maintenance

Registry Cleaners – are they worth using?

registry cleanerI’ve been using Windows in all it’s flavours since the days of Windows 2.0. Not a wonderful piece of software I think everyone around in those days will agree, but it started the whole ‘gui’ thing off – at least for PC users!

The Windows registry first made it’s appearance with Windows 3.1 and it was intended to tidy up the profusion of .ini files that had previously been used to store configuration settings for programs running under Windows.

Registry cleaners are software utilities whose usual purpose is to remove redundant or unwanted items from the Windows registry. These redundant items are often left behind after uninstalling software, either by using their own (and sometimes faulty) uninstalltion programs or by simply deleting program directories – which is definitely NOT recommended! Continue reading

Fixing malware infections is causing pain

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

I usually get a handful of systems a year that I have to completely wipe and do a clean reinstall of Windows after serious malware infections, but I have noticed – as have many computer techs – that this more drastic cure is needed more often now to completely eradicate the problems.

The writers of this dangerous junk have become far more adept at ensuring that their ‘products’  often worm their way so far into the operating system that complete removal is near impossible. I now advise my customers that I will attempt removal for a certain amount of time but after that it simply becomes uneconomic to continue and we have to shift to a ‘backup your data and start from scratch’ approach. In consequence, the more usual hour to ninety minute job ends up as a 2-3 hour exercise. Also, the end result is usually more work when the customer gets the computer back home again – reinstalling printers and other software that they require. Continue reading

External hard drives. Be aware!

I’ve been telling customers for years about external USB hard drives and what great things they are to keep your essential files backed up. I still have the same opinion, but I thought I’d pass on my experiences of one of my own drives as a bit of a warning.

I bought this particular drive from OfficeWorks, but I would have had the same experience with the vast majority of retailers with the possible exception of specialist computer stores. I had bought a Western Digital 640Gb external drive at a good price (they were on special at the time) and all went fine for the first nine months until one morning I noticed that the drives weren’t appearing in My Computer and a quick check revealed that the ‘power brick’ had died completely. It was running from a surge-protected power strip so I knew it wasn’t a power spike issue. A quick Google search revealed that the model I had was very prone to this problem. The newer ones aren’t of course… Continue reading

Take your PC back to the day you bought it

If your system is like mine at the moment – long periods spent waiting for things to happen and the odd frustrating ‘glitch’ that you somehow just live with. In my case, Windows XP has been installed for a couple of years now and as I frequently install and uninstall software – often to test it out – I know the registry has grown like Topsy and there’s a lot of ‘junk’ in the works.

It’s overdue for a fresh reinstall or in my case, a reload of the XP image that I created after the reinstall and the majority of programs I use had been loaded on. I can easily take it back to July 2007 or whenever I last re-imaged the system – I just need to ensure I’ve backed up everything I need before I do it! Continue reading

DVD Burning Pointers

By Carolynn Wong

DVD’s have been extremely useful in storing data. So far, it has gained a number of faithful followers because of its ability to store much amount of information compared to any other storage devices.

However, you should also try to make sure that they are properly taken care of. You may consider the following pointers:

* Quality of media—Any defects in the media you utilize will result in defects in the written disc. Continue reading

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