The Best Tools to Use

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

There are tons of “fix it ” programs out there “FREE” oh be careful to avoid these as most of them are spyware or scare ware designed to disrupt your normal computer operations with pop ups and tactics designed to intimidate, scare and or buy or else.  The programs listed below are very GOOD and we use them consistently to maintain our own systems and install them on our customers systems. After considering all things that need to be considered when running a computer system and testing all programs out there these provide the best performance,  protection, effectiveness and reliability. Next tech tip will be where and how  to download these safely. Most users have no idea of “where did this come from” I get that a lot and or we did not load this stuff and in reality yes you did. Most users really don’t pay attention until oh a pop up or my browser is slow. Free game sites, down loading music video, utube, opening email attachments are all possible threats to your computer. Learning how to prevent these and maitain your browser will keep your computer out of the shop and you will hopefully be more aware as prevention is better that cure as the saying goes. If you can go a year without bringing your computer into the shop you are doing well but its just a matter of time before a trip to the shop for a professional fix is necessary.

MALWAREBYTES  We have installed the free version of Malwarebytes on your computer.  To use it you must first locate the icon on your desktop.  To the right is a picture of the icon     

1.   Once you have found the icon double click with your left mouse button.

2.  When the new window opens select what type of scan you would like to run.  We suggest running a full scan once a week if you are a moderate internet user.  If you are a heavy internet user or have multiple users (especially if you or other users are downloading music or videos using a torrent program) we recommend a full scan after your internet session is over.

3.  When the scan has finished it will inform you if it has found any spyware or malware.

Occasionally Malwarebytes needs to be updated.  You should check for updates when you first open Malwarebytes.

CCLEANER– We may have installed CCleaner on your computer.  This is an excellent free program that will help keep your computer running smoothly.

To use it you must first locate the icon on your desktop.  To the right is a picture of the icon    

1.   Once you have found the icon double click with your left mouse button.

2.  When the new window opens make sure cleaner is highlighted on the left hand side of the window.

3.  Select Analyze

4.  When the analysis is finished select run cleaner

5.  A box will pop up that says “this process will permanently delete files from you system.  Are you sure you wish to proceed?”  Click OK. 

6.  When the cleaner is finished x out of the window. 

MICROSOFT SECURITY ESSENTIALS- We may have installed Microsoft Security Essentials on your computer.  This is a good antivirus that will help keep your computer free from viruses. The Microsoft Security Essentials icon is located at the bottom right hand side of your screen on the task bar.

If all is well the icon will be green

If it has been a while since you have run a full system scan the icon will be orange with an exclamation point .

If the icon is red with an x this indicates a problem

1.  to run Microsoft Security Essentials double click the icon with the left mouse button and select the scan type you want to run and then click scan now.  When the scan is finished it will either have a green icon with a check indicating no viruses were found or an orange icon with an exclamation point,  indicating a problem.  Select clean your computer so the viruses can be removed.

WINDOWS 9 RUMORS

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

For 2 1/2 years the public and Microsoft has been dealing with Windows 8.  The new Metro interface is so foreign to the average user Microsoft eventually released Windows 8.1 to fix some of the most upsetting features.  Windows 8.1 now as a pseudo start button and a few other changes.  Even with the improvements users still have not really warmed up to Windows 8.1.   Microsoft now has a new operating system in the works, most likely to be named Windows 9. So what will Windows 9 be like?  Most likely it will will similar to Windows 8.1 with some added features.  There are rumors that Windows 9 may include a more traditional start menu.  Microsoft may introduce gesture recognition, but the ultimate goal is cross platform compatibility.   Mobile phones and tablets are everywhere, so to keep up with the industry and get in the mobile phone game Microsoft had to do something drastic.  What they did was release Windows 8 with a totally new type of  interface known as  Metro. Then they acquired Nokia and released a cell phone with a platform that is compatible with other Windows devices.  Hopefully the new windows operating system will fix a lot of  the bugs windows 8 had.  But get used to the metro interface because it is most likely here to stay. When will the new operating system be released?  Rumor has it that the new windows operating system has a tentative release date of April 2015.  I hope you found this helpful.

What to buy and why….

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Tablet Desktop Laptop,

Which is best for you. This all depends on how you are going to use the unit. If you do a lot of typing and are on the go then a laptop is best for you. If you are a internet only kind of person and just use face book, online banking, small online gaming and you are also on the go then a tablet is for you. If you are a hard core gamer or solid business or a family with home schooling on your mind then a desktop is the way to go. I will be adding more technical insight to tech talk as time permits and needs arise. Take care and God Bless. Mike the Tech.

Windows XP

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Don’t panic!!  Your machine will not self destruct like everyone wants you to believe.  You do not need to run out and buy a new computer right now.  However it is time for you to evaluate your options.  We perform a free evaluation of your XP machine and provide you with  all the options to help you decide what is the best, most cost effective choice for you.  If your machine is running XP Pro and has service pack 3 you are in pretty good shape for now.  Internet Explorer 8 is always a concern when browsing the internet.  Most websites require at least IE9 and some IE10 or IE11.   However XP will only support IE8 but that is nothing new.  Windows XP has never supported anything higher than IE8.   So what can you do?

1.   You can run a different 3rd party browser like Firefox or Google Chrome.  Running one of these other browsers will give you a better, more secure internet experience .

2.  If you have an active antivirus subscription your computer will continue to be protected. If you do not have an antivirus you can download a free one such as  AVG or Avast.  Although Microsoft Security Essentials is our choice for a free antivirus it will no longer be available for down load after April 8th, 2014.

3.  If your machine is running well and not giving you any problems you need to check the service pack you have.  If you do not have Service Pack 3 you will need to upgrade to Service Pack 3 before April 8th, 2014.  After April 8th, 2014 Service Pack 3 will no longer be available for download.

4.  If you are having performance issues such as machine is slow, not performing, pop ups etc its a good time to bring it in and we will estimate and combine a repair with a upgrade if possible.  Keep in mind with the age of your machine and hardware limitations the ultimate choice would be to buy a new computer or a newer used computer with Windows 7 .  Keep in mind if you have an older printer and or older application software they may not work in the new operating system.  New laptops and desktops are very inexpensive now so the purchase of a new machine is less painful than when you purchased your old XP machine.

I hope that this information will help you with your decision making in regards to your XP computer.