Monthly Archives: June 2017

Myths About Computer Repair

7 Computer Repair Myths

I’ve been in the computer repair business for some time now, and there seems to be a few myths that many people believe about computer repair, computer repair companies, and other related topics. Here we’ll dispel those myths.

Unless you’re a computer repair guru or techie yourself, chances are you may have been the victim of one or more of the following PC and computer repair myths at some point.

Read on to find out what these common computer related myths are, see if you’ve been duped, and finally get the truth about computer service and repair.

1) My computer guy knows everything about every program out there.

Expect your computer repair guy to know all the details of every program you have installed on your PC? Perhaps you expect too much.

There are so many programs around and they are constantly changing. It would take more than a lifetime to learn them all. While a given computer repair tech may know about common applications (i.e. Word, Quick Books, etc), they may not know anything about programs specific to your industry or other applications that aren’t as common.

2) The computer repair person can fix some problems I’m having with a website(s)

Another all-to-common computer related myth.

Your computer tech cannot usually “fix” problems with websites (such as Facebook) because the website itself is actually on a server which is another computer built to run web pages and share content located somewhere else. Only the people who administer the website can access the files and the computer which hosts the site (the same rule above also applies: no one knows everything about every website; plus they come and go).

He or she may be able to tell you why you’re having problems with it or maybe tweak the settings on your computer to correct some small issues, but this is usually limited in what it can accomplish and any real problems with a website have to be handled by the people who own and operate it.

3) My teenager or my neighbor’s/friend’s/coworker’s teenager/young-person can fix it.

Kudos to the older generations for giving positive credit to the younger people for something.

Too bad that this is nothing more than an error in reasoning.

There are some pretty computer savvy youngsters around that can write programs, troubleshoot hardware, and understand computer architecture.

But most young peoples’ wisdom is in the form of using the internet, specific programs, and using the computer in general (this is most likely due to the fact that they grew up with PCs).

People like this are dubbed “power users”. Being a power user does not necessarily give one the ability to trouble-shoot, install, and configure hardware and software properly, especially on complex networks and servers.

Computer repair calls have been made to me because the owner of the PC let his teenager or twenty-something have a crack at fixing it first, thus making the problem worse.

4) I need to be a computer technician, engineer, or computer scientist to fix my own computer.

This reminds me of the time I locked my keys in my car (with the wireless key fob, of course). I called a locksmith thinking he was going to pull some James Bond style moves and pick the lock or something equally intriguing.

He stuck an air bladder between the door and car, pumped it up to pry the door open a bit, then stuck a metal rod between the door and car so he could hit the unlock button granting me access to the car.

Something I expected to require special skills or be difficult turned out to be something I could do in my sleep with one hand tied behind my back.

So it is with many computer repairs – you just have to know how to do it.

Maybe your 18 year old isn’t quite the computer whiz you thought he was. This doesn’t mean you need to kick out $250 for that repair quite yet.

Fixing many computer problems is kind of like walking a tight rope: you don’t have to be a genius, you just have to know how to do it.

Many repairs are easy and require little or no technical knowledge. That’s what this web site is here to show you.

5) I’d know it if my computer was infected with viruses, spyware, or other malware.

Sometimes you will, but not all malware is so overt. Often, malicious software is designed to run quietly in the background so it can log the keys you press, the websites you visit, and attempt to steal data and passwords, sending them back to whomever. Other computer viruses can turn your computer into a spamming machine without your knowledge.

If this happens, you may get a letter from your Internet service provider explaining why they disconnected your machine from the Internet. I’ve seen this happen.

6) I can buy a new computer for $350, so I’m going to pitch the old computer rather than fix it.

Computers that sell for less than $500 are very low-end, cheaply made machines. They are equipped with low grade processors; modest amounts of RAM; small, slow hard drives; and are cheaply made. Buy one and you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. An older (5 yrs or less) computer can often be repaired and/or upgraded for a relatively cheap price.

If you do it yourself then the only cost is the software or hardware you buy. Then you get another 2-4 years out of it.

Remember the Golden rule of shopping–YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.

And yes, it’s true, even for computers.

7) Tablets are sooooo cool and powerful; I think I’ll just use one of these and pitch my desktop or laptop PC.

Tablets can be cool, fun, and even somewhat powerful.

But they are not meant to be upgraded (ever try to change the battery in your iPod?), nor are they usually cheap.

Most tablets can only run one application at a time. The ones that can run more than one program at a time can run two – that’s it.

Compare this to a desktop or even laptop PC

  • Many upgrades are possible: adding memory, bigger hard drive, better video, sound, etc
  • Can run many applications at once
  • Much easier to repair

If a tablet breaks, you usually throw it out or send it in for repair. Forget about adding memory or a bigger hard drive; or even changing the battery when it dies (and it will). Get ready to spend $400-$900 every couple of years.

How to Remove Malware on Your Own

If you’ve never had the misfortune of experiencing Malware, consider yourself lucky; the rest of us know how hard it is to remove. Either way, don’t let your guard down because chances are, at some point, you’ll encounter this infection. As a PC Repair Specialist, I have more than my fair share of experience with Malware infected computers and I know how difficult it is to get them cleaned and running like they were pre-infection. It’s time consuming and hiring me to repair this problem isn’t cheap. That’s why I want to let you in on tips about the latest Malware removal tools available online. I want to make money like any business person, but I don’t enjoy charging my clients so much when there are cheaper ways to do it. The good news is that, not only do these new software removal tools cost less than I do, they also work!

Aside from being efficient and cost-effective, this software is user-friendly as well, so don’t be intimidated. Here’s a quick run-down of how it’ll work: log online and find a website offering a Malware cleaning tool. Click on the button that says “scan your computer.” When the scan is complete, the website will tell you about any infections it found like Trojans, Worms, or backdoor programs. Click another button to allow this software to clean house and rid your computer of infection. Pretty simple, right?

In addition to removal tools, these websites also contain a database of potential threats to your computer. New threats are born every day and these sites track them. So once your system has been cleaned, schedule regular scans to stay on top of things. A routine computer maintenance schedule will save you from having to hire someone like me!

Removing Malicious Spyware From Your PC

Spyware is just like a computer virus, in that it gets into your PC without your permission, and it harms things it shouldn’t affect, whether it’s digging through the data files on your PC, or doing something serious like deleting critical system files making you question what’s taking place. spyware normally sneaks into your PC cloaked as a harmless file, and when it is inside your system it can do harm. spyware in your PC may be your biggest nightmare come true, but you need to understand that there are ways that you can fix it even when spyware is in your computer.

So, how can this fix be completed?

A web-based spyware removal tool. These tools operate by running a search of each data file in your machine, and checks them against their list of recognized spyware applications. When the spyware cleaning software finds a spyware application operating on your system, it lets you determine if you want to erase it or not. If the spyware application has intertwined itself with another data file that you need, you may choose to leave it in place; otherwise go ahead and clean it.

After spyware is inside your computer the optimum thing that might materialize is nothing at all, but the possibility for imminent disaster is constantly there. You will keep a healthy computer system by routinely checking your computer’s contents with a spyware detecting application.

More and More Computer Users Being Ripped Off

More often average people are falling victim to dishonest computers techs armed with big technical words aimed at draining the wallets of unsuspecting computer users. This has probably happened to you and you still have no idea but then again why would you? In most cases it is someone that came recommended or a friend who works in the IT field and knows you will never have any idea how bad they are actually ripping you off.

Lets start at the beginning; you bought a computer last year that was lightning fast and it almost seemed impossible to see Windows slow down or your internet speed slow down but then something happened and out of the blue you notice Windows slow down and your internet speed slow down and you have no idea why. Knowing that you would like to see your PC performance improve you deal with it for a while and it gets worse, you start to get Windows registry editor error messages virtual memory errors, blue screens and you have finally had enough with the Windows slow boot.

These are all very common problems by the way that are bound to happen just by computer usage and browsing the internet. Since these problems are so common they have very easy fixes and this is where people are being taken advantage of. If I get a computer from a client complaining that it is running slow the first thing I ask is “do you browse the internet?” if they say yes then I know right away that 95% of their problem spyware.

Spyware is real nasty stuff for those of you who don’t know what spyware is I will sum it up for you. Spyware is small little programs that get installed on your computer by browsing the internet. These programs keep track of all you information like what sites you visit and what demographic you fall into then it reports back to the companies that install it who in turn sell that information to marketers. It is a complete invasion of privacy and if that isn’t bad enough the spyware itself clogs up your computer causing Windows slow down, Windows slow boot and most of all makes your internet speed slow. The best thing you can do for yourself is get a spyware removal tool and run it every few weeks. They are very inexpensive, user friendly and will keep your computer running fast all the time!

The tech guys know that by running a few built in Windows tools on your computer and running a spyware tool will fix all of your issues and probably take them an hour max. The Windows built in tools are on everyone’s computer already and obviously free and they pick up a spyware program for around $25.00 then use it over and over again on clients computers. They end up charging the clients anywhere from $75 – $200 to run a tool that costs $25.00 and the worst part is within 3 months the spyware is back and they need to run it again and the vicious loop continues!

Questions To Ask A Computer Repair Tech

In the repair industry there are some technicians out there that will do anything to raise the price for supposedly fixing your computer. Beware of scam technicians – instead – save yourself some time and misery by asking just a few questions ahead of time.

Do you just remove infections or fix the problems they cause?

This question is important is because anyone can download a program and attempt to remove infections. But to just remove an infection is not enough. The computer itself has been infected by the virus or trojan which means many files may be damaged or still replicating the infection. It is important that whatever computer shop you take your computer to for virus removal also cleans up after the virus.

Will I lose any personal files?

No one wants to lose their personal files – but some technicians won’t tell you that this will happen with some repairs that they do. Most of the time files can be backed up prior to any work done on a computer and can be replaced back on to the machine. There are a few instances when this cannot happen, which may be out of your tech’s control. But just asking this question can help keep your data safe.

Are they registered with BEAR (Board of Electronic and Appliance Repair)?

This is for California only – however, each state has their own certification program, so check with your state to confirm this is in place. This type of program monitors each business to make sure they are legitimate businesses. A good shop will have this certificate on display and will readily show it to their requesting customers.

Ask if NORTON or McAfee are good antivirus programs for the home user…

If the repair technician answers with a resounding yes, pack your machine up and head for the hills. Norton and McAfee make excellent corporate anti-virus programs, but there are tons of other virus programs (most for free) that are available for downloading that are much more effective and detailed compared to the residential versions. Keep in mind – no antivirus program is perfect. Most infections come in by the user allowing a program to download something onto their computer and giving them permission. Things such as free toolbars and other items can often be cloaked devices to send and receive your activity. Always read the fine print before downloading anything and check with a search provider like Google before completely downloading it to see if it is a scam.

Is there a warranty with your service?

The majority of the time, the answer will be no. Simply because you cannot warrant virus removals as soon as the computer is connected to the internet and the user interfaces with possible infectious attacks. The few times that there are warranties, it will be with hardware and not virus removals.

Will you notify me before you do anything to my PC that will cost more than the original estimate you gave me?

Some bad shops will try to do as much as possible to a computer without advising the customer and ending up handing the consumer a big bill they didn’t expect. A responsible repair center will give you an estimate, and once your machine requires more work than the estimate provided, they will contact you for your permission to do further work. Sometimes a problem that was unseen at the time of the estimate can arise once the estimated problem is fixed. This is a normal thing, however, beware of a computer shop that doesn’t communicate with you about the fixing of something extra without your permission.

As with all businesses, some repairs can be costly and can require more work than originally estimated because some issues cannot be seen until a part is repaired or replaced. For example: A screen could be cracked which needs to be replaced. The screen gets replaced but then it is found out that the chipset is not working. This is no fault of the tech that originally gave you an estimate and you are still responsible for the original laptop screen replacement costs- but if the business doesn’t call you and ask your permission to fix the chipset before doing so – then they are probably not someone you should deal with.

Do You Need a Professional Computer Repair

For many, computers are a source of employment, entertainment, and knowledge. All three of these things are crucial to being a well-rounded and happy person. With that being the case, it can be pretty frustrating to find that they’re not working as we’d expect them to. We’ve all been there from time to time, and many of us don’t have any idea as to how to fix any of the problems that we’re exhibiting, even with the help of the internet. Of course, that’s assuming that you can even access the internet to begin with!

Here are some of the common symptoms that will determine whether or not you need some professional help.

Odd UI Behavior. The UI (user interface) is the space where interaction between humans and machine occurs. If your UI is behaving oddly, you’re definitely going to know it. If your machine has odd hang-ups and quirks, it may be indicative of some sort of problem. It could even be a virus that’s attacking your computer. Viruses can eventually compromise your whole machine, so if you’re experiencing UI problems, you may want to consult a professional.

Dead computer. Is your computer not booting regardless of what you try? This is easily the worst thing that can happen for the consumer. It means that they have a very expensive brick sitting in their home. It’s not pretty. Fortunately, the repair here isn’t as bad as you may be thinking, though it’s definitely one that needs to be repaired as soon as possible. And even though this is probably the worst of the worst, it can really be a fix that only takes about an hour or so.

Hardware problems. Hardware problems are another pretty big deal, such as possible overheating or a loud fan on your machine. These problems generally require a replacement part of some kind, and that’s obviously best left in the hands of professionals. This is a situation where you don’t want to wait, as these problems don’t get better on their own. In fact, it may even compromise the integrity of other parts, which can turn out to be much more expensive than the original problem.

Viruses and spyware. This may as well be a four letter word for most. Unexpected pop-ups and slow down occurs when you have a problem with a virus. For optimal performance, your computer needs to be purged of the virus and spyware. They’re also dangerous, as they can collect your personal information and wreak havoc on your life.

Having a computer problem can really put a damper on things, but it’s not the end of the world. There are more than a few qualified people who can return some normalcy to your life, and improve the quality of your computer. A lot of services even provide some tech support for just a little bit of money, so that’s also something that you should want to look into. But, if you’re finding that you have some problems, don’t wait to contact a professional, as you may end up paying for it later.