Backing up your work is very simple to do and often the most distressing thing that I have to deal with when people find that their computer won’t start any more and they haven’t been backing up their work.
Unless the internal disc drive has completely failed (and that does happen) it is usually possible to retrieve the documents, pictures, music files and videos that remain.
There are many options for backing up the important stuff. These range from having extra internal drives, external drives, cloud back-up and even a disk drive connected to your router. It’s also a good ides to either use a web based version of your email account or at least make copies of your address book and messages. Do you know your account name and password? A lot of people have the password stored away in the computers system and have to use it so seldom that, at the crucial time of trying to recover their system, they cannot find or remember it. Windows 8.1 has a very neat backup system - all you do is add a suitable external drive.
I don’t generally recommend disc imaging - i.e. keeping a complete backup of the whole hard disc drive including all programs and operating system as re-installing from such an image often leaves you little better off than your were when the computer stopped working. However, if you want a bigger disc drive for an otherwise perfectly working machine then transferring the image across works fine.
Otherwise, if you’ve had to have a new disc drive it’s easy enough to re-install the operating system and other programs JUST SO LONG AS YOU HAVE all of the CDs/DVDs that came with the computer.
In many cases I can retrieve the most important personal files for you and I can advise and setup up back-up solution to suite your needs. If all else fails I can at least fit a new disc drive and get your computer going again - but NOW would be a pretty good time to get that back up system in place!!
This is another of those things that people either lose sleep over or don’t worry about until its far too late.
Fortunately there are some easy to use and free products that you can down load and, if you are really up-to-date with your operating system, i.e. you are using Windows 8 or 8.1 I’m told that you don’t need to worry at all. Even so I am using Avast 2014 Free Antivirus and Malware Bytes Pro on my Windows 8.1 machines.
There are two immediate suspects here. One will be that all of the cooling fans are clogged up with dust and are trying to work really hard to do their job.
The second is often a disc drive and worst of all a disc drive that is failing. Again, if the computer is worth upgrading then a SSD would be a worthwhile consideration.
Dismantling a computer can seem daunting so if you would rather have it done for you contact me and we can arrange a mutually convenient time for the work to be carried out.
As well as the more traditional uses for a home network, i.e. connecting your computer and/or your laptop to the Internet life has got a whole lot more interesting with the advent of smart phones, tablets, Air printing, Air Music Streaming and not to mention smart televisions.
Getting this to work in different parts of the house can be a little daunting and so, over the years, I’ve found products and methods of making this a little more manageable.
Where I don’t succeed I don’t charge! And that goes for all of my services.
This might be either the disc drive or a lack of RAM or both.
Either way you will need some kind of hardware remedy unless you are prepared to un-install quite significant quantities of software and even some of your larger documents and files.
Again, if your machine is fairly new it may be possible to up-grade it other wise a new machine is a sensible option while the old one has enough life left in it to let you recover all of your files and have them transferred to a new one.
This is where I can help you. Just email me for further help and information.
There are lots of reasons why a computer might be running more slowly than you think it should.
1. Funnily enough it might be partly down to you expecting more than you did when it was new and seemed faster BUT
2. Much more likely it is slowing down because over the months and years it gets clogged up with all sorts of extra up-dates and patches to the operating system. The end result is an operating system that is now bigger than it was when you bought the computer and the bits and pieces of hardware that used to cope are now having to work harder and with less capacity.
3. Web browsers are also larger than they were when you bought the computer and websites are more complex. Meanwhile, while you are on-line your computer maybe trying to download even more up-dates to the operating system, anti-virus and so forth. This will make your browsing experience less than ideal.
4. Certain types of anti-virus software will slow the computer down as they try to check, in real time, each and every file that you access either on line or from the hard disc drive. Out of date anti-virus software will work more slowly than latest versions and, anyhow, will be next to useless as a form of protection.
5. In the dim and distant past you may have set up a ‘back-up’ schedule for your computer - if you are only a casual user of the machine then this will slow you down some more since the backup software now has to check which files are up-to-date and which may need copying and the very process of copy will also use resources.
6. A shortage of memory will mean that your computer will constantly be using something called a ‘swap-file’ on the hard disc to keep things that it doesn’t have enough memory to store. Modern machines use anywhere from 3GB to 16GB or R(andom) A(ccess) M(emory) whereas machines only a few years old may well be running with a great deal less. Also a modern computer will have a 64bit operating system while an older machine will possibly still be only able to run a 32bit operating system. The bottom line is that a 32bit system can only access a little more than 3GB RAM while a 64bit system can access up to 16GB RAM
7. Your wireless or network card may be chugging along at 10Mb per second while a newer computer may have anything up to a gigabit connection which allows it to work more quickly on the local network and as quickly as the internet feed to your house allows.
8. Disc drives are now bigger and faster than they used to be. You might also consider a SSD (Solid State Drive) - just fitted a couple of these and the difference in speed is significant.
9. Your computer may be clogged up with dust and grime thus making it run hotter and processors slow down when they get hotter.
10. Your existing disc drive may be slowly failing. This can take months, even more than a year before it finally fails beyond allowing the computer to start and is really annoying to detect.
A full clean up of your computer both software and hardware can be carried out - I prefer it if you bring the machine to me for this as it takes a few hours to complete thoroughly and I need only charge a nominal hourly fee (usually £10 per hour) whereas a call out costs £25 for one hour, £40 for two hours and then £10 per hour thereafter.