Wednesday, February 14, 2018

4 Ways to Ensure you Never Waste Printer Toner Again

Eventually the printer you are currently using will stop functioning at some point. Replacing hardware components is often not worth the cost considering the usage on the remaining components. One of the most frustrating aspects of having a printer die is wasting the remaining toner or inkjet cartridges that were purchased without knowing the printer was going to fail.

Instead of wasting the remaining toner, which is both costly and wasteful, use the following tips to ensure you never waste printer toner again.

4 Ways to Ensure you Never Waste Printer Toner Again

1 - Do not buy extra toner

For those of us who prefer to be prepared rather than surprised by issues that usually come at a most inconvenient time, it can be extremely tempting to keep backup toner replacements. There are many reasons for keeping an extra toner onsite including:

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Bypassing the Recycle Bin, A Better Way to Delete Files

There are plenty of instances when the recycle bin on a device saves an important file and makes your day. Sometimes a file is deleted, whether intentionally or accidentally, and when we realize we still need it, we are relieved to find it still available to us. There are also situations when we are positive we will never need a file again. Some examples  are: 
  • The file was downloaded as a reference that it is no longer needed
  • The wrong file was downloaded
  • A new version of the file has been created with a new name
  • A new version of the file has been created and the old one is no longer appropriate to use (for instance annual government forms)
  • Other various reasons
Whatever the reason, if you are confident you no longer need a document, bypassing the recycle bin when deleting it is a much better way to remove those files.

Bypassing the Recycle Bin, A Better Way to Delete Files

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How to Fix Windows Applications Like Edge when they Break

Even with the best testing and implementation practices, software applications can fail. Multiple variations of hardware platforms, software versions and third-party software can all add to the likelihood something will at some point fail to function normally. When this happens, trying to find everything that is going wrong and find the root cause of those issues takes time which is an invaluable resource.

Luckily, there is a way to fix built-in components and applications like Microsoft Edge when problems arise. Microsoft Edge, in particular, is especially tricky because you need to be able to get on the Internet to download another web browser like Firefox or Chrome. This is why it is always a good idea to download a secondary browser while things are working fine.

How to Fix Windows when Programs Like Edge Break

It is important to note you must be logged in with an account that has administrative privileges to be able to run the commands that will fix the application issues. NOTE: If you are logged in as an administrator and the first command fails to run, close the command window. Search for "cmd" a second time but right click on the result and select "run as administrator" in the pop-up window.
  • First, make sure the device has access to the Internet.
  • Then, open a command window by typing "cmd" in search.
  • At the prompt, type "DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth".

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How to Automatically Login to an Account on Windows 10

To protect files and account credentials using unique and complex passwords to log into devices is always recommended. However, there are times when it is also okay to allow windows to automatically login. One example would be an older device that was wiped of all personal files and then re-purposed to be used by young children. 

The following circumstances should be considered before enabling a Windows 10 device to automatically login to a user account:
  • When the device is only being used by one person OR the account being logged into is not an administrative account. This is important because allowing access to an admin account can provide access to documents stored in another user profile.
  • The user account does not store any personal data.
  • Account credentials and passwords are not saved in any of the web browsers. In the wrong hands, this could allow access to accounts with linked credit cards.
Newer versions of Windows have made it more difficult to find the setting required to enable the auto-login feature. Luckily this feature can be enabled in minutes.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

How to Get Remote Desktop working on Windows Server 2016

Using remote desktop is an easy way to connect to servers on a network. Once connected to a server, user accounts can be created, passwords can be reset, updates can be installed and software can be managed. In other words, almost everything you can do when physically logged into a device can be done using remote desktop. The benefit of using remote desktop is the ability to accomplish the same tasks more quickly. The further away a physical server is, the more time that is saved.

Unfortunately, a recent update to Windows Servers running the 2016 operating system can cause the server to stop responding to remote desktop connections. This post covers how to get remote desktop working on Windows Server 2016 when an update causes it to fail.

How to Get Remote Desktop working on Windows Server 2016

If remote desktop fails to connect after running important Windows updates, the steps below will fix this issue. The failure caused is unique because the server will still respond and ask for credentials, but after being entered the window disappears. The connection window remains but the desktop for the server is never presented. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Security Round Up: Meltdown & Spectre Patch Scams

It is likely you have heard of the security threats labeled Meltdown and Spectre. These vulnerabilities exist on Intel processors but must be addressed by the current operating system they are running to patch the issue. Patches are being released, although some are being blocked by anti-virus software. Machines that have not been running can also miss these patches. 

Worse yet, there are new phishing email scams being sent that pretend to have information about patches. This security round up covers some basic information about the Meltdown and Spectre threats as well as patch scams.

Security Round Up: Meltdown & Spectre Patch Scams

Both Meltdown and Spectre are security flaws that exist at the architectural level of processors. This means the operating system running on your device hardware, and the software running on top of that operating system, are all vulnerable. Unfortunately, the patches that will thwart the exploit must come from the operating system manufacturers. As security updates are released, it is important to apply them.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

What to do when Windows 10 Suddenly won't get Online

Recently there have been various changes that have caused Windows 10 devices that had been online and operating normally, to suddenly stop being able to get to the Internet. There are many reasons this can happen to a device. If other devices remain unaffected and the cause has been narrowed down to the local device, there is an easy way to get it back online.

First, be sure you check the network cable, reboot, and or know the wireless network is operating correctly and that the device is connected to it before making any changes. If the device is the cause, resetting the network settings will often fix this issue. The process is simple and takes only a few minutes to complete.

What to do when Windows 10 Suddenly won't get Online

A feature available in Windows 10 is the network reset utility. This tool removes all network settings, including those responsible for blocking the device's access to the Internet, and sets them back to their original state. NOTE: This process also removes the settings associated with wireless networks, so be sure you know which network you connect to and its associated password.