Did You Get a New Computer for Christmas?

If Santa brought your family a new computer for Christmas and you would like to move your photos and data from the old PC to the new PC, give me a call and I will get it all moved for you. I can move it directly from one computer to the other – make a back-up CD or DVD of all your files – or do both. If the old PC is not running, chances are I can retrieve your irreplaceable data from it’s hard drive and save it to your new PC.

A good use for your old PC is to refurbish it into a PC for the kids to use. If your children are like mine, the computer they use gets loaded with viruses and spyware regularly. My solution to that is to get rid of Windows and use a different operating system. My personal favorites are Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

Both are “distributions” of Linux – an entirely different operating system that is not susceptible to infections from mal-ware and viruses written to infect Windows machines. Best of all, these operating systems are “open source”, meaning that they are free of charge and are maintained by teams of volunteer programmers from around the world

Using these non-Microsoft products is a bit different from Windows and  has a bit of a learning curve. The huge bonus, in my eyes, is the abundance of of “open source” software that is free of charge. Games, Educational Software, Graphics Software for photo editing, Office Programs, Scientific Software.. you name it and there is free software available for download – right from the “Software Center” built into Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

Hundreds of thousands of users world wide run operating systems other than Windows, you can too.

Adware – Spyware – Malware Prevention

Sometimes children just can’t resist the “register now for a free ipod” popup that appears while they are surfing the web. Game sites are particularly known for this. A good anti-virus program does help, as will a firewall. Appropriate security policies can be set on some computers too, to prevent a non-administrator from installing software. XP home and earlier versions of Windows do not have this “security policy” feature.

It is a good idea for you to surf the web, and have your children surf the web, from an account that is NOT an administrator account. My kids have non-administrator accounts, PERIOD. Any changes have to be approved and done by an adult. Administrator accounts are by default allowed to install software..and an accidental click can cause major issues.

Another “good practice” while surfing and coming across a pop-up window that claims to have found a virus on your computer is to not click anything at all on the pop-up. Malicious programmers have taken to building programs that respond to a click anywhere (including the cancel button) by downloading their malicious software. If I come across one of these scams designed to get malware onto my computer, the action I take is the safe action. Instead of clicking anything, I simply restart my computer from the Windows “Start” button. Problem solved.

A good overall work around for the “security policy” limitation is to edit your “hosts” file to prevent a connection from being established to the server that downloads this malicious software to your computer. Winhelp2002 has a pretty good explanation of the process and they also have a downloadable hosts file available that is regularly updated and easily installed.

The hosts file download is a .zip format. After you download it, right click on the hosts.zip file and choose “extract” or “unzip”. Make sure you unzip it to a location that you can find after the unzipping completes. Go into the unzipped “hosts” folder and you will see an icon named either MVPS or MVPS.bat (depending on the settings of your computer). Click on the MVPS icon and it will automatically install the hosts file in the correct location in your computer.

It is a simple fix that saves a lot of headaches.

Recycle Your Old PC

Cass County Computer Repair is now accepting old computers from the Elmwood, Murdock, Weeping Water, Louisville area of Cass County Nebraska to be recycled.

All hard drives are immediately “disk wiped” with a program that destroys all data to a level beyond that which is required by the Department of Defense for disposal of intact hard drives. I do not simply format the drives, that method leaves personal data recoverable with a bit of “know how” and work.

Go to DBAN to download the program to run it yourself. DO NOT unzip the file, use your CD burner to burn it as an .iso file. Be SURE you have saved everything you want off of the old computer’s hard drive. Put the DBAN CD in the CD drive of the computer you wish to wipe and reboot your computer. If your computer is set correctly to boot from a CD, it will ask you to “Press any key to boot from CD”. Press any key and DBAN will completely wipe your drive beyond any chance of recovering data from it.

We will accept all PC’s & LCD monitors free of charge. Old style CRT tube monitors cost us $10.00 to dispose of, sadly, I have to ask for you to cover that cost if you wish for us to dispose of it for you.

Cass County Computer Repair is now open for business

The repair shop is now open and available to fix your pc. We offer free pick-up and delivery of your repaired computer within a 15 mile radius of the shop. If you are further away, we will still pick up and deliver with a nominal mileage fee to offset the cost of fuel.

The repair shop offers many services – virus & mal-ware removal – computer optimization to speed up your pc – hardware repairs and upgrades – data recovery from non starting computers and flash memory.  Give me a call or drop an email in my inbox to get your computer back to the efficient machine it once was, or to get your computer improved over it’s “out of the box” capability.

I also do web development and hosting, please give me a call to develop a web presence for your company or organization. Most people today use the internet to find the services they want to purchase. Get your company to the front of the line with a website to put you on the map.

Search engine optimization is one of my talents. If you would like to check the effectiveness of my search engine optimization, search for computer repair in the nearby area to see how this site ranks in the search engine results. I can boost your company or organizations website rankings to let potential customers know that your business exists.

Contact Cass County Computer Repair

Cass County Nebraska Computer Repair Now Open 402-525-3799

Cass County Nebraska Computer PC RepairI have opened a computer repair shop in western Cass County, near Elmwood, Murdock and Weeping Water, to service computers. I have been working on computers since late 1998 and have well over a year of experience in repairing computers in a commercial PC repair setting.

I will be doing the repair work out of my home, to keep my overhead lower. I can provide better prices for my customers by avoiding expensive commercial building rental costs. Currently the hourly rate is $60.00 per hour of bench time (A completed repair will cost you about 1/2 the cost of the “Freek Squad” or other major electronics retailers repair departments). “Bench time” is the time actually spent interacting with your computer, NOT the time it is sitting on the bench running scans without any input from me.

It is more practical for me to work on computers in my shop, but I will make “house calls” if that is what you prefer. Because a “house call” will prevent me from working on additional computers while I am out of the shop, they will be billed at the full bench rate.

If you prefer to not mess with unhooking and hooking up the computer cabling to bring the PC to the shop, I will pick up and deliver it after the repair. Pickups within 15 miles of the shop will be free, longer distances will be charged a minor fee to pay for fuel.

There is a diagnostic charge of $30.00 to take a peek at your computer so I can make an intelligent recommendation about the course of action I think needs to be taken. If you choose my shop to do the work, the $30.00 diagnostic charge is waived.

Your bill will be only for the time actually spent working on your computer, not for the time the virus and malware scans are running without needing input from me. A typical virus scan and removal will take about 1.5 “billable” hours of bench time to complete, depending on the severity of the infection. A “heavily infected” hard drive that prevents the computer from starting, or is so slow that a scan cannot be practically performed, requires removal from the computer to perform an external scan. Typically this will take 2 to 3 “billable” hours to accomplish.

Another option for a “heavily infected” hard drive is to rescue your documents, photos and data and re-install the operating system. We ask that you provide us with the original CD’s provided by the computer manufacturer, a list of the programs that you use, and passwords for all user accounts on your PC.

The majority of the work a computer brought to our shop needs is virus, spyware and malware removal, and a general “clean up” of file clutter that occurs in the use of your PC. Another popular service is computer optimization to speed up your PC. I can replace or repair broken system files, resolve driver issues, or fix a fouled up registry that is slowing down your PC. Before your PC leaves the shop, it will be completely updated to bring the operating system up to it’s newest version.

I will also perform data retrieval and recovery from crashed and/or formatted computer hard drives, as well as bring back accidentally deleted pictures on memory cards from your digital camera or USB storage drives.

Hardware repairs and upgrades can be accomplished for all makes and models of PC’s. Hardware repairs are available for any computer – desktop or laptop / notebook PC. We can do about anything from replacing a broken screen in your mobile computer, to a complete motherboard (main circuit board) replacement.

We can install additional RAM to speed up your PC, a wireless networking card, or a better video card, to enhance and modernize your current computer. For a bigger boost in performance, we often can install a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM in your old computer case, reusing some of the old internal components to give you a far better computer for less money than you would spend buying a new PC. We also try to stock refurbished computers to maximize your return for the money you spend.

We can also order a pre-configured computer to meet your needs, or build a completely custom tailored PC to your specifications; a micro-compact PC, a media streaming entertainment center, a processing monster for CAD drafting programs or video editing, or a screaming fast graphics intensive gaming rig that your gaming friends will wish they owned. Give us a call or email us and let us know what you need and want.

Cass County Computer Repair’s Area Of Service In Nebraska

Aside

We are located in western Cass County near the middle of a triangle formed by Elmwood,  Murdock, and Weeping Water, NE – just 12 miles southwest of Louisville. Greenwood, Alvo, and Eagle Nebraska are within a few miles us. We also pick up computers to be repaired and/or deliver them after repair work is completed. This service is free of charge within a 15 mile radius of the shop – additional mileage will be charged a nominal fuel surcharge.

Contact Cass County Computer Repair