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#1 2008-01-04 16:21:46

spankie
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Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Computer Technical Support

Got a problem or a question? Maybe I can help.

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#2 2008-02-21 10:37:24

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Computer Technical Support

Since no one has any questions I'll post some helpful tips.

If you are using a wireless router be sure you have secured it or anyone can use your connection free of charge if they are in range. You can do this several ways. I have on mine enable WEP security which requires a key before a computer is allowed to connect to it. I have also locked my router to only the MAC addresses of the computers I have. This makes it doubley secure.

Most routers also have a built in firewall and XP has one as well but I personally like have a third party firewall on my systems as it's more configurable and you can specify which applications can access the internet and restrict downloaded programs from automatically installing thus avoiding malware and viruses. You can still get some firewalls for free.

Always have an anti-virus software installed on your computer and make sure it 's definitions are up to date. Again there are several free ones out there.

Install the google tool bar or other pop-up blockers.

Use Microsoft's defender and Malicious Software Removal Tool to protect against spyware.

Download Microsofts Baseline Security Tool to check for other vulnerabilities on your Windows computers.

Keep your Windows up to date with recent patchs by using Windows Update.

Defrag your drives to improve performance when your computer seems slow. Also check available hard drive space. Remember with Windows at least 10% of the drive space must be free on the primary partition or windows will start acting up.

Don't believe those pop-up notices saying your computer may have a virus or that check if it's running slow they are usually spyware trying to get you to install it on your computer.

Don't believe any e-mails from Nigeria saying how they want to deposit money in your account and that they will give you a portion of the proceeds. Think about it. Why can't they just deposit it themselves in an offshore account.

Don't believe any emails from financial institutes asking you to update your security information, check with your bank first, as it might be a phishing attack trying to get tour password.

If someone offers you a job where you are to cash cheques or money oders in your account and then forward a portion of the funds to another country while keeping part for yourself think about it. It's a scam to take your money. Why do they need you as an intermediary in the process??

It's not a free prize if they keep asking you for money and you never entered a contest to begin with.

Last edited by spankie (2008-02-21 11:19:02)

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#3 2008-02-21 10:57:44

Dave
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Registered: 2007-12-27
Posts: 413

Re: Computer Technical Support

Spankie good advice

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#4 2008-02-22 10:53:07

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Computer Technical Support

Just a word of advice on New Operating Systems especially if they are from Microsoft. You will notice in the business world that a lot of companies are unwilling to run right out and get the latest version of Windows.

This is invariably caused by the fact that most new OS releases from Microsoft require a major upgrade of computer system. Companies aren't willing to replace systems that quickly or just to run the latest OS. Every new OS from Microsoft usually requires an upgrade of the processor, more memory and usually more hard drive space as well. That plus since Windows 2000 every new OS has changed from the one before it require people to relearn how to use it. This cost money for training.

A major problem with most new Microsoft OS's is that they are rushed into the market due to their advertising specifying an availability date. Every time they have done this they have run behind and then to save face have had to publish the software when it is still in efffect incomplete. This invariable leads to several service packs being required.

The usual rule for Microsoft is you wait to buy their latest software until they have at least released the first service pack.

By the way if you are running Vista and are frustrated by not all your hardware being compatible welcome to the club. This is another issue with a total remake of the OS which is they usually require new drivers to work with the new OS. Since the code for making these drivers isn't released till closer to the publish date it means for several months some of your hardware won't work until the updated drivers are created by the manufacturer.

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#5 2008-02-23 12:40:22

Dissident
Member
Registered: 2008-01-25
Posts: 144

Re: Computer Technical Support

And most importantly

If you computer won't boot up. Check to see if its plugged in. smile

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#6 2008-02-23 12:44:52

Dissident
Member
Registered: 2008-01-25
Posts: 144

Re: Computer Technical Support

oooohh me me me... I have a question Spankie

Is their any good ghosting programs out there? I was hoping freeware. smile

What do you back it up too and no i don't have tape. But I do have an external drive. Would that work.

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#7 2008-02-24 16:14:48

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Computer Technical Support

Symantec Ghost is probably one of the better imaging softwares available. There are other options that are free but require you to have a server. You can try open source software but then there are some risks involved as you can't be 100% sure they'll work correctly 100% of the time.

I myself bought a name brand system which had the ability to create Restore CD's so if I need to I can get my computer back to it's original state. This means losing any programs I have installed and any data but that's why I ensure I have copies of my important software and know where to find them. I also regularly backup my data.

Most CD and DVD software has backup capability as well, unfortunately, depending on the size of your hard drive it may require a large number of disks.

You can backup to any external drive just by copying but you will run into the issue of being unable to copy certain files due to them being in use by the operating system. This is why you need an imaging or backup software preferably because they know how to deal with open files. The main reason you can't back these files up is that they are locked by the operating system but what backup software does is make a copy of the file and then backs up the copy.

My system because it is a name brand allows me to backup either to CD, DVD or another drive using the provided software that came with it.

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#8 2008-02-26 09:45:35

Dissident
Member
Registered: 2008-01-25
Posts: 144

Re: Computer Technical Support

Okay thanks spankie, much appreciated. I will check out that symantec product. What would that software cost?

You system, you mean vista. I have xp. It allows a system restore. I set one right after my last reformat. Will that restore work? I have had restores not work on me. I just want a way i can start fresh every year or so. Maybe its not as critical with xp or vista but with 95/98 i found my computer ran much better after a reformat. But back in those days i played alot of games, i don't play any these days. Games i found played havoc with the OS.

I think i would use the ghost and backup to external drive. I should be able to restore from that drive no problem right?

I have heard some folks say they will run the operating system from the external drive. Is that a good idea or not? Is there any point to this?

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#9 2008-02-26 10:54:31

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Computer Technical Support

I have XP as well but my system is an Acer and the manufacturer includes software to make a restore CD which is basically the original install of the Operating System and any pre-installed applications. If I had to recover from a system failure that required a restore I would then have to re-install any of my other applications and specialty drivers as well as my data.

The restore that comes with XP allows you to revert back to a previous point on your computer. I had to use this once all ready as an application I installed caused some problems for my system. It basically reverts the system back to what it was on that date. So because it happened two days before I choose the restore from that date and ran it. The problem with this is that anything new you had installed since that date will no longer be there.

As for your problem with your computer running better after a reformat this could be due to many things. How many programs have you installed and removed over time, how many temp and un-needed files are cluttering your hard drive, and when was the last time you did a hard drive test or a defrag. These can all contribute to your machine getting sluggish. There are programs you can buy that will help you clean up these things.

I am not sure of the cost of Ghost so your best to shop around. What Ghost does is make an exact image of your drive at that moment in time. We used it a lot when I was working at School Boards as it is a quick way to return a system to normal after it has gotten corrupted or had a virus. You want to make sure that the computer has everything on it you might want to have when you re-image it before creating the image. Also obviously for different computers you need different images. If you create the ghost image on an external drive it should be ok to do a re-store from it as long as the BIOS sees the drive. In other words the computer has to be able to see the drive before the operating system comes up. Some older systems might not automatically see say a USB drive when booting.

I personally would not run my main operating system from an external drive as there can be issues if the drive letter changes which would cause a boot failure. There are tools that you could use that might address this issue by allowing you to specify which OS is on which drive letter but I like to keep things simple.

I know you can run Linux from pretty much anything, even a CD or USB Memory Stick as long as it's recognized as a bootable device.

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#10 2008-02-27 20:28:13

Dave
Member
Registered: 2007-12-27
Posts: 413

Re: Computer Technical Support

Spankie Need some advice.
I have always used Norton Internet Security usually the 3 user as my Step son has 2 PC's and I one. We split on it that way it is a lot cheaper and we both get coverage.
  There are some security ones out there cheaper but I always figure you get what you pay for. Norton has a substanual name.
  What are your thoughts on this and what would you recommend.

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#11 2008-02-27 20:50:24

scooter
Administrator
Registered: 2007-12-19
Posts: 247

Re: Computer Technical Support

Symantec's Norton Ghost is about $69.00.  I'm pretty sure you can order it directly from Symantec's website.

http://www.awltovhc.com/image-2787404-10499276

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#12 2008-02-28 09:05:05

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Computer Technical Support

scooter wrote:

Symantec's Norton Ghost is about $69.00.  I'm pretty sure you can order it directly from Symantec's website.

Some times computer stores have it on sale too though. There are also online sources that might sell for less.

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#13 2008-02-28 09:16:42

spankie
Member
Registered: 2008-01-01
Posts: 1350

Re: Computer Technical Support

Dave wrote:

Spankie Need some advice.
I have always used Norton Internet Security usually the 3 user as my Step son has 2 PC's and I one. We split on it that way it is a lot cheaper and we both get coverage.
  There are some security ones out there cheaper but I always figure you get what you pay for. Norton has a substantial name.
  What are your thoughts on this and what would you recommend.

I myself at home am running free software. I use AVG anti-virus and Comodo Firewall which are both good products. The only issue with Comodo some times is it's too secure in that depending how you have it configured you get a lot of pop-ups asking for approval for software to access the Internet but at least it gives you a good idea of what programs are trying to use the Internet.

Norton has always had good products but my issue with them is that in most cases you have to buy a new license for it every year or so or you no longer get updates. Without regular updates an anti-virus program is pretty much useless. The one good thing about it is that it incorporates a lot of applications into one package so you have less to install and don't have to do a lot of searching to find the individual software to do the same things.

I have a firewall software, an anti virus software, a pop-up blocker, an anti-phising software, etc. all by different companies. I also use any free security tools available from Microsoft or their affiliates.

In all it's really up to you. If you are happy with Norton and don't mind the price I'd say stay with it.

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#14 2008-02-28 14:50:56

Dave
Member
Registered: 2007-12-27
Posts: 413

Re: Computer Technical Support

Thanks Spankie

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