It seems that since December 9th some computers running the Microsoft operating systems Windows 10 and 8 are losing network connectivity due to what appears to be a problem with DHCP and can no longer obtain LAN IP addresses and DNS server settings from their broadband routers, preventing them from reaching the internet and other devices on their networks.

From our experience this week it seems to be affecting mainly DELL and HP machines.

 

We have found that the most reliable fix seems to be resetting the Winsock and IP Stacks as the Windows Network Troubleshooter seems unable to fix the problem:

The most reliable fix seems to be:

in the Search box in Windows type cmd and in the Search results right click on CMD Promt and choose run as Administrator.

This will run a command prompt in to which you need to type the following commands:

netsh winsock reset catalog

press enter

netsh int ipv4 reset reset.log

press enter

netsh int ipv6 reset reset.log

press enter

Restart you computer

 

Another way is to try resarting your computer in the following way:

Goto Start, clicking the Power button, then choosing Restart (not Shut down).

 

 

Recently had an issue with a TP-Link ADSL2+ 300MBps Wireless Router not being accessible by wireless devices. The Router had al of the correct light lit, ADSL, Interent Connection, Wireless light etc. but no SSID was seen by any wireless device.

Model was TP-Link TD-W8968 with the latest firmware V1_131226.

The Router was configured with the setup wizard that came on CD and was able to connect to the internet when connected via an Ethernet cable but devices were unable to see the Router wirelessly, the SSID of the device was unable to be seen. A new SSID was configured and a new pass key was endered along with setting it to WPA2-PSK with AES.


To fix this I started by logging into the Admin screen and disabled WDS.

Made sure in the Advanced settings that the

  1. Transmit power was set to High
  2. Channel Bandwidth set to 20/40
  3. Wireless to bgn

These settings as recommended on various forums had to effect on enabling me to see the SSID. So I set them all back again to defaults.

The Fix

In Wireless setting I found the Wireless Channel configuration and changed the Channel from the default of AUTO to a Number, in this case 10.

Then after another wireless refresh on the laptop and the SSID of the router appeared and I was able to configure the wireless settings.

Hopefully there will be a firmware revision that will fix this as out of the box 2 of these devices exhibited the same symptoms.

Excerpt from Microsoft Website

"
Support is ending soon

On April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP will no longer be available. Don't let your PC go unprotected.

What is Windows XP end of support?

Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences. 

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive antimalware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to help protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

So What do I do Now?

The easiest option is to bite the bullet and purchase a new computer then run the Windows Easy Transfer Wizard to copy your Documents, images, music, internet favourites etc. from your old computer to your new one.

Not everyone likes the new Windows 8 interface but within a couple of days most users get to grips with it fairly well and we have to move with the times. However if you are set againt Windows 8 then finding a computer with Windows 7 installed is another option.

If you want to use your existing hardware

Newer operating systems usually require more system resources. If your lucky your existing Windows XP hardware may meet the minimum system requirements for Windows 7 or Windows 8, but it won’t be optimal. You may require RAM upgrades or a larger hard drive etc. and need to be confident to install the new version of Windows after having backed up your data.

The best option for making use of your existing hardware is to install some version of Linux. Generally Linux requires a fraction of the CPU, memory, hard drive space and other resources that Windows needs and will work just fine on your old XP hardware. Linux can seem overwhelming to average users, but some versions like Ubuntu are very user-friendly with plenty of online help and often install with many of the same Programs that you are used to using with Windows such as Mozilla Firefox, Open Office etc.

Don`t want to learn something new.

Then that rules out Mac OS X and Linux for sure. It also probably Windows 8 for some tasks.

The best option if you want to upgrade but want an OS that most closely matches what you’re used to in Windows XP is to upgrade to Windows 7.

If you’re going to upgrade to a new version of Windows, just go to Windows 8. Yes, it has a dramatically different look and feel with the Modern User Interface and Start screen. However, it can be easily configured to go straight to the desktop and all of your usual Windows XP software runs on the desktop anyway. As long as you’re using the desktop on Windows 8 there's no difference from Windows 7, but you do get a number of performance and security improvements that don’t exist in Windows 7.

The Mac Route

Mac OS X is a good operating system and it has a number of unique features and it's simple to use. There are many things about Mac OS X that are quite intuitive if you don’t know any other way but seem counter-intuitive to someone who has used Windows for years. 

Mac OS X will require buying a new computer. Although Mac laptops and PCs run on the same Intel-based hardware as most Windows machines, Mac OS X can only be installed and run on genuine Apple hardware. 

Microsoft is going to stop supporting Windows XP but it has supported the OS for 13 years. It still supports Windows Vista and will provide extended support for Windows 7 through 2020.

You could just keep using Windows XP, but at your own risk, and Microsoft and other IT professionals won’t be there to throw you a rope when you start getting security exploits.

If you must use Windows XP for some piece of software then disconnect it from the Internet and if you can`t do that, then on no account do any Internet Banking or Financial transactions on the internet. If you must buy a 2nd PC or get a Tablet.

I recommend moving to Windows 8 and spending the time to get used to the new OS. 

 

 

 

Sometime just using the mouse isn`t always the fastest method of doing things in Windows or Office.

I find that I use the following keyboard shortcuts quite alot. Many of them will work in all sorts of software not just Windows and Office, but also software such as Audacity, Photoshop, The Gimp etc.

Note the use of the + in the following means and, so Ctrl + C means press and hold down the CTRL key and the press the C Key, or CTRL + Click means Press and hold the CTRL key and click the left mouse button.

Ok on with the shortcuts.

Ctrl + C – Copy

We are copying stuffs all the time and this is so much quicker than using the Mouse and  Right Click >> Copy.

Ctrl + V – Paste

If you copy then you need to paste. So instead of Right Click >> Paste, use Ctrl + V.

Ctrl + Z – Undo

Just deleted a piece of text! How to make text reappear on screen?  Ctrl + Z.

Tab – Go to next text area

I find this one very useful and is probably one of the best time savers on the web.

When filling forms on the web, especially username and password forms, this goes extremely handy.

When logging in, after typing the username, just press “Tab” and – your'e at the password form without touching the mouse!

Alt + F4 closes window currently open.

It means you don’t have to go up to that X in the corner of the screen to close the window.

Windows Logo + E – Open computer

If you press Windows Logo + E, it will open the computer.

The Windows Logo button is between Ctrl and Alt on the bottom left of the keyboard, assuming yur on a PC.

Read more: Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows Updates

Windows Update is a service provided by Microsoft that provides updates for the Microsoft Windows operating system and its installed components. These security updates are delivered on the second Tuesday of each month, Patch Tuesday, but security updates can be delivered whenever a software update is required to prevent an exploit targeting Windows users.

Windows Update can be configured to install updates automatically, ensuring that a computer is always up-to-date and not vulnerable to computer worms and other malware.

Windows 7 and Vista provide a Control Panel to configure update settings and check for updates.

Read more: Windows Updates

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