Sunday, January 28, 2018

Make My Computer Run Faster

 Many customers complain that their computer runs too slowly these days. Okay so what is the first thing you should do to find out why your computer is so slow. Well you could take it to a computer service center and shell out some money. I sat why not run a few free programs first and determine what is going on. Yes I believe anyone can do some troubleshooting on their computer for free. All it takes is some of your time.

 So the first thing I would do is run some scans for infections and see if something nasty has made its way into your computer system. There are some free programs that work very well for finding and removing these nasty infections. Remember that infections are not always pc viruses. They can be Viruses, Malware, Spyware and Adware. These infections can come from a multitude of places in today's computer world. They can be from visiting an infected web-page,  facebook page, email or someone that you let remote into your computer.

 Okay so you may be asking what are these free pc cleaning programs. The first one I would recommend is called RogueKiller. You can download the free portable version off the internet and run it in the safe mode with networking. The second program I would recommend is Free Malwarebytes. Once again run it from the safemode with networking. A third free program I would use is ADWCleaner and yes from the safemode. There are other free programs you could use such as Super Anti Spyware, as well as others. Always search the internet to determine if what ever program you find is legitimate. Some free programs may bring in infections, junk programs or malicious programs.

 If you have scanned and cleaned the system of any infections, you are ready for the next step. This would be to determine if there is a hardware problem going on. The usual culprits tend to be a failing hard drive, bad memory, little space left on the hard drive or a damaged motherboard. These problems can be tackled in a few different ways. First inspect the motherboard to see if there are any expanded leaking capacitors on the motherboard. If there are any bad capacitors, it is time to replace the motherboard. You may be able to locate the same motherboard and no problems should occur. If you can get the motherboard, you may be replacing the entire system, moving data and reinstalling all software, printers etc....

 If the motherboard looks good you can download a free program called Memtest 86+ to test the memory in the system. If a stick of memory fails, replace it. The most common problem in hardware in a computer is the Hard Drive itself. You can boot into the troubleshooting mode in windows 8, 8.1 and 10 and run a test on the hard drive using the command prompt choice. Use the chkdsk /r command to test and repair the hard drive software. If any bad sectors or bad clusters show up, replace the hard drive. If you are looking to increase speed go with a new ssd (solid state) hard drive.Make sure it has plenty of space such as a 500gb size or larger.

 Replace the hard drive by cloning the bad failing hard drive to  the new hard drive. If you need to purchase a program, then I recommend Acronis. If you want to use a free program, then look for Partition Magic. I would check out some youtube videos on using these programs. Now the best thing from having to do this is to protect yourself in the first place. What I am getting at is to always have a back up plan. One way is to use Carbonite with the system image plan. The second way is to use the Back Up program in Windows 7 and Windows 10 to an external hard drive. Windows 8 and 8.1 will have to have the system image run manually to the external hard drive.

  There are some free programs out on the internet with a multitude of free programs for testing and troubleshooting a computer system. The first would be Hirens, second would be Win 8 PE and Third would be Falcon. All of these are ISO files that can be downloaded and burned to a cd. They are all bootable and can be made bootable off a USB Flash Drive. I would suggest doing some searching on the internet about them.

 Finally I would look through the programs list in the control panel for any newly installed programs. If you let someone remote into you computer, uninstall it. The same goes for any program that was recently installed that you don't recognize. If you are not sure about the program, use google and see what it is or people are saying about it.

 Oh yes one final bit of information, blow any  dust out of the heatsinks, fans and components.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Microsoft Says Your Infected Call This Number

 I keep getting customers that had the message with a talking voice come up on the screen and say your computer is infected, call this number. This is not legitimate and is nothing more than just a scam. Unfortunately many many people fall for this, call the number and them remote in to their computer and take control.

 Some of these individuals are very convincing and get the unsuspecting person pay them money. I have seen where some of these people or scammers use some of the free programs on the internet. Most of the time these scammers want to get at your information on your computer. Their other goal is to get your hard earned money.

 Okay so what should you do if this happens while you are on the internet. First of all don't click on anything, not even to close out the website. Also do not call these people as they will try to convince you and now they have your phone number. You need to do one of a couple things to prevent any infection. First if you know how to end task this by pressing ctrl - alt - del at the same time do this. This will bring up the task manager and you can end task the web browser you are using to close it out.
 Your other option is to hold the power button in for 10 to 20 seconds and the computer will shut off. I would not do this all the time, but for one instance it won't hurt. After you reboot the computer I would reset all the web browsers. Next run programs like free malwarebytes, rogue killer and junkware removal tool from the safe mode with networking. Finally I would go into programs and features in the control panel. Look through the list and delete any programs like log me in or Team Viewer.

 Many people ask what are signs that you may have been infected. Well usually the computer may run very slow, can not access the internet, home page has changed or the computer will not boot into the normal mode. Other things that happen is that you have emails sent that you did not send. You may also be getting tons of spam email . The other problem is getting phone calls from these scumbags trying to  get you to send them money. Turn them in and report them to the police and attorney general.

 Just remember Microsoft Does Not Call People.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

3 Of The Best Free Virus, Malware, Spyware And Adware Cleaning Programs

Clean Up Those Nasty Infections

Many times I get asked by customers what are the best free programs for cleaning infections from your computer. Well 3 of these programs come to mind and do an excellent job. The three I prefer are Rogue Killer, Malwarebytes and Junkware Removal Tool. They are all free and can be downloaded from the internet. Now there are a few other programs that are free and do a good job of removing various infections from your computer.

A few other infection cleaning programs I use are adwcleaner, super anti-spyware and spybot. They have all been around for awhile and have updates at least weekly. Now if you search the internet you will find other virus cleaning programs out there. The biggest problem is that some of them are junk and will bring in more junk.

So how do you determine what is junk and what is not. Well what I do is search the internet for the given name of the program and question if this cause infections, spyware or adware. Chances are you will find forums where people have tried these programs and now have problems. So never install anything without checking it out first.

Now is there a preferred way to run these programs. Some individuals will say to dumb down the system by stopping various programs from running. They also use rkill and others to achieve this. It's not a bad idea, but I prefer a different method. What I do is enter the computer into the safe mode with networking. This way various windows functions are not running and you have connection to the internet.

Run all of them one at a time starting with rogue killer, then malwarebytes and then junkware removal tool. If you decide then you can run adwcleaner as well as your antivirus program on the computer. Always be aware that your antivirus alone is not enough to remove all infections. Also on a final note make sure you have good up to date antivirus software. My favorites tend to be Kaspersky, Webroot, Mcafee and Norton Antivirus as well as Eset. Only have one of them installed as more then one will cause fighting and the system will slow down the system.