Backup, Backup, Backup!

I am heading out tomorrow for a 10-day vacation to Boise, Idaho; Yellowstone; and Salt Lake City. As a business owner, I try to make sure things will run smoothly while I am gone. I have cloned our computers’ hard drives and put them in our safe to have backups handy. I rotated our external backup hard drive and put the other one at my home, also in a safe. I have reindexed and checked the integrity of our customer databases and accounting software. I have ordered inventory. It’s a lot of work to go on a vacation.

If you need help having a disaster recovery plan in place for your computers or setting up a backup system, please call us at 952-939-0174.

– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Credit for Your Old Stuff!

We give credit for your old laptops, desktops, printers or monitors. If your equipment is less than 5 years old, it might have value as a credit towards a newer computer. If you buy something from us, we can be even more generous. Please call us a quote at 952-939-0174.

Time to Move On?

Sometimes you just have to move on. We have had several customers whose computers have not kept up with them. In 17 months, Windows 7 won’t be supported by Microsoft any more. What does that mean? No security updates and more susceptibility to viruses and hackers.

Anyone with a Windows 7 computer needing more than $100 repairs, we encourage to move on to one of our fine used or new computers. We also have seen customers with new computers from a superstore that need a lot of maintenance or upgrades just to make them function better. All of our used computers have solid-state (SSD) drives in them so they are faster and more reliable. We also don’t install trial software or junkware to muddy up your computer. They are lean mean from the start! Please call us at 952-939-0174 or stop in today.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Fair Price…Plus Great Service!

Prime Day is going on right now, offering discounts on lots of stuff at Amazon. Their website even crashed the first few hours due to the volume of shoppers. Last week I had a customer wanting us to beat Amazon’s price on a solid-state hard drive. I reluctantly did (which would profit me $5!). I spent a half hour texting back and forth with the customer. In the end, she ended up using some Amazon credits to buy it and I lost about $70 of productivity trying to make $5.

 
Strike Twice Computers is like a convenience store or emergency room. We provide immediate, knowledgeable service…plus some of our prices are quite reasonable. If you just want the lowest price on a computer product and know what you want or need, then go somewhere else. If you want professional advice and immediate service, then we are your guys! Our prices are good too. For example, we have a 3-month old laptop for $1,299 that is $800 below Dell’s current price on an identical unit! Plus we have Windows 10 computers for just $149. Stop by or see our website at www.striketwice.com or call us at 952-939-0174.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even with Your PC!

We had a customer bring in his laptop yesterday. He had gotten angry at it and hit his laptop so hard, he made the hard drive fail. Typically, data recovery firms charge thousands of dollars to get your data back. We tried a couple of our tools and got his files back. We could not save his operating system and programs, so we had to install Windows 10 from scratch. We used a solid-state hard drive, or SSD, which uses memory to store your files. If he hits the laptop again, the drive won’t fail.

For $600, we recovered his files, reinstalled the operating system and made his computer faster with the SSD drive. Don’t get mad at your computer; let us take care of it. Please call us at 952-939-0174.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Backup Interruptus

My new home laptop arrived today. I use two backup systems with my home computer. Windows 10 has a very nice backup system called File History. File History takes “snapshots” of your files every hour. You can then restore a file or folder to a version from days ago. I use that and also AOMEI Backupper. Unfortunately, no backup system is proven until you try to restore your files with it.

Usually, I clone my entire hard drive but my old computer used a new drive technology that doesn’t lend itself to being cloned. I tried to use File History to restore my files to my new computer but it wouldn’t work. I then tried to use AOMEI Backupper to restore my files. Again, some technical glitches. I got my files restored but after several hours of work. No backup system can be trusted until you actually try to restore files from it. We can help you set up your own backup system. Please call us at 952-939-0174.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Computer, Heal Thyself!

I got a call from a customer whose file server I built 10 years ago wouldn’t start. The chiropractic office was under new ownership. I previously had talked to the new owner about the server needing at least a tune-up if not replacement.

As is human nature, they decided to wait until I got their call. Thankfully, I got the server working in 1 1/2 hours. It was in surprisingly good shape since I built it a decade ago. I told the owner I could freshen it up with a pair of new solid-state hard drives, a power supply, and new memory. Cost: $800 for overnight work and parts. (A new file server is about $5,000 plus possible extra costs such as software upgrades.) They are going to think about it.

Don’t wait for an emergency! Call us at 952-939-0174 when you have a hiccup or glitch. A computer is not going to heal itself. It isn’t a living creature!

– Keith Aleshire, Owner

When Lightning Strikes

If you noticed, our logo has a lightning bolt in it. I love storms but not what they do to computers. We already this morning had to replace one power supply that was damaged by storms. Even though you may have a surge protector, it may be worn out or not strong enough. Surge protection is measured in joules. The higher the surge protector’s joules rating, the less change a nearby lightning strike can get to your equipment plugged into it. Our best surge protectors are over 4,000 joules while cheaper ones in the superstores are under a 1,000. Great protection only costs $39!

We also believe in battery backups, also called uninterruptible power systems (UPS). A UPS provides stable power when the lights flicker or the power goes out. You can then keep working or safely save your work and shut down your computer until power comes back. One time during a power outage, I watched the Lynx play a basketball game on my big screen TV in the dark over cable TV thanks to my huge UPS. Please call us at 952-939-0174 or stop in for your power protection!
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

The Downside of Updating Windows

A few weeks ago, Microsoft released its spring update for Windows. Twice a year (fall and spring), Microsoft will do a major update to Windows 10. (This is in addition to the monthly updates that are done on the second Tuesday of the month.) We updated all of our 60 used computers with this update, called Version 1803. We had problem with 2 computers  and had to redo them from scratch.
We have had a few customers have various problems with this update but mostly with printing after the update is installed. We can help you with this and any other issues. Please call us at 952-939-0174 for help.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Russian Hackers Control at Least 500,000 Wireless Routers

The FBI reported that at least 500,000 of wireless routers are controlled by Russian hackers. A short-term and partial fix is to reboot your router but there is so much more that should be done.

How do you reboot your router? Rebooting your router is easy. Simply unplug its power cord from the wall, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in. Done!

The FBI recommends updating your router with the latest firmware, which is quite technical. Also, they recommend changing the router adminstrator password (which is different than the wireless password). Lastly, they recommend a factory reset of your wireless router to really ensure the router is not infected. If you do this, the router has to be reconfigured from scratch.

Strike Twice Computers can help you with all of these services, but it can take up to an hour to do that and preferably at your place so we can make sure all wireless printers and devices work. If your router is older, this would be a great time to get a new router for more speed and range. A newer router is between $149 and $399, depending on size of your home or business and number of users. Call us at 952-939-0174.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner