Here are some of the Most Frequently Asked Questions of a PC Repair Person
Q: What is the difference between a Virus and Spyware in my computer?
A: Virus programs tend to spread naturally via email and/or file sharing. They are destructive in nature also, often destroying data and causing programs to malfunction. Spyware on the other hand, is more subtle, but just as dangerous in a completely different way. Spyware is comprised of a program (or group of them) that deposits itself into your computer without your knowledge, and watches what you do. Information about the websites you have visited, what types of shopping you do, etc is stored, and then sent to companies that sell your data. Demographics like this are sold for big dollars in today's world, and it does not seem to matter how ethical the source is.
Q: How do I avoid getting Spyware in my computer(s)?
A: The best thing you can do is this: Remember that when a popup window appears over or under your web browser , that it needs to be immediately closed. It needs to be closed however, using the X that is at the top, right of the window. This is the same method you use to close any other Windows program. NEVER using your wireless car mouse to click on an OK button when you see a popup window! Hitting the OK button will surely install some type of tracking software in your computer and you will be seeing ads for products that they want to sell you.
Q: What kind of regular maintenance does my computer need?
A: There are several things that will make it last longer and run better over the long run. As long as you are using the computer, you will be adding more new programs to it (in many cases). Very often old programs are rarely used and just taking up disk space. When this happens the hard drive can fill up and reduce the speed at which the PC operates quite noticeably. Worse though, is when programs are running in the background because they start when you start the machine. Usually you will see the icon for this type of program on the bottom-right of your monitor - in the task bar. All of those icons represent software that is running while you use the computer. Why have old programs tie up system resources if you're not using them?
Old programs need to be uninstalled from the machine. You can always reinstall them at a later date if you decide to! Another thing to do is make sure the computer has enough air. Breathing room is important to the computer's ability to cool, and modern computers do tend to run hot! A Pentium 4 computer (or equivalent) operates at very high speeds and the frequencies on the main board are quite high. Add to that a huge hard drive that spins faster than drives used to, and you can see the need for cooling. Many computers have 3 or more fans inside of them. Don't block them in! Also the computer needs to be opened up once a year and have the dirt blown out of the vents and fan areas.
Q: Should I shut my PC off at night or leave it on?
A: Only shut the monitor off, not the computer. Your computer will last longer if it is left on all of the time; it has a power saving mode that will keep it from using much electricity after it's been unused for a while. The monitor however should be shut off especially if it is a CRT (television type) screen rather than a flat panel monitor.
Q: How long does a computer last?
A: The hard drive in a modern computer will last 3 to 5 years and can easily be replaced when it fails. All you need is your CDs ,your cheap usb flash drives,and your Data Backup for me to do this for you. Most of the other components in the computer are circuit-board based, and have a much longer life span if properly maintained. If a computer is kept clean inside and cool, it may last 10 years easily.
Q: What happens when I lose my original CDs that came with the computer?
A: Your operating system can still be restored - but it takes longer and usually costs more money to do so. What this requires is for the installer to contact your computer's manufacturer either via the telephone or the Internet. Only then can the proper software be acquired to make all of the devices inside the computer work.
Q: Do I need a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for my computer?
A: Yes and no. Is your computer absolutely necessary for you to do what you do? If so, then it sure would be nice if the machine had electricity when the power in the building goes off! If that is not the case, then I would recommend what's referred to as a 'Line Conditioner.'
This is a device that filters the computer's power, providing constant, even voltage to the machine at all times. Do NOT Confuse this with a typical, inexpensive power strip. These devices have 5 or so handy outlets on them but they are NOT surge protectors. They will do nothing at all to protect a computer's electronics. What do you expect for five dollars? If your computer is important to you, then you need more protection than just a simple power strip; this is nothing more than an extension cord with a different name applied to it.