It’s one of the most common statements we hear. “My computer is running slow.” The problem is, most local PC repair shops, or even the friendly Geek Squad at your local Best Buy, can seem a little overwhelming. You’ve probably heard stories of friends and family taking their slow-running or troubled computer into a place like this and feeling ripped off when they get home. Well worry no more, we have the how-to information and clean up utilities you need to speed up that old computer and it is 100% FREE.
Archive for the ‘Technical Issues’ Category
According to a recent forum post on the AVG web site, “that latest virus database 271.1.1/3292 (432/3292) released 12:53 AM CET requested computer restart with inability to start the system again with error.” In other words, if your computer auto-updated the virus database (the expected behavior of any truly protected PC) and restarted, you could very well have a PC that will not boot fully into Windows 7.
AVG has already corrected the issue by removing the failing version of the database, but users who have already been affected by the update FAIL can turn to the same AVG forum for assistance on repairing their PC. A detailed How-To has been posted as well as instructions on using the AVG Rescue CD.
While problems do occur with any business or product, some users might be a bit frustrated by this mistake and looking to “jump ship” on the go-to anti-virus provider. While we at JumpstartMyPC.com don’t necessarily recommend a switch, we do realize that everyone needs choices. Feel free to visit our Software and Tools section for links to popular FREE software programs, like avast! Home Edition anti-virus.
Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States.
That fact alone should be enough to frighten every computer owner on the planet. We all have photographs, movies, important documents, emails, etc. that we do not want to lose for any reason, yet I find very few PC users who regularly backup the contents of their computer(s). Every one of us has experienced a moment when we thought our PC had crashed and the first thought was “I should have backed up my files!” Why is it then that so few people perform regular backups? Is is Time…. Money…. Knowledge?
Whatever the hurdle is, it is time to overcome it and protect our important files from permanent deletion. There are several theories on what makes a “safe” backup, but we are going to focus on online backups. Why? Because external hard drives or CD/DVD backups are great, but they are almost never stored in an off-site location. Natural disasters and fires don’t show any mercy when it comes to destroying a home or an entire community, so let’s prepare for the worst scenario and secure our files in a secondary location.
Does your WiFi occasionally cut out for, what seems like, no reason at all? Do you feel like your wireless internet connection is dragging and you just know it should be faster? Both of these issues might be the result of interference caused by other electronic items in your home and/or around you. As simple as it sounds, a simple channel change in your router might fix the issues.
I write about computer maintenance and keeping your PC “running like new” constantly, but I rarely focus on the connection that brings you the world wide web. Let’s face it, a fast PC and a fast internet connection are like peanut-butter and jelly. Each is pretty good on it’s own, but put them together and you’ve got a winning formula. Have you ever tested your internet connection? Are you getting what you pay for or are you being cheated by your internet service provider (ISP)?
Over the weekend, I had a discussion about helping family members with their computer. As with every conversation like this before, I heard the frustrations of one person (the expert) who was trying to help another (the person in need) with their computer. I realized that almost every one of us has been one of those two people at some point. I also realized that I needed to share more information on one of my favorite tools LogMeIn.com.
LogMeIn.com is a service that allows you to access other computers remotely, across a broadband connection. A quick installation of software on each end allows the primary user (the expert) to access, see and even control a remote computer from anywhere. More importantly, it provides the expert a way to help the person in need without getting in the car or imagining what the other person sees over a phone call. Below, we have documented the exact steps that two people will need to take to set up this wonderful tool.
It isn’t as if we needed another reason to perform regular maintenance on our computers, but a recent development in the world of Windows XP has proven our point once again. A recent article on engadget.com, titled Windows XP patch fiasco gets even crazier, Microsoft now scrambling for solutions, indicates that some recent Windows XP security patches resulted in BSODs (that’s Blue Screen of Death) for a small group of PC users. We’ll quickly give you the rundown on this development and show you how to prevent the issue on your PC.
First thing’s first: if you have a yellow shield in your system tray (the icon that indicates a Microsoft update is available for your PC) don’t update just yet. This goes against everything we have ever told you here on JumpstartMyPC.com, but it’s OK just this once. Why? Microsoft recently reported that existing malware on a “limited number” of computers caused those machines to blue-screen when the update was applied. There is a technical explanation for all of this (available in the engadget article), but all we really need to know is that our PCs must cleansed of any malware before any updates are applied. Microsoft has already “yanked” the patch, but some of you might have already downloaded the files without knowing it.
Over the last few years, you’ve slowly upgraded your existing setup to include high-speed internet and Wi-Fi. You can take your laptop anywhere in the house and surf the internet with ease. Unfortunately, your old printer still has you tied down. You bought it before Wi-Fi was available in everything and you’ve since stocked up on ink, so you really don’t want to invest in a new printer. Luckily, there are some options that make it easy to “cut the cord” and begin printing wirelessly at home.
We’ve talked about ways to speed up an aging computer. We’ve highlighted some quick and easy ways to troubleshoot a problem with your PC. What if there was a way to accomplish both of these things and get some added features without spending a dime? Driver updates could be the solution to a problem that you didn’t even know you had.
Here is an example. I have a 2 year old Dell laptop that I am working on currently. The owner was having an issue with their wireless internet connection (Wi-Fi). The connection would drop regularly on the laptop, while all other computers in the house continued to function properly, and the only viable solution was to run a cable from the router to the laptop, which was in a different section of the house. Not only is a cable like this expensive, but there was now this horrible eyesore running across the floors of 2 rooms and a hallway. Needless to say, the owner was not happy and wasn’t sure where to turn. After about 30 minutes of testing, restarting, changing settings and getting frustrated, I decided to check for a driver update. Bingo! Problem solved.