Rebuilding Britain!

Keep it LocalThe Coronavirus has dealt a devastating blow to the UK economy. The only way to recover is to keep the money in the UK and not send it overseas. Support your local businesses and keep the money local.

Repair, don’t replace! Support your local and UK economy, not China and the Far East, by maintaining and upgrading your existing computers instead of buying new.

If you must buy new, donate your old Windows 7 or later computers so I can refurbish them and resell at reasonable prices to LOCAL people. All user data will be securely wiped.

I’m available for telephone and remote support, and for on-site visits with appropriate COVID-19 procedures in place. I use masks, gloves, and antibacterial wipes and gel. I work from the back of my vehicle where I can. I bring minimal equipment with me. I don’t use my phone on-site, and everything is wiped on the way in and on the way out of customer premises.

Stay safe, stay healthy!

20% off Tune-up Tuesday!

I’m offering 20% off remote support computer tune-ups this Tuesday only, 16th June 2020. Save £11.40, it’s just £45.60 instead of the usual £57.

Please phone 01268 440921 to book your computer tune-up. Leave a message if I can’t pick up. First come, first served.

The aim is to speed up the computer and check it’s all functioning correctly. This is a personalised service, based on your computer and what you use it for, but this is what you’ll get as a minimum:

  • I’ll ask you which software and apps you use, and turn off any unused Windows features that are running in the background and slowing things down. 
  • I’ll check your hard disk health and space (where your files and Windows is stored).
  • I’ll fix or advise you of any software that is slowing down your computer or your internet browsing.
  • I’ll fix any missing or corrupt Windows system files, where possible.
  • I’ll check that Windows Updates are working properly.
  • I’ll check that your antivirus is working properly.
  • I’ll advise you on the best backup process, if you don’t already use one.
  • Windows 10 automatically does disk optimisation (defragging). I’ll check that it has been done recently.
  • If you’re interested, I can provide a verbal or written report on all of the above.
Here’s what’s not included: Virus or unwanted software removal, installing software or printer problems. I can do these for an additional charge if required.
 
Did you know? Temporary files do not slow down your computer (unless you’re running out of storage space). Removing temp files can actually slow down your computer, because the software that uses them may have to re-create them.
 
If there’s anything else you need me to do, please ask.
 
Please phone 01268 440921 to book in your computer tune-up.

Sunday Tech Support

I dropped back the laptop I finished fixing yesterday, then back to the office to finish remote support on a laptop I was working on yesterday that had  turned itself off. The customer and I couldn’t get it to connect again, so I drove over to pick pick it up. Back at the office I fixed the remaining problems, then jumped back in the car to return it to the customer. Social distancing, and antibacterial wipes were used, of course. The laptop had been very slow (for example, when opening Microsoft Excel), and occassionally locking up. Here’s a list of some of the things I did to fix it.

CDI Caution

  • The first thing I checked was the hard disk health. It reports it has reallocated sectors. In simple terms, it has had trouble reading several blocks of data, so when it did finally get read the data, it moved the data to ‘spare sectors’. I explained to the customer that if this was my own disk I would replace it as it’s the first sign of failure. However, we agreed to check the disk periodically and if the number of reallocted sectors increases, we will rplace the disk. Meanwhile, I set up an online backup (second copy) of the customer’s files.
  • I removed TotalAV Antivirus. It had been installed by mistake after an advert popped up a fake warning saying his antivirus was due to expire, and to ‘click here’ to continue protection. Clicking it downloaded and installed this software, even though the customer already had McAfee antivirus (which I don’t recommend either).
  • I removed Booking.com adware (advertising malware). It’s nothing to do with the holiday booking site, it’s an unwanted app that periodically shows adverts.
  • I had to do a password reset to log in to OneDrive.
  • I repaired some corrupt Windows files, did a tune-up, and installed a Windws Update.

I also provided phone support for a couple of internet and router/modem/hub connectivity problems. There were some other calls too, but this post is long enough and it’s 9:30pm and I’d like to get out of the office.

If you have any computer propblems that you need professional help with, please phone me if you’re in the UK. Phone numbers are on this page on a green icon (somewhere, depending on whether you’re on a computer, tablet or phone). If you’re outside the UK I can still help. Use the Contact Me form on this website and I’ll be in touch. Thanks!

Today at CBits Tech Support

Hi.

Another Saturday doing tech support during the Coronovirus pandemic. Here’s a selection of the work I did today.Update to the latest version of Windows 10

I had picked up a laptop earlier in the week from a customer in Langdon Hills (Laindon) Essex. It was running very slowly and locking up. Doing remote support with those problems is impossible, so I offered to pick it up, observing social distancing. Having solved the slowness and locking up, the Windows Updates kept failing. It takes a long time troubleshooting this because each update attept takes a long time. Eventually I got the updates to work. One final abtibacterial wipe and it’s ready to go back to the customer tomorrow (Sunday).

I spoke to several customers on the phone who logged me in for remote support. These jobs included:

  • Updating the Skype app on a laptop, and resetting the Microsoft password that is used to sign in to Skype.
  • Installing the Viber Windows desktop app and linking it to the existing phone app.
  • Reinstalling NortonLifeLock 360 Premier.
  • Turn off Facebook Notifications that pop up (slide in) from the right of the screen.
  • Discussion about the new Google Meet chat that shows on the left side of Gmail.
  • Two password resets for different customers, one for Microsoft and Skype, and other for Amazon.
  • Advice and product recommendation for a WiFi range extender for an existing TP-Link wired Powerline Adapter.

Finally, another remote support session to do another Windows Upgrade. The customer had this message. “You’re currently running a version of Windows that’s nearing the end of service. We recommend you update to the most recent version of Windows 10 to get the latest features and security improvements.” However, his desktop PC wouldn’t update to the newer Windows 10 Version 1909. I was able to sort this out remotely.

If you need tech support, please phone the numbers top-right of this page. You can also subscribe for free to receive emails of updates here. Look for the ‘Subscribe’ option.

Recent Jobs

Working on a Sunday to catch up with filing job sheets. Here’s a small selection of recent work undertaken.

Decommissioning a Windows XP computer. I was going to remove the hard disk and put it in an enclosure so the data didn’t go off to the recycling centre, but someone had already removed it. So, it’s safe to take it to the tip.

Telephone support for email problems, followed by more phone-based email troubleshooting (this time for TalkTalk email).

Remote support for a regular customer for suspected virus clean-up.

Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 on a desktop PC and a laptop for the same couple. Microsoft is still not charging for this with the method I use, and since the customer pays me a monthly subscription (retainer) the work was done using up their contract hours making this a free upgrade to Windows 10.

 

Remember, I offer remote support worldwide, so please contact me if you need my services.

 

How to tell which version of Windows you’re using; Windows 10 or Windows 7

If you’re not sure which version of Windows you’re using there are a couple of ways to find out. Usually, you can tell by looking at the Start icon. The Start icon is the Windows logo that’s usually located at the bottom left of you screen.

Windows 7 Start.JPG Ignoring the blue background, if your Start icon is round with a four-colour Windows logo inside it then you’re probably using Windows 7.

 

Windows 10 Start.JPG If your Start icon is black with a white Windows logo inside it then it’s almost certain you’re using Windows 10.

To make absolutely sure, look for the black Windows logo on the bottom row of your keyboard, two or three keys in, and press it. Then type in “System Information” (without the quotes) and select the top option on the list shown on your screen. A new window will pop up which will tell you exactly which version on Windows your computer is running.

If you’re using Windows 7 then be aware that with effect from 14th January next year (2020) Windows 7 reaches “End of Life”. From this point, Microsoft considers it “End of Support” and will not offer any more security updates to patch security issues with Windows. Please contact me to discuss your options to upgrade to Windows 10 or a new computer that will come with Windows 10 pre-installed.

Recent Jobs

I don’t often get time (or don’t remember) to post recent jobs on this site, but here’s a few that I did recently.

Install a new TalkTalk router on Canvey Island, set it up, and connect the laptop and phone via WiFi.

Troubleshooting AOL email on an iPad in Langdon Hills, backing up two laptops, and sorting out a couple of password problems including a password reset.

Troubleshooting problems on a Microsoft Surface RT and a 4th Generation iPod.

 

If you need help on these issues or any other issues, please contact me.

Recent Jobs

Just a random selection of recent jobs I’ve completed for customers.

  • New HP Laptop and printer set-up
  • Windows not booting after using system restore to attempt a fix, and printer problems – fixed. Set up email on Android phone, and set mobile broadband data use warning and limit
  • Same-day-service for business customer to fix “no internet” problem. Also installed and set up Dropbox, and set up and run their first backup
  • Windows Login problem solved, Windows Updates completed, Antivirus installation
  • Non-starting Windows PC problem solved, advice on Windows Updates, and advice and tuition on Kindle Fire Tablet
  • Failing hard disk on a laptop. Backed up data, replaced hard disk with SSD (Solid State Disk), installed Windows 10, restored data
  • Windows XP won’t shutdown. I know, Windows XP! Retro! Also, fixed line, wired phone sometimes can’t dial out.
  • New printer installed and set up so customer can print from PC, iPad, iPod and Android phones. General PC tune-up highlighted Windows Updates were failing (now fixed), and a security checkup (Norton auto renewal).
  • Lenovo Ideapad set-up, Norton installation and activation, Gmail account creation.
  • iPad locked during update and couldn’t access iTunes server on Windows Vista, solved by using another computer and resetting the iPad and installing updates.
  • Computer infected with viruses and malware due to Norton not working – disinfected and fixed Norton, updated Windows, tested emails. Installed ad blocker on another PC. Advice on tablets and phones.

If there’s anything I can help you with please contact me on the numbers top-right of this page or by using the Contact form by clicking here.

Thanks for reading.

10 to 12 year old laptop now takes just 32 seconds to start up and display a webpage.

This is the result of my work refurbishing a 10 or 12 year old laptop for a customer who wants to give it to a family member. I installed a new hard disk and a fresh (legal) copy of Windows 10. It now starts up, gets on the internet, and displays the main page of my website in around 32 seconds. Not bad for a laptop that’s around 10 to 12 years old!

Sorry about the video quality, I deliver the laptop to the customer tomorrow and it’s the best I can do at short notice.

If you want me to tune-up or refurbish your laptop or PC, or if you’re interested in buying a refurbished computer from me, please get in touch on the numbers above-right.