Up or down?

Have you ever wondered if a website is available for everyone except you? I’ll show you how to find out. And if you’ve ever encountered the weird “Your PC is offline” error in Windows 8, you’ll want to see how to get past that. Read on.


“Is Facebook down, or is it just me?”

Some days on the Internet are better than others. If you’ve ever tried to get to a major website --- Facebook, Gmail, Hotmail, Twitter, Google --- only to wonder if it’s not loading for anyone or just for you, here are two handy ways to check.

A new site to me, isDownOrBlocked.com (http://isdownorblocked.com) lets you type the name of any site into a search box to check the site’s availability. That causes isDownOrBlocked to query the site from two different network servers and show you the results. If typing is too much trouble, click on Top domains near the top of the page and then on the site you want to check.

The site I’ve been using for sometime now is called DownRightNow (http://downrightnow.com/). DownRightNow lists the major websites and shows the status of each. They get the status by monitoring official announcements and user reports. You can see a performance graph for sites you’re trying to reach. And because DownRightNow relies on user reports, you can generate a trouble report when you’re having a problem. Follow DownRightNow on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay up to date, assuming Facebook and Twitter are working!


“Your PC is Offline. Please sign in with the last password used on this PC”

One of the stranger errors we encounter on Windows 8 is the one that informs us that our PC is offline and instructs us to sign in with the last password used on this PC.

Wait. What?

Possible causes and fixes:

You are typing in the wrong password. Type in the correct password for your Microsoft Account. If you don’t remember your password, go to another computer (or login to another account on that computer), point your browser to http://login.live.com/ , click on “Can’t access your account?” and follow the instructions to reset your password.

If you’re sure that you’re typing in the right password, and you can go to another computer and login with that password at http://login.live.com/, there is an excellent chance you have CAPS LOCK turned on. (Or off, if you created a password using all caps.) Get that straightened out and try again.

If that’s not the problem, something might have changed the keyboard language. Check the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Do you see the correct language there? (For most of us it will be ENG). If it’s wrong, press the WinKey and Space bar simultaneously, select the proper keyboard, then try your password again.

Finally, an extremely annoying cause of this problem is no connectivity. That’s right. If you’re not connected to a network, Windows 8 sometimes doesn’t let you login. Good grief. Make sure you have a working internet connection, then try again.


Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!


Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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