6 Important Tips for a Successful Computer Setup

6 Important Tips for a Successful Computer SetupSo you finally got a new PC. Congratulations! There’s nothing more exciting than a new tech toy, whether it’s for business or for personal use.

So now comes the fun part (or so we think), the computer set up process. Because unlike a new car or blender, a PC doesn’t always run the best right out of the box. Especially if it’s straight from the factory. It requires a few more steps until it is in prime condition.

Here are 6 important steps you need to take for a successful computer set up.

1. Update Windows right away. Depending on how long your PC sat on the shelf, your copy of Windows might need some time to get up to speed. To do this, follow this path: Windows Control Panel, System and Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

2. Don’t use Explorer unless you like it. We’re not going to tell you not to use Explorer, but because of the gamut of good browsers available, we recommend trying out a new one.

3. Remove the bloatware. Pre-manufactured PC’s come with tons of programs, et. al., factory installed. Most often, you don’t want or need them. What’s worse, they sometimes run in the background and slow you down. For optimum PC speed, take the time to remove them. You’ll thank us in the morning.

4. Install what you like, especially now after you have removed the bloat. Not everyone uses or likes programs like Windows Media Player or Winzip. So if you have been using other programs on your other PCs, take to the internet and download what you use most.

5. Update important driver software. Because sometimes they don’t do it themselves unless something goes awry. This step is particularly important for those who built their own PC. In the end, you want the latest drivers for compatibility and performance.

6. Perhaps the easiest step of all: Enjoy!

Sound daunting? We got you covered. Feel free to contact us to discuss how we can get your computer set up and ready for business.

It is Time to Move on From Windows XP

It is Time to Move on From Windows XPThe time has finally come for those people who have stubbornly held on to their venerable windows XP computers. While XP still functions normally a large portion of the technology industry has officially left it behind and moved on to newer operating system platforms knowing that it is now extremely vulnerable to malicious software and hackers. As time continues to pass more and more software companies are no longer continuing to include XP as a supported operating system.

     Below is an example of some of the problems that are now facing XP users going forward

  • Fewer and fewer anti-virus companies are going to be producing software that supports XP, and those software programs may begin to exceed the hardware specifications required to run on an XP machine without bogging them down.
  • As Microsoft no longer plans to introduce any new updates to the XP operating system, this includes patches, and hot fix updates that are specifically designed to patch up newly found system vulnerabilities. This means, hackers who find new exploits will have free reign without fear of XP correcting the vulnerabilities.
  • Software programs and websites are growing more and more complex, not just in size but in the scope of features that work nearly like small operating systems in their own right, and due to the limits of XP many will simply not work on such an old operating system

It is well understood that many people do not like drastic change. It can be inconvenient, annoying, but you never know, it can be fun and rewarding as well! Anyone still using XP should at least consider finally upgrading that old machine to one that is capable of running Windows 7 as the learning curve is not difficult at all and most people immediately take a liking to it.

If you feel you would be interested in upgrading to a newer version of Windows from your old XP machine but are unsure how to go about doing so, any of the technicians at PC Geeks are more than willing to help advise you and make the transition as simple and smooth as possible!

Windows Server 2003 Support

Recently, Microsoft released seven security bulletins for Microsoft Windows Server 2003. After July 14, 2015, there will be no more security updates for Windows Server 2003. This means if you’re running Windows Server 2003 on July 15, 2015, you will be immediately vulnerable to any and all security vulnerabilities that may be found that affect Windows Server 2003 from then on. There will not be any security patches for Windows Server 2003 after this date.

Windows Server 2003 SupportA year ago, Windows XP finally went out of support 13+ years after its release. And while Windows Server 2003 isn’t quite as old as Windows XP was (clocking in at 12, rather than 13), this is as big a deal on the server side as Windows XP was on the client side.

Just like we saw a staggering number of people running Windows XP on the eve of its retirement, we’re also seeing a shocking number of people on Windows Server 2003 even now. A recent survey by The Enterprise Strategy Group shows 82 percent of respondents have Windows Server 2003 present in their organization. And 25% of these respondents say their plan for dealing with the end of security support is to “Continue to run Windows Server 2003 without support and maintenance.”

Running an unsupported operating system is something that should be viewed as an operational vulnerability. It’s inherently dangerous and ill-advised. But realistically, if you’re running Windows Server 2003 as you read this, you’re likely not in a position to migrate off of it quickly. Odds are that you’re on this older operating system out of necessity and so may not be able to migrate off of it anytime soon. Click here to checkout the supported upgrade paths from Windows.

Will your PC work with Windows 10?

The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been out for some time now, which means that it won’t be long until the Windows upgrade cycle kicks into high gear once again. A lot of people are still confused as to whether their existing hardware will allow them to upgrade to Windows 10.

There’s a lot of well-meaning yet inaccurate information out there written by people who don’t really understand what makes PCs tick. It’s understandable because tech can be confusing, and the Windows 10 system requirements throw a few curve balls into the mix.

Will your PC work with Windows 10?

The Windows 10 Basics

Microsoft has published the system requirements for Windows 10. If your PC can run Windows 8.1, you’re good to go. If you’re not sure, don’t worry–Windows will check your system to make sure it can install the preview.

Here’s what Microsoft says you need to run Windows 10:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

Read the full article here!

New Windows 10 Browser To Resemble Firefox & Chrome

Microsoft plan to package the Spartan browser with its new Window 10 operating system. This radical overhaul will include new features not found in other competing web browsers. The Windows 10 browser allows users to annotate a web page with a stylus and send the notes and annotations to a friend or colleague. The web note service will be powered by Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage, meaning notes will be stored on a copy of a web page that can be accessed by any browser across multiple platforms. As annotations are shared, multiple users can doodle on a web page and share edits and annotations between groups. Other features include Microsoft Cortana integration and the ability to group tabs for better organization.

Click here to learn more about the new Windows 10 Browser.

Interested in learning more about Windows 10? Watch the video below:

Up-To-Date Software Protects Your Computer

Software updates.Plenty of folks find the prospect of doing their software updates an intimidating task.

The truth is, as long as you know what software you’re updating, these programs are built with the ability to take care of the updates themselves and really only require your permission to begin!

On the typical machine these days the most common updates you will be asked for is usually Windows, Java, Adobe and the definitions updates of your antivirus programs.

Keeping these and other software programs up to date is a vital, and proactive way to ensure that your machine is sufficiently hardened from every day computer viruses, email hacks, and operating system exploits.

More often than not, the updates for all these programs are there to correct minor glitches in their software and more importantly –  to patch vulnerabilities that have been discovered and exploited in their software. The farther behind you have become on those updates, the more likely you are to get a virus or have a hacker come along and damage your machine.

Most hackers are just looking for a vulnerable machine that they know is an easy target due to vulnerabilities in a person’s computer system. Make sure you keep your software up to date and your computer optimized with the latest patches and you will be much safer. Please call us if you have any questions about this. Leave us your comments below.

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