Cures for Sick and Dead Windows 10 Computers

Notes for my recent talk—Cures for Sick and Dead Windows 10 Computers—are now available online. They are in the form of a “responsive” outline, so they are easy to navigate. Update: There are additions to the “Recovery options” bullet.

The notes form a comprehensive guide to fixing most problems you may run into with Windows 10 itself. I have included links to the best online articles that I found in preparing them.

If you don’t find your solution in my notes, use the titles and content of the articles to discover search terms that produce good results when you “google” for more information.

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A fresh look at personal computing

Notes for my talk  — A fresh look at personal computing — are available online as an active list. It’s a “live” web page, and I may update it from time to time.

When you open that web page you’ll see some expandable/zoomable bullets (gray halos). Hover your mouse pointer just to the left of one of those and click the “+” to expand it. Hover again and click the “-” to collapse it.

Or, click the bullet itself and you will zoom in. All the other bullets will be hidden. Click one of the bullet titles in the breadcrumbs string (very top of the window) to un-zoom to any higher level bullet you want to go back to.

You may see an offer in the lower-right corner to get a WorkFlowy account for yourself. If not go to if you are interested. Once you’re signed in you can import this list to your own WorkFlowy web app page.

Just click again. It should open a new tab/window with the list inserted. You can make a duplicate of it by hovering your mouse pointer over the bullet until the context menu shows. You can then edit, add, or remove content from the copy.

The notes link for A fresh look at personal computing will also be provided in a CyberCoyote mailing list message.

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BIOS, UEFI, Boot, Recovery… Oh bother.

George talked a bit in the meeting today about booting from a USB Recovery Drive.  I recently stumbled across an article that covers how to boot from a recovery drive.  It’s especially valuable for its coverage of handling the process for newer computers that use UEFI. That’s something that (fortunately) I have no experience with.

The article —  BIOS/UEFI Setup Guide: Boot from a CD, DVD, USB Drive or SD Card  explains things clearly, and provides important information on booting computers from different makers. You might want to look it over before the meeting next week.

Troubleshoot Windows 10 using its own tools…

Notes for my talk on this topic are now available online:

Microsoft provides several new tools for troubleshooting Windows 10. As is often the case, they haven’t made it easy for the ordinary user to find all of them. One purpose of these notes is to point out where to find them and other tools. The other is to suggest how to use them.

I’ve used a scale {1-10} to indicate the difficulty of troubleshooting using the various tools available. {1} indicates that a casual user should succeed. Only a computer forensics expert would succeed in situations that rank {10} on the scale. For those who know me, you can gauge the range further by knowing I’d rate myself at {7 or 8}.

Some Windows 10 tools have moved a bit from their legacy locations, and more will move to the new “Settings” utility in the future. That’s the first place to look if you can’t find them when you need them. Cortana can also help — if you can think of the right search terms. Those notes can help with that too.

Buying a new computer

Near the end of the 2014-2015 season, I announced I was shuttering CyberCoyote. There was no longer much reason for me to try to maintain a comprehensive computing and security website.

I still own the domain, though. I’ll be using it (and the linked mailing list) from time-to-time to post things that I think have general interest. This may be one of those times.


Maybe you’re thinking about a new computer and are hoping Santa will bring one for you. If he doesn’t, or if you want one now, you may find “The cheapskate’s guide to buying a new PC or Mac” by Ed Bott useful.

One thing Bott does is assume his audience knows the best places to look for new computers. I thought I’d augment his article with some specific suggestions along that line.

Most retail sellers have an online presence that is useful as a starting point. Best Buy, Costco, Fry’s Electronics and Office Depot/OfficeMax come to mind. Or you can just drop by the store once in a while.

I recently scored a bargain on a nice Dell notebook at the Microsoft Store. Microsoft Store offers PCs, notebooks and tablets from all the major suppliers. Computers you buy there offer a big advantage: Microsoft does not allow any crapware or trialware installed on them.

There are tons of third-party device sellers online. NewEgg and Amazon are two I use and trust.

Happy hunting.