Are you having problems with your home or office PCs?

With over 12 years of experience handling all manner of computer related issues, we are confident that we can help you with your issues.

System Repairs

We can perform hardware repairs on systems of all types including home or office PCs, servers and notebook computers.

Hard Drive Repair - The worst problem your computer can have, and the hardest to recover from, is hard drive failures. Repair of this type of issue isn't as simple as installing a new hard drive; afterward you still have to get the computer back up and running. This means not only recovering important data but also reinstalling all of your programs, drivers, and important updates.

If you don't have a comprehensive backup plan and you lose your hard drive, all of your data may be irrecoverable. People often underestimate the pain of losing all of their files. This can include office related files that were built up over the course of years and would take a lot of work or time to rebuild, or irreplacable digital photos of family or special occasions. It is vitally important to make sure your important files is protected against drive failure.

If you hear strange noises coming from your computer, it should be investigated immediately, as drive failures are often predicted by odd sounds. It is always better, less costly, and less painful to identify potential hard drive failures before they actually occur than afterward.

Registry Repair - Registry problems are another common repair issue, often caused by malware or other destructive software, a misbehaving uninstaller for an application, and incorrect system shut down or restart. This issue is most easily and seamlessly repaired if your system has "System Restore" turned on. Users often turn this feature off to conserve hard drive space. I highly recommend that it is left on. If more space is required, either purchase a new and bigger hard drive, or reduce the amount of space allocated to system restore, but turning it off completely isn't a good solution. Registry problems can manifest in a number of ways, but one of the most common is the blue screen of death (see below).

File System Repair - Another common cause of the BSoD, is corruption of the "file system", which is the logical structures on your storage devices, like your hard drive or flash drive, that allow your data to be stored and retrieved. Minor corruption, the most common, is generally repairable with little to no data loss. Occasionally corruption occurs that windows can not repair, then the drive must be reformatted and a full os reinstall performed. This is another example of a situation in which a full system backup is very helpful.

Power Problems - If you experience power problems at your locations, including both "brownouts", where your power doesn't fully go out but the lights dim considerably, and outages, even quick flickers, a Uninterruptible Power Supply (or UPS) device is highly recommended. It is important to select a UPS of the right capacity for your needs and to connect and configure it optimally to protect your valuable office equipment. We can assist you with the selection and the best configuration, hardware and software, for your UPS. The use of a UPS can often significantly reduce the occurance of filesystem corruption due to improper system shutdown.

Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) - This is a screen that is shown by windows when it encounters a critical problem that it can not recover from. This can be a rare or common intermittant issue, or it can occur every time you try to start your computer. If it is intermittant, and you can start and use your computer sometimes, it is always helpful to the repair technician if you can log the information relevant to the issue causing the BSoD. This can help us track down and repair the underlying issue.

Note: You may not actually get to see the blue screen of death, as windows, by default, is configured to dump a very small amount of memory to the hard drive and automatically restart. This can happen so fast, that you never see the blue screen, and thus the very important information. The idea behind this is that the blue screen of death was a fluke occurance, and you wouldn't need to be bothered with the details. However, in reality, it is rarely a fluke and is usually indicative of issues that need to be corrected. To turn off this "automatic restart", and I highly recommend that you do, follow these instructions:

Windows XP:
Right click on "My Computer" and select the "Properties" menu item. On the dialog that comes up select the "Advanced" tab. Left click on the third "Settings" button, the one in the "Startup and Recovery" section. Deselect the "Automatically restart" checkbox. Left click on "Ok".

Windows Vista:
Right click on "Computer" and select the "Properties" menu item. On the left hand side of the dialog that comes up left click on "Advanced System Properties". Left click on the third "Settings" button, the one in the "Startup and Recovery" section. Deselect the "Automatically restart" checkbox. Left click on "Ok".

Once the blue screen occurs and you copy down the relevant information, you can then either reset your computer or turn the power off for 10 seconds and then turn it back on to restart it.

Virus/Spyware Protection

A leading cause of down time is viruses, worms, spyware and adware. These items, collectively called "malware", can do anything from causing annoying popups to logging your keystrokes (and sending your credit card information, banking login and password, etc to a malicious party over the internet) to rendering your computer unusably slow.

Viruses / Worms - This type of infection are the oldest type.  Viruses aren't really that much of a threat these days, compared to worms, which are a decendant of viruses.  The main difference between the two is viruses require human interaction to spread, like moving an infected floppy or flash drive from one computer to another and running the infected file on the destination computer. Worms, on the other hand, are self spreading. They exploit weaknesses in software like the operating system, web browser, e-mail client, java runtime, or flash.  Even if you keep your operating system up to date, you can still be  infected if your software is vulnerable. We can help tighten up security on your systems and make them much harder to infect. 

Once on your system, this type of infection can have any number of effects: Everything from a simple prank like making your buttons run away from your mouse pointer to recording your keystrokes and sending them to a malicious third part on the internet (which could compromise banking or credit card information) or encrypting important files on your hard drive and extorting you for the key to decrypt them.

Spyware / Adware - This type of infection is much newer than viruses or worms. The main difference is indicated by the name, spyware runs in the backgrounds and generally tracks your internet activity and can either perform keylogging functionality or report your internet browsing habits which is then used by adware to send targeted ads in the form of popups.  These functions may, or may not, be performed by the same infection.

We Can Help - We can clean the infections from your PC, help you get set up with with an effective anti-malware suite and show you some ways to avoid getting infected in the first place. Remember: There is no program that can keep your computer clean, only a program that can help YOU keep your computer clean. Safe surfing habits, care in handling attachments (even from people you know!), and keeping your anti-malware and operating systems up to date will keep your computer safe and clean. Malware is a tremendous problem for many users of Windows PCs today, but that doesn't have to include you.

Backups

Users of computers often forget about the importance of backing up their data until they actually lose it all. As an exercise, imagine that your computer has become completely inoperable and try to determine how painful would be the loss of your data. Would you lose irreplacable family pictures? Would you lose days of hard work or financial records? How long would it take to rebuild this information? If the thought of this scares you, give us a call and we can help you set up an effective backup to help prevent it from occuring. Backup solutions don't have to be expensive or tedious to be effective, if you need help selecting the right solution we can help.

Operating System Reinstalls

This should always be a last resort, but sometimes your operating system needs to be reinstalled. Reasons for this could include hard drive failure or a machine that has become too infected to clean in a cost effective manner. When this does happen, we can help you get your recoverable data saved, the operating system, drivers, and all OS updates (a VERY important step!) reinstalled.