Posts Tagged ‘Computer Repair’

Why Choose Hampton Roads Computer?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

In today’s sea of Walmart, Sears, Lowes, and other ‘big box’ stores, many have come to accept these large companies as the standard for finding groceries, supplies and other merchandise. However, is bigger and complex always better?
In the IT / Computer repair world, the same is true – there are the monster IT support companies with large contracts and huge client bases, but can they always provide the best service?
Here are some reasons to consider calling a more specialized company such as Hampton Roads Computer Repair over a ‘big box’ computer company:

 

  • We offer more specialized service than larger companies
  • We respond much faster to your service requests
  • Things easily ‘slip through the cracks’ with larger companies
  • Overhead is LOWER so prices are also
  • We are certified, trained professionals, not the ‘cheapest’ employee the company can find
  • We come to you
  • We offer attention to detail, we provide higher workmanship
  • You are a customer to us, not a number
  • We are honest, not trying to just make a sale

 

Hampton Roads Computer Repair may not be the largest or loudest company in the area, but we strive to be the best. Accidentally deleted those priceless photos? Tell us the photos you want back the most and we will work hardest to recover those. Unlike some large IT companies, your opinion matters to us. We offer Virginia Beach Computer Repair, Chesapeake Computer repair, Norfolk Computer repair, laptop repair, Virginia Beach printer repair, Chesapeake printer repair, HP laserjet repairs, Hampton Roads IT support, wireless networking and configuration, Hard drive data recovery, camera photo recovery, electronics repair, and so much more!

 

What is Linux, Why is it used in Computer Repair?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010
Linux Penguin, The Linux Mascott

Linux Penguin, The Linux Mascot

Linux is a term familiar to most IT techs. Unfortunately, many of them have only heard the name, and have never used it in practice. Linux is an operating system, like Microsoft Windows for the PC or OS for the Mac. Linux is different in that the code is freely available (open-source) and it is completely free to use. Linux operates in a much different manner than Windows – Linux is based on its own set of command line programs.

Linux has numerous pros and cons as a desktop operating system, and it also serves as a very handy computer repair tool in the hands of a skilled technician.  To begin our discussion of Linux, first realize that Linux is not Windows.

In contrast to Microsoft Windows, Linux is completely free. There’s no cost to downloading and using it. Many small businesses and schools are switching from Windows to Linux for this reason alone – the price savings can be enormous.

On the other hand, because Linux is not Windows, common tasks are accomplished differently and it can be difficult to learn. If you are interested in switching to Linux, you also must be prepared to tackle problems on your own (with the help of Google). You will have to edit config files, install different versions of software, and troubleshoot errors. With recent flavors of Linux, such as Ubuntu, such difficulty is rapidly disappearing as the system becomes more user friendly and automated. In fact, installing new Linux software packages in Debian-based systems is now so easy that all it takes is a simple “sudo apt-get install [package-name]” command.

Linux commands are similar to Windows commands, but they do have significant differences. For example, the “cd [DIRECTORY]” command is very similar to the Windows command, but in Linux “ls -la” is the Windows equivalent of “dir”. “mv [OLD NAME] [NEW NAME]” is used instead of the Windows command “ren [OLD NAME] [NEW NAME]”. Such differences can be hard to learn at first, but with time they become second-nature.

Another major drawback to using Linux instead of Windows is that it can’t run Windows programs natively. Microsoft Office will not run in Linux by default. There are ways around this limitation, however. The WINE project provides a Windows-like layer for executing Windows programs, but it isn’t perfect and many Windows applications will not run. You can check out your favorite program’s compatibility on the Wine project’s app-databse.

Linux also provides alternatives to popular commercial software. For example, OpenOffice is offered instead of Microsoft Office, and the Gimp is offered in place of Adobe Photoshop. Such alternatives are high quality programs, but do realize that they are not the same, and don’t include every feature of their commercial counterparts.

A significant advantage of Linux that makes it a choice tool in computer repair and data recovery is that it can be run dynamically from a single DVD without being installed on your hard drive. We can boot Linux anywhere, anyplace. This is a great advantage because we can usually access your Windows files even if Windows won’t start! We have used Linux numerous times to rescue data that was previously inaccessible, or to simply duplicate user data onto a new disk if the old one was failing.

Ubuntu Linux 10

Ubuntu Linux 10

Lastly, Linux is nearly impervious to malware, spyware, Viruses and Triojans. No OS is perfect, but the weaknesses of Linux are so small that most Linux users don’t install antivirus software. In fact, the available list of antivirus software for Linux is extremely limited, in large part due to the lack of demand.

In summary, Linux is a unique operating system that can be a very effective computer repair tool, especially in data recovery. You may also want to look into Linux as a Windows replacement or secondary operating system. If you only use your computer to surf the Internet and check email and are comfortable using open-source office software like OpenOffice instead of MS Office, you should investigate Linux. Likewise, if you are a computer user who wants to try something new, is comfortable looking up solutions to your own problems online, and would like to tinker with the many tools available in Linux, you should give it a try.

Here at Hampton Roads Computer Repair, we use Linux in our arsenal of powerful computer repair tools. We use Linux, along with many other tools, to recover data, troubleshoot problems, and get you back up and running again. If you need a problem fixed, we pull out all the stops and bring out the big guns to fix your problem. If Linux is the best tool to use, we’ll use Linux.

Remote Support – Is It Worth It?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

In today’s world of computer repair, a relatively new concept is remote computer support. A quick search on the internet will yield millions of hits on various programs which promise to allow “24 hour access to your pc from anywhere”, or provide “low cost computer support”. What many people do not consider are the multiple issues related to this new feature.

  1. Security
  2. Cost-Savings
  3. Adverse Effects
  4. Compatibility

First on anyone’s list should be security. Regardless of some company claims of “100% secure”, or “no-risk”, one must research what actual security is present before handing over the keys of your business network to a remote support program. Many different types of programs exist. Some free programs used by other companies, such as VNC, natively operate based on a local setup. A ‘server’ program is installed on one of your computers, and the client connects to it remotely. Security issues can exist, depending on how well the software is written, what ports are open, etc. Internet based solutions usually require the user to visit a webpage to start a remote session. This can be useful but also easy to attack. If the user is sent to a fake webpage, the page is not well-written, or if the program is not encrypted correctly, problems could result. Others use a little of both of the previous categories. In addition, most of the well-known remote access solutions install some kind of software onto your computer, which is usually left there, even after the remote support is over. A customer in Virginia Beach brought his desktop in to us for repair. While processing it, we noticed numerous files in his profile left from a recent “GotoMyPc” session, which did not resolve his issue, so he brought it to us after that failed. Aside from being a nuisance, this could leave the system vulnerable to attack, especially if the user continued to use the pc for banking and other private activities after he believed the computer was ‘clean’. In addition, in this case, the customer was trying to have an infection removed, which the previous company ‘attempted’ to do over a remote support session. Once they failed (since the infection was in control of the computer’s network connection), they unknowingly left behind these remote support files. So in this case, remote support cost the user more than if he had simply brought it in from the start. Put simply, remote support can be a time saver, or a time waster, depending on the application. Anyone claiming to do remote virus removal should be suspect. In the rare event they are successful, 90% of the time the infection comes right back, since they cannot physically ensure the infection is gone. Adverse effects can be anything from crashing your computer completely, like a customer in Virginia Beach who had another company try to  ‘remotely remove a virus’, to serving advertisements that do not go away, to leaving files on your computer after the remote session ends. Also, not all programs work with certain versions Windows.

The point is, remote support, if done correctly, can save time, but if used improperly it can cost you more in the long run.

  1. Our custom software removes itself after the session ends, leaving your computer exactly as it was before
  2. It will not crash your system
  3. It does not use popups or advertisements
  4. We use encrypted connections end-to-end
  5. You know who is working on your computer (US), not India!
  6. We Speak English!


Remote Support

Are All Antivirus Programs the Same?

Monday, May 24th, 2010

In today’s world of computer repair we deal with numerous threats from malware, spyware, ransomware, viruses and others that require most of us to run antivirus / antispyware programs. While most other companies only sell the programs that bring the highest profit, we recommend you take a deeper look at what each program does and how it affects your system. Contrary to popular belief, the most well-known names do not necessarily mean the best performance. On the contrary, some of the least-known ones work the same, if not better. Many factors should determine which antivirus program you choose,  some of which are:

  1. Protection
  2. Compatibility
  3. Speed (Does it slow your system down?)
  4. Price

Some big names such as Symantec Endpoint Protection have the most media exposure, but our experiences have shown it can bring an entire network to it’s knees, including servers. We had one network in Virginia Beach that called after another company installed SEP and they were completely down. Removing the Endpoint Protection was the solution! Symantec’s home product, Norton 360, can be compared to a virus, in that it slows the system down to an unusable state. One user in Chesapeake had this program on her desktop machine. Removing and replacing the program with another antivirus program was comparable to a memory upgrade! Mcafee and other big names may work in some applications, but for the majority of users, it is not the best choice. Virus creators are always targeting the well-known protection programs as well, and we have seen many current malware programs that instantly disable both Symantec and Mcafee, then proceed to infect the computer, unrestrained. What can be done to avoid this? We believe using a lower-profile antivirus solution, combined with a layered approach helps. Still, in some cases, we recommend others based on specific needs. Watch out for antivirus programs that say they are free as well. There are many ‘fake’ programs out there that infect your computer instead of protecting it, or generate popups on your screen every few minutes. The moral of the story: Don’t be sold on a brand name. Dig a little deeper to see which solution is best for you. This requires research and taking many factors into account. What works on TV does not work for everyone. One size does not fit all!

virus