    Best Chromebox PC

  • in ,

    Microsoft Surface won’t turn on: black screen, totally unresponsive [troubleshooting guide]

    Is your #Surface device having a problem turning on? Read on! Today, we provide solutions on how to fix this trouble.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

     


    There are several reasons why your Surface may appear not to turn on:

    • if you’re using a Surface Book, its keyboard may not be attached to the screen causing it it look unresponsive
    • power cord, adapter, power connector, and/or charging port may be damaged
    • something is plugged into the charging port in the power supply unit
    • power supply may be broken
    • it’s in power saving mode
    • Windows won’t run or  is corrupted
    • its screen assembly is broken
    • It has a battery issue
    • it has become unresponsive
    • there’s a general hardware issue

    Because a lot of these causes manifest in different ways, your logical first step is to know what symptoms are showing in your own device. If your Surface won’t turn on at all and it has the following symptoms as mentioned below, this is the right troubleshooting topic for you:

    • Surface logo not showing
    • screen remains black
    • no LED light indicators are lit
    • nothing happens when you press the power button

    How to troubleshoot a Surface that won’t turn on

    Before you proceed with the solutions below, make sure that your Surface is not merely in power-saving mode. By default, a Surface device screen will automatically turn off to save battery power. Also, make sure that you it’s not hibernating. If not used for a few hours, Surface will go into hibernation by saving tasks and shutting down by itself. If any of these states is true though, pressing the power button should bring the device back on. For those using Surface 3, it’s possible that the battery may have simply drained. Be sure to charge it for at least 10 minutes before turning it back on. It can take 10 to 15 minutes for the Windows logo to show depending on how low the battery is.

    If nothing happens, proceed with the solutions below.

    Make sure that accessories are not damaged.

    Your Surface device works best when connected to the power supply provided by Microsoft. If you’re using a third party adapter or cables, be sure to use the original ones that came with the device and see what happens.

    Also, make sure that the power accessories are not damaged. Bent or broken power cables can cause power-related problems so be sure to check them one by one.

    A good way to know if one of the accessories is to blame is by checking the power connector light. If the light is off, contact Microsoft to have the power supply replaced.

    If you’re getting a flashing light on the power connector, there may be a bad connection between the power supply and the Surface device. Again, talk to Microsoft on how to replace the power supply unit.

    Try a force restart

    Sometimes, all you need to do to revive a non-responsive Surface is a force restart. To do it, follow these steps:

    1. Press and hold the Power button for 30 seconds. Make sure that you don’t let the button go before 30 seconds is up. The screen is expected to flash so just ignore it.
    2. Release the button after 30 seconds.
    3. Then, press and release the Power button to turn it back on.

    If you have a Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3 and the phone remains unresponsive after performing a force restart, you need to contact Microsoft to have your device serviced. There must be a hardware-related issue preventing the device from powering back on.

    Shut down your Surface using dual buttons

    This solution is only recommended for Surface Pro models only. If you have a Surface RT, Surface 2, or Surface 3, don’t attempt this step.

    Dual-button shutdown is employed when a Surface Pro device did not turn off completely. This often occurs when Windows becomes unresponsive, or if a program prevents Windows from completing the shutdown procedure. To do a dual-button shutdown, follow these steps:

    1. Press and hold the Power button for 30 seconds. Make sure that you don’t let the button go before 30 seconds is up. The screen is expected to flash so just ignore it.
    2. Release the Power button after 30 seconds.
    3. Press and hold the Volume Up button and the Power button at the same time for at least 15 seconds and then release both. The screen may flash the Surface logo, but continue holding the buttons down for at least 15 seconds.
    4. Wait for 10 seconds after releasing both buttons.
    5. Press and release the power button to turn your Surface back on.

    If your Surface Pro will still not respond or turn on at all, that’s an indication that the issue is beyond your level to fix. Contact Microsoft for assistance.

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

  • in , ,

    How to fix Game DVR problems in your Windows 10 PC

    We’ve recently addressed some gaming topics in #Windows10 lately and this article is no different. Today, we add another troubleshooting article about Windows 10 Game DVR issues. While Game Mode is definitely a welcome improvement for Windows, most gamers are excited with Game DVR recording feature even more. This post covers some common problems one may encounter when using Game DVR so hopefully the solutions we provide here will help.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

     


    Update Xbox app in Windows 10

    Before you begin troubleshooting any Game DVR-related issue, make sure that the Xbox app is running its latest version. By default, Xbox app is set to update itself automatically on Windows 10 but there can be instances when that does not happen at all. To ensure that it’s up-to-date, you’ll have to manually update.

    At the time of this writing, the current Xbox app version should be 8.8.15003.00000. If you are not sure what the version of your Xbox app at this time, open the Xbox app, go under Settings>General tab and look for About section. This is where you’ll see the current version of your Xbox app.

    To manually update your Xbox app, follow these steps:

    1. In your Desktop screen, click Start
    2. Click Microsoft Store.
    3. Select More (three dots) near the search box, then select Downloads & updates.
    4. On the Downloads and updates page, choose Get updates.

    Nothing happens when launching Game bar via Windows key + G? Here’s the fix:

    Sometimes, pressing Windows key + G fails to launch Game bar altogether. To fix the problem, follow these steps:

    1. Verify that Xbox app in Windows 10 is full updated. Refer to the steps above on how to do it.
    2. In your Xbox app, check Game DVR settings under Settings. Be sure that Record game clips and screenshots using Game DVR is enabled.
    3. Try switching to Windowed mode if you’re on full-screen mode. Game bar won’t open in some games being run on full-screen mode.
    4. If the first three options won’t fix the issue, the game you’re playing may be ignoring the Windows button. Try changing the shortcut combinations to something that doesn’t include the Windows button. Go to the Xbox app, select Settings, then Game DVR and then Keyboard shortcuts to get started.

    How to fix dark or blank game clips?

    This issue is caused by some games not fully supporting Windows 10 Game DVR feature. Basically, some games don’t allow recordings. Despite this, the operating system will still attempt to follow your command to capture or record the game or a clip but they’ll remain blank or black.

    At other times, using keyboard shortcuts while the game is in full screen will produce dark clips. If this happens, try switching to Windowed Mode before capturing game clips again.

    Microsoft recognized this issue and is working for a fix at this time. We’re hoping they can release an update to fix this problem as soon as possible.

    What to do if you can’t take a screenshot

    There are two possible reasons why screenshots may not work. Screenshots are not allowed in full-screen mode. This is most likely a coding limitation that Microsoft can’t overcome. If you badly need to screenshot your screen, we suggest that you switch to Windowed Mode.

    The other reason may have something to do with some contents in your computer. If you have some protected content (files, folders, etc.) open on your machine while playing, data security will be prioritized and the screenshot will be rendered blank. Make sure to close all encrypted contents you might have before attempting to screenshot again.

    How to fix non-working Game Bar keyboard shortcuts?

    There are three possible reasons for this:

    • program is not identified as a game
    • game does not recognize Windows logo key
    • game may be blocking all keys

    In order to use keyboard shortcuts to perform Game Bar specific actions, Windows 10 must first identify it as a game. Usually, a prompt will pop up asking if you want to use Game bar. If you missed the prompt, you can press Windows key + G to pull up Game bar. Once the prompt shows up, be sure to click the box beside Yes, this is a game.

    Some games may not detect the Windows key so you’ve already set Game bar app before but shortcut keys appear to still not work, we suggest that you create your own keyboard shortcuts without it. To confirm if a game does not recognize Windows key, press the said while you’re in the game. If the start menu won’t pop up, go ahead and create your own set of shortcut keys. To do that, follow these steps:

    1. Open the Xbox app.
    2. Find and look for Settings. Click it.
    3. Click Game DVR.
    4. Click Keyboard shortcuts.
    5. Use Your shortcut fields to create your own shortcuts.

    In some instances, some games may block keys altogether. If you’ve already tried the steps above and nothing improves, we suggest that you use the standard Game bar instead of the shortcuts.

    How to find screenshots, recorded game plays and clips?

    Your Windows 10 operating system will automatically save any recorded game plays, clips, and screenshots in a default location. To access it, follow these steps:

    1. Open File Explorer.
    2. Go to Videos.
    3. Click Captures folder.

    How to fix Game DVR that won’t record anymore?

    Like any program, Game DVR can succumb to unforeseen glitches. One such glitches is a recording not ending properly. This causes Game DVR to sometimes crash, or not recording at all. If you encounter this problem, you must restart Game DVR to solve it. Here’s how:

    1. If you’re in a game, close it properly. Make sure to not simply minimize it. You have to close it.
    2. Go to the taskbar and in the search box, type in Task Manager.
    3. Open Task Manager.
    4. Under Processes tab, look for Broadcast DVR server (bcastdvr.exe) process and left click it. Then, select End task. If Broadcast DVR server (bcastdvr.exe) process is no longer in the list of processes, it must have been closed already.
    5. Launch the game again and see if recording works now.

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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    5 Best Browser Based FPS Games in 2018

    For many people, the web browser has replaced the operating system. And we’re not talking only about Chrome OS users either. The average person now spends several hours on the internet every day, and our internet usage is only increasing. From reading news articles to watching movies to listening to movies to chatting with your friends—the humble web browser allows you to do virtually anything you want, even play full-fledged FPS games. Just what are the best browser based FPS games in 2017, you ask? Let’s find out.

    Contract Wars

    Year after year, Contract Wars wins as the best browser based FPS game. This Russian multiplayer free-to-play title is set in the near future in which private military companies rule the world. The complicated political relationships that form the lore of the game aside, the gameplay of Contract Wars could be described as a mix of straightforward FPS action with light RPG elements and a healthy dose of tactical combat.

    Players can choose from a sizable selection of modern weapons, each suited for a different job and a different gameplay style. You can get up close and personal with a shotgun or take out enemies from a safe distance using a sniper rifle—you decide how you defeat your opponents. For each kill and each victory, players are rewarded with skill and credit points. These points allow them to purchase weapons, unlock new skills, customize their characters, and more.

    You and your friends can form teams and clans and receive awards for well executed tactical decisions. Learn how to cooperate with one another and measure your strength against another clan. Seasoned players can try hardcore modes or join the elite Black Division group.

  • in ,

    How to record, take screenshots, or broadcast games in Windows 10 [via Game Bar]

    Before Windows 10 was launched, Windows gamers are forced to install third party programs in their machine in order to record a gameplay or capture what’s on their screen. With Windows 10 though, they’re now at par with Xbox-gaming pals as the operating system already incorporates game recording functions similar to what an Xbox console can do. To know the scope of this new feature, read on.

    Before we proceed to the main topic though, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

    How to activate Game Bar in your Windows 10 PC

    In order to start recording your game or capturing your computer’s screen, you must first launch the Game Bar. Windows 10 Game Bar feature is an integral part of the operating system but it needs to be set up for a game or app before it can be used. If you haven’t tried enabling it before, here’s how:

    1. Launch a game. Depending on your setup, games may be stored in the Xbox app or from the list of apps in your Start Menu.
    2. Once a prompt asking you to enable the Game Bar shows up, go ahead with it.
    3. If you missed the prompt for whatever reason, press Windows key + G.

    Now the you’ve opened Windows 10 Game Bar, you should see three tabs:

    • General
    • Broadcast
    • Audio

    The first tab, General, provides a number of options and the one that will allow you to activate Game Mode. This computing mode in Windows allocates relevant resources for gaming alone, pausing or stopping altogether tasks and processes that may slow the machine.  Broadcast tab allows you to capture the last portion of a game you’re on (the last 30 seconds only). This option, named Record That, is an easy way to record your game without needing to install a third party app or program. Under Broadcast tab, you also have the option to toggle the microphone or camera on or off. Lastly, Audio tab, as the name suggests, gives you options relating to all things audio such as microphone usage, changing audio settings and quality, to mention a few.

    If you want to set your Game Bar up, here are the steps:

    1. To know the name of the icons, just hover the mouse cursor over each of them.
    2. Click Settings.
    3. Read each entry under the General tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.
    4. Read each entry under the Broadcast tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.
    5. Read each entry under the Audio tab. Enable or disable each feature as desired.
    6. Click outside the Game Bar to hide it.

    How to use DVR Record feature

    Gamers love the new changes Windows 10 brings but they love it even more because of the DVR feature that allows one to record a gameplay. If you are familiar with how a normal TV DVR works, you’re getting the same exact functionality here.  Xbox gamers refer to it as Xbox game DVR.

    While playing, access Game Bar by pressing Windows key + G buttons. If the game you’re playing supports Game Bar, you will then see a horizontal bar with a number of options. Let’s discuss each of them briefly.

    • Xbox button — This is an option for you to open the Xbox app.
    • Record That — Next to the Xbox button, Record That is the option that lets you quickly tell your machine to capture the last 30 seconds of your game. It’s a useful feature for those wanting to record clips of historic or great game plays. This option is turned off by default but you can turn it back on under Settings.
    • Screenshot — The next option after Record That is the screenshot option symbolized by a camera button. This feature lets you record what’s showing in your screen. Once the capture is done, the file is then stored under File Explorer>Videos>Captures folder.
    • Record — The red circle allows you to capture the game. Once you’ve started to capture a gameplay, a timer then shows you how long you’ve been recording. The recorded files are then stored under File Explorer>Videos>Captures folder. Every file has its own corresponding title and metadata.
    • Settings — This icon allows you to customize Game DVR settings. Some other settings are only accessible via the Xbox app however.
    • Move button — This allows you to relocate the Game Bar on the screen.

    NOTE: If Game Bar appears to fail to launch, there are two possible reasons for it. Either the game is not supported by this feature, or your PC is in full-screen mode. To pull up Game Bar, you need to adjust the settings of your game first by opening it in Windowed mode. Then, once you’ve done that, press the Windows key + G buttons again to launch the Game Bar.

    Game Bar feature may be primarily designed to work with games but it can also be used to do other things such as:

    • record whatever you’re doing in your screen (such as showing someone step-by-step instructions of something)
    • capture contents in your browser
    • ask support from a technician by showing them the error or problem that manifests in the screen.

    How to play in full-screen mode and use Game Bar features

    If you think the Game Bar is distracting or if you want to play your games in full-screen modes, you should still be able to record game plays or capture screenshots but in a different manner. Since Game Bar won’t pop up in full screen mode, Microsoft makes it accessible for users still with the help of shortcut keys.  If you think you can memorize a handful of combinations, this should be a better option for you to avoid being distracted. Below are the shortcut keys and how they work.

    1. Windows key + G — Open Game bar
    2. Windows key + Alt + G — Record the last 30 seconds (you can change the amount of time recorded in Game bar > Settings)
    3. Windows key + Alt + R — Start/stop recording
    4. Windows key + Alt + Print Screen — Take a screenshot of your game
    5. Windows key + Alt + T — Show/hide recording timer

    If you want to create your own shortcuts that you can easily remember, you can do so under by opening the Xbox app and going under its settings. Look for Game DVR>Keyboard shortcuts and customize your own shortcut keys.

     


    We are here to help

    If you are having a problem with your Windows computer, don’t hesitate to let us know about it. We understand how frustrating computer problems can be so, more so if you can’t find the right solutions at all. Our blog exists to help PC users and Windows community deal with their problems effectively. To engage with us, just fill out the questionnaire in this link and wait for our articles to be published. In order to help as many people as possible, we only provide our solutions via posts so please don’t expect that we will respond to your emails or private messages. By making all posts public, we can share our solutions to other users in a more efficient manner. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

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