Three Common Laptop Repairs and How to Avoid Them

At my computer repair shop in Louisville I see these three problems over and over. Sometimes it is the result of normal wear-n-tear. Parts wear out, right? And there are plenty of lemon parts with computers. I’ve seen a new hard drive fail in the first thirty days of use, for example. But sometimes accidents happen. And, often mistakes are made due to the fact that people don’t know how to properly maintain and handle their computer equipment. This article will make you aware of lurking dangers so you can avoid accidents and maintain your equipment properly, and avoid these costly and preventable laptop repairs completely.
DC Jack Repair
DC Jacks or charging ports take a lot of abuse. I know I’ve had several ignitions in my car replaced over the years. When I was a starving college student I remember one winter I would spray deicer in the ignition so my key would work. It got me through the winter, but finally I had to replace the ignition. The DC Jack on a laptop is the hole where the power adaptor or “charger” plugs into the computer. In most laptop units, the DC jack is directly soldered onto the motherboard — which not only makes it delicate but also expensive to repair. Often the entire laptop has to come apart to do the repair as there is no access anywhere around the jack. The three most common reasons the jack breaks is: 1.A child or animal trips on the cord. 2. People jerk the cord out hard and at an angle and do not realize it is not that difficult to break a solder joint and 3. People travel — either across the room or across the city — with the charger still connected to the laptop. Don’t do it!
Screen Repair
Perhaps even more common is laptop screen repair and replacement. I have seen laptop screens break when someone picked up a laptop by the corner of the screen to move it off of the floor up onto a table. Their thumb went right through the screen. I almost did it once myself. It is a very delicate screen. It does not have to be a dropped or take a hard impact to cause a cracked laptop screen. Another common scenario is closing something in the laptop. A mouse, a letter opener, even a flash drive left on the keyboard when the laptop is closed can cause a screen to break or fail. It is an expensive repair depending on the laptop screen and computer make and model. So, be aware of this “soft spot” on your laptop and be extremely gentle with it.
Motherboard Failure
Perhaps the most expensive and devastating, but rather common laptop repair is motherboard repair. This is what I consider a “catastrophic event” in the computer repair business. The entire machine has to come apart, the board taken out, and repaired at the microscopic level with expensive equipment. Sometimes this part simply fails, but often it is the result of what’s known in the industry as a “thermal event.” That is a heat related issue. To prevent this from happening, keep your laptop computer as cool as possible. Despite the name, a laptop should NOT be anyone’s lap. While the exhaust fan for the CPU is often located on the side of a laptop, the air intake is often located on the bottom. If your laptop is on your lap you are probably covering up the air intake for your exhaust fan which is extremely dangerous. You want to keep your laptop on a flat, cold, hard surface at all times! You can install free software such as the core temp monitor (be careful not to get a virus infection when you’re downloading free utilities) to monitor the actual temperature of your laptop from the inside. Also you can leave the battery out. I’ve never even had a battery in my laptop it’s still in plastic. It is not necessary to power a laptop that is plugged in to a wall outlet and only generates more heat. Keep the fan basins blown out with compressed air – especially if your home is dusty or you have dogs or cats. And as the computer starts to age if the heat monitor utility shows your laptop heat is on the rise, you can even go to the power options and turn your processor down a bit. As your laptop ages you probably don’t need your processors to run at 100% constantly. Mine is set to 95% and that alone gave me about a 5 degree drop in core temperature.
My old laptop, which is now my field machine, lived the first years of its life set up in my home office. It hardly ever went mobile (only when I traveled out of town). It is way past average life expectancy and still runs great at ten years old. So, heed the warnings and follow these simple suggestions and avoid these expensive and common laptop repairs in your future. You can find more information on laptop repair here.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

SEO Louisville, KY


 SEO Louisville

There are few things more frustrating than building or paying for a website and not making it onto the first or second page of the search results. There are many reasons a website can be lost in the noise of the Internet. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is about getting your website to show up in search results. For those trying to get their business to show up it can be an expensive proposition to show up in search results in terms of not only money but time and energy, as well. To make matters worse there are hundred of ranking factors and they are not released by the search engines. One can only “guess” what they are supposed to do. Search Engine Optimization Companies study and conduct research on search engine results in an attempt to quantify what is necessary for a website to rank. Here are some basics that SEO Services have identified and agree are essential. . . .

The First Step . . . . Make A Website

Chris Calkins SEO Louisville, KY
First, you have to have a website. Think of your website as your primary residence on the internet. After that, you need the following (and many more) elements on that site:
Keywords: One of the primary tools that search engines utilize to determine the relevance of your website vs what the searcher is looking for are keywords. In general terms, does your website contain the vocabulary that is relevant to the topic? For example, if your website is about weight loss, the search engines might expect to see the words/terms weight loss, diet, exercise, fat, muscle, cardio, carbohydrates, goal and so on. Keyword ideas can be found from any of the numerous keyword tools available online. Avoid keyword stuffing though; look it up.
Images: The search engines want to find the best webpages. Regardless of age, people enjoy looking at pictures. Be sure you’re using images on your webpages. Also be sure you have ALT attributes on your images.  That is the name of the image when hovered over by a mouse.  Keep the number of images reasonable. Google is succeeding at developing a method for analyzing images better and identifying the content on the image.
Currency: It’s important to continuously add content to your website. The search engines like to see that your website is staying current and that you’re attempting to add some real value to the search engine. A dead website will eventually slip down in the rankings. Keep a schedule, be consistent and stay on top of your website content.
Backlinks: Backlinks are not “on your website” rather they point at it from other websites.  Backlinks are basically a vote. But it’s not just the number of backlinks that matters; it’s also the quality of the backlinks. A link to your website from Harvard University will be given more credibility than a link from a less prestigious source. Be sure to earn backlinks by providing quality content to credible sources. Do not “place them.” If credible sources like your content they may feature it on their website.

Second….Claim Your Local Listings

Google My Business: There’s an excellent chance that Google has already found your business and created a rudimentary listing for you. To claim your listing:
→Sign into (or create) a Google account. A Google account is free; so don’t be concerned if you don’t have one. Search for your business with your city and state in the search criteria. You’ll be looking for your business with a pink balloon by it. If you see it, Google already knows your business exists.
→You will be given options to verify that the listing is yours. This is done by phone or postcard. The phone is much faster! You can then edit the listing. While you can edit the listing prior to the verification process being completed, the edits will not take effect until after the verification. ll be able to fill out the simple form online.
→Again, the listing will have to be verified. You wouldn’t want a competitor claiming or creating your listing.
Yahoo Local: Yahoo provides a similar service called Yahoo Local.
→Again, you’ll need an account with Yahoo. It’s also free. You’ll again be given the opportunity to claim an existing listing or to create a new listing.
→Either way you’ll have to wait for a verification via mail. When you receive a verification code in the mail it will give you a website address where you can verify your listing. Simply enter the code.Be sure to complete the entire listing. This includes a photo, hours, payment options, contact information, etc. You can also include information about your products and services.
Bing Places: Bing’s local listing service is called ‘Bing Places’.
→Of course, a free Microsoft account is needed.
→Search for your business. If you can find it, go through similar process to claim your listing. If you can’t find it, which is common for Bing Places, you’ll have to create a listing.
→Click the link above to visit Bing Places for Business

 Third. . . .Develop Your Web-wide Presence


There are hundreds of ranking factors for appearing in search results but once you’ve accomplished the basics:  you have a website, have the basic SEO elements on your website, and have claimed your local listings you need to develop your web wide presence, further.  There are many small internet properties you need to have your site listed on. These are called Internet Directories.  Sites like, Mojo Pages, Whitepages, Foursquare, and Manta will let you list your sites in their directory for free. Your company information should be consistent and up to date across the entire internet ecosystem.


Fourth . . . Create Your Social Media


In my opinion, you,  or someone within your company should be responsible for your social media listings.   No one is going to take the care  in developing these that you will.   The big sites you need to have a business page for are: Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, and LinkedIn. Here you can connect with other local business and customers and interact on a local basis.  You can post updates, sales, and other information about your business and start to develop online relationships locally and around the world.

Glossary of SEO Terms
It’s hard to speak any language effectively if you don’t know the relevant terminology. Over time the SEO field has developed its own unique vocabulary. With a few minutes of reading, you’ll know the language necessary to be able to speak intelligently with any SEO expert.
Alexa: You’ve probably heard of Alexa rankings. This free service measures traffic for many websites. You can see how you rank compared to your competitors or conduct other relevant research at the Alexa website.
Anchor Text: The text on a webpage that is clicked to follow a hyperlink — often underlined differentiated by color.
Authority: This is the ability of your website or web page to rank effectively with the search engines based on the perceived knowledge you or your company has in your field.
Black Hat SEO: These are SEO practices that the search engines consider to be underhanded. Each search engine has its own set of guidelines. For Google they publish a digital document called “Google Webmaster Guidelines.”  If you’re outside the guidelines, it’s considered to be ‘Black Hat SEO’ and you are subject to various penalties.
Broken Links: This is simply a hyperlink on a webpage that isn’t functioning properly. In most cases, the target of the link has been removed and one clicking the hyperlink is directed to a webpage that gives a “404 error” meaning it no longer exists.
Conversion: A conversion is an impression that turns into a click.
De-Listing: The term for having your website either permanently or temporarily de-indexed from one or more directories or search engines. That is to say, removed from search engine results.
Domain Age: Many search engines and social networks consider the age of a website, page, or domain in determining relevance, trustworthiness, etc. Having an older domain is usually advantageous but not always. There are many factors in ranking of which “age of domain” is simply one. It is not unusual to see a new high quality website outrank an old, mid-quality one.
Duplicate Content: Similar to plagiarism, duplicate content is content on your website that too closely mimics content on other websites.
External Link: A link of your website that links to another website.
Impression:  An impression is a unit of measurement that counts as one appearance of your website or a page on your website in search results.
Internal Link: A link to another page on the same website
Keyword: A search term or phrase you think users might type into search engines to find goods, services, or content.
Keyword Density: The frequency a specific keyword appears in web content; usually described as a percentage.
Keyword stuffing: Using a keyword on a webpage in an unnatural manner and at a frequency considered excessive by the search engines.
Landing Page:  The webpage a searcher lands on when they click a title/description in search results – usually the home page or “page one” of a website.
Long-Tail Search Criteria: Typically longer, more specific search terms for a given topic, for example:  “24/7 locksmith service in Chicago, ill” vs. “Chicago locksmith.”
Niche: The main subject matter of a particular website. For example, a website might be in the high-end wine or baby toy niche.
Nofollow: These are links that prevent any link authority from being passed to the link object. For example, most forum comment or blog comment links are nofollow.
Organic Search Results: These are the search results that naturally appear on search engines that are neither part of the paid or local result.
Page Rank: A logarithmic means of ranking web content.
Relevancy: The ratio of accuracy between search intention and search result.
SEO:  short for “Search engine optimization” is the science and art of making a website or web page attractive to both search engines and users.
Search Criteria:  The word or string of words one types into a search engine in an attempt to yield a desired search result.
SERP: Search engine results page or the list of abstracts one sees after entering search criteria into a search engine search box.
Site Map: A site map provides an alternate means for search engines to crawl and interpret a website.
User Sitemap: An intra-site map which serves as a “table of contents” to help user navigate a website.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator often referred to as simply web address.  Each webpage on the internet has its own unique URL.

Call Us, Today To Discuss Your Internet Marketing and SEO


It’s not easy keeping up with all the sweeping changes in the competitive world of Search Engine Optimization. In fact, today it should not be called search engine optimization at all. It should be called “customer optimization.” The search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo are getting smarter all the time and they don’t allow many old SEO techniques which are called “webspam” now. You may not be aware that many methods companies used to employ for SEO may hurt your ranking status now. Today, proper SEO is all about adding quality and value on the world wide web. Google states in webmaster guidelines that you should “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.” This is the shift we try to help our clients understand. We want to focus on the technical aspects of your website, yes but more importantly we want to provide real value and content for your customers so you’ll become relevant in your industry, naturally.

At On-Site Louisville Computer Repair Company we’ve learned this lesson, adapted to it, and we’re ready to pass on our knowledge to you and help your website thrive in the new virtual search environment. If you need an SEO Consultant we are here to help you sift through the mounds of information and make sense of it all and boost your website’s search performance. Whether you’re interested in paid, local or organic search performance you can call us to discuss your Search Engine Optimization in Louisville, KY or anywhere so when people look for your services online — they can find YOUR Company — not just your competitors.

How To Set Up Your New Computer

At On-Site Louisville Computer Repair Co. I often get asked to set up new computers for people.  This is a good idea since there is much involved in the process.  Nevertheless, there are many people that like to do things themselves, so I wrote this article for you “Do-it-yourselfers” which covers the process.  Hope this helps.
Get Your Files off Your Old Machine
If you have files and folders on your old machine you need to put them on a portable storage device, a flash drive, and then move them to your new machine after you set your computer up… I would leave a copy of the files on the flash drive and that is your back-up should you experience a catastrophic machine failure in the future.
Plug In, Go Through Set-up Menu and Run Your Updates:
When you turn your new computer on you will be prompted to choose settings for the computer name, time zone, language, network, updates, etc.  This is very intuitive — just fill in the blanks.   This is also a good time to register the computer and software.  Then you are ready to run updates. Since your machine has been sitting on a warehouse or retailer’s shelf for a while you will have updates due at the time of purchase.
Uninstall Bloatware and Activate Antivirus Software Suite
Bloatware is the software that will come preloaded with your brand new laptop or desktop in the form of 30 day trials or trail subscriptions or other junk.  While this software may not be harmful (debatable) most of the times they are just a waste of space. To remove simply go to Control Panel > Add/Remove> Uninstall.  If your machine has a one year subscription to an antivirus suite you can activate that at this point.  Otherwise you can uninstall the 30 day antivirus trial and read my article on “Five Free Antivirus Suites You Can Try for Zilch.”
Creating a System Restore Disk
You can create a restore disk in case something happens and you need to restore your computer to its factory state.  Since most computers come with a recovery partition that allows you to recover your computer to factory state, making is disks is optional; however, there are circumstance where the recovery manager will not function normally, such as destruction of the partition by a virus infections, etc. Therefore many people still choose to create disks in case of emergency. To do this:
♦Go to start menu.
♦In the search bar, type “backup”.
♦Click on the “backup and Restore” option.
♦On the left side of the panel, you will see an option “create a system repair disc”.
♦Click on the option and follow the process.
Configure Power Options:
Familiarize yourself with the power settings and options available in your computer. In Windows Vista and 7 just go to start and search for “Power Options.”  You can configure all your power options here including when the screen turns off, when or if the computer sleeps, what happens when you close the lid and what the power button does.
Choose Your Home Page and Make Bookmarks
When you get on the internet with Internet Explorer you probably want the page that comes up to be your favorite search engine, or your Email Login Page (which are often the same place).   Most people set their homepage to Google, Yahoo, or Bing.  In your browser window go to Tools>Internet Options> and then set your home page to the preferred URL.  This is also a good time to visit your Bank Website, Favorite Shopping Site, and other places you visit on a regular basis and add those websites to your favorites, favorite’s toolbar, or bookmarks.
Transfer Your Files From Your Old Machine
Remember the files we pulled off your old machine earlier?  Now is a good time insert your flash drive and drag old documents, photos, and music to your new computer. Plug in the flash drive and wait for it to populate “Computer” screen.  Then drag a copy of your files, photos and music to the appropriate folder on your new machine and get back to computing as usual on your new computer!

Should I Buy A Tablet, Laptop, or Desktop?

Deciding whether to buy a tablet, desktop or laptop can be a hard decision given there are so many choices in the market today. Although it largely depends on the individual choice of each buyer, I hope that having knowledge about the features and functions will help. Below is a brief description on each one of them so you decide which one is best for you.
A tablet is highly portable computing device, that has features similar to that of laptops with a bit more portability but less functionality for serious computing tasks. If you are someone who is always on the go and need your computer handy all the time, then this might be your choice. A tablet has a touch screen that can be used with fingers or stylus. It has a durable body and comes with a 7-inch to a 10-inch display screen and weighs less than 1 pound. Caution should be taken by the user to avoid any damage of the touch screen display. The main advantage of a tablet computer is its portability, light weight, powerful pen recognition, small size and attractive design. Tablets often have a longer battery life than a laptop. While it’s been my belief that “no serious work can be accomplished on a tablet” with the advent of the attachable keyboard I’ve revised my belief on that a bit.
A laptop is a slightly larger but still highly portable computer that is also capable of serious computing tasks. They consume less space on a desk or a table than a desktop computer. Laptops are battery operated and are attached to a single cord instead of multiple cords like in desktop. They come with a built in touchpad, speakers and webcam. Although, I still prefer attaching a mouse. A mouse is essential to accomplish any type of real research, creation and production. Laptops are very useful for people in the corporate sector who are always on the move and for international students as well. They are great for traveling and if you are using an aircard you will have access to an uninterrupted internet connection anywhere and anytime. I actually prefer a large, powerful laptop now for my primary computing. I leave it set up stationary 98% of the time and don’t carry it with me. I have a smaller laptop I keep for trips.
Desktop – A desktop is a personal computer with a separate tower, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. A desktop computer can be plugged into a wall outlet. Unlike a laptop a desktop is not a portable device. It is stationary. If you need a supercomputer, for some reason, a desktop is probably a best choice as the larger case can hold more components. Another benefit is that you can hook as large of a monitor to it as you like, whereas you’re limited on the size of your monitor with a tablet and laptop (you can plug an external monitor to a laptop but it is not as practical usually). Desktops are easier to upgrade than laptops and and generally speaking –easier to repair. You never have to worry about running out of battery life. And, finally, 90% of computer thefts are of tablets and laptops – not desktops.

Is it Safe to Bank and Buy on the Internet? Three Ways to Ensure You Are Safe

As more and more people become aware of the benefits internet banking and purchasing, there has been a steady increase in the number of people using it. Little doubt exists that doing things on-line is time-saving and very convenient. Many, however, are concerned about whether online banking and purchasing is safe. And, given the ever- increasing rate of cybercrimes, this is a very important question to consider. In this article, I will address these issues and also provide some tips that you can implement to make your online banking and purchasing safe and profitable.
Beware of Phishing Attacks
One common method used by individuals and crime syndicates that attempt to scam on-line users is to first obtain the victim’s online banking credentials, credit card details or any other login information. This is generally through e-mails, and by designing duplicate web pages that may look similar to your online banking page. These fraudulent e-mails and websites can be identified with a little awareness. No bank will ever ask their customers for login information via e-mail. Never click on the link provided in an e-mail asking to enter your login information. Always type the URL provided by the bank in your browser or through a bookmark created by you to login into your online banking account. Even if your bank sends you e-mail, don’t access the website through the e-mail. You can read the email, but then close it and go to the next email in your inbox. No need to link from your inbox to your bank website. You can do your banking after you read your email.
Observe Details on the Login Page
First make sure your banking website looks normal. If you don’t think it looks like it usually does, call your bank and make sure the URL (web address) is correct to the letter. Next, banking and secure online stores are always done through a web page that encrypts your information to keep it safe from unauthorized people viewing it. An encrypted webpage should have two elements: a small lock icon in the address bar, and a starting URL of https:// rather than http://. These are two signs that your data is securely encrypted and cannot be accessed by anyone else.
Buy and Bank at Home
If you want to be super secure with online purchases and banking then don’t bank or buy at the library, your friend’s house, work or Starbucks. You should ensure that you do your on-line banking and purchasing at home on a secure WPA network that is password protected. Not on public networks or your workplace where you have little control over your computer and network settings. Information accessed or typed on public networks can be accessed by others. At your workplace, there might be server settings in place to monitor your online activity which also makes your information susceptible to others.
It is fairly easy to stay cyber-safe regarding on-line financial transactions. Often it is the negligence of these little things that makes us vulnerable to cyber-fraud. A little bit of caution will definitely make your on-line banking and purchasing rewarding, convenient, and above all safe.

How to Transfer Photos From a Smartphone to a PC

With a smartphone, clicking and transferring pictures is an easy task! Just keep clicking and when done transfer them to your computer. Only how to do it?  Transferring pictures from a Smartphone to computer can be done in a number of ways . . . here are the most popular below.
Send As Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
Ever texted someone a picture?  You just used MMS. Smartphones have an option to send images via MMS usually just by touching the image you wish to send and following some simple menu commands. To send the image to your computer, instead of filling the cell number, you will need to fill your Email in the send section. Once sent, you can login to your email and quickly download the photo, which comes as an attachment.
USB Cable Method
All Smartphones should come with an USB cable, which connects to any computer directly. If not you can call your cell phone provider and request a USB transfer cable.  Your phone needs to be ON, when you plug the cable into your phone and computer. A new drive will come up (or populate in the “my computer” window of your PC where your other drives can be accessed), then search your phone for images right from your computer.  You open the files in your phone, just like you would open a flash drive — two quick left clicks. Then drag and drop pictures wherever you store your photos on your computer.
Memory Card Method
Most smartphones have an internal memory card called a micro SD chip; check if your phone has one by removing the back cover and looking for a small chip with a memory designation such as “2gb” on it. If you need help you can visit your cell phone provider and they will help you for no charge.   Pictures which you would like to transfer can be plugged directly into your computer usually SD to Micro SD adapter which can be purchased for about $10 almost anywhere with an electronics department.
Sync Method
Sync your phone and computer and the photographs will be automatically transferred to the computer. If you have syncing enabled on your phone once you plug your phone to your computer it will quickly prompt the computer to open the specific photo application that displays the pictures on the Smartphone. Select to upload photos and place them in your photo folder on your PC>
Bluetooth Method
Activate the Bluetooth of your Smartphone. It is usually found in Settings or Control. Ensure that Bluetooth is turned ON in your computer. Bluetooth settings are usually in the system tray of tiny icons in the bottom right hand corner of your taskbar.  With Mac’s it is located on the upper toolbar, ride side. Open the pictures gallery in your Smartphone and select send or copy option. Next choose the Bluetooth option. After confirming that you intend to enable Bluetooth, you will find the menu usually pops up automatically. Click ‘look for devices’ and select your Computer name or ID from the list. A request will be immediately sent requesting communication from your computer and phone.  Then simply then simply drag your pictures to the appropriate folder on your computer.

Five Reasons Your Computer Might Be Running Slowly

Here at my shop in Louisville, KY I have lots of people call with a “slow computer” complaint. Any person who owns a computer knows that the speed often slows over time. While some can easily overcome these problems, many cannot. My computer, because of my heavy use, often requires daily maintenance. Thankfully for me this is almost always only a software issue (I did upgrade my ram when I purchased my laptop and I have upgraded my Internet Service twice). However, hardware can also be causing a problem. Below I have listed some of the reasons your computer might be running slowly and some tips on how to fix it.
Your Computer Is Out of Tune
Computers have a habit of getting “out of tune” I call it as time goes by. By this I mean that your computer becomes bogged down by fragmentation, partial uninstalls, software glitches and conflicts, registry errors, temporary file buildup, toolbars, browser add-ons and other clutter and problems. Windows has built-in utilities to solve some of these problems but others require aftermarket utilities and some computer know-how. For starters, pay attention to your browser and make sure toolbars haven’t been installed inadvertently (I avoid most toolbars altogether). Look in your control panel and uninstall software you’re not using anymore or any that looks suspicious. If you don’t know what a program is “Google” or “Bing It.” Run the free utility CCleaner from Piriform to fix your registry and clean up your temporary files. It’s also a smart idea to take your computer to a qualified repair shop for a tune-up on an annual basis. The computer repair professional should be able to give you insight on how you’re doing with keeping your PC in good running condition and should be able to tell you, based on examining your machine, how often you need to bring it in for a tune-up in the future.
You Don’t Have Enough Mbps (Megabits Per Second) From Your Internet Service Provider
Ever been in a situation when you are trying to catch up on your favorite soap, online documentary or YouTube Video and all you get is “buffering.” It’s frustrating isn’t it? Do you have endless “hour glassing” every time you try to do something on the web? You might not be getting what you’re paying for from your Internet Service Provider. Or you might not have enough service for your computing needs. For example, it takes about 3-6 Mbps service to stream a YouTube Video without buffering. Today’s busy households require, in my opinion, at least 10Mbps Service. Once you upgrade your service you also need to test your Internet Speed to make sure you are getting it. You can do this by going to and using the free on-site utility. And you shouldn’t have to download anything to do it. Simply hit “begin test.”
You Need More Random-Access Memory (RAM)
RAM is a type of data storage in your PC which directly affects speed. When you launch an application or software on your computer, RAM is responsible for running the software. If you do not have RAM your computer might not be able to open and run multiple applications or meet the demands you place on it. This problem can easily remedied by purchasing and installing additional RAM for your computer. When you purchase RAM, it is important to check with the salesperson which type of memory is compatible with your PC. If you don’t know how to upgrade your RAM call a qualified computer repair shop in your area.
Your Processor is Out of Date
Another hardware component closely related to computer performance is the processor. As new programs and software are created and take more and more updates, they requirements to run them increases. Often, people are trying to run newer or resource intensive applications on older machines with a processor that can’t handle the new software efficiently.
You Have Infections
People are often shocked to learn that computer viruses are almost inevitable. And, you can even get them while browsing on sites that you think are safe. I can’t tell you how many times people are stunned when I tell them they have over 100 infections on their machine . . .or I tell them I can see infections from across the room. They have no idea they have computer viruses. The best way to prevent this is to use anti-virus software with “real time” protection and research articles on “How to Prevent Computer Viruses.” There is an article on the blog about this subject and also many articles online about virus prevention. Learning better, safer, web browsing habits on a regular basis is nice addition a computer user’s skillset. And definitely a skill you will want to master if you want your computer to run better . . . and faster.

Four Important Steps To Become a Better “Web Browser” Yourself

Nearly 100% of all computer virus infections and scams come from internet activity – nowhere else. Malicious software doesn’t magically install itself on your computer nor does it usually enter though a flash drive or disk. It comes in through the internet. Where else, right? There are many ways that you can improve security when it comes to your online activities. It is imperative to develop these habits now as doing so will help protect you from increasing problems with unsecure utilities, software and viruses that might seriously affect your security and computer health in the future.
Monitor Browser Health
Your web browser is your gateway to the internet world. Therefore its health and security is your first line of defense against threats coming in from the internet. There are three common web browsers that most people use today. MS Internet Explorer (IE), Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. IE comes with your OS and can’t be uninstalled. It should be an adequate browser if kept clean and free of corruption and infection. From the menu or command toolbars you can check your add-ons and see if anything unexpected is ominously lurking in your browser. Oftentimes people inadvertently install add-ons (usually toolbars) while downloading utilities they think might be useful. These add-ons can seriously compromise browser security and affect browser performance, as well. To see if you have add-ons go to: Tools >Manage Add-ons >Toolbars and Extensions. Here you can disable the add-ons and then remove them from the control panel. If you see many add-ons that you do not recognize you should reset IE completely. To do this go to: Tools >Internet Options >Advanced >Reset. It is easy to do and you do not lose your bookmarks/favorites. Afterward remove unwanted software from the control panel.
Be Aware of Phishing Scams
Phishing schemes commonly delivered in the form of email is a type of scam where you are potentially tricked into downloading junk utilities or software (which often asks you for money later) a virus, or providing sensitive information. These messages are made to look as though they have originated from your bank, social media or payment sites such as Paypal or other legitimate people or companies. The phishing message often contains a link that will then lead to a counterfeit version of the site or ask you to open an infected attachment or download an infected utility. Or it might contain an attachment that it says you should open to continue. Don’t allow your curiosity to kill your computer. Delete all unsolicited mail. Never click links in emails or open email attachments unless you recognize the sender. And don’t give your credit card information over the internet unless you do it directly on a website (not from your email Inbox or a pop-up message) and you’re sure you trust the company.
Avoid Most Free Utilities
It’s very tempting to install that snazzy fish tank screen saver you see flashing on the sidebar of your favorite social site. DON’T DO IT! These types of free utilities usually come with a catch. In order to use them you give up something . . . usually your browser health or internet security in return for the favor. Video players, music converters, game toolbars, chat applets, screen savers, pc optimizers and cleaners and the like are all very tricky utilities to use without getting toolbars and viral infections. Next time you want to get that utility that makes your Facebook like an Electric Light Orchestra concert . . . .think twice about it. . .
Run a Malware Removal Tool Regularly
Even though you may think you’re protected because you have antivirus software you’re not. It is about as effective as a safety on a gun – not very effective at all. Especially where people are not adequately trained on computer systems or there are multiple users on a single machine. In this case, I often find that the computers have multiple virus infections present. It is important to run a virus removal utility such as AdAware or Malwarebytes (both of which are free) on a regular basis in addition to updating your Antivirus Software. Antivirus software alone is not enough. Yes you read that right. The antivirus software that you are relying on to protect you from virus infections is inadequate to protect you in all circumstances. Therefore I recommend you use separate virus removal software for removal on a regular basis. Caution: Be careful when installing a malware removal tool that you do not install another full antivirus suite. If you have any question uninstall the malware removal utility when finished. For more free information on computer repair topics you can visit my website here or blog called PC News.

Five Anti-Virus Programs You Can Try for Zilch

There are many anti-virus programs that you can download or purchase at BestBuy, Staples, Office Depot, Amazon, Ebay or anywhere else you shop. As with cars or any other personal property there is always a lively debate about which is the best.  And, that is always a matter of opinion, right? Nevertheless, here are five free antivirus programs that are arguably just as good or better than the paid stuff.
Avast is a popular anti-virus program designed for Microsoft Windows, Mac and Linux computer users.  It is available in 41 different languages and has won awards for 100% detection of viruses.  This software specializes in blocking viruses and spyware and has the ability to secure your personal information and all of your stored data as well.
AVG is highly popular software available to download onto your computer. Many people use AVG not only on their PC’s and laptops but also on their mobile phones.  It detects malware, viruses and other infections and attempts to stop them before they populate on your machine or device. An added feature of AVG is that it also claims to keep your banking and shopping records safe and untraceable so no one can get access to your credit card information or banking logins.
Avira is a nationally known and family owned business that specializes in anti-virus software and protecting your computer with its services.  They have over 100 million customers and are ranked at number six on the list of the largest anti-virus vendors worldwide.  The free system runs background checks on each file stored in your computer and updates itself automatically when the system has new updates.
Comodo is an anti-virus protection software that includes anti-malware protection, personal firewall, sandbox and intrusion prevention.  It can be installed on Microsoft computers and Linux systems as well.
Microsoft Security Essentials is perhaps the easiest and best free antivirus solution out there.  It is from Microsoft itself.  Unlike the old, pared-down “Defender” antivirus program this is a fully functional antivirus software suite that provides “real time shields.”  It protects against computer viruses, spyware, Trojan horses and even rootkits. It can be run on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.  It is light and does not slow down your computer by draining system resources like some of the other products on this list.  This is my personal favorite as it is light, effective, and does not try to get users to upgrade to the pro-paid version every time they look up.

Five Easy Ways to Keep your Desktop Computer or Laptop “In Tune”

Does your computer ‘hourglass” constantly?  Do error messages frequently pop up on your screen?  Do webpages load slowly? Some of this is normal but if it occurs regularly your computer might need a tune-up. Your car, for instance, reliably transports you to and from work, to get your food, to the doctor when you are sick, and to your relatives when you want to visit. Important stuff! But, it only does these things if you tune it regularly; if you change the oil, check the battery change the spark plugs, brakes etc. Why would a computer be different?  It’s not!

It only remains a useful tool for exchanging email, communicating, researching topics, and creating and storing your pictures and other important files, if you give it the proper care and maintenance that you would give any other expensive tools or possessions.  Do you know how to keep your computer in tune? How much did you pay for your computer? How about the software? What value do you place on the files saved on its hard drive? The figure is probably in the thousands, so learning how to keep your desktop computer or laptop in tune is important. Here are my suggestions on how to do it.

Uninstall Unnecessary Software

Most of the computers that come into my shop are full of software that has been installed, accidentally. Updates, honest utilities, and even purchased software often comes with add-ons, tool-bars and additional software bundled that is unnecessary and can wind up bogging down your computer. Go to start >Control Panel>Programs>Add/Remove and review the software on your computer. “Google” or “Bing” any software that is not from Microsoft or another known source and read about it. If you determine it is an accidental install — uninstall it. Especially look for toolbars which tend to be intrusive , pervasive, and “pre-viral.” Just make sure you don’t uninstall any of your system software that is necessary for your computer to operate. Again, if you have any questions about the software, Google it or Bing it and see what it is responsible for before you uninstall it.

Delete Temporary Files and Fix your Registry

Over time your computer will build up a long list of temporary files associated with your web browsers and other software on your computer. They accumulate as a result of programs shutting down incorrectly and forgetting where they left their temporary files, browser hiccups, tracking information kept by websites to monitor your activity and a for a myriad of other reasons. To clean these fragments up, download the free utility called CCleaner from Piriform to delete temporary files. The website is and the free version is all you need. It’s not necessary to upgrade, in my opinion. Also, use the registry repair tool to fix your registry which also becomes fragmented over time from normal use.

Run Virus Removal Utilities Often

Malware, Trojans, Spyware, and Viruses often build up on computers over time. Computer viruses are like human viruses. You probably have some living on your computer at this moment. Some never cause much problem and some can stop your computer in its tracks. But, usually I see a slow accumulation of infections over time that eventually render a computer nearly useless. This can be prevented by running virus removal utilities on a regular basis. There are plenty of these programs that you can run on a weekly or monthly basis to remove small viruses that might have slipped in. A good one for consumer use is Malwarebytes. The free version is available at Just make sure to stick with the free version –don’t do a free trail of the professional version by accident (remember I was just talking about accidental downloads). Note: Many viruses require professional virus removal to be removed completely. If your computer is redirecting you to websites that you didn’t command it to, playing sounds randomly, or running extremely slow you might have serious infections and you should call a local computer repair shop immediately.

Eliminate Aftermarket Browsers and Reset Internet Explorer

Browser health is an important aspect of keeping a computer in a well-tuned state. In fact, it’s one of the most important components. Aftermarket browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome can be great. Sometimes they provide functionality and “bells and whistles” one can’t get with ‘plain ole’ Internet Explorer. But often over time these browsers can harbor and hide a myriad of infections which can degrade your computer internet browsing experience. For a minor tune up learn how to reset IE, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. For a major tune up you can eliminate Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox – then reset Internet Explorer. You can reinstall aftermarket browsers later.

Make Sure you Only Have One Antivirus Suite

The software conflict that causes the biggest resource drain on computers is double anti-virus installations. Often this happens because when a free trial ends, or new antivirus software is purchased, users fail to uninstall the old antivirus software before installing the new. Antivirus software is one of the most resource-intensive applications you will run on your computer. It runs all the time attempting to scan and detect viruses in “real time,” which translates into a big drain on system resources. Therefore, if two antivirus suites are installed on a single machine, it can become practically unusable. Make sure to look in the add/remove section of the control panel and completely uninstall any old anti-virus installations before installing a new one.

Tuning up a computer gets rid of all of the excess garbage that has built up on your machine over time. So, try your own computer tune-up. “Google” any questions you have and read what others are saying about it. Next time you’re slamming your keyboard in frustration, think twice about buying a new computer or taking it to the repair shop. It may just need a good tune-up, and now you know how to do it yourself!

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