HP Stream Factory Restore – Insructions

Another computer problem from a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. This individual was trying to perform an HP Stream factory restore. Here is the initial question quoted verbatim.

HP Stream won’t let me create a recovery disk or do a reset. How do I create a recovery disk and reset when it won’t do it? Thank you.

There are possible different ways to perform an HP Stream factory restore. One way is to press the volume down button on your HP Stream. Then you press the power button for 3 to 5 seconds.

You should be presented with the startup menu. Choose the F11 factory recovery option. Follow the prompts and perfrom an HP Stream factory recovery.

If those function keys do not work, then try immediately pressing the ESC key on your keyboard after powering on that computer. A startup menu should open. Press your F11 key to begin the HP Stream factory recovery process.

If Microsoft Windows operating system boots normally, you might be able to begin the factory recovery from within windows. If for some reason you are not able to perform an HP Stream factory recovery, then there are other options. It could be that the factory recovery partition is corrupt.

Also, perhaps you do not have the correct function key to take you to the startup menu and or factory recovery menu. Try to find the exact model number HP Stream that you have. Then you will need to perform some Internet searches for the factory recovery instructions for your specific computer.

You could also factory restore your HP Stream by using recovery discs. You may or may NOT have received these with your computer. If your computer is new enough you might be able to order HP recovery discs.

As an added bonus tip, your computer might be too old to order new discs. However, you might be able to use the link above to find out the HP part number for recovery discs. Then you could perform some Internet searches for that HP part number recovery disc set.

You could also look for these HP recovery discs on Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, etc. However, buyer beware as you want to make sure that you are ordering legitimate recovery discs from a legitimate proprietor. When in doubt you could possibly factory recover your HP Stream with Windows 10 operating system by creating recovery media.

You will need a USB flash drive that is at least 4 gigabytes or DVD disc. Also, you will obviously need Microsoft Windows 10 operating system that is functional. Now you want to click the Windows 10 start menu button.

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Type “create recovery” without quotations into the text box. Select “Create a recovery drive”. You will want to make certain that your DVD or USB flash drive is inserted or connected.

In order to reinstall Windows 10 operating system. Place a check into the box next to “Backup system files to the recovery drive”. Click “Next” and wait patiently while files are being prepared to get copied to your DVD or USB flash drive.

Choose the drive that you want files copied in an “Available drive(s)” list. Click “Next” and you will receive a warning that all files will be deleted on your media. Press “Create” to begin the recovery media creation.

This can take some time so please be patient. When the creation of your recovery media is completed you will see that the recovery drive is ready. You can click on “Finish”.

Now you will be able to reinstall Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. However, if you are looking for a factory recovery option, using a Microsoft Windows 10 recovery media will NOT factory restore drives and any default applications that came with your computer. Another option available to you is to perform a Microsoft Windows 10 “Reset this PC”.

You can perform a “Reset this PC”. You will have two options. One will allow you to keep all your personal data, but your applications will get removed.

The second option will remove all your personal data and applications. Follow the instructions below if you want to perform a “Reset this PC”.

Left click the Windows 10 start menu button. Click on the “Settings” gear icon. Then choose “Update & Security”.

Now choose “Recovery” then select “Reset this PC”. Click on “Get Started” and choose an option.

Finally, if you are just trying to fix a Microsoft Windows 10 problem, then a “System Restore” might be more beneficial to you. Click the Windows 10 start menu icon in lower left corner. Select Search and type in System Restore.

Click on Create a restore point. A System properties window will open up. You should be in the System protection tab of that window. Click on System Restore.

Another System Restore window will open up. Click on Next. In the next window you will be able to select your restore point.

Also, you can place a check box in the Show more restore points. What you want to choose here is a date and time before you were having your current problem. Choose a restore point back to before you were having your current computer problem(s).

Now you click Next. In order to begin system restore, you select Finish. Your computer will have to reboot in order to restore it back to the restore point that you picked.

These instructions were written for an HP Stream computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed. However, you can certainly use these instructions as a basis point for other computer brands and possibly other Microsoft operating systems.

Can I Reinstall Windows 10 For Free?

I received a computer related question on a third party website where I earn supplemental income. I received a question pertaining to reinstalling Microsoft Windows 10. Here is the question quoted verbatim.

I have windows 10 on this computer but I don’t have the license number. Can you tell me what it is somehow. I need to reinstall on this machine.

This individual owned a retail version of Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. Microsoft Windows 10 license information is stored on Microsoft’s servers. As long as your current version of Windows 10 is activated, then all you have to do is reinstall Windows 10.

You will not need to reenter the license key. Right click the Windows 10 start menu button. Choose “System”.

Scroll down and then click on “Change product key or upgrade your edtion of Windows” to verify that your version of windows is active. You are NOT actually changing or upgrading. Look for “Windows is activated with a digital license”.

Now all you have to do is install the exact same version of Windows and it will automatically get reactivated. Yes, another way to get there is click on “Activation” tab on left in “Settings”. This individual was able to verify that indeed Microsoft Windows 10 was activated.

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The main tip in this blog post is to verify in advance whether or NOT Microsoft Windows 10 is activated. If it is activated then you can reinstall Microsoft Windows 10 on the very same computer for free. However, you must be certain that the computer hardware is the same.

If you replace the motherboard I think you would just have to re type the product license key. Caveat emptor, some Microsoft Windows 10 stickers do not include the certificate of authenticity license key. If your version of Microsoft Windows 10 is NOT activated, you will need this license key.

If you do NOT know it or have it available, there are some tools out on the Internet that may be able to obtain your product activation key from the Microsoft Windows registry. You should always save your Microsoft Windows 10 activation key, just in case something happens and you need it. Computers that you purchase brand new with Microsoft Windows 10 already installed often times have generic Microsoft Windows 10 stickers without the actual product license key.

This is the case because these are considered original equipment manufacture licenses. Microsoft Windows 10 retail licenses are different. You should have received either an email message with the actual product key or a sticker with the product license key.

You should save this email and license key somewhere for safe storage in case you need the product license key. Another tip is that in order to reinstall Microsoft Windows 10 without paying for a new license you must reinstall the exact same version of Microsoft Windows that was previously installed and activated. For example if you had Microsoft Windows 10 professional installed and activated then you would need to reinstall Microsoft windows 10 professional.

As long as your computer has an Internet connection, then your Microsoft Windows 10 copy will automatically become reactivated.

Microsoft Edge Virus Alert Popup – Troubleshooting

Another computer problem in the world of Microsoft. This time an individual was receiving a Microsoft Edge virus alert popup. This is the original question quoted verbatim.

I had a pop up come up saying its from Microsoft and I have a virus.

This individual admitted that they were scammed once before from this very same alert. They claimed that they then contacted Microsoft directly, whom fixed this problem. This individual was using a computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system.

Also, this individual had called the original phone number in the message. That company or individual then fixed the problem. However, they also claimed that they contacted Microsoft directly and they fixed the problem.

This is extremely confusing. I think it is possible that this individual end user is lying. However, as a computer repair technician, I do NOT have time to prove each and every liar I run across.

Also, receiving direct Microsoft support can be extremely expensive. This individual received the same exact alert about a virus in Microsoft Edge, months later after they claimed two sources fixed this problem. I do NOT necessarily feel sorry for individuals whom I feel are lying or caused there problem a second time.

I concluded that a specific software application was the culprit. After they had this issue fixed the first time, they mistakenly went ahead and installed the same software application again that was causing the problem to begin with. You may just have some malware, spyware, or virus on your computer.

I would run malware, spyware, and virus scans. Windows 10 has a free malware and virus tool already installed called Windows Defender. Run a scan with it.

Click the Windows 10 start menu icon in lower left corner. Select “Search” and type in “Windows Defender”. Select “Windows Defender Security Center”.

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Microsoft Windows 10 comes with Microsoft Windows Defender tool already installed. I tell the end users I support to use this tool because it is already installed and relatively easy to install. Microsoft Windows Defender actually has a malware, spyware, and virus scanner.

This free software is comparable to other free tools available. If Microsoft Windows Defender does not detect infections, then I use Emsisoft Emergency Kit and SuperAntiSpyware. The software in question I think is called Reimagine Plus or Reimage Plus.

After performing some Internet searches I came to the conclusion that this software indeed is what was causing their problem. It is allegedly malware and or virus according to a couple of websites. This individual ran a malware, spyware, and virus scan.

They never responded back telling me that they were still having problems. Also, I received compensation from a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. When it comes to installing software that claims that it can repair computer issues, you want to become cautious.

I would NOT install just any software you find out on the Internet without first verifying if it is legit or not. Perform some Internet searches for reviews, contact information, phone number, company name, etc. When you have performed your due diligence and feel that that software is legit, then you can install it.

Even legitimate software like Malwarebytes, can cause disastrous results. In 2018 a Malwarebytes update wreaked havoc on hundreds if not thousands of computers. We are talking about blue screens, non booting computers, slow computers, etc.

My main tip is to always verify and properly research what software you end up installing on your computer. It can potentially save you time, money, and your data. This reimage plus software application was marketed to repair your computer.

What kind of repairs? Software cannot repair hardware problems. You need to understand how a computer technician repairs computer problems, before installing just any ordinary software program ffrom the Internet.

Especially, the ones that brag about making your computer faster, better, and or claim they can repair your computer.

Lenovo Laptop Will Not Boot – Troubleshooting Steps

Another computer problem on a third party website where I earn supplemental income. This time it deals with a laptop not booting. Here is the initial original question verbatim.

My Lenovo laptop froze and will not boot back up. I get a message saying “Preparing automatic repair”, but after nearly 3 hours, noting happens. Just a blank screen.

What should I do?

The laptop lights turned on indicating it was receiving power. Power off your laptop. Power your laptop back on and immediately keep tapping the F8 key until and advanced boot options window opens.

Make sure to immediately keep tapping the F8 key as soon as the computer turns on and before Windows tries to boot. The laptop eventually tried to boot into windows with the following error message, “Preparing Automatic Repair”. This ended up being a loop problem as automatic repair did not fix their issue.

Turn off that laptop. Remove the battery. Disconnect the power cable from both wall outlet and laptop.

Press and hold the power button for 60 seconds. Plug the power cable back into wall outlet and laptop. See if Microsoft Windows will boot.

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Leave the battery out of the laptop. Also, make certain there are no other devices plugged in, for example external hard drivers, printers, USB flash drives, etc. This individual owned a Lenovo Ideapad 110.

Never mind, the battery is under the cover. Follow the previous instructions only do NOT mess with the battery. I asked this individual if they had important data on their computer.

I concluded that they either had Windows 8 or 10, or Windows 7 was badly corrupted. If you have a Windows 7 installation CD and you do indeed have Windows 7 installed, you might be able to run some system scans to fix it. Otherwise I would take it to a computer repair shop to get your data off at the very least.

They asked how to boot off of a CD-ROM. Yes, you would place the installation CD-ROM into your computer. Then power on the computer and hopefully it will boot off of it.

Also, they asked what to do if they could not find an installation CD-ROM. I would take it to a computer repair shop to recover your data and possibly fix Windows. Also, they should be able to reinstall the Windows operating system for you.

When in doubt, take your Lenovo laptop will not boot to a computer repair business. At the very least they will try to recover your important data. Also, they can try to troubleshoot and potentially fix the problem that is causing your Lenovo laptop not to boot Microsoft windows properly.

Finally, if necessary they can reinstall Microsoft Windows operating system for you. You would have to reinstall all of your applications. However, they might include free data recovery or give you a discount on their services.

How to Fax From Printer – HP OfficeJet Pro 8720

I received another computer technology related question on a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions. Here is the initial question verbatim.

“I am trying to see , how can I connect my printer to use for FAX. My printer is HP Officejet Pro 8720. Please tell me how to connect and where do I find the cord.”

This individual had a previous printer configured to fax. I think that printer started malfunctioning with a problem with the power cable adapter. Anyways, they went and purchased another RJ11 phone cable.

Here is my initial response.

You will need a standard RJ11 phone cable. You can follow the instructions in the following Hewlett Packard web page link. Connect the phone cable to your phone jack and then to your 8720.

Also, you can test faxing using HP’s free test fax service. When it comes to using your printer as a fax machine, they are pretty straight forward. You first want to make sure you have a RJ11 phone cable.

They have been available for decades now. They are the smaller cables NOT an Ethernet computer cable. You would connect this RJ11 phone cable into your phone wall outlet.

Then you would connect the other end into the 1-Line port on the printer. If you are using an answering machine, then you would need two RJ11 phone cables. One cable connects from the telephone wall outlet jack to your answering machine.

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The second cable would connect from the answering machine to your printer. You would use the 2-EXT port on your printer. Another item you may need to adjust is your auto answer and or number of rings on answer settings.

If you are using this same phone line to make and receive calls you want to make sure that auto answer fax mode is disabled. Also, you want to allow as many rings as possible for you to answer the phone before the fax machine takes over. If this is just a dedicated phone line for faxing, you need not worry about these additional settings.

If you send faxes for your business you may want to adjust the header. You can configure your business name, phone number, address, email address, etc. that will show up on the top of the header page, for each fax transmission you complete. Also, if you send out personal faxes you could adjust the header to your liking.

Now you are ready to send a test fax. I think it is highly productive of you to send out some test faxes before you use your printer as a fax machine. Hewlett Packard actually has a toll free phone number that you can send and receive test faxes.

These calls are completely free. You can send and receive faxes to 1-888-HPFaxme or 1-888-473-2963 within the United States. You can send and receive faxes directly from the Hewlett Packard printer or your computer.

You would place your document(s) on the glass or into the automatic document feeder. Then you would dial the fax telephone number using the keypad. Now you would click the “Send” button.

Also, you can send document(s) from your computer. You would need to download and install Hewlett Packard full driver and software package for your OfficeJet Pro 8720 printer. Then on your computer you would use the HP fax software to select the document(s) you want to send.

You would dial the fax number and click whatever button is used in the software to send or fax. Your computer can be configured to automatically receive faxes. You can even have them sent to an email address, stored to your local computer, or even a network drive.

These are advanced fax techniques that beyond the scope of this basic how to fax from printer blog post. This blog post was written specifically for a Hewlett Packard Officjet 8720 all in one printer. However, you can certainly use it as a basis point for other Hewlett Packard printers with fax capability.

How to Find Laptop Model – Brand and Operating System

Another computer support request from a third party website where I earn supplemental income answering computer related questions. Here is the initial communication quoted verbatim.

“How do i find Brand model and Operating system of my laptop? I need it asap.”

Here is my initial response quoted verbatim. Have you tried looking for it on a sticker on your laptop? This individual’s laptop had multiple stickers.

A Probook sticker, Intel inside CORE i5 vpro sticker, and a Microsoft Windows 7 sticker. Most computer manufactures include a more detailed sticker on the bottom of your laptop. Look for the brand ie. Hewlett Packard, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc.

Also, look for a model number similar to M1500. Many computer models include both numbers and letters. Finally, look for a Microsoft Windows sticker.

You may find a Microsoft Windows Certificate of Authenticity sticker with the product key. This sticker will be labeled Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7, etc. Microsoft Windows 8 and 10 stickers sometimes are not as descriptive and detailed.

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Microsoft Windows 8 stickers are generally blue or purple and may or may NOT include the number 8 or 8.1. Microsoft Windows 10 stickers are generally blue or purple and again may or may NOT include the number 10. I concluded that this laptop was probably a Hewlett Packard ProBook with Windows 7 operating system.

There might be a sticker under neath the battery with a model number and even serial number. Also, sometimes you can enter the Basic Input Output System to find the model number and serial number. Are you able to access the Internet on that laptop?

I can have you download a free small application that will most likely tell you the model and serial number. Also, the product key numbers are the license key to use if you were to reinstall Windows 7. You can download and install CPU-Z.

I found another web link that might be helpful. Browse to the following link from Hewlett Packard. It should automatically detect your computer.

If you do NOT own a Hewlett Packard computer, then you can browse to your computer manufacturer’s website and look for the support area. Often times the major computer manufacturer’s websites have a web page that will automatically detect your computer model and operating system. One final tip, you can use Ccleaner to find system information.

How to Redeem iTunes Card

I received a question on a third party website where by I earn supplemental income answering computer and technology related questions.

The initial question is quoted verbatim below.

“I have a $50 AppStore &iTunes card and wish to buy some books with it . How do I go about it?”

Here is my initial response. Depending on what device you are using, you will need to login with your Apple ID. You will need to redeem your gift card and then use your Apple ID to purchase items.

The following how to redeem iTunes card link has the full details. You can use a Google Android, Apple iPhone, personal computer, and Apple Macintosh. You can use both Macintosh and Windows operating systems.

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Also, you can use Apple iTunes. You will need a redemption code that you either peel or scratch off the back of your Apple iTunes gift card. Apple allows you to redeem gift cards via iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

Also, you can use a Macintosh computer. You can even use a Microsoft Windows based computer. You would need to install Apple iTunes software.

Google Android users can also redeem their Apple iTunes gift cards. No matter what technology you use, you will have to use an active Apple ID. You do NOT want to forget your Apple ID and or password.

Especially, if you have recurring subscriptions being charged. Once you create or login into your Apple ID, then you can redeem your gift card(s). On an Apple Macintosh, you will be using the Application Store software.

Redemption codes are found on the back of each Apple iTunes and Application Store gift cards. You either pull off a sticker covering the redemption code or scratch off the label covering the redemption code. Apple iTunes software and platform will officially be retired with their new operating system Catalina 10.15.

Three seperate desktop applications will replace Apple iTunes software. They are named Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Apple TV. I am assuming you will be able to redeem your Apple iTunes and Application Store gift cards in their new software.

No mention of this in their official support page yet. However, I would check the link above when in doubt.

Remote Disc Mac – Access Another Computer Optical Drive

Another computer problem from a third party website where by I earn supplemental income answering computer related questions. This one deals with remote disc on a Macintosh computer. Below is quoted verbatim the initial question.

I see a “remote disc” on my Finder window. I can’t eject it. What is a “remote disc”?

2 or 3 days ago I noticed it. It just appeared. I contacted a friend who said something about it was just a link to another Mac and not to worry about, but I have never seen it before.

I just got upgrade to High Sierra. My previous OS was out of date. How do I eject the remote disc or what do I do to verify it is not harmful?

This individual was using a Macbook professional with Macintosh operating system High Sierra 10.13.6. Here is my initial response quoted verbatim. You cannot eject it because it is a feature to allow a remote computer to share their optical drive.

It is not a security problem on your computer because your computer is not sharing any devices. It probably showed up when you upgraded to high sierra. I would not worry about it.

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You can read the full explanation directly from this Apple support article. Remote disc Mac just allows you the ability to use another computer’s optical drive if your Macintosh does not have one installed. You can even access optical drives shared by Microsoft Windows computers.

This solves the problem of not having an optical drive when needing to install software off of a compact disc or DVD drive. If your Macintosh computer already has an optical drive installed, then you would not see this feature. It is not a security risk, but no files or data are being shared from your Macintosh.

No where in their official article does it stipulate that you can access a remote optical drive from a computer with Linux operating system. In order to get the Microsoft Windows operating system to share the optical drive to a Macintosh, you must download and install a small piece of software, onto your Microsoft Windows computer. This software then can communicate with your Macintosh.

I see this as a common problem now on this third party website where I support computer endusers. They purchase physical software on CD, DVD, or USB and then find out that their Macintosh computer does not have an optical drive. Here is a tip.

Always verify first what type of hardware you have. When purchasing software on physical media, make certain that you have an optical drive. This will obviously save you time and money.

Luckily for some Macintosh endusers, they can still access an optical drive remotely.

Nikon D7500 Camera – ViewNX-i Software For Windows 10

Another computer related problem on a third party website where by I earn supplemental income answering computer related questions. The individuals initial communication is quoted verbatim below.

“I just purchased a Nikon D7500 Camera. Took some photos in RAW, I use View NX-i but when I try to upload my RAW images it does not accept them. I’ve been told that View NX-i won’t work, so now what do I need to get to be able to work on my RAW images with the D7500?”

This individual was using a computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed. They had assumed that since this Nikon D7500 camera was new, that they could just connect it to Microsoft Windows 10 and start downloading RAW image files. This is the wrong assumption and assertion for many reasons.

I will give you my gold tip. Never assume anything when it comes to information technology. At the time of this original communication, Microsoft Windows 10 had not officially supported this digital camera.

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Whenver you purchase brand new hardware that you want to connect to a computer, first verify what operating systems are compatible and supported. ViewNX-i was not available as a download for the Nikon D7500 camera when I attempted to help this individual out. However, now there is a Windows 10 ViewNX-i download available.

Also, if that software does NOT work in the future, you can download NEF Codec, which is supported by Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. When in doubt, always first verify what operating system is compatible with the hardware that you are about to purchase. You can save yourself time and money.

There are no guarantees that any operating system will be compatible with your hardware. You can perform a simple Internet search for your hardware including the operating system you plan on using. Also, you can browse to the manufacture website and view the specifications for that specific model.

Finally, you can then find what downloads are availabe for that hardware in the support area.

Epson Workforce 3640 Error Code 0x97 – Fix

Another printer problem and request. Generally I avoid printer problems when it comes to diagnosing printer error codes directly on the physical printer. This problem was computer related.

Here is the original initial request verbatim:

“I have been trying for two days to get my printer to work, will you please help. I just need help, I never had this problem before when I start the print process I get this message, PRINTER ERROR ERROR CODE 0x97.”

Here is my initial original response:

Are you receiving this error on your computer or the printer itself? Also, what operating system are you using? For example Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows 7, 8, or 10.

If you have not done so I would power off the printer and power it back on. Then restart your computer and see if you can print. If you have an Epson Work Force 3640 you may need to update the firmware to fix that error.

You can download the firmware update from this link:

https://epson.com/Support/Printers/All-In-Ones/WorkForce-Series/Epson-WorkForce-WF-3640/s/SPT_C11CD16201

Your operating system should be detected automatically. If not, then click on a drop down list next to “Operating System”. Choose your correct operating system.

Look for “Firmware version…”. For example:

Firmware version CB0912

Then you click on the “Download” button. Save this firmware to your computer. Double click this executable.

Follow the installation prompts. If your printer is successfully detected it should update the firmware. Do not power off the printer during the firmware update.

Once the firmware update successfully installs, hopefully you will be able to print again. I would not normally recommend updating printer firmware. However, I found that updating the firmware for an Epson 3640 cleared this 0x97 error code.

Updating firmware on any device can seem like a daunting task, the first time you try to perform this activity. You want to make certain that you never power off the device while the firmware is being updated. Firmware is permanent software in read only memory for hardware devices.

Many devices are designed to allow for firmware updates. Luckily, printers are one of these types of devices that allow for the upgrade of firmware. Like I stipulated earlier in this blog post, I have an if it is NOT broke then do NOT fix it mentality.

I only recommend updating firmware when absolutely necessary. A failed firmware update can leave a device bricked and useless. Firmware updates are similar to flashing the basic input output system of a computer.

Another tip is to make certain you are using a firmware update for the exact device that you are upgrading. Obviously you could not update the firmware on an Android with an Epson 3640 firmware update. However, when it comes to similar device models, this can turn into a bit of a grey area.

To me it is best to become cautious and double check that indeed the firmware update that you are about to install is supported by the exact device you are updating. Once you have a few firmware upgrades under your belt you will become more proficient with them.

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