Six Problems with Windows and How to Prevent Them – Part 2

Recently, in part 1 of our series on “Six Problems with Windows and How to Prevent Them” I looked at how you can prevent computer nightmares such as non-booting computers, not being able to access your hard drive, and encountering blue screens of death.  Today, I continue the series by looking at the remaining nightmares presented by PCWorld and I provide tips/advice which help you turn those situations into more peaceful occurrences.

Nightmare: No One Has the PC’s Administrator Password

Preventive Steps:

  • While I don’t recommend that you start hacking a system’s password (it can get messy for the average user), I do recommend that you don’t get caught needing a password that you need from one of your employees.  All business principals should share knowledge of an admin password with their Systems Admin.  Passwords are precious, especially in corporate environments, and while knowledge of passwords should be kept to as few people as possible, if you are the owner or executive at a company insist that your Systems Admin shares his or her executive passwords with you, at least for a fail-safe scenario.

Nightmare: You Think Your PC Is Infected

Preventive Steps:

  • Keep your anti-virus program up to date and run it as needed.
  • Typically viruses infect system files and not your everyday documents so try doing a system restore or system backup to a point in time that you know you were not infected.
  • Viruses can be complex and can get intertwined in the system files so be sure to consult a professional.

Nightmare: An Important File Disappears

Preventive Steps:

  • The easiest solution was covered in yesterday’s segment – backup, backup, backup ahead of time!  See Part 1 for more information on backup techniques.  If you’ve lost the file and you don’t have a backup, check out the PCWorld article for more information.

I hope you gained fresh insight into preventive maintenance steps and ways of dealing with your computer nightmares and problems.  As always, LaptopMD is here to help you with your computer and software repair problems – there isn’t a problem that we don’t know how to take care of.

Is your Windows nightmare not listed or do you need help?  Describe it in the comments and let us help you with it.

Six Problems with Windows and How to Prevent Them – Part 1

We’ve all been there when our computer has failed and the nightmares occur in different forms as written recently in PCWorld: “Six Windows 7 Nightmares (and how to fix them)“.  This article is a good read, as it provides fixes to the problems as they occur, but it got me thinking about simple preventive maintenance best practices, related to each nightmare, that can turn computer and software nightmares into sweet dreams.

Read below for part one of a two-part series on PCWorld’s common nightmares with Windows and the best ways to prevent them or at least make dealing with the computer problems less stressful.

Nightmare: Your PC Won’t Boot

Preventive Steps:

  • Know Where Your Original Setup CDs are – organization is a primary key to mitigating problems.  It’s a lot easier and less stressful if all of your setup/installation CDs are in one place.  Don’t throw your disks away because you never know when you’ll need them but always keep them in one central location for ease of access.
  • Create a System Repair Disc and add this disc to your collection of setup/installation disks.  This is a good idea if you do not have the original startup disks and having multiple copies of an important disk won’t hurt and you’ll probably thank yourself if/when you misplace the other.

Nightmare: You Can’t Access the Hard Drive

Preventive Steps:

  • Backup your computer and essential files onto an external hard drive or online storage service.  Let me say that again – back up your files! We’ve talked about multiple services and devices to use in past articles: SugarSync and PogoPlug/Mozy.com.

Nightmare: Blue Screens of Death Attack Your PC Regularly

Preventive Steps:

  • As PCWorld writes, Blue Screens of Death (BSoD) can be prevented by keeping tabs on your drivers and making sure you are using the most up to date versions.  You can check your drivers using a piece of freeware called SlimWare – this program will notify you if/when your drivers are out of date and where to go to download the newest versions.  Be careful, though, and consult an IT engineer before updating drivers as this could inadvertently cause the problem itself!

Stay tuned for more preventive maintenance relating to Windows like losing a PC Admin’s password, being infected with a virus, and losing an important file from your computer – coming in part 2!

Tell us what your worst nightmare is with your computer right now and we will provide any answers you might need.

What’s the most valuable part of your laptop?

Whether you’re buying a new laptop or fixing an old one, one thing you’re probably very conscious of is price.  But do you really know how all that money you’re spending gets allocated?  And for that matter, what IS the most valuable part of your laptop? Is it the screen? Maybe it’s that super expensive Intel processor you bought? Or is it something else entirely…

If you said ‘DATA!’ then you’re probably right.  At LaptopMD, the most distraught customers we see are those with data loss.  Whether it’s family photos, your iTunes collection, or Excel spreadsheets for work, we often don’t realize how valuable our data is until we lose it.  This leads me to another good point:

BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!

If you aren’t backing up all of your valuable data in at least one place NOT on your laptop’s hard drive then you’re at risk! Backing up your data is the best way to avoid that sharp twang in your stomach when you realize your vacation pictures from the last two years are gone for good.  That being said, when presented with data loss you almost always have data recovery options available to you. It’s not cheap though, and you can end up paying anywhere from $99-$2500 depending on the level of damage.

Image from https://computer-networks-webdesign.com

A hundred bucks can get you some basic software solutions for bringing your data back.  If you’ve got any kind of physical damage or platter damage though, you’re looking at the $1000+ solutions. Imagine a clean room with giant machinery built specifically to read data off dissected hard drives.  They’ll take the data plates out, soak them in patented aqueous solutions and recover every 1 and 0 they can.  Yeah, it’s intense.

While it’s typically the corporate clients who NEED those lost documents that opt for the pricey, extreme solutions, there’s one practice that can help everyone.  Have I mentioned it before?

BACKUP! BACKUP! BACKUP!

As much as we love your business, we’d prefer to be selling you external hard drives instead of telling you your data is toast. That being said, I think I’ll end on a shameless plug. J  If you DO experience any data loss, we are here to help! Bring your laptop in and we’ll get back any and everything that is physically possible.

Computer Viruses Moving to USB Drives

Everybody is now used to viruses being sent through email and malicious websites. In addition to these methods of virus delivery, experts are now saying that “25 percent of new worms (viruses) have been specifically designed to spread through USB storage devices connected to computers”.

So far, these types of infections are still outnumbered by those that spread via email, but it is a growing trend. “There are now so many devices on the market that can be connected via USB to a computer: digital cameras, cell phones, MP3 or MP4 players,” says Luis Corrons, Technical Director of PandaLabs. “This is clearly very convenient for users, but since all these devices have memory cards or internal memory, it is feasible that your cell phone could be carrying a virus without your knowledge.”

Read the full article, 25% of new worms are designed to spread through USB devices, on Help Net Security.

USB drives, like any device, can harbor and promote the proliferation of computer viruses.  Protecting your devices by knowing the source of the files that are on your drive and regularly running anti-virus software on that drive (when it is plugged into your computer) are two ways to prevent your drive from becoming infected in the first place.

If your USB drive becomes infected with viruses and you need help with recovering your data from the drive, LaptopMD is here to help you.

Hard Drive Data Recovery: A True Customer Experience

Who Do You Trust?

One of our customers recently had a harrowing ordeal when her hard drive crashed and she didn’t know where to turn to. She first took her crashed hard drive to the GeekSquad who provided impersonal service and took more time than necessary in providing “9-1-1 Service”.

Read a part of Shonali’s hard drive recovery ordeal in her own words:

Contrary to the image it portrays, the Geek Squad does not swoop into its batmobile, leap tall buildings in a single bound and show up at your doorstep before you can say “ vuvuzela.”

No, it makes a note of your problem and tells you someone will call you back within an hour (which they didn’t). Then, when you call them back, they tell you they’re trying to reach the “field manager” by sending them an email, but s/he hasn’t responded yet.

Seriously? And this is their “9-1-1” service?

Read Shonali’s hard drive recovery and repair story:
Part 1: How Did I Land on Elm Street
Part 2: Of Hard Drives, Hallelujah and Trust

Even though Shonali lives in Washington DC, LaptopMD was able to provide prompt advice and hard drive repair and service options via the phone and mail-in service.  We are thrilled that customers like Shonali trust LaptopMD with their laptop and hard drive repair needs.

When you entrust your laptop repair and hard drive recovery with us, we do not take that responsibility lightly and will do everything we can to ensure the care and success of your hard drive recovery or laptop repair.

LaptopMD strives to be a company that excels in providing prompt, reliable, trust-worthy laptop, hard drive, and computer repair and service options. You can bring in your Computer or Laptop today to our Midtown, Manhattan Repair Center or call us at 212-920-4833 to discuss your mail-in options if you live outside of the New York City area.

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Laptop Repair… LaptopMD has your answers

Slaying the Computer Stress Monster

Crashing hard drives, lengthy boot-up times and disappearing files turn computers into stress monsters that can send your heartbeat racing and blood pressure soaring. Even the tiniest of technological glitches can leave people fed up, frustrated and banging their desks in fury.

In our digitally dependent age, users face a never-ending stream of challenges, such as setting up a new computer, migrating to another operating system, keeping up-to-date with software applications and dealing with the continuous threats of viral infections and identity theft.

Technology’s Dark Side

A recent study by an industry think tank that focused on the dark side of modern technology reported that workers are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by what is being called ‘Computer Stress Syndrome.’ In its conclusion, the study said: “The reality is that numerous, persistent problems are troubling most computer users, creating unnecessary anguish and anxiety as a result.”

LaptopMD to the Rescue

When you find yourself breaking out into a cold sweat and raging at your machine, then it’s time to call in the specialists at LaptopMD. We are the laptop doctors who can pull out the proverbial stethoscope and diagnose your computer’s ailments. The best part of all is that we provide FREE estimates while you wait.

Our superlative services are drastically reducing the stress levels of thousands of customers who are now enjoying blissful states of nirvana. From data recovery and spyware removal to printer repairs and laptop data backup, there’s nothing we can’t handle.

Click here to find out how our team of specialists can make computer anguish and anxiety a thing of the past. We also offer a first-rate telephone support service, so we’re always on hand to get you out of a bind.