Computer Hardware

Computer Hardware

Computer security

Computer security

Computer software

Computer software

 

Category Archives: Computer

Tips to Repair a Hard Drive

maxresdefault (1)Similar to other components in the computer, hard disks are also vulnerable to complications and problems. There are many times when you might have experienced some problems with your computer’s hard drive. Do not worry, as with some simple steps and guidelines, you can diagnose the exact problem and try to fix it. It is not necessary to call up a computer repair professional as soon as any related error pops up on the screen. You first need to diagnose the exact problem, try to troubleshoot it, and if you are not successful, then you can go ahead and call the computer services. There are a couple of tips below on how to repair a hard drive.

Hard Drive Problems

There are many types of errors that may come up on the screen due to these problems. If there are errors on the computer monitor, but there is no clicking or scraping noise from the disk, then you need to know that it is a problem that can be resolved by using a software application. But if there is a certain noise coming from the drive, you need to realize that it is a serious issue, which only needs to be handled by a professional. So, if you are thinking of getting this part repaired, it is better to take it to a PC shop. If the disk is in warranty, you can get it done for no charge at all.

Bad Sectors

If the disk is not making noise, but there are some errors popping up on the screen, you can try to resolve the problem with fixing bad sectors. The disk has several sectors on which the data gets stored, and if these sectors go bad, the data stored thereon is lost and cannot be accessible. However, data on other sectors of the disk will remain as it is. The bad sectors then need to be tagged as unusable, after which the operating system will not try to store data on them. This would however reduce the overall storage capacity.

Those thinking of rectifying the disk problems on Mac OS or Windows need to understand that these operating systems have an inbuilt application, which scans the disk for errors and tries to resolve them. For fixing bad sectors, follow the steps below:

  • Open ‘My Computer’, and right click on the drive, which is to be repaired
    Select the ‘Properties’ tab, and then the ‘Tools’ option.
  • You then need to select the ‘Check Now’ button, which is located in the ‘Error-checking’ section. You may need to type some kind of a password or confirmation.
  • A window will be displayed with two check boxes.
  • Select ‘Automatically fix file system errors’ to automatically corrects problems with files and folders that the scan detects. Otherwise, the disk check will simply report problems but not fix them.
  • To perform a thorough disk check, select ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors’. This scan attempts to find and rectify physical errors on the disk itself, and it can take much longer to complete.
  • If you want both to be done, select both the check boxes. Click on ‘Start’ in the window to start the process.
    Corrupted Hard Drive

If you want to repair a disk, which has been corrupted, you need to use a particular software for getting rid of all the corrupted data and emptying the disk. Download a disk utility application to a floppy disk from another PC. Insert the floppy in your computer’s floppy drive, and switch on the computer. After the BIOS of the PC loads, the utility will start. Follow the step by step instructions on the screen to delete all the corrupt data and make your disk free of corrupted data. You can now use your disk as new.

For ruling out the possibilities of data loss, it is strongly recommended to do a periodical data backup, which will certainly keep your important data safe.

Tips to Start Your Own Computer Repair Business

There are a few important points to consider before starting a computer repair business. You must set the right price for your service. Time is money, and you will probably charge by the hour. You must
identify your clientele by deciding whether you want to sell your services to businesses or to private individuals! Next, you will need to find a niche, so that you can specialize in a particular sector of the market. You may also have to make a decision to quit your day job to be able to run your business full time. If you don’t have any background in the field of finance, you might even have to employ an accountant to record your transactions.

If you have pondered over and decided on the above mentioned points, you are well on your way towards becoming a businessman. However, successfully establishing and running a computer repair business will require you to take care of a number of other significant details too. Presented below are a few tips that can help you in doing this.

Tips on Starting a Computer Repair Business

1) Market Your Business Well
To establish a good customer base, you should market your business well. This can be done by sending mails or by distributing flyers. You can also promote it over the Internet, through SEO (search engine optimization) or by sending emails.

2) Highlight Your Technical Proficiency
Highlight the credentials of technicians working under you, so that clients are assured that the ‘techies can do their job well. Also make sure that their technical skills are up-to-date. You should train your workers well, and also encourage them to get certifications, such as the CompTIA A+. Before interviewing candidates for a job in your organization, make them fill an application form in which they need to list their technology-related skills, so that you know what questions to ask them in order to evaluate their technical proficiency.

3) Hire Employees With Good People Skills
In a computer repair business, there will be a direct interaction between your employees and clients. If the people working under you are able to establish a good rapport with your clientele, it will significantly help boost your business. Hence, you must try and hire employees who have good social skills, and even train them to improve at it.

4) Gain the Client’s Trust
To gain the trust of your clients, first and foremost, you will need to be able to do a good and transparent repair job. Many computers have the user’s Social Security Number, credit card numbers, and other sensitive and private information stored in them. It will be your job to assure them that their data will be safe with you.

5) Work From Home
You can run your business from home itself. For example, your garage could be used as your office cum workplace. This will help you save money, as you won’t have to lease space for your business. With the question of workspace out of the way, all you need to start a business are few desktop computers, and some cabinets or shelves to store all the tools and instruments that you’ll require for your repair work.

6) Diagnostic Fees and Pricing
You can charge a diagnostics fee to test the hardware and software of your client’s computer. As an act of good faith, you can refund the diagnostics fee if you are unable to figure out the problem. After you have determined what the issue is, you can give a written estimate, so that you and your client can agree on the final cost.

7) Repair Over the Internet
If the problem is purely software-related, you can repair your client’s computer by remote access over the Internet. This can be achieved by connecting to the client’s computer online, and controlling it remotely, while the client watches you repair it.

8) Offer On-site Repair Facility
You can provide an on-site computer repair service. This will probably help in increasing your business, as many people would prefer a computer repair service that is provided to them at home, rather than having to go through the trouble of disconnecting and bring their computers to your repair shop.

9) Buy a Franchisee
You will be competing with the likes of Best Buy’s Geek Squad, and big companies such as RadioShack and CompUSA. However, you will have an advantage over these national stores, because you will be focusing at the local level. Some established businesses outsource their PC repair services and maintenance to local companies, while others let you but a franchise of theirs. These are a good ways to start a business, as marketing would become much easier when working under the umbrella of an established and well-known brand name. Among the good companies offering their franchises are Fast-teks and Computer Troubleshooters. You can also buy computer parts from an online retailer such as Newegg, or an auction site such as eBay.

10) Become a Data Doctor
One of the common occurrences in the world of personal computers is hard disk crashes. People usually store a ton of their important data on their computers, without thinking twice or considering backing it up, until the storage device stops working. So, you can consider becoming a drive saver or a data doctor who can recover clients’ data when their hard disk crashes.

Thus, you can go ahead and start you own computer repair business by keeping in mind all the important points mentioned in this article. If you play all the cards right, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to run your business successfully.

Computer Maintenance Agreement and Contract Tips

I have always ignored the idea of getting a computer maintenance agreement for my laptop because I use it for my personal usage for a couple of hours a day and do not store data that is of any commercial value. But, I do believe that a maintenance agreement is very vital if you use computers for business purpose as the data that is stored in the computer is important.

If you are a home business owner and have a couple of computers under you, or for that matter if you run a business that uses computers; then getting a computer maintenance agreement that covers all your computer and network repairs, labor, preventive maintenance and replacement parts from a reputed service center is utmost important. In this article, I will include some important agreement clauses that you must ensure are included in your contract.

At the onset, insist on an initial evaluation from the service center to ensure that all the components are in a good working state. This will be beneficial to both the parties as any issues that are found can be discussed and resolved so that there are no issues later as to who has to cover the costs. Further, it is always advisable to sign a 3 month contract initially wherein you can evaluate the performance of the services provided by the vendor. If you are satisfied with the performance, then you can sign a contract for a year or more. While signing an extended contract, ensure that you negotiate for further reduction in the charges.

Service providers also provide you with the option of buying hours instead of getting an annual contract. Under this kind of provision, if you purchase, for example 100 hours in a year, then you are entitled to 100 hours of service from the provider. This option works out cheaper and is recommended when you have a robust system set up at your organization. If required, you can purchase additional hours at a discounted rate if you have exhausted all the time that you had purchased earlier. With additional clause in your contract, you can even carry over the hours bought in one year to the next year.

Computer Maintenance Contract Clauses

Some of the important clauses that your contract must include are:

  • All printers, servers and workstations must be covered in the contract
  • The response time after a request for a service has been placed must be agreed upon. The usual response time is 4 hours
  • The service provider should agree to provide detailed service requests reports quarterly
  • A very important clause that you must be very firm on is that the service provider should provide non-contract services at a discounted rate
  • All preventive maintenance activities should be carried out quarterly. This will in the long run ensure that the numbers of service requests are reduced
  • The service provider should ensure that all scheduled back up processed are working. The criticality of your organization can decide the frequency with which they need to check on the processes
  • You should have a confidentiality agreement wherein the service provider cannot disclose your network or any data related details to any third-party
  • Ensure that the agreement covers all charges for spare parts, labor, travel and everything else that is covered in the agreement eliminating the probability of any hidden costs
  • The service provider should agree to send technicians who have passed some bare minimum certifications as per the requirement of your organization

Some of the clauses that no vendor will agree to in a computer maintenance agreement are:

  • Equipment upgrades and new installations
  • Any problems caused by power surges are usually not covered
  • Hardware malfunction due to liquid spills will not be covered
  • Data corruption due to virus and hackers are not covered
  • Support for software applications like Microsoft Office is not covered
  • Proactive Computer Maintenance Contract

A new concept in the computer maintenance area is a Proactive Maintenance Agreement which can also be defined as a preventive service. Under this kind of contract, you are guaranteed monthly scheduled visits as per the number of hours that you specify in the contract. Some of the additional features that are covered in this type of contract are:

  • Monitor free disk space
  • Manage printers
  • Monitor error logs
  • Manage directory structure
  • Maintain all directory and file permissions

I hope that the tips for computer maintenance contract and agreements mentioned above will be beneficial to you when you approach a service provider for the same. Just search for sample computer service agreements or contracts and you will come across templates online. You can design a similar template if you are a vendor. However if you are a buyer, just read through these templates so that you get a fair idea of how a contract is going to be, and make a list of questions you are going to ask the vendor. Good luck!

Tips to Choose a Home PC Repair Service

Suddenly find yourself in a situation where your PC isn’t working? Can’t seem to fix it? And you have tried everything from defragmentation to deleting temporary Internet files, but it still won’t do much for you. You could either have some kind of hardware problem, or a virus in your computer; the bottom line is you do not know what to do and you need to get some urgent work done.

You wouldn’t find yourself in such a bind if you had a PC repair service at your beck and call. So why didn’t you think of getting one before? Probably because you thought you could handle all of it yourself. Well, my friend, there are some technical details that even you don’t know.

Important Things To Consider Before Choosing a Home PC Repair Service

  • Meet with a computer consultant from a computer service agency and talk to him. If he tries to confuse you with technical jargon, then he is not worth choosing. Look for someone who can simplify and explain the problem to you in layman’s terms. You should also feel comfortable with your repair service ‘guy’, and also gage whether he has your best interests at heart.
  • Look for a consultant who is willing to listen to you, your problems, and your needs before shooting off solutions to you. The reason you are using this service is so that the person can understand and do what you want them to do, and offer you the best advice and solutions.
  • Always check for references before choosing a computer repair service. A friend may have referred you to a particular service, or you could have randomly picked it out of the yellow pages; irrespective of that you have to always check for references. Call up about three of their customers and ask if they were satisfied, what kind of service they got, and how everything worked out for them. Based on the answers you get, you can make a choice.
  • Find out about vendor-consultant relationships. Most computer repair consultants or service agencies will have some kind of tie with vendors that will help them in their work. This could be beneficial to you as a customer.
  • Check for the agency’s objectivity. Do they have an underlying agenda in recommending a particular product, or are they doing so in your best interest.
  • Find out about the kind of replacements the computer service agency will offer in the event that they are unable to send anyone for your PC repair. Do they have a tie up with another service for such cases? It is important that you look into details.
  • Check the rates that these agencies are charging. Are they at par with other agencies or do they seem exorbitant to you? Do not be fooled by an hourly or daily rate, ask for complete rates.
  • Check for memberships and computer training that do matter at the end of the day. Good agencies should have some kind of membership with computer associations such as the ICCA. The ICCA membership ensures the customer of high business standard and professional liability insurance. Also, the ICCA allows for reference checks to be conducted by the customer. Where training is concerned, it is important that the consultant be trained specifically in computer repairs.

So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a situation where your printer isn’t working, or the monitor doesn’t turn on, you need not go into a state of panic. Just pick up the phone and call your repair service, that you took such pains to choose and employ.

Different Types of Servers

A server is a device with a particular set of programs or protocols that provide various services. Together, a server and its clients form a client/server network, which provides routing systems and centralized access to information, resources, stored data, etc.

At the most ground level, one can consider it as a technology solution that serves files, data, print, fax resources and multiple computers. The advanced server versions, like Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 enable the user to handle the accounts and passwords, allow or limit the access to shared resources, automatically support the data and access the business information remotely. For example, a file server is a machine that maintains files and allows clients or users to upload and download files from it. Similarly, a web server hosts websites and allows users to access these websites. Clients mainly include computers, printers, faxes or other devices that can be connected to the server. By using a server, one can securely share files and resources like fax machines and printers. Hence, with a server network, employees can access the Internet or company e-mail simultaneously.

Types of Servers

Server Platform
Server platform is the fundamental hardware or software for a system which acts as an engine that drives the server. It is often used synonymously with an operating system.

Application Server
Also known as a type of middleware, it occupies a substantial amount of computing region between database servers and the end user, and is commonly used to connect the two.

Audio/Video Server
It provides multimedia capabilities to websites by helping the user to broadcast streaming multimedia content.

Chat Server
It serves the users to exchange data in an environment similar to Internet newsgroup which provides real-time discussion capabilities.

Fax Server
It is one of the best options for organizations that seek minimum incoming and outgoing telephone resources, but require to fax actual documents.

FTP Server
It works on one of the oldest of the Internet services, the file transfer protocol. It provides a secure file transfer between computers while ensuring file security and transfer control.

Groupware Server
It is a software designed that enables the users to work together, irrespective of the location, through the Internet or a corporate intranet and to function together in a virtual atmosphere.

IRC Server
It is an ideal option for those looking for real-time discussion capabilities. Internet Relay Chat comprises different network servers that enable the users to connect to each other through an IRC network.

List Server
It provides a better way of managing mailing lists. The server can be either open interactive discussion for the people or a one-way list that provides announcements, newsletters or advertising.

Mail Server
It transfers and stores mails over corporate networks through LANs, WANs and across the Internet.

News Server
It serves as a distribution and delivery source for many public news groups, approachable over the USENET news network.

Proxy Server
It acts as a mediator between a client program and an external server to filter requests, improve performance and share connections.

Telnet Server
It enables the users to log on to a host computer and execute tasks as if they are working on a remote computer.

Virtual Servers
A virtual server is just like a physical computer because it is committed to an individual customer’s demands, can be individually booted and maintains privacy of a separate computer. Basically, the distance among shared and dedicated (hosting) servers is reduced providing freedom to other customers, at a less cost. Now, it has become omnipresent in the data center.

Web Server
It provides static content to a web browser by loading a file from a disk and transferring it across the network to the user’s web browser. This exchange is intermediated by the browser and the server, communicating using HTTP.
Other types of servers include Open source servers, Gopher server (like a plain document, similar to WWW and the hypertext being absent), and Name server (applies name-service protocol).

The various servers can be categorized according to their applications. Servers along with managing network resources are also dedicated, i.e., they perform no other task other than their server tasks.

Computer Technician Salary

unduhan (2)With growth and development in the software and hardware industries, the need for skilled computer services and network technicians has assumed great significance. Teenagers who have keen interest in computers, and who can solve problems related to computer hardware and software at the earliest, have wonderful career opportunities in this field.

The work experience one gains as a computer technician can help enhance practical knowledge and understanding in this field. For those who are interested in advanced studies and certification programs, it can be of great help in everything from job interview to school presentation. With computer being a necessity in our daily life, getting them checked and repaired frequently is necessary. The salary range of these technicians has risen in the last few years.

Factors that Determine the Salary
The average salary of a computer technician is dependent on various factors. They are mentioned below.

▸ Work experience
▸ Type of employer
▸ Industry
▸ Educational qualification
▸ Geographical location of the job

Average Salary
▸ Based on the above factors, the salary of a computer technician varies for every state and organization. According to salary dot com, in New York, it is around $40,000, while in California, it is around $35,000.

▸ According to PayScale, computer service and network technicians who have less than a year’s work experience earn anywhere between US$23,804 – $50,453.

▸ As work experience increases, prospects of getting higher salary increase to a large extent. Salary range, according to PayScale, for experienced computer and network technicians is $31,682 – $65,804.

▸ ‘Employer type’ plays a significant role in determining their earning potential. It is obvious that big multinational companies offer handsome salaries and hefty perks.

▸ Those who have suitable work experience can work independently, and they can earn anywhere between US$65,000 to as low as US$35,000. This depends on the success of the technicians in establishing good contacts and popularity in their area. Those who have been able to establish themselves in this industry can get work through good contacts and marketing skills.

▸ According to the BLS, the annual average salary for computer user support specialists was $46,420, and the median annual wage for computer network support specialists was $59,090 in May 2012. While the lowest 10% earned less than $34,930, the top 10% earned more than $96,850.

▸ Since this field demands some good knowledge about computers, educational qualification does play a crucial role in deciding the salaries. Those having a high school degree can make anywhere between US$30,000 to US$50,000. However, interest and an urge to work in this field is necessity to succeed.

▸ The salary of these technicians has the potential to increase, as they gain experience, education, or additional certifications. Indeed, these are the professionals who are always paid for their work and skills.

Job Description
There are different types of computers manufactured today, like desktop computers, laptops, palmtops, and many others. While basic designing and circuitry of various brands remain the same, there can be significant variation in the software designing. So troubleshooting problems of various computers can be at times challenging. Here are some job duties of a computer technician.

▸ Participate in the designing, drawing, and implementation of computer networks in firms.
▸ Perform computer repairs at homes, offices, and places of commercial interest.
▸ Schedule times and manage contacts with respect to carrying out responsibilities of the job.
▸ Must have good communication skills coupled with loads of patience.
▸ Possess skills related to computer hardware troubleshooting, and should be able to solve problems related to internal circuitry.
▸ Must be available 24 hours a day, and should be ready to work at night or during weekends. It’s not a typical 9-to-5 job.
▸ Remain updated about the latest developments in the technological field with respect to anti-virus software and other required tools in their work.

As complexity of jobs have increased in this field, clients look out for professionals who have the ability to integrate theoretical knowledge with practical applications. Students who love working on computer projects and have an inclination towards hardware engineering can work part-time to better their on-the-job-experience.

Threats and Protection Techniques

cyberthreatprevention_imgComputer security is that branch of information technology which deals with the protection of data on a network or a stand-alone desktop. As every organization is dependent on computers, the technology of its security requires constant development. Here are the different types of computer security.

Hardware Security

Threat
Even if the computer is not plugged into a network, a person can open its cabinet and gain access to the hard drives, steal them and misuse or destroy the data saved on them or, damage the device altogether. It is also necessary to remember that in case one dissembles his computer hardware, the risk of losing coverage of warranty becomes very high.

Protection
The security of computer hardware and its components is also necessary for the overall protection of data. If a stand-alone system contains some important or classified information, it should be kept under constant surveillance. Locking system for a desktop and a security chain for a laptop are basic security devices for your machine. Certain disk locks are available in various sizes, which control the removal of the CPU cover protecting internal components of the system.
For example, you will find disk/tape drive lock, computer case lock with cable and padlock, security cables, etc. A disk lock guards all the internal access points located on the CPU and protects them.

Software Security

Network Security
Computer networks are an integral part of any organization these days, as they facilitate the free flow of data and services to the authorized users. However, such networks also pose a security threat in case the data is classified and confidential, thus making network security a vital necessity.

Threats
As the data is available only for authorized users, it is possible for hackers to pretend to be one, by providing the correct user name and password. Computer network security can be disrupted or encroached in the following ways:

Denial of Service
Denial-of-service is meant to disable a computer or a network and can be executed with limited resources. It is one of the most common forms of attacks by hackers and can effectively disable the whole network of an organization. Denial of service attack makes a computer resource unavailable to its intended user.
To carry out this kind of attack, hackers generally flood a network or the access routers with bogus traffic. They also make attempts to disrupt connections between two machines and prevent individuals from accessing a service.

Trojan Horse
Trojan horse is common and one of the most potential threats to computer security. They are malicious and security-breaking programs, disguised as something which is considered as non-malicious by the security software. They are a useful tool for hackers who try to break into private networks. Hackers generally attach Trojan horse to a file, which triggers a virus or remotely controlled software, giving the hacker complete control over the computer.

Viruses and Worms
Viruses and worms are well-known for their destructive nature and the property of replicating themselves. They are basically pieces of computer program codes, which are written by hackers and other computer geniuses.

Sniffing
Sniffing is the act of intercepting TCP/IP packets while they are getting transferred on a network. The interception generally takes place through simple eavesdropping done by a hacker.

Protection

Firewall
It is one of the most essential type of network security in today’s world of Internet. Firewall is a filter that prevents fraud websites from accessing your computer and damaging the data. However, a firewall is not a great option for securing the servers on the Internet because the main objective of a server is granting access to unknown users to connect to various web pages.

Security Software
Along with firewall, try installing a good anti-virus and security software to enhance the security level of your computer system.
Data Security

Threat
Although uncommon, hardware malfunction can prove to be a major threat to your data in the computer. The life span of hard disks is always limited because of surrounding factors and this can amount to a severe loss of all your files saved on the disk, if there is no proper backup of those files made on any other system.
Protection

Keep Backup
It is important to avoid data and information loss in case of hard disk crashes. The only solution is to regularly keep backups of all the data on other media such as magnetic tapes, CD-ROM, etc. It is a good practice to store the media off-site and in case of a disk crash, restore the information from the backup media onto the new disk.
In case a backup media is not affordable, one should try to store the files on at least two different media devices. These media devices should be systematically kept at a place which is safe and secured, as the information contained may be confidential. People usually have backup for database files, spreadsheet files and large documents. As the technical constraints are always there, it is better to take regular backups, in order to avoid any loss of information.

Install a software program on your computer that will clear all the old, unused files and registry keys. It will also help to detect malware and save your computer from a severe damage caused by it. Keep your system in the loop of latest updates and security alerts or else, it will become vulnerable to security threats.
It is important to keep a record of technical support consultants and software documentations, like manuals and guides to make them accessible to the staff members of the company.

Computer Freezes After Startup

While working on computers, there is a high probability that your system may freeze for no rhyme or reason. If your computer freezes frequently, it is time you first figure out the reasons behind such malfunctioning of your system.

Reasons Why Computer Freezes on Startup

There are myriad reasons for a computer freezing on startup. Following are a few causes, which could be detrimental in freezing your system more often.

  • Defective hardware (Electrostatic discharge and loose connections between hardware and computer motherboard)
  • Faulty software (Codes using lot of RAM; software infected with adbots, viruses and spyware)
  • Bugged operating systems (A corrupted Windows registry of operating system)
  • Infected drivers (Improper installation of drivers, small programs that enable the hardware and software to work in sync)

In all the above, the root cause that answers your query on why computer freezes is, almost all computers today are assembled and so the hardware components are manufactured by different vendors, which may result in hardware malfunctioning of the system. If your software is corrupted with malicious programs through Internet, freezing on startup is a warning sign indicating that your operating system may be at risk. This is because, viruses and spyware usually replicate their code and store them at hidden locations in your system, thereby using up more RAM. This eventually slows down your system. However, if the registry of the operating system is corrupted, then a symptom like computer freezing on startup would indicate warning to reformat your system.

Computer Freezes Shortly After Startup – Fixing the Problem

Sometimes, it may happen that you log into your system and as the system is loading, your computer freezes randomly, and no matter how many times you tap your keys and bang your mouse, the system remains frozen. In that case, I would suggest you to try the following:

  • Reboot your system and set your system in clean boot.
    Click on Start, and type msconfig in the search box of the start menu and click on Enter.
  • The system may prompt you for a confirmation, sometimes asking for an administrator’s password. Type the password and click on Continue.
  • Now, click on selective startup on General tab and under the Selective startup of the General tab, clear the load startup items checkbox.
  • Select Services tab and click the check box for Hide all Microsoft Services. Then click on Disable All.
  • Click OK. And once the system prompts, click on Restart.
  • If your system starts, apply divide and conquer algorithm to detect the non Microsoft service which is causing the problem, if your system is running on Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Once the startup fiasco is solved, check for the registry. Here are some steps to check this.

  • Click on Start.
  • In the search box of startup menu, type REGEDIT. Click Enter.
  • Now find this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  • Once found, set the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1 to delete any duplicate or short versions for DOS names.

Computer Freezes After Startup But Works in Safe Mode – Fixing the Problem

Most people complain about the computer freezing up in Windows Vista and they might also observe that it prompts for the system to start in ‘Safe Mode’, once rebooted. Now before understanding whether this safe mode is advisable or not, it is important to understand what this safe mode is all about. Safe mode is a special way for Windows to load when a system is not starting in the normal mode. Now in the safe mode, not all functions are enabled. Most device drivers are not loaded (like that of printer and scanner). The command files autoexec.bat or config.sys are not run. Standard VGA graphic mode is used and not the normal graphics device driver. In this mode, the system checks for the msdos.sys for information to find the required Window files. So now the question arises, what to do once the system boots in safe mode? To check the root reason for what had caused Windows to load incompletely should be your first plan of action.

Click on Start, and click on control panel. In recent times, if you have added any device driver, try uninstalling it and then attempt a reboot. If your system starts normally, it means that the device was having some conflict with the driver software. Check further for installation of games or new applications and try uninstalling them as well, if you have doubts about their installation. However, if there is no problem with the hardware or the software, then it indicates a corrupt registry issue, which can be resolved only by getting a new installation copy of Windows.

When you face such an issue, do not jump into conclusions, that your system needs reformatting. Check out all the possible causes and try to figure out the core reason why your computer freezes after starting. And yes, one more important thing, always save your data in backup devices like CD or a pen drive. It will save your work at least!

Careers in Computer Hardware Engineering

In simple words, computer hardware engineers are people, who take care of all computer hardware maintenance, they are assigned to. To enter this field, one obligatorily needs to have strong technical knowledge of computers. A software computer engineer may not know much about computer hardware, but a computer hardware engineer is well aware of how software works. This knowledge helps him solve hardware problems more efficiently and responsively.

Professionals in this field are responsible for carrying out research, contriving, participating in the development, and examining the installation, troubleshooting, and maintenance of all computer hardware. They are directly related to the care and maintenance of computer chips, motherboards, network components and devices, servers, databases, keyboards, modems, printers, scanners, and many more computer peripherals. The speedy advancements in information technology are predominately the outcomes of hardworking efforts made by these professionals.

Due to a rapid change in several technologies, computer hardware engineers are required to update their knowledge base accordingly, so that they can provide every possible service to their clients and customers. In this regards, they are offered technical trainings by companies which they work in. Companies also allow continuing technical education to upgrade their knowledge and skills. This all is done because the company needs their engineers to use their skills and provide maximum services, which may in turn have a good effect on other employees’ performance in the company.

The number of these engineers working at present is lower in comparison to other professionals in the IT field. According to a survey conducted in 2002, they collectively hold approximately 74,000 positions. Out of them, 40% engineers were operating in computer and electronics facilities, whereas 1/4th were providing their services in ‘scientific’ and ‘technical service’ companies that were associated to the IT industry. Others were catering to technical needs of several telecommunication giants. Nowadays, computer hardware engineers might have to pass through tough competition, as the number of degrees granted in the information technology sector has increased enormously. The job advancements principally depend on the years of experience in the same field along with required qualifications. If you desire to get into a computer hardware career, you are required to at least own a bachelor’s degree in the engineering field.

A prospective hardware engineer should also have a liking towards work and learning new technologies. Computer hardware engineers should have the capability of troubleshooting and finding potential problems as soon as possible to preclude severe loss in deliverables. Their working time is never fixed and may change according to the requirements of their services. They may be called upon by their respective employers in case of a technical problem in the server or database, which would be causing a problem to the company employees in carrying out their duties. Hardware engineers are required to have perceivable oral and acceptable written communication skills, to communicate with affected users, so as to interpret what issues they actually face. The main attraction in this profession is the pay scale. Referring to the salary survey stats of 2006, these engineers earned a handsome salary which was around $70,000 to $110,000 per annum.

With a rapid increase in the use of information technology among several industries around the globe, there is certainly a high possibility of an increase in the job opportunities of computer hardware engineers.

Computer Problems and Solutions

If you have a computer or PC, it will surely help in easing most of your problems. But with every computer comes along many headaches and complications, sooner or later. A computer is a machine and every machine breaks down sometime or the other. You do not need to run to the computer technician every time your PC crashes or is attached by a malicious software. If you know some simple solutions to the most common computer problems, it will help you save a lot of time and money. These glitches that can be solved by a common person like you and me in the world of computers.

There are many PC owners who think every time they face a problem with computer, they should contact professional help. True, but not every problem needs to be addressed by a computer expert.

How to Fix Computer Problems?

Problems with computer are divided into two groups, i.e., hardware problems and software problems. The hardware problems are related to the peripheral parts of the computer like the CD drive, hard disk, monitor, keyboard, etc. The software problems are more complicated. These problems include problems like modem problems, Windows not starting, drivers not found, etc. Understand what is causing the glitch and follow the standard procedure to solve the problem. The following are a few common problems and solutions to help you overcome the technical snag.

After Power Outage
Today there are many sudden power outages, voltage problems and spikes that can damage computers. These damages cause many technical and software snags and interrupt your work. This leads to loss of data, damage to the hardware, etc. due to sudden power outage. This is a solution to this trouble is use of uninterrupted power supply (UPS). The UPS can provide a constant flow of energy to the computer, even if you encounter a sudden power outage. This will provide you with ample time to save your data and shut down your PC, if needed.

Computer Performance has Slowed Down
You may notice your computer has slowed down considerably and even a simple command execution takes ages. This is because your computer is loaded with unnecessary files, fragmented data, corrupted registry, spyware programs, services, software, etc. that makes your computer slow down. Thus, you need to manage your programs and delete unnecessary data and software that you do not use or need, clean your registry regularly to help boost at least 30% of your computer performance speed.

No Sound from Speakers
You are in the mood to listen to some groovy music on your PC, but you get no sound from speakers, the solution to is to check the back of the computer and see if all the connectors are properly connected. The speaker or single stereo speaker plug should be put into the socket on the soundcard that has a mark Audio Out.

Computer Monitor Displays Fuzzy Images
A computer monitor is the display unit of the computer that is sensitive to electro-magnetic radiations. These electro-magnetic radiations are transmitted from the TV, radio, microwaves, dishwashers, washing machines, speakers, etc. Mobile phones transmit electro-magnetic radiations that is one of the main cause of monitor displaying fuzzy images. Thus, move away these disturbances away from the monitor and this problem with computer monitor will be fixed.

Computer Freezes with Blue Screen Hijacking Your Display
There are many problems that can cause your computer screen to freeze and blue screen to appear. This screen is called the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). This may be due to a spyware or computer viruses that have affected your computer. You need to update your anti-spyware and scan your computer for any viruses. If your computer is free from any such malicious software, then you may need to update your hardware drive. A hardware drive that is not updated may cause the CPU to lock up and interrupt working of the computer. If you find the problem cropping up even after a hardware drive update, then you may need to increase computer RAM. When you increase the RAM, the computing power increases and you will also be able to avoid the computer freeze. At times, BSOD may appear due to critical errors in the driver, software or registry problems. Windows may have to repair or reinstall missing components. If you do not find any visible cause, it would be wise to call the computer technician.

Computer Reboots Itself Again and Again
Another common problem with computers. In order to fix the problem of rebooting itself again and again, you will need to check the hardware. You may have a faulty power supply, defective or dirty cooling fan, etc., that may cause the computer to reboot again and again. The dust that accumulates on the fan, makes it heat up faster and in order to cool down the computer automatically switches off. Thus, clean the fan and check for power supply. Following these simple steps will help you to solve these problems with computer.

Computer Makes Strange Noises
Noises and vibrations from your computer are a hardware problem. Many electronic parts can make high pitch noises. You need to switch off your computer and unplug it from the power supply. Now remove the case from the CPU and restart your computer. Locate the origin of noise and then switch off the computer and unplug it. It may be a faulty fan, loose wire or screw. This means you will need to call the computer technician to help you solve your problems with computer, regarding these type of problems.

Windows Having Problems in Shutting Down Properly
You may have come across the message ‘Windows Shutting Down’ instead of ‘It is now safe to switch off you computer’. This is because a program has not unloaded itself properly that makes the computer insist to run a scandisk the next time you switch on. You need to close all the programs before your shut down your PC and if it is not done, the computer waits for the program to close. It may happen you get the message ‘Do you want to shut this program down or wait’ or you may not. When you don’t get such a message it results in what we call the hanging of the operating system. The solution is not to install Direct X whenever you install a game. Most games have their version of Direct X that makes the files out of sync. Thus, install the latest version of Direct X and not the games version. You may need to also check USB devices, task scheduler, virus scanners, etc. and reinstall them if necessary. This will lead to correct installation and the problems with computer may reduce.

Computer Gives Error Messages on Start-up
Many times when you switch on you computer you see error messages on your screen. These messages may appear such as, abclink.xyz missing or damaged – press any key to continue. If you see this message, you need to press keys for about 8 to 10 times, before Windows actually resumes. This happens when you delete a program instead of actually un-installing it. If you wish to get rid of any program, go to Control panel —> Programs —> Programs and Features. Here, you will find a list of programs installed on your computer. Select the specific you wish to delete and click on Uninstall. The program will be removed from your system and next time you switch on your PC, you will not get any error messages saying a link is missing.

Low Virtual Memory
Do you keep getting an annoying message that says ‘system running low on virtual memory’? If yes, it means your computer is running short of RAM, that is, Random Access Memory. So, to solve this problem, you need to increase the size of your computer memory. Windows 7 users need at least 1 GB of RAM, Windows Vista needs 512 MB of Ram and Windows XP requires minimum 256 MB RAM. Visit your local computer dealer and purchase more memory from him. The dealer may even install the memory for you. This will help you get rid of low virtual memory.

You can avoid these problems if you are aware of the various steps needed for computer maintenance. You should read the manual given with computer before you begin using it. Yes, the manual may sound Greek to you, but it’s always better to know the simple precautions to be taken. The troubleshooting is not an easy task. If you do not understand anything or are still apprehensive about these troubleshooting, then it is a better idea to consult a computer technician. You have many articles on the Internet that help you find solutions to various problems with computer. You do not need to be genius to diagnose and troubleshoot a simple problem. Many times a bit of presence of mind and common sense will help you overcome obstacles of the technical world.