Thursday, October 28, 2010

Windows Not Shutting Down Properly

Does your computer not shut down when you tell it too

This is due to a program that is not shutting down properly and is preventing Windows from turning off. Most of the time, you won’t even know that a program is running because there is nothing on the screen showing a program running. So you think, well everything is off and now I can shut down my computer, wrong. Even though your computer is running and you have a pretty background picture and some icons on the screen there are several things going on behind the scenes and one of these things is causing your computer not to shut off. Now this could be because a virus has entered your computer or maybe malware has gotten into your system. Scan your computer to see if it one of these problems either virus or malware. Once you have done this now it is time to start figuring out which program is hanging your computer from shutting down.

Shut off programs that are running.

To determine which program is hanging your operating system from shutting down your computer you will need to be an investigator and go in behind the scenes of your computer and throw some switches to shut down all the programs that are running in the background. To do this you need to go to your start button and find either the search key or the run key and type in msconfig. You will have a window that opens up looking like this . After you get to this point you will want to look at the tabs on top and go to the tab that says “Services”. Open this tab and you will have a window that looks similar to this . At this point you will want to turn off all services that you recognize that should not be running. You will need to click apply and then ok to shut the window. You will be asked to reboot the computer, do so at this time. If all fires back up ok then shut down the computer again the normal way and see if it shuts down properly. If so go back into services and enable the services one at a time and find out what service is the culprit that is causing the problem. Once isolated, you will need to see if Windows has an update for this product to fix the problem. If not then maybe you will need to uninstall the product and reload the product and see if the manufacture has a patch for this particular product.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is Your Computer Running Slow

Get your computer back up to speed

We here all the time my computer does not run as fast as it did back when I purchased the machine. This question comes out of every ones mouth every time we go out on a service call. There are many reasons why the computer does not run as fast as before but we are only going to take a look at a few. First thing you need to do before you do anything is back up your hard drive which holds all your files. If you do not back up your data you are asking for trouble and you may lose everything. See my page on computer backup.
Let’s take a look at why your computer may be running so slow.

Why Do Computers Start Running Like a Turtle

Computers slow down and cause the owner to get frustrated for many reasons. Some of the main reasons are due to hard drive fragmentation; lack of resources, viruses is a huge on, over heating, and a computer with low amount of ram. If you are contemplating trying to fix your computer on your own it is now before you do anything to back up your files such as you document folder to a flash drive or external hard drive. This should save most of your files safely and easily. You may also want to copy what is on your desktop to your flash drive or external hard drive also. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Getting your computer back up to speed

At this point if you are computer savvy enough the optimum thing to do now is totally format your hard drive and reload the operating system. If you have enough resources in the computer you should consider installing Windows 7 Ultimate edition. Most people are not computer savvy enough so here are a few other things you can try on your own to see if you can get some more speed out of your machine.

First make sure your compute is up to-date with all the Microsoft updates for your operating system. You do this by opening your Internet Explorer Web Browser and going to tools and then computer update. Click on compute update and then Microsoft will scan your computer and see if it lacking any of the updates for your operating system.

Next, download the freeware of AVG or another virus scan software that you prefer and check your system for any viruses. In my years of computer repair I have not seen so many viruses on computers as I have the past 7 years. Viruses slow down a computer and steal a lot of the resources your computer needs to make it run at top speed. Computer virsus enter the machine so many different ways and they come from all over the world. It is really scary what is taking place in the cyber-world. The biggest thing is to make sure that your compute is virus free and keep it that way in order to have a fast running machine.

Next you should take a look at how much ram (Random Access Memory) your computer is running. To do this you need to go to Start and then go to your Control Panel and then go to System. When the system page opens towards the bottom it will say how much ram your computer is running. In today’s world you should have a minimum of one or two gig of ram installed for optimal computer use. If you are running less than this there are many places to purchase ram memory or contact your local computer technician or contact us for consultation.

After you have done these chores to your computer it is now the time to clean up the registry of the computer and get rid of all that garbage that is stored in hidden areas of your computer to make things run smoother. A great utility that I install on customers computers is called CCleaner. CCleaner is a great free utility that cleans a machine squeaky clean and also can be used safely to clean up the registry files (the little hidden file cabinet that makes your computer run). I find CCleaner to work much better than Disk Cleanup which is built into Microsoft accessories. If you are more comfortable in using Disk Cleanup go ahead, each one of us have our own preference in cleaning up a computer.

What Is That

A computer does not take much to make it run hot. So make sure that you computer is in a location that is dust free, plenty of space surrounding the computer for good air flow and is free inside of computer dust webs. One should clean around the fan and power supply fan with compressed can of air. If you are not scared to open the case you should take extra time and clean out all the dirt and dust webs that have built up inside the case. Use only can compressed air and do not blow using your mouth. Your air has moisture molecules and will short out the mother board. Be very careful also to make sure you do not have any static electricity on your body for this will also wipe out the mother board. The cooler you can keep your computer the more optimal speed you will get out of your computer.

Dont leave your hard drive unattended

Take your hard drive back.

If you are looking for a couple great pieces of freeware to take your computer back and or restore it to a good clean hard drive that can be restored in minuets we have a couple good solutions for you. Both are freeware, one backs up your hard drive to a previous time and the other is a clone of your operating system but not only your operating system but also your data and all applications.  The one piece of software restores your computer each and every time you boot your system. The other software creates a clone of the drive so you can restore your computer whenever you need it.

Let’s take a look at Cloning the Hard Drive Software.

The first we will look at is FBackup
FBackup is free backup software for both personal and commercial use. It protects your important data by backing it up automatically to any USB/Fire-wire device, local or network location. The backed up data can be either compressed (using standard zip compression) or an exact copy of the original files.

The second is Easeus Todo Backup
Are your system, photos, music and financial data protected? EASEUS Todo Backup, supporting Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7 and Windows Server 2000/2003/2008, is potent FREE backup software providing system backup & restore, hard disk or partition backup & restore, disk clone to protect your system and disk. It can back up whole PC, including the operating system plus your data, applications, settings and everything!
If your system is crashed or Linux based bootable CD fails to restore the system, we recommend you to restore system with WinPE based bootable CD which is more powerful than Linux one: operate without installation, support Windows 7 and Hardware Raid, etc.

Windows SteadyState

Windows SteadyState is a great application that sends a computer back to a known state each time the machine is rebooted. The primary advantage of this machine is once you get it setup to your exact requirements, it will go back to that way each time you restart the computer.

Whether you manage computers in a school computer lab or an Internet cafe, a library, or even in your home, Windows SteadyState helps make it easy for you to keep your computers running the way you want them to, no matter who uses them.


If you are afraid of a virus wiping out your system or stealing all those pictures that you have saved on your computer, either one of these freeware utilities can bring you piece of mine. So don’t hesitate give them a try today.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Should I upgrade to Windows 7

There are many reasons to not upgrade something if it works fine. But then there are other times when upgrading is the best thing to do even if your old system is running just fine. What I am getting at here is the simple question, should I upgrade to Windows 7 or stay with Windows XP or Vista?

Here is a great article I read that David Risley posted on his blog PCMech from Ed Bott Today’s lesson in why it’s time to dump Windows XP. One should take the time to read this article. This will and should settle your mind.

With all the viruses and security threats that are out or coming out one should look to upgrading their pc to Windows 7. With all the new added security that was installed with Windows 7 it will help cut down on the amount of threats that will hit your machine. Not saying you will not get a virus but with Windows 7 you will be more proteced than with Xp or Vista.

So as David puts it in his blog, the old adage of it is not broken dont fix it does not fit here. One should be wise and play it safe and upgrade today to Windows 7.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Google Docs Drop Photo

Google Docs has so many advantages that most of the other cloud storage like Zumo and Dropbox cannot offer. But of course without saying they too have features that we will discuss later that Google Docs does not have.

Google Docs just announced today on their blog that a person can drag and drop images into a document while writing out a new document. Starting today a person can drag an image from your desktop straight into a document.

However, users had to use standard HTML upload control to get their images in Google Docs. With this new feature, user will have the feeling of desktop application because many PC, Mac and Linux software including Microsoft Office support the feature.

Where is Firefox 4-beta

What has become of Firefox 4

I personally have been using the beta version for the past 3 months and I have come to like it still better than I.E. There has been a few little bugs that I have come across but nothing to bad that I have pitched it out the door yet. The only drawback that I dont care for is the face that you cannot use most of the applications that are available for firefox 3...

The is scrambling to release Firefox 4 in 2010 means it's a frenzied time for Mozilla, but there's more afoot at the organization than just building a browser.

Specifically, Mozilla is concerned about how people on the Web will find and pay for the increasingly sophisticated online applications made possible with modern Web browsers.

On Tuesday, Mozilla announced its labs project to develop "Open Web App Ecosystem" technology for finding, managing, and distributing Web apps.

"The open Web is a great platform for rich applications. It would be even better if it had additional capabilities to ease discovery, acquisition, installation and use of apps, while also enabling monetization for developers," Jay Sullivan, Mozilla's vice president of products, said in a blog post announcing the work. Read More at Cnet

Give Firefox 4-beta a test run

Internet Explorer 9-Beta

Internet Explorer 9-Beta

Microsoft has released IE9 and is now available in beta form (in 32 or 64-bit) for anyone who wants to download and try it out.

After several months of teasing Internet Explorer's upgrade with a series of feature-free developer's previews, Microsoft has unleashed on the world an Internet Explorer 9 beta . This is the biggest overhaul to the browser since Internet Explorer 7 landed. The changes to the interface are enormous, the browser's overall usability has greatly improved, it's more secure, and it's significantly faster and more standards compliant.

Internet Explorer 9 beta has gotten fast, too, becoming the second browser--along with Firefox 4 beta--to offer full hardware acceleration. (Note that Internet Explorer claims it's the only one to do so, while Mozilla offers a strong rebuttal that Microsoft is overstating its case.) Google Chrome has so far implemented only partial hardware acceleration, although it has plans to complete the task.

Hardware acceleration of the variety currently implemented in the Firefox and Internet Explorer betas allows the browser to shove certain rendering tasks onto the computer's graphics processing unit (GPU), freeing up CPU resources while making page rendering and animations load faster. These tasks include composition support, rendering support, and desktop compositing. CNET

For those of you just hate Internet Explorer, this is the first IE you’ll actually like. This is a browser you can use without feeling totally disgusted. So if you’re a Mozilla Firefox lover then give this a try and let me know what you think.


The power of CCleaner

Are you looking for a free application that will help keep your computer clean? You need to check out CCleaner.

CCleaner is a wonderful freeware utility that does a marvelous job cleaning up the garbage files in your computer. The C stands for “Crap” which a lot of computers are full of and that CCleaner cleans up. Over the years our computers get bogged down with old programs, cookies, history files, and other useless information. CCleaners once activated goes into the core of the computer files and cleans up these old files.

CCleaner is easy to install and it only takes a couple of minuets to set up. Fast than that is the speed it has to go in and clean up these dead files. It is amazing in less than 30 seconds CCleaner cleans up several hundred megabyte of wasted dead files.

When I first ran CCleaner, it was a simple interface with almost no learning curve, a good sign. Along the left you’ll find Cleaner, Issues, Tools and Options. The Cleaner option searches your drive for various items within Windows, including but not limited to Temporary files, IE Cookies and History, Recent Documents and Log Files. It also searches for histories and unnecessary files in some of your Applications. CCleaner found Adobe, Nero, ZoneAlarm, QuickTime, Ad-Aware and others on my system, and included them in the search. I was impressed that CCleaner could implement so many existing programs without any intervention on my part.

This is a wonderful tool to have installed on your computer to keep your computer running at peak performance. You can download CCleaner here: CCleaner

Another great download is CCEnhancer.

As CCleaner is a popular utility which scours Windows for “garbage” files and removes them from your system with a single process. Wouldn’t it be great if CCleaner did this for more than just Windows programs? If this is a question you have pondered then take a look at CCEnhancer.

CCEnhancer is a small tool which adds support for over 270 new programs into the popular program CCleaner. The tool uses the WinApp2.ini system built into CCleaner to easily add new rules and definitions for programs. The rules were sourced mainly from the Piriform Support Forum, with several sourced from other places around the Internet.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Email attack targeting LinkedIn users termed ‘largest ever’

An email attack targeting users of the LinkedIn social networking service this week was so active that it accounted for nearly one-quarter of all spam email sentat one point, a malware expert says.
Disguised as an invitation from someone to connect with him or her on LinkedIn, the spam is actually a phishing, or identity theft attack, “widely used by criminals to pilfer commercial bank accounts,” said Henry Stern, a senior security researcher with Cisco Systems, in a blog posting.

“This is the largest such attack known to date,” he noted.

Clicking a link in the email takes the victim to a web page that says “Please waiting … 4 seconds” during which time Zeus, a malevolent Trojan horse software program, downloads and embeds itself in the victim’s web browser..

Once embedded, it logs a victim’s keystrokes and “captures personal information, such as online banking credentials,” Stern said.

The spam attack has “slowed down a little bit … but it’s been on and off; it hasn’t stopped,” Cisco spokesman David Oro said Friday night.
Zeus has been around since 2007 and has previously attacked users of Facebook and other social networks. It is insidious because it can also steal personal information by capturing screenshots during mouse clicks and by adding fake fields on legitimate banking forms visited by infected web browsers, according to McAfee, a web security company that produces anti-virus software.

To avoid infection, the Better Business Bureau recommends keeping your anti-virus software current and deleting suspicious emails without clicking on links contained in them, checking messages directly on your LinkedIn profile page instead.


In recent months there’s been a lot of speculation about a possible military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Now it appears the attack has come in an unexpected form: Stuxnet, a computer worm that can take over industrial systems and was found in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant. Symantec, an antivirus software company, estimates that more than 60,000 computers in Iran have been infected by the worm, the highest rate of any country in the world—a fact that’s led computer analysts to conclude Stuxnet was created by a foreign government.

It’s hard to determine exactly how much damage Stuxnet has done so far. But the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced last week that the Bushehr plant’s operations would be delayed by two months. Some analysts saw that as a clear sign the worm had wreaked extensive damage. “We didn’t see a full-blown war. We didn’t see fatalities,” says Ralph Langner, a German computer-security consultant who has studied Stuxnet extensively. “Stuxnet may have cost somewhere between five and 10 million dollars [to create]. That’s cheap compared to an airstrike or a war in the region.”

Iranian officials—who have blamed the U.S. and Israel for the worm—see the attack as the latest round of a cyberwar targeting Iran. (Both Twitter and Facebook have also been cited by Iran as part of a broad effort to gather intelligence and destabilize the country.) After a number of government Web sites were hacked during the disputed 2009 presidential election—presumably by supporters of the opposition—Tehran started to fight back by forming the Iranian Cyber Army, a group linked to the Revolutionary Guards. Last year, these pro-government hackers briefly took down Twitter, and they intend to expand their targets: a Guard spokesman has said that the goal of the Cyber Army is to “conquer virtual space.” As part of that effort, 120 members of the Basij, a youth militia, were recently sent to Mashad for training in “writing weblogs, social networking, psychological operations, protection from Internet spying, mobile phones and their capabilities, Basij cybercenters and videogames that would allow penetration into virtual space.” Regardless of who created Stuxnet, it’s clear that Iran intends to fire its own shots in the cyberwar.