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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.

Understanding Malware and Virus Removal Terminology

January 30, 2017 Malware and Virus Issues

Malware and virus removal can be a complicated subject with a lot of terminologies that someone who has not studied computer security will generally not understand. This post will help you understand some of the terminology used when talking about malware and virus removal.

Understanding malware and virus removal terminologyThe term malware means malicious software; the term is a catch-all term that refers to many different types of malicious computer infections. A virus is a kind of malware and is a malicious program that is hidden inside of another program. A virus goes from file to file infecting many programs like a human virus goes from cell to cell.

A worm is a type of malware that replicates itself. Worms need no one to open files or perform any actions for their spread. A computer worm is a program that stands by itself while a virus infects another program. A rootkit is a set of computer software that allows unauthorized access to computer systems. A rootkit could be installed remotely on a machine and allow the unauthorized person access to your computer system. The administrator’s access to your computer is called root. Root has a similar meaning to the administrator.

Another type of malware is a Trojan horse. A Trojan horse pretends to be a valuable or wanted program or media file. When you try to use the program or media file that you think you downloaded, you will end up obtaining some sort of malware.

A different sort of malware than the mostly file destructive type of programs above is spyware. Spyware operates by gaining information on you and your computer for malicious purposes. One of the ways that spyware works is through a keylogger.  A keylogger works by recording your typing and program usage and transferring that information to someone else to use. Spyware can be even more dangerous than other types of malware as it can be used to steal valuable personal and financial information. If you have concerns for you PC regarding malware or virus removal please contact us.

Windows 10 is Still Available and Upgrading is a Click a Way

January 16, 2017 System Optimization

So, you debated and dithered and held off on upgrading to Windows 10. Maybe you heard complaints about the latest version, or someone told you that the newest version had bugs, or you just really, really liked the version you have. However, the free Windows upgrade is gone just like the lazy days of summer; literally, the free Windows upgrade ended July 29.

Windows 10 is Still Available and a Windows Upgrade is Easy to Download

Fortunately, for those who want to or need to upgrade, Windows makes Version 10 available for a one-time fee of $120. And it’s a snap to download.

Sure, free is always better, but if you apply the cost-per-use formula, the price is mere pennies. The average person spends at least 7 hours a day at their computer. Assuming you aren’t working on your computer every day, that means that the first-year cost of a Windows 10 upgrade is about .46 a day or less than 7 cents an hour.

When you order, don’t assume Windows 10 is one-size-fits-all. You need to know which version you currently have before you complete your Windows upgrade.

Not sure which Windows version your computer is operating? To find out, click on Start, right-click on Computer and choose Properties. If you’re now using Windows 7 Pro, for example, you must choose Windows 10 Pro for your upgrade. This Windows upgrade is not compatible with Windows Vista. You can also contact one of our PC Geeks locations for help with the upgrade.

To get started, go to Microsoft’s Window 10 home page and download the upgrade to either your computer or a USB.

Of course, if you have a condition that requires you to use your computer’s assistive technologies – such as high contrast on your screen or a narrator which reads text aloud – then a Windows 10 is still free.

Things to Consider When Selecting Laptop Parts for a Gaming Laptop

December 30, 2016 System Optimization

As our world becomes more mobile, so do our hobbies, and that is certainly the case when it comes to PC gaming. Many gamers no longer prefer being chained to a 50-pound desktop gaming rig in one location and prefer the flexibility that comes from being mobile with a gaming laptop. Pre-built laptops, however, often skimp on parts to increase battery life and reduce weight, making them unsuitable performance-wise for gaming. A gaming laptop that is custom-built with hand-picked laptop parts is ideal. Here are some things to consider when selecting laptop parts for a gaming laptop.Things to Consider When Selecting Laptop Parts for a Gaming Laptop

Make the Graphics Card a Priority

Any computer – desktop or laptop – is only as good as its weakest part, and a graphics card should certainly be a priority in a gaming laptop. Most new games would run a graphics card in a pre-built laptop ragged, but gamers who are custom building a gaming laptop should go for the best graphics card they can afford. In today’s market, a graphics card like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 800 series is the bare minimum choice for an adequate gaming laptop, while gamers who are willing to pay a little more should consider 900 series or 10 series.

Pair the Hard Drive with a Solid State Drive

A 1 TB hard drive will give gamers a good amount of storage, but speed is a factor with games now and a slow, standard HDD won’t do the trick on its own. Anyone who is picking out laptop parts for a gaming laptop should consider pairing the HDD with a smaller but faster solid state drive to keep games running without lagging frame rates.

Upgrading Later Won’t Be Easy

Let’s face it – parts for gaming laptops will be expensive. But the idea of going with older parts now with the plan of upgrading down the line is not a certainty when it comes to laptops. Building a gaming laptop with parts that are already older and less powerful than what is already on the market is a way to build a gaming laptop that is obsolete in a short time. It will cost more to get the top-of-the-line laptop parts, but gamers who don’t skimp on these important components will have a gaming laptop that lasts a lot longer.

Feel free to contact us for any other questions about laptop parts for gaming laptops.

Laptop Repair or Invest in a New Laptop

December 19, 2016 PC / Mac Repair

If you have been having trouble with your laptop computer, you might be thinking about buying a new one. After all, with prices on laptops being lower than ever before, it might seem like it will be cheaper and easier to treat yourself to a brand new computer versus trying to fix it yourself or hiring a professional for laptop repair.

Laptop Repair: Better Than Buying a New Laptop

However, before you go out and buy a new computer, you might want to think about the option to repair your existing model instead. Obviously, if you have been unhappy with your computer and have been wanting a new one anyway, now might be the time to replace it. However, if you were happy with your computer before it started messing up, you might find that fixing it is your best option.

For example, you might be able to fix your laptop on your own. Some things are pretty simple and can be fixed by simply doing a factory reset on your computer. If your computer is bogged down by a lot of programs or is simply running slow, or if you would like a like-new start without having to buy a new computer, this can be a good option.

Even more complicated issues can also often be repaired with ease. A professional who is experienced in computer repair can help with replacing cracked screens, repairing damaged keyboards or touchpads, getting rid of viruses, uninstalling old software and installing a new operating system or new software and more. These services can be surprisingly affordable and can be cheaper than buying a new computer.

If you would like to find out more about repairing your laptop rather than replacing it, contact us at PC Geeks so that we can tell you more about our services.

4 Factors You Need to Consider Before Replacing Your Motherboard

December 6, 2016 PC / Mac Repair

The motherboard is the heart and soul of your computer. A lot of errors can occur with your computer, but replacing your motherboard should be a last resort for repair purposes. Motherboard Repair is complicated, especially with frequent changes in technology. Before you decide to replace your motherboard, rule out other factors that could cause a problem. Here are five things you should look for before considering replacing your motherboard.

4 Factors You Need to Consider Before Replacing Your Motherboard

1. Crashes and Errors

You may get the notion to open your hard drive and poke around to attempt to fix or analyze a few problems, but before you risk doing more damage to your computer, analyze your system and the settings of your applications. These two tasks can only be rendered if you can boot your computer correctly.

Sometimes your computer enters sleep mode, which is not an issue or problem with your computer. Sleep mode can make your monitor’s screen black or blue. Striking a key on the keyboard or moving the mouse will take the computer out of sleep mode. This status occurs when there is inactivity on your computer for a certain amount of time. Changing this setting is completed by changing your computer’s power options.

You may have installed a program that conflicts with other software, causing error alerts on your computer. A simple fix for this situation is system restore. Choose a restore point you feel your computer was working properly, and restore your computer. If you are experiencing many error alerts or storage behavior from your computer, factory reset your computer. This reset will restore your computer to its out-of-the-box state when you purchased it.

2. Check Your Connections

Loose cords and external connections can cause computer problems. A loose power cord can cause computer problems, such as shutting down due to lack of charge or improper charge. Make sure all cords and attachments are tight and secure. External hard drives, flash drives, and booting CDs are all things that could prohibit your computer from starting correctly because the computer could be trying to boot from one of these devices.

3. Listen to the Beeps

If you can’t successfully boot your computer, turn it on and listen for a series of beeps. Your computer can tell you what the problem is with a series of beeps. Four beeps distinguish issues with parallel or serial ports and followed by four, three or two more beeps. If there is a problem with your motherboard, you will hear one beep following five, four, or three beeps.

4. Inspect Your Hardware

If you are tech-savvy, you may be comfortable checking your computer’s hardware. If not, you may want to take it to a professional. If you are inspecting your hardware yourself, the first thing you should check are plugs, cables, and wires. They need to be securely in their designated location. Next, you need to check for damage that stands out, such as broken wires and burnt items. If you have extra computer parts lying around, change them out to see if some of your computer’s issues improve.

Don’t attempt to make repairs on your computer if you are not familiar with the inside of a computer; this could cause further damage that could be expensive. If you have an existing warranty on your computer, now would be the time to use it. If not, you can take it to a professional computer tech and have them make the necessary repairs. Contact us today to learn more about your motherboard and available options.

Processor and Memory Upgrades: How to Give Your Computer New Life

November 18, 2016 System Optimization

Is your computer struggling to keep with a new operating system upgrade or a new program? Are you spending more time waiting for your computer to load than you are actually using it? Does your computer often give out-of-memory errors? If so, it may be time to breathe new life into your computer with a simple processor memory upgrade.

If your computer is relatively new — five years old or less — upgrading the processor or the memory can be an easy, inexpensive way to get many more years productive use whether the expense or aggravation of migrating to a new computer. While both upgrades will give you the most bang for your buck, many people may find that just one or the other is sufficient for their needs and their budget. The only question, however, is determining which is best for your particular computing needs.

Processor and Memory Upgrades: How to Give Your Computer New Life

Here’s a Quick Look at the Benefits of Each

Memory upgrades: Easily the most cost-effective and easiest upgrade that you can perform. Memory upgrades are as simple as replacing your old memory with faster, higher capacity RAM sticks. When replacing memory, keep in mind that memory is best replaced in pairs – meaning that if your computer currently has four gigabytes (4gb) of RAM in a single memory ‘stick’, your preferred upgrade would be two new four megabyte sticks or 8gb total. You would not want to simply add a second memory stick. This is due to the fact that to be most efficient, memory should be matched, meaning it should be the same brand, same specifications, and, preferably, from the same product lot. Buying a pair (or more) of memory sticks as a package guarantees that the memory is properly matched. For most users, 8 GB is sufficient; high demand users or user who use memory-intensive applications may want to consider an upgrade to 16 GB of RAM. Also, while most modern desktop computers will accommodate up to 32 GB of RAM, most operating systems – and applications – cannot make sufficient use of more than 16 GB, meaning that for most users a 32 GB upgrade is largely unnecessary.

Processor upgrades: Not for the faint-of-heart, a processor upgrade is a delicate process that should only be attempted by an experienced end-user or a professional computer technician. While Windows or your preferred operating system may be the soul of your machine, the processor is the beating heart of your computer. Replacing your processor with a more modern, faster processor can make a tremendous difference in the speed at which your computer runs. A processor upgrade is a more expensive, more complicated upgrade than a memory upgrade, but will in most cases also yield a corresponding improvement in performance versus a simple memory upgrade. The exact processor upgrades that are compatible with your particular computer will vary by computer manufacturer and the type of motherboard installed in the computer. You should be able to determine which is right for you by checking the manufacturer’s website or by discussing your processor upgrades with an experienced computer technician.

Contact us for more information on how to choose the right upgrade for your computer. Our experienced technicians have the experience and the knowledge to help you make the right decisions to keep your computer running at peak performance for years to come.

Get Your Computer Up To Peak Speed

November 3, 2016 Malware and Virus Issues

Is your computer slowing down? Are you getting frustrated with how long it takes your computer to process seemingly simple tasks? If so, looking into our virus removal services might benefit you more than you know. Getting your computer up to peak speed could make all the difference.

Get Your Computer Up To Peak Speed

Computer Viruses

There are many different negative impacts as a result of viruses on your computer, with the performance of your computer being the least of your concerns. There is a Trojan which says it is a useful program that you want or need but is actually malicious towards the user. A computer virus could install a backdoor, enabling others to remotely access your computer and access all of your personal information stored on there, including your banking information! Some can even destroy your hard drive and you can lose all your data.

Prevention

As technology becomes more prevalent in our daily lives than it ever has, having a secure and safe computer is also more important than ever. However, you need to be careful as several antivirus software can actually be Trojans themselves. The internet can be a dangerous place if you don’t pay attention and use caution when deciding what to click on. Remember that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is, and self-restraint is very valuable in keeping your system safe and virus free.

Moving Forward

Now that you are more aware of the basics of protecting your computer and information, the only thing left to do is to remain vigilant. Don’t click on any link that you believe even has a tiny chance of being malware and your computer could last a very long time.

If getting your computer up to peak speed is on your to-do-list then please do not hesitate to contact us.