Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Slow Computer

Slow Computer

When you first got your computer, it was probably really fast, especially if it’s equipped with the latest processors, RAM, and ample hard drive space. But over time even a high-end computer can start to run slowly, which is frustrating when you need to get things done. Fortunately, when your computer does break down, you can bring it to ComputerFix where we can help fix your slow computer and get you back to creating documents, surfing the internet, and being productive on your machine.

In cases where the PC might not require computer repair just yet, there are some steps you can take on your own to speed it up. Here are a few of the most common issues, and ways to resolve them without bringing it to Computerfix yet.

Start Simple

If you are using your machine to surf the internet, you should have some antivirus, antispyware, and antimalware software protection on it. These programs help protect you from some of the most dangerous viruses, spyware, and malware that can end up on your machine, but they do no filter out everything. As a result, problematic software or programs can sometimes sneak through the firewall and end up on your computer. Before you do any other computer repair, do a quick scan with your antivirus to identify, quarantine, and fix any issues identified.

No Cookies

We’re not talking about the cookies you eat, we’re talking about the little files on your computer that are stored as temporary internet files and help track your movements all over the web (think of cookie crumbs to help mark your path around the internet). They can be useful for helping with things like remembering passwords or usernames, but they can also be detrimental because they can clog up your machine and cause difficulty in accessing other files.

Avoid Excess Temporary Files

Under your Tools, you can change the settings that determine how many temporary internet files are stored on your machine at once. Usually the default on a PC is set very high (500 MB, 1 GB, or more), but you can reduce it down as low a 250 MB to help remove these unnecessary files more quickly. You can also set your PC to just eliminate all temporary internet files every time you close out of a website.

Clean Up Your Startup

When you add new software, it often includes a default setting that launches the program at startup. With programs that you rarely use, adjusting the settings so they the program doesn’t automatically open on startup can significantly speed up the machine. You might also consider deleting some of the folders from your desktop, since they all have to start and then refresh constantly.

Update Regularly

Finally, you want to stay on top of all the latest developments in the software that you have, which can include bug fixes, extra security, and more. You can set your computer to automatically check for updates, and be sure to install them when you discover they are out there, or you can try to remember to check your software often so you get proper updates in a timely manner.

After you try these simple fixes, if you still have a slow machine, bring it to Computerfix. We can help fix your slow computer and get it running like new again without the cost of buying a totally new machine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cyber Security Tips

Cyber Security Tips
Electronics are a ubiquitous part of our lives these days, and we use them on a regular basis—for most people, getting online is as much a daily habit as eating a meal or brushing your teeth. Unfortunately with all the time we spend online, we open ourselves up to potential risks from cyber security threats, such as identity theft and credit card fraud. From staying in touch with friends, colleagues and loved ones to paying bills, researching topics, and shopping, without proper computer security, information about your life is constantly exposed to criminals who would use it to commit crimes.

The Threats

Many people ask, “What are the most common threats, and how do I protect my computer and my data?” There are a wide variety of threats out there, but some of the most common ones you see include:

·         Malware, spyware, and bots

·         Spam

·         Hacked accounts, and “phishing”

·         Unsecured wireless data transmission

These threats can range from virtually harmless—for example, a hacker might just be messing around and accidentally stumble on your information—to life altering. In cases where the cyber criminal is looking for data to steal, the potential that s/he could use your identity to open new credit accounts, steal financial data, create false identification, and even commit crimes using your name is high. If these things happen, catching the criminal and rebuilding your credit and your life can take months, and even years. 

Tools for Protection

While the threat is very real and very serious, there are many ways that you can stay secure online. The key to avoid becoming a victim is to have adequate computer security and to stay alert while you are surfing the internet.

One of the first things you should do before going online is make sure you have up-to-date antivirus, antimalware, and antispyware programs installed on your machine. Spyware, malware, and “bots” are designed to record information about the websites you are visiting, and potentially even keystrokes that could record sensitive information such as passwords. Regularly update this software to stay on top of patches for new viruses. If you need recommendations on the best antivirus software, talk to ComputerFix in Salt Lake City.

Whenever you create an online account, be sure to use passwords that are strong and difficult to crack. It’s best if you can use a seemingly random string of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Try to avoid using common passwords that are easy to guess, such as birthdates, children’s or pet’s names, etc. Also, before you enter any personal information on a website, check to make sure the URL begins with “https” (instead of just “http”). The “s” is for “secure”.

Set a filter on your email to protect you from getting an endless string of spam messages—the electronic version of junk mail. Sometimes these messages can contain links or attachments that will install harmful software, spyware, or other programs. In addition, be careful of “phishing” emails that request sensitive personal information, such as a username or password, and may look like they come from a legitimate source, such as your bank. Never click a link or download an attachment from these messages. If you think it could be a legitimate message, call the company directly to provide the information, or open a new browser window and type in their website address instead of using the email link.

Finally, if you are surfing the web on a wireless network, make sure it is secured with a password. Leaving a network open can invite cyber criminals to hack into the wireless signal and see information that is transferred over the network.

For more tips on computer security online, and an answer to the question “how do I protect my computer?” talk to the experts at ComputerFix in Salt Lake City.



Thursday, June 13, 2013

Simple Solutions to Common Computer Problems

Simple Solutions to Common Computer Problems

When your computer isn’t working, it can cause all kinds of headaches, whether you use it for day-to-day activities, work, or just for gaming and entertainment. The good news is that there are several smaller computer problems that can be quickly and easily fixed with some do-it-yourself computer repairs that even a computer novice can handle. Here are a few of the most common things you might see, and instructions to get you through the repairs.

1: You turn it on, but nothing happens

Many computer repair experts, like those at Computer Fix Salt Lake City, will tell you that the first thing you should always check is to make sure the computer is plugged in and getting power. If you’ve checked the cords and still nothing is happening, you may want to check to find out whether your power supply is working properly. You may need to purchase a new one if your current one is gone, and if you’ve never replaced a power supply before, take it to the experts.

2: It’s very slow to start up

When you first get your computer, it only has a few factory-installed programs. Over time, you probably added more programs, and often they have a default to open at startup, which hogs all the computer’s memory as it’s starting up. In cases where you don’t use the programs very often, you can disable this automatic startup feature on individual programs and your computer will open much more quickly. If you’re not sure which ones you should and should not disable, talk to the experts at Computer Fix Salt Lake City for some guidance.

3: The screen looks distorted

Most screens today are viewed at a resolution of 1024x768 or the increasingly popular 1366x768. If you have it configured to different settings, it may be distorting the view of all your desktop items. If they look stretched, some are not visible on the screen, or you just don’t like the view, you can change it. Alternately, if the more traditional resolutions are too small for you, making adjustments can help you see the icons better. Simply go to the Properties window, find the screen resolution settings, and view all the options available. You can also preview each to make sure you like it.

4: You’re seeing the “blue screen of death”

When the computer crashes, it displays a blue screen and an error message, which often means computer problems. Fortunately the fix can be fairly simply, especially if you can figure out what you were doing immediately before it crashed. For example, if you were in the middle of installing a new program, it could be a problem with the new software. If you haven’t run a virus check in a while, it could be triggered by malware or spyware, and running the virus removal software to fix these issues will clear up the problem. When this problem persists, though, it’s best to get it in for more advanced computer repairs. 

Your computer is likely a very important part of your life, which means that dealing with small annoyances like these issues can get in the way of your productivity and your fun. If you have tried to do some basic troubleshooting and you’re still not getting the machine to work for you, bring it to Computer Fix Salt Lake City today.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Computer Problems?

The most common computer problems are often the ones that will be the most annoying, but fortunately since they are fairly common, you can often do a little computer repair on your own, or take it into a place like Computer Fix SLC and get the machine back up and running quickly and easily. Here are some of the things you’re most likely to see on your PC.

Malware and Spyware

Whether you have a virus, Trojan horse, worm, adware, or spyware, it can all harm the computer and do significant damage. The type of malware you have will determine what steps you should take to fix it. For run-of-the-mill malware, you may be able to fix it with a simple antivirus program that you can install and run on your machine. For more complex issues, it may require the computer repair expertise of someone like Computer Fix SLC.

Encumbered Machine

When your machine starts to get cluttered with files, folders, software, and other applications, it will run more slowly. Just like your home or your office, you have to ensure that you are storing things efficiently and not keeping too much clutter around that can make it difficult to navigate your system.

Power Failure

The last time you tried to turn on the computer and got nothing—no signs of life, no lights, and no sounds inside, most likely the problem was with your power supply. You could try to get a new power supply, but you may also want to take it to Computer Fix SLC to have them run tests and diagnose the problem before spending a lot of time and effort fixing something that is not broken. You can also try other devices in the same plug to find out if it’s an issue with your home’s electricity.

Blank Screens

A blank (black) screen is different from the “blue screen of death”, and in most cases it’s not because of a major system failure, it’s just a problem with the connection between the computer and the monitor. Check all the cables for connectivity, and test them on other devices to ensure they work properly.

Frozen Device

There are few things more frustrating than a freezing computer, and the problem could range from insufficient RAM, registry conflicts, missing/corrupt files, or spyware, to more. Rather than trying to fix all these computer problems, take it to Computer Fix SLC so they can test and diagnose.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Components in a Computer

What are the Most Important Component in a Computer?

Buying a computer is an exciting thing, and today they are a necessity for most people. The process of buying a computer, though, is often not as exciting for people who are just casual users and are not quite sure what they are looking for with all the different components and terminology. Unless you’re a computer expert, the process of figuring out computer parts can be confusing and frustrating. Here are a few of the most important components of your computer and why you need them.

The Motherboard

Think of this as the central control area, building the foundation for everything that you can put into your computer and how it will all work together. The wrong motherboard may limit how much memory your computer can have, what kind of processor you get, and the other peripherals that you can connect to the machine. Most people aren’t really familiar with how to choose the best motherboard, so talk to the experts at Computer Fix to learn more.

The Hard Drive (also called HDD)

This is where you keep and store all of your data, and it is not unlimited. The bigger your hard drive, the more information you can put on your computer. Since all your software and all your files will require some amount of memory—measured in kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), and even terabytes (TB)—it’s always best to have more than you think you might need. To determine whether you need a 256 GB or 1 TB hard drive, think about what you plan to use the machine for. If you’re going to play games, or store large files such as photos and video, you need a bigger hard drive. Larger HDDs are pretty inexpensive, so it’s best to overestimate your needs and buy big. If you do run out of hard drive space, you can talk to someone at Computer Fix to help with computer repair and get an external drive to store more data.


The most popular central processing units are Intel (you’ve probably heard of the brand), and they allow your computer to multi-task. These are sort of like the “brain” of the computer, running all the processes on the machine. More advanced CPUs can process programs more quickly, and today the lowest end CPU is a dual-core, which can run two programs at the same time before the computer slows down. On the high end you can find CPUs that run eight or more programs simultaneously.

The Graphics Card

A graphics card, also called a video card or GPU, is what the machine uses to process and display textures and images, generally in gaming or videos. Better graphics cards will render 3D images and textures in games and videos more quickly, but if you’re not planning to do a lot of gaming, you can probably get away with just using the factory-installed card. 

The Memory

Memory is measured in RAM (random accessory memory), and determines where things are stored on the machine. More memory allows you to run more programs simultaneously without affecting performance.

If you’re looking for a new machine, all these components are important. Before you buy just any computer, talk to the experts at Computer Fix to find exactly the machine you need that fits in your budget and will give you the computing power and speed that you require. If any of these parts are malfunctioning, you can always visit Computer Fix to get computer repair and keep your machine running smoothly.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Laptop vs Desktop

Laptop vs Desktop
So you have made the decision to purchase a new computer, but now you have to decide whether you want to buy a desktop or a laptop computer. This can be one of the most difficult decisions you make, and there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should get a desktop or laptop. It’s really all about which one is best for you, but there are a few key decisions factors you should use to determine which one you need.

Decision Factor: Where Will You Use It?

One of the biggest differences between a desktop computer and a laptop computer is the ability to travel with it (or not). If you are purchasing a computer that will have a permanent home on a desk or table somewhere in your house, you may not need the ability to take it out and about and you can go with a desktop computer. If you plan to use your computer anywhere and everywhere, lugging around the components of a desktop computer is just not feasible and you will need a laptop. Be sure to consider carefully how and where you want to use it before you buy.

Decision Factor: Speed

Desktop and laptop computers used to be worlds apart in terms of performance and speed—if you wanted a speedy processor, you had to get a desktop. Today’s laptops, though, are a vast improvement. Places like Computer Fix SLC have the ability to get you a laptop that can perform just like a desktop. However, if you plan to use your computer for a lot of graphics-intensive video games and having the highest quality graphics is important to you, desktop computers still outperform laptops for gaming.

Decision Factor: Storage

Most laptops have smaller RAM and hard drive storage capacity, although in recent years they have caught up with desktops in some cases. Laptops now offer the ability to get larger amounts of RAM and bigger hard drives that are just about equal to what you can find in a desktop PC. However, if you do plan to use your computer for a lot of large files, including photos, music, and videos, you may prefer the larger storage capacity of the desktop. You can also add more memory to a desktop fairly easily if you need more down the road, which you cannot do as easily with a laptop.

Decision Factor: Size

Size does matter, especially for your computer. When you are shopping for a new machine at a place like Computer Fix SLC, consider the different sizes and the advantages and disadvantages of each. A desktop computer often means a very large screen (sometimes as big or bigger than flat screen televisions today), while a laptop will usually limit you to a screen that is somewhere between 10 and 18 inches. Desktops are also available in a range of sizes and shapes, so you can find one that will fit perfectly on or under your desk, or even as part of an all-in-one screen and computer combo. Finally, you can find laptops with different weights, ranging from just a few ounces to a few pounds. How you plan to use it, and especially whether you’ll be carrying it around a lot, should be part of your decision of which to purchase.



Friday, May 17, 2013

What is the Best Computer Processor?

If you own a PC, you have probably heard the term “processor” (short for Central Processing Unit, or CPU), and perhaps you have also heard of brands that make the processors such as Intel or AMD. Even if you are familiar with the term, many consumers are not quite sure exactly what that little processor is doing, and why one might be better than another when you’re shopping for a computer. The key to getting the best machine from a place like Computer Fix Salt Lake City is knowing which kind of computer processors are going to perform the tasks you need the best. Here’s a quick overview and comparison of some of the most common.

What’s a Processor?

The processor of your computer is like a tiny brain for your machine, taking instructions from the software programs and executing those programs as efficiently as possible. There are some single-core processors, which can only do one task at a time, but today there are also dual-core and quad-core processors that allow you to do much more with your machine, without slowing down (there are even six-core and higher processors available for desktop computers, custom computers, and rarely for laptops as well). Depending on the size of your computer, and how much you want to spend, you can get a wide variety of different options.

What’s the “Core”?

The “core” is the engine in the processor, where all the data crunching happens. If you have only a single core, the computer can run only one process at a time before it begins to slow down significantly. With dual-core, quad-core, or higher, the CPU has more than one processing unit, so it can handle more than one program without slowing down. This is particularly helpful for people who need to be able to run several large programs at once.

Benefits of Intel
Intel has long been the dominant processor on the market, supplying a significant number of processors each year. Today there are a wide variety of different Intel processors to choose from, ranging from very basic with the Intel Core i3 to much more advanced with CPUs like the Intel Core i7. Generally when comparing one unit to another within the Intel line, a higher number is better, giving you more power and more functionality than the lower end of the line. These processors are known for being reliable and powerful in both off-the-shelf and custom computers, which is why they have long dominated the market.

AMD: The New Kid on the Block

While AMD is not necessarily really new to the market, they have been slowly creeping up on Intel as a contender for the CPU market, especially when it comes to graphics. Many buyers choose AMD for graphics-heavy use because AMD bought out famed graphics-specialized CPU maker ATI in 2006. The CPU maker did a little research and discovered that users really care about having a good graphics experience, which is why they focus their efforts on delivering quality graphics, including 7.1 surround sound and other special features. They also have a line of different levels, starting with Vision, then moving up to Vision Premium and Vision Ultimate. For most users, a Vision or Vision Premium will suffice.

When it comes to your processor, the “brain” of your computer, most people want that brain to function as well as possible, allowing for maximum usability no matter what programs you’re running. Choosing the right CPU with help from experts at a place like Computer Fix Salt Lake City can get you the right PC for all your needs.