Category Archives: Tech Tips

End of Support for Windows 8.1

On January 10, 2023, support for Windows 8.1 ended. This means if you are still running Windows 8.1 (or an earlier Windows operating system) you will no longer receive updates to patch security vulnerabilities.

This leaves you vulnerable on the internet, and may allow a cyber criminal to gain access to your data.

For these older machines, the good news is, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. This can be done using the Media Creation Tool available from Microsoft.

When the tool is run, it will check to see if your device is compatible with Windows 10 and will then install the software. This may take a few hours.

I recommended backing up your data before starting the upgrade.

More advanced users may want to download the Windows 10 ISO file, and install a fresh version of Windows. This can be picked as an option in the upgrade tool. The ISO will need to be written to a bootable USB or CD.

Windows 10 will be supported until October 14, 2025, after which you will be required to upgrade to Windows 11. Due to hardware requirements, machines running Windows 8.1 may not be compatible with Windows 11.

If you require assistance downloading and installing Windows 10 or purchasing a Windows 10 license, feel free to contact us.

Starlink Testing

As part of Council’s recent Mobile Hub at Quandialla, Council utilised their Starlink in order to allow staff to access email, work files and make a connection back to the main office to provide services to those in attendance.

Calls were also tested via Calls over WiFi on an iPhone on the day which worked well. This of course requires your service provider to support this functionality.

Throughout the day I ran speed tests on Starlink. Results varied between 125mbps and 216mbps – which is impressive.

At the time of writing this post, my iiNet NBN connection at the Internet Centre in Grenfell is giving maximum speed of 73.52mbps.

Tradition satellite connections tend to have a higher latency. That is the number of milliseconds it takes to send data to the connecting server. The NBN connection is much better with 16ms. Whereas Starlink is 46ms at the time of the quickest test. Anything under 40ms is regarded as excellent. Most users wouldn’t notice any lag until latency is over 100ms.

On the day we had 10 devices connected to the Starlink and did not notice any slowness.

The next Mobile Hub will be held at Caragabal Memorial Hall on
Tuesday, 29th November 2022, 9:30am to 3:00pm. If you would like to see Starlink in action or have any IT questions feel free to pop by for a chat.

Grenfell Internet Centre and Weddin Shire Council are not affiliated with nor do they receive any financial compensation for any Starlink services.

How to Fully Shutdown Windows 11

Fast Startup is a feature initially released in Windows 8. It allows a computer to power on more quickly by going into hybrid hibernation mode upon shutdown, as apposed to completely shutting down. This gives the user faster bootup and shutdown times.

This can be problematic if you are troubleshooting issues with your PC. The first thing to do when troubleshooting your PC is to turn it off and on again. But because Windows going into hibernation mode it may not resolve any issues with a problematic service running on your PC. Fulling shutting down your PC can help to speed up your PC as well.

There are a couple of different ways to fully shutdown Windows 11. I will take your through these now.

Shutdown Windows 11 with the shift key

The most simple way to shutdown Windows 11 is to hold the shift key when clicking the Shutdown button.

You may notice Windows takes a little longer to shutdown, as well as boot a little slower next time you power it up.

Shutting down Windows in this way doesn’t really give any notification that it was shutdown fully – other than a slower startup on next boot. If your keyboard is faulty and or the shift key wasn’t held down at the right time you may not have shutdown Windows as you expected. To ensure it is shut down correctly you can use the run box.

Shutdown Windows 11 using the run dialog box

To ensure you are actually performing a full shutdown, you can type a command in to the run dialog box. To get started; hold the Windows Key and press R.

You will be prompted with the following:

Windows Run Dialog Box

You can type commands into this box to execute them. There are several commands for shutting down, but we will just focus on Shutdown and Reboot.

To shutdown Windows 11 completely, type in: shutdown -s -t 00 and then click OK. This will perform a full shutdown of Windows 11 – after which you will need to power the device back on.

If you would like to perform a full shutdown with a reboot you can type in the following command: shutdown -r -t 00 and click OK. Your PC will then power off while completely shutting down Windows 11. It will then power back on automatically.

And there you have it, the ability to reboot Windows to solve issues like you did in previous versions! While you’re here; don’t forget to check out our other Tech Tips!