Archive for the ‘Computer Repairs’ Category
I recommend free versions of antivirus software to my residential clients. Free versions can prove just as powerful as the paid versions. I usually recommend FREE AVG. I have been using the free version of AVG for over 10 years and really like it’s protection. Lately, I have been testing out Microsoft’s free antivirus software called Microsoft Security Essentials. I have put this free version through the ringer and have come to really like it. Residential versions of Norton/Symantec and McAfee are, in my opinion, are junk. They consume high resources and are attacked more frequently. Not only are they troublesome to the home users, they cost a lot of money each year.
I want to give everyone a challenge. If you use Norton or McAfee on your home computer; uninstall it and try any one of the recommended antivirus programs. Let me know what your experience is like. I would like to think you will experience a smoother desktop environment, less problems with viruses, and more money in your wallet.
Here are are the FREE ANTI-VIRUS programs I recommend most:
What free antivirus software do you like and recommend?
If you are intersted in the Samsung Galaxy, here is a free one! The instructions are simple. Just jump on over to the Android Police and follow the instructions.
Have you ever seen this message on your Android phone? I have been an avid user of Android since the very first Android Google Phone; the T-Mobile G1. I am now using the T-Mobile G2 which is really a HTC Desire Z and I love it. Now I have my eyes set on the G2x. I have never really experienced any problems with my phones until the other day. The market would show I have several updates that needed to be installed. I’d click the “Update All” icon and wait for them all to download. This is where I started noticing a problem. All the installations were for some reason unsuccessful. After clicking on the Installation was unsuccessful notification I would get an error message similar to the one here that said “Installation Error: Couldn’t install on USB storage or SD Card.” As you can imagine this to be super frustrating. What’s this? An Angry Birds update? Awesome! WHAT?!?! NOOOO! It’s not updating! I tried several basic troubleshooting steps like powering down the phone and powering it back on, mounting and unmounting the SD card, pulling the battery and SD card and replacing; nothing.
Here is a simple tutorial on how to fix the problem without losing any of your data. Although you will not lose your data it is always good practice to back it up before tampering with it. Please follow these instructions to get rid of this annoying Android caused Error Message. As far as I am aware all Android phones are prone to this message at one point or another. The problem appears to stem from a corrupt app installation and the temporary/cache file needs to be cleared.
- Plug the phone into your computer via USB cable.
- Tap the “Turn on USB Storage” on your device.
- Copy the contents of your SD Card / “Removable Disk” to a safe place on your computer. *If you do not have a current backup of your data.
- Find and Open the .android_secure folder on your Android’s SD Card.
- Find the file named smdl2tmp1.asec and rename it to smdl2tmp1.asec_backup.
- Tap the “Turn off USB Storage” button on your phone.
- Unplug your phone, power it off, and power it back on.
Dell and HP are some of our favorite laptops to work on because of how easy the systems are to repair and their customer service is awesome! If you can get past the language barrier that is. Plus their support sites have just about every piece of information and software readily available for download. We worked on this Dell Inspiron 1440 which would not boot. Have you ever seen a computer boot up to a white blinking cursor? Nasty stuff right? No safe mode, no command prompt, no system restore, nothing.
First thing we think about is the data sitting on the drive and whether or not it is recoverable. Fortunately, we were able to back up all of the data sitting on the drive. The backup took nearly 15 hours combined. The drive was near death and the read / write speeds were terrible. We were finally able to backup the clients movies, music, pictures, documents, and everything else important. We performed the backup by pulling out the Western Digital hard drive and plugging it into a USB to IDE / SATA adapter. This tool is so important and makes life much easier when trying to get at information sitting on a drive. Simply plug in the old hard drive to the device, plug the device into a known working computer and within seconds you will have full access to the drive and can copy the files. Once you have the files in a safe spot you can play around with the old drive all you want. Ideally, everyone should already have a backup of their data but they don’t.
The problem we have seen recently with repairing newer laptops and desktops is the manufacturers not providing restorations discs for the computers. Manufacturers are putting the restoration software on secondary partitions on the drives which is fine until the drive completely fails; then what? Users rarely use the Restoration Disc creator software to burn the media onto disc before computers dies. If you are in need of restoration discs try calling your computer manufacturer to get a hold of them. In most cases the registered user can call up the manufacturer and demand they mail them a copy of the restoration discs free of charge. We called Dell and ask them to provide the discs but they needed us to provide the registered owners name, mailing address and phone number. This laptop has swapped hands a couple times but we were able to eventually track down all of the required information and one business day later we had the software in hand from Dell.
We ran several hard drive diagnostic tools and were not able to save the drive itself. Fortunately, hard drives are reasonably priced and it’s always cheaper to buy a new drive than to have the old drive physically repaired. We replaced the dead drive with a brand new one, restored the operating system (Windows 7), and restored the previously backed up personal files. The laptop is now ready to be returned to the owner. We are sure they will be happy with the system; it is better than new now!
Hot, Hot, Hot. A client’s HP Probook 6555b loaded with a 2.8GHz AMD Phenom II X2 N620 Dual-Core Mobile processor was shutting down while playing World of Warcraft. Actually, it didn’t really matter which game was being played. If the laptop was doing anything intense the machine would heat up and after time instantly power off. The experience was exactly like holding down the power button for 5 seconds; instant off. Ouch! What a pain it caused if right in the middle of something important and not being able to save first.
We used Core Temp to figure out what was happening. This is a free application which allows us to monitor the heat changes of a processor. We found the processor was spiking to almost 99° Celsius. OK, all you math wizards out there… what does this convert to Fahrenheit? That’s right 210°! Now that is HOT! Typically a laptop processor should remain somewhere between 50-65° C which is 122-149° F doing absolutely nothing. The temperatures may spike to 75° C maximum while working out.
Laptops as well as desktops have safety features built in which prevent the melting of your CPU. Many times the setting can be found in the BIOS. In this scenario the BIOS prevented the laptop CPU from failing due to intense heat by powering off the computer. We were able to determine the issue after pulling apart the system. Turns out the CPU/GPU Fan was not spinning fast enough. Once we replaced the fan we started seeing normal temperatures like those in the picture to the right. Usually failing fans give off hints like changes in noise. The pitches in the fan get high and low or even make grinding sounds bu this time everything sounded normal.
Keeping your PC free from dust and air cooled will help prolong the life of your processor. Fortunately the fan replacement cost was minimal in comparrison to a new processor or motherboard.
What’s the temperature of your PC?
Sometimes a dead computer can be fixed for as little as $50. Every computer in the world has a power supply. The power supply provides power to the motherboard and all other internal components such as processors, memory, fans, and hard drives. Typically power supplies come with a 3 year manufacturer warranty but usually last between 4-6 years. In Arizona we have seen that life expectancy be even lower. It seems like 3-5 years is more common. Maybe due to more dust? Who knows? Many factors need to be considered but this is a rough guess. It really all boils down to run time hours. Manufacturers give an estimated hour life expectancy on their power supplies some at 500,000+ hours some are in the millions. Point being…the more you have your computer powered on the faster it will die.
There are several symptoms to know if your power supply has failed or is starting to fail.
- Computer does not power on after you push the power button.
- Computer flashes a steady amber or green light after the power button is pushed.
- Computer powers on for 10-15 seconds then powers off.
- Computer randomly shuts down, reboots, or freezes.
- Power supply indicator light (on back) is not green while plugged into a known working power outlet.
We have been repairing so many computers that have dead power supplies. If you have the guts to pop open the case of your computer you can find the power supply typically at the top back position of the case. The big cable you plug into your wall outlet plugs directly into the power supply. It’s generally the biggest component inside of the case and is a big black or silver box. On the outside of the case you will see four phillips head screws on the outer edges. Pop out those 4 screws, unplug power supply cables from inside of the case and it should pop right out. Put in the new power supply, replace cables and screws and you are back in business.
Power supplies run anywhere from $50 to $150+. We need to be onsite to make this repair and are able to serve the entire United States. If you want to give it a shot yourself we will walk you through it over the phone or provide some helpful online step-by-step videos if you have another computer to view them from. We have seen several power supply replacement jobs in Goodyear, Avondale, Peoria, and Glendale Arizona. Most recently we visited Real Living Property For You. The receptionist PC was not powering on and we new right away what the problem was. We had a brand new 450W power supply in hand and installed it. The install took about 5 minutes and the computer was powered back on and running in no time.
What other symptoms have you seen with a bad power supply?
I am super excited to announce a new addition to our service list. Please join us in welcoming Unlimited Help Desk to iNFLUXPC. A 4000 sqft support center is located in Los Angeles. Our clients will love the instant technical support for a very low rate. Businesses of all sizes have the opportunity to take full advantage of this service. Many companies are not quite at the point in which they demand a full-time IT staff; so what do they do when they need help? Many companies call smaller IT companies like ourselves and pay high premiums to resolve their problems. This happens because the problem grow worse as time goes on. This solution allows our customers to call for anything, big or small, day or night. Calling for support often allows the upcoming big problems to turn out minor. Think of it like maintenance on a vehicle. The more often you care for a car by giving it oil changes, tire checks and baths; the less frequent you will see major problem arise.
A million jokes can be told about the communication barriers that exist between the computer user and technical support. We have eliminated this issue by keeping our support center inside of the United States. By eliminating this barrier we prove to have clear communication in addition to quick resolution times.
We offer our customers a dedicated toll free (1-800) number to contact our support center. This number does not mess around! You will be guided directly to a certified technician in under three minutes. What is that you are thinking? You say you work on all major holidays and into the late hours of the evening? While this may be a problem for your social life, this is not a problem for us! Our support center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year. Try it, you might like it. We’ll fix your issue any time or any day of the year.
Frustrations can arise quickly when a customer feels like her or she is being dragged in a circle for a solution to the problem. We understand this frustration, which is why we have placed a policy to escalate you to a more knowledgeable technician if the problem isn’t resolved after seven minutes. There are very few limitations to the Help Desk service. Our technicians will reset passwords, make domain changes, setup e-mail accounts or configure printers; as long as your system is available online. They do not stop there. They have been trained to remove infections caused by viruses and malware.
The introductory pricing is set at only $25 per user per month. This is a extraordinary deal for any client. Whether it be individuals, small offices or larger corporations; this service will prove financial savings for anyone’s pocket.
Please contact us by phone if you just can’t believe your eyes!