Category Archives: Computer

How to Do Computer Repair

Now a days its easier to repair a system because most of the computers have less than a dozen parts. In my opinion, repairing a system is much easier than diagnose the problem. You hardly encounter hardware problems as they are less common than software issues. The secret to computer repair is going about it in a systematic manner and eliminating the possibilities of the recurrence of the problems. This article lists some of the basic tips, which you can consider while troubleshooting a hardware device.

At first, you must confirm whether power supply is working properly. Try to listen the sound of fans, look at the little lights at the front of the computer case. The best economical option for you is to repair a power supply. Its possible for hardware vendors or service centers to simply replace the entire power supply. Most of the issues with SMPS are easy to trace and inexpensive to fix.

If you encounter any video error or there is no image at all on the screen, first you should check the Video cable. The main reason of video error is the motherboard failure. Check whether you have a compatible driver. Repair that part to rectify the problem.

People who are still learning the basics of computer repair tech support – like what devices are involved in what operation – will often assume that all boot errors are due to a hard disk failure. Hard drive errors are normally pretty easy to troubleshoot. In order to troubleshoot hard disk error, confirm whether your PC is able to detect hard drive. This can be done with the help of BIOS.

The hard disk may display errors including “retry, abort, ignore” or “cannot read sectors”. This can be due to bad or unreadable sectors on the drive. You can easily repair these problems by reformatting and reinstalling the operating system. This will cause you to loose all data on your drive, so it is important to always have a good backup of your files daily.

You can also repair bad sectors and errors from your hard drive by running Windows built-in utility like check disk, disk defragment and scan disk. Its recommended that you should run these utility in order to make your hard disk clean and healthy.

Personal Information and Identity Safe at the Computer Repair Shop

What you are about to read may alarm you. If you take your computer in for repair, your personal information is at risk of getting into the wrong hands and you can become a victim of identity theft!

Most people don’t think about it, and some take it for granted, but really how safe is your personal information when you take your computer in for repair.

Hi, my name is Bill Arnoldi. I own my own computer repair company and have over 18 years of experience in I. T. management.

This is a question posed to me by both my consumer and corporate customers over the years.

Not every computer repair tech or company adhere to the industry ethical practices of not snooping around on a client’s computer. There are some steps that you can take to minimize your exposure to your personal information and confidential data being compromised, but in general, there is always some risk.

Here are some tips on reducing the chance that your personal information and personal identity stored on your computer will get into unscrupulous hands.

There are really two major components to consider when addressing procedures to increase the security of your personal information when you place your computer in the hands of a computer repair technician or service provider.

The first component is limiting the amount of personal information that you place in computer service provider’s possession when you give them your computer to repair. You can do this by utilizing one or both of these procedures.

Don’t give it to them in the first place. If you can keep your hard drive, take it out of your computer and ask the service technician to use another drive of their own to perform the repair. This really only works when the problem is NOT with your hard drive, such as in data corruption, possible failure, or infection by virus, malware or spyware.

If your computer still boots and you can access your programs, clear all your usernames and passwords from all your programs, messengers, and web browsers. Move all your personal data files to an external backup device like a flash drive or hard drive. Then you can use a utility to securely wipe all the deleted information from your hard drive to make sure it cannot be recovered. Remember, just deleting the information once does not really delete the data, you need special software to completely make the data unrecoverable.

If taking your hard drive out is not an option, try hooking it up to another computer to remove your personal data to another drive temporarily while your computer is in for repair. Also make sure to delete all the temporary files that may contain your personal information, such as the web browser cache, and other temporary file locations.

If none of these procedures are practical for you, then you have to establish confidence and trust in your service provider.

The second component to ensuring your personal information is safe with your computer repair person is determining their integrity and establishing level of trust and comfort with them.

Here are some ways you can feel comfortable with your computer service provider.

Find out how long they have been doing computer repair. The longer the better. In theory, if they were dishonest and lacked integrity, they would probably not be providing services anymore.

What have they been responsible for in the past? If they have experience in providing service to large companies, then they probably have a good track record for protecting customer data because large corporations demand security for their data before they let a person perform repairs on their systems.

What procedures do they have in place to prevent data theft or snooping at their company? This does not necessarily apply to the individual technician where they are the only person performing the computer services, but is more applicable to companies with several techs. They should have policies and protections in place to limit the ability on someone absconding with a client’s data. in truth, these protections are not 100% effective but they can serve as a deterrent. Ultimately, in my opinion the only real sure method would probably be to strip search every tech before they left the premises. That’s not happening, so therein lies a bit of risk regardless of the protections in place.

Obtain testimonials and references. Google them on the Internet. See if there are any complaints about their handling personal information. Get recommendations from friends or seek referrals to a tech that someone else has used successfully.

The sum of all this is that you need to do enough research or inquiries until you feel comfortable handing over your computer with your personal information on it to them.

Utilizing these practices is not foolproof. I cannot stress enough that the only bullet-proof way to ensure your personal information and identity is not compromised except is to make sure the computer repair company does not have access to it in the first place. The reality is that in most cases, this is just not practical or possible, especially where correcting problems on the hard drive to restore functionality is what is required.

Finally, keep in mind that in general the majority of computer repair and service providers are on the up-and-up. There are a few sour grapes in the bunch, but the rest of them are pretty good.

What Are the Average Wages of a Computer Repair

This is a rough question to answer. A repair tech has more possible ways to market his or her skills than, say, an accomplished line cook or a pharmacy employee. They are capable of working hourly at a company job (dollars per hour vary by size of employer), they can labor at home through the classifieds, advertising a priced-out flat rate, or they can find some employment with any companies that are advertising themselves by using the yellow pages, and this type of employment gains an hourly rate. There is no straightforward answer to what, out of these ways of finding work, pays the best. On the average, however, the amount of computers in the USA that are in need of regular maintenance, and the amount of know-how a computer repair tech must have to get any kind of low-level repair work, work together to make employment as a repair technician a pretty respectable, consistent occupation.

Laboring for an hourly dollar amount as a part of an already existing business, the lowest-paid computer repair techs get something close to $10 an hour, and the highest-paid computer repair technicians with the same level of responsibilities seem to earn something close to $15. This dollar wage varies depending on status of the employee’s certificates in the repair technician field and related experience in tech work application. To illustrate this, our research showed that Best Buy technicians, when they work in the store, earn about $11 an hour, no matter if they possess a low-level certification or not. There are an infinite number of hours in this line of computer tech salary work, though, so the money is reliable.

There are an increasing number of techs who offer flat rate fixes in the classifieds or visual posters on busy streets. This type of pre-established service is getting to be more of a fad, probably because of something called market ambivalence. This phrase means that the customers who find themselves with a seriously broken computer – say, a computer completely gummed up with all kinds of viruses that it will not even load the operating system correctly anymore – this sort of customer has no idea the amount of time it will take a computer tech to repair this sort of a thing, and an even weaker notion of the amount of time it would take to get it worked on. A certain breed of entrepreneurial repair techs, who have worked enough to understand the whole range of colorful and virulent viruses common to PCs, along with the amount of time it will usually take to fix them, see this as an opportunity to try a new way of selling their services. If a tech is certain that they will seldom see a computer so virus-laden that it means they’ll have to be taking a loss by working an uneconomically high number of labor hours, they are able to safely advertise a flat-rate computer repair.

A study of Craigslist ads coming from Portland, Oregon, and New York, NY, has yielded results showing that, when changing the numbers for difference in price of living (deflating the cost from NY a bit, as it costs significantly more to exist in NY than OR), your normal flat-rate computer repair costs in the neighborhood of 50 bucks. Technicians are, at this point, starting to offer mobile tech services able to guarantee virus removal and thorough efficiency maintenance costing around $50. There were a handful on the low side of the price range – some displaying $20 virus purges and $30 data recovery – and, interestingly, this was a price found in Portland and in NYC – however it remains that the middle range flat-rate repair cost is higher than that.

On-Site Computer Repair Companies

Some things to consider when choosing an on-site computer repair service is how qualified and experienced are the technicians that a company has, what is the reputation of the company, and do they have a Website? Also, how quickly can they come to fix my problem and do they guarantee their work?

Well, if you’re looking for computer repair technician on Kijiji, be ware! Anyone can put an ad on there and call themselves a PC tech, some are not certified, most don’t even have a website, and they all want cash.

One thing you want to look for in a computer repair tech is their means of communication. When your computer is in need of repair, you will want ways to communicate that are handy for you. Most businesses can give assistance via the telephone or through their Website.

Another asset is access to parts and testing equipment, mind you there are always situations where the computer cannot be fixed on-site, but to maximise your chances of having it fixed right away you want to call someone with all the parts at the ready. There is nothing worse than someone taking the computer away for a period of time wondering if your data will be lost.

So be sure the company you hire has certified techs, a business licence, a Website, and offers receipts for their work. This should give you piece of mind when the unthinkable happens and you need your computer repaired quickly and properly. You will also be much more likely to refer the company to your friends and family if they do a great job.

Deleting Malware on Your Own

Malware is very much like a computer virus, in that it infects your system without your permission, and it damages things it shouldn’t be touching, whether it’s digging through the data on your PC, or doing something severe like corrupting important system files making you question just what is taking place. Malware is virulent software that pops up uninvited in to your PC and puts the stableness of the whole OS at risk. When you realize what has just taken place you could fear the worst, but there are things that you can do to stop the the risks of malware.

How can the malware be harmlessly cleaned from your system? Is it really that easy? Yes!

Malware removal tools are available online. These tools compare all of your data files to all known malware apps and searches for matches. After the malware removal tool locates a malware app functioning on your system, it lets you decide if you want to remove it or not. Unless the malware is implanted in a valuable data file, the most commonplace selection is to remove the invasive corruption.

After malware is inside your computer the optimum thing that might materialize is nothing at all, but the possibility for impending catastrophe is constantly there. So by running the online malware detecting tools, you will stay on top of this nasty problem and save your computer from any damage.

As a PC repair guy you need to know that it is very much less expensive to run your personal malware detecting software package than to have a pro come and repair the infection.

Computer Repair Preparation

Your computer has crashed, and you suspect you may have a major computer virus. What should you do? Most people immediately call the computer repair tech, and provide very little information except, “Let me know when it’s ready, and I need it working as soon as possible!” The truth is that being prepared with key information in advance will make the repair process go much smoother, and can even save you some money for the repairs in the long run.

Before you call for help, here’s some critical information you should compile for the computer technician repairing your computer. First, think about and write down all your computer needs:

If you think you have a virus, let the tech know which virus protection program you are using. Virus protection should be set up to automatically download updates to keep your virus program current, if it is not, say so. Your technician will want to know when you downloaded the last updates for the current virus protection program subscription.

If you develop sudden computer problems, try to write down what you were using the computer for, just before the problem occurred. If you get an error message or a blue screen, write down the information. The internet has a wealth of knowledge about computer problems. Sometimes you can just type in the error code and find a quick solution for your problem. Any information you can give the technician will expedite the repair, and therefore ultimately cost you less money for the repairs.

If you are having other computer problems, let the tech know any recent changes to your computer, including any applications you may have installed and any updates to the operating system. Whenever possible, keep track of updates to applications already installed on your computer, such as office programs, internet browsers, CD or DVD writing programs, photo editing programs, etc. He or she will also need to know all the hardware installed, or peripherals added to your computer such as printers, scanners, or digital cameras.

If you are having problems with the internet, be prepared to tell the tech the name of your internet provider. Note: Your internet provider is not always the same as your e-mail provider such as AOL or Yahoo or Hotmail or Live. Let him or her know where your DSL or cable modem is located or if you are on dial-up. You also need to be prepared to type in the security codes for the technician for your router if you have one on your home network.

Second, always keep passwords and security codes in a safe place. Memorized passwords are the best, but we are human and sometimes need to write them down. I recommend putting them on a notepad document on a floppy or flash drive that only you have access to. Do not leave the document on your computer, where hackers can find it or where it will get lost if your computer crashes.

Another suggestion is to get a small CD case to put all your software in. Don’t forget to include the product keys! The technician might need them to uninstall and reinstall drivers or applications that may or may not be the cause of your problems. You also want to keep all the documentation for you computer together. The technician may suggest upgrades, and will need to know what type of hardware you have, so they can make the correct suggestions or purchases for upgrades.

When you do call, ask about the technician’s qualifications, and if he or she will be able to help you fix all the problems you are having. Let the tech know whether it is operating system problems, application problems, or hardware problems, either inside or outside the computer.

If the the technician is repairing your computer on site, you should not hesitate to ask questions about what he or she is doing to complete repair. The tech should also be able tell you what they are doing in terms you understand, and if possible, show you how to prevent the problem from occurring again.

Finally, before the technician leaves, they should ask you if you have any other needs or questions. You may want to ask if there are any things you need to do to maintain your computer. Don’t be afraid to ask him or her how to do them or how to set up maintenance tasks to occur automatically. I like to follow up with my customers a couple of days later to see if any other needs arise since the original problems were repaired, and if they are happy with the service they received.

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!