This is a guest post by John Campbell

Following the launch of Windows 8 I downloaded and installed Windows 8 on my computers. Both installations ran smoothly until I found I had two conflicting problems.

The first involved accessing my Hotmail Account and the second involved printing documents from both my HP printers one a LaserJet 1200 Series and the other, Photosmart C3180 an All-in-one color printer.

Searching for help from HP support proved fruitless so I turned to Microsoft’s Answer Desk to sort out the printer problem.

Glitch No 1 – Failed Log On to Microsoft Account

When I tried to type in my User Name to log-on to register with my Hotmail Account I hit a snag.

When I tried to register the @ sign key on my keyboard typed the “sign instead of the @ sign. This stopped me in my tracks. I had the option to “Switch to a local account” but this was no good.

Desperate, I turned to Microsoft Answer Desk for assistance and found them more than helpful. Seeing I was within the 90 days of purchase I was able to get free support from them and the problem was speedily resolved.

Glitch No 2 – Printers Not Recognized

When I tried to print a document on my HP LaserJet printer I had this error message on the screen.

Both printers worked fine with the pre-release versions of Windows 8 but with this, the final version, there was a problem as per the above message. I tried the other printer but got the same message.

I tried the usual approach, troubleshooters and re-registering the printers but to no avail. HP’s website was of little use. In desperation I turned to Microsoft’s Answer Desk. Again they rose to the occasion.

I had to give the Answer Desk technician access to my computer. The Microsoft technician was able to find the appropriate files, PrinterDriver.msi that sorted both printers. Once installed all my worries were over.

Accessing Microsoft’s Answer Desk

When you have a major problem don’t waste times go straight to Microsoft’s Answer Desk. You access it using this hyperlink:

Once connected, follow the screen prompts. The following screenshots show you the sequence.

Accessing Chat

Accessing Chat

Accepting Offer

Accepting Offer

Logging In

Logging In

After completing the sign up process for the Answer Desk you will be logged in.

Answer Desk connecting

Answer Desk connecting

Next, a technician comes on line where you can explain your problem. You have the option of switching to a telephone (“I prefer the phone” option), but I’ve found the on-line typing method the most effective.

Here you become involved in a two-way chat to let the technician know your problem. This contact is essential to resolve the problem.

The Answer Desk Technician Takes Control

Once the technician has worked out a solution to the problem you will be given an Access Code and requested to switch to another website. Access it to allow the technician to sort the issues.

The new website opened.

Accessing Remote Assistance

Accessing Remote Assistance

In the lower section of the Receive Remote Assistance Support from Microsoft is the acceptance button. Click the “I accept” button.

In the Enter the 6-digit code box, type in the Access Code (this was provided in the Chat Session) and click Connect to technician.

Permitting the Technician to take control

Permitting the Technician to take control

Your computer’s screen will now change from time-to-time as the technician remotely controls your computer.

In my case, both problems were speedily resolved and I was able to resume normal operations.

All power to Microsoft for providing an excellent easy-to-use service. Should you have a problem get straight onto it while you are still within the 90 day free help period for Windows 8.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  • Stephen Locker

    Glitch 1) You selected to wrong keyboard language type. Didn’t bother continuing to read the rest as it would clearly have been a waste of time.

    • John Campbell

      Stephen, you missed the whole point of the blog which was to emphasise the value of Answer Desk. Forget my mistakes as I’m an oldie not a smartie like you obviously!

  • Nick

    All you had to do was to change keyboard language or just activate the virtual keyboard momentarily to login. What kind of site is this ? My 3 year old is more intelligent than you are.

    • John Campbell

      Wish I had you three year old nearby sounds like he’s a smart kid!

  • Paritosh Nandi

    You must have selected the keyboard layout as UK English at the time of windows 8
    installation. As mentioned in the other post, you could have use the onscreen
    keyboard to login and then change your language and keyboard layout to US English.

    • John Campbell

      No. I was using the US keyboard and the onscreen keyboard still added the wrong caharacter. It was a glitch and well sorted by the Answer Desk! Thanks for your advise but in this instance it wouldn’t have helped!

  • Dan Dar3

    I like the little “eye” in the password fields, click that to see what you typed – for various reasons, one is using the wrong character layour faulty keys, it’s nice to see what you typed.

    • John Campbell

      Did that and still had the wrong character for the @ sign!

  • John Campbell

    I fear you’ve missed the point which was to highlight the availability of the Microsoft’s Answer Desk when in trouble. It was a shame I didn’t have a three year old handy.