Troubleshooting Windows 10 Hardware

By Woody Leonhard

As you adjust to your new Windows 10 environment, your hardware might start to have issues. Following are some tips on how to troubleshoot hardware from the Windows 10 environment.

If you don’t see a mouse cursor on the screen or the cursor doesn’t move no matter how much you move the mouse, shut the computer down, make sure the mouse is plugged in, and restart the computer. If that doesn’t work, flip the mouse over and use your fingernail to scrape off built-up gunk, and wipe off the laser hatch with a Q-tip dipped in isopropyl alcohol. If the cursor still won’t move, throw the stupid thing away. Mice are cheap. Sheesh.

Touch corollary: if your tablet suddenly refuses to follow along as you tap or slide, or bump or grind, the most likely suspect’s a dirty screen. Follow the manufacturer’s recommend method for cleaning the face. Don’t blithely assume that you can use isopropyl alcohol, because it may leak in around the bezel.

If you suddenly can’t get at your e-mail or get on the Web even though you could get to it yesterday and you haven’t changed anything at all, chill. Chances are good that your Internet service provider (the place your computer connects to) is having problems. Come back in a few hours. Don’t change your settings.

If you can’t find a file that was sitting around yesterday, chances are good it’s either in the Recycle Bin or you dragged it somewhere weird. On the old-fashioned desktop, tap or double-click the Recycle Bin icon. If your file is there, double-click it or tap and hold, and then click Restore. If your file isn’t there, click in the Cortana box next to the Start button, type anything you can remember about the file, and on the right click or tap files.

If you spend the money to buy an expensive piece of hardware — a new video card, a second hard drive, a fancy force-feedback mouse, or a different cable modem — spend a little bit more money and have the retailer install it. Life’s too short.

If the stupid computer won’t work right, turn it off. Go read a book or watch a movie. Get some sleep. Come back when you’re not so tied up in knots. Few pursuits in the history of humanity are as frustrating as trying to get a recalcitrant computer to behave itself.