Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
- after windows is installed
- after any large installations
- after any large uninstalls
- after and large updates or service pack installations
- All Programs (Programs)
- System Tools
- Disk Cleanup
Sunday, September 13, 2009
One of my clients, a small business owner, had a sudden issue with her hard drive. The issue having the symptom of a BSOD shortly after starting to load windows. Ok, so she called the company she had purchased the computer from, one of the largest in the North America, and they said 'You could run scan disk, but you might be better off sending it for data recovery.'
Well, she called me, and all I could think was that if she was going to get a free estimate, that wasn't so bad. And when she told me the name of the company, I knew the name instantly. One of the biggest in North America. So hey, free estimate, no hassle, lightening service. Why not send it in?
So they respond after a few days saying that she could get a real good deal since the data recovery would be very easy. 'A very good recovery' they called it. Ok, so it was going to cost $1475! Plus, a 250Gb hard drive at $140. Now around the same time I had picked up a 1Tb hard drive (1000Gb) for $108.
Here is the real kicker. She said, 'Nope, the data isn't worth it. The information can be re-entered, and the files redone for drastically less.' But I said, hey bring it by, I'll look at it.
The next day her friend dropped off the drive. I plugged it in, booted my computer. Hey, I just copied via copy paste all of her stuff. Bang, like that. Nothing wrong with that drive at all.
Then I ran Scan Disk on it, and it found some problems with the file system, and fixed them. All that had ever been wrong with that drive was that it needed a simple 8 minute diagnostic and repair routine run on it. Drive was fine. Computer ran. End of story.
Oh, the big company she got her sys from, well, they did replace the drive free under warranty. And in fact she is still happy with that company.
But think about that for a second. The copy paste to recover her data took maybe 20 minutes, it was a lot of stuff. Oh, let me clarify that for you. It took me about 45 seconds to start the copy, then I worked on other things while it ran. And the Scan Disk, well, 8 minutes to run, and it took me about 15 seconds to start it. And again, I worked on other things while it ran.
And an expert company, one of the top in the field, wanted to sell her a disgustingly over priced hard drive, and charge her $1475 for 1 minute of human time, and 28 minutes of computer background time. Do the math, that's $50.86 per minute! And only the scan disk was needed!
Now, I have to say that this incident was quite sickening, and I am quite certain that it is also common place. The problem is, technically, the data recovery company probably didn't do anything legally wrong. They could have said 'Ain't nothin wrong with that drive baby, just run a scan disk and you're good to go'. But they were asked 'Recover this.' So they estimated. Still an outright ignorant price, and morally, its disgusting. Legally... well... I think we all know how that one goes right?
The moral of this story is simple. Learn a little about your computer (or more) and find yourself a techie you can trust. Someone with a soul, and a heart, and not just a lust for money. Protect yourself by knowing. Or else, the system will burn you. That is the only warranty.
This is also why I prefer to say I'm a programmer, and don't bother saying I'm a technician. I'm proud of the work I do, but I am so ashamed of what others do in the industry, I'd rather not be branded in the same pack.
To all of the good technicians out there, I salute you. Now I'm not religious, I'm just a spiritualist, and I like to sleep well. That means, I have to deal clean and even in all I do. For those like this data recovery company, I hope that before you really burn, you actually grow some humanity, and a little moral understanding, maybe some ethics, and goddess help us, maybe a soul?
Watch your back my friends, because sometimes, you are swimming with the sharks, and if you lack knowledge, that is a gaping wound that will get you eaten whole. (at least financially)
Take care, and know your pc!
Sunday, September 6, 2009
The cache itself is a simple thing, but most useful. When you visit a web page you download not only the text in the page, but the images etc. These are put in a cache, and they usually have file names so obscure only the browser could figure it out. But the reason is that this way, every time you visit pages more than once, they load much faster because the images etc, which are often the heaviest part of the page are already in the cache and do not need to be downloaded again.
Therein we find the problem. After a while the cache can become bloated, and it can start to become both a problem with disk load and sorting (when surfing), as well as chewing up a lot of memory. So every now and again, or more like on a regular basis, we should clear this cache.
One the cache is cleared, the pages we access the most often will perhaps be a hair slower to load the first time we go back, but overall, the performance of the web browser will improve greatly.
In fact, if you surf a lot, say you're a surf-a-holic, then you can even notice that just opening the browser can become much slower and at times it could freeze. Oh, even history can be a lag inducer after a while, so you will have to decide if you want to get rid of that as well.
The browsing history is simply a list of links to the last boat load of web pages that you've visited, and can cause similar problems to those caused by the cache.
On windows vista you can clear your cache and history very easily. Just follow the click list below and you shouldn't have an troubles.(Xp users see the note just below the click list) These click lists are for users of Internet explorer 8, for other browsers, you should be able to find the directions in the help for your browser. If you have a different version of Internet Explorer, then there will be slight differences, but you should be able to find your way.
- Click on the round windows logo on the bottom right of your screen.
- Right click the internet explorer icon in the menu that pops up.
- Left click 'Internet Properties'.
- In the little window that pops up, click the 'Delete Button'
Now another window pops up (windows eh? name fits!), and a few default options are selected. The first one 'Preserve favorite website data' means that it won't touch anything from your favorite websites. That's a rather useful one, but sometimes I do wipe it just to keep down on the clutter. After all, I've many favorites, but I don't necessarily surf often. In fact my favorites list is more like a directory of the web! So that could be a big issue on the cache. You have to choose there. Either way, the worst thing is that your favs load like a fraction of a second slower than usual on the first visit after clearing the cache.
The next option is 'Temporary Internet Files'. These are the ones of the biggest interest (unless your favs are like mine!), and you'll want to make sure this box is checked.
The final default option is 'History'. This one is also one that can be important to clear. But hey, wait a sec on this one!!! The history is often a bloated monster especially for super-surfers, yet at the same time it can be rather use full for the absent minded (I've picked through my history to find things before!). So ponder this one for a minute.
Once you have the options you want selected, simply click delete. It may take a bit, but its worth the effort. I'm doing this as I write, and from how long its taking, I can tell I've spent the last several weeks scouring the web!
After the delete is done, just click 'Ok' to close the window. And you're done!
Hope this was helpful!
(PS: I said 3 parts, but I'm adding two bonus episodes! Disk Cleanup, and Check Disk.)
Friday, September 4, 2009
- All Programs
- System Tools
- Disk Defragmenter
Or if you want to make your life easier you can also do this:
- Right click the 'My Computer' icon on your desktop
- Left click 'Manage'
When you initially open Manage, then you may want to check out the second screenshot to find your way to the defrag panel. As is circled in green, the button for the defragmentor is on the left.
Once you have the defragmentor open you can select the drive you wish to defragment by click on it in the list at the top. I have circled the list in the top screenshot, and I also circled the most important button from below, which is the defragment button.
Simply make sure you have the drive selected, and say defragment.
This may take a long while, but it is worth the effort.
For windows vista users, its a slightly simpler process. Click like this:
- the little round windows logo at the very bottom left, which replaced the start button
- All Programs
- System Tools
- Disk Defragmenter
There may be a box that pops up requesting permission to continue, click allow. After that all you have to do is click on Defragment Now, then when the little box comes up, click make sure all of the drives have a check mark in their boxes and click ok.
All that you have to do now is wait...
A note for windows xp users. If you analyze and it says you don't need to defrag, it doesn't really know what it's talking about. It seems under xp the defrag system waits until its really bad before it says you should defrag. Don't wait. Do it.
A note for windows vista users. Windows Vista has a scheduler for the degrag and is probably already set. Well, this is the story. If you want something done right, do it yourself!
Have a good one, and I hope this helps!