Tips For Choosing a Quality Computer Repair Company

Tip #1 – Experience Counts
First of all, when choosing a computer repair company, you need to remember that experience counts. Do some research or find out directly from the company how long they have been in business. You want to ensure that the company and its technicians that are working on your computer have plenty of experience so you can feel safe in their hands.

Tip #2 – Look for Qualified Technicians
The technicians from the company will be the ones actually doing the computer repair or the computer setup that you need. This means you need to ensure that the technicians they send out to your home or business are well qualified. Ask the company about their technicians, the requirements their technicians have to meet, and more.

Tip #3 – Gauge Their Customer Service
What I would say you should look for, is a technician who is willing to listen to your problem, and then ask “YOU” enough questions to get a firm understanding about your computer problem. Many customers have a hard time trying to describe their problem and just need a little guidance. You should start feeling at ease when the technician begins to explain the symptoms and some possible causes back to you in words that make sense. I have repaired enough computers (many thousands) that I can probably get enough information out of you to describe the scenario that led to your problem, as well as a fair estimate.

Dothan PC
2442 Fortner Street DohanAL36301 USA 
 • 334-596-3250

Spyware, Virus, Malware, Trojan and Disappearing files

More and more bad viruses, spyware, trojans and rootkits are hiding on servers throughout the internet. Just waiting to jump on your laptop or desktop and wreak havock with your Facebook, Farmville, email and daily internet usage. Lately, one of the bugs is hiding the folders and files from the user. This happens after the user inadvertently tries to purchase the “fake” security software for $59. These fake pop ups and spyware ads come in all sorts of flavors like: AntiMalwareSuite, AntiVirus2011, AntiMalwareGuard, AntiVirusSentry, BestsellerAntivirus, BugDoctor, Computer Defender 2011, DriveCleaner, Easy SpyRemover, Error Scan and Fix, ESpywareRemoval, Evidence Eliminator, Fix Tool, FullSystemProtection, Home Antivirus, InternetAntiSpy, KillAllSpyware, Malware Stopper, MalwarePatrol Pro, MS Antispyware, NetSpyProtector, PC Security, Privacy Protection Suite, Registry Defender Platinum, Spy Reaper, SpyNoMore. This is just a very small sample of the different names they use. Scared yet? Well, don’t be scared. Take action with your antivirus/antispyware program by keeping it updated daily and doing full system scans when you are not using the computer or laptop. I often get the question: How often should I run a scan? My answer is: If you use your laptop or pc daily, accessing the internet, then run a scan of some sort (antivirus, antispyware) while you’re sleeping and check on it in the morning. Another common question is: Who is doing this and where does it come from? My answer: I don’t know who or where the who lives, but I do know that spyware and viruses sit on servers all over the world (unintentionally) and folks get these infections when they visit these servers. Stay alert to how your computer is responding to your input. If something seems a little off (like deja vu, from The Matrix) stop what you’re doing and scan with your security programs immediately. If you’re sick and tired of doing this, then bring it to and we’ll do it for you.

Optimize Folders

If you have a folder filled with many of the same kind of file (MP3s, pictures, etc.), then you probably notice that it can be a little…well, sluggish, sometimes when it comes to displaying everything.

That green status bar up top couldn’t be moving any slower, could it?

Did you know that you can optimize folders to make them load their contents faster?

Here’s how!

Just Right-Click on the folder you want to speed up and click Properties. Select the Customize tab. Under “Optimize this folder for” choose the setting that best describes the contents of the folder. If you’re looking to affect the entire folder and subfolders, put a check next to “Also apply this template to all subfolders”.

Tip courtesy of:

Maintaining your computer

Maintaining your computer is important to making sure that it is running at its optimal level. It also helps to make sure that it remains as healthy as the day you bought it. From installing the right virus protection software from a reputable IT support company to regularly defragmenting your hard drive, we’ve got the best tips on how keep your computer in top shape.

1. Defragmenting your computer regularly: Defragmenting your computer is easy and should be done every 3-4 months. When you use your computer files can become scattered and are rewritten to the hard drive. Defragmenting means that the computer goes through its system and cleans everything out, packing files tightly making it perform better and will encounter less errors.

2. Keep your PC clean: When we clean we often skip over things like the computer. As a result dust can accumulate at the back of the system and cause it to overheat. It’s a good idea to make sure that your computer is clean to avoid this happening.

3. Check for any errors: You can do this by using a software to check for errors that may be occurring in your hard drive. By detecting these early you can arrange for them to be fixed or you can look at having your hard drive replaced before it crashes if it looks like that may happen due to all of the errors occurring. This should be done on a regular basis, for instance once a month.

4. Keep your hard drive clean and tidy: It’s a good idea to keep track of your files and programs by getting rid of anything you don’t use or no longer want. Remember that programs and certain software needs to be un-installed so this process needs to be completed correctly to make sure it is wiped from the computer.

5. Back up your files and preferably your entire system: It is very easy for computers to crash at pivotal moments when you are working on something very important. The last thing you want is to lose all of that data. Buy an external hard drive and back up all of your important files. If possible, back up your entire system on a regular basis.

6. Keep your protection software up to date: It is very important that you keep all of your software for your computer up to date. Some Business IT Support Companies can also send out reminders when you need to update your software if you have purchased your virus protection from them. All software needs to be updated regularly so keep on top of this. These are a few keys ways that you can maintain your computer at its optimal level. By following the steps above you should find that your computer stays in top shape for many years after purchase. I hope our tips have given you some helpful advice on steps you can take to ensure the longevity of your computer system.

Lightning Protection for Your Computer

No matter how many times I see a lightning-damaged computer, I can’t help but feel for the folks in Dothan, Alabama. You would think (or at least I would think) that living in ‘Lightning Central’, people would understand the importance of having a good surge protector connected to any electronic devices they cherish.

My favorite example is the case of a local attorney who brought in his computer D.O.A. The motherboard was dead, the modem was dead and the video card was dead. In fact, the only functioning component was his hard drive. We told him it looked suspiciously like lightning damage. The attorney assured us it could not possibly be, as the computer had been connected to a ‘very expensive’ surge protector. In fact, it had cost him around sixty dollars (or so he said).

We built him new computer, transferred his data and gave him his new system. He called later that day, saying he could not get the new computer configured on his network, and could we come out and resolve the network issues. When I got to his office and sorted out the network problem, I took a close look at his ‘sixty dollar surge protector’. Do you know what I found? A $2.99 Home Depot-variety outlet strip! This item did not even pretend to offer surge protection! No wonder his computer had been snuffed in the last electrical storm.

In point of fact, many products that pretend to offer surge protection do very little to protect you against lightning damage. Additionally, if your surge protector doesn’t filter your phone line connection – and you have a phone line connected to your modem – you’re ‘working without a net’. Lightning produces a very high-voltage, short-duration spike that is incredibly destructive to electronics. You shouldn’t be concerned about the lightning strike that hits your house – because that one will most likely destroy every bit of electronics and low-voltage wiring in your home – and you should simply be glad you got out alive. The lightning strike you should be worried about is the one that strikes your neighbor’s house across the street and down three houses. That’s the one that will send a lovely high-voltage spike right across the earth, up your phone line, into your modem and that just could be ‘all she wrote’ for your computer.

Realistically, if you spent less than twenty dollars on a surge protector, it is probably inadequate. Surge Protectors that work in places like California (where they have little or no lightning) simply don’t protect you here in the Lone Star State. True electrical ‘surges’ where the voltage rarely exceeds 25,000 volts, are much simpler to protect against than lightning, where the voltage can reach 50,000,000 (that’s right – fifty million) volts. The best Surge Protectors are made by companies who specialize in this technology, such as Panamax, APC and Tripp Lite. They are typically a bit more expensive than other brands, but isn’t your computer worth it?

What about a Battery Backup (Uninterruptible Power Supply – UPS) for your system? Since the prices have dropped significantly, it is generally a good idea to have a battery backup on any system where the loss of your data would be a major inconvenience. Does having a UPS eliminate the need for a Surge Protector? Not in my office — and home. I prefer to have a good Surge Protector plugged into the wall with the UPS plugged into the Surge Protector. Components that do not require battery backup can be plugged into the Surge Protector and still be protected from lightning damage. This affords maximum protection for your valuable hardware. When you invest in a UPS – again – invest in one produced by a company that specializes in this technology like APC.

Even a power loss of a few milliseconds can power off your computer and corrupt whatever documents are open at the time. Accordingly, the only components you need to connect to the UPS are your computer and monitor. Everything else can be plugged into the Surge Protector, as you only need to keep the computer and monitor running long enough to shut down the computer properly in the event of a power failure. How big a UPS should you buy? That depends on three things: Your monitor, how long you want the system to run in the absence of power – and your budget. The larger your monitor, the bigger your UPS needs to be, as the monitor pulls a great deal of current and will deplete the reserves of the UPS quickly. Choose a UPS that fits your requirements accordingly.

A side note for DSL subscribers: For one reason or another, DSL modems do not like to be plugged into Surge Protectors and will lose your DSL signal periodically as a result. There is no elegant solution to this, as to not have your DSL modem protected is to risk damage to your computer. When your DSL connection fails, simply turn off the Surge Protector, wait about a minute and turn it back on. This may be inconvenient, but it is considerably less expensive than replacing your computer.

So you don’t want to invest in a surge protector? You can always do what many Texans do during electrical storms and simply unplug everything from the wall when a storm is imminent.

But what if you’re not home…