Is your computer infected? 10 steps to a solution...
- Written by: Elbowman
This article is inspired by Malwarebytes...
10 easy steps to clean your infected computer
You log onto your computer and it takes forever to boot. When it finally does, a few unfamiliar applications litter your desktop, and your browser immediately sends you to an ad for hair loss products. Sounds like your PC has a problem with malware.
So what should you do? Before you flip out, try these simple steps to clean up your infected computer.
Computer acting suspect? Do a little digging and check for symptoms.
- Does your web browser freeze or become unresponsive?
- Do you get redirected to web pages other than the ones you are trying to visit?
- Are you bombarded with pop-up messages?
- Does your computer run slower than usual?
- Do you see new icons on your desktop that you don’t recognize?
These are just some of the issues that are characteristic of a malware infection. Unfortunately, even if you see nothing wrong with your computer, there may be trouble brewing under the surface, sneaking around and screwing with your files undetected. So here’s what to do:
Use protection: Enter safe mode.
- Remove CDs and DVDs, and unplug USB drives from your computer. Then shut down.
- When you restart, press the F8 key repeatedly. This should bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter. Only the bare minimum programs and services are used in this mode. If any malware is programmed to automatically load when Windows starts, entering safe mode may block the attempt.
Back up your files, including documents, photos, and videos. Note: This is an essential step. Always have a current backup! Elbowman recommends Bvckup2.
- Do not back up program files, as those are where infections like to hide. You can always download these programs again if files are lost.
Delete temporary files.
- To speed up your virus scanning, free up disk space, and possibly even get rid of some malware, delete your temporary files using Disk Cleanup.
- For Windows 8, select Start and search for System Tools. Then select Disk Cleanup. For Windows 7 or lower, select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Disk Cleanup.
Download an on-demand malware scanner such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Malwarebytes is the number one malware tool on the market, in Elbowman's humble opinion.
- Follow set-up instructions and install the program.
Disconnect from the Internet. Then run a scan.
- If you truly believe you are infected, do not pass go, do not collect $100. Just go directly to the scan. If you do have an infection, your on-demand scanner should let you know that you in danger, girl. A list of scan results tells you what malware was found and removed.
Restart your computer. After all, everyone deserves a second chance.
Confirm the results of your anti-malware scan by running a full scan with another malware detection program. Note: always use more than one anti-malware tool, says Elbowman.
- Restart again if the program found additional infections.
Update your operating system, browser, and applications.
- If there’s an update available on any of your software, go ahead and do it. Some of the most dangerous forms of malware are delivered by “exploits” that take advantage of out-of-date software.
Reset all of your passwords.
- Before being deleted, malware could have captured your passwords and forwarded them to hackers. Change each and every password you can think of, and make sure they’re strong. None of this 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 business. That’s the combination an idiot would use on his luggage.
If, after all of these steps, you’re still having problems with a possible infection, feel free to contact Elbowman for assistance. Or, just contact Elbowman to begin with and let him handle the problem for you!
4K TV? What else do you need? Content and Sound!
- Written by: Elbowman
So, you're a cutting edge kind of person. You want the latest and greatest today, not tomorrow. You went out and bought a 4K UHD-TV. Now what?
- How do you get 4K content to that beast? In my mind, you have two main choices.
There's Netflix. And, there's Amazon Instant Video. All other choices are either exclusive, proprietary, and extremely expensive. The choices of content on Netflix and Amazon are also extremely limited. But, it's early in the 4K game and that will change as more acaquire and demand the technology.
- How do you take advantage of the improved sound capabilities? You need to make 'sound' decisions.
You basically have three choices when it comes to sound. One, use the built-in TV speakers. Not the greatest solution. We all know any TV's built-in speakers are just barely OK. Two, you can buy a soundbar. There are a number of high quality soundbars available. You'll want to decide what your budget is, and do some research. Finally, three, you can purchase a multi-media receiver. This is what I would have called a stereo receiver, in the not too distant past, except today they provide surround sound capability and accept inputs from multiple audio and video sources, including your TV.
This last option is the choice I would recommend. If you're going to drop the money to buy state of the art television, you want the best sound you can get, too. Check out this excellent article by CNET's Geoffrey Morris.
When you're ready contact Elbowman for assistance in setting up that home entertainment system.
Give the gift of Tech Support
- Written by: Elbowman
Have you ever had one of those slap yourself in the forehead moments?! I just did.
Today, is May 11th. The day after mother's day.
Too late to get Mom a gift, right?!
Why not give Mom (and now Dad, too, since Father's Day is approaching) the gift of Tech Support?
You could do it yourself, or you could send Elbowman to the rescue.
Just contact me, at the previous link. I'm happy to help anyone needing tech support, or any kind.
What a great gift idea! Why didn't I think of it sooner?
- Written by: Elbowman
Happy World Backup Day!!!! Whoo HOOO!!!!
What? You're not that excited?! Why not?!
A backup of your PC today could save your rear-end, tomorrow. I mean are you ready for your PC's hard drive to stop running? What if your system takes an electrical spike? Could you get back all your data? Seriously. What if you hit Delete, and all of sudden realize you didn't mean it?
Your data is your gold. Your PC is your storage box. If your storage breaks are you ready to lose your fortune, of music files, photographs, documents? That's what will happen not if but when your PC crashes, or you lose a file you desperately need.
I rely on Bvckup2. The backup utility, I think, that is the simplest most easy to use program of it's kind. Making backups easy it Bvckup's goal. Because we all know if it's not simple it won't get used.
Bvckup2 runs in the background on your PC. Once configured you won't even notice it's there. Any time you add or change a file it will automatically create a backup copy. It can backup your entire system. It can backup only the changed files on your system. Once configured it can perform multiple backups at the same time, say a full system backup once a month, at the same time it's peforming incremental backups of any changed file. It can perform a full backup to one destination, while performing another backup to a different location. It's just extremely versatile and easy. I know it works because I was on the beta program that helped Alex Pankratov of Pipemetrics SA fully test. Alex and his team are readily available to help you should you have questions or issues. Find a feature that you don't think works properly, let them know. A patch will be immediately created, or directions on resolving your issue will be available forthwith.
Today only, this inexpensive ($20) program can be purchased for 30% off. See the ad below and click through to get a great program at a great price. Use the discount code provided.Click on the discount code to automatically apply your price reduction.
Do it today, World Backup Day! Yea!!!
|News and updates|
|The World Backup Day|
|To mark the occasion of the World Backup Day and in a spirit of keeping things simple here's a discount code for Bvckup 2 -
• 30% off personal licenses
Don't forget to click on "Review Order" to apply the discount.
Oh, woe! My PC is slow!
- Written by: Elbowman
One of the most common complaints we hear from computer users is, my PC takes so long to start up and runs so slow! Installing an SSD in your old computer can give it new life. And, it will astound you!
USB, or thumb drives, and microSD drives, like what's in your camera or cellphone, are types of solid state drives. These data storage devices are excellent for fast response and use in a device that is mobile and can get bumped around a lot. When you turn on your camera, or cellphone, it starts up almost immediately. That's due to it's SSD. Tossing your phone down on a desk or on the carseat next to you while it is on usually won't harm the device. Why? Because there are no moving parts. Don't try the same thing with your laptop PC!
But, USB and microSD drives are very limited in their storage capacity. Enter the SSD, solid state drive. These are large capacity electronic, not mechanical with moving parts, disk drives. They transfer data extremely fast. That means your computer starts up in a flash and your applications respond nearly instantaneously. Why is this? It's because of that lack of moving parts. There's no read arm, like a phonograph turntable arm, that has to move back and forth reading your information. The disk's platters don't have to spin to make reading the data faster. As soon as electricity is supplied your data can be accessed.
It's been a few years now since personal computer users have had a serious choice between what type of large capacity storage drive they can have in their machine. Personal computers came with a hard disk drive, HDD, and that was it. But, now solid state drives have begun to push to the forefront. Their slow progress is largely due to their cost. But, lately that's been changing.
This can mean you computer will start up in under 30 seconds using an SSD, as opposed to a minute or two, or more, using an HDD. In fact, I can remember years ago coming into work starting my PC and then going to get coffee, in the hope that my computer would be ready for work by the time I got back.
So, if you want to to turn that old slug of a PC into a blazing speed demon consider installing an SSD as your boot disk. You can move your existing HDD to a support role, so you don't lose it's capacity.
Trade offs? Sure! They cost a bit more, and their storage sizes are smaller. But, if you're just going to use it for your PC's operating system, and store your applications and data on an HDD what's the problem?