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

Drinks and Data Don’t Mix!

We had a new customer call us today. She had spilled water on her one-year-old laptop and it wouldn’t start. She called a couple of competitors yesterday but neither of them could fix her computer by this weekend. (She is a writer and had urgent work to complete.) She came to our office this morning and purchased a high-end used laptop from us. By noon, we had her files transferred to the new laptop and gave her $100 credit for parts in her old dead computer. She was very happy with our service. So please keep your drinks away from your computer this holiday weekend. Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Sweatin’ with the Oldies

What a strange week! We had a manufacturing company hire us to build a (gulp!) DOS 6.22 laptop that had a 9-pin serial port to program a piece of equipment. We found the right laptop and a set of DOS disks and made it happen. By the way, DOS is so old that it can only format a hard drive to 2GB, so 58GB of the 60GB hard drive in the laptop is unusable.

Similarly, a stenographer had her XP laptop die, so we put Windows 7 32-bit onto a laptop and got it to work with her steno software. Her software was 15 years old but purchasing new software was over $6,000 and she is 6 months away from retiring. We saved her thousands of dollars! If you have a strange need or problem, please call us at 952-939-0174. 

– Keith Aleshire, Owner

The “Secret” Key to Fix All Computer Problems?

I had a customer come in today with a laptop that wouldn’t start Windows. He spent a couple of hours and tried everything, including a “factory reset.” Nothing worked. I did a free diagnosis and said it would be a couple of hours labor to save his files and reinstall Windows. He thought (like some people do) that there is a “secret key” I could press to make it magically work and fix itself. Sorry, there isn’t such a button. If you have tried everything for a couple of hours, then it must be serious. Maybe save yourself some time and come to us first. Please call us at 952-939-0174 or stop in anytime between 8am and 6pm Monday through Friday.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

What is Your Time Worth?

What’s your time worth? We had a customer spend a half day talking to Comcast technical support to fix an e-mail glitch where he received e-mails a day late. After no solution with them, he hired me over the phone to take control of his computer remotely and try to fix the problem. Forty-five minutes later, it was solved for $140. To him, it was worth it, but he could have saved himself time and frustration to come to us first. If you are facing computer problems, please call us at 952-939-0174.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner