Did You Know Windows 10 Has A Hidden Menu?

Have You Upgraded To Windows 10?

Windows 10 is a new OS by Microsoft. They decided to totally bypass ‘9’ and go straight from 8 to 10. Millions of people have ‘upgraded since the release in July, but lots of us are still discovering exactly what is possible with this new OS.

One of the things I like the most, as someone going from 8 to 10, is the inclusion of a ‘start’ button. Because ‘8’ was primarily for phones and tablets, they decided that it wasn’t needed, but it was a seriously bad omission!
Like I said, they included one in the new Windows 10, but guess what? There is also a “secret” start menu. Well, I say it’s “secret”, but it’s not really a secret. It’s not like the old ‘Easter eggs’ embedded in early versions, this is just a handy way of accessing a menu with a lot of important features. Such as ‘task manager’, the control panel, and command prompt. There are so many others on there, you really should go take a look.Windows 10 secret menu

To get access to the ‘secret’ menu, you just have to ‘right-click’ the Windows icon at the bottom left of your screen. When you do, you’ll see a pop-up menu with quite a variety of administrative tools, many of which were only previously available through the control panel, and sometimes varying levels inside the control panel. You’ll see the old ‘run’ option, as well as shutdown options and even a desktop link for quickly viewing the desktop.

For those of you that are using a touchscreen, it’s also possible to access this menu. Simply tap and hold the ‘start’ button for a few seconds, and the menu will appear.

As you can tell, I’m a big fan of this shortcut menu, because it lets you access tools that you would normally have to go through multiple menus to get to. But be careful, as there is access to some tools you might never have accessed before. For example, the Event Viewer, System information, and disk and computer management tools used to only be found in Start > All apps > Windows Administrative Tools, and for good reasons. But all in all, it’s a good thing that this new “secret” start menu puts these tools at your fingertips with one easy click.

This is the first in a number of posts I am planning on how to get the best out of Windows 10, and also the new set of privacy problems that come with it. let me know what you think, by commenting below 🙂

Can You Afford To Start Again?

Over the last two weeks I have had a nightmare with my computers.
I decided that my old personal laptop and my work laptop were too slow to do what I wanted. I was sick and tired of clicking the mouse and having to wait a few seconds for something to happen. Over the years that I have had them, I have upgraded the RAM to the maximum they can take, and also upgraded the hard drives to a much larger capacity. Yet still they were too slow.

Toshiba Satellite L50
So I bit the bullet and shelled out over €550 for a brand new, all-singing, all-dancing laptop. The best that I could afford at the time, and as future-proof as possible.
Now, over the years I have amassed a large number of bookmarks in my browser, and also a history that I didn’t want to lose. I also have around 15 email addresses being monitored on my Outlook, complete with all the emails going back years. There are also tons and tons of programmes installed. Starting out from scratch, installing everything again and losing all my settings wasn’t an option. Moving all my data from one computer to the other shouldn’t be difficult, should it?


All Windows operating systems have had a transfer wizard included, for just this scenario. But no, that would be too simple, Windows 8 has had the ability to do this removed! So I search around on the internet, ask in some knowledgeable groups on Facebook, and eventually buy some software that, supposedly, can do it for me. I set it all up and set it off before heading for bed, thinking it will all be over when I wake in the morning. Next day it still says it is transferring files. 24 hours after I started, it is still transferring files, so I call the USA helpline from Ireland, to be told that with the amount of data I’m moving it could take up to 6 days. 6 DAYS!!
No way can I wait that long, so I uninstall the software and get a refund. Someone had mentioned a free software that would shift all the settings, so I went with that, and installed all of the software again.
So now I have my new computer working, I transfer all the files I want to keep, and wipe the hard drive of the old computer. Then re-install the operating system and it’s ready to be sold. In the mean time, I find I’m due an upgrade to Windows 10, so another night gets used up upgrading.Windows 10 Desktop
Today, I’m working merrily away on the new laptop,   and decide I need more coffee.
Off I pop to the kitchen, get into a conversation as you do, and return after maybe half an hour. The screen is blank, so I assume that it’s powered down into hibernation, and I press the power button.
Nothing! Not a beep, not even a flicker from the screen. No power light either.
I check the power cable and even get out my multimeter and check the power output – all is fine.
I look underneath, but there’s not even a catch to remove the battery.

Panic Mode!

Everything is on the hard drive of this laptop, and there’s not even a cover where I can remove it and clone it. What happens if I have to return it to the factory and they wipe the hard drive? I don’t want to start removing screws and stripping it down, as that might invalidate the warranty.
So I start searching for the manufacturers helpline details, and this is not as easy on an iPhone as it is on a computer. Their ‘responsive’ site means that I can’t get the real-time chat working, and it took me 15 minutes of searching their site to find a number to call. This is, again, in another country, but I’m used to that by now.
So I ring them, and the man on the phone couldn’t have been more helpful. It appears that Windows put out another update, and the bios chip doesn’t like it, and needs to be reset. From the way he was talking, it sounded like he had been getting calls about this all week long. Anyway, long story short, 5 minutes and it was back up and running.

It got me to thinking about backups. I back up all my websites and databases automatically, but up till now I’ve not even considered what I would do if I lost everything on my hard drive. So I’m making it a necessity that I get a new external drive and back up everything to that.

What do you have in place as a backup? Would your business go down the pan if your hard drive crashed and wasn’t recoverable?
Let me know in the comments below, I’ll be interested to hear all your horror stories.