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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.

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.