Where To Find Help For Windows 10 Problems

If you are experiencing issues with your Windows 10 computer and have been looking for help, this article offers several built-in support options and online resources that are available.
For Windows 10 you will find most of your support online.

The following options available:

1] Clicking on the Fn+ F1 key will normally start your default browser offering you Bing results about Windows 10 Help.2] Typing help in taskbar search will display the Get Started app in its results.

3] For best results be sure that you have configured Settings > System > Notifications & actions to ON for the Show me tips about Windows choices.

4] Optionally the taskbar search bar or Ask Cortana is available to search online for help.

5] The built-in Contact Support App can open a chat session with a support agent or set up a call-back with Microsoft. This should be one of your first steps to obtaining help from Microsoft.

6] Microsoft Customer Service also provides another way to contact them by virtual chat.

7] Phone contact and worldwide addresses for Microsoft Customer Support are available via https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/contactus/

8] Microsoft provides a Disability Answer Desk for customers with disabilities to find support with Microsoft Office and Windows including product Issues, accessibility questions, and use of assistive technology . Telephone, video phone and chat options are offered on this page.

9] Microsoft Support’s Official Twitter Account is @MicrosoftHelps.

10] It is also possible to obtain help from the Microsoft Store if you have one locally or online  at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/locations/answer-desk. The page includes some paid options as well.

11] In addition, Microsoft has not only Answers Forums  with a search component, but several other resources:
When you contact Microsoft Support for any help, the support professional may give you a Passkey. Most likely you will be required to open the Microsoft Support Diagnostic Tool with the Passkey. Once a support session is started, you may be asked to use one or more of the following along with a Session ID:
Microsoft Diagnostic Tool (MSDT) is used by Microsoft Support to help diagnose Windows problems.
Microsoft Product Support Reporting Tool facilitates the gathering of critical system and logging information used in troubleshooting support issues. This information helps to diagnose problems in the software quickly so that a solution can be provided.
Microsoft Easy Assist  allows Microsoft Support Agents to remotely connect to your computer in order to assist you. Using a secure connection, the support staff member can view your desktop, perform diagnostics, and initiate troubleshooting steps in a timely manner.

12] You may also find information pertaining to Windows 10 on community forums provided by the manufacturer of your device (Asus, Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc.).
Several language communities are available. Be sure to review the discussion community’s guidelines before posting. Feel free to ask other members for help. (*Note: Whenever posting for help in the public online forums never post your serial number or Service Tag #. That is considered personal information.)
The following helpful tips offered by Lenovo would apply to all online tech support forums:
*Let search be your friend – Please search the board relevant to your product before creating a new thread; there may already be a discussion or solution for the issue you are experiencing. If there is already a discussion thread please join in that discussion rather than starting a new one. Creating a new discussion thread on the same subject splits the discussion making it difficult to follow and risks being overlooked…
*Choose a great title – Please use descriptive titles when starting a new discussion – at minimum, these should include the model of phone and the symptom or issue….
*Stay on topic – Please keep discussion focused on a single product and set of symptoms.. Discussing multiple issues & models in the same thread will make it impossible to identify a single solution. If you are experiencing more than one issue, please look for existing threads for each symptom and start new ones as needed…
*Help create the kind of forum experience that you want to have. If you found this forum through Google or another search engine, it was because someone else posted the symptoms and model information that you have searched on. If you found a discussion with a marked solution that solved your problem, it is because others posted to clearly define the problem, offered suggestions, and finally confirmed what had fixed the problem. Your positive contributions will help others!”
If you prefer to simply explore the boards, in your search remember to use specifics such as the error you receive and your system’s model name.  Most likely you will find a related discussion or helpful Knowledge Base Article. For example, Lenovo’s Knowledge Base is HERE.

13] In addition to the forums, the brand or OEM may provide a support page where customers can find drivers and other downloads for hardware and other information such as product security advisories.

14] Finally, if you opt to call the tech support line provided by the manufacturer of your device, depending on the type of support that you arrange, an agent may be able to remotely access your computer. If your warranty contract provides for on-site support, you may be asked to use that option. Make sure the business that you are contacting is the actual support line provided by the manufacturer.
Related: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/mmpc/2017/11/20/new-tech-support-scam-launches-communication-or-phone-call-app/  and https://searchengineland.com/tech-support-ads-search-still-consumer-quagmire-197905

With the availability of all the above resources and a little time, everyone should be comfortable looking for help with Windows 10.





T480s With Windows 10 Pro Fall Update (v. 1709)

Shortly before Christmas Lenovo sent me a pre-production (Service Verification Testing) model of the new mechanical side dock ThinkPad Pro Docking Station along with the new Thinkpad T480s for me to review. Both items were introduced at CES 2018 in January. Review items are not packaged for sale, so often they arrive without instructions. That was the case with both units. The docking station took a bit of experimenting in order to figure out how to securely make a connection with the laptop, but once I discovered the sequence of steps, I was able to connect. It has performed well and has the following ports available:

Considering its compact size, compared with other brands’ older models that I’ve owned, this dock would be fairly easy to travel with for anyone needing to connect mouse, network, power, printer, and other peripherals. Similar to older Lenovo Pro docking stations, a lock is also included.

As to the T480s ThinkPad, it is the first unit that I have received with a pre-installed version of Windows 10 Pro with the Fall Creator Update (v. 1709, Build 16299.125 ). I was curious to see how this compared with my other devices that are simply using manually updated versions of 10. The exterior of the T480s is dark silver — almost a graphite color.  It is also available in the traditional black. One nice thing I’ve noticed so far regarding the dark silver exterior, is that the paint seems to be more durable than the silver paint on my Lenovo YOGA 900 that has scratches on the bottom that were caused by my moving it between various surfaces. As I was attempting to seat and secure the ThinkPad in the dock I wondered if the paint on the bottom would show any marks, but much to my surprise it’s still as clean as when it was unwrapped from shipping.

Undocked the following basic Input/Output Ports are available on the T480s:
1 x Intel® Thunderbolt™

3 1 x USB-C
2 x USB 3.0
1 x 4-in-1 Micro SD card reader (SD, MMC, SDHC, SDXC)
1 x headphone and microphone combo jack
1 x HDMI
RJ45 (Ethernet)

Additional specs on the model that I received:

Processor and Memory: 8th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel® Core™ i7 with vPro™ ( 2.10 gigahertz / 8650U)
256 kilobyte primary memory cache
1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache
8192 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Hyper-threaded (8 total)
Operating System: Windows® 10 Pro 64-bit Windows version 1709, Build 16299.125
Graphics and Display: Intel® HD Graphics 620 Display Adapter, NVIDIA® GeForce® MX150 with 2GB, GDDR5, Wide viewing angle & High density FlexView Display 2560×1440 Monitor (13.9” vis) Camera: (without *ThinkShutter) 720p IR Camera with dual-array microphone
Memory: 16GB
Memory slots:
Total memory slots 2

Used memory slots 1
Free memory slots
Storage: 476 GB
Keyboard: Backlit
Battery: Preliminary marketing specs for the T480s show up to 13.5 hours. For my quick tests I did not get that many hours of power, but taking into consideration that this was only a demo model and that battery life varies with settings, usage, and other factors, that is to be expected.
Audio: Dolby® Audio Premium™
Security: Touch fingerprint reader, IR Camera facial recognition, 2.0 Smart card reader, Kensington® lock slot
Display: 14″ FHD IPS, FHD IPS touch, WQHD IPS Dimensions (W x D x H) mm: 331 x 226.8 x 18.45 inches: 13.03 x 8.92 x 0.72
Resolution: 1280×720 pixels
Weight: 1.32 kg / 2.90 lbs
WLAN: Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC (2 x 2) AC Bluetooth® 4.1
WWAN: Integrated Global Mobile Broadband PTE-A (CAT9) Sierra Wireless EM7565 with Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X16 LTE Modem

*Note: It is my understanding that the T480s is also available with ThinkShutter, a new convenient feature that allows the user to manually cover the camera in order to achieve webcam privacy. If you intend to order the T480s with ThinkShutter, confirm that your order includes that.

Disclosure: Lenovo sent me the ThinkPad T480s and Pro Dock as part of the Lenovo Community Advocates Program and did not provide additional compensation. All opinions are my own.