Windows 10 “upgrade”?

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Given the problems my customers have incurred after “upgrading” to Windows 10 – I will strongly suggest that Windows 10 be avoided for the foreseeable future. 10 may end up being a wonderful operating system; currently it is a bug infested mess.

I should love Windows 10 to the point of writing Microsoft a thank you note for the huge increase in work they have provided me.

Windows 7 will be supported through 2020, which hopefully will be enough time for Microsoft to sort out the issues with Windows 10.

Feel free to give me a call if you are having difficulties. I can help to resolve your problem: from removing the Windows 10 nagware – to sorting out hardware and software issues – to rolling your computer back to a previous version of Windows.

402-525-3799

The End of XP

Microsoft is ending XP support (updates, hotfixes and patches) on April 14th, 2014. Now is the time to consider what to do. Some computers running XP can run Windows 7, but they might need some upgrades to run it efficiently. The minimum specifications I would suggest for an upgrade to Windows 7 would be a dual core processor (Pentium D or Core2 Duo) with a minimum of 2 Gb of RAM – 4 Gb would be much better.

Older machines will need to be upgraded; either with a refurbished computer or a new computer. Depending on what you use the computer to do, a off lease “business class” computer that has been refurbished will work just fine for the majority of people for internet use and word processing.

A new off the shelf computer will do just fine for those tasks too, but you should be aware that Microsoft is currently shipping Windows 8. While Windows 8 is a decent operating system, it is a completely different “look” than Windows had up to Windows 7. There is no start button or programs menu, which can be confusing and make the transition more difficult. There are some 3rd party programs that add back the Start button and Programs Menu to Windows 8.

If you do decide to go with a new computer, I would be happy to help you get your documents and photos transferred to your new computer. I can also check your old computer out and upgrade it if that is practical.

If you wish to purchase a refurbished computer I would suggest buying a business class machine. Because they lease them with a “on site” service contract, business computers tend to have more durable hardware than a consumer grade machine.

Please give me a call at 402-525-3799 or email

Lon@CassCountyComputerRepair.com

Computer Repair in Ashland, Elmwood, Weeping Water, Lousiville, Greenwood, Murdock, and Eagle Nebraska

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Computer Repairs & Upgrades are Available Locally

Cass County Computer Repair offers competent, prompt & friendly hometown service for your computer.

  • Virus and Malware Removal

  • Hardware Repairs and Upgrades

  • Data Recovery and Transfer

  • Computer Optimization to Speed Up Your PC

  • Custom Built Computers

  • Website Design and Hosting

  • Search Engine Optimization for Your Business Website

If you would like personal, professional service for your computer, you are in the right spot. I offer free pickup and delivery of your computer within 15 miles of my shop. If you are tired of the impersonal service (that takes forever to finish) in the big stores, give me a call at 402-525-3799 or send me an email.

Lon@CassCountyComputerRepair.com

Scams -Spams and Fishing for your Money Part III

The latest malicious software currently making the rounds is a recycled variant of the “FBI Virus” It locks down your computer so it will do nothing except display an official looking message “Illegal content has been found on your computer. Your computer has been locked by the FBI and the lock will not be removed until you pay a $100.00 fine”. Of course there is a link to pay your “fine”.

This virus is typically transmitted by email. Make sure your anti-virus program has access to scan your incoming email. Do not open email from people you don’t know, and be very careful when opening email attachments. It is best to right click on the attachment and have your anti-virus program scan it before opening any attachment.

Fake Anti-Virus (Scareware) is the Most Common Infection Seen on Computers

Clicking on a “Your computer is infected, click this to scan your computer for threats” pop-up window when surfing the internet is the source of most of the virus removal jobs I get. This source of infections has been around for years – they use scare tactics to get you to click a window – and clicking that window downloads malicious software to your computer.

Fake Anti Virus Malware removal Elmwood, Murdock, Ashland, Lousiville, Weeping Water, Nebraska, NE, Cass County

A Typical Rogue Anti-Virus Program

A  Partial List of the “Rogue AntiVirus Programs”:
Antispyware Soldier-AntiVermeans-AntiVermins-AntiVerminser-AntiVirGear-Antivirus 2009-Antivirus Lab 2009-Antivirus Master-Antivirus XP 2008-AntivirusGolden-AVGold-BraveSentry-IE Defender-Internet Antivirus-MalwareCrush-MalwareWipe-MalwareWiped-MalwareWipePro-MalwareWiper-Micro Antivirus 2009-MS Antivirus-PestCapture-PestTrap-Power Antivirus 2009-Power Antivirus-PSGuard-Smart Antivirus 2009-SpyAxe-SpyCrush-SpyDown-SpyFalcon-SpyGuard-SpyHeal-XP AntiVirus…and the list goes on and on.

These malicious programs will hijack your computer, redirect your internet searches, prevent your programs from running (including the anti virus program you have installed) – and blame it all on the imaginary “threats” they pretend to have found while “scanning” your PC. The object of all of this is simple – to blackmail you into paying them money for their fake anti-virus program..to remove the problems these infections create.

Even worse, I had a customer who actually paid $49.95 for a “year subscription” to one of these fake “Anti-virus” programs believing they were doing the right thing.to protect their computer. 30 days later they received another bill for $49.95, and when they did not pay it, their computer became impossible to use at all – only the desktop picture was visible.

I don’t know about you, but the last people in the world I want to have my credit card information are people trying to scam me out of money.

The first line of defense is to not click anything unfamiliar, install a WELL KNOWN anti virus program by a reputable company and scan regularly. Know what that program looks like and don’t allow “mystery programs” past your anti-virus program..If your anti virus detects a threat – believe it.

Another safeguard is to use Firefox as a web browser and to use the “NoScript” add-on for Firefox to prevent the Java script exploits that are one method of infecting your PC. Not clicking on pop-up Windows is another good line of defense – even clicking “No” can infect your computer. When I run into one of these pop-up windows when surfing the web, I click nothing – instead I simply re-start my computer using the Windows “Start” button.

If you already are infected, give me a call. These infections can be removed and the functionality of your computer restored to normal.

Malicious Software and Pintrest

Reports are starting to come in concerning viral and malware infections contracted by those using the “Pintrest” website. When you “Pin” something up, others are encouraged to to click it too to “pin” it up also. The “pinned” web content may be completely harmless when it is first pinned for others to see.

Given the huge growth Pintrest is experiencing, it is a “ripe fruit” for those distributing malicious software to use to their advantage. There have been multiple reports of malware infections contracted by people visiting the site “pinned” and clicking on an “irresistible” offer. Offers of “free gift cards”, “Win a PS3″ and others are “served up” by adservers to websites, so the owner of the site can make a few pennies on every ad that is clicked.

The problem; poor screening of the ads practically invites distributors of malicious software to insert malicious code into the ads “served up” to be clicked upon.

The simple solution: Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch. DON’T click on “free” offers. If there is bait in the water, chances are it will have a hook in it.

The reported infections are sailing right past McAffee’s protection, and other anti-virus programs may have vulnerability to this malicious software too. Until virus definitions are updated, an anti-virus program cannot stop the virus, simply because it does not know what to look for.

Scams, Spams and Phishing for Your Money

The latest threat for the home computer user is on the telephone. Many people have received a phone call “out of the blue” claiming to be from Microsoft or another authoritative technology company. They will tell you that a virus has been detected on your computer, or that they have detected a vulnerability and ask you to press a combination of keys.

Refuse! – these scammers are trying to gain remote access to your computer to try and fool you into paying for a bogus “remote repair”. Microsoft does not have access to your computer and does not contact Windows users with offers of service. No other technology company does either. If you did not initiate a request for service – RUN don’t walk away from that phone call.

Install a good anti-virus program and use it regularly to scan your computer. Don’t click on ANY pop-up windows that appear while you are on the internet, claiming your computer is infected and offering to scan it and remove the “viruses” unless it is from the anti-virus program you have installed on your computer.

Affordable PC Repairs

Give me a call at 402-525-3799 or send an email to Lon@CassCountyComputerRepair.com for affordable repairs and upgrades to your computer in the western Cass County Nebraska area. I offer free pickup and delivery of your PC within a 15 mile radius of the shop. I will collect an initial diagnostic fee of $30.00  upon pickup of your computer.

Louisville, Manley, Weeping Water, Murdock, Elmwood, Avoca, Eagle, Alvo and Ashland  Nebraska are all within a 15 mile radius of the shop and qualify for free pickup and delivery, provided we perform the repair work on your PC. My diagnostic fee of $30.00 is waived (deducted from your bill) if you choose us to complete the repair.

My “hourly bench rate” is $60.00 per hour. Only the time I actually spend interacting with your computer is billed to you, not all the time it is simply being scanned on my work bench without my intervention. An average bill for virus removal is approximately $90.00 – $120.00, an 1.5 to 2 hours of labor, but the total is variable depending on how heavily infected your computer is. If the computer will no longer start and run, we will have to remove the hard drive for external scanning, resulting in additional expense.

Please be prepared to provide us with the CDs or DVDs with the software that came with your computer. I will also need the operating systems license key, and the license keys for any extra software you wish to have installed (Microsoft Office – etc). These will be needed if we are forced to do a re-installation because of irreparable harm to your operating system from a virus infection.
Email me at:
Lon@CassCountyComputerRepair.com

Contact Cass County Computer Repair

Local Computer Repair in Elmwood -Weeping Water -Murdock and Louisville vs “Big Box” Stores

I about fell over 3 nights ago when a customer asked me if I could compete with the price that the “Geek Squad” quoted her for a laptop repair. Her computer had crashed due to a virus infection, and when she took it to “that big store” she was quoted $150.00 to diagnose the problem and another $100.00 to repair it. Yes, $250.00 total!

She had diligently backed up her photos and documents to a USB thumb drive. We discussed what was wrong and made the decision that the most affordable solution was to simply re-install Windows, without any files saved and transferred . “That big store” charges even more to save and transfer files while repairing a PC.

All available Microsoft updates were installed during the re-installation of Windows, as well as all updates from her laptops manufacturer. She walked out of my shop with a bill of less than $90.00 – taxes included.Saving her data would have added slightly to her bill, but it still would have been about 1/2 of what the “Geek Squad” quoted her for a re-installation of Windows – WITHOUT transferring her files.

My diagnostic fee is $30.00, but that fee is waived if you choose my shop to perform the repairs to your computer.

Local computer repair performed by Cass County Computer Repair in the Elmwood, Murdock, Weeping Water and Louisville area of Cass County Nebraska is more affordable than dragging your computer into the city. We are not paying a huge overhead to keep the doors of the business open. I am working out of my home as I grow the business and the savings are passed on to my customers.

I offer free pickup and delivery of your computer within 15 miles of my shop, with a slight additional fuel surcharge for longer distances. I also offer “on-site” service and 24/7 emergency support and repair for “mission critical” computers.

I value my reputation for honest and competent service and want Cass County Computer Repair to become “the place” to take your computer when it needs fixing.

Call (402) 525-3799 or email Lon@CassCountyComputerRepair.com  to inquire about service for your PC.

Upgrading Your Older Computer

RAM – Random Access Memory

RAM is where your PC stores data used to run programs, images that are actively being used (web content & images being viewed or edited), and other frequently accessed data. If your PC does not have enough RAM to deal with the programs that you are trying to use on your computer, it will use space on the hard drive to store the data. This area of the hard drive is know as the “swap file”. The problem with using the swap file is simple to understand – it is many times slower to access the data than data stored in RAM…so your PC slows down to a crawl.

RAM is a fairly economical upgrade to your PC, stretching your older PC’s abilities and usability.

 

Graphics Card (Display Adapter) Upgrading

The video card in your older PC often lacks the ability to efficiently display media intensive content on the internet or High Definition movies. This is made obvious by jerky motion when displaying a video clip or while playing games. If you have upgraded to a newer monitor, you might not be getting the full resolution that your new monitor is able to display. An older graphics card just is not able to work at higher display resolutions.

 

Hard Drive Upgrades

Your hard drive is where your PC stores all of it’s information. If your hard drive is making clicking or loud whirring sounds, it might be ready to die. New hard drives are far faster than an older model. A newer model can improve the speed of your computer by lessening the amount of time waiting for data to be read from (or written to) the hard drive.

Another consideration is simply having enough space to store all of the photos, videos, music and documents you have collected on your PC. You may choose to add another hard drive to most desktops, or to replace the hard drive in your computer with a larger hard drive. This is usually the only solution for a laptop who’s hard drive is overfilled