Posts tagged "Microsoft"

Anti-virus, backups and more

May 21st, 2019 Posted by General 0 thoughts on “Anti-virus, backups and more”

Backups

 

I’m going to touch briefly on a few things this time. Just topics that have cropped up during day to day work that prompted me to get writing. So here are some thoughts on anti-virus, backing up and Windows 7.

 

 

 

Anti-Virus software

You should only have one anti-virus package installed at any time on your computer.  I recently went to a customer who was getting odd messages on his screen.

It turned out to be a second AV program conflicting with his main one, which caused the PC to run slow and the error messages to appear. Removal of the offending software solved the problems immediately.

Neither program was able to do its job properly due to the conflicts.

Backups

This topic is a common theme for me. I often meet customers who have no backup or only one inadequate manual backup on a memory stick or such like.

I cannot emphasise enough how important backups are, especially if you are in business. Most people do not recognise the importance until it is too late. By then they have had an incident and lost precious data.

As a minimum you should make a local backup and also an online backup using one of the commercially available solutions. I will write further on this in the future.

Windows 7

I talked about Windows 7 earlier in the year, this is just a reminder.

In January 2020 Windows 7 will reach its end of support from Microsoft.

This means that Microsoft will no longer push out security updates for Windows 7. So, when a bug or vulnerability is found it will no longer be patched or fixed. This will mean Windows 7 machines will become less secure. Users with such machines should upgrade to Windows 10 by either buying a new machine or upgrading their old one.

More information can be found here.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4057281

As ever, if you have any questions on any of these topics please get in touch.

https://srcomputers.co.uk/contact

Slow computer? – an easy solution.

April 25th, 2019 Posted by Upgrades 1 thought on “Slow computer? – an easy solution.”

Photo by Vincent Botta on Unsplash

How many of you have experienced that irritating wait when booting your computer or waiting for an application to launch?

You’re not alone, many of us have, at some point, suffered this. Unfortunately, Windows in all its various incarnations, tends to slow down over time.

No one really knows why this happens, and a full re install of Windows can usually alleviate the problem, for a while anyway.

It tends to happen after a few years, and even after a couple of years on a well specified machine running Windows 10, (my own family PC!).

 

It should not have happened, the machine has a high-end CPU, plenty of RAM and no games or other 3rd party software slowing it down. The main software installed is Office 365 only. This got me wondering what could be behind the slow down. A little bit of investigation later and I had identified the culprit. The 3TB hard drive, which was hardly full at all, a paltry 220GB used out of the 3TB.

 

There was nothing wrong with the drive per se, but it was getting a lot of use from Windows 10, even in an idle state. I had checked to make sure there were no sneaky non-Windows processes running in the background. I could only conclude that Windows 10 itself accesses the drive regularly in its operation.

 

So why don’t all Windows 10 machines run slowly then I hear you ask.

Quite simply it is down to the type of storage drive used where Windows is installed. Most average machines with a reasonable amount of storage use traditional hard drives with a magnetised spinning platter and arm, like the one pictured above. In speed terms of modern CPUs and RAM, this is actually a bottleneck. The necessary mechanical action of the hard drive internals is slow compared to the rest of the system. This causes data transfer to be slowed down comparatively.

 

The solution is simple, replace the old mechanical technology drives (HDD) with newer solid-state drives or SSDs as they are known. These solid-state drives have no moving parts and run at the same speeds as the rest of the system. Thus not causing any slowdown of data transfer.

 

Once upgraded to SSD you will see much reduced boot up times and speedier opening of applications on your system. Older systems really do benefit. Previously where start up could take several minutes it could now be ready to go in under 30 seconds.

 

What’s the catch I hear you say.

 

Well there is always something, and the cost per GB of storage space is higher for SSDs than HDD. However, over the last 8-12 months prices of SSDs have dropped dramatically. Typically, a 1TB HDD will cost around £40 on average, whereas, a 1TB SSD will be over £100.

 

However, most people I encounter only use a fraction of the capacity of their drives, myself included. Therefore, it is not necessary to replace a 1TB HDD with a 1TB SSD, a lower capacity will suffice, thus reducing the cost dramatically.

Typically, a 128GB SSD will come in around £30 and a 256GB around £60. Much more affordable when revitalising an older computer.

 

I’ve done lots of these upgrades over the last twelve months. The reaction when people see how quickly their computer now responds is brilliant.

 

If you want to know more then please get in touch.

Thanks,

Damian.

https://www.srcomputers.co.uk/contact

Updates and Upgrades

November 13th, 2018 Posted by Security 0 thoughts on “Updates and Upgrades”

Laptop updates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATES

Most of us are dismayed when we see a message informing us about updates and  upgrades on our computers. However, we shouldn’t be as updates to software and systems are done to either add new features or fix problems and vulnerabilities.

Don’t just ignore them and hope they will go away. Security updates are very important and should not be ignored. If you don’t do them then you could potentially be leaving your system at risk from attack by malware, hackers or remote intrusion.

Some operating systems allow updates to be done automatically so you won’t forget. The system will then prompt you that updates are ready and that your system may need restarting. Do this once you have finished working and it will be ready for the next time.

The best time is to do updates at the end of the working day or over-night, so your time is impacted as little as possible.

 

OS UPGRADES

 

The one exception in all this is operating system upgrades. It is always prudent to adopt a wait and see approach rather than diving straight in when a new version of the system is released. Let someone else test it out first!

Having said all this, Windows 10 users will know that they don’t get much choice when updates or upgrades are done.  The system automatically pushes them through.

A good point is Microsoft’s recent upgrade to Windows 10 (version 1809) which has caused many users to experience missing files. Microsoft pulled the release from public download in early October. As yet, nothing has been indicated about when the upgrade will be re-released.

The latest Mojave upgrade to Apple’s Mac OS X has also caused a few issues with regard to Bluetooth, apps not running or systems not restarting for some users amongst others. A security update has since been issued for Mojave which fixed many of these bugs. I would now be happy to upgrade myself, which I have done with no problems I might add.

All of these problems can be avoided if you wait a month or so before upgrading. Keep an eye on the tech news to find out when any major issues found have been corrected. If you really cannot wait and must install the latest versions straight away, then at least make sure you have all your data backed up beforehand.

Information on Windows 10 updates can be found here.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hub/4338813/windows-help?os=windows-10

You can find more about Apple updates below.

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT201222

As always, if you have any questions or need help with this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

https://srcomputers.co.uk/contact

 

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