Archive for March, 2016

Failing Hard Drives & Data Backups

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Your hard drive is where all your documents, pictures, videos and all the files on your computer is stored.  What would happen if your hard drive failed or you get a virus that encrypts your data?  Remember, even if you have a MAC, they have now had a virus that encrypts your data recently. Do you have a backup of your data? Can you afford to potentially lose all your files?

There are many methods for backing up your data. You could get a flash drive and manually back up your data, save the info on CD/DVDs, or use cloud backup.

Flash drive backups are a great inexpensive way to make backups. They do involve copying the files across each time you want to make a backup though and that takes your time.  If your files don’t change often, then this method would be the best method for you.

CD/DVD backups require you to burn your data to the disk.  Once burned, you can’t edit these disks again.  This is probably the most time consuming and expensive backup of these three. Of course, you can burn to the same CD-r/DVD-r, but I highly recommend against that and will personally not purchase those type of discs.

We offer a cloud backup to our customers. We install the software and the each night if will run.  The initial setup can take quite sometime to upload all your data, depending on what you want backed up. Once the initial backup is done, it is usually pretty quick at making your incremental backups after that.  Then if your computer crashes, you have a fire or water damage and the hard drive is destroyed, you still have your backup.

How you backup your data is a decision you will have to make, or are you willing to possibly lose all your data?  If you are interested in our cloud service, give us a call and we can help you with it and get it setup for you.

If you have already had a hard drive start to fail, give us a call, we can sometimes recover data from falling hard drives.  If your computer does not start, we still have the ability to recover your files so if you need your files, give us a call at 218-744-1210 before you write over your documents. Of course, there is no guarantee to the recovery of the data, but we have a fairly successful track record.

A couple ways you might be able to tell your hard drive is failing is if you start hear a ticking sound or if your computer all the sudden slows way down.  If it slows way down very quickly, it could be hard drive sectors starting to fail, malware/virus or many things, but it is always a good idea to get your hard drive tested to make sure.

Windows 10 Upgrade

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

If you are using Windows 7 or newer then you probably are seeing the popup for the Free Windows 10 Upgrade.  Anyone who wants to upgrade is welcome to upgrade as this will be a free upgrade for a few months.  We know there are a few customers out there who do not want this upgrade. However, Microsoft has decided that they are going to start pushing Windows 10 upgrades out through their automatic windows updates. This means that you might go to lunch one day, and when you get back your computer could be upgrading to windows 10.

In the last 36 hours, I know of at least 7 computers which have had this update pushed through automatically. Please be sure to always save your files before leaving your computer as the computer, when it decides to, will start the installation even if you have files open and then you risk losing any work you have done in those files.

The biggest suggestion out there to stop the upgrade is to turn off automatic windows updates. Will this work, I’m not sure as we have not tested that theory. If you don’t want it, then I would suggest doing that. The problem with that is then your computer will not be getting the security fixes it should be getting from those updates. There were also a couple of other hacks that were possibilities, but we had tried them in the registry and they did not work.

We don’t agree with Microsoft’s new tactic of automatically upgrading your operating system, but there is nothing we can do about it.  Personally, I really like Windows 10 and I’m glad I have it. There were a few things that were different, but it basically has the best features of Windows 7 & Windows 10 put together.

Here are the top 3 problems we have seen:

  1. Your printers no longer work after the update. For some reason the drivers don’t seem to always go across smoothly and usually this can be fixed by just re-installing your printer. If this does not work, make sure your printer is Windows 10 compatible as some of the older ones will not be compatible.  If there are not Windows 10 drivers available yet, the Windows 7 or 8 drivers normally still work.
  2. If you use SD Cards, transferring the pictures to your computer becomes a little more of hassle as there are a couple of extra steps you have to go through to get the pictures to your computer.
  3. The biggest issues we have seen are the login not working right away.  The password seems to have got corrupted for some reason, but we were able to get that reset since they had another administrator account on that computer. There are other ways we can do this as well if it does happen to you – although the chances are very slim of your login being corrupted.