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Check your hard drive for errors in Windows 8

Keeping your hard drive free from errors is essential to the performance of your Windows 8 computer. When it comes to computer repair, this is one of the first things I do. So, if your experiencing problems opening an application or file, it may be time to check your hard drive for errors with Windows 8 built-in disk checking utility, CHKDSK (checkdisk).

There are two ways to run CHKDSK, standard and advanced. Here are the procedures for both.

Standard hard drive error checking in Windows 8

  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Right click the Start menu background to bring up the app commands.
  3. Select 'All apps'.
  4. Scroll to the 'File Explorer' tile and left click on it.
  5. Left click on 'Computer'.
  6. Right-click the hard drive that you want to check, and then click 'Properties'.
  7. Click the 'Tools' tab, and then, under 'Error-checking', click 'Check Now'. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  8. Select 'Scan drive'.

Advanced hard drive error checking in Windows 8

  1. Open a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges (click here for instructions)
  2. Use the following command line syntax(s) and parameter(s) to run CHKDSK:

CHKDSK [volume[[path]filename]]] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/I] [/C] [/L[:size]] [/B] [/scan] [/spotfix]

volume Specifies the drive letter (followed by a colon), mount point, or volume name.
filename FAT/FAT32 only: Specifies the files to check for fragmentation.
/F Fixes errors on the disk.
/V On FAT/FAT32: Displays the full path and name of every file on the disk. On NTFS: Displays cleanup messages if any.
/R Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information (implies /F, when /scan not specified).
/L:size NTFS only: Changes the log file size to the specified number of kilobytes. If size is not specified, displays current size.
/X Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary. All opened handles to the volume would then be invalid (implies /F).
/I NTFS only: Performs a less vigorous check of index entries.
/C NTFS only: Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.
/B NTFS only: Re-evaluates bad clusters on the volume (implies /R)
/scan NTFS only: Runs a online scan on the volume
/forceofflinefix NTFS only: (Must be used with "/scan") Bypass all online repair; all defects found are queued for offline repair (i.e. "chkdsk /spotfix").
/perf NTFS only: (Must be used with "/scan") Uses more system resources to complete a scan as fast as possible. This may have a negative performance impact on other tasks running on the system.
/spotfix NTFS only: Runs spot fixing on the volume
/sdcleanup NTFS only: Garbage collect unneeded security descriptor data (implies /F).
/offlinescanandfix Runs an offline scan and fix on the volume.

The /I or /C switch reduces the amount of time required to run CHKDSK by skipping certain checks of the volume.

How to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 8

At some point in time, you may need to run a program or command from a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges. Some of the best features inside of Windows Vista and Windows 7 are only accessible through an administrative Command Prompt. Here's how to open a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges in Windows 8.

A Command Prompt in Windows 7 with Administrator privileges
A Command Prompt in Windows 7 with Administrator privileges

  1. Left-click on the Start button.
  2. Left-click on All Programs.
  3. Left-click on Accessories.
  4. Right-click on Command Prompt.
  5. On the context menu that appears, left-click on Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    or
  1. Left-click on the Start button.
  2. In the search box above the Start button, type Command Prompt.
  3. In the list of results, right-click Command Prompt.
  4. On the context menu that appears, left-click Run as administrator. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    or
  1. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + X to bring up the Power User command menu.
  2. Left-click on Command Prompt (Admin). If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Resetting your network adapter in Windows 8

Is your network connection running slow? Or maybe your Internet browser isn't allowing you to go to specific websites? Installing / uninstalling applications or viruses / malware / spyware can add unwanted entries into the network protocol. If so, it may be time to reset your network adapter inside of Windows 8.

Command Prompt with administrator privileges in Windows 8
Command Prompt with administrator privileges in Windows 8

Windows 8 has a built-in administrator tool, Network Shell (Netsh), that allows you to configure and monitor network adapters on your Windows 8 computer. Netsh can completely reset your network adapter back to it's default state. It can also reset the Windows Firewall in Windows 8 too. All you need is a Command Prompt with administrator privileges.

How to open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges in Windows 8

To use Netsh, you will need to open a Command Prompt with administrator privileges. There are a few of ways to do this:

    Using a mouse
  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Right click the Start menu background to bring up the app commands.
  3. Select 'All apps'.
  4. Right click 'Command Prompt' tile to bring up the app commands.
  5. Select 'Run as administrator'. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Using a keyboard
  1. Go to the Start menu
  2. Press the Windows logo key Windows logo key + Z to open the app commands.
  3. Press Enter to select 'All apps'.
  4. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the 'Command Prompt' tile.
  5. Press the Application key Application key to bring up the app commands.
  6. Use the arrow keys to navigate to 'Run as administrator' and press Enter. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
    Using touch
  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the Start menu to bring up the app commands.
  3. Select 'All apps'.
  4. Scroll to the 'Command Prompt' tile and press and hold it to bring up the app commands.
  5. Select 'Run as administrator'. If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Netsh commands for resetting your network adapter in Windows 8

The following is a list of the Netsh commands you can use at a Command Prompt with administrator privileges to reset your network adapter in Windows 8.

netsh advfirewall reset Restores the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security policy to the default policy. The current active policy can be optionally exported to a specified file. In a Group Policy object, this command returns all settings to not configured and deletes all connection security and firewall rules.

netsh branchcache reset Resets the BranchCache service. Flushes the local cache. Every configuration parameter of BranchCache will be reset to its default value.

netsh int ip reset Resets TCP/IP and related components to a clean state.

netsh int ipv6 reset Resets IPv6 configuration state.

netsh winsock resetResets Winsock Catalog to a clean state. All Winsock Layered Service Providers which were previously installed must be reinstalled. This command does not affect Winsock Name Space Provider entries.

Sync data between your PC and smartphone with CompanionLink

Like allot of people, I use Microsoft Outlook as a PIM (Personal Information Manager). And being in the computer repair industry, I need to keep all of my personal data (contacts, calendar, etc.) synchronized and up to date on both my PC and smartphone. I found I can do all of this quite easily with CompanionLink.

CompanionLink 5 for Outlook setup screen
CompanionLink 5 for Outlook setup screen

I wrote an article a while back about syncing Outlook with my Android phone using CompanionLink on my PC and DejaOffice on my Android. How it works is you install CompanionLink on your PC or Mac and install DejaOffice on your Android, iPhone / iPad, Blackberry, etc.. You then define what database (Outlook, ATC!, etc.) and what fields (contacts, calendar, etc.) you want to sync.

DejaOffice 2.2 main screen
DejaOffice 2.2 main screen

Recently they released a new version of both CompanionLink (V5) and DejaOffice (V2.2) with more capabilities and features. In fact, they have multiple versions for different applications (I use CompanionLink for Outlook). Here's a quote from their website on the products they offer:

Our products work with Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, HP webOS, Palm OS, and Windows devices. We also sync with Google, Gmail, Google Apps, and Windows Live (Hotmail) accounts

CompanionLink for Outlook
Sync Microsoft Outlook with Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink for Palm Desktop
Sync Palm Desktop or Pimlical with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and memos.

CompanionLink Express
Sync ACT!, Lotus Notes, HighRise, or GroupWise with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink Professional
Sync Salesforce CRM, Goldmine, or any other supported database with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Includes all the features of CompanionLink Express, plus the ability to sync to from multiple databases, sync with up to 5 devices, and advanced sync options.

CompanionLink for Google
Sync Microsoft Outlook contacts and calendar to Google Contacts,Google Calendar, and Google Tasks. Works with any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account. Two-way sync is fully supported so you can make changes to data in Outlook or in Google.

CompanionLink for Outlook.com / Windows Live
Sync Outlook with your Windows Live Hotmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, and tasks.

CompanionLink for Time & Chaos
Sync Time & Chaos with smartphones, tablets, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink FA
Sync Wise Agent, Infusionsoft, SalesJunction, or Respond with smartphones, tablets, Outlook, or any Google/Gmail account. Supports two-way sync of contacts, calendar, tasks and notes.

CompanionLink for Mac
Sync Mac's Address Book and iCal with any Android device. You can also keep Outlook for Mac in sync with Android. Requires OS X Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8).

For more information on CompanionLink and DejaOffice, just follow the links below:

CompanionLink
CompanionLink FAQ's

Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 8

In 1995, Microsoft introduced Windows 95 with a new feature called the Start menu. To make easy to use, they added a key to the standard keyboard and called it the Windows logo key. Microsoft even added a hand full of keyboard shortcuts to go along with it. The Windows logo key is now standard on Windows based computers and Windows 8 takes full advantage of it.

The Windows logo key from a Microsoft keyboard
The Windows logo key from a Microsoft keyboard

There are now over forty different Windows logo key shortcuts inside of Windows 8 (all of them are listed below). For more keyboard shortcuts for Windows, see the links at the bottom of this article.

Windows logo key shortcuts for Windows 8

Press To
Windows logo key Start screen
Windows logo key + C Open charms
Windows logo key + D Show desktop
Windows logo key + E Open Windows Explorer
Windows logo key + F Go to Files in Search charm (+Ctrl to find computers on a network)
Windows logo key + G Cycle through desktop gadgets
Windows logo key + H Share charm
Windows logo key + I Settings charm
Windows logo key + J Switch focus between snapped and larger
Windows logo key + K Devices charm
Windows logo key + L Switch users (Lock computer if on a domain)
Windows logo key + M Minimize all windows (desktop)
Windows logo key + O Lock screen orientation
Windows logo key + P Projection options
Windows logo key + Q Search charm
Windows logo key + R Run...
Windows logo key + T Set focus on taskbar and cycle through running desktop apps
Windows logo key + U Ease of Access Center
Windows logo key + V Cycle through notifications (+Shift to go backward)
Windows logo key + W Go to Settings in Search charm
Windows logo key + X Quick link power user commands (Opens Windows Mobility Center if present)
Windows logo key + Z Open app bar
Windows logo key + 1-9 Go to the app at the given position on the taskbar
Windows logo key + + (plus) Zoom in (Magnifier)
Windows logo key + - (minus) Zoom out (Magnifier)
Windows logo key + , (comma) Peek at the desktop
Windows logo key + . (period) Snap a metro app to the right (+Shift to snap to the left)
Windows logo key + Enter Narrator (+Alt to open Windows Media Center if installed)
Windows logo key + Spacebar Switch input language and keyboard layout
Windows logo key + Tab Cycle through metro app history (use Ctrl to use arrow keys)
Windows logo key + Esc Exit Magnifier
Windows logo key + Home Minimize non-active desktop windows
Windows logo key + Page Up Move Start screen to left monitor
Windows logo key + Page Down Move Start screen to right monitor
Windows logo key + Break System Properties
Windows logo key + Left Arrow Snap desktop window to the left (+Shift to move window to left monitor)
Windows logo key + Right Arrow Snap desktop window to the right (+Shift to move window to right monitor)
Windows logo key + Up Arrow Maximize desktop window (+Shift to keep width)
Windows logo key + Down Arrow Restore/minimize desktop window (+Shift to keep width)
Windows logo key + F1 Windows Help and Support

For more keyboard shortcuts for Windows, see the links below:

Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts
General keyboard shortcuts
Natural keyboard shortcuts
Dialog box keyboard shortcuts
Accessibility keyboard shortcuts
Windows explorer keyboard shortcuts

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(602) 795-1111

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Geeks in Phoenix is an IT consulting company specializing in all aspects of Computer Repair / PC Repair / Laptop Repair. Since 2008, our expert computer repair technicians have been providing outstanding Computer Repair, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Photo Manipulation and Website Support.

Geeks in Phoenix have the best computer repair technicians providing computer repair and service in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe Arizona. We offer In-Shop, On-Site and Remote (with stable Internet connection) computer repair service.

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