Day 6: Saturday tablet nightmares

Lincoln Spector

I generally don’t use my PC on Saturdays, but I do use my iPad. So Friday evening, I removed the Windows 8.1 tablet from the docking station to use it exclusively for reading and socializing.

The tablet, by the way, is an Asus T100TA-C1-GR Transformer Book. It comes with its own attachable keyboard.

The tablet problem started at breakfast. I was reading a newspaper (on the tablet). Then I got up to make some tea. I sat back down just as the screen went blank. Okay, no big deal. I had set it up to sleep after five minutes of no activity. But I couldn’t wake it up. It wouldn’t respond to the keyboard, the power button, or the touchscreen.

Finally, I pressed and held the power button for a few seconds to shut it down completely. Then I rebooted.

It booted into diagnostic mode. After other options for getting back to normal failed, I tried System Restore. After a long wait, it told me that the restoration had been successful. But when I tried to boot, all I got was a blank screen.

Hoping for a miracle, I plugged in the power cable and tried again. This time, it booted fine — although I had to change a few settings because of the restore point’s age.

I also noticed something interesting. The battery charge was 0 percent. Was the whole thing a strange, unhelpful way to deal with an empty battery?

But that wasn’t the end of my problems.

In the mid-afternoon, I took the tablet to a coffee shop and tried to get on its public Wi-Fi. My tablet couldn’t make the connection. My phone could make the connection, so I had to assume the problem was with the tablet.

I ran Windows’s Network Troubleshooter, which disabled Wi-Fi entirely. It was still disabled when I got home. I fixed that with yet another system restore.

But all this trouble makes me nervous.

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Lincoln Spector

About Lincoln Spector

Lincoln Spector writes about computers, home theater, and film and maintains two blogs: Answer Line at and His articles have appeared in CNET, InfoWorld, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications.