(remove viruses, connect to the Internet, setup new systems, fix a myriad of problems),
call Bill at (615) 479-4981.
We hope you find this newsletter interesting and useful! Feel free to forward it to anyone you like … or don’t like. 🙂
Restart your computer immediately after updating Adobe Reader or Adobe Flash. This keeps malware from exploiting a recently-discovered security flaw.
Don’t throw away that old computer hardware or software! Give it to us! We might still throw it away (or, more likely, recycle it), but we might also find a use for it. If you want us to donate it, we’ll remove your personal profile and files, make sure everything works, and drop it off at your favorite charity. Give us a call to discuss at (615) 479-4981 or email us here: ComputerHelp!.
Keeping your PC safe
That fake “your pc is infected” warning has been going around again. BEFORE you get it, do the following:
- Download and run ATF-Cleaner (no installation required) to first clean out all the junk files sitting on your computer that will slow down the next programs listed.
- Download and install other browsers besides Internet Explorer. We recommend Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera. It’s always good to have alternatives in case something targets Internet Explorer
- Install an antivirus and KEEP IT UP TO DATE. We recommend: AVG, Kaspersky, Microsoft Security Essentials, ESET and, recently, Sunbelt Vipre. McAfee and Norton are better than nothing, but not
- Install an anti-malware and KEEP IT UP TO DATE. We recommend: MalwareBytes, SuperAntiSpyware, Microsoft Security Essentials and aSquared.
What every Windows PC needs
In addition to staying on top of your Windows and Office Updates, you should install and run the following:
- See Keeping Your PC Safe above.
- We highly recommend Acronis True Image, no matter what your operating system is. It creates an image of your existing installation and copies it to a bootable, protected, hidden partition (or an image file on an external or network drive) that is easily restored. You might lose recent documents after restoring, depending on how it’s setup, but it’s the best thing we’re aware of for quick and painless disaster recovery. Windows VISTA and 7 also have the ability to make a complete backup of your system, but we haven’t tested it thoroughly enough to rate it here.
- For flaky/weird/hinky recovery, assuming you can get into Windows, we recommend ERUNT (Emergency Recovery Utility for NT-based Windows). It puts itself into the Startup group and makes a backup of your Windows registry (where all settings are stored) every time you startup. It’s free.
- Don’t forget System Restore, again assuming Windows will at least start. It’s a great tool. It’s under Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.
- You also need to stay on top of your Java and Adobe Reader and Flash updates, if you browse the Internet (and who doesn’t?).
- See Keeping Your PC Safe above.
- For your hard drive, the physical piece of equipment where all of the above happens, we recommend:
- An external hard drive (here or several here) to safely copy your files. They’re getting bigger and cheaper all the time.
- For the integrity of the drive inside your computer, we recommend running Check Disk every 2 or 3 months, like so:
- Open up a DOS/command prompt (click Start, Run, type “cmd” without the quotes, hit Enter or click OK. For VISTA and Windows 7, you don’t click “Run”)
- Next, type (without quotes): “chkdsk /r” and hit Enter
- When chkdsk starts, it’ll say it can’t be run now, “would you like it to run next time you start Windows?” Answer Yes and then restart your machine soon thereafter. Otherwise, you’ll forget, and the next time you start your machine it will take forever to finish that check and load Windows, you’ll be in a hurry, and you’ll start cursing me and my advice. 🙂