Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How To Repair Your Computer Yourself

  Okay your computer isn't working properly. Most customers tell us my computer is running very slow lately. The other common sign is that programs are not working and the computer shuts off or reboots. The next thing customers report is the dreaded blue screen of death. Maybe they have a message coming up that their computer is infected. Usually someone wants you to call them or pay money.
 Well most of us get scared and take our computers to a service repair center. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but you could end up spending hundreds of dollars, when you could figure it out yourself. The first thing you need to do is determine if it's a hardware problem, software problem or both. Most of the problems found today are due to infections that have gotten into your computer. Okay so what is going to be your first step in determining what is wrong.
 The best thing is to have a second computer where you have access to the internet. There are free programs out there that contain many good programs for testing and scanning for infections. The first is a programs called Hirens 15.2, which is an iso file that you download and burn to a dvd disk or you can install it on a usb flash drive. The second program is called win 8pe, which is another iso file that can be burned to a dvd disk. You basically boot off of the disk and run either check disk or western digital to test the hard drive. If you have bad sectors or bad clusters you will need to replace the hard drive.
 The next item to test is the memory. There is a program called memtest 86+, which can be burned to a cdr disk. Boot off the cd and run the test. Mentest can be run off both of the programs. The other test is to visually inspect the motherboard. Is the cpu fan running or packed with dust. If it is blow it out with canned air or a air compressor. Also inspect the motherboard for bulging capacitors. You can check out some of my other post with pictures. If problems are found the motherboard will need replacing.
 If all hardware checks out, then the problem may be a virus, malware, spyware or adware. It usually is a combination of all of them. You will need a few programs to run and scan for infections. I recommend downloading free malwarebytes, rogue killer, adwcleaner, jrt junk removal tool and combofix ( it does not work on windows 8.1 and windows 10) . My advise is to boot to the safe mode with networking, download each of these and install them. Some are just executable files that you run and follow the prompts. The best place to get these are from bleeping.com and are all free. You can download them, place them on a usb flash drive and copy to the desktop in a folder. Then run each of them and reboot when instructed to.
 If they won't run or you can't get anywhere take the computer to a good service center. Just remember to check out any reviews on the place before going there.
 Thanks for stopping and I hope this helps.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Computer Virus Protection

 Computer Viruses are on the rise again. Yes I was just reading about a new one called CBS2. This one seems to be coming in as a resume. So if you are working for a company in human resources and are checking out resumes be very careful. One of them may just be a ransomeware virus that could encrypt all your data. Believe me I have seen quite a few different customers lose all their data. That can be anything from important documents to cherished photographs of your family and friends.
 So the question is which antivirus program should I purchase. Well generally you will find two category's to choose from. The first is the free category and the second is the paid category. There are many debates over the question is the free antivirus software good enough. Well I use the free avg, Free avast and Free Microsoft security on various computers. I myself have not had any major infections. The main difference is that the paid antivirus has tech support and may offer some extra protection. So my advise is if you can afford the paid version I would go with that.
 The next question in the paid versions of antivirus software is which one is better. Well there are websites on the internet where you can find excellent comparisons of different antivirus software packages. The only thing to watch out for is some may prefer one over the other due to the fact it's the one they are selling. If I am going to suggest a website to check out it would be http://www.av-comparatives.org/ . They have lots of excellent information and it's up to date.
 In my case I do have some that I prefer over others and it's because I see what customers are using. I also read the various reviews on amazon to see what people are saying. So as for my favorites I like Kaspersky, Webroot AV, Eset Nod-32 and Vipre. You will find that some are better suited for internet protection and some cover more than one pc. They also may be good for 3 years instead of 1 year. You will find that price does vary depending on the package.
 It's better to have some antivirus protection then none at all. I also will advise that you learn when not to open emails, especially if it's not from someone you know. Many ransomware infections come in as a invoice in a pdf file or some other form. The best advise I can give is to always back up your system regularly to an external hard drive or to the cloud with carbonite. Only keep the external hard drive connected while the back up is running. That way you have less of a chance of it becoming infected. Believe me if your data becomes encrypted you have pretty much lost everything. So check out the Amazon Ads below and find a good antivirus program to keep your system protected.