Archive for 'Laptop PC Repair Services'

As experienced computer technicians, we have a lot of experience surrounding the old topic of virus removal (now more frequently referred to as malware: malicious software), and have assisted thousands of customers since 2002 with malware removal from both home and business level computer users.

Virus Removal in Boston

Virus Removal

We get calls and emails daily regarding computer viruses from troubled individuals that want to know what they can do to remove the virus(es) and spyware, or better put, malware (malicious software) from their computer. Our initial reaction is always to ensure their immediate security, so we ask them questions like:

“Is your machine powered on and are you connected to the internet?”

–>We ask this to ensure that the virus is not transmitting their personal data back to its host (the hacker that wrote the malware application). If so, we ask them to at least disable their internet connection by unplugging their Ethernet cable from either their PC or the Router, and if, god forbid, they are still using dial-up, then disconnect the phone line from their PC. This precautionary action will terminate their connection to the internet and cease any possible communication between the virus/malware and their host.

“What are you running for security software? If yes, is it a free version or paid version, and is your license current?” (e.g. anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewall, etc. software such as AVG, Norton, Avast, Panda, McAfee, CA, etc.)

–> This helps us determine how badly their machine is infected. Let’s face it, none of these security software are infallible, but we try to put our best foot forward when protecting our networks, data and PC’s. If they tell us that they are not running any security software or it has expired, we know, right off the bat, that the machine is swimming with many viruses.

“Are you able to get online?”

–> This helps us determine whether or not a remote session would even be possible, or do we need to physically possess the computer to conduct a proper virus removal. It also helps us determine how badly the viruses have infiltrated the computer.

Computer Virus Removal

Computer Virus Removal

A PROPER virus removal….hmm…that brings us to the theme of this blog post. Every kid out there with a screw driver and a computer that thinks they know even a little about computer repair, is on the web advertising his or her services (mostly on Craigslist.com and Google/Yahoo & Bing Maps since it is free to advertise there) claiming that they are some kind of expert: BUYERS BEWARE!

  • They undercut the market since they do not have any company overhead such as insurance payments and in many cases personal and/or commercial rent/utilities, etc.
  • They don’t have any technical certifications and/or very little field experience beyond their own PC’s
  • Most of which are still in high school or just barely graduated (if they graduated at all), and even more have zero college or formal education, and definitely no technical training.
  • They don’t carry any sort of insurance, so when they botch the job and lose all your data you as a consumer have zero recourse.
  • Most importantly: They don’t truly understand Virus Removal and how to do it correctly!
Buyer's Beware

Buyer’s Beware

We as a company are constantly interviewing technicians and looking for the best of the best technicians. As such, we have a pretty steady flow of resumes coming in through our IT Jobs recruitment. and we personally review each and every one of these resumes – most of which get tossed out. Occasionally we do receive resumes that look promising and merit at least an initial investigatory phone call – which I myself place. When conducting these initial interview calls, we begin to drill down on the technical aspects of computer repair and networking as a start to begin to judge what the candidates’ true technical knowledge and experience are, and one of the first topics we discuss is virus removal.

10 times out of 10, the candidate will state that they really understand virus removal and it is no problem for them. Then, as the conversation continues, and we ask them to walk us through a typical virus removal process and we discover about 9.5 times out of 10 that the candidate really doesn’t get how to do a simple, or a complex (or thorough) virus removal. It is not as simple as most people think. Typically unless someone has been trained by a technician who really knows what they are doing, they themselves really don’t know the proper tools to use, or how to use them correctly (e.g. the anti-virus software that really work, how to effectively use a hard drive adapter kit so you don’t boot into windows but can read the drive and run virus scans, how to use Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Networking effectively to ensure success, etc.)

Even more importantly, most don’t get that we first and foremost have to be concerned with any sensitive data on the customer’s hard drive as a priority to recover, and then worry about the virus removal process. For most customers the data on their hard drive is a priority. As such, we always prioritize the data recovery and include questions surrounding this topic in our list of questions when we are “getting our arms around” the problem initially.

Lastly, most techs out there will only run one (or perhaps) two anti-virus applications on a computer, find some viruses, remove them, and then think they are all done – when in fact, they have only removed a minority of the malware on the hard drive and most likely still have some remnants of the malware, which are most likely to return in some fashion. These are the techs that will tell you they can do a virus removal in an hour or two. To truly do a thorough cleaning of a hard drive the proper way, you must run at least 4+ applications on your hard drive – which brings me back to the point that to do a proper virus removal takes anywhere from at least 3 hours, to as long as 24 hours depending on the depth of infection, how many files are on the hard drive and how powerful the machine is from a hardware standpoint.

We also recommend running a registry cleaner software such as RegCure to help optimize your PC’s performance and cut down on possible registry errors.

Feel free to call us to answer any questions you have – no obligation for free advice: 1-866-417-3945. It is our goal to help you achieve the peace of mind over your computer system, and the computer services company that assists you with your home or business IT infrastructure.

Technology to Relax

Technology to Relax…

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You clicked on an online banner by mistake, or you opened an email from an unknown sender, these and many more could cause your computer to get infected with malware; and it only gets worse when you do this on a computer connected to your office’s network. When one computer in a network gets infected with spyware or computer viruses, it is only a matter of time before every computer in your office gets infected. To prevent massive downtime and a lot of wasted money, you should get professional virus and spyware removal done on your computers.

When any kind of malware infects a computer you can be sure that you are in trouble. There are viruses that can corrupt your hard drive, rendering it completely useless, and all of the data it contained will be irrecoverable. And then there are spyware programs that will copy all of your passwords and important information, making it easy for someone to steal your identity and ruin you financially. These threats are real, and if you take a nonchalant stand against them then you have already lost.

If you own a multi-million dollar business conglomerate then odds are you already have a team of IT experts that will handle any computer-related threats. But what if you only have a handful of employees and none of them can be considered as “experts” when it comes to IT? Would you just resign to your fate and let your computers and the precious data they contain to completely vanish without a trace? Fortunately for you, there are plenty of companies out there who can help you when your precious company computers are at risk of getting completely destroyed from the inside.

You may think that you would not need any spyware or virus removal services because you already have an antivirus program installed in all of the computers in your network, but you thought wrong. There are hundreds of thousands of different malware programs out there, and they are multiplying even now, and not even the best antivirus program can protect you from all of them. Computer virus and spyware removal experts know how to track down what kind of malware they are dealing with, and they also know what kind of action they need to take get rid of the problem. If you value your computers and the precious data they contain, you should partner up with a good IT services provider as soon as you can.

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The blue screen of death (BSOD), also known as the blue screen of doom, is among the most infamous error codes in Windows based operating systems. To fix blue screen error, one can safely guess that there’s something critically wrong in your operating system. Unfortunately for you, and even the highest trained computer technicians, fixing the blue screen of death isn’t always as easy as it seems to be, and it can take high amount of PC hardware skills to get to the root of the problem.

Causes:

1) External factors that could cause a BSOD include viruses and malware

2) Internal factors include accidental changes in the installed software registry, damaged hardware components

3) Registry Errors

There are four essential parts that you should be aware of on a Blue Screen of Death:

The 1st part records the actual error message.

The 2nd list the system modules that are already loaded into memory.

The 3rd section lists the modules that were about to be loaded had the error not occurred.

The 4th section lists the current status of the Kernel Debugger.

How to Fix Blue Screen of Death?

Before you start to fix Windows blue screen, you should backup Windows data in case of data loss

If you aren’t an computer expert then simply call your local computer repair technician to fix the Blue Screen Problems

Steps:

1) Start Windows using Last Known Good Configuration or Safe Mode

2) System Restore is a step-by-step troubleshooting wizard that allows the user to select a Restore Point for previous settings on your computer. You can access it using either Safe Mode or from System Recovery Options menu

3) Use Windows Scan Disk to test hard drive and repair disk errors

4) Install Service Packs and Windows Updates

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As computer technicians, one of the most common questions we are asked is: “Should I fix my laptop computer, or am I better off just buying a new laptop?”. This is when we put on our IT consultant hat, and take up the position as if the computer in mention were our own – in fact, this is how we are trained from day one within our company to handle every computer repair job. After all, that truly is the fairest approach and leaves our customers with the best, and most trusting sentiment at the end of the day, especially since it is authentic.

Fixing Laptops

Fixing Laptops

In many cases Laptop repair is worth it, especially if the computer is less than 3 years old and the initial cost was over $600. In addition, one has to consider several other matters when considering replacing one’s laptop rather than repairing it. For example:

  • What is the current state of the damaged computer? Can it even boot into Windows so that we can pull off all the licenses of the loaded software for re-installation purposes? If not, then you are looking at purchasing all new software outside of your Windows operating system (unless you keep meticulous files with all your software4 license keys printed out and/or have the original installation CD’s. which only about 2% of the population keeps records like this according to our experience).
  • Will you be able to re-use your copy of MS Office (e.g. MS Word, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS Power Point, MS Access, etc.)?
  • If you can re-use your MS Office license, is it a version that is worth continuing to use or is it time to upgrade (e.g. from MS Office 2003 to MS Office 2007 or above?)
  • Will you be able to re-install your paid version security software (e.g. Norton, AVG, McAfee, etc.)?
  • Is there any other paid software on your computer that you want to keep without having to repurchase (e.g. Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Adobe, CAD, etc.)?
  • Are there files on your computer you need to recover?
  • Are the files you are looking to move over (data transfer) from your old computer to a new computer) in need of a cleaning as to not carry and computer viruses over with them (such is the nature of viruses, they will spread from drive to drive)?
  • And lastly for now, do you like your computer, or has it been a lemon?

Generally for laptop computers older than 5 – 6 years, it does make sense to purchase a new laptop rather than invest in prolonging the life of your old one. Remember, that computers are somewhat like cars in the sense that eventually parts are going to break.

The laptop buyers market can be intimidating and the prices change rapidly as new technology comes out. It’s always best to talk to a computer technicians about what you need to get out of your new system and where to find the best deal. In general, within a price margin the competition doesn’t vary as much as you might think. So if you are trying to find a laptop between $500-$1000 don’t get hung up on the numbers – think about what you want to hold in your hands.

Screen Size / Weight – Laptop computers vary from tiny netbooks to monster workstations

Keyboard Layout – Always demo your laptop before you buy it to see if the keyboard fits your hands – think about whether you need a numeric keypad or not, and if you do know they come as USB attachments.

Speakers – You may have a stereo for home entertainment and headphones for on the go – but good speakers make or break a laptop for a lot of people.

Gaming Capabilities – If you are a gamer you definitely want a high quality video card, most likely a larger LCD screen, a powerful processor and plenty of RAM (random access memory).

If you are thinking about a high-end laptop over $1000 there are a lot more options to consider – including getting a Mac (sadly its impossible to get a Mac laptop on a budget). Before you make a serious investment get in touch with a professional to ensure you purchase your personal ideal laptop.

If you have questions about upgrading your laptop, purchasing a new laptop and what it would take to move your files over cleanly as to not infect your new laptop computer – and/or if you are just looking for an honest answer and advice about purchasing a new computer, please feel free to give us a call (617-723-1986) or stop by our Boston computer repair shop and speak with one of our many Boston based computer repair technicians and we would be happy to assist you.

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Have you ever tripped on your laptop power cable? Or dropped your laptop and now your laptop will not charge? Or possibly you now need to wiggle the AC Adapter cable where it plugs into the female port (the DC Power Jack) in the back or on the side of your laptop to get at least (or in some instances, at most) intermittent connection allowing electricity to flow to the PC?

Any way you cut it, this can be very frustrating and can cause you a major inconvenience especially if the laptop is dead and you need to access files that are on that computer which can sometimes lead to a more expensive data recovery computer laptop repair service once your battery runs out just to access your files until you can get the DC power jack repaired. The fact that your computer is not getting power  is most likely due to one of two or two of two things:

1. The actual power cable and/or the AC Adapter Cable -that plugs into your laptop is damaged and it needs to be replaced
2. Damage has been occurred to the DC power jack, which is what the male port on the end of the AC adapter cable plugs into. The DC power jack actually resides on the motherboard and allows electrical current to flow to the laptop.

AC Adapter w/ Power Cable

AC Adapter w/ Power Cable

Power Jack Repair

DC Power Jack Repair

Most computer repair shops do offer some laptop repair services, however, many of these computer repair shops do not offer the DC Power Jack Repair services in-house as it is a more complex repair requires a high level of expertise with laptops since the laptop needs to be disassembled to access the motherboard, ability to solder and not your every day run of the mill tech possesses these skills.

Our Boston computer repair shop is one of the few locations that does offer DC Power Jack Repair in eastern MA, and we do all the work in-house, not sent out to another company or location. We offer DC power jack repair services for Toshiba, Dell, HP, Sony Vaio, Lenovo. Thinkpad, Gateway, Acer, Asus, Mac and all Apple laptops in Boston MA. Also, depending on your computer make and model and our available stock we can preform a DC jack repair on the same day or for next day pickup.

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