Archive for the ‘General Tech’ Category

Your Hard Drive Is Going to Fail

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

If you’ve been around computers for a while, you know this equation all too well…

At least you should know that equation. Your hard drive is going to fail.

But evidently people don’t. Often, I hear of people who have important data on their computer, experience a hardware failure, and lose that data. Permanently.

They never learned that:

 

My heart goes out to people who, along with that data lose hours of hard work and years of treasured memories.

So why not backup your data? Now?

It’s not that hard.

You can use the cloud — Dropbox, Google Drive, MS OneDrive, to name a few. I do that.

Or you can create backups locally. I do that too.

I do this because I know my hard drive is going to fail.

Years ago, I spent $100 on a USB drive and plugged it into my router. (The router has to have a USB port). I hide this behind my monitor, so it’s not taking up valuable desk space.

Then I use it for local backups. Several times a week.

When I plugged the hard drive into the router, it showed up in Windows Explorer like this.

After entering the router username and password, I was able to copy files to that drive using Windows Explorer, or any OS equivalent.

Most frequently, I use something called FreeFileSync, an application that lets me synchronize two drives or folders to one another.

Be aware that, if you’re not careful, you can delete all your data with either of these tools, but if you do nothing, the certainty of Hard Drive Failure will cause data loss for sure.

Your hard drive is going to fail.

So what’s holding you back?

Did I mention that your hard drive is going to fail?

Take a look at your router now, and if it has the USB port, go buy a drive to backup your stuff. If you don’t have a router with a USB port, you can get one or you can use a USB port on your PC.

Do something, because your hard drive is going to fail.

Coupon Apps = Danger

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Over the past few months, some volunteers at the church have told me that the computer they use is running slowly. Finally, one said that it would no longer print. When I looked at it, it said the hard drive was failing and it could not access the internet.

In about eight hours time, I took well over 1,000 pieces of malware off it.

The scariest part is that the malware included a DNS hijacker that, when you try to go to a website, would take you somewhere else. It might take you to a ad-laden version of that site or to a web page specifically designed to steal user information.

I removed about 10 items — things I could see in the “Add Remove Programs” section of the control panel.

uninstallcp460

I then ran some tools on the machine:

  1. Norton was already installed and active. It had allowed all these to reside on the machine, unattended.
  2. Malwarebytes took over 1,000 off the machine.
  3. Lavasoft’s, Adaware found a couple that Malwarebytes missed.
  4. In the end I installed Avast. It found a couple more and removed them.

I had to manually edit the registry to get rid of Snap.Do.

After this thorough cleaning, I replaced the failing hard drive with a SSD drive, using a drive clone application.

Most of these items were installed by people who fell for the trap of downloading coupon printers. That’s an old ploy that still gets people. If there is a legitimate coupon available, you can just print it from the website. NEVER download a coupon printer, unless you want to slow your computer, possibly disable it (as in this case), and risk having your username and password stolen.

If you have entered your own username and password in a machine that has coupon apps on it (as did this one), I would suggest changing your passwords.

If you’re looking for someone to spend the time cleaning your machine, as I did the one at church, I suggest contacting Uptown Computer in Curwensville. Ask for Terri.

SOLVED: Videos on Chrome Flickering

Friday, November 20th, 2015

On several of my PCs, videos will be jittery in Google Chrome.

It happens on many websites (Facebook, The NHL Network, etc.) and it doesn’t happen with other browsers.

I solved this by going into the advanced settings and turning off “Use hardware acceleration”

hardwareaccel

More details?

  1. Just click the menu in the upper right of the Chrome window.
  2. Then click Settings.
  3. Then click “Show advanced settings…” at the bottom of the settings screen.
  4. Then take the check mark out of “Use hardware acceleration when available”.
  5. Then restart Chrome.

This fixed the problem on my Lenovo Yoga II and on an older Athlon machine I have that uses an Nvidia graphics card.


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