Category Archives: Technology Blog

Speed Up Your PC ??

The longer you own your computer, the slower it may seem to perform.  There are many reasons for this phenomena.  Most of it is likely tied to the lack of proper maintenance, inadequate system protection from malware, the presence of spyware and viruses, and the installation of programs which are not entirely compatible with your system.

New software, like most new virus protection programs are designed for newer computers. While the manufacturer may allege the software to be compatible with your current version of Windows, you need to read the fine print to determine if it is really going to work with your particular situation. New software packages often reference the minimum requirements (amount of disk space, memory required, etc.) but fail to mention optimal requirements.

If your computer only has 512k of memory and you install a program which requires a minimum of 256k memory at peek, you are not going to have sufficient memory available for basic computer functioning. Yes, you may be protected from most viruses, but you can’t use your computer to get one because things are so incredibly slow.

The same can often be said about fancy printer programs which come with most new printers. The software which comes with these printers has a number of services which run in the background to support things like printer monitoring, supply ordering and even software updating. While these features are great for a newer system, they are a resource vampire on your older system. We generally recommend users only install the basic printer driver when they purchase a new printer and avoid the temptation to install the software which came with the device. While this may limit some functionality, it will help to keep the computer operating more efficiently.

The older your computer, the fewer new programs it will support with efficiency. You need to run the leanest antivirus program you can find and ensure your system is not loading unnecessary services (like browser updates, printer software updates, etc.) in the background. These services will kill your ability to compute without being extremely frustrated.

If you have never had your system tuned-up or optimized by a professional, we recommend you do so at least once a year. Every six months is better if the budget allows it. Having your system tuned up is like changing the oil in your car. Most reliable computer repair company’s offer this service at a very reasonable price.

Final Thoughts & Computer Tips

  • Avoid purchasing programs online which allege to optimize your computer auto-magically. While some of these programs have some benefits, we find most of them to be scams.
  • Don’t install any toolbars in your browser if you can avoid it. Toolbars are known to cause serious problems with older computers and often lead to other problems. If you simply must have a toolbar, stick to toolbars from only trusted providers like Google and Yahoo.
  • Uninstall old software you don’t use and will no longer need.  This is especially true of old printer software, games, old tax software, etc.
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! We have yet to discover a program which will fix problems automatically. Save your money for the reliable computer repair company and have them fix things correctly.
  • Trying things is all part of troubleshooting. Searching for the answer to a problem on the internet is good, but be very careful in trying things beyond your ability. What works for one person might not work for you.

Laptop Power

A recent call for support presented a young lady who was having trouble with her laptop computer.  She explained the patient computer had been back to the manufacturer three times in the last 30 days for a handful of issues all pointing to one thing…power problems.

When we advised the client the problem was likely a power supply issue she advised that she didn’t think so as the system was powering fine.  She later explained she had replaced the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) power supply with one of two non-OEM’s that she had purchased through a well known auction site.  The decision to purchased non-OEM was due to the higher cost.

We can certainly appreciate saving money, but at what cost.  Non-OEM laptop power supplies are not necessarily manufactured to the standards or specifications of the OEM.  If you decide to purchase a non-OEM or aftermarket compatible product to power your laptop, you could be exposing your laptop to an unregulated power source.  One that could damage your laptop in the short or long term.  This concept is true with aftermarket non-OEM batteries.

The pro’s of aftermarket non-OEM power supplies and batteries are limited to reduced cost or perceived savings.

The con’s of the same include;

  1. Potential damage to your laptop
  2. Voiding your laptop warranty instantly.
  3. Frustrating problems which seem unexplainable.
  4. Offset of the savings over a the OEM product when you need to replace a poorly manufactured power source yet again.

Carefully consider the purchase of non-OEM laptop power supplies and batteries.  Understand the risks involved.  If the OEM replacement is available, you should spend the extra money.  If you are unable to purchase an OEM replacement from your local computer supplier or battery store, check web sources and popular auction sites before deciding on the aftermarket product.  Remember that you will always get what you pay for.