Is Your Computer Your Primary Work at Home Tool? Take Care of It!

Keep It Clean

Computers, since they constantly need air moving through them to stay cool, pull in a lot of dust over time which can seriosuly hurt performance. Compressed air is a good tool for keeping things working smoothly. If you’ve got time and feel confident in your skills, you can also (carefully) open your tower or laptop to clean out the dust from fans, heatsinks, and other places where collected dust can cause increased heat and therefore a shortened device lifespan. A soft microfiber cloth is also handy to keep around for cleaning screens without scratching them. 

Back It Up

Not enough people back up their files and we can’t recommend it enough. If you’re working from home, though, having all files and information safely duplicated can be a lifesaver in case something does go wrong with your device. We reccomend at the very least have some kind of cloud-storage backup but it’s best to just invest in an external hard-drive that you can keep with you and back-up all of your most important files. Then you always have access to them when you need them.

Organize the Wires

Cable management is generally for more aesthetic reasons, but it is actually important for the safety of your workspace. The very least you can do is ensure you don’t run cables in areas that you walk over often if you have to try zip-tying them to a nearby surface or running them somewhere else. A little work goes a long way with your cable management and can save you from a nasty fall and/or pulling your computer over onto the ground.  

Keep it Updated and Upgraded

Most of your computer’s different hardware components will need updated drivers to work correctly with everything else in your system. It’s critical that you keep these updated or compatibility issues that could lead to total system failure. You also need to keep your hardware updated, if you do graphics work but haven’t updated your graphics card in 5+ years, you need to talk to us.

If you count on your computer for your work then it’s really worth investing some time in keeping it running smoothly. Use the tips above to get started, but if something crazy happens, have no fear. Buckeye Computer services can help you with anything you need.

Your Phone or PC is Wet – What Can You Even Do?

Most of us have unfortunately had issues with wet technology before – often it ends in disaster. You CAN do a few things to try and ensure that your phone or computer has the best chance of surviving a water encounter.

Turn it off Immediately!

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you need to turn off your phone or computer as soon as you realize that it may have gotten wet at all.

THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT – even if your phone is still functional or your computer still seems to be going just fine, you need to turn them off before real damage DOES occur. The water may not be eating away at the metals in your phone, but it just has to reach the right leed or capacitor and it will blow up or short your entire system.

Real damage = real money, as legitimate liquid damage repairs are expensive, and sometimes it’s actually not possible to save anything and replacement is your only option. Water has got to be taken seriously with your electronics.

Take the battery out

If you have a smartphone with a removable battery you need to get it out of there as soon as you can. If you have an IPhone or can’t get it out yourself – find a local repair store to do it for you.

If you’ve got your laptop wet, pop the battery out of that immediately as well. A desktop PC doesn’t have a battery per-say but you should go ahead and switch off and unplug your power supply to ensure no energy moving through the machine. That’s where the real risk comes from.

Wipe it down

You’ve taken out the battery or disconnected the power supply – truly the only thing you can do next is gently try to wipe off any water that you can visibly see. Be careful to use a microfiber cloth or something that won’t leave residue on any components.

Leave it out to dry for a little while

Depending on how wet it got/how good you feel about the job you did drying out your phone, this can range from a few hours to a few days. If you dropped your phone in a lake and it took you ten minutes to find it – you’re going to at the very least need close to a week of drying time, and even then it’s likely that you’ve received some serious damage.

If you spilled only a few drops of water on the top of your PC case and then instantly switched it off and got everything drying – you’re still at risk of having fried something but chances are good once all the water is dry you should be back up and running just fine.

Turn it back on – and Hope!

Leaving it out to dry for a few days is the last “fixing” step – and then you’ll just have to hold your breath and hope for the best. Check again to ensure everything is dry and then put it all back together just like you took it apart. From there honestly if it’s a phone you may need to charge it back up to full, but if your computer doesn’t start right back up then you might be out of luck.

Good luck!

We hope these techniques get your phone back up to speed, but there are no guarantees with water. If you act fast and follow these instructions though, you’ve got a good chance to avoid liquid damage or at least save some of the more valuable components in your phone/computer.

Important: DO NOT put it in rice!

You’ve probably always heard that this is the thing to do, but we can ensure you it is NOT.

Your friend or cousin or sister dropped their phone in water, then gave it the rice treatment for two days and “Viola!” the phone worked again.  That’s anecdotal advice, and if they had left it out drying on the shelf it also would have worked.

The idea of using uncooked rice to suck out the moisture makes sense, but in practice, it just doesn’t work as well as open air. Gazelle even did a thorough investigation testing the effectiveness of different household materials that are drying agents, and open-air was the best. Rice can’t get into those nooks and corners that you really need water to be removed from, while the open-air will hit every square inch of it.

We don’t work on phones at Buckeye PC but we do computer repair of all sorts – we would be more than happy to help you take everything apart, diagnose any issues, and get them resolved.

What to Do When you Have Laptop Issues

With laptops being used by students and employees alike to attend Zoom meetings and complete work all day long, there’s no surprise that we’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of work we have had to do on laptops. One thing we will say right off the bat – if your computer is running slow you need to look into how much RAM your system has. If you’re only looking at 4 to 8 GB’s of RAM then that right there is likely to be part of your problem. We can upgrade your laptop computer and add more memory for you though, and get you sped up and able to multitask better!

Keycap Replacement

Sometimes keys fall out or break altogether given enough use. These kinds of repairs can sometimes be simple fixes requiring more determination and patience than tech skill. If you purchased your laptop new from the manufacturer, it should come with a service manual detailing how to replace keyboard keys. Before unscrewing everything and possibly losing small pieces, be sure to gather the parts and tools you’ll need for the repair. You’ll also want to set up a workspace in which to operate on your device.

If you’ve taken a crack at it – or have decided that’s not for you! – and couldn’t quite figure out a solution, contact Buckeye PC and we’ll see if we can’t figure out a way to help you out.

Storage Issues/Loading Times

Your hard drive is the warehouse of all your precious photos, files, and information. What happens when yours malfunctions? Well, if it breaks fully you will be lucky to recover any data. When the time does come to upgrade your storage, we highly recommend at least getting a 256GB SSD to act as your boot drive. That means Windows and all of your most critical applications will boot far faster than those housed on your hard drive.

Screen Replacement

With your laptop just sitting all over – it’s no stretch to imagine the screen being broken by accident. You could always just plug your laptop into an external monitor and use it that way, but that defeats the whole purpose of having a laptop! We can also help you figure out what screen protector is going to be best at helping save your laptop next time around.

Liquid Damage Repair

Anytime you even think your computer may have gotten wet, it’s critical that you take immediate action. First, unplug the power cord and pull out any other cords. Sending juice to a wet laptop is the last kind of problem you want on your hands. Lightly dab at the moisture on the computer, making sure none has seeped into the vent holes at the top of the keyboard. Finally, flip the laptop over and prop it up, screen facing down. At this point, all you can do is give it a few days to dry. We can get in there and do our best to dry out the internals for you, but there’s never a guarantee it will work again.

Whether you decide to handle your repair on your own or you head to a local repair shop right away, consider stopping by Buckeye PC. We’ve got the expert tech resources to fix whatever laptop issue you may have, but we’re also here to offer you quality customer service. You shouldn’t have to wait forever to get your precious device back, especially in the midst of the school semester! Drop by or give us a call today to start your essential repair.

Getting Fooled by Scammers – Your Computer

I don’t think more than a few days go by before I get a phone call – “Hi, I’m calling from Microsoft Technical department. We’ve identified problems with your computer.”  This phrase has ALWAYS been uttered in broken, pretty heavily accented English when I’ve taken these calls. If it was an actual native English speaking person on the other end, it would probably throw me, but I haven’t had that issue yet.

Sadly, I have gotten this “technical support” phone call several times in the same day. I’m not really sure if this is the SAME bank of phone scammers sharing a list or if there truly are THAT many offices doing this stuff and they just end up tripping over each other. Anyway, you’re going to hear someone pretending to be from Microsoft – or occasionally giving a vague answer about it, but Microsoft will ALWAYS be mentioned in my experience. As a brief side note, unless you truly HAVE contacted Microsoft and given them the info to call you, you will NOT be contacted by Microsoft. Even THEN, you’re most likely to get an email from them. Microsoft does NOT get into helping you proactively with a purported virus issue. They, to MY knowledge, will not even help you if you DO call them with a virus issue. For THAT, you need a good local Raleigh computer repair company – betting you can figure out who WE would recommend….

Now, no matter WHAT you say at this point – other than calling them on their scam, and even THEN, sometimes they continue to try – their primary goal is to get you in front of your computer and let them in.

“My house is on fire.”
“Okay. Are you in front of your computer?”
“NO, MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE!”
“I need you to go to the Start button.”

Seriously, these people have that mindset. They likely are not overly familiar with the words that you are using other than “Yes” or “No”. If it falls outside of technical verbiage, they’ll be lost. Just remember, English is almost assuredly NOT their first language.

The last time I got this call, it was even MORE fun. The only machines that were on at that time were a Linux fileserver and a Mac. After confirming that my “Windows machine” was causing problems RIGHT THEN, I asked him how that was possible with only a Linux box and a Mac running in the house. This time, he DID hang up. It’s always fun to back them into a corner though so there’s no way out before you spring your trap. Though I have a feeling that it wasn’t that he wanted to save face, I suspect it was more that there was no money to be made there.

They will try to get you on the computer and PROVE their legitimacy by showing things to you that make you feel like they really DO know what is going on in your computer and they are legit.  IF you don’t know computers – and the registry – it will seem like magic as they show you all these things. It’s sort of like someone saying,

“Go ahead and lift up the hood of your car. I’m going to show you something. Is there a big metal thing there?”
“You mean an engine? Yes.”
“See what I’m talking about? You’re going to see one or two rubber belts there too. You see them?”
“Yes.”
“Exactly as I thought.”
“Now there will be 4 wheels on the car. I bet they ALSO have rubber wrapped around them, don’t they?”
“Yes.”
“Yeah, that’s what we saw too.”

That’s realistically exactly what they’re doing. Inside your Windows software, there are certain things that are just GOING to be there. So they take you in and act like they are geniuses and point out things like that.

What CAN they do to your computer?

THAT is the problem.d Not that they call you – though wasting your time IS an annoyance. The real problem is that should you follow their directions, they are going to have access to poke around your computer, download things like files that maybe have the word “password” in it, download your email file – that big Outlook PST file maybe that has every email and password hint, bank communications, list of all your friends’ email addresses and SOOOOO much more in it? They can install keylogger software and have it phone home with your usernames and passwords to any site you visit. They can THEN visit your bank AS YOU and do some nasty things – thinking you can imagine.

They can install remote control software that STAYS there even after you THINK they have gone. They can now send email as you (they can also install a quiet little email server right ON your computer….) to all your friends or create other mayhem. They can choose to setup that “FBI virus” or to install the encrypting virus on your computer.

In short, if you let these people in, you no longer can be guaranteed that you DO have sole access to your computer. You can have the equivalent of a thief sitting in front of your computer with FULL ACCESS every day going forward. Full access to everything you do, you have and you create going forward. All your documents, every website you visit, every password you use or even create.

What can YOU do?

  1. DON’T EVER EVER EVER LET ANYONE ONTO YOUR COMPUTER THAT CALLS YOU UP CLAIMING TO BE TECHNICAL SUPPORT.  If you call Buckeye PC up and want us to help you, we will do so, but NO company will call you and give you the premise line above. There truly are only a few organizations that will contact you about any type of problem with your computer that are legit. These all focus on the email and/or traffic coming from your computer. Time Warner has sent out alerts via email that unusual traffic is coming from my IP address to me in the past. It was a customer computer that was being fixed at that time thankfully. Secondarily, your email server people may contact you or cut you off from sending email if they detect large amounts of spam coming out of your IP address/computer.  You will either get an email (most likely) or an actual letter.
  2. IF it’s already too late, you fell for it and they were all over your computer, we suggest a few things. First off – call a LEGIT reputable computer repair place and explain what occurred. Make this a priority. Don’t pull a “Yeah, I’ll get to it later” thing. IF your computer and data have been compromised, the scammers will NOT be waiting to check your bank balances and arranging transfers until THEY get to it later. They’ll be hot on it NOW.   A phone call to the bank to put a watch on your account is likely NOT overkill.  Once you get your computer fixed, you will want to go back and CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS. You’ll want to change all of them ideally. If that is NOT really possible, then at least change the vital ones – your email, your financials, and your FB/Twitter/other social ones.  Hackers getting into your FoodNetwork profile is NOT going to be the end of the world – you may need to go find that perfect mac and cheese recipe again… But at least you’ll have money in your bank account to MAKE it if you focus on the most important things NOW.  Protect the most vital accounts immediately and the others as you get to them.

There’s a whole lot of this going around these days. DON’T become a victim. When they launch into the “From Microsoft technical support” speech, just hang up.  Of course if you WANT to have fun and waste THEIR time, have AT it! If things do get to the point, we can handle any and all virus removal that you may need.

Taking Care of Your PC’s Battery

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As times goes by, a PC’s battery life begins to deteriorate. You end up using it for a few hours and it goes off. Good thing is that you can maintain a high battery life by taking good care of your machine. We will share with you some best practices to help you get the best service from your PC’s battery.

Change the settings

To start off, you may want to change your computer settings to ensure the power is used efficiently so as to conserve the battery energy. You can do this by going to the settings sections and selecting the power option then opt for the power saver mode which will automatically change certain aspects like dimming your computer’s brightness in order to conserve the energy used.

Shut off internet when not in use

Most people have a habit of leaving their WIFI or Bluetooth on when it’s not in use. This only ends up consuming a lot more battery energy. When you are not using any of these features, shut them off. You will end up reducing the number of systems that are burning power and saving the PC’s battery in the process.

Use hibernation

Putting your computer to sleep may not mean shutting down the power completely. However, when the computer is in hibernation, the power will be shut down completely. Hibernation is the best sleep state if you will not be using the computer for a while because it utilizes no power. It helps to save your battery life.

Close running apps which are not in use

There could be so many apps on your PC in the background that you are not using but they are burning power. If you are using Windows, you can always check the systems that are running in the Task Manager. Close the ones that you are not using to save on power.

Contrary to popular belief, leaving your device plugged in to charge for a long time doesn’t wear out the battery. Modern PCs are designed in such a way that the battery will only charge up to 100%. However, if you are planning to leave your laptop for a while without using it, disconnect it from the charger. It’s also a good practice to make sure the laptop is charged at least to 50% before you switch it off.

All these tips can help you to safeguard your computer’s battery life. But if ever you’d have some problems with your machine, get in touch with https://www.buckeyepc.net for professional assistance.

Common PC Repair Causes in Garner NC

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Your PC just like any other machine in the home or at the office will once in while break down. PCs are much easier to fix as compared to laptops due to the fact that their parts come well replaceable and exposed but there are a number of reasons why your PC will breakdown and this applies to most across the board. Getting the best IT experts in Garner NC to take a look at your broken down PC will ensure that it gets to its normal functions fast and easy.

Broken down fans

Fans are the number one protection against PCS overheating and so a broken down fan will expose the processor into heating and an imminent shut down. Most processers will easily reboot after this but some will be adversely affected if this keeps happening over a long time. The fan is supposed to cool down the machine amply enough to keep it running for hours on end and so failure exposes the machine to damage.

Viruses and malware

The fact that your computer is exposed to external devices and the internet makes it well susceptible to malware and viruses. These cause it to slow down and in some cases crush causing you to lose valuable data in the processes. Failure to invest in a good anti-virus easily makes your PC to be at great risk of the different viruses and malware online. Lack of secure connections exposes your online connections to viruses and malware respectively which damage the PC. Learn more about virus removal.

Dust and water damage

Exposing your PC to external factors such as water and dust will definitely cause damage since water will cause short circuits while dust will cause overheating of the PC and eventual breakdown. Dust spills on the PC overtime also clog its fans making it to slow down and produce an annoying loud sound. Spills will easily splash on the keyboard and in the worst case scenario on the CPU causing a complete short circuit and breakdown.

Physical damage

Dropping your CPU or Screen will of course lead to breakages in a PC which means that you have to place your PC where you are sure that does not happen so as to avoid damaging it.

The best way to deal with PC breakdowns is by working with a repair expert. Computer service Garner experts are able to find ways to recover your PC and hopefully restore it. We’ve been doing computer upgrades and computer repair for over 20 years now, you could say we have seen a thing or two.

Contact Buckeye PC today for professional PC repair services in the Triangle area!

How to Keep Your PC Running Smoothly

highly-trained-techsThere are very many annoying things in life but nothing is as annoying as a PC that is simply slow no matter the reason. This may be for various reasons none of which is good enough to cool you especially when you are trying to play your favorite game or simply get a project done. There are many ways to get your PC working smoothly again without having to break a vein in the process.

Get professional to help

You need to get a professional to help you out at this point especially if you are not a techie. Doing it yourself may end up making the situation worse and in some instances irreversible and so for this reason there are many professional computer repair technicians in Raleigh NC that will ensure that your PC runs smoothly again in no time by pinpointing the root of the issue. The advantage of using professionals is that they will have the necessary tools, knowledge and equipment to ensure that your PC is better than ever.

Use cleaners

There are a number of programs online today that have been designed to improve the speed of PCs effectively. Cleaners get rid of useless programs and clear up cache memory besides getting rid of broken links. You however need to be sure about their value since some come with malware and viruses and in most cases nothing more than sales pitches since you do not want to spend your hard-earned money running software that will not help your PC improve in anyway. You need to do good research before exposing your PC to harmful downloads in the name of making them run smoother. Professional advice may also come in handy at this point to avoid making irreversible mistakes.

Clean up your PC

Taking time to clean up your PC by getting rid of useless programs will also help since it creates more accessible memory and reduces the chances of memory being used in the background. This can also be done by setting your computer to the highest performance by getting rid of unnecessary visual settings. This can be accessed through the control panel on the performance options.

Upgrade your PC

Adding more RAM and space to your computer will exponentially do the trick. This can also be enhanced by the use of an external graphics card especially for games looking to play heavier games on their machines without the games slowing down or crashing often. Most PCs come with extra slots for these options allowing you to slot in as much memory as the processor can allow. A simple PC upgrade can truly make your computer feel like new.

The most important thing to remember at the end of the day is that computer repair Raleigh NC professionals will have better knowledge to pinpoint why your PC is acting up the way it is.

Typical Computer Repair Problems Today

computer upgrade memoryIt’s very common for computers to act up once in a while. Sometimes it has to do with its age, sometimes with usage, and sometimes with brand. There are just  computer problems that are quite common and need a few quick fixes to get things up and running again. Here are some of the most common problems with PCs that you’d most likely experience:

Viruses

That is particularly common when your computer is generally online. These are additional items of software generally referred to as viruses, stepping into your computer without your permission and making certain adjustments. Virus attacks help it become more difficult to function and can decrease your computer. You may also experience pop up whenever you get on line ads that appear. From ruining your computer’s software anti-virus software is employed to prevent such harmful assaults.

Slow Speed

Other than virus strikes, computers may slow down due to many other grounds. For example, if the computer has used all its sources or is left with almost no room, odds are that it’ll slow down. You need to dispose of items like programs that are not in use to be able to release the computer assets and raise its velocity. Sluggish speeds can also be as an outcome of an program that’s weighing your PC down.

Connectivity

Occasionally your PC might fail to attach to the web or some other system. In other examples, the link may be quite gradual. This might occur due to several reasons. It may be an issue with the computer adaptor or the network is not strong enough. Changing the computer system settings or settings may solve this issue. It could even be a problem with the hardware.

Power

Pressing the power button but nothing’ happening? This might be a problem with the power supply. The PC might not be obtaining any electricity. You must both ask a pc repair specialist to evaluate its components or have the batteries assessed. There might be some broken cables in your charger which might be cutting power off to the PC.

In need of professional computer repair technician? Click here for more information.

Avoiding Computer Viruses

laptop-virusIt’s important to take steps to avoid viruses and spyware from ruining your PC or laptop. Trojans and other malware infections have become notorious. The suspicious software can end up ruining your computer or exposing you to serious security threats. Here are a number of steps you can take to avoid viruses.

Invest in a good antivirus

Make sure you have a high quality antivirus in your PC. Look for an antivirus that will update more frequently throughout the day so as to protect your machine from fast emerging vulnerabilities. You can get advice from a computer repair expert on the best antivirus to install depending on the operating system you have.

Scan the computer system regularly

With the volume of potential new threats increasing every day, it’s become of vital importance to perform daily scans. A scan that ensures your hard drive is secure will help to detect and eliminate any infections that managed to escape the antivirus. New threats can easily go undetected and performing daily scans on your hard drive can help to clear out any possibilities of infection. Click for more info.

Don’t click on links you are unfamiliar with

It’s common to come across email messages with links and attachments that look suspicious. Always avoid clicking on those links when you are not sure about the source. A simple click can infect your computer and destroy all your important data. Make sure you scan all email attachments before clicking on them. If you are not too sure about a link, open it manually using your browser rather than clicking on it.

 

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Be cautious when surfing on the internet

The internet presents lots of security risks. You need to be very cautious and visit sites that are not compromised. Do not open web pages that look suspicious. Some websites distribute malicious programs that get to your computer and expose it to vulnerabilities. Consider using DNS services to protect your computer from malware when browsing the internet. A computer repair expert should help you in finding the right DNS service.

Install anti-spyware protection

This helps to ensure that your computer is protected from adware, Trojan and other viruses in real time. Unlike most antivirus programs that detect the spyware threats once they have already invaded the system, anti-spyware protection software will ensure your computer is well protected always. This software can get rid of any infections that are already present in your computer. More info here.

Take a moment and explore more of our informative articles below:

Most Common Computer Repair Problems

Protecting Your PC from Malicious Programs

When to Hire PC Repair Experts – Virus Removal

 

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Taking Good Care of Your PC

computer upgrade memorySome PC and laptop issues can be avoided simply by taking good care of your machine. You can avoid situations that put your computer at risk by exercising caution. Let’s look at some simple steps to take to ensure your PC is out of harm’s way.

Allow the computer to ‘breathe’

Your machine is likely to get damaged when it gets hot. This usually happens when there’s just not enough space for the PC to ‘breathe’. Cool air needs to come in and hot air should go out. For this to happen, you need to ensure the computer is placed with plenty of space around the tower. If you are using a laptop, get a fan mat to avoid overheating.

Lift the laptop gently

Some people have a habit of lifting the laptop by the screen. Always hold the machine on the base when carrying it. Using the screen to lift your computer can end up damaging the components inside. You’ll end up spending a lot of money on repairs.

How to clean your PC

Avoid using liquid cleaning products to remove dust on your computer. Dust should be safely removed using compressed air. Good thing with this method is that it also helps to insulate the heat inside the machine. Getting rid of dust every so often helps to keep the computer’s hardware in perfect working condition.

 

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Avoid placing heavy items on the computer

Some people have a habit of stacking heavy items on top of their laptop and this can cause serious damage. The screen is usually very sensitive and when the weight becomes too much, it’s likely to break. Computer screens do not come cheap and this is a cost you can avoid.

Always update your antivirus software

To protect your computer software from malware attacks, make sure you have updated antivirus software installed. This is especially important if you often browse using the machine. There is a lot of malicious software that your machine can be easily exposed to without antivirus software. Install one that works best for your machine and you’ll be able to avoid data loss and costly repairs.

Keep your coffee away from the computer

Sounds so obvious, right? We all have a habit of taking tea or water while working on your computer. Using liquids close to your computer is really risky because if it spills, you may end up damaging your machine.

Need help troubleshooting your machine? Call Buckeye PC today to get the best local Clayton computer repairs!

Take a moment and explore more of our informative articles below:

Should You Upgrade to Windows 10?

Why You Should Hire a Professional to Repair Your Computer

Speakeasy speed tests and new modems

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