What Are The Details Of My Computer

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You may be asked sometimes to give information about your computer to someone who is remotely repairing it or giving you advice.

So what should you know.

Firstly what operating system are you running? Is it Windows XP , Vista or Windows 7.

How much ram / memory do you have installed? 256mb , 512mb , 1GB , 2 GB and so on.

How big is the hard drive you have and do you have more than one hard drive installed.

Do you have Windows update turned on ?

You can usually find this information if you go to start , accessories , system tools , system information

You could also run the  Belarc Advisor.

Once installed Belarc Advisor will show you all your installed software and hardware , Missing Hot Fixes from Microsoft , your antivirus status and more.
This is for Windows only and your information is displayed in your web browser.

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Networking Issues , Ideas and Solutions

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Having networking issues ?

Just remember that up until a few years ago you had to have undergone a university course to have a grasp of the complexities of networks and networking.
There is a great site that can solve and explain a lot of the issues.
Practically Networked
The Troubleshooting and Tutorials section dispenses gives good advice at solving a lot of issues.

One of the biggest tips for networking windows computers is ensuring they are all in the same workgroup name.

Windows XP always had MsHome as there workgroup name but Windows Vista and Windows 7 has " workgroup"

Workgroup
Changing the Workgroup name in Windows XP will allow the networking and sharing of files.

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What Is A Broadband Connection And Look At Your Plan?

I have been seeing a lot of people lately saying their connection is quiet slow. If you are on a wireless usb connection with certain internet providers ( Vodaphone , Virgin to name just a couple) you will indeed have slow internet and is no match for a ADSL2 connection which comes through your phone line. If you want a Mobile Broadband solution I currently recommend the mobile solutions from Telstra for speed and reliablity. However there are certain internet providers that do not notify you if you can swap plans to a faster speed when you are on a ADSL connection. Check what plan you are on. There are some providers that still have people on a 256k to 64k plan and claim this is broadband. This is not broadband and in most cases a simple contacting of your ISP can rectify this within the day and put you… Read More

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E-Mail Issues , Clear Out The Sent Box

Sometimes you will can experience problems with your e mail client that will result in you needing to perform some maintenance to get it to work the way it should.
If your sent box becomes too full you can experience difficulties in sending mail.
You should create a new folder in your email client and move your old sent items into this if you really need to keep these.
If your sent box is too full it can result in multiple copies of emails being sent if the sent box is too full.

Also check if your mail client has an archive function ( such as outlook ) which should be run on a regular basis.

Last thing is to adjust your virus scanner to NOT scan e mails that you are sending only one's that come in.

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Comment On A Current Affair Story About Computer Security

The following is a copy of an email I sent to a Current Affair after their story on Cyber Security shown last week. There were a few anomalies in your story tonight on cyber security.The first was the omission of keeping your operating system up to datewhich any cyber security expert “should” tell you is your first lineof defence and the NUMBER ONE way to prevent infection but the keypoint that was missed.Number two is keeping your software up to date.Out of date software isa security risk.Number three is , don’t open email attachments unless you are 100%sure you know the person sending them and that they have actually sentit to you.Number four is turn off html in email , and view emails in plain textor switch to a web based email program.Number five is make sure your firewall is on and working .Yourbroadband router is your best firewall and… Read More

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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… Read More

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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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