Laptop Repair – Should I Fix It or Just Replace?

Laptop-Repair-On-Site LouisvilleLaptop repair is frequently a better option than replacement. And if you find the right computer repair shop, there’s a good chance your laptop can be saved for a modest cost. But it’s not always easy to determine the best solution. Some repairs are almost too expensive to justify.  And some laptops are simply at the end of their lifespan. Below are some tips.
 
 
Consider the following when deciding to repair or replace your laptop:
 
1.Determine the source of the problem.
 
Some laptop issues are an easy fix – some aren’t. The first step is to research computer repair shops online and find one with a good reputation.  When you drop off your laptop ask the laptop repair technician to call you with an estimate BEFORE the repair is started.  A qualified and competent computer repair technician should be willing and able — after accessing your laptop issue — to help you decide if it is worth fixing or if it’s time to replace.
 
2.Consider your options. With good information, the available options can be considered.
 
How serious is the problem? Some problems are a huge hassle and hardly worth the money. Failed components, a hard drive for example, are an easy and relatively inexpensive fix. Laptop screen repair is a fairly inexpensive fix.  Conversely, a failed motherboard is quite expensive to replace and can take several weeks.
 
Is your laptop older than 5 years? Most experts feel that a computer older than five years is nearing the end of life expectancy, and anything less than 3 years should be repaired. But this is only a generalization and there are many other factors to consider.
 
What is the cost of a new laptop? What would you gain with a new laptop? Do the newer models have features that are important to you? Consumer Reports states that a computer should be repaired if the cost is less than half the cost of a similar, new model. Higher quality and more expensive laptops are generally more worthy of repair.
 
3. Do Your Homework
 
Does the repair company have a good reputation? There’s nowhere to hide online. A laptop repair company’s reputation is easy to find with a little digging. A good reputation can be worth more than a good price.
 
Will they be using new parts or refurbished? Both can be acceptable, just be sure you know what you’re getting and the price is appropriate.
 
How long will it take? Can you live without your laptop during that time?
 
Is there a warranty? How long does it last? What does it cover?
 
Before getting rid of your broken laptop, consider the possibility of repair. It’s possible that your laptop needs a minimal amount of repair or maintenance to get it back in working order. The cost savings can be put to better use. For more information on Laptop Repair in Louisville, KY or for more blog articles like this visit our website.  And if you’re uncomfortable with the process feel free to call us for advice before you make a decision.  We will be glad to help. For more information on computer repair topics visit our website for all the latest laptop and computer repair news.
 

Famous Computer Viruses

louisville virus removalMelissa
 
Named after a stripper from Miami, this computer virus was created by David L. Smith from New Jersey. It was first reported on March 26th 1999. The virus was not originally created to cause loss or damage but it did run havoc in the computer world. Regarded to be the fastest spreading virus ever, it was initially sent through e-mail. The email consisted of an attachment called “List.DOC” with a subject line “Important Message From {the senders name}” with a small message which read “Here is the document you asked for… don’t show anyone else.” Once the attachment was opened, the virus would infect the computer and would then access the Outlook address book and send the same message to the first 50 names in the address book. Though the virus does not destroy file or steal data, the ripple of emails forced companies to shut down their email server. Companies like Microsoft and Intel were also affected.
 
MyDoom
 
MyDoom is known to be one of the most destructive computer viruses ever and also holds the record of the most rapidly spread virus. This virus would attack the operating system of the computer and then would replicate itself and send itself to different users from the email address book. Its spread through email was successful because it appeared as an email delivery failure report, which when opened and investigated by the user would infect his computer. MyDoom would also send requests to search engines and send emails to the addresses found in the search result. This resulted in crazy traffic on search engine sites like Google and Yahoo. The search engine servers were slowed and had to be shut down, temporarily.
 
Storm Worm
 
It is a younger virus when compared to the above two. Found out in late 2006 or early 2007, the Storm Worm virus has around ten million computers on its victims list. A “Trojan Horse” program converts the affected computer into a puppet (a computer that can be controlled remotely). It was originally distributed through email with a subject line of “230 dead as storm batters Europe.” Once the computer was infected by the virus, the computer got attached to a botnet from where it could be controlled by the attacker. These computers were then used to send several spam mails across networks. Though it is very easy to detect this virus and remove it from your computer, often a computer has to be taken to a qualified computer repair professional to have it removed completely.
 
The FBI Moneypak Virus
 
The FBI Moneypak virus, also known as the FBI Virus, is one of the latest viruses in the “ransomware” category. It was invented and is kept going by a Russian Gang many of whom have been arrested but the virus keeps popping up anyway, despite arrests. At my computer repair shop in Louisville, KY I have done virus removal for this virus a hundred times in past few years. It is common enough, I going to classify it as famous, or infamous, at this point. The virus, when it enters a computer system — locks it down. The user can see a screen, with the FBI logo on it. The text on the screen states that the computer has been locked down for a supposed criminal code violation. Illegal activities like downloading and distributing copyrighted material is one of the major reasons displayed. Then it asks the user to pay a fine through Moneypak to avoid criminal charges against them. Many users are so scared, apparently, they retrieve a MonkeyPak Card, usually from Wal-Mart and pay the fee. However, the computer does not get unlocked once the money is paid. You need to remove the virus to regain control of your computer. You will find a lot of people offering suggestions on how to remove this virus; however, for complete removal it’s best to take your computer to a local computer repair shop or have a computer repair professional come to your location for removal.
 
Internet Security Virus 2013
 
The last on our short list here is a very legitimate looking “fake antivirus” software that may not harm your files but is dangerous nonetheless. It mimics very precisely the exact software that is supposed to be protecting you from it –your antivirus software suite. It disables important functions on your computer that are important in detecting a malware intrusion –than takes over your PC. It normally appears as a pop-up when you are browsing the net; it warns against your computer being infected and asks you to click a link to clean it. Thinking it is your honest antivirus software you click “remove viruses.” When you try to remove these infections you are asked to buy the full version to remove the infections. Very tricky. I’ve seen countless people fall for this and pay the fee only to discover that their money is gone and they still have the virus. To fight removal the virus disables Windows Restore, Windows Task Manager and Registry Editor and sometimes even your internet connection. This virus is almost impossible for even the most advanced computer user to remove and almost always requires professional removal.
 
For more articles on computer viruses and computer virus removal visit my blog at PC News
 

Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox…..What’s the Difference?

Browser-4zu3
 
 
I have noticed while out doing service calls for residential customers that many people are confused about what a browser is. Namely, people seem to get confused about the difference between a browser and home page. According to Wikipedia a web browser (commonly referred to as a browser) is a software application for retrieving, presenting and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. A home page is simply the first page you see when you open your web browser. Now that we have made that distinction let’s look more closely at the most popular web browsers and the differences of each.
 
 
Internet Explorer
 
For many years, Internet Explorer was the default browser for most folks. Since it comes pre-installed on your computer and packaged within the Microsoft Windows Operating System, few people were even aware that other options existed.
 
In most tests, Internet Explorer is the slowest of the three browsers, though the gap between the three has been shrinking with each new release of the respective browsers. While Internet Explorer has been the most popular browser worldwide, that hasn’t been true since around the middle of 2012 as other web browsers have been gaining popularity.
 
Internet Explorer has a very familiar and user friendly user interface according to many people. Many like the way explorer permits the previewing of individual tabs from the task bar or on top of the browser and allows the user to ‘pin’ websites and frequently used programs to the task bar at the bottom. Internet Explorer can still suffer from the inevitable bugs that plague many Microsoft products. The company has never hidden the fact that it relies on users to find many of the flaws.
 
Mozilla Firefox
 
Another popular browser is Firefox. It’s owned and distributed by Mozilla, which is a free software community.
 
According to many Firefox offers an enjoyable browsing experience largely due to the multiple ‘extensions’, which are similar to apps that enhance the browsing experience. Those with an interest in SEO and building websites tend to favor Firefox. There’s a lot it can do with regards to displaying website rankings, counting backlinks, and all those other things that many Internet geeks find fascinating.
 
Firefox commonly has memory management issues. It’s not uncommon to find your computer running slower and slower as Firefox gets itself into an endless loop that churns through your computer resources. Simply closing the browser and restarting will usually solve the problem.
 
Firefox is the most customizable browser and includes a built-in PDF viewer that’s surprisingly handy.
 
Google Chrome
 
Google Chrome (which is different from the Google Search Engine) has always been the most reliable and simplest of these browsers. It provides a lean browsing experience without a lot of bells and whistles. Its great claim has always been with regards to speed. This is still the case. Chrome is the fastest browser in most tests.
 
There’s no shortage of apps available to boost the functionality, and Google constantly updates the browser. It is certainly the least likely browser to experience bugs, freeze requiring a restart.
 
If you’re interested in apps, speed, reliability, and simplicity, Chrome is probably the browser for you.
 
Conclusion
 
Any of these browsers can be downloaded for free and all work well for most needs. Perhaps the best way to make a decision is to give all three a try for a few days each. You’re likely to find that you have a strong preference after giving each a test drive. If you spend a lot of time online, it’s worth experimenting to find the web browsing solution that you favor and one for a backup.
 

Holiday Shopping Online This Year? Stay Safe With These 5 Tips

safe online shoppingThis holiday season is the first year that more people are expected to shop more online than in actual brick-and-mortar stores. It’s expected that over $63 billion dollars will be spent on holiday shopping in the United States. That’s an increase of over 16% from last year. With so much money being spent online, it begs the question, “How can you protect yourself from identity theft and other cybercrimes?”
 
 
1. Use a credit card instead of a debit card. While both offer the same amount of liability protection, you have much longer with a credit card to realize that you have an issue. Both types of cards limit your liability to $50. This is the law. However, you have 60 days to notify your credit card company that something is wrong. Debit card companies limit you to 2 days.
 
• If you’re a victim of credit card fraud, you’re not out any money. But if someone uses your debit card without your knowledge, your entire bank account could be cleaned out before you know it. It can take weeks to get your money back. What would you do in the mean time?
 
2. Consider not shopping online in public places. It’s possible for hackers to access your computer if you’re utilizing wireless Internet in public places. Feel free to do your browsing in public places, but save your shopping for a network that requires a password. It’s also important to prevent your wireless devices from automatically connecting to any Wi-Fi signal you happen to stumble upon.
 
3. Stick to stores you know. If you’ve used an online store successfully in the past, it’s reasonable to assume that you’ll be safe in the future. If you’re unsure about a new store, do an online search. It’s difficult to hide bad news today. The word spreads quickly. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, trust your gut.
 
4. Look for the symbols of security. A web address that starts with ‘https’ includes an encrypted protocol. You’re probably also familiar with the little padlock that shows up in the address bar, immediately before the ‘https’. This is also a sign that the website has some degree of security and encryption. Depending on the browser, the color of the padlock can mean different things. A green padlock typically means that the web address has been verified using a security certificate. A gray padlock can mean that you’re on the right site (it’s not being spoofed); however, the owner of the website hasn’t been verified. Avoid purchasing on sites that don’t have some sign of security.
 
5. Leave the pop-ups alone. Control+F4 or ALT F4 will eliminate most pop-ups without having to click on them. Control+W works for Macs. You are NOT going to get a free iPad or $500 gift card. Pop-ups are a common source of computer malware and computer viruses (read more about how to prevent computer viruses here.)
 
Shopping safely online should be on everyone’s mind. Take care of yourself and your finances by taking the necessary precautions. Few things can spoil the holidays quicker than realizing that someone has used your identity to purchase expensive items. Save yourself the grief and shop intelligently this holiday season.
 

7 Ways to Sharpen Your Search Engine Skills

Search Engine HelpIt’s possible to find nearly anything online, from guidance on how to properly raise a pet snake to the most popular chocolate cookie recipe to how to make a million dollars. While the search engines are getting more powerful and intuitive every day, it can still be challenging to find what you’re looking for. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know how frustrating it can be. With a few simple tips, you can greatly improve your search results and find exactly what you need.
 
Be specific. If you’re searching for the history of the American automobile, you’re probably going to get more relevant results if you include Henry Ford’s name in your search. The vocabulary that you use should be as targeted as possible. Every field has its own vocabulary. Learn it and use it.
 
Utilize the best search engine. Google seems to be the default, but there are better choices for certain topics. For example, http://www.scirus.com specializes in science related searches. If you’re searching for pictures, http://www.picsearch.com has indexed over 3 billion pictures! Take the time to look for the best search engine for your needs; you’ll save time and improve your results. You might want to try the search, list of search engines and see what you find. You might be surprised.
 
Investigate the advanced features. Many search engines have advanced features that rarely get used. For example, Google search has the ability to exclude certain search terms and to limit a search to a particular domain name. You can even limit the search the search to certain countries or certain types of files. This is merely scratching the surface.
 
Use quotes to find an exact match. Putting your search term(s) within double quotes “abcxyz”, will return search results with that exact term. This can be incredibly handy if you’re searching for something specific.
 
Use search operators. Google has a plethora of ways you can improve your searching. For example, the search computer $500…$900 will return results with the word ‘computer’ and a dollar figure between $500 and $900 dollars. The use of ‘…’ returns a range between two numbers. There are other operators. Check them out.
 
Take a class! Google has a free, self-paced search engine course that can be found right here. After taking the introductory class, there is an advanced course on the same web page. Who better to teach the ins-and-outs of search than Google themselves? With a little searching, you’re sure to find other instructional opportunities.
 
Keep your search terms short, but not too short. Search terms should be long enough to be specific, but not so long that the results are diluted with too many unrelated results. A good tactic can be to start simple and then evaluate the results. If you’re not getting what you need, include additional terms and re-evaluate the results.
 
Improving your search engine skills can be accomplished quickly and easily, with a little bit of work. Becoming a better online searcher will save valuable time and improve your effectiveness. Put these tips to use and watch your search skills (and knowledge) soar.
 

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