What to do when your computer stops working properly

These days, one of the biggest things we depend on are our computers. Whether we use them for business or personal purposes, it’s always a major inconvenience when they suddenly stop functioning. This tends to be one of the main issues that cause our customers to bring their computers to Restore Computer Repair. A lot of our customers might not know about a possible simple fix that they can do themselves at home. Today, I’m going to walk you through what system restore is and why and how to perform it in Windows.

These are some of the most common reasons why your computer could have stopped functioning correctly and may need a system restore:

  • An update could have installed incorrectly or partially
  • The laptop or desktop could have lost power during an update
  • Certain antivirus/antimalware apps could have interfered with the update
  • The lid could have been shut on your laptop while the update was installing
  • Maybe your computer seems inactive during the installation of the update and you hard shut the computer down.

In some situations, a Windows update may not complete properly and it can cause vital functions to stop performing properly. Furthermore, Windows updates will update your computers hardware drivers and software. If the laptop or desktop gets shut down while Windows is updating your drivers, the system will become unstable. Sometimes having a corrupted driver will cause blue screen errors and may prevent you from booting into Windows. This is why it is beneficial to know how to perform a system restore on your computer.

System restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that essentially allows you to go back in time to when your computer was working properly. It runs in the background every day and takes a snapshot, once a day, of your system settings and registry. System restore is enabled by default in Windows; however, some users may have the feature disabled. In fact, most viruses will infect the computers system restore points. Additionally, some users purposefully disable system restore to free up disk space. Performing a system restore should not cause any loss of personal files, it simply restores your computer back to how it was prior to the issue by restoring the Windows registry.

It’s very important to know that a system restore is not an effective repair for removing a virus on your computer.  When a virus first enters, the first thing it infects are the system restore points. One of the steps any technician worth his salt will perform, when disinfecting a computer with a virus, is to remove all previous restore points. Down the road, should the user decide to do a system restore, they won’t reinfect their computer with a registry filled with virus embedded junk. So, assuming your computer is free of malware and/or a virus, these are the steps to ensure system restore is enabled and how to perform it:

How to make sure system restore is enabled

  1. Locate the Search box in the bottom left corner of your desktop screen.

    windows search box
    windows search box
  2. In the search box, type Create a restore point, and click the control panel result. The “System Properties” window will pop up.

    create a restore point
    create a restore point
  3. Under “Protection Settings,” select the main system drive (C:), and click the Configure button.

    system properties
    system properties
  4.  Ensure “Turn on system protection” is enabled/checked.
system protection
system protection

Performing a system restore

  1. Repeat steps 1. and 2. from above
  2. Click the “System Restore” button

    system restore
    system restore
  3. Once the “System Restore” windows pops up, click “Next“.

    system restore
    system restore
  4. The next window will have the most recent system restore point that was performed. Click that restore point until it’s highlighted and click “Next“.

    system restore point date
    system restore point date
  5. The final window in the system restore process will ask you to confirm the action by clicking “Finish”.

    system restore confirm
    system restore confirm

Once you’ve completed these steps, the system restore process will initialize and could take anywhere from several minutes to several hours depending on your system. It’s important not to interrupt this process. Upon completion, your system will reboot back to your log in screen or desktop and give you a message that system restore completed successfully.

If your laptop or desktop computer is still having problems or system restore failed, call us today at 443-725-5050 and we can repair your computer for you.

 

 

 

 

Frustrated with how SLOW your computer is running?

One of the most annoying things that can happen these days is dealing with a computer that is slow or unresponsive.  You may notice that applications or internet pages are taking longer than usual to load on your computer. Typically over time it gets worse, taking a whopping 5 or 10 minutes to completely load a single internet page. Eventually, your computer goes from being slow to not responding at all. This could be caused by a virus and a simple clean up of all the junk that’s accumulated over time can fix this. Additionally, the hard drive in your laptop or desktop may be failing and may simply need to be replaced. In any case, if you’ve noticed your PC is running slower than normal, bring your computer into Restore Computer Repair and we can figure out what is causing it right away.

As I already pointed out, there are a couple of reasons why your PC may be running slow. Below, I will go over two of the most common causes of a slow PC and give you a general idea on how much they would cost to repair.

VIRUSES:

One of the most common causes of a slow PC is a virus, which we repair very often at Restore Computer Repair. There are MILLIONS of viruses out there. They can be caused by clicking on a bad link, visiting a bad website, opening a scam email, etc. One of the most recent viruses we’ve seen are situations where someone calls you stating that they work with Google or Microsoft. You may be browsing the internet and all of a sudden you get a pop-up that says you need to call an 800 number. This is a SCAM plain and simple.

If something like this has happened to you, do not call them, do not let them remote into your computer. Immediately bring your computer to Restore Computer Repair, and we will take care of removing this virus and making your computer as good as new. Removing viruses only costs our standard labor fee of $99 total.

HARD DRIVE UPGRADE:

Another common cause for a slow PC is that your hard drive may be failing or you may be reaching that point where you need more space on your hard drive. Here at Restore Computer Repair, we highly recommend upgrading to a solid state hard drive (SSD). Upgrading your hard drive can seriously speed up your PC, giving it new life. In some cases, your PC may run even faster than it did when it was brand new! With us, the average cost of a new hard drive is $199 total, which includes the drive and the labor to transfer all your data to the new drive.

Other than having a slow PC, there are many other issues that you may come across with your PC that we see every single day and would be happy to repair for you. Some examples are…

  • LCD screen repair/replacement
  • DC jack repair/power port repair
  • Motherboard repair/replacement
  • Liquid spills
  • Hinge repairs
  • Keyboard replacement
  • Windows upgrades
  • Black screen with cursor
  • All black screen
  • Blue screen
  • Won’t boot into windows

These examples are just a few of the MANY issues that we repair on PC’s. If you need any of these services done, just give us a call at 443-725-5050 and we will be happy to assist you with any questions you may have. Don’t forget, we service all brands of PC’s including:

  • Asus
  • Dell
  • Sony
  • Toshiba
  • Lenovo
  • Acer
  • Gateway
  • HP
  • MSI
  • Samsung
  • Compaq

Russia accused of using Kaspersky antivirus to spy on computers

This past week I’ve had more requests than ever to remove Kaspersky antivirus and cyber security from customer’s desktop and laptop computers and replace it with another security suite.  According to the Wall Street Journal, NBC, NY Times and many other major news outlets, Russia has been accused of using Moscow-based antivirus giant Kaspersky to spy on and acquire data from computers where the antivirus program is installed.

How did all this get discovered? This is where it gets really complicated: Basically, hackers were hacking into other hacker’s computers while they were in the middle of hacking.  Supposedly, Israeli intelligence personnel hacked into Kaspersky’s own network and discovered Russian government hackers had used the software to remote into American computers.  One of those computers happened to be owned by an NSA employee who had improperly stored classified documents on his home computer, on which Kaspersky was installed.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security ordered all employees and federal agencies who had Kaspersky installed to remove it immediately.  Hence, the droves of people coming into the shop to have it removed and replaced lately.  I’m not complaining at all about the business it’s brought in, however this prompted me to research the rumors I had been hearing and find out how this could have happened.

You see, every antivirus program has to have complete and total access to your entire computer and all the data stored in it, in order to protect you from malicious activity.  There’s no way around that, additionally most antivirus programs have a setting that also sends back a report to the antivirus company of everything malicious it’s found.  Many security suites also transmit a list of visited URLs (web addresses) both non-malicious and malicious ones.  They may also transmit your name, your local IP address, any running processes, and even your Windows user name.  Who’s to say what else they could access or transmit without your knowledge.

The fact that the Russian government may have used a world renowned piece of security software like Kaspersky to backdoor into computers means nothing is a safe bet.  It may be a good idea in the future to disable these reports from being sent whether you’re using Kaspersky or any other antivirus suite, and it’s not just limited to antivirus programs.  The Windows operating system itself also has similar reports that get automatically transmitted back to Microsoft.  These can also be disabled if you’re uncomfortable with this information being sent out.

Kaspersky, of course, has denied these recent allegations.  However, this should be an eye opener to all my fellow computer users out there to safeguard your data as best as possible.  If you have Kaspersky installed, it may be a good idea to remove it for the time being and use a different antivirus until all the facts have come out.  Our opinion changes from time to time based on our experience and reports we subscribe to, but currently we recommend ESET’s Nod 32 antivirus program, which you can find here.  Also, if you’re not comfortable changing computer settings, uninstalling or installing software, that’s what Restore Computer Repair is for!  Please come see us any time and we can help you with any computer needs or concerns you may have.  We will also keep you updated as we hear more about this scandal in the coming weeks.

Is “Microsoft” or “Google” calling you?

Has someone called you recently claiming to be from “Microsoft” or “Google”?  They may say your license has expired or your computer is sending out hundreds of errors or some other bogus alert.  If so, you’ve been scammed!

Like other tech support scams, this one tries to convince you that something is really wrong with your pc and urgently pressures you to visit their support website, call their “tech support team” or ask that you allow them to remote in to your computer.  Hopefully, this hasn’t happened to you yet, however if you happen to get this call in the future, hang up immediately.  If you’ve already been victimized by these scam artists, your bank account, passwords, emails, identity, etc. are at high risk of being stolen. In many cases you may not see any symptoms at all, other common symptoms include a recent unfamiliar “security” or “antivirus” software program or pop up.

If this has happened to you recently, bring your computer into the repair shop today and we can ensure your computer is safe and secure and recommend legitimate antivirus software to help prevent problems like this in the future.