What To Do If Disaster Strikes

I believe that if the worst happens with your computer you should have an organized plan to get you up and running as quick as possible.

The worst to me is a full reinstall of the operating system , applications and documents.

First , can you find your operating system disk , if you received one with your computer , if not many computers have a "F Key " trigger at start up to reinstall the operating system and bring the computer back to the point when you bought it.

You should keep your operating disk and your application discs ( office etc ) all together with any relevant instruction manuals.

Make sure you also have the installation keys for all your applications.

So here is the order in which you should perform your recovery.

  • Install your operating system
  • Connect to the internet , make sure you have your user name and password for your router and or internet connection
  • Log onto ONLY Windows Update if you have a Windows machine
  • Perform all updates , and reboot and check until there are no more to install.
  • Then install your antivirus solution and update that until it is stable.
  • Install your applications and check again for updates after installing

When you have no more updates and everything is installed you have the foundation for a stable computer system.

Here is where you could as a great backup solution is to take an image of the hard drive.

An image will allow you then to restore your computer to this exact state in the future if things went wrong again.

Drive image

A good free program for this is DriveImage XML which will enable you to take a " snapshot " of your drive.

Read the instructions and make sure you can do an image restore and that you are comfortable doing it.

Once your system is restored then restore the backup of your documents.

Remember that organization and a plan will help you take some of the pain out of the process.

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What To Be Careful Of If You Are Changing Domain Name Hosts

I recently changed hosts in Australia for 2 domain names I have and ran into a string of errors that ultimately brought down 2 web sites ( not Adelaide Techguy ) and brought down the associated email accounts as well. Here is what to look out for: Make sure your contact details are correct with the new domain name host Make sure all the old contact details from the previous host have been changed and updated to the new ones by logging onto your account and checking. Make sure the new domain name host is actually controlling the domain and that there are no links back to the old domain host If you have redirections on your domain names , check they have no relationship to the old host Take note of your expiry date for your domain ,so that you know when your domain needs renewing as you should not rely on the domain host to notify you If you change email contacts , make sure you update them. This is especially important if you go through a reseller ( your internet provider such as Internode , Adam etc )

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Take A Photo To Know What You Are Shopping For

If you are shopping for accesories and or items that plug into your computer and or HDTV and are unsure what you should buy, then take a photo of the ports and or connectors you want to connect the device to with your phone etc. You can then show these photos to the assistant to minimise mistakes when buying.

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RAM is what you need

Kingston Ram
RAM ( Random Access Memory) along with the CPU ( central processing unit ) are the integral parts of having a computer running quickly and efficiently.

Windows should now have a minimum of 2GB of ram to run efficiently with multiple programs running but you will notice a difference installing 4GB of ram.

Windows 32bit systems ,which most will be on unless you have bought a new machine recently where Windows 64bit is getting more common place now will only use 3GB of ram.

Windows 64bit systems recognise and use RAM from 3GB and up.

So why do i say install 4GB of Ram ?

RAM comes in pairs and the best way to buy is in 2 GB sticks hence the 4GB even though remember Windows 32bit  will only recognise the 3GB

The real performance boost I notice is when a Windows XP machine goes from 512MB of ram to 2 GB of ram or in a Vista machine when installing the 4GB.

Windows 7 runs exceptionally well with the 4GB of RAM.

For the extra money , $150 on average it will make all the difference.

The same applies for Mac's with most sold with a minimum of 2GB installed but Macbook Pro's run well with at least 4GB in them.( Check your model if you have an earlier Macbook Pro as earlier models do not except more than 2GB of RAM )

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Cloud Computing Explanation

Back in the “good old days” ( I must be getting old ) you would buy your computer and your software take your computer home or to work , install all the software , look for the updates ( hopefully ) and get to work. That was how it used to be. Now the times are changing as we now have “the cloud.”  The cloud is where your software and files are stored on a server ( computer) not on your machine. You then log onto the service to access the files and the software needed for these files & or application. For example Gmail is my primary mail client and it resides on the web. That means that if I have a problem with my computer or it is stolen I will always access to my E Mail because it resides at Google. All my documents are synced through Dropbox , so that whichever computer or device I use my documents are always there and in sync  Cloud applications mean that you do not have to install these applications on your computer. This also means , no maintenance as updates are all done on line. Lets gave a look at… Read More

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It’s The Tech Time Buying Time Of Year

buying computers and technology

Lots of tech and computer products are bought at this time of year.

Here is some advice with the new products you have.

 

  1. Read the instruction manual and I mean a decent read 
  2. If it still is not working the way you think it should work refer to No 1 again
  3. When setting up tech products don't let people or the family hover over your shoulder , it will cause you to make a mistake , take your time
  4. The 30 day rule applies to tech and computers , if it is going to break down it will usually happen in the first 30 days and if it does, it is more than likely going to be a dud
  5. If you get stuck consult the biggest instruction manual , Google

 

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I Need That File Back

Looking for a utility that will recover files from hard drives , flash drives , SD Cards. Try PC Inspector which has been known to do a good job at recovering all sorts of files. PC Inspector will support the recovery of ARJ AVI BMP CDR DOC DXF DBF XLS EXE GIF HLP HTML HTM JPG LZH MID However if you have a problem with a drive stop using that drive straight away and then run PC Inspector. The best thing of all , it’s FREE Tekzilla also had a segment on recently where they discussed file recovery software Tools they used were Recuva , Data Rescue 3, Test Discand Photorec It is worth while watching the segment and remember if you have an issue with a drive that you need to recover files from “Dont use the drive “

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Image Your Hard Drive

DriveImage xml

So you have reinstalled your operating system and done all the updates , installed your software and it is just the way you want it.

Why not remember this by " imaging" your hard drive now so that you have an exact duplicate of you hard drive so that if you run into problems and need to reinstall you can do so from your " image ".

This is not the same as backing up your documents but it is a way of getting your computer back to it's fresh install quickly.

This particularly useful if you pick up malware , virus infections and want to get your computer back to it's original state.

Software to do this  is  DriveImage XML Backup Software and it's free

However don't forget to read the instructions.

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