Monday, June 25, 2012

Computer Readiness for Hurricane Season

storm ahead warning signDoes your disaster plan include safeguarding your computer?  Getting ready for hurricane season is more than just having fresh water and supplies.  Think about your computer preparation too. What are the threats and what is at stake?  Power outages, surges, and flooding from the storm could cause permanent data loss and equipment damage.  Imagine all your photos, documents, music, and movies lost forever because of a hurricane or severe storm.  It doesn't have to happen that way.  Even though computer hardware is replaceable, there is still time and cost involved in getting your computer system back online.  Saved memories on the damaged computer are extremely expensive to recover at best, and most times lost forever.

Follow these steps to prepare for the storm:
  1. Back up regularly to prevent data loss - consider online, off site, water and fire safe storage
  2. Invest in surge protection and uninterruptible power supply
  3. Unplug your during computer during lightning storm
  4. Create an inventory list complete with photos, model and serial numbers, receipts

Monday, June 18, 2012

Windows 7 Tips How To Change Power Save Options

Do you ever wonder why your Windows 7 PC goes to sleep or screen turns off automatically?  This is controlled by power save options.  By default the PC manufacturer sets these options to save power.  It can be annoying for you when your laptop screen dims or cuts off after a few minutes inactivity.  The opposite could be true where your computer screen stays on all night even though nobody is using the computer.  Let's go over the easy steps to customize the power saving options to meet your needs. 

 First, click on the Start button Windows Icon on the desktop and type "power options" in the instant search box.
Then select Power Options with the icon of a power cord and battery image.
Next, Click on Change Plan Settings for the selected power plan.
Windows Power Options Change Plan Screen

The next screen shows power options for the display (screen).  You can set the amount of time before Windows turns off the display and when to put the computer to sleep.  Be sure to select the "save changes" button after making changes.

Now you know the basics of changing the power options on your Windows 7 PC.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Web Privacy - Safeguard Your Online Life

Today two customers called me with a similar question.  "How do I clear my web browser history?"

Clearing your web browser history is especially important to protect privacy and user information when using public or work computers.  If you fail to delete the temporary internet files and history, another user could come behind you and gain access to your bank account, email, personal information, passwords and more.

Users of Internet Explorer 8 and 9 can accomplish this important task by following these steps:
  1. Open Internet Explorer 
  2. Use shortcut key combination Ctrl+Shift+Del 
  3. The 'Delete Browser History' window opens and check the following boxes: Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, History, Download History, Form Data, Password
  4. Click the 'Delete' button
Firefox users can clear the web history using these steps:
  1. Open Firefox
  2. Use shortcut key combination Ctrl+Shift+Del
  3. Select Time Range 'Everything'
  4. Check box for Browsing & Download History, Form & Search History, Cookies, Cache, Active Logins, Site Preferences
  5. Click the 'Clear Now' button
 Web Privacy is important to you to stay safe online.  Protect yourself when using public computers by following clearing your web history.  IQ Computer Services has answers.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

How To Fix Blue Screen of Death

BSOD windows blue screen of death
Blue Screen Error
How To Fix Windows Blue Screen Error

The blue screen error makes it hard to get anything done. You may have seen it before.  The screen goes blue with white words that say "error" and some reference numbers.  Now you can't do anything with your computer.  This is so frustrating and counter productive. Let's explore causes of the blue screen error and how to fix blue screen errors.

Causes of the Windows Blue Screen of Death

Several possible causes exist for the blue screen stop error.  Registry errors are important system files that have become corrupt or missing in the core programming code of your Windows operating system. Computer virus infections, improperly installed/uninstalled programs and updates, even regular use of your computer can cause registry errors. 
Another primary cause of the Blue Screen Error is hardware issues.  This means devices such as USB devices, memory, video cards, bluetooth devices, are incompatible with your system.   Missing or incorrect device drivers can cause the blue screen error.  This is why its important to have a professional upgrade your computer components.  Even external plugged in devices such as speakers, or printer drivers can cause your system to lock up.

Fixing Blue Screen Errors

First, make sure your computer is clean from viruses.  You can start by updating your anti-virus program and running a full scan on all of your hard drives.  This is best completed in Safe Mode.

Next, do a system restore.  A system restore takes your computer back in time to a date before you started getting the blue screen errors. To reduce the risk of getting a blue screen error while taking the needed steps, you should start in Safe Mode.

Restart your computer, pressing F8 key as it boots up. If Windows begins normal start up, you will have to power off and try again.
Next, you see a black and white words list with Safe Mode listed. Use your arrow keys to select Safe Mode, then press Enter.
    Go to Start
    In the search box type in “restore
    Select the System Restore option.
    Of the choices, you want to choose another restore point.  Look over the available restore points and choose a restore point date before you started getting the blue screen error.
    Click the Next button
    Click the Finish button

Any programs you installed between now and the date selected may have to be reinstalled.

Preventative Measures

Prevent registry errors by regular use of a registry cleaner. Registry cleaners are programs designed to scan for and then fix registry errors. With regular use, registry errors can be a thing of the past.  Be sure to download correct drivers before installing new hardware.  Enable the System Restore feature and create restore points before making changes to the computer system.

For more information visit IQ Computer Services website today.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pocket Flash Drive Saves the Day

My Handy Dandy Flash Drive

Gateway NV55C38u 15.6-Inch Laptop (Satin Black)Today I was out on a laptop hunting mission.  I got a call from a lady who wanted to sell her old Gateway laptop. There was only one thing wrong with it.  It was missing a the "O" key on the keyboard.  She couldn't log in anymore because of the missing key.  She had already purchased a new Acer laptop, so she didn't want to get it fixed.

NEW 4GB Attache Flash Drive (Flash Memory & Readers) I asked if she had any information she wanted to save before selling it.  She said she needed her family photos.  I asked if she had a back up drive, external hard drive, or flash drive or blank CD.  She didn't have anything, but fortunately I came prepared with my 2GB PNY thumb drive.  I offered to transfer her photos from the old laptop to the new one for her.  She happily agreed.  I popped the drive in a side USB port on the old laptop and navigated to the "My  Pictures" folder. I drag and dropped the folder on the the portable drive.  A few minutes later, it was done copying so I pulled out the flash drive and plugged it into her new laptop.  I dragged the folder of pictures to the "Pictures" folder.  Afterwards, she mentioned that she liked my thumb drive.  I offered to sell her mine and she said yes. I had recently bought a new 4GB flash memory drive.  I unplugged collected the laptop power adapter and I was on my way.

Now, I'm home and its time to work on this keyboard with the missing key.  Fortunately, its only one missing key, so I pulled one off another laptop used for parts.  Fixed in five seconds, I was back in business!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Back Up your PC

laptop coffee spill

Spilled Drink on Laptop

You are working on your notebook computer drinking a coffee, when someone bumps your cup and it spills all over your new computer. You desperately try to wipe of the keyboard but it is too late.  Your computer stopped working.  You think, at least I have insurance that covers accidental damage.  The problem is you have just lost all your valuable information.  You don't have a recent back up.  You are not alone. Over 85% of PC users don't back up data regularly.  What will you do?  Hours of work are lost.  Irreplaceable photos, videos, and personal files are lost forever.

You could get back to work in a flash if you had a portable external hard drive.  Contact IQ Computer Services for data recovery in Alexandria VA

Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1 TB USB 3.0/2.0 Ultra Portable External Hard Drive (Black)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Should I Buy New or Repair my Laptop? - The hard choice

IQ Computer Services specializes in computer repair, virus removal, hardware, software sales. One common question consumers ask is "Should I buy an new laptop or fix the one I have?" This is a personal decision involves taking several factors into account. IQ Computer Services offers affordable solutions for each choice. Let's examine some things to consider in order to reach the right decision for you.

  1. What is the problem with the laptop?
  2. How much will it cost to repair?
  3. What is my budget?
  4. Will this laptop meet my future needs if repaired?
  5. Does buying a new laptop benefit me more than repairing the current one?
  6. What will you do with your old laptop after purchasing a new one?
  7. Is there important information I need saved from the old laptop?
  8. Is it possible to recover important photos, music, videos, and documents from the old laptop?
These are some important questions to answer. IQ Computer Services can help answer some of them, but the final decision is up to you.

Please comment if you have any personal stories related to this topic.
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