ComTech: IT Support Stirling
TwitterFacebookGoogle

How often do you check your backups?


Recently I had a client (call him Jeff) ask me would I be able to take a look at his Windows 7 laptop which had become infected with a virus.  After inspecting the laptop it was obvious that it was in a sorry state of repair so I suggested to Jeff that the quickest way to recover the system would be to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the operating system.

“I did a backup last week to an external hard drive so go ahead and wipe it” I was told.  Great I thought as not having to recover files saves a lot of time so I happily wiped the hard drive and reinstalled Windows 7.  Jeff then went to get his external hard drive.  When he returned he plugged it in and it wasn’t recognised. I then plugged it into my netbook (Linux based) and again nothing happened.  Houston we have a problem!!

Unbeknown to Jeff since he had made his last backup the hard drive had been dropped and all of his files could no longer be accessed.  I did suggest sending it off to a lab to try and retrieve the files but when I told him it would cost hundreds he didn’t look very well!! He had made the common mistake of making backups but not checking them.

Now Jeff is a home customer and home customers in my experience hardly ever take backups (never mind checking them) but I also see this happening in the workplace.  A lot of businesses I deal with do some kinds of backups (one backs up to floppy disks!!) but hardly any of them ever check them.  When I do suggest they check them I am usually told there is no need.  Personally I would rather know there is a problem before I need to try and restore your systems from backups that may or may not be corrupt in some form.

So people yes take your backups but for your own sake check them too!!

About the Author

P1020114

Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter

 

How not to get a virus


Lately I am seeing more and more people coming to me with a virus on their systems.  After some basic checking I then find out that they have not carried out basic maintenance which would stop them getting a virus in the first place.  Follow the tips below to reduce the chances of getting a virus.

1. Install antivirus and make sure it is working.  The antivirus I would recommend for either home or business is Bit Defender.  I use this on all my own systems and my clients and am very impressed by it.

2. Make sure your version of windows has all the relevant updates installed.

3. Do not open emails from anyone you don’t recognise.  Most viruses come through emails and the moment you open it your system becomes comprimised.

4. Switch to a more secure web  browser.  Your browser is your first line of defence when a virus tries to attack your system from the internet.  Do yourself a favour and switch from Internet Explorer to either Firefox of Chrome.

5. When online be careful of which sites you visit.  Do not go to a site you don’t recognise.

6. Switch from Windows to Linux.  About 90% of viruses are written for Windows and the rest for Mac.  Linux has no known virus issues and is inherently a more secure operating system.

7. Be very careful when downloading torrents.  The websites most torrents reside on can be a haven for viruses.  If you do download a torrent then run a full scan the minute the download is finished.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

 

 

How to refresh your PC


We have all been there. Your computer is slowing down, is old(ish) and you are thinking about changing it for a new model. Do you really need to spend hundred of pounds on a new shiny model or is there a cheaper way to reclaim your computers lost performance?

So before you go spending all that money lets try to refresh your PC.  Because most people run some form of Windows we will concentrate on that.

1. Run a complete virus and spyware scan. I can recommend Avast Free (antivirus) and Spybot -Search and Destroy (spyware) for this. This area is of course personal choice but I would recommend these to any of my clients.

2. Get rid of any old programs you have installed but hardly use. Word of warning here – only get rid of programs that you have installed and you know what they do. If you don’t know what a specific program does then my advice is to leave it alone or you could mess up your system.

3. Use disk clean up. This is a tool within Windows that helps you to free up hard disk space by deleting unnecessary files. It can be found by right clicking on the icon for your computers hard disk. The tool itself is safe but there are three items you need to be wary of – Office Setup files, compress old files and Hibernation File Cleaner. Personally I would leave these items well alone just incase.

4. Defragmentation. Your windows hard disk is like a filing cabinet in the way it stores data. Over time some files will be moved into other locations or worse, files will get split up and stored in diffent locations. When this happens it takes the operating system longer to retrieve all the parts of a file and therefore slows down your system. When you run the defrag program it basically orders your files allowing the operating system to locate the files quicker. It can be run by locating your hard drive in Computer and right clicking. Choose the tools tab and click the “Defragment now” button.

5. Reinstalling your operating system. At some point you may have so much “junk” on your system that it is quicker and easier to reinstall the operating system from scratch. For this you will need a windows installation disk and your activation code. However if your PC / laptop came with Windows pre-installed after 2001 there is a good chance that you should be able to go back to factory settings- usually by accessing your BIOS. You can access your BIOS by checking your screen prior to windows loading and pressing the appropriate buttons; something like F2 or Delete.

I would advise you to try to refresh your PC before buying a new one. If however you still require more performance we will discuss hardware upgrades next time.

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website www.comtech247.net where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

If you found this blog useful then why not sign up to my RSS Feed for news, tutorials, views and general techie stuff!!

 

 

CyberChimps
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera
WP Like Button Plugin by Free WordPress Templates