Kaspersky Online Scanner

virusremovaltoolKasperky again offers a free online scanner for virus removal. If you think you have a virus, I recommend you scan it with their scanner, among other things like Malwarebytes and Superantispyware.

You can keep on top of viruses yourself if you want by reading this blog and having a decent anti-virus, free or otherwise, installed on your computer.

Or if you prefer, you can let Ducktoes help you, in our shop, onsite in your home or business, or remotely. We are virus experts and can get rid of any virus without reformatting if we catch soon enough.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

A Great Interview with Kaspersky

Here’s a great interview with the anti-virus pioneer Kaspersky.

He says that the cyber-criminal created viruses are coming from China, South America, and Russia.

His anti-virus software is rated the highest on many comparative tests.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

What Brands I Recommend

As I said in my last post, I am worried about all kinds and brands of hard drives. I no longer think they are made well. I buy Seagate usually.

I like Intel boards and processors. I like Cooler Master and Antec cases. I like Asus motherboards too. I hardly see any ASUS computers in our repair shop so I’m thinking they might be better made.

The power jacks on Toshiba laptops are notoriously bad. We fix a lot of those and it’s expensive $200 or more to fix.

I like Dell’s customer service. They have more drivers and support on their website than most of the others. They answer their phone. This makes me want to buy their computers. They seem to care more for customers post-sale. HP is fine too in customer service. Sony’s customer service isn’t home when you call. Their website has zippo. Toshiba is also also out of office with few drivers and support on their websites.

I used to love Lenovo computers (IBM) but my husband has had a lot of problems with his laptop so I’m wondering about them too now. They do look well-built from the inside, instead of a mass of plastic and wires every which way.

I love my new Epson printer. It was inexpensive and easy to set up. Older HP printers were the best but now come with so much software attached they slow down the computers they are attached too.

Kingsgate ram seems reliable.

LG monitors are good.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Hard Drives are Flimsy

I can’t say this often enough. Hard drives are vulnerable and flimsy. They are the most common piece of hardware to go bad, so you, a computer owner, are under constant threat of losing your data. So never, ever, go without backing up your data. You can not rely on your hard drive! Just because it is here and working today, doesn’t mean it will be there and working tomorrow. You need to be proactive and make sure you have your valuable data backed up…do not put this off.

I say this because every week I order hard drives, many hard drives, from my wholesalers, to put into people’s laptops and desktops. Their original hard drives have gone bad. A few hard drives stop spinning, are as dead as a doornail, a paperweight, an inert mass of machinery. These we can not any retrieve data from, even with our most expensive data recovery software. They are toast. They have to sent to a clean room to have the data rescued. This costs beaucoup bucks.

What are the most common types of hard drives to go bad? In my experience, judging only from what I buy every week: notebook or laptop hard drives. I buy many every week. They are so skinny and so vulnerable to mishap, to being dropped, overheated, overfilled, and bumped. They fry. They click. They make weird grinding noises. They stop dead. Notebook drives are the flimsiest, but desktop hard drives also go bad on a regular basis.

What can you do? You can back up your data on a regular basis. Then you’ll only lose what you’ve changed or added since the last backup. This will prevent data loss.

To prevent loss of programs, you should keep the cd or dvd disks of the software you buy and their key codes to prove you’ve bought them. If you’ve downloaded them online, you can print out the email you received upon purchase and put it somewhere you can find it. You can make an image of your hard drive which contains all data and programs just as they are on the day you make the image. Or have your tech shop make an image for you and put in on an external drive for you.

If you don’t know how to backup your hard drive, then learn from a techy friend, or hire a tech to do it for you or show you how. Take responsibility for your data, make sure you have it for the future.

If you do not keep your key codes and disks to the programs you own, it is unreasonable to expect your tech or tech repair shop to reinstall them when you need a new hard drive. We do not have copies to all the software you own. There are thousands, maybe millions, of different kinds of software. They may well-known to you in your field or leisure activity, whether it’s real estate or law or photography or the newest gaming software, but we are not in your field or leisure activity and not privy to your software. We usually can figure out any software if you need help running it. But as for installing it, even if we do have the disks, we can not install them without their key codes. The software itself will not allow it usually or there is a trial period after which the software stops working.

Some clients do not understand when we can’t install their software, they think we have more ability than we do to override keycodes, or have hidden software up our sleeves, are magical. We aren’t. We can’t. We can not outsmart Microsoft and even if we could, it would be unwise, if not illegal. They are ways of downloading software without paying for it, but don’t ask us to do it. It takes a lot of time and is illegal. If you pay someone to download illegal software for you, you might as well buy the software legally.

So back up, back up now and on a regular basis.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Create a Baseline with Windows Process Explorer

Here’s a good computer repair and anti-spyware strategy. When your computer is working well or is brand new and set up just how you want it, then create a baseline with Windows Sysinternals Process Explorer. Create a log of the processes. Then if things go awry or your computer starts to run more slowly, you’ll be able to run the Process Monitor again, create a new log, and compare the two. You’ll see which processes are new and may be causing problems.

Here’s how to do it.
1. Download Process Explorer from Sysinternals on the Microsoft site.
2. After you’ve saved it to your computer, run it. You’ll have to extract it first. Below is what the unzip tool Winrar looks like. Click the “Extract” button.

Unzip the Zip File

3. Run the program.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather