Amateur PC "Repair" people everywhere!

Published by dave at 11:56 AM under blog | computers | Microsoft Operating Systems | Opinion | technology

In a tough economy, you'll find them everywhere. Who are "they"? I'm talking of course about the people who once replaced Aunt Gertrude's defective mouse. They're the same kind of people that stumbled upon the free utility Spybot Search & Destroy and now they are computer repair experts!
Don't get me wrong, there are legitimately knowledgeable and professional people offering computer repair services in Southern Utah. So how do you distinguish between true experts and posers? That is part of the reason I started St. George, UT PC Doctor, because nothing is more upsetting than to see someone being taken advantage of by fly by night opportunists. Here's a hint, a poser is usually one that attempts to exploit your fears and lack of knowledge. They use impressive sounding "buzzwords" to make you believe they really must know what they are talking about.
Offers to perform "Free System Checks" is usually another clue that somebody is just looking for a way to make a buck off you. You really think after that "free checkup", they aren't going to find "something" that needs to be fixed?
It's my belief that the better informed you are, the less likely you are to fall for an unwarranted PC repair scam. Frankly, I would rather help you keep your computer OUT of the shop, and empower you to keep it running properly through helpful articles written with minimal technical jargon.
If you've got computer questions or would like to see an article about anything specific, please post your comments or reach me directly through the email link on the Contact page. Oh, and one more thing, if your computer really is broken, I can fix it.

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Today’s Tip: Security Updates from Microsoft

Microsoft released critical patches to it’s Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista consumer platforms Tuesday March 10th. In addition, critical patches were released for Server platforms as well. If your system is not configured to automatically download and install automatic updates, you should run Windows Updates to insure you have the latest security fixes. This is one of the most important things you can do to protect your system from malware.

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Today's Tip: Scheduled HDD Defrags (Pt 2)

Yesterday I showed you how to set up an automated background defragmentation of your computers HDD using a scheduled task on Windows XP and Windows 2000. As you may have noticed, it's a tedious and multi-step process. Today I'll show you how much easier the same process is on Windows Vista and Microsoft's next OS, Windows 7. Microsoft has really simplified and streamlined the process!

 Step 1 of 4

Step 1 of 4: Click on START and type Defrag into the search box then double click "Disk Defragmenter" at the top of the search results

 Step 2 of 4

Step 2 of 4: Select the check box "Run on a schedule (recommended)" and then click on "Modify Schedule" Ste[ 3 of 4

Step 3 of 4: Set the frequency, day, and time for your scheduled defrags and click OK. Helpful hint, schedule a time when the computer is on but not likely in use. Step 4 of 4

Step 4 of 4: Click on "Select Volumes" and place a check mark next to the drives you wish to defrag. Click OK and your automatic scheduled defrags are set!

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Today's Tip: Scheduled HDD Defrags (Pt 1)

A couple of days ago, I discussed keeping your system running efficiently with periodic HDD defragmentation. Under Windows XP and 2000 this is done by clicking on START > Programs >Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. From there follow the wizard to defragment your HDD. This can also be setup as an automated task on specified schedule so you can set it and forget it. Part 1 of my tutorial on scheduling an automatic HDD defrag under Windows XP and Windows 2000 is below. Look for part 2, scheduling automated HDD defrags under Windows Vista tomorrow. Step 1 of 10

Step 1 of 10: Click on START > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks Step 2 of 10

Step 2 of 10: Double Click on "Add Scheduled Task" Step 3 of 10

Step 3 of 10: When the scheduled task wizard starts, click "Next" Step 4 of 10

Step 4 of 10: From the Program Selection option, click "Browse" Step 5 of 10

Step 5 of 10: Using "Look in" navigation, navigate to C:\Windows\System32. Locate and open"defrag"

Step 6 of 10

 Step 6 of 10: Select how often you want the defrag to run and click next Step 7 of 10

Step 7 of 10: Select start time and other parameters and click next. Helpful hint - make sure you select a time during which your computer is powered on but not in use. Step 8 of 10

Step 8 of 10: Windows requires that you enter a user and password (twice) so the task can run as if you were sitting at the machine. This will be your username and password. Click Next Step 9 of 10

Step 9 of 10: The task scheduler wizard confirms that you have setup your defrag task. Select "Open Advanced Properties" and click Finish

 Step 10 of 10

Step 10 of 10: In the "Run" box, it will say "C:\windows\system32\defrag.exe". You must add a SPACE and drive letter notation. So, for example, if you want to defragment drive C, you would modify the "Run" box to say "C:\windows\system32\defrag.exe c:" (without quotes). Click OK to finish. At this point, the scheduled task wizard will prompt you once again for your password.

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