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.

An item that points to that article is buried in my (updated) collection of articles —  Troubleshoot Windows 10 using its own tools… And more… if you are interested in more context.

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.