Tech's Tech Tips!

  Our techs reccomend these things tokeep your computer running excellently:

 

Internet Browser:

Our techs prefer Firefox and Google Chrome to Edge for a better, safer, faster browsing experience.

 

Browser Add-ons:

Adblock Plus - blocks annoying, invasive ads, including fake  "download" buttons that can infect you with malware.

 

Ghostery - don't want to be tracked? Want to know who is tracking you? Ghostery blocks third-party cookies and tracking and informs you who would have been getting your info.

 

Antivirus and Antispyware:

We recommend purchasing ESET NOD32 and Malwarebytes Pro for your antivirus and antispyware needs. We sell copies in our store and can install and activate them for you!

 

For free programs (which we don't recommend) Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows 7 or the built-in Windows Defender for Windows 8 & 10 are acceptable.

 

Free Antimalware tools:

For free products we recommend scanning with Malwarebytes free and Spybot: Search and Destroy once a month or so - Spybot also offers an "immunization" feature that you should run after you update and install.

 

Free computer care tools:

C Cleaner - to clean out temporary files and help speed up your computer.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

My computer won't turn on!

 

Computers can fail to power on for a variety of reasons: a failed power supply,  a short on the mother board (or the computer thinking there's a short when there isn't), a bad power cable, or something as simple as your cat accidentally flipping the switch on the back.  

 

Try these quick fixes:

 

  • Make sure every thing is plugged in! For desktops, make sure the cable in the back is pushed in all the way and that the other end is properly pushed into the socket. If you're using a surge protecter (you should!) or a UPS make sure it is on and plugged in properly.
  • (Desktops) Check to see if the switch on the back of the power supply is set correctly. It should be flipped to the bar ( | ) and not the circle ( o ).
  • Unplug the computer and flip the switch off, then press the power button a few times. Wait a few seconds then plug it back in and flip the switch, then try turning the computer on after a few more seconds.
  • Try unplugging all external devices from USB ports. If the computer didn't turn on before and turns on after this, you may have a damaged USB port or device that is causing a short.

 

Still can't get it to turn on? It might be the power supply or a damaged motherboard, bring it in to us!

 

 

My computer is running slowly.

 
Computers can run slowly for many reasons! You may be trying to run too many tasks for your computer to handle, your hard drive may be damaged or failing, your computer could be over heating, or your it could be infected with malware (viruses, spyware, trojans, ect).
 
  • Is it your internet or your computer?
    • If it's just your internet running slowly, try restarting your modem and router (if you have one) by unplugging them and leaving them powered down for about one minute  after all the lights turn off. Restart your computer while those are restarting as well.
  • Is your computer getting good airflow?  If it is running too hot it will begin to slow down in an attempt to generate less heat.  If the computer gets too hot it will shut off to try to prevent damage -- however, some parts can and often times will become damaged before the safety shut-off happens.
    • (Desktop) Computer tower should not be kept in cubbies or enclosures, this can cause them to overheat and can damage your computer.
    • (Laptops) Notebooks/laptops are not designed to be placed on to of blankets or soft surfaces, these can block the air intake slots on the bottom of the computer. Blocking these can cause the machine to overheat.
    • Make sure to keep the fans as dust and pet-hair free as you can to ensure your computer cools properly!
  • Listen to your computer's noise. Is the hard drive extra loud or clicking? Hard drives can be loud normally, but if it is louder than it once was it could be failing.
    • If you think your drive may be failing you should immediately back up your files and make limited use of the hard drive before having it checked. If you can't back it up yourself, bring it in to us and we can check it for you, as well as transfer your data off if needed!
  • Run your Antivirus scan and check for infections. If you have a lot of infections your computer may be worse off than your antivirus can fix -- bring it in for a clean up!
  • As time goes on, programs get bigger and more complicated. So do websites and games -- if you're running on older hardware your computer isn't going to be able to handle running multiple programs as well as it once was. Some times it's just time for an upgrade!
 
 

My computer is infected, I have popups or weird programs on my computer!

 
Even when running a good antivirus, antispyware, and firewall, you can become infected. Many times this happens because a website tricked you into thinking it had a file or update you needed, when in reality, you downloaded a bad file that you gave a bad file full permission to install itself onto your PC.
 
Some times when this happens, it can disable or even uninstall your antivirus. This can be a very complicated and frustrating thing to fix. Be careful about "virus removal tools" that you may find in searches, many times these can be malicious in nature as well and will further complicate the issues on your computer! Make sure you only download from trusted websites (see our tech tips on the left!)
 
We can fully clean malware infections, call us or bring your computer in!
 
 
 

A program on my computer says I have a lot of errors and wants me to call a number and / or let some one remote into my computer!

 
Don't ever let people remote into your computer unless it's some one you know and personally trust. These are scams  - letting some one into your computer can lead to further infection, damage, and compromise any of your personal data saved on the computer. These help lines are all a scam and are designed purely to get money from you.
 
If you need help removing these, bring your computer down to us!
 
 

I can't access my files, I have a message saying I need to pay money to some one to get them back!

 

Unfortunately, this most likely means you have been infected with a newly-popular malware known as "Ransomware". A program has encrypted your data and is holding it "ransom".  In order to decrypt your files so you can access them again, you need the decryption key, which they claim they will give you when you pay them.
 
We, as well as the US Government and Microsoft, reccomend that you do NOT pay these people the ransom. They typically request payment in a form that prevents you from doing a charge-back (such as giftcards, bitcoins, ect). There is no guarentee they willl give you the key and you potentially make yourself a target for more malicious actions.

If you have had this happen to you it means that your data is most likely gone forever. If you have a backup, immediately remove it from your infected PC. Disconnect your infected machine from your home network. The malicious software can be removed to prevent it from encrypting more of your data and infecting other computers on your network.
 
For more info on ransomware check out these links:
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