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Frayed Power Cords: The Most Common Laptop Problem

August 10, 2017 Blog

Laptops can suffer from a variety of problems with their parts, the most common of which is a frayed power cord. Dealing with this dangerous situation can be done either on your own or with the help of a computer repair specialist.

Frayed Power Cords: The Most Common Laptop Problem

Causes Of This Problem

Frayed power cords are caused by a variety of situations including:

  • Wrapping the cord too tightly
  • Tugging the cord out of the socket too hard
  • Natural wear and tear
  • Animals attacking the cords as they dangle

Whatever the cause of frayed power cords, they can be dangerous. Sparks and other problems can occur as the frayed wires touch and create reactions. It can also make it impossible for your laptop to charge properly. Fixing this problem is relatively easy if you know how to approach it properly.

Fixing The Problem

There are several ways to manage this problem. The easiest is to wrap the cord up with electrical tape and hope the wires are connected properly. Some people will use silicone sealant and painter’s tape to do the same task, sealing the wire and keeping it from causing dangerous fire situations.

Probably the easiest way to fix the problem is to just buy a new power cord. Replacement power cards are typically fairly inexpensive on various websites, though these cords are more likely to fray than the proper cord. There’s also a change the charge may be slightly off, causing problems with your battery.

If you need help repairing your frayed power cord or need someone who can get you a proper replacement one, please contact us today.

Save Time and Money with a Screen Replacement

July 28, 2017 Blog

So, your laptop took a fall but appears alright—until your turn it on. A spider web of black and white now covers the screen and you can’t see anything. The day’s productivity has literally slid through your fingers.

Save Time and Money with a Screen Replacement

Impulsively, if you can afford it, you might be tempted to run to your nearest retailer to replace your laptop and get back on track on a new machine—this often isn’t the best idea.

The time spent moving your files from your trusty laptop to a new one, installing new files, and replacing applications simply isn’t worth it. Not to mention the cost of replacing the laptop altogether is a cost many can’t, or simply don’t want to afford.

Instead, the best idea is to keep a screen replacement in mind. A screen replacement will not only save you all that time but a big chunk of cash as well.

A screen replacement takes a very short time period to complete, and at a small fraction of the cost to replace the computer. You get to keep your work, applications, files, games, pictures—everything.

So what can you do until your local PC Geeks location opens to replace a screen? Consider connecting the laptop to a television using a spare HDMI cable. Most laptops come with an HDMI port to connect to a TV. Alternatively, you can also connect the laptop to a desktop monitor with a VGA connector, as many laptops also come with these ports as well.

If you need help replacing a laptop screen, or know someone else who does, feel free to contact us so we can get you right back up and be running in no time.

New Laptop Parts Breathe Life Into an Aging PC

July 15, 2017 Blog

Everyone knows how it feels to have a slow computer dragging you down. You lift the lid of your laptop and hit the power button, waiting eagerly for your machine to boot up so you can finish that important presentation. Thirty seconds pass. Nothing. A minute. Still nothing. After five minutes of staring at that loathsome “Please wait…” screen, you wonder if there is anything you can do to put a little pep in your laptop’s step. New Laptop Parts Breathe Life Into an Aging PC

New Laptop Parts Breathe Life Into an Aging PC

Fortunately, there are a couple of cost-effective ways to upgrade parts in most older laptops to help speed things up a bit.

SSD

An old hard drive is one of the most common culprits behind a slow laptop, and an SSD, or solid-state drive, is one of the best remedies for this issue.

Unlike a traditional hard drive, an SSD has no moving parts inside, meaning that your data is manipulated by electrons moving at near the speed of light, as opposed to slow, spinning disks.

This means that a laptop equipped with an SSD will boot up and open programs in seconds, rather than minutes.

Having a drive with no moving parts has other benefits too, such as increased reliability (an SSD is less likely to fail than a hard drive) and less noise, as well as longer battery life.

SSD’s with a 240 Gigabyte capacity are generally affordable, and higher capacities are available if you need the extra storage.

RAM

Does your laptop seem to slow down when running multiple programs? If so, your laptop is probably in need of a RAM (Random Access Memory) upgrade.

RAM is the fast memory that temporarily stores data from your hard drive or SSD for quicker access times.

Having too little RAM means that your laptop is not able to load enough data to the RAM, which can result in slowdowns during multitasking.

For most people, four gigabytes of RAM is the minimum capacity recommended for regular use. If your laptop has one or two gigabytes of RAM, for example, you may want to consider an upgrade.

Having plenty of RAM is important, as it will make your laptop feel more responsive when opening multiple tabs in your favorite web browser or using several programs at once.

Where to get help with upgrades

If you don’t feel comfortable fiddling with your computer’s innards, the pros at PC Geeks are happy to help! Feel free to contact us if you have questions or concerns.

Top 3 Virus Removal Tips for Infected Machines

June 30, 2017 Blog

Did you know that roughly 25 percent of P.C.s are vulnerable to malware and viruses? Malware and virus problems are easily the most common issues computer techs and consultants have to deal with. So to help you return your system to functional operation as quickly as possible, we’ve got a short list of the top virus removal tips you can use wherever you are.

Top 3 Virus Removal Tips for Infected Machines

1.) Run Safe Mode and Do a Basic Cleanup

Often the primary objective of malware and viruses is to scrape your personal information and transmit it to the hacker who created the virus or to make your computer take specific actions, like sending infected emails. One of the best ways to prevent this is to simply restart your P.C. in Safe Mode, disconnect from the internet, and then run your installed anti-malware suite. This can help protect you from a “too late” scenario, where the intended damage is already done.

2.) Clean Up and Delete Your Temporary Files

While you might think that just clearing your browser’s temporary files will do the trick, we recommend going the extra mile to clear everything. First, you’ll want to restart your computer in Safe Mode. You can usually find your temp file in the ‘Users’ directory in the C:\ drive, but most operating systems allow you to easily search for the file. Doing this will help ensure that any virus has less access to your applications, any personal information you’ve entered on the web, and might even easier cleanup viruses you’ve collected through casual web browsing.

3.) Wipe Your Computer With a Clean Installation

This is effectively the nuclear option, often only used when a computer is infected well beyond easy recovery — but that happens more often than you think. It’s a quick way to effectively remove any and all viruses from your computer, without any lingering concerns. Luckily, newer operating systems make this process on everyday users easier than it has been in the past. In Windows 8 and 10, for example, there’s a simple option to either refresh or reset your P.C. that does the heavy lifting for you.

Of course, there are much more virus removal options than just these three tricks! And we encourage anyone with infected hardware or software to contact us to learn more about deep-cleaning these common problems. Remember one in four computers if vulnerable! Don’t let yours be (or stay) one of them.

Why Your Windows Updates Won’t Install

June 19, 2017 Blog

Windows updates are designed to bring your computer up-to-date and help it run more smoothly. Unfortunately, these updates may refuse to install and put your computer at risk. Why does this happen?

Why Your Windows Updates Won't Install

Lack Of Hard Drive Room

This is probably the most common problem that causes issues with installing Windows updates. It might seem silly, but a lack of hard drive room will make it impossible for your updates to install. Try to have at least one GB or more open at all times on your computer. Failure to do so will likely cause the computer to run poorly or make it impossible to install updates.

Conflicting Drivers

Updates to Windows may end up conflicting with your hardware drivers and cause some problems. Your automatic updater will note this clash and elect not to install the updates. Installing them in a situation like this could cause the computer to become unstable. As a result, your Windows updates may remain stubbornly installed until you get updated hardware.

Virus Infection

Some viruses are designed to attack Windows updater and infect it through your internet connection. The updater will detect these hacking attempts and disconnect in order to protect itself from getting infected. When infection of these updating systems does occur, it can put them out of commission until you get the viruses cleaned off your hard drive.

If you’ve done everything you can to solve these problems and your updates still won’t run, please contact us. We can help find a solution to your update problems and get your computer back up to speed.

Diagnosing Black Screen Problems

June 9, 2017 Blog

When a computer crashes to a black screen, it is very troubling because it’s hard to pin-point what is happening. Here are a few common causes of this concern and how to manage them, with or without professional computer repair.

Diagnosing Black Screen Problems

Compatibility Problems

Occasionally screen driver updates cause the black screen of death because the new video driver is no longer compatible with the old screen. The fix here is to turn off driver updates, buy a video card that is compatible with the screen, install a driver that is compatible with the old screen, or simply buy a new screen.

Concerns With Software

Video software that takes up the full screen (such as that in certain games or movie programs) can cause a hiccup in the visual display that freezes up your computer temporarily.

This problem is usually concurrent with playing a game or watching a video and is easy enough to fix. Simply restart your computer and your screen should display again soon.

Worn Display Cords

Occasionally cords that connect the computer to the screen can get frayed. These broken connections can make a screen flicker and even cause it to go completely black.

Reconnect the cord where it connects to the computer and the screen. If the screen comes back on or flickers like it’s trying to display, it’s time to get new display cords.

Other problems, such as an overheating hard drive, screen hardware malfunction, and power supply malfunctions will require the skills of a professional. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help restoring your computer to its proper operating order.

Computer Repair or Replacement?

June 9, 2017 Blog

If you properly care for your computer, it will last for many years, but sometimes your computer requires more than repairs, it needs to be replaced. Here are seven indications you are in need of computer repair or replacement.

Computer Repair or Replacement?

1.Trouble Downloading Latest Operation System

If you have owned a computer for at least one year, you know that updates come and go. Computer updates are important because they keep your computer protected from viruses and enhances your user experience. If your computer has issues downloading the latest operating system upgrade, apps, or other software, this is an indication that your PC may need to be replaced. This issue could be caused by virus intrusion, malware, spyware, and similar instances. In this situation, a system restore may help you keep your computer functioning long enough to use until you purchase a new one.

2. Daily Use of Your Computer

If you use your computer for school and work purposes, there is a good chance you use it more than once on a daily basis. Constant use of a computer causes wear and tear, and will eventually mean replacing your computer. A business without a computer could mean lost revenue. For school, it could mean getting behind on important assignments and projects.

3. Slow Running Computer

Malware, spyware, adware, and viruses all cause a computer to run slower than normal. A few fixes include cleaning the hard drive and reinstalling the operating system. Depending on how old your computer is, you may not be able to download new programs. Age is a definite determining factor of replacing your current computer.

4. Weird Sounds and Noises

Weird sounds and strange noises could be an indication that your hard drive is failing. Your computer may frequently make noises and sounds due to the fan, the CD/DVD drive, or the hard drive itself, but if you notice sounds and noises you’ve never heard before, it could mean a new computer purchase is in the near future.

5. Error Messages

Receiving numerous error messages is a sign that your computer could be on its way to technology afterlife. Accompanying these error messages may be computer freezing and the blue screen of death. A lot of factors could cause these error messages, including corrupt files, viruses, and missing files.

6. Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

If you have an old computer, one that has Windows ME, 95, or 98, you may want to consider purchasing a newer computer. A lot of people still own computers with these operating systems, and they work well enough to check and send emails and browse the Internet, but downloading new applications and programs are out of the question.

7. Upgrading vs. Buying a New Computer

Many people consider upgrading their computer system instead of purchasing a new one to save money. Upgrading is a great option if it does not cost more money to upgrade rather than buy a new computer. It would be better to invest in a new, up-to-date computer system than invest in a computer that has limited capabilities.

These seven signs will help you determine if your computer needs to be repaired or replaced. Even though your computer may hold sentimental value, you may have to part ways, purchase a new computer, and use your old computer for simpler tasks. Contact us today and let us help with all your computer needs.

Managing That Terrible Moment When The “Blue Screen Of Death” Appears

May 4, 2017 Blog

It’s happened to all of us when everything stops on our computer and falls to the blue screen of death. This moment is terrifying for any computer owner and can seem impossible to solve. Thankfully, managing this terrible moment is not as hard as you might think. You can diagnose the causes of this problem and even solve them on your own.

Managing That Terrible Moment When The “Blue Screen Of Death” Appears

The Causes Of The Blue Screen Of Death

Hardware problems usually cause the blue screen of death, such as processor problems and display driver concerns. Typically the blue screen of death will indicate to you what caused the problem and create a “minidump” file about the crash that is saved to your desktop before your computer restarts.

Check out this post to get an idea of what caused the blue screen of death. The problem may be hard to understand because of the technical terms used, but solving the problem is typically as easy as running a few simple diagnostic tests.

Fixing The Blue Screen Of Death

There are a few different ways that you can identify the causes of the blue screen of death and ways in which you can fix them, including:

  • Identifying new hardware or programs that might have caused the problem and uninstalling them if necessary
  • Undoing the change you made just before the blue screen of death appeared
  • Freeing up hard drive room to prevent data corruption or an inability to run
  • Scan for and remove viruses that might impact your hardware and software
  • Install all new updates and drivers for your hardware
  • Restore your BIOS settings to the default level to eliminate any errors

There are many other ways of fixing the blue screen of death, but most of these are too technical to implement on your own. If you’re having a hard time eliminating the blue screen of death from your computer and need help, please contact us today.

Symptoms Your DC Power Jack Is Failing

April 21, 2017 Blog

One of the most important parts of any good laptop is the DC power jack. This item allows you to charge your battery and provides you with a steady source of electricity. If it fails, your laptop will lose power and eventually be unable to turn on. Here are a few symptoms of DC power jack failure.

Symptoms Your DC Power Jack Is Failing

The Power Flickers On And Off

A good DC power jack will provide your laptop with a consistent power supply. However, if your power flickers on and off or requires you to wiggle your cord in the socket to maintain a connection, there’s a problem with the jack. This can be a dangerous situation if any kind of sparks occurs.

Your Battery Won’t Charge

Even if your power supply doesn’t show the above-mentioned symptoms, the DC jack could still be going out if your battery won’t charge. A steady supply of power should charge your battery and provide it with a boost in its charge. Failure to charge indicates it is not translating DC power into a proper battery charge.

It Only Works At A Specific Angle

When a DC power jack gets loose, it may change position on your laptop. As a result, you may have to angle your power cord to get any kind of charge. This will put a strain on your power cord and DC jack and can cause damage to both. Getting these problems fixed as soon as possible is crucial.

If you believe your DC power jack is failing and you need help getting it repaired, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.

Signs That Your Computer May be in Need of Virus and Malware Removal

April 11, 2017 Malware and Virus Issues

Almost every computer owner fears that their computer will become infected with viruses and malware, which could eventually cause their computer to crash. However, not many people know when they are in need of virus and malware removal on their computer. Here are a few of the signs you can look out for that can indicate that your computer may be infected by malware or a virus.

Signs That Your Computer May be in Need of Virus and Malware Removal

Computer Freezes or Crashes Frequently

One problem you will want to be on the lookout for is your computer freezing and/or crashing frequently. While you may occasionally experience problems that lead your computer to crash, if this is happening on a regular, or daily, basis, you will need to have your computer looked at as soon as possible. This either indicates the presence of viruses on your computer, or some other technical problem. Either way, you will need to have it seen to professionally.

Your Computer is Slow

Another sign that you have viruses on your computer is if your computer has suddenly begun operating excruciatingly slowly. While computers do tend to slow down as they age, this should happen gradually, not overnight. This slowing down also should not occur in a fairly new computer. If you suddenly have issues with your computer’s speed, then it is likely that some sort of virus is the culprit.

Pop-ups Everywhere

Not that long ago, pop-ups were a common occurrence on the internet. However, superior internet browsers and anti-virus software have made pop-ups a less frequent occurrence. If you are constantly seeing pop-ups online, or worse, you are encountering them when your browser is not even open, then the cause is likely some sort of malware, adware, or spyware that you will need to have seen to immediately.

Viruses and malware can not only be annoying to deal with, but they can also be destructive to your computer. This makes it important that you are aware of their presence on your computer, and that you have them removed as soon as possible after detecting them. If you believe there may be a viruses or malware on your computer, contact us for help in removing them from your device.