There are a multitude of reasons why a computer won’t turn on. It could be anything from a harmless glitch to full motherboard failure. However, the best troubleshooting step is to fully turn off the system by holding the power button down for six seconds, then unplugging the system. (Remove the battery if it is a laptop with a removable battery.) Then attempt to turn the computer back on. If this fails, we can help with additional troubleshooting and diagnose the problem.
This depends on what the problem is, which we can diagnose in the shop. As noted above, if it is a minor glitch in the operating system, turning off the system and then unplugging it is the best first troubleshooting step. If this fails, there is a chance that the LCD screen has gone out. Although we do not do work on laptop screens, there is a good chance that your data can still be recovered.
We recommend reinstalling the offending program if you are able to, especially if the system freezes with only the one program. However, if the freezing is random or progressively gets worse, there is a chance that the hard drive is failing. Occasional freezing is often a sign that the hard drive, where all of your data is stored, is beginning to become corrupted or is failing altogether. We can assist you in backing up your data and replacing the hard drive if it is needed.
As a rule, yes. If a program that you know and use often is telling you that it has an update available, it is usually safe to click “yes” and follow the prompts to update it. Common programs that may ask for an update are Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, iTunes, Java, and Malwarebytes.
However, keep in mind that if a website or popup from a website is telling you to “Click here to update” a program, it is likely a scam that will install malware on your system. When in doubt, do not update.
Absolutely not! There are hundreds of companies that cold-call people saying they are from Microsoft or Apple and that your computer is in danger. Or your computer will get a noisy, scary-looking pop-up telling you to call a phone number. This is always a complete scam. They will request access to your computer, and once they are in, they will point out “security issues” or “viruses” that are nonexistent. They will then attempt to sell you a package to repair the nonexistent issue and add paid security. The scammers usually ask for anywhere from $100 to $600 to “fix” problems that don’t exist in the first place! They use scary and often intimidating tactics to persuade you that your computer is vulnerable. If you have already paid one of these companies, call your bank or credit card company to request a block on the charge. If a pop-up is blocking you from doing anything else on the computer, restart the computer to see if that resolves the problem, and then run a virus scan.
At our downtown location, we can assess and clean up any threats on your computer and ensure that the scammers no longer have access to your system. For more information on these tech support scams, visit https://blog.malwarebytes.org/tech-support-scams/.
There are several ways you can keep yourself safe from malware and viruses:
• Do not click on advertising in websites, especially those promising “giveaways” or say they will speed up your computer.
• Do not open email attachments that look unfamiliar or are from people you do not know.
• Use an Adblocker extension in your Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer browser.
• Be sure that your antivirus is up to date and protecting you. Invest in a $25 per year secondary malware scanner such as Malwarebytes AntiMalware to help protect your computer.
We can assist you in ensuring your computer is free of viruses and junkware and that you have sufficient security in place.
There are two primary means of backing up your photos and files. An onsite backup, which usually consists of an external hard drive, is plugged into your computer and automatically backs up your data regularly. In the case of computer failure, the data can be copied from the external drive onto a new PC or a new hard drive. This is the minimum backup that we recommend to home and residential customers.
Another backup option is off-site backup, which generally is what people refer to as “cloud backup.” Companies such as Crashplan, Mozy, and Carbonite offer subscriptions to storage space on their online website. When you sign up, a program is downloaded that helps your computer upload all of your data to the cloud. This is beneficial because if your home or business is faced with a break-in or a fire, the data will not be compromised. It is saved securely on the cloud website.
At the Dr. Networking location in Ashland, we can help set up an onsite or offsite backup on your computer to ensure that your valuable data is safe.
Computers tend to slow down as they get older. This is generally due to a combination of software and hardware issues. As time goes on, your computer accumulates more and more data, much of it background junk data from browsing the internet. Also, as more programs are installed, the number of programs running out of sight in the background increases, taking up more processing and memory power.
Older computers unfortunately become obsolete after a handful of years, and age mixed with slow processors and other hardware can take a toll.
At the Dr. Networking downtown office, we can do a complete tune-up and optimization of your computer to rule out software issues slowing your computer down. This includes cleaning out junk and trash files, limiting the number of programs running in the background, and repairing registry errors. We also run cleaners and scanners that check your computer for malware or junkware.
Another option is to upgrade your computer’s hard drive from a regular mechanical hard drive to a new, super-fast solid state drive (SSD). With this upgrade, the computer is able to access all data almost instantly, which can easily increase computer speed tenfold. To request more information, please call our shop at (541) 488-8765.
If these symptoms are happening to a laptop, it is a sign that the internal elements are not being cooled sufficiently by the fan. Be sure to use your laptop on a flat surface, such as a desk, or on a big book with the fan vents exposed if you are on a bed or other soft surface. Clothes, blankets, or pillows that block the fan vents can lead to a laptop getting too hot and subsequently powering itself off to protect itself from physical damage. We can help clean out the dust from the fans of most models of laptops. If these symptoms are happening to a desktop, we can also clean out the dust and dirt to ensure proper air flow.
Unfortunately, no. Although we can help reinstall any free programs that can be found on the internet, paid programs and those requiring a license will need to be provided to us or repurchased for us to reinstall them. Although data itself, such as pictures, music, and documents, can be copied from one place to another, programs must be reinstalled from scratch when changing computers.
This must be answered on a case-by-case basis, because it depends on the age and specifications of your computer and on how intensive the repair would be. However, a good rule of thumb is that if the cost of the repair is close to what the cost of a new computer would be, it is best to choose the new computer. We offer data-transfer services to get your information moved to a new computer. We are also an electronics recycling drop-off site, so we can safely recycle your old computer or help destroy the hard drive once the data transfer is complete.