All posts by Karl James

Virus Removal

In this day and age, there are more and more internet threats popping up every day. You have to be careful which sites you browse, and ensure your security software is up to date and active. Here is a list of threats are circling the internet:

Viruses

Like a biological virus, a computer virus is something you don’t want to get. Computer viruses are small programs or scripts that can negatively affect the health of your computer. These malicious little programs can create files, move files, erase files, consume your computer’s memory, and cause your computer not to function correctly. Some viruses can duplicate themselves, attach themselves to programs, and travel across networks. In fact opening an infected e-mail attachment is the most common way to get a virus.

Trojans

Trojan horses are software programs that masquerade as regular programs, such as games, disk utilities, and even antivirus programs. But if they are run, these programs can do malicious things to your computer.

Spyware

As the name implies, this is software that “spies” on your computer. Nobody likes to be spied on, and your computer doesn’t like it either. Spyware can capture information like Web browsing habits, e-mail messages, usernames and passwords, and credit card information. If left unchecked, the software can transmit this data to another person’s computer over the Internet.

Adware

Adware is free software that is supported by advertisements. Common adware programs are toolbars that sit on your desktop or work in conjunction with your Web browser. They include features like advanced searching of the Web or your hard drive and better organization of your bookmarks and shortcuts. Adware can also be more advanced programs such as games or utilities. They are free to use, but require you to watch advertisements as long as the programs are open. Since the ads often allow you to click to a Web site, adware typically requires an active Internet connection to run.

So how do I stay protected?

There are some basic methods to greatly reduce of having your system infected:

  • Be sure do a full back up of your system on a regular basis. The best way to clean up an infected file is to replace it with an original non-infected file. Not to mention the grief a current back up will save if a virus takes your system completely down. It’s also a good idea to keep more than one set of backup in case the current one is infected before the virus is detected.
  • Always use an anti-virus software program, one with both an on-demand and an on-access scanner. You’ll want to look for one that has a fairly complete database of viruses and that is updateable. New viruses are produced daily, so it’s important to have software that can detect the latest threat.
  • Update the virus database in your anti-virus program regularly (each month or by the direction of the manufacturer).
  • Know that the only way a virus spreads is either by launching an infected file or by booting an infected disk. You can not get a virus by simply being online or by reading e-mail. You have to download and launch an infected file before it will spread. Therefore, do not launch any unsolicited files sent via e-mail.
  • Using an updated anti-virus program, scan all new software for viruses before installing them on your hard drive. Even shrink-wrapped software from major publishers has been known to contain viruses.

This is only a brief list of tips, for more advice or assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us!

 

Here is a list of recommended antivirus providers:

AVG
Avira
ESET
Malwarebytes
Symantec (Norton Antivirus)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Networking

So what is Home Networking?

Home Networking is a way of connecting your devices within your home, allowing them to communicate with each other. With a home network you can share resources, such as files and internet access.

There are two types of home network: wired and wireless.

  • Wired – Each device is physically connected with a network cable.
  • Wireless – Each device can connect without wires. Most devices have WiFi built in, or an adapter can be used if necessary.

Having a home network has many benefits, such as:

  • Sharing Files
  • Backups
  • Printing
  • Broadband Connection Sharing
  • Multiplayer Gaming
  • Home Entertainment
  • And many more

There are pros and cons for both types of network. For example, wired networks are more secure and provide better speed, but you can’t run network cables around your whole house for every device you want to connect. Wireless networks are easier to connect and gives you more freedom around the house. Although albeit small, there is always a risk of people attempting to hack your wireless network. Several factors will determine your networking needs, but of course if you need advice, don’t hesitate to ask us!

If you do have a wireless network, there are some simple security tips to put your mind at ease:

  • Change default administrator usernames and passwords
  • Change the default SSID (network name)
  • Ensure firewalls are enabled on your router and devices where possible
  • Try to position your router as close to the centre of your home as possible. This ensures the signal doesn’t reach unnecessary ranges
  • Turn off your router during extended periods of non-use

If you require assistance or advice with your networking needs, again don’t hesitate to ask!

31Jan/15

Mobile Device Repairs

Our mobile devices. In this day and age, mobiles and tablets are our most important and valuable possessions. You can take so much care of it, and in one moment you drop it……and you crack the screen or it lands in a puddle. Not a good place to be 🙁

Fortunately KJ Laptops is here to help. We can carry out most repairs on most mobiles and tablets, including the iPhone or iPad. We will assess the damage, and let you know whether we can repair it. We advise that prior to repair, you back your device up using iTunes, or whatever software you use with your Android/Windows device where possible. There are a few links at the bottom of this page to some useful guides on how to do this.

Below is a short list of models that we can currently repair:

  • Apple iPad/iPad Mini
  • Apple iPhone 3G/3GS
  • Apple iPhone 4/4S
  • Apple iPhone 5/5S
  • Apple iPhone 6/6 Plus
  • Google Nexus 4
  • Google Nexus 7
  • Most HTC models
  • Most Nokia Lumia models
  • Most Sony Xperia models
  • Motorola Moto G/G2
  • Motorola Moto X
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 3

There are many more models we can repair, please contact us if your device is not listed.

Android
How to back up an Android device (PCMag)
How to back up a Google Nexus (Google)

Apple
Back up your device in iCloud or iTunes (Apple)

Windows Phone
How to back up a Windows Phone (Microsoft)

Upgrades

KJ Laptops can upgrade your desktop or laptop to give it the boost it needs. Technology moves at a very fast pace, so sometimes it can be a nightmare to keep up to speed. Below are common components that can be upgraded. Not all of these components are upgradeable in a laptop, but you can still make some pretty good upgrades to speed it up.

Motherboard
The motherboard is the main circuit board of your computer and is also known as the mainboard or logic board. If you ever open your computer, the biggest piece of silicon you see is the motherboard. Attached to the motherboard, you’ll find the CPU, ROM, memory RAM expansion slots, PCI slots, and USB ports. It also includes controllers for devices like the hard drive, DVD drive, keyboard, and mouse. Basically, the motherboard is what makes everything in your computer work together.

Each motherboard has a collection of chips and controllers known as the chipset. When new motherboards are developed, they often use new chipsets. The good news is that these boards are typically more efficient and faster than their predecessors. The bad news is that older components often do not work with new chipsets. Of course, if you are planning on upgrading multiple components, it may be more cost-effective to just buy a new computer.

CPU
Stands for “Central Processing Unit.” The CPU is the primary component of a computer that processes instructions. It runs the operating system and applications, constantly receiving input from the user or active software programs. It processes the data and produces output, which may stored by an application or displayed on the screen.

The CPU contains at least one processor, which is the actual chip inside the CPU that performs calculations. For many years, most CPUs only had one processor, but now it is common for a single CPU to have at least two processors or “processing cores.” A CPU with two processing cores is called a dual-core CPU and models with four cores are called quad-core CPUs. High-end CPUs may have six (hexa-core) or even eight (octo-core) processors. A computer may also have more than one CPU, which each have multiple cores.

RAM
Stands for “Random Access Memory,” and is pronounced like the male sheep. RAM is made up of small memory chips that form a memory module. These modules are installed in the RAM slots on the motherboard of your computer.

Every time you open a program, it gets loaded from the hard drive into the RAM. This is because reading data from the RAM is much faster than reading data from the hard drive. Running programs from the RAM of the computer allows them to function without any lag time. The more RAM your computer has, the more data can be loaded from the hard drive into the RAM, which can effectively speed up your computer. In fact, adding RAM can be more beneficial to your computer’s performance than upgrading the CPU.

To check how much RAM a Windows computer has, open the “System” Control Panel. This can be done by right-clicking “My Computer” and selecting “Properties…” To view how much RAM is installed in a Macintosh computer, select “About This Mac” from the Apple Menu.

Graphics Card
Most of the processing done on a computer is done via the computer’s central processing unit, or CPU. So in order to give the CPU a break and help it run more efficiently, a video card can be used to process the graphics portion of the processing load. Because most of today’s programs are graphically oriented, the video card can help almost any program run more efficiently. However, the difference in performance is especially noticeable in image editing applications and 3D games.

Hard Drive
The hard drive is what stores all your data. It houses the hard disk, where all your files and folders are physically located. A typical hard drive is only slightly larger than your hand, yet can hold over 100 GB of data. The data is stored on a stack of disks that are mounted inside a solid encasement. These disks spin extremely fast (typically at either 5400 or 7200 RPM) so that data can be accessed immediately from anywhere on the drive. The data is stored on the hard drive magnetically, so it stays on the drive even after the power supply is turned off.

SSD
Stands for “Solid State Drive.” An SSD is a type of mass storage device similar to a hard disk drive (HDD). It supports reading and writing data and maintains stored data in a permanent state even without power. While SSDs serve the same function as hard drives, their internal components are much different. Unlike hard drives, SSDs do not have any moving parts (which is why they are called solid state drives). Upgrading to an SSD can speed up your boot up time and system performance massively.

Case/Cooling
If you intend to have a high end system, keeping it cool is as important as making it powerful. High performance systems tend to have cases which allow maximum airflow in order to keep it cool, similar to the image at the top of the page. A lot of gamers have water coolers, which are basically radiators that are mounted inside the PC, and draw the heat away whilst keeping your processor cool. Keeping internal cable tidy and installing additional fans also help keep your PC cool.

If you would like advice or assistance with upgrading your PC or laptop, please contact us!

Backup & Restore

We cannot stress enough how important it is to back up!

A hard drive is not for life. We have seen many cases where we have to fix a laptop or PC and the hard drive is on it’s last legs. Hard drives do not last forever and will eventually die.

If you have a lot of important photos, videos and documents, you should be backing up twice a month at the very least. Personally my laptop backs up daily and my desktop PC every Sunday. I use a NAS (Network Attached Storage) unit to store my backups. There are several types of media you can back up to:

  • NAS – My personal favourite. NAS units connect to your home router and can have 1 or more hard drives to provide storage. Units with more than one hard drive can be mirrored, which means each drive is an exact copy of the primary drive. This means that should one drive fail, you can replace it and most modern units automatically rebuild after the new drive is installed.
  • USB Drive – These days, large USB drives are fairly cheap to buy and you can simply plug the drive into your PC or laptop and backup your files. This offers a great amount of portability however if your USB drive fails (which will happen over time) then you lose your backup data.
  • External Hard Drive – Like USB drives, external hard drives are quite cheap to buy and offer the same portability, only they offer a larger disk size. Again, only having one backup drive increases the risk of losing your backup data further down the line. It all depends on your needs and the criticality of your files.
  • DVD/Blu-Ray – Using discs to back up your files also offers portability, however if you use DVDs you are limited to a backup size of 8.5GB which will only cover one hefty photo library. However you can use writeable Blu-Ray discs to back up, which gives you a storage size oof approx 25GB. In addition to this, discs are susceptible to scratches, which in my opinion makes it the worst method of backing up.

If you require assistance or advice with backing up, don’t hesitate to ask!

31Jan/15

Repairs

KJ Laptops can carry out most repairs to your PC or laptop. Below is a common list of repairs we can do for you:

  • Desktop/Laptop Hard Drive Replacement
  • Desktop/Laptop CPU Replacement
  • Desktop/Laptop Motherboard Replacement
  • Laptop Graphics Repair
  • Laptop Screen Replacement
  • Laptop Casing Replacement
  • Laptop CD/DVD Drive Repair
  • Laptop Keyboard Replacement
  • System Boot Repair
  • BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)

This list doesn’t even cover a fraction of what we’re capable of. If you need help, contact us!