How to Run a Memory Test on Windows 7

You might want to run a memory test for a number of reasons:

> Your computer might be running slow. This could be down to a number of things, namely, if your computer memory has suffered a bit of damage, then it’s not going to be performing to its true potential. Also known as a memory leak, running a memory test will identify and hopefully resolve the problem.

> Your computer could crash a lot. Again this could be down to memory issues, especially if caused by a memory leak. A memory leak is where a malfunctioning piece of memory will assign memory to a process or program where it cannot be recovered. In effect, slowly reducing the amount of memory you have available until you have so little memory left running, your computer is forced to shut itself down to protect itself.

To run a memory test, open the start menu and type “memory” into the search box.

Select “Windows Memory Diagnostic” from the list of search results.

Select the “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)” option from the box that pops up.

Your computer will then restart and the memory test will run. Grab a cup of tea as this might take a while.

Once completed your computer will report to you any memory problems it can find. Call Tek Squad and we’ll be able to help fix your underperforming computer.

My Computer Won’t Switch On. What Do I Do?

It’s an awful sound, the sound of silence. You’re all too familiar with the whirring and clunks and clanks (depending on how old your computer is) that commence immediately after you hit and release the power button.

But what happens if you’re let down and all that follows the clicks of the power button is silence? Well, not to worry, there may still be some hope yet.

First of all, you can start by checking the power cable to your computer. Is the cable plugged in? Is there power going through it? Is your PSU switched on?

Plug something else into the power socket you’re using for your computer, if it switches on, the problem is with the socket and not your computer. If the cable is plugged in and the socket is switched on, check that the cable is securely fixed to your computer.

If the cable is securely fastened to your computer and the socket is switched on, check the back of your computer for a switch. Sometimes power supply units (PSU) have a switch on the back of them so that they can be switched off. Check this switch is in the correct position before proceeding.

A lot of computers with these types of PSU will have an indicator light at the back of them. If this light is on and your computer still won’t start up then it could be a bit of a bigger problem.

At this stage it’s important to remember that your hard drive will probably be ok. I say probably because if there was a power surge, it could have passed a current through the hard drive, leaving the hard drive effectively dead.

At this point as your computer isn’t working then you should get in touch with a computer repair company in your area. They will be able to thoroughly examine your computer and troubleshoot it professionally.

 

Precaution measures to take when outsourcing laptop repairs

The modern laptop is a great business tool, as these days you can carry out most of the functions that you can on a desktop computer but with the added bonus of being able to use them on the move. Choosing the right laptop, as with everything, is vital to ensure you can use it for everything you want to, but the effective running of it means regular maintenance. Even if you take all the precautions that you can such as virus prevention software and carry out regular cleaning both inside and out, your laptop will inevitably run into problems at one point and you will need to source a laptop repairs company unless you have someone in house trained to do so.

Sourcing a company to fix something you don’t understand, and few people know the inner workings of their beloved laptops, can be intimidating in the same way as buying a car; how do I know if their taking advantage of my ignorance, so there are a few precautions to take when outsourcing laptop repairs:
Ask around for recommendations.

Nothing beats first-hand experience and so even if this is your first time outsourcing laptop repairs, you may well know someone who does this already or has done in the past. Ask about companies they have tried, and get an idea of which you should consider and which you should avoid like the plague.

Get the person with the most knowledge of laptops and laptops repairs within your company, or even just someone you know and trust, to talk to companies you are considering. If they are ‘talking the talk’ and clearly understand what is being said, companies will feel much less able to try and full any sort of fast one with you, whether that’s including repairs that aren’t necessary or saying a job will take longer than it will.

Have a company lined up to carry out any laptop repairs in advance instead of waiting for a problem before finding one. This means that you will have more time to find a company you trust and feel comfortable as well as check for references, instead of being in a rush to find someone, anyone, to get your laptop going again; you won’t be held to ransom on time.

Cyber Criminals looking for Ransomware “Kit”

Computer Security Firm Sophos have suggested that cyber criminals might be looking to produce Ransomware kits En Masse.

Ransomware is traditionally a piece of software that will lock down your computer and then charge you money for it to stop. It’s very hard to remove but it can be done by professional computer technicians.

It’s a form of extortion as people who are unaware of the intricacies of their computers will fall prey to this by installing software that they think is something else? An example of this is when people are trying to watch videos online and are prompted to download software to watch the videos.

These websites are malicious and are simply trying to get you download the software any means. Then, once the software is installed, it will take control of your computer and you won’t be able to use it.

They’ll then prompt you to visit a website and buy an anti virus or an unlock code or whatever they want to name it. Until you do this you won’t be able to use your computer.

The good news is that Tek Squad are experts in this type of removal as we’ve demonstrated with the infamous U Kash scam. This is one of the more prominent scams that has been in the news over the years.

These new “Ransomware Kits” are a bad sign then as anyone will be able to get one of these kits and install it on your computer. You’ll need to invest in some antivirus software to make sure you’re protected.

 

Is advancing of technology better or worse for computer repairs

Technology moves at an intimidating speed, and it can be very disconcerting to find that as soon as you’ve become proficient in a kind of standard software, that it’s been updated and you have to learn how to use all of the new features. You can see the speed of development just by thinking about the kind of computer games that were popular 5 years ago compared to now; games are more complex, graphics sharper, images more realistic, and there are systems that can detect your movements and record them as well. Most technology is moving at this speed even if it’s less obvious, including desktop computers and laptops.

Laptops were once baby computers and so whilst they were very mobile they were an additional piece of technology alongside a desktop computer. Mobile technology and internet is one of the fastest developing areas of technology, and so it is for this reason that a laptop is now a fundamental piece of technology, often able to do everything a desktop can. Desktop computers are now able to do more as standard, instead of only carrying out the most basic of functions, with anything more complex only being on the bigger more expensive computers. Processors are faster, memories are bigger, and there is much more choice available, but what does this mean for computer repairs? Does the additional complex nature of computers these days mean that computer repairs are harder and/or more expensive?

Not necessarily, because as computers have advanced, as has the usability; it is much harder to break your computer these days with the press of one button. Computers are designed for everyone these days, and so they are designed to be fool proof. They are also designed to be durable and so they are not nearly as fragile as they once were; screens are tougher and parts more protected, making it harder to break the exterior parts of a computer.

There are also more ways to protect your computer, specifically against viruses. There is free, easy to download virus protection software available on the internet, as well as affordable ones on a disk. You can keep your computer safe much more easily, eliminating the need for a repair to start with.

Computer repairs can be carried out by yourself more, due to the sheer amount of information out there. The internet is full of guides on how to fix simple issues with your computer or laptop, and there are literally hundreds of books as well as loads of short affordable courses.

The more elaborate nature of computers may make you think that repairs will be harder to carry out, but technology also gives you a helping hand.

Windows XP Support will End in April 2014

Windows XP was, in its day, the best operating system out there. It was speedy, safe, productive and seemed such a solid piece of software. In fact, in October almost a third of all computers were still using Windows XP.

As ubiquitous as it was loved, Windows XP has been one of the most popular Windows systems of our generation and will probably go down as one of the most well liked of all time.

When Windows Vista came out, which was meant to be a more advanced version of XP, it just didn’t cut it with Windows fans. Compared to the solidity, speed and security of XP Vista just didn’t work out.

Alas, technology moves on and Windows XP, despite being every inch as dependable and secure as it used to be, was eventually overtaken. It was Windows 7 that eventually took over from XP as the banner bearer of advanced operating systems.

Microsoft repaid their faithful fans with the speedy and responsive Windows 7 after the poor performance of Vista. Windows 7 became very easy to use, with such features as windows that “snap” i.e. fit exactly half of the screen if you move the windows to the left of the right.

It was the success of Windows 7 that really started to drive out Windows XP. With Windows 7 doing so well, less and less updates were released for XP and soon, will cease completely.

On the 8th of April 2014, the eldest member of the Windows Operating system will have it’s support system turned off. That’s not to say that XP will stop working, but support will be dropped for it.

So, if there was a widespread virus affecting XP computers, there would be no update from Microsoft to fix it. You could remove the virus, but your computer will forever remain vulnerable until you upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.

So make sure you upgrade your computer before April.

 

Common Printer Problems and Fix Tips

Despite the popularity of email, online document sharing and the means to send invoices, payments and correspondence online, there are still times when you want or need to print items, which is why a lot of people still have a printer. Printers are more advanced than the first kinds; they combine with faxes and scanners, and the quality of print you can achieve is better than ever. Despite advanced technology involved in printers these days, there are, as with everything, still problem and there are a number of common printer problems, and there are a number of them that you can overcome yourself with some simple fix tips.

 

It sounds so simple but to prevent issues in the first place read, and then hang onto, the instructions! Knowing how it works and how to carry out basic functions will always save you time. There are also usually a number of the most common issues explained at the back of the instructions and having these to hand can save you time. There will also be important information you will need on there.

 

One piece of information is the kind of ink and ink cartridge that your printer needs. The ink will run out at one point and so make sure that you buy the right one. Using the wrong kind of ink is a sure fire way of breaking your printer and once you’ve broken it in this way it needs a professional to fix it; an expense you could do without. Take the make and model with you to the place that you are buying the ink from, or better yet, those instructions with the information on.

 

Paper jams are a classic issue with printers also, and this is where the paper is stuck in the printer, and the pressed nature of the printer will make yanking the paper out a mission as well as potentially breaking the printer even more. To fix a paper jam first turn off the printer. You can then inspect the tray that the the printed paper falls in to. If you can see the paper that is stuck and it is quite far through, it may be possible to manually remove it gently. If not, open the printer door that give you access to the printer ink cartridges or toner and look for the stuck paper and again if the paper is visible then you can manually remove it. Then turn the printer back on. If haven’t been able to see paper, or it is not in an area where it is visible, it might be that your printer is experiencing a hardware problem. Contact the printer manufacturer for more help with repairing it.

 

Problems more complicated than you are able to understand or that you cannot find an answer to should always be referred to a professional computer repair individual or company to ensure that you don’t make any problem worse.  

Ideal computer set up for beginners

It’s true that the number of those that are trained and experienced in using computers is on the rise because of work training as well as the use of technology in schools and further education, but that doesn’t mean that everyone is completely confident with them. When faced with a new computer to set up, a lot of people are overwhelmed and worried about breaking it before even using it and decide to get help or pay for someone to do it. You don’t need to do this with a few simple steps and following the instructions.

First of all you need to make sure that you place your computer where you want it, as it will be harder to move when plugged in and set up. This should be a cool and well-ventilated area to ensure that your computer does not overheat and break. Once you’ve done this you should find your monitor cable. Connect one end of the cable to the monitor port on the back of the computer case, and the other end to the monitor. Tighten the plastic-covered screws on the monitor cable by hand to ensure that it is secure. If a cable won’t fit into a hole don’t force it, it’s clearly the wrong one.

Get out the keyboard to connect it to the computer. If it uses a USB connector, plug it into one of the many USB ports at the back of the computer, or if it uses a PS/2 connector, plug it into the keyboard port on the back of the computer, these are often purple. Then find your mouse, and do the same, except if it uses ad PS/2 connector the port to insert it into is usually green. If you have speakers of headphones, plug them into the audio plug at the back of the computer, which will be signposted.

At this point all you need to do is plug your computer in and start it up. Your computer will then most often give you instructions on how to continue, and any software you wish to install will have step by step installation guides as standard. At this point you will be up and running, and ready to learn how to use your computer.

How to determine if a laptop is stolen

It’s really important to ensure that if you are buying a laptop that is second hand, that it is not stolen. If you buy one and hand over money for it in good faith, if it is traced and found with you, not only could you be in trouble for handling stolen goods, but that laptop does not belong to you and will be returned to its rightful owner, and you will be out of pocket. Even if they find the person that stole it, it is unlikely that you will get all your money back, so whilst it might seem tempting to buy a laptop at a really good price when you have doubts, in the long term you are risking a lot.

There are a number of ways to check if a laptop is stolen or not, and it’s worth taking the time to check where you can. If anyone is pushing you to buy right away and discouraging you to carry out any checks then walk away, it’s a dead giveaway that they have something to find. First of all have a look at the serial number. It can be found on every laptop and is a unique ID for that laptop. They can be used to find out if a laptop has been reported as stolen, and you can do that by either contacting your local police or by visiting the manufacturers’ website. A lot of major laptop companies such as Dell have a database of stolen items which you can check that number against.

A lot of laptops are password protected, and it is possible to get these passwords unlocked by a professional, but if you are buying a laptop where someone doesn’t know the password and is selling it at a good price ‘to compensate the money you would have to spend on getting it unlocked’, don’t do it. If they had bought it from someone they would have got the passwords, and if it was theirs they would know it. There’s no good reason why they wouldn’t so walk away.

Another way is to look and see if there are any files or photos on there, and if so ask them some questions on them. If there’s a load of photos they are vague on or are obviously not a part of, again, walk away.

Precaution measures to take when outsourcing laptop repairs

The modern laptop is a great business tool, as these days you can carry out most of the functions that you can on a desktop computer but with the added bonus of being able to use them on the move. Choosing the right laptop, as with everything, is vital to ensure you can use it for everything you want to, but the effective running of it means regular maintenance. Even if you take all the precautions that you can such as virus prevention software and carry out regular cleaning both inside and out, your laptop will inevitably run into problems at one point and you will need to source a laptop repairs company unless you have someone in house trained to do so. Sourcing a company to fix something you don’t understand, and few people know the inner workings of their beloved laptops, can be intimidating in the same way as buying a car; how do I know if their taking advantage of my ignorance, so there are a few precautions to take when outsourcing laptop repairs:
Ask around for recommendations. Nothing beats first-hand experience and so even if this is your first time outsourcing laptop repairs, you may well know someone who does this already or has done in the past. Ask about companies they have tried, and get an idea of which you should consider and which you should avoid like the plague.

Get the person with the most knowledge of laptops and laptops repairs within your company, or even just someone you know and trust, to talk to companies you are considering. If they are ‘talking the talk’ and clearly understand what is being said, companies will feel much less able to try and full any sort of fast one with you, whether that’s including repairs that aren’t necessary or saying a job will take longer than it will.
Have a company lined up to carry out any laptop repairs in advance instead of waiting for a problem before finding one. This means that you will have more time to find a company you trust and feel comfortable as well as check for references, instead of being in a rush to find someone, anyone, to get your laptop going again; you won’t be held to ransom on time.