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.

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.