Laptop Repair – Should I Fix It or Just Replace?

Laptop 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

Melissa

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?

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

This 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

It’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.

5 Sure-Fire Ways to Get a Computer Virus

It seems that nearly everyone has had the misfortune of dealing with a computer virus by now. If your computer has ever been infected with a computer virus, you know firsthand just how inconvenient and potentially damaging it can be. And then there is the expense of having to have and pay for professional virus removal. There are thousands of computer viruses floating around the Internet with cyber-criminals developing more every day. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect yourself. As with many other aspects of life, having the proper habits in place is the best way to ensure success.

Avoid these five mistakes and you’ll be on the right track:

1. Failing to install and use an up-to-date anti-virus program.

It’s true that these programs consume a considerable amount of system resources. However, the consequences of a computer virus are well worth the slight hassle of losing a few CPU cycles. Being ‘smart’ isn’t an acceptable substitute for having a high quality anti-virus program in place. Not for most people at least.

• Ensure that any anti-virus program you’re using is updated on a regular basis. Ensure that it has “real time” protection. Malware and Viruses are constantly being developed and updated. It’s important that your defense is constantly being improved and updated, too.

2. Assuming that an anti-virus program is foolproof.

Most computer users simply have too much faith in the programs that provide protection from malware. Consider the fact that in many cases, computers have to been infected with new viruses before anti-virus program manufacturers can develop solutions to prevent them. Therefore, you might not have the protection you “think” you do. A high quality anti-virus program isn’t an acceptable substitute for researching ways to avoid viruses and constantly developing new web browsing skills and habits.

3. Downloading free software, movies, music, etc.

There are financial advantages to obtaining software, movies, music and games for free, but there are also significant risks. Those that are interested in spreading a computer virus use pirated software as a tool to deliver these malicious programs. You’re not just getting a free movie; you’re also providing the perfect opportunity for a virus to infect your computer. Proceed with caution when anything is free on the internet.

4. Blindly opening email attachments. While most email programs effectively screen email attachments for viruses, it’s generally a good idea to ignore email attachments from unknown senders. This is especially true when dealing with executable files. Consider the source and control your curiosity.

5.Clicking on any popup that states your computer has a virus.
fake-antivirus
Those annoying popups are a common source of computer viruses. The best solution is to close your browser without clicking on that pesky popup. You can press ALT F4 to close a window without clicking on a pop-up. This common type of infection claims to be the solution to the very problem it’s creating. In most cases, the offered solution will cost you a considerable amount of your hard-earned money.

Few things can disrupt your peace of mind as effectively, or as quickly, as having to stop your busy schedule and call a computer repair professional and schedule a virus removal. Staying safe online requires more than the use of an anti-virus program. The user is always the one variable that can never be completely secured. It’s difficult to protect you from yourself. Diligence and research are important. Spend some time noodling around on the internet for articles on how improve your web browsing skills and habits and reading about how to avoid computer viruses. And, I hope avoiding the five habits above is an good start.

XP Support Ends on April 8th, 2014 – What this means for XP Users….

Windows XP is the second most successful operating system produced by Microsoft thus far (only Windows 7 has been better received). First released on October 24th, 2001, Window XP has approximately 500 million users globally who still use this operating system. For over a decade now, the XP support provided by Windows has been a major reason for its success and user satisfaction. Three service packs were released by Microsoft for XP. Nevertheless, all good things much come to an end. And Microsoft will be ending support effective from April 8th, 2014. What does this mean for those millions of users who are still using XP on their computers?

No more XP Patches

With XP support gone no more patches for XP will be released. Patches are normally designed to fix problems or update software related to the operating system. They also provide security updates and improve OS performance. Without these patches an outdated OS is more vulnerable to malware and other virus infections. No security fixes means anyone running XP stands a greater chance of being becoming infected and also having data stolen.

No more Driver Updates

Drivers are pieces of software that run various parts of your computer such as your keyboard, monitor and USB Ports, for example. Manufacturers of machine components create software to run the components, then release these software and updates to the computer manufacture to put on their website. When an OS stops support and updates the component manufactures also stop releasing driver updates. Therefore, in time XP users may start finding it difficult to use a XP computers at all as the individual components on the machine may start to become “glitchy” (start to malfunction).

What are the options?

If you are an individual who uses XP on your home computer for basic use, you may try and move to Windows Vista or Windows 7. It might also be time to consider replacing your computer. In general, the decision to withdraw XP support is beening looked upon by some users as Window’s last effort to force users and enterprises to move from XP to Windows 7 or 8. Whatever the reason, if you’re a “tried-and-true” Windows XP fan and hold-out — you should accept the inevitable — your time with XP is limited….

Top 6 Reasons Motherboards Fail

The motherboard is the heart of a computer. As long as your computer’s motherboard is intact – when things go wrong – your computer is often repairable at a reasonable cost. Motherboard repair or replacement, on the other hand, is usually very expensive. That said, there are several things to think about regarding prolonging the life of your motherboard. Here is a list of different reasons your computer’s motherboard might fail — along with suggestions on failure prevention.

Electrical Spikes and Surges

An electrical spike or surge is a short-lived burst of energy in an electric circuit. This can be the result of power hungry appliances, problems with wiring, problems with the power service outside the house, or the result of a lightning strike. Lightning is the #1 culprit of spike/surge motherboard failure I see — and it will often go in through the Ethernet port and bypass a surge protector! This sudden change of voltage can cause damage to the delicate circuits in a motherboard. Connecting your computer to a power outlet that has frequent fluctuations in electrical output may also cause damage to your motherboard. Though at times immediate damage may not be visible, it may harm the motherboard over time. To protect your motherboard from electrical spikes, use a high quality surge protector that can neutralize the effects. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to protect from lightning strikes.

Dust, Pet Hair and Debris

Dust pet hair and debris can be a sure motherboard killer. At my shop in Louisville, KY I can’t tell you how many times I see fans and fan basins clogged with dirt, dust, and debris. When these things collect in your machine, they start blocking the air circulation that keeps the machine cool. It is like harmful fat that blocks your arteries that cause a heart attack. A computer intake pulls all these things in when the fans rotate. This leads to blocking the airflow, which causes overheating.

Cigarette smoke

Tar from cigarette smoke (it’s not the nicotine, by the way) is not good for your health and also for the health of your computer. Cigarette smoke, when combined with dust produces a sticky gooey substance inside a computer. It smells bad and is also very difficult to remove. This tar can cause overheating — which may damage the motherboard. It is recommended that you have a periodic schedule of cleaning the interior of your computer (at a qualified shop) and try and keep it away from cigarette smoke.

Heating Issues

Overheating of the motherboard can occur if multiple operations are performed simultaneously and power supply is continuous (give your computer a periodic rest if gaming, watching videos, etc). Also, clogging of fans can cause a motherboard to overheat. In some cases, overheating may also occur due to fluctuations in power supply or in one of the parts of the motherboard circuit. Finally, using a laptop in your lap or on another soft surface can cover up intakes and exhaust fans causing your machine to heat up. Overheating can be prevented by keeping the fan basins clear, giving your computer a rest after heavy use, using your laptop in the cooler rooms in the house, and using it on a cold hard surface. Temperature monitoring software can be installed to monitor the temperature of your computer internally (Core Temp, Real Temp, SpeedFan).

Impact or Spill

An accidental impact to your motherboard can cause severe damage to the circuits which may cause motherboard failure. I have seen motherboards fail immediately due to impact from drops. Spill damage is also quite common. I have seen every type of liquid kill a motherboard instantly but thicker liquids (e.g., milk) seems to be the worst. Spills can cause your motherboard to short out instantly. Water can also cause damage to the different chips on your motherboard causing your motherboard to fail. If you do spill something into your laptop do NOT turn it on again and take it to a qualified computer repair shop, immediately.

Manufacturer Design Defects

Motherboards are mass produced and there are chances that manufacturing defects occur. Cheap motherboards also tend to fail more quickly. The capacitors installed may be faulty and may cause problems. The bus architecture of the board may have been engineered incorrectly and there might be cooling issues. Most motherboards come with a warranty so it should take care of expenses if problems arise during the warranty period, but that is often only a year and doesn’t cover user generated problems, of course. Sometimes the manufacturers admit to the faulty designs but usually not. Usually computer repair shops can tell if there is a “known issue” because we see the same problems occurring over and over with the same make and model of computer. I can see some trends related to certain generations of computers and it’s not with only one manufacturer. Sometimes these manufacturer defeats aren’t “known” for years (after enough of a make and model show up at the shops and enough complaints are filed that it becomes obvious there is a known issue with a particular make and model) and then it becomes more obvious based on discussions on the internet.

Normal Aging and Wear

Your motherboard will eventually fail (if something else doesn’t fail first.) This is a fact. It is an electric circuit board and has a finite life span. Some good motherboards will give you around fifty thousand hours of work time or even more if taken care of properly. Once they have reached their useful life span, they do fail and you may have to replace it or replace your computer. The good news is when you are aware of the reasons motherboards fail preventative and preparatory actions (see my article on backing up important files) can be taken to minimize the negative impact.

Please visit our website for more useful computer repair and topics.

What’s the Best Backup? – Cloud vs. External

Data backup is one of the most important processes for any individual, enterprise, government organization or non-profit. Data is critical. Data is not your programs or apps. You can reinstall those with discs and reenter your license number for it. What matters are the files you created with that software. For most people this means your photos, documents and spreadsheets, and music. And if you’re a business your accounting file. Of course these need to be protected against loss loss or damage. So how do you do that exactly? It is called “redundancy.” You need to have those file in at least two places. They are already on your computer and you should have them on another device in case of a catastrophic event with your computer or facility.

And, please allow me to demystify something about the cloud. It’s just another device. It’s another device at someone else’s location. Nothing more and nothing less. Your data is not floating around in the sky. So, you only have to decide if you want to send your data elsewhere for backup or if you’re capable of doing your own backup on site. I do my own back-up and it is very, very easy but below I’ll lay out the advantages and disadvantages of both types so you can make in informed decision.

Cloud Backup

Advantages

ð Ease of access – Armed with just a login id and password you can access all your files anytime, anywhere with ease. Although I’m not sure why you would want to do this. It’s a back-up right?
ð Security – No worries of your data being stolen or lost in a fire. Your files are securely encrypted and made available only to those who you permit to access.

Disadvantages

ð Speed – Data transfer depends on the speed of your internet connection. If there are big files to be transferred and a slow internet connection you may have to cultivate patience.
ð Cost – You need to pay on a monthly or a yearly basis, though the charges may be low it needs to be considered based on your usage.
ð Control – You do not have full control over your data. If your service provider decides to run maintenance on the storage, you can hardly do anything but wait for the system to start again.

External Hard Drive or Flash Drive Back-Up

Advantages

ð Cost Effective & Simple – The prices for storage is fast decreasing. A 2 TB (which is an absurd amount of storage) external hard drive will cost you around $120 USD at Amazon.com or Ebay and if you ever need to increase your storage all you need to do is replace the existing one with a higher storage capacity.
ð Speed – A transfer speed of USB 3.0 means huge amount of data can be transferred in just a matter of minutes or hours.
ð Security – With an external hard drive you are in total control of your data. You can protect it with a password which means you are the only one who can access it.
ð Simplicity – You don’t’ need to use the automatic backup feature of your external hard drive or flash drive. I prefer to simply drag and drop my data. Then 30 days later, I delete the information on the external device and drag and drop the updated folders again. Very smart and simple 

Disadvantages

ð Security – Though your data can be securely encrypted, you always run the risk of losing your hard drive or someone else stealing it. But I think this is not likely.
ð Technical Problem – With the external hard drive you always run the possibility of the drive failing or crashing. But if you have redundancy in data (remember this from earlier) you have one copy at all times.
ð Onsite – If you have a fire it is possible that both of your devices will be destroyed. All you have to do to prevent his is put a third copy on a flash drive in your bank box.

What is the best then? Both of these methods have their own benefits and drawbacks. It comes down to what you prefer. For most circumstances it is not necessary to do a cloud backup, in my opinion. But the pros and cons are above so now you can make an informed decision.

For more information on data backup or data recovery in Louisville, KY click on these links.

Virus Removal 101 –Keeping Your Computer Free of Infections

Virus removal can be a difficult task even for the tech-experts and some viruses can resist removal.  If your computer is playing sounds, moving extremely slow or taking you to wrong websites I recommend you seek a qualified computer repair shop for removal.  If on the other hand your computer is running well and you want to do a routine virus scan here are some tips to keep your computer free of infections.  You should do a weekly virus scan with a powerful malware removal tool (not your antivirus software suite) such as Malwarebytes free edition which I will explain in detail below.

Start in Safe Mode

Safe mode is used for troubleshooting issues and runs only the minimum software and drivers necessary to start your computer. To start in safe mode you should remove all the CDs, floppies, or USB storage from your computer and restart.  Press and hold the F8 key while the computer is restarting. You need to press F8 before the Windows logo is shown. If it appears before you press F8, then you need to go through the entire restart cycle again. You will be shown a black screen with white lettering and an advanced boot option menu. Use the down arrow to select “safe mode with networking” and hit enter.

Remove Any Suspicious Programs from Control Panel

You should manually remove any suspicious programs from your computer using the control panel.  The file path in Windows 7 is: Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.  Make sure you know what you are removing and take precautions not to remove any of your system software that is critical for your machine to run correctly or application software that you use which is “non-problematic.” I especially target games, toolbars and media players for removal.  If you have a question about what an application does “Google It.”

Remove Aftermarket Browsers and Reset IE

I recommend removing aftermarket browsers such as Chrome and Firefox and resetting Internet Explorer by following the below steps.  To remove Chrome and Firefox go back to Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.  Internet Explorer can be reset in control panel too. The file path in Windows 7 for resetting IE is Start > Control Panel > Networking and Sharing >Internet Options > Advanced Tab.

Run Malwarebytes Free Edition and Restart

The Malwarebytes is a free Anti-Malware program, which features high speed scanning and removal of the suspicious Malware on your computer. If not installed, you can download it free from the internet at http://www.malwarebytes.org. Be sure to stick with the free version and do not enable the Pro Version (uncheck checkbox for pro). Once installed, select full scan.  After the scan if finished check the box by the infections and click remove.  Restart your computer.

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