Experience Counts

Computers are frustrating but having a good repair shop makes a bad situation not so inflammatory.

A young man brought his new gaming computer to us. It had the latest technology but he could not install Windows 10 on it. Every time he started the installation process, the hourglass would freeze.

He brought the new computer to Micro Center and paid $40 for a diagnosis. They said his CPU (the brain of the computer) was bad. (NOTE: CPUs rarely go bad.). He bought a new CPU and had the same problem. He paid them again to diagnosis the problem, and they said the motherboard (the main circuit board) was bad. At this point, he gave up on them and found Strike Twice Computers on the Internet. After 20 minutes, I found the problem and installed Windows and all the updates for him plus our 50 tweaks that make the most of Windows. There were no defective parts at all!

This story reflects the value of finding an experienced computer repair shop versus trusting the “big box” stores. We have a new loyal customer.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Windows 7 Dies in 6 Months

Windows 7 will no longer be supported after January 14, 2020.

Windows 7 “dies” in about 6 months. Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or patches to it, leaving you easily infected or hacked. Already, my customers are feeling the heat. Some software won’t work anymore or they cannot get upgrades to their antivirus software.

Windows 10 is quite solid. Some people say they hear Windows 10 is terrible but it is not. Once you launch your Microsoft Word or Google Chrome browser, you don’t interact with Windows 10 at all. Everything looks the same!

Do you know if you have Windows 7? Windows 7 has a round Start menu button in the lower left-hand corner. Windows 10 has a 4-square flag. It isn’t worth upgrading your current computer to Windows 10. The license costs $149 plus you need to hire someone to install it. You may have glitches from the Windows 7 remnants. And you still will have the same old, slow computer running a more-demanding operating system. Please check out our used and new computers and beat the rush at the end of this year!

– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Pay Me Now or Later

A dirty computer after a couple of years of not being cleaned.

People treat their computers like toasters or other household appliance. They keep using them until they break. They don’t clean, tune up, or upgrade them. (Disclaimer: I empty my toaster crumb tray regularly.)

General George S. Patton said that a gallon of sweat will save a pint of blood. I believe that regular maintenance and monitoring can save hundreds of dollars. For example, a gentleman today came in with a failing hard drive. If he had used us, we would have set him up with an external hard drive, a yearly tune-up, and more. Tragedy could have been averted. Now it will be a hundreds of dollars to get his files back.

Cleaning a computer is a start (as shown above). However, you also need to make sure you have the latest Windows updates and virus protection. You also need a good backup plan. Losing personal files is like having a digital house fire. Some memories (such as family pictures and movies) are priceless. They are worth protecting.

Please see us for a regular tune-up and other protection. Pay me now or pay me later. Please call us at 952-939-0174 for more information.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Windows 10 Major Update Released This Week

Twice a year, Microsoft releases a major update to Windows 10. This update usually comes out in the spring and fall. This semiannual update is in addition to the monthly “Patch Tuesday” updates that come out on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. I liken this major update to changing the engine in your car.

This 1903 spring update came out this week, and Strike Twice Computers has already installed it on all 70 of our refurbished and new computers. A computer from us will be more up to date than a new computer from a superstore!

The new update has several enhancements and “bug” fixes. The menus are changed a little bit and they have softened the theme colors. The search feature is improved so you can search inside of your documents for certain words or phrases.

We can install the update for you rather than you waiting for it to “trickle” down onto your computer. Please call us at 952-939-0174 for details.

Lost E-Mail?

“Cloud-based” e-mail can be a liability sometimes.

I received a call from a customer yesterday. He is a financial adviser and accidentally deleted his entire Sent folder in his Outlook e-mail software. Usually, people are using the newer IMAP style of e-mail instead of POP3. IMAP synchronizes your e-mail between multiple devices. For example, you delete a new e-mail from your phone and you won’t have to deal with it again when you get home to your laptop. Unfortunately, this “cloud-based” e-mail can be a liability. Years ago, I worked with a minister who let her web site expire. When her Outlook tried to synchronize the e-mail with nothing (her web site no longer existed), it deleted all of the thousands of e-mails on her computer. For the financial adviser, Xfinity was no help; they don’t keep a backup of your e-mails. I had an idea to get his sent e-mail back and how to prevent this from happening in the future. If you really need to keep some e-mails, please call us at 952-939-0174 to take care of you.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

A Good Deal After All?

Last week, I had a customer bring his laptop to us to fix. He purchased it used from eBay for a “really good price” of $300. He had me remove some spyware from it but I found some glaring faults as I worked with it. A lot of helpful utilities were missing (e.g. Adobe Reader, Google Chrome) and a lot of helpful tweaks we do to all of our used computers were not done. We also install free antivirus software that doesn’t expire. To add insult to injury, he complained his battery would only last 15 minutes. (We guarantee a minimum battery life of 90 minutes for all of our used laptops we sell.) For us to put an internal battery in is about $150 for parts and labor. So the customer’s laptop really cost $450, not $300. Was it a good deal. Please see us for your next high-quality refurbished computer. Please call us at 952-939-0174.
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Experience Counts!

A new customer came in this morning. She purchased a laptop from Geek Squad (Best Buy) and they transferred her files to it. They said they couldn’t install Google’s Picasa picture software because it was discontinued. She brought it to us and we were able to help her. I was surprised how terrible a job Geek Squad did in setting up her new computer. A lot of trial software was on it as well as unnecessary and confusing icons for an older customer.

We even put a free program on her computer that makes Windows 10 look like Windows 7. For $100, she left very happy and satisfied. Our 30 years of experience saves the day over 20,000 Geek Squad employees. Please call us at 952-939-0174 for any problems you are having or stop in today!
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Seeking Good Service

A customer drove 3 hours to get a quality used computer from us.

Yesterday, I had a long-term customer drive 3 hours from Iowa to buy our best refurbished laptop and have us transfer files from a dead Mac laptop (we don’t normally work on Apple computers). I stayed late until 8:30pm and came in early the next day to finish the job. She was ecstatic. I also converted her Quicken data from Mac to PC and backed up her files to a USB flash drive that could be read by either PC or Mac. She is now back on the “dark side” of Windows computing!
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Time for a Tune-Up!

Dust and debris may make a computer die early or overheat and start a fire.

This is why tune-ups and maintenance are important! A client of ours runs a large business and this computer is critical to his operation. I removed the cover to see lots of dust and debris. Already a hot environment, the dust was like wearing a winter parka on a hot summer day. Not good for the life of the computer. It could have overheated and even started a fire! We also remove dust and debris from laptop fans as well. They also need maintenance.

Please stop in today or call us at 952-939-0174 for your tune-up needs. 
– Keith Aleshire, Owner

Lightning-Fast Service!

Some things are beyond our control, and computers break for unexplained reasons. I had a customer come in today with a warranty issue on a laptop. The cooling fan malfunctioned and the laptop would shut off to protect itself from heat damage. While the customer waited, I replaced the fan and she was out the door in 15 minutes. Despite the embarrassing failure, I am proud that Strike Twice Computers provides “lightning-fast service.”

The customer didn’t have to call someone in the Philippines and go through a 20-step diagnostic checklist in broken English. She didn’t have to wait in line at Geek Squad or Micro Center nor wait up to 2 weeks to get the computer fixed. She didn’t have to pay to ship the computer somewhere but simply drop in on us. And she had zero downtime, which was very important to her. Buying local from a reputable, small computer company has its advantages.

Please call us at 952-939-0174 if you have any questions or problems. 
– Keith Aleshire, Owner