Fix hard­ware prob­lems Dis­cover some easy fixes for trou­ble­some com­puter com­po­nents ` with our guide to solv­ing your Win­dows hard­ware woes More tips

Windows Help & Advice - - WINDOWS 10 KEEP YOUR PC HEALTHY -

One of the an­noy­ing things about up­grad­ing Win­dows is when you sud­denly dis­cover that your older hard­ware is no longer sup­ported. You plug it in, and ei­ther noth­ing hap­pens, Win­dows tells you driv­ers aren’t avail­able or – in the case of AMD graph­ics – it in­stalls a ba­sic dis­play adapter that’s stuck at a low res­o­lu­tion.

Be­fore you throw out the baby with the bath­wa­ter, press [Win] + [Pause/ Break] to open the Sys­tem Con­trol Panel and con­firm your oper­at­ing sys­tem type (32-bit or 64-bit). Now visit your hard­ware man­u­fac­turer’s web­site and seek out the lat­est ver­sion of its driver, mak­ing sure it matches your sys­tem type – Win­dows 8, 7 and even Vista driv­ers should work.

If you own two or more print­ers, it can be a has­sle switch­ing be­tween them. One work­around is to switch de­fault printer to whichever one you printed to last – click Start > Set­tings > De­vices > ‘Print­ers & scan­ners’ and flick the ‘Let Win­dows man­age my de­fault printer’ switch to On.

Strug­gling to get your net­work printer work­ing? If your wire­less printer doesn’t have a WPS switch for easy con­nec­tion to the net­work, con­nect it to your PC with a USB ca­ble af­ter down­load­ing and run­ning the lat­est printer soft­ware – be sure to se­lect Wire­less dur­ing setup to en­able the in­staller to help you con­nect the printer to your wire­less net­work.

Com­mon lap­top is­sues

Prob­lems with your lap­top screen? If the screen flick­ers or the res­o­lu­tion is too cramped, open De­vice Man­ager (press [Win] + [R], type de­vmgmt.msc and press [En­ter]). If a yel­low ex­cla­ma­tion mark is present next to ei­ther the Dis­play Adapter or Mon­i­tor then dou­ble-click the en­try to find out what the prob­lem is; look for an up­dated driver from your lap­top man­u­fac­turer or take a closer look at any er­ror codes or trou­bleshoot­ing op­tions of­fered.

If the screen ap­pears to be dead and you re­cently plugged it into a mon­i­tor, it may still be set to out­put to the HDMI port – check for spe­cial keys that en­able

you to cy­cle through avail­able dis­plays – typ­i­cally some­thing like [Fn] + [F3] – to see if the screen comes back, or re-con­nect it to a mon­i­tor and go to Start > Set­tings > Sys­tem > Dis­play. Look un­der ‘Mul­ti­ple dis­plays’ to set the de­fault screen back to the lap­top.

If the prob­lem per­sists, then it may be a phys­i­cal prob­lem. You could source a ser­vice man­ual on­line and open your lap­top to check for a loose con­nec­tion, or try an on­line ser­vice such as www. hplap­to­pre­, which of­fers a parts-only or fully-fit­ted re­pair ser­vice.

Other com­mon driver is­sues may be linked to your lap­top’s track­pad not work­ing as it should – it’s worth look­ing on your man­u­fac­turer’s web­site for a ded­i­cated driver. If one ex­ists, go to Start > Set­tings > De­vices > ‘Mouse & touch­pad’ and click ‘Ad­di­tional mouse op­tions’. Look for a De­vice Set­tings tab where you may find some con­fig­urable tweaks to make it more use­ful.

Fi­nally, head to Win­dows 10’s bat­tery sav­ing fea­ture via Start > Set­tings > Sys­tem > Bat­tery, where you can tweak your lap­top’s bat­tery saver set­tings to come on ear­lier and so pro­long the time it lasts be­tween recharges. Also look at switch­ing your web browser to Opera (, which comes with its own built-in bat­tery saver to ex­tend brows­ing time, too. Sleep-re­lated com­puter prob­lems can usu­ally be fixed once you know which com­po­nent is re­fus­ing to play nicely. Right-click the Start but­ton and choose ‘Com­mand Prompt (ad­min)’. Type

pow­er­cfg –en­ergy and press [En­ter]. When com­plete, browse to C:\Win­dows\ Sys­tem32 and dou­ble-click the en­er­gyre­port.html file to re­view in your browser. Make a note of er­rors and then iden­tify sus­pect de­vices in De­vice Man­ager. Dou­ble-click each in turn and look un­der the Power Man­age­ment tab (if it ex­ists) for set­tings to pre­vent that de­vice from bring­ing your com­puter pre­ma­turely out of standby.

Most sound-re­lated prob­lems come down to the in­cor­rect play­back (speak­ers) or record­ing (mi­cro­phone) de­vices be­ing se­lected. Click the ‘^’ but­ton in the Taskbar no­ti­fi­ca­tion area and look for a white speaker icon. Right-click this and choose ei­ther Play­back or Record­ing de­vices to see a list of avail­able de­vices, in­clud­ing which one is cur­rently the de­fault. Se­lect the cor­rect de­vice and click Set De­fault – you can click the down ar­row next to it to choose dif­fer­ent de­fault de­vices for reg­u­lar sound and com­mu­ni­ca­tion through ap­pli­ca­tions such as Skype.

Fi­nally, go to Start > Set­tings > ‘Up­date & se­cu­rity’ > Trou­bleshoot where you will now be able to ac­cess all the avail­able Win­dows trou­bleshoot­ers. Start with the ‘Hard­ware and De­vices’ op­tion to see whether this can help re­solve the is­sue for you.

“Most sound-re­lated prob­lems come down to the in­cor­rect play­back or record­ing de­vices be­ing se­lected”

Strug­gling to set up your wire­less printer? Hook it up to your PC via a USB ca­ble first, then choose how it con­nects to your net­work.

Plug your lap­top back into your main mon­i­tor if you can’t get the dis­play work­ing to trou­bleshoot.

Win­dows 10’s trou­bleshoot­ers are now found un­der Set­tings.

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