Category Archives: Software

Sound not working?

If your sound has suddenly stopped working, and you’re running Windows 10 (version 1803) and received an automatic Microsoft update on or around 11th October 2018, Microsoft have a post about how to fix it here.

There’s also a rather more technical Reddit thread here which explains how to fix it from the Command prompt or a Powershell prompt (in either case it must be an admin-level prompt). Essentially, list the drivers with

pnputil /enum-drivers

and find the one that looks like this:

Original Name: intcaudiobus.inf
Provider Name: Intel(R) Corporation
Class Name: System devices
Class GUID: {4d36e97d-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}
Driver Version: 08/22/2018 09.21.00.3755
Signer Name: Microsoft Windows Hardware Compatibility Publisher

Note the “Published Name” – let’s say it’s this:

 Published Name: oemXXXX.inf

Finally, do this command, using the value you found instead of oemXXXX.inf:

pnputil /delete-driver oemXXXX.inf /uninstall

Sound should now work. No need to restart the PC.

This only affects PCs which use Intel High Definition Audio; by 12th October 2018 Microsoft had withdrawn the update, but if it has already been applied, it stays applied and your sound won’t work.

Password-protect a spreadsheet

It can be useful to protect an Excel spreadsheet with a password, for example before sending it by e-mail. Password-protected files are also encrypted, so there’s no way of seeing their contents without knowing the password.

You can do the same with Word documents. The process is virtually identical to that described below for Excel.  Access databases can also be password protected, although it’s a little more complicated (look for File | Info | Encrypt with Password).

Here are step-by-step instructions for putting a password on an Excel spreadsheet. Continue reading Password-protect a spreadsheet

How do I tell what version of Windows I’m running?

There are a number of ways, but one of the easiest, and one that works on all modern versions of Windows is this:

Use Win+R:

Windows and R keys
How to get the Run box

In details: hold down the Windows key, press and release the “R” key, let go of the Windows key.

Win and R keys
How to get the Windows “Run” box

The “Run box” will appear:

win-run-command

Type “winver” (without the quotes) and click “OK”.

screenshot
Windows 10 Anniversary Edition

You’ll be shown a box that tells you which Windows you have (Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 8, Windows 10), and, in smaller letters the version and edition – version 1610 of Windows 10 Pro, for example. Click “OK” to make the box go away.

Time to upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows 10 screenshot
Windows 10

Windows 10 was released in July 2015, with the offer of free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 home users (there is no Windows 9). My advice at the time to most of my customers was to wait and see how Windows 10 worked out, and not to rush into the upgrade. Sure enough, there was a major re-release of Windows 10 in November 2015 (the “Fall upgrade” or the “1511 upgrade”).

My advice now to most users is to take the free upgrade. Continue reading Time to upgrade to Windows 10?

Windows 10

windows10

If you’ve been offered the free Windows 10 upgrade (most home users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have been) my advice is to accept the download, but wait for a while before you allow it to perform the actual Windows 10 upgrade (it will ask you for permission).

My first impressions of Windows 10 are quite good – it’s certainly better than Windows 8 was – but there’s no rush. You have a year to accept the free offer, and it will be a big change in what you are used to (especially in the case of Windows 7 users) so wait for a while and see how everyone else gets on!

For those who have already done the upgrade, I’d advise turning off the new search bar which, by default, send everything to Microsoft. Instructions here.