Please, Please, Please Backup

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See these moving parts inside the hard drive?  They can stop working in a second.  The little arm that looks like an old-fashioned turntable tone arm can get stuck to the side.  The platters can stop spinning.  The circuitry can chip or age and short out.  So please backup your hard drives.

It can be traumatic for clients to lose all their photos, files, business contacts; it’s really stressful for us when we try to retrieve them from a defunct hard drive knowing what the client could lose.  Be easy on yourself and us at Ducktoes and make backing up an everyday or every week thing.  Then we can all breath a sigh of relief.   We hate to tell people their hard drives are toast or deader than a doornail and they’ve lost everything.  Or that they have to mail their hard drive to to a clean room and spend $1200 or more and, even if they are willing, that doesn’t always work.

Go right this second and attach your external hard drive and back up your computer.  Thank you.

Or make it part of your every year computer maintenance and repair check up and bring it in to Ducktoes.  We can automate the process for you.

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Highest-Calibre Computer Repair Possible

A Vision of Quality Computer Repair

As the owner of Ducktoes Computer Services, I want  to do the best computer repair we know how to do.  Fortunately, I have awesome skilled techs who share this vision.


Yes, Awesome Techs

I have hired the most experienced, honest, friendly techs that have come to Ducktoes with a wide variety of skills.  Others have come and learned on the job.  Really, they are awesome.

Ducktoes has:

  • Virus removal techs who can remove almost any virus without reformatting.
  • Data recovery techs who can recover data and photos from dying hard drives.
  • Software techs who can find the most obscure and difficult drivers on the internet and fix corrupted profiles and operating systems.
  • Hardware troubleshooting techs who can diagnose the trickiest, most difficult hardware problems and find solutions that work and are cost-effective.
  • Laptop techs who can solder jacks onto motherboards, change out screens and keyboards, fix broken hinges and bezels.
  • Hardware techs who can build high-quality, fast, and reliable custom desktops.


Want to do Even Better

I also have techs who want to do even better.  They want to do the highest-calibre computer repair possible and make sure every computer we fix is going out in the best shape possible. That’s partly what I mean when I say they share my vision.


Ducktoes Techs have instituted quality computer checks.


Quality Checks

To that end we’ve instituted quality checks.  I tried to start this several times before but then the shop got too busy and we weren’t able to keep it up for more than a couple of days. This time the idea has come from a couple of techs themselves. Together we’re determined.

Checking Station and Form

We’ve made a checking station upstairs and every laptop and desktop must be checked to see if the repair was effective with all known issues resolved. It should also work well and be as fast as possible for its age and condition.  Now we also have a form to fill-out to check off the most basic and important components and performance to make sure no problem slips by unnoticed.

Come and see our quality check station and form for yourself. Come and try out our repair services.

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The Best Anti-Viruses

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According to the latest comparative testing of anti-virus products by Virus Bulletin, an independent anti-malware and anti-virus testing and review bulletin, two did remarkably better than the others.

Coranti from Japan outflanked others including  highly-rated antiviruses such as G-Data, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, and E-set.  It did better than the three A’s from Europe too.  The three A’s are AVG, Avira, and Avast that we usually wax on about at Ducktoes, being good as well as free for home use.  The rest did well on the reactive tests, but less well on the proactive. So we’re adding it to the Ducktoes anti-virus cocktail in our lab to see how it does.  You can try it too.  There’s a 30 day free trial.   I couldn’t find prices on their website.  Here is their website, by the way:

If you have viruses and would like help please visit Ducktoes, your Calgary anti-virus experts.

Here’s the Virus Bulletin site if you’re interested.  It’s worth the subscription if you want to know the latest and greatest about anti-viruses.

Proactive means finding new viruses in the wild before the anti-virus company has developed an antidote based on the virus’s definition. Coranti seems to excel at that.

The other that did well is part of a optimizing and cleaning product, Zeobit. I don’t much about Zeobit but I’m really interested. Here is their website,

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Cybercrime UKash Virus

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Helen, a friendly, new-to-computers, 85-year-old woman, stands at the Ducktoes’s Computer Shop counter. She smiles awkwardly, more of a grimace than a smile. I know Helen, she bought a used computer from me about a year ago. At first she learned how to click the mouse, then she started playing solitaire, then I showed her how to do email, now she Skypes her children in Toronto and Newfoundland, and lately has started talking to her bridge group on Facebook. She’s told me she feels much less alone now that she can connect to her friends and family on the computer.

“Hey, Helen,” I say, “Nice to see you.”

Her grimace-smile fades, moisture come to her eyes. “The police say I’ve done something wrong on my computer,” she says, her right cheek involuntarily twitching. “I told you I didn’t know what I’m doing. Now they think I’m a terrorist.”

I hand her the tissue box. “I doubt that, Helen.”

She takes out a tissue and dabs at the corners of her eyes. “I have to buy a gift card at Canadian Tire and send it to the RCMP.”

I feel sorry for her and anger rises in my throat. I cough. “Since when does the RCMP let terrorists off the hook with a Canadian Tire gift card?”

She looks up, surprised. “Now that you mention it,” she says, “I did wonder about that.”

“How absurd,” I say. “Everyone knows they prefer Tim Horton’s gift cards.”

Now she laughs.

It’s a virus,” I say, “the Cybercrime UKash virus.”

“Thank goodness, it’s only that” she says. “I was worried I couldn’t Skype anymore.” She grins.  “And really don’t you think the police like Starbucks better now?”

We both laugh and make plans for George my delivery driver to pick up her computer the next morning and so we can remove the virus.

Screenshot of Cybercrime virus

This is what it looks like.



So if you see this warning on your computer, don’t go buy a gift card for the police. It isn’t from the police, it’s from criminals. Criminals that won’t be able to go to Canadian Tire to get out of their crimes either once they are caught.

Ducktoes can remove this virus for you and you won’t have to wait a week or two. We can do it today at our shop or access it from anywhere to fix viruses or other problems remotely. We’re Calgary Virus Removal experts.  Call 403-219-3031 or drop it by the shop at 902 Centre St. N.

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Be Careful when Downloading AVG from Google

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I like AVG…no bones about it. And I recommend it to my clients because it’s easy to use and it’s reliable and now with version 9.0 it’s also faster again. On the comparative tests at, AVG Free removed 97% of the viruses. I have clients–with teenage sons— who used to hire me every six months to clean their computers of malware, I convinced them to try AVG and voila, two years later, and they still haven’t needed me to clean viruses again. I know, amazing!! And so much easier on the budget than computer repair bills.

If a client calls and asks me how to get AVG for their computer, I tell them to search for AVG on Google, but this week a client named Anna accidentally downloaded a virus from Google instead. Among all the legitimate links for AVG in her Google search results, she managed to click on a link that lead to Antivirus 2010, a rogue anti-virus which I remove several times a week from other clients’ computers.

Here’s where she clicked:

Don't download this one!

Don't download this one!

All the rest of the links are good. Look for or Or you can use the one I use from CNET’s Since it’s Cnet, you know it’s safe. Just scroll down further in the Google search results for AVG.

Be careful out there, it’s a wild web!!

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