Search CTI
   
 
  
PicoSearchSite Search by PicoSearch
  Help  

 

Loyal Business Machines &
Computer Techniques, Inc.

980 Sunrise Highway
Babylon, NY 11704
631-422-0531

Do it yourself - Computer Techniques Self-Help Guide to Computer Repairs

Common Problems:
  • Conflicts due to installing Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Your computer is running very slow.
  • You computer is getting inundated with pop-up ad's.
  • You can no longer run certain programs.
  • You have difficulty getting on to the Internet.
  • Internet Explorer no longer works.
  • Your computer keeps crashing.
  • The home page has changed and you can not change it back.
  • The kids just recently downloaded Kaaza or some other "supposedly free" music sharing program.
  • You think your computer has a virus
     (if your virus software has been asking you to renew for the past few weeks and you have been ignoring it, you have a virus).
Probable Solutions:

 

*Sampling of Website Designs. Click on any Design to view the complete website.*


*The following links go to independent websites and will open in a new browser window. Computer Techniques, Inc. is not responsible for their content. This page contains tools, advice and resources to assist you in cleaning up your troubled computer and to keep it running at peak performance.  Keep in mind that you are solely responsible for downloading, installing and running any of these programs.*


Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor
- designed to help Windows XP users identify whether their PCs are ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista, which edition of Windows Vista meets their needs, and which features of Windows Vista will be able to run on their PCs.

XP Service Pack 3
- What you should know before downloading Windows XP Service Pack 3

Windows Updates
- Get the latest updates available for your computer's operating system, software, and hardware from Microsoft. Windows Update scans your computer and provides you with a selection of updates tailored just for you.


Anti-Virus

Every computer needs to have active up-to-date anti-virus software running. If not, your computer is guaranteed to get a virus.

Perform a free on-line virus scan from Panda to rid your system of active viruses.

Panda Anti-VirusPerform a virus scan on your system for FREE.
This service will detect and remove viruses found on your system.
You can perform this scan as often as you wish.  Click HERE

or

Perform this FREE on-line virus scan from Trend Micro to rid your system of active viruses.

This Free service will detect and remove viruses found on your system.  You can perform this scan as often as you wish.  Click HERE

(You need to accept the download of the anti-virus software by trusting the content from Trend Micro. After the download completes click on "My Computer" and the "Auto Clean" choice.  Click on the SCAN button to start the scan.)

When the scan is done the program will most likely tell you that any viruses it found are non-cleanable.  Don't worry about that, but instead click the DELETE button.  The program will attempt to delete the infected files from your computer.   Reset the computer and run this virus scan again to verify that it has removed ALL viruses from your computer.

(If for some reason you can not get out to the internet through Internet Explorer to run this program, try to use "My Computer".  Double click on "My Computer" and in the address bar type in the following URL:  http://housecall.antivirus.com/housecall/start_corp.asp  and hit enter.)

 

*     Note: This free online virus scanner, only scans when you visit. Purchasing and installing antivirus software provides around-the-clock protection. We recommend scanning your computer with the free scan from Panda first to make sure there are no viruses on your machine but once that scan has completed it is very important to install a virus protection program that will catch the viruses before they infect your system.

Recommended anti-virus software vendors are:

You do not need to purchase the complete full-up version of any of these programs.  All you need to purchase is the basic anti-virus protection which is usually the cheapest and simplest version of the program. Purchasing a firewall is not necessary if your computer is already behind a router. From my experience, most people end up either disabling the firewall since it caused some of their software not to function due to misconfiguration.


Virus Terminology

Certain terms used to describe online threats can be confusing. Here's an easy understand glossary of commonly used words that are related to Internet security.

Virus: A program that replicates itself across a network, or the Internet. The virus payload may be destructive, like deleting files, or it could simply try to overwhelm a network by copying itself.  A Virus typically spreads itself by attaching itself to emails that it sends out using your address book on your computer.  The virus will randomize the To: and From: fields of the email it sends out  in order to keep people in your address book from realizing and warning you that YOU are the culprit that has been sending all that virus-infected email to them.  In general do not open any attachments unless you are expecting something from someone you know.  

Virus signature: The "fingerprints" of a virus, which antivirus programs use to identify and isolate viruses. Users should regularly update their antivirus programs online to download the latest virus signatures, so they're protected against new viruses.  Typically most virus software companies give you a 1-year subscription to their servers to download these virus signatures.  BEFORE this subscription expires you must renew your subscription in order to keep your virus signatures up-to-date. Anywhere from 2 to 10 new viruses are discovered each day and if you do not have the latest virus signatures your chances of getting infected increase every day.

Worm: A virus that replicates itself without human intervention. If the victim has to open an e-mail attachment to get infected, it's a virus. But if it scans for new victims and attacks by itself, it's a worm.  Worms spread through a network and will typically infect every computer attached to that network unless that computer is protected by some Antivirus software.

Trojan: A program that doesn't necessarily replicate itself, but like the legendary wooden "Trojan horse" is much more than it appears. A Trojan program might look like a game, but instead it steals your personal information and sends it to a criminal.

Password sniffer: A file that seeks out passwords on your computer, then sends them to a hacker. A keylogger can also grab anything typed on the keyboard.

Blended threat: A program that combines the characteristics of viruses, worms and Trojan horses. An example of a blended threat was the Nimda virus outbreak.

Exploit: A program that takes advantage of a security hole in a computer program, like Microsoft Windows or AOL Instant Messenger.


Spyware / Adware: General terms for a program that surreptitiously monitors your actions. While they are sometimes sinister, like a remote control program used by a hacker, software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers.  Spyware typically seizes a great deal of your CPU's processing time and Internet bandwidth eventually slowing your computer down to a point that it will be rendered useless to you.  A main source of spyware comes from allegedly free programs that you be download off the Internet.  One of the primary sources of spyware is from free versions of Music Sharing programs such as Kazaa, Morphis, Bearshare, Limewire, Madster, Grokster, and WinMX to name a few.  Even Real Player and Windows Media Player have components that are considered spyware.  My recommendation is to use the purchased (non-adware supported) versions of these sharing programs.

Rid your system of Adware and Spyware.

Download and run one or all the following FREE programs.
These programs both detect and remove a multitude of adware and spyware files.
These programs will start to download a little while after you click on Download link. 
When the file download box pops up, make sure you click on the OPEN or RUN button to install the program.  Choose all the default settings during the installation by clicking next and finish.

Windows Defender is a free program that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software. It features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected.

Spy SweeperSpy Sweeper
Stop spyware from monitoring your online activites and reducing PC performance. Spy Sweeper features Active Shield technology, which stops spyware before it infects your PC. Deep scans root out and quarantine the trickiest programs.

Spybot Search & Destroy
Spybot Search & Destroy

This program is supplied for free by Patrick M. Kolla and you can find out more about it by clicking here for the home page. Run the program, click on Search & Destroy, then check for problems.  When complete, click on "fix selected problems".

Ad-awareAd-aware - Download Here
This program is supplied for free by the company called LavaSoft and you can find out more about them by clicking here for their home page. Ad-Aware is designed to provide advanced protection from known Data-mining, aggressive advertising, Parasites, Scumware, selected traditional Trojans, Dialers, Malware, Browser hijackers, and tracking components.

Run and Update: Once downloaded and installed. Run these programs one at a time by clicking on the appropriate icon on your desktop.
Before you have the program check for problems, make sure you have it check for updates. This way the program will be able to find and remove the latest threats.  Note: when downloading the latest updates from the SpyBot program make sure you change the download location from Europe to the USA since sometimes the Europe location does not work.

Fix Selected Problems: After the programs have completed make sure that all of the problems found have check boxes next to them. Then continue by either clicking the next button (in Ad-aware) or the "fix selected problems" button (in Spybot).  

Run these programs once a month or whenever you feel your system starts to slow down.


Know your Hardware

Download Sandra
- Sandra is a program that Identifies and lists all of the hardware in your computer. This is especially important to know incase you need re-load any device drivers.

iP Chicken
- Click here to find your IP address and Remote Port.


System Utilities

Whether you’re an IT Pro or a developer, you’ll find Sysinternals utilities to help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose your Windows systems and applications.

www.sysinternals.com

While the flexible security model employed by Windows NT-based systems allows full control over security and file permissions, managing permissions so that users have appropriate access to files, directories and Registry keys can be difficult. There's no built-in way to quickly view user accesses to a tree of directories or keys. AccessEnum gives you a full view of your file system and Registry security settings in seconds, making it the ideal tool for helping you for security holes and lock down permissions where necessary.

PsTools.zip

Windows NT/2K provides Registry settings that can be set so that a user is automatically logged in the next time the system would otherwise put up the logon dialog box. However, the Registry values are hidden very deep, and are a pain to configure. This program, Autologon, will do the Registry configuration for you, and allow you to enable and disable auto-logon when you want.

Autologon.zip

Scan your system for rootkit-based malware

RootkitRevealer.zip

See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings.

Autoruns.zip

Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Handle is a utility that displays information about open handles for any process in the system. You can use it to see the programs that have a file open, or to see the object types and names of all the handles of a program.

Handle.zip

Tired of running Calc everytime you want to convert a hexadecimal number to decimal Now you can convert hex to decimal and vice versa with this simple command-line utility.

Hex2dec.zip

ZoomIt is screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations that include application demonstrations. ZoomIt runs unobtrusively in the tray and activates with customizable hotkeys to zoom in on an area of the screen, move around while zoomed, and draw on the zoomed image.

ZoomIt.zip


Performance

Free up Previously Used Memory

http://www.memturbo.com/ MemTurbo increases your system performance by making more RAM available for your applications and the operating system. It also defragments your physical RAM, increasing the efficiency of your CPU and Motherboard caches. MemTurbo also recovers memory leaks from poorly behaved applications and flushes unused libraries and DLLs temporarily out to disk, making more room for your favorite games or applications.

Check your Internet Connection Speed

NetPerSec, lets you check your connection speed in real time. NetPerSec monitors all TCP/IP activity to and from the Internet or other networks, and graphs the communication speed. The utility's dynamic tray icon can show send and receive activity with a bar graph or a histogram. Click here to download the program.

Startup manager

Non-essential programs that load on start up bog down your computer system. StartMan is a startup manager created to address some of the shortcomings in Microsoft's original System Configuration Utility (MSCONFIG.EXE). MSCONFIG is primarily a troubleshooting tool, not a startup manager. Please read the documentation that comes with this program before using it. Click here to download the program.

Try any or all of the following procedures to help speed-up your computer:

Find and remove any Viruses and/or Trojans.
Run a FREE third-party scan from Bitdefender If it finds anything - boot up in safe mode with Networking by hitting F8 before Windows starts to load and run Bitdefender again. If it finds anything, run it one more time in safe mode - if it continues to find something then you need to manually delete the virus - this gets a little tricky but hopefully it won't get to this, but if it does, write down the name of the virus or Trojan that was found and "Google" it with the words Removal Procedure.

Next turn off automatic updates from downloading when they want to.
Go to the Control Panel - Automatic Updates - choose "Notify me, but don't automatically download or install them".
This way the computer will notify you of updates without downloading them first. Microsoft does not care if it takes 100% of your processing time downloading updates - this way you can specify WHEN you want this to occur and not during a time when you need to get some work out.

Next check to see if you have a corrupted hard drive.
Run a CHKDSK /F from a CMD prompt. To do this, click on the START button and type CMD - hit OK. In the resulting black CMD box, type CHKDSK /F after the ">" and hit ENTER. When it says do you want to check the disk on next boot - say yes. Reboot the computer and let it run through the chkdsk. This will map out any bad sectors on the hard drive.

If you don't use AOL and you have ANY of the AOL components installed - remove them all, via Add/Remove programs.
IF you do use AOL, remove their Antispyware and any other components that you do not use. Their Antispyware and other components slow down the performance of your computer.

If when the computer locks and IF the mouse stops moving as well - that is considered a "Hard Lock" - it might be a hardware problem such as bad RAM.
Follow this procedure only if you are experiencing a "Hard Lock":
Download and run the FREE memory testing program from MemTest86 - This program will run from a boot CD or floppy and test the RAM in your computer. IF it should find a problem with the RAM, I recommend that your first try the following procedure before replacing the RAM.
Unplug and open the computer - remove the RAM modules by pushing the clips at either end - run a pencil eraser over the contacts on the module - both sides (do not attempt to clean the motherboard connector this way). Re-insert the RAM modules - they should snap back in easily. If you continue to experience "hard locks", then I recommend replacing the bad RAM module.


Domain Database

Better Whois
- lookup the domain in the shared domain registry, locate which registrar has reserved the name, and visit and query that registrar's database for the correct information


Messenger Service

In addition to being a security risk, Windows' "Messenger Service" is being used to "Spam" Windows users across the Internet.  If you are running Windows XP or 2000 you need to turn the messenger service off. Click here to download a simple program that will turn the Messenger Service off for you. 


Beware of "FREE" music sharing programs

Over 90 percent of the time we find that the root of the problem is due to someone who recently downloaded Kaaza or some other supposedly free music sharing program to your computer.  Most, if not all, of the supposedly "free" music download programs such as: Ares, Bearshare, Limewire, Morpheus & Kaaza come with a very large payload of advertising software that will spy on your internet browsing habits and report this information back to them for use as they please. When you downloaded these "free" music sharing programs you agreed to this in their "terms of use".  Next time read the terms before you click the "I AGREE" button.  We know the "terms" are lengthy but skim through them to see what rights you just AGREED to give up! 

i-Tunes
The only music downloading store we recommend is i-Tunes from Apple.


2007 time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating systems

Starting in the spring of 2007, daylight saving time (DST) start and end dates for the United States will transition to comply with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. DST dates in the United States will start three weeks earlier (2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March) and will end one week later (2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November).
Direct links
For Windows XP Patch - click here
For Windows 2000 - Time Zone Editor - click here - change to second Sunday in March and first Sunday in November.


For Windows 2003 Server Patch - click here - don't use unless for a 2003 server!
For MS Exchange 2003 - Service Patch 2 - click here


Junk Mail:

If you are running Outlook 2003 - click here for the latest junk mail filters to help eliminate the amount of junk mail coming into your inbox. Microsoft now requires you to Validate your copy of Outlook before they let you download this update. They will check the legitimacy of ALL your office and Microsoft products that you have installed on your computer as well!

Before YOU become part of the problem and forward that email that asks you to "pass-it-on" - find out if it's truly for real by clicking here => http://www.truthorfiction.com/. Click on the search link on the left.


Download Ultra VNC


If your computer is still having problems, Computer Techniques can help. Call us at 631-422-0531 for more information and rates of service.


File Transfer:
Upload and Download large files using our Free File Transfer system bellow.

Website Design | E-Commerce | Search Engine Optimization | Web Development Guide | 5 Phases of  Website Development | Computer Repairs and Upgrades | Canon Copier Rentals | Computer Networks | Secure Offsite Data Backup | Document Imaging & Management | High Quality Compatible Laser Toner Cartridges | Compatible Ink Tanks | Compatible Copier Drums | Copy Solutions | Company Policy Page | About Computer Techniques | Local Links | Home Page