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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.

Malware And The Removal Of The Gooligan Virus

March 28, 2017 Blog

An Israeli security firm has revealed that over one million Google accounts have been compromised by malware called Gooligan. The firm, Check Point, has been tracking this malware for over a year. That’s where malware And the removal of the Gooligan Virus come in.

Malware And The Removal Of The Gooligan Virus

The Gooligan virus was first detected in the SnapPea application. SnapPea, which can be downloaded on Windows from Cnet, was infected by the hackers with malicious malware. When users physically connected their Android devices to the computer, SnapPea downloaded apps to the device, with the user’s permission. However, the malware also downloads fake apps to the connected smartphone, which then gain root access to the device and collect personal information and Google authentication tokens, which can be used to log into Google accounts. The malware then relates this information back to its servers.

The malicious apps, which look legitimate, can also be installed from third-party app sites and by clicking on links in phishing attacks. Gooligan even leaves fake reviews on these apps to get people to download them.

How do you know if your account was hacked? Check Point, which has been working with Google on this issue, has developed a tool to check whether the email address associated with your account has been compromised. Simply enter your email address here.

If your account has been breached, you need to change your passwords immediately. You also need to do a clean operating system install on your device, through an operation called “flashing.” Contact a technician for help with that.

For more virus and malware removal tips, just contact us.

How a Screen Replacement Can Save You a Fortune

March 10, 2017 Blog

Screen damage is more common than you might think. Laptops are meant for being able to take them on the go. As such, they get dropped, banged into things, and objects fall on them. If your screen becomes damaged, you can look at a screen replacement to save you a lot of money.

How a Screen Replacement Can Save You a Fortune

Save Money Over Full Replacement

The cost of computers have come down over the years, but that doesn’t mean you want to buy one until you’re absolutely ready for a new one. It’s going to be a lot more cost effective to replace the screen than the entire computer. You can ask for a quote on a screen replacement before you schedule the repair. This will allow you to make the cost comparison for yourself.

Enhance Productivity

Your productivity has probably dropped considerably since you damaged your screen. There may be a hole in the middle, a crack in the center, or various other issues. Rather than trying to deal with it, you can schedule a repair. It could be back in your hands quickly, so there’s no need to wait for a long return. Plus, you are probably going to get more work done once you have a full working screen again.

Computers and tablets are finicky. Although they can help us get a lot of work done, they have been known to break from time to time. A screen is one of the easiest fixes, so money shouldn’t be what’s standing in your way of a repair.

Contact us today to learn more about a screen replacement for your computer.

Professional Virus Removal is Worth the Cost

February 28, 2017 Malware and Virus Issues

As a computer user, you have probably heard of anti-virus software programs that can be installed and used to help prevent, and get rid of, viruses and malware on your computer. Even though it is certainly a good idea to use an anti-virus program to help protect your computer, however, you will probably need assistance with professional virus removal if your computer is already infected.

Professional Virus Removal is Worth the Cost

It can be difficult to install virus removal software programs — or to do much of anything — on your computer when you already have a virus. This means that the process of installing a commercial program and using it to clean out your computer and get rid of viruses and other issues might be more challenging than you think.

Additionally, you should know that is viruses are not fully removed from your computer, they can cause you a lot of problems. Some steal your personal information and put you at risk, which is not a good thing in today’s age of online banking and otherwise entering all of your personal info into your PC. Other programs just slow down your computer and make it difficult or impossible to use as you normally would, which can be a big pain if you use your computer for business, school or pleasure.

By hiring a professional who really understands viruses and how to get rid of them — as well as how to prevent them from popping back up on your computer again — you can make sure that you take care of your computer virus problem in the best way possible. Luckily, if you contact us at PC Geeks, we can help you clean out your computer, install anti-virus software to prevent viruses in the future and so much more.

The Bluescreen Error is Not Your Computer’s Death Sentence

February 10, 2017 Blog

Nothing instills more fear in a computer user than seeing a bright blue computer screen displaying technical gibberish that begins with the ominous sentence, “A problem has been detected and windows have been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.” This Bluescreen Error is commonly called the “Blue Screen of Death”, or “BSoD” for short.

The Bluescreen Error is Not Your Computer's Death Sentence

When Windows comes across a problem with the computer’s hardware or the hardware driver software that it cannot recover from, the operating system will stop working. The computer will shut down and when it reboots it will display a STOP Error Screen. If you can, take a photo of the screen using a camera because you can’t grab a screen capture when the computer is in this state. Doing an internet search for the STOP Code can give you a clue as to what caused the crash.

Some reasons for blue screen errors are:

Failing hardware – Computers have many components that can fail such as the power supply and the hard drive. Sometimes there is a hint that a something is not running correctly and should be checked. For instance, a wobbly display may be a sign that you need a new monitor or that the motherboard is about to fail. At other times the hardware fails with no warning other than a blue screen error.

New hardware – If you recently installed new hardware on your computer and you get a blue screen error, it may not have been properly installed or it might not be compatible with your computer. There is also the possibility that the new hardware is defective.

Driver issues – Drivers are pieces of computer code that allow the hardware to communicate with the operating system. If the drivers are not up to date or are not compatible, you may get a blue screen error. This is especially likely if you are having problems after recently installing new hardware.

Overheating – If your computer is running too hot it may suddenly shut down to prevent damage to its components. Your computer’s running parts generate heat so to keep it running cool your computer should be in a well-ventilated area that is not next to a heat source. Other possibilities are that the fan that keeps the inside of your computer cool may have stopped working or it might be clogged with dust or pet hair.

Malware infections – Malware is malicious software that can embed itself into the computer’s operating system that might cause your computer to crash. Malware can also mimic a real blue screen error in order to scam you. The screen will urge you to call a technical support hotline or direct you to a website for more information, both of which are not part of a real blue screen error. Do not call the phone number or visit the website!

If you are having problems with a blue screen error, please contact us so we can help get your computer running again.