BYTE ME: A-Z in purchasing a new PC
TODAY we will discuss what to do when things go wrong in the last of our mini-series in the A-Z of computer purchase, as next week we will slay a different type of dragon.
Previous articles should have helped zero in on a worthwhile PC, get it home and set up and into use. Today is more about operational tips and tricks to keep it running well.
Starting with a web browser, we highly recommend Google Chrome (not to be confused with the Google search engine). There are other web browsers such as the Windows 10 default - Microsoft Edge as well as the ageing Internet Explorer, however we do not recommend either. Google Chrome can be downloaded and set as the default browser on your PC.
Every browser, once started, will go to a home page and again we recommend the Google search engine as the best default (www.google.com.au) for its lack of advertising and quick load times. Comprehensive web pages such as Telstra.com.au and Nine.com.au are simply too full of adverts and distractions. You are best bookmarking these latter two so you will only see them if it is your intention.
Another essential of keeping your PC trouble free is to do a full shutdown and manual restart at least once a week. The old "Restart" command is now not a full shutdown so go to the extra trouble of doing as suggested above. This is also a good idea before letting Windows install any updates or software patches and offers less chance of a Windows Update corruption. Never keep clicking ignore for days on end to a Windows suggested restart. We also suggest "reprogramming" the power button on your desktop or laptop from its default setting of putting the PC to sleep - to instead initiating a shutdown of the PC. This setting can be changed by clicking on the Windows "start" button and typing "edit power plan" then clicking on "change advanced power settings" and scrolling down to "power buttons and lid". Here you can change the behaviour of the power button from sleep to shut down.
If you ever get to the point that a pop-up has taken over your screen or the mouse appears non-responsive you can simply give the power button a quick press to initiate a smooth shutdown. The power button will still continue to function as an emergency shutdown if held down continuously for five seconds or more. This last option is always far more PC friendly and ever so much more recommended than pulling the power cord out or turning a PC off at the wall.
Modern computers also largely come with the ability to forget about the need for a CD-ROM and this can become another PC health issue. We see too many Windows 10 PCs corrupted because their owners tried to install an old printer, scanner or other such device using the CD that came with that device 10 years ago. Throw those old CD drive disks out and go to the manufacturer's website to download the latest Windows 10 compatible driver.
If you run into further problems we have a comprehensive troubleshooting section on our website.
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave St or on 49222400.