No Sleeping

How to keep Windows 10 healthy

Among all of the changes in Windows 10, one of these is keeping your computer up at night.

Windows 10 has a lot of features, some desirable, some, well, blah!  One of these changes from Windows 7 is how they implement these features as they roll out.  At first, they were tested and tested before being released to the users.

Then in some version of Windows 8 or 10 they started rolling updates out to everyone and would gather feedback and then start working on fixes.  This made users mad, because things that seemed to work last week were messed up and some people didn’t want to be the guinea pigs.

Now, updates are available, but you you need to install them yourself for the most part!  The problem with this is that there are several versions of Windows 10 released (v 1809, 1903, 1909, 2004).  I’m finding that those with older versions, like 1809 and 1903 are the one’s you are bringing to me with issues.  They are slower, running more often, and taking up resources.

Who is running these older editions?  If you have your computer going to sleep within say an hour or less, or turn your computer off right after getting finished, Windows Updates may not have a chance to run.  Check your version.  Go to the search box in Windows and type “About this PC” and open.  Look for the Windows Version. (See below)

To update your version to the latest version (2004), type Windows Updates and click Check For Updates.  You may then be prompted to click Download and Install updates (see below) to start this process.  After it has installed, and probably restarted, go back to Windows Updates and Check for Updates as many times as you need to to ensure all the updates are complete.

If you want to keep your computer up a little longer at night to perform these tasks, try setting the sleep time to 2 or 3 hours.  Type ‘Change when my PC Sleeps’ and update that setting there.  Hopefully a little extra awake time for your computer will mean more sleep for you!  Let me know how it goes (I mean how your computer’s sleeping, not you).

Top Security Software

4 Top Picks For 2020 - Free & Paid

Should I pay for a virus scan??  Is a Free one sufficient?  Most of our customers ask, “What’s the best virus scan?”

There are a couple of answers to this question.
 
Free vs Paid.  The main differences are the extra scanning abilities with the paid versions.  Most come with a more robust Malware scanner and sometimes things like a VPN.  For the most of us, we don’t need all of these features everyday.  For my computers, I’ll run a malware scanner (like MalwareBytes) maybe twice a year if I notice things slowing down (and uninstall it for the rest of the time).
 
Using Resources. All programs use up resources or memory.  The more complex the program, the more memory is used.  Complex scanners can be a good thing to keep things clean, but can have draining effects on your system.  I encourage customers to look for a virus scanner that gets good ratings on speed and also meets their needs.
 
Here are some highly-rated Virus Scanners that I would pick for 2020 taking the above into consideration.
 
Avira Free or Paid
Kaspersky Free or Paid
Microsoft Defender (Free with Windows)
Bitdefender Free or Paid
 
 

More help is only a call or text away….

How can I help?  Call/text me at 336-338-8932

Yes, I’m Open!

We're an essential business

YES, I’M OPEN! Computer repair and IT services are essential services. Who knew?! I’m honored! 

I wanted to let you know that I am here for you if you have any computer issues or questions. 

A reminder: I am always happy to answer questions over the phone or email at no charge. If the answer is longer than normal, or generally more than 15 minutes, we can schedule a time that would be at a reasonable fee.

Computer Repairs & Help: Since I am considered an essential business, I can still receive your computer to provide services. I have also had a lot of success with Remote Troubleshooting! The cost is the same.

Before sharing techie thoughts…

The last 2 weeks has shown moments of joy as my family is spending exclusive time together. It’s also been times of great challenges for the same reason. I’m sure some of you share in the same sediment, especially if you have kids!

My wife and I are underway, navigating the homeschooling waters for our 6-year-old. I still don’t know how her teacher ever occupies 5 hours of her and 24 of her friends’ time without slipping at least some Kaluha in her coffee.

Our second cherub is now 8 months and teething. So he’s cute and loud. I’m told all babies are loud but don’t remember this with our first one. 

Both kids came down with the flu just as this health crisis began. They recovered fine as kids do. But I’m immunodeficient, so hearing that I’ve been kissing my cherubs that have the flu made my heart sink—wondering when I’d be carted away to the step-down ICU. But I made it! We made it. No flu for my wife or me. I’m now a believer that the flu shot does actually work.

So we continue to do our part. I’m really not supposed to be in grocery stores and public places at all with my partial immune system. So my wife has taken the big brunt of the shopping responsibilities and we both tag-team the kids. 

Now I just need to incorporate “Computer Repair” into our 1st grade homeschool curriculum! I’ll keep you posted.

Do You Have a Backup Plan?

Have a plan and save today!

Where are you keeping those precious photos? 

Most likely you are like most people, they are in “the cloud” somewhere, thanks to Apple.  Then there’s those computer files that you may not be able to do without.  They are hosted in One Drive or Dropbox, right?

So here are your options for backing up your files and then I’d like to recommend what I think is the best option!

OPTION 1: Backup your photos and files in the cloud.  This is a pretty simple solution these days, and it’s cheap!  Have your files automatically sync to One Drive (Microsoft), Google Drive, Dropbox (owned independently), iCloud (Apple).  They are all pretty much the same, other than the amount of data they let you store for free and how many computers you can have logged into your account.  Dropbox, for instance, only lets 3 computers sync the same files and probably allows the least amount of data for free.

If you have an iPhone, you probably know that your files are automatically being loaded to iCloud as a backup.  But once you take up 5GB of pictures and videos, they will charge you. 

Apple iCloud
50GB: $0.99
200GB: $2.99
2TB: $9.99

OPTION 2:  Backup your files on a local computer, external hard drive or flash drive.  You can buy an external device that plugs into your computer and have things backup to it.  There is a little learning curve to setup some of the devices, but they are fairly cheap and will keep your backups in your possession.  

Storing things at home has its benefits I suppose.  There is always a chance of a data breach or a server loosing your data in cloud storage.  Some people are also concerned with data security, which this would take care of.  But honestly, I think the chances of my drive failing (which they eventually do!) or my house catching fire (less-likely…but) is probably more likely than my data being stolen or lost in a data center.  You can weigh these risks.

OPTION 3: A bit of both and my recommendation.  Using a cloud service for files and then using a local drive to backup your photos.  Since photos take up so much space, I don’t think we want to pay for this in the long run.  You can periodically download your iCloud photos (once a year, maybe) to a local external hard drive and then keep a second copy on a USB flash drive.

Here’s the thought on this.  Spinning hard drives are cheaper but will fail!  Usually in 5-7 years.  Flash memory (USB flash drives) will also eventually fail, but not as fast as a mechanical spinning drive, and are more expensive per GB. You should always have your files backed up in 2 or more places.  So having 2 copies, one on flash and one on mechanical, is the best bang for your buck!

There are lots of drives out there.  Western Digital, SanDisk and Synology are good names. Seagate also has some good products too.

What inspired this article today was the deep discount on one particular product that is an external hard drive but is also wireless and can be accessed outside your home.  In essence, it’s your own cloud storage device.  You can backup your files wirelessly from several laptops or desktops, iPhones, etc. and be able to access these files while you are out and about!

No, I don’t get commission for selling these. I just think it’s a good product.  But today only you can save $80 on them!

It’s Western Digital’s 6TB My Cloud Home Personal Cloud Storage

Backup Solution: External Hard Drive by Western Digital

6TB Western Digital Mechanical Backup Drive. $219 currently on Amazon.

An Upgrade Caution for Mac Users: October Update

In addition to 235 apps that will not run with MacOS Catalina, there are many other issues users have found problematic with the newest release of Mac OS on Oct 7th.  Among them: Initial installation issues, 32-bit applications will no longer work, Bluetooth connectivity, password issues, issues with iCloud and Apple ID needing to be reset.

The consensus is: if you don’t have to upgrade, then don’t.  Stay with Mojave (or your current Mac OS) until these bugs have shaken out.

See the latest update from Forbes.com