How to generate a System Health Report

There are many ways to understanding your Windows 8 computer’s well-being.  Windows 8 comes with several built-in tools to gather this kind of information.  In this blog, I’ll write about how to generate a System Health Report.

Here we go..

Step 1) Open Control Panel.  A quick way is to simply type Control Panel on the Start Screen.

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Left-click on System and Security

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Left-click on System

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Left-click on Performance Information and Tools

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Left-click on Advanced Tools

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Left-click on Generate a system health report

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A window pops up called Resource and Performance Monitor and it will start gathering information about your system.

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That’s all there is to it.  Good luck!

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Event Log Red Herring Alert (ERHA) –InitialFirewallConfig.wfw

From time to time, I check my Windows 8 Event Logs to see what’s going on with my system and the applications that I run.  One Error that showed up was this.

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…the General tab provides more detail and it reads this…

Function: fileExists
File: .\Utility\sysutils.cpp
Line: 500
Invoked Function: _tstat
Return Code: 2 (0x00000002)
Description: The system cannot find the file specified.

File: C:\ProgramData\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client\InitialFirewallConfig.wfw
Error: No such file or directory

I noticed that it would happen whenever I started running a program called Cisco Any Connect VPN Client.  Scouring the internet, I couldn’t find any useful information about it.

I created an empty file with the same name in the C:\ProgramData\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client directory and restarted Cisco Any Connect VPN Client.  Lo’ and behold, the file disappeared.  It appears that it is a file that Cisco Any Connect VPN Client needs at startup then removes.  Cisco Any Connect VPN Client still runs with or without this file so I think its messy programming to have an Error be logged in the Event Log.

I posted this for others to see that this file is really not that important and neither is the Error.

Good luck!

Reliability Monitor–Great for reviewing your Windows 8 computer’s reliability and problem history

One of the ways to look at how well your Windows 8 computer is running is through a built-in program called Reliability Monitor.  This software comes with Windows 8 and is a great way of checking to see how stable your system has been running over time.  In my case, it helped me understand which software wasn’t running as well as it should.

To run Reliability Monitor, simply type Reliability Monitor in the Start Screen.  A desktop application will pop up.

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Briefly describing key points of the User Interface, the Green Box 1 allows you to select a time unit to view – days or weeks.  By clicking on any of the columns (Green Box 2), details are shown in Green Box 3.

In my case, my overall reliability is very low and it is mainly caused by an application I use regularly called NX Client for Windows – both nxsshe.exe and NXWin.exe are related to this program.  The program actually runs and I can use it but for some reason when the program starts up, the application is logging failures.  When I click on Check for Solution found in Green Box 3, no solutions are found.  However, there are a few things I can do. 

1) I could re-install or repair the program,

2) work with NX Client customer support, or

3) RDP (Remote Desktop) to a computer that has this program and runs without issue. 

Lucky for me, I can RDP to my system and continue to work from there since there is no issue on that system.  And, in parallel, I can work with customer support or Bing for potential solutions.

More information about this great software tool can be found here

I hope you found this useful.  Good luck!

Windows 8 Mail App Shortcuts

Well, whaddya know!  It turns out that although the Mail Application that comes with Windows 8 is designed for touch it is also very keyboard friendly!

Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts:

Ctrl + R - Reply
Ctrl + Shift + R - Reply all
Ctrl + F - Forward
Ctrl + Shift + F - Hide or show the Folder pane
Ctrl + Shift + A - Hide or show the Accounts pane
Ctrl + U - Mark as unread
Ctrl + Q - Mark as read
Ctrl + A - Select all messages
Ctrl + N - New Message
F5 - Sync
Alt + B - Put focus on the bcc button
Alt + C - Put focus on the cc button/Accept
Alt + D - Decline
Alt + S - Send mail
Alt + T - Put focus on the To button
Alt + V - Open the invitation in Calendar
Ctrl + Enter - Send mail
Ctll + Shift + F - Select a font
Ctrl + Spacebar - Clear formatting
Ctrl + Y - Redo
F4 - Redo
Ctrl + [ - Increase font size one point
Ctrl + ] - Decrease font size one point
Ctrl + Shift + , - Decrease font size
Ctrl + Shift + . - Increase font size
Ctrl + K - Add a link
Ctrl + E - Center
Ctrl + L - Left
Ctrl + R - Right
Ctrl + Shift + L - Bullets
Ctrl + M - Indent
Ctrl + Shift + M - Outdent
Tab or Shift + Tab - Indent/outdent when text is selected or when focus is in a list
Ctrl + ' - Acute accent
Ctrl + , - Cedilla accent
Ctrl + Shift + 6 - Circumflex accent
Ctrl + Shift + ; - Diaeresis accent
Ctrl + ` - Grave accent
Ctrl + Shift + 7 - Ligature accent
Ctrl + Shift + 2 - Ring accent
Ctrl + / - Slash accent
Ctrl + Shift + ` - Tilde accent
Alt + Ctrl + Shift + 1 - Inverted exclamation mark
Alt + Ctrl + Shift + / - Inverted question mark

How to horizontally split the screen to view two different areas of a document in Microsoft Word 2013

Here are the steps to split the screen into two halves.

1) Left-click the VIEW tab followed by left-clicking on the Split button.

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2) Now the page is horizontally split.  To stop using the Split feature simply left-click on the Remove Split button.

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That is all there is to it.  Good luck!

What’s new in Word 2013

Video: What’s New in Word 2013

Do more with your docs: Pop in an online video, open a PDF and edit the content, align pictures and diagrams with minimal fuss. The new Read Mode is clean and distraction-free—and it works great on tablets. Teaming-up is better too, with direct connections to your online spaces and streamlined review features like Simple Markup and comments.

Tip    To get started creating your first Word document, see Basic tasks in Word 2013.

Enjoy the read

Get absorbed in Word documents right from your screen with a new clean, comfortable reading view.

New Read Mode

Enjoy reading with a view that displays your documents in easy-to-read columns on the screen.

Read mode

Editing tools are removed to minimize distractions, but you still have access to the tools that are always handy for reading such as Define, Translate, and Search on Web.

Object zoom

Double-tap with your finger or double-click with your mouse to zoom in and make tables, charts and images in your document fill the screen. Focus on and take in the information, then tap or click again outside the object to zoom out and continue reading.

Resume reading

Reopen a document and keep reading right where you left off. Word remembers where you were—even when you reopen an online document from a different computer!

Welcome back bookmark

Online video

Watch online videos right in Word, without having to leave the document, so you can stay focused on the content.

Online video in Word document

Expand and collapse

Collapse or expand parts of a document with just a tap or click. Put summaries in headings and leave it to readers to open the section and read the details if they want.

Expand part of a document

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Work together

Work with others with streamlined collaboration tools.

Save and share files in the cloud

The cloud is like file storage in the sky. You can get to it anytime you’re online. Now it’s easy to share a document using SharePoint or SkyDrive. From there you can access and share your Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and other Office files. You can even work together with your colleagues on the same file at the same time.

Simple markup

A new revision view, Simple Markup, provides a clean, uncomplicated view of your document, but you still see indicators where tracked changes have been made.

Simple markup

Reply to comments and mark them as done

Comments now have a reply button. You can debate and easily track comments right next to the relevant text. And when a comment is addressed and no longer requires attention, you can mark it as done. It will be greyed out to keep out of your way, but the conversation will still be there if you need to revisit it later.

Comment reply

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Add polish and style

With Word 2013 you can create more beautiful and engaging documents, and you can work with more media types—like online videos and pictures. You can even open PDFs.

Start with a template

When you open Word 2013, you’re offered a choice of great new templates to help get you started along with a list your recently viewed documents so you can get back to where you left off in no time.

Word start screen

If you’d rather not use a template, click the Blank document.

Open and edit PDFs

Open PDFs and edit the content in Word. Edit paragraphs, lists, and tables just like familiar Word documents. Take the content and make it look great.

Insert online pictures and video

Add online videos directly to your documents that readers can watch right in Word. Add your pictures from online photo services without having to save them first to your computer.

Live layout and alignment guides

Get a live preview as you resize and move photos and shapes in your document. The new alignment guides make it easy to line up charts, photos, and diagrams with your text.

Alignment guides

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How to pin Internet shortcuts or websites to your Windows 8 Start Screen when using Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) Desktop mode

Here are the steps to pin a website to the Windows 8 Start Screen when using Internet Explorer Desktop mode.

Left-click Tools –> Left-click Add site to Start Screen

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A window will pop up asking for the URL you want to add to the Start Screen.  By default, the site you were viewing is filled in in the From:  field but you can add whatever website you want.  If the From: field shows the website you want to pin simply left-click the Add button.  Otherwise, left-click Cancel.

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The newly pinned website can be found on the right side of your Start Screen.  From there you can position it anywhere you want within the Start Screen.

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That’s all there is to it.  Good luck!