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Tip 1 - Fix Common Computer Problems

If your computer:

  • is not performing simple tasks the same way it did yesterday, and it has been on continuously since yesterday
  • is running slowly
  • seems to lock up more than normal
  • starts producing error screens from Windows or the programs you are running
  • shuts down programs for no apparent reason
  • is not allowing you to send and/or receive email as you normally do, or you get a “cannot find server” page

Close everything and re-boot.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, try
Cleaning out temporary files
Running an online virus scan
Doing a sweep for spyware and adware

If you’re still having problems, call a professional.

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Tip 2 - If you get a 'blue screen':

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, write down as much of the message as you can, and turn off the PC.  Call a professional right away. 

You may have a damaged hard drive.  Further use of the PC may damage your personal data even more.  This window also indicates possible severe errors in Windows that have not affected the hard drive.  In either case, it is likely that extensive work needs to be done to recover your personal data and get your PC back to operating condition.

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Tip 3 - How to install Windows Vista® on your PC:

STRONG ADVICEBuy a new hard drive for your PC and install it as the primary hard drive.  Use your current drive as the secondary drive.  This way, if you forgot to back something up, you will be able to find it on your secondary drive after installing Vista on the new drive.

First, run the Windows Vista Advisor by clicking here.

Determine which version of Vista you should get by clicking here.

If at all possible, perform a clean installation of Vista.  The reason for a clean installation is that if you load Vista on top of your previous version of Windows, some leftover files, viruses, and other stuff may interfere with Vista running properly.  This is another reason to buy a new primary hard drive.

You are now ready to proceed:

  • Save all of your personal and business data to a CD, DVD, or external hard drive, even if you have purchased and installed a new primary drive.  Make sure you get all pictures, Favorites, music, you’re my Documents folder, financial data, and e-mail files.
  • Gather together all of your program CDs
  • Download and store any specific low-level system updates (such as BIOS upgrades) before you start loading Vista.  Running the Advisor will give you advice on where to go to get them.
  • Install the firmware updates (BIOS) first.
  • Upgrade your hardware if necessary.
  • Load and run the Vista DVD or open the file you downloaded for installing Vista.
  • There is a process at the start of the Vista installation that will ask if you want to format the hard drive.  Run that process to wipe everything off the drive.
  • Finish installing Vista by following the instructions the installer gives you.
  • Install any and all drivers the Advisor told you to get.
  • Install your Internet security programs and make sure you download all updates.
  • Download and install all Windows Updates.
  • Install your applications.
  • Reload your personal and business data from the backup.  Remember, if you forgot to back something up, it’s still on your secondary drive.
  • Enjoy your new operating system!

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When to Call a Professional:

  • Your current computer just doesn’t support your needs any more and you aren’t sure what to buy
  • You get the blue screen of death (BSOD)
  • You’re worried about security
  • You want to upgrade to a new operating system
  • You’re considering migrating from a PC to a MAC or vice versa and you want an unbiased analysis to help you decide
  • You’re about to purchase your first computer
  • You have trouble with your wireless connection
  • Your friend sits down at your computer (connected to a DSL or cable modem) and says, “My dial up connection is faster than this!”
  • You order DSL or cable service and don’t know how to set it up
  • Your computer won’t boot and it makes a constant clicking or grinding sound
  • You have mission-critical or other indispensable data and need an automated backup solution

Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

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