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Health check for your computer

Surit Doss shows us how to use some operating system tools to keep our computers healthy

By Surit Doss

  • Published 15.10.18, 8:07 AM
  • Updated 18.10.18, 2:23 PM
Windows 10
Windows 10 Source: Wikimedia

Just as you would do a health check-up, you need to look after your Windows 10 computer regularly. Buried in the operating system are tools that you should use periodically so that your PC does not die on you suddenly.

You cannot work or play without the Internet. For this, it is imperative that your wireless network is working smoothly. You can generate a health report by opening Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt with Admin rights. Right click on Start and Select Windows PowerShell (Admin) or Command Prompt (Admin), whichever shows on your computer. Type netsh wlan show wlanreport. This will generate a report in the folder C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\WlanReport\ called wlan-report-latest.html. Open it with your browser.

The chart at the top shows a summary of the connection. The ones that should bother you are those in red, which indicate an error. The Disconnect Reasons tell you why the network was disconnected. This could be because the driver failed or the network was unavailable. It also shows when you manually disconnected it.

Another way to check the fitness of your computer is to use Windows Defender. Go to Start and search for Windows Defender Security Center. Open it and on the left, click on Device performance & health. Under Health report, you will find if there are any problems with Windows Update, the storage or driver issues. The storage capacity checks if the computer has enough space to update Windows. If you have a laptop, Battery life analyses your brightness level and sleep settings and will recommend steps to better the life of the battery.

If you have a laptop, Windows 10 has a neat feature called Sleep Study. It tells you a lot about the health of the computer and the state of the battery. The only hitch is that the hardware of your computer must support Sleep. To find out if your laptop supports Sleep, open Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt and type powercfg–a. The output will tell you the sleep modes supported by your computer.

To generate a Sleep Study report, type powercfg/SleepStudy. The report is saved to the file in C:\windows\system32\sleepstudy-report.html. This will detail the machine information, show a battery drain chart and battery information, among others.

If your computer still misbehaves, you may need to refresh your operating system. Windows 10 lets you reinstal the operating system from the ground up without deleting any of your files. But you will have to reinstal third-party apps and drivers. So keep the installation files handy. Go to Settings—Update & Security—Recovery, and click Reset this PC. Put a tick next to Keep My Files. You don’t need any separate copy of Windows 10 on a disc or a flash drive.

Emojis on your PC: Have you wanted to type an emoji while using a computer but could not? There is a pop-up keyboard for this in Windows 10. Right-click the Taskbar in a blank area, and select “Show touch keyboard button”. A new icon will appear next to the clock in the taskbar. Tap it anytime with the mouse to bring up the on-screen keyboard. Press space on the regular keyboard to dismiss it from the screen. Click the extra keyboard icon at the top left of the virtual keyboard. You will find an option to make the keyboard smaller so that it does not interfere with your work.

In this on-screen keyboard, you can now get not only emoji but also special characters like the em dash (—) or degrees symbol (°). Press the smiley to get emojis. Press the &123 key to switch to symbols. Keep a symbol pressed to get some more symbols just like you would on a smartphone. You can get accented characters by keeping certain alphabet keys pressed.

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