Updates, updates, updates!


Every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft makes a batch of updates available for all their products.  If your computer is set up properly, these updates will trickle down to over the course of a week.  You will be notified that they’re either available to download, downloaded and ready to install, or downloaded and installed automatically.  You will be asked to restart your computer, and there may be more updates after the restart.

If you haven’t been notified of updates, it could be that your computer is not set up to receive automatic updates.  This is a serious problem, as many of the updates are to patch security vulnerabilities (solve security problems), which should help protect you against viruses, trojans, and hackers.  If you want help to make sure you’re getting updates, please contact me.

I’ve been busy over the last couple of days doing three Windows Reinstalls.  By far the most time consuming part is bringing Windows up to date afterwards; Windows Vista takes a day to update, and all versions of Windows need multiple reboots during the update process.  While I’ve been doing these reinstalls, my own PCs have been getting automatic updates too.  I’ve probably done close to 100 restarts this week!

Beware though, sometimes you could get pop-ups saying you need to update something, especially video players, which are actually viruses trying to infect your computer.  It’s pretty hard to tell the difference, so if you want to check with me before saying ‘yes’, then please do.  Sometimes, if you click ‘no’, that can still infect you with a virus.

If you’re a CBits subscriber (ie paying monthly for my services), you can ask me to log into your computer (if you give me the password) and check any messages to make sure they’re genuine.  10 minutes of care can prevent hours of work sorting out a fake update virus.  If you’re not a subscriber, please ask for details of becoming one; it’s pretty cheap, great value for money, and could save you a lot of hassle and expense.


Recent Jobs – Pre-holiday tech worries, unopened new laptops, and another order for backup devices

I wrote about these clients earlier.  I had visited to sort out an internet connection problem, and arranged for a free wireless router / modem upgrade, and lower monthly internet bills.

This recent visit was just a quick maintenance visit. The clients are going on holiday, and would have a 24 hour window in which to print their boarding passes before flying off. They were worried because their old Windows XP computer and printer had been acting up lately. It turned out that they had bought two new, identical laptops and a new wireless printer a few months ago, but hadn’t even opened the boxes yet because they wanted me to sort it all out and set them up after their holiday.

I tested the old PC and printer and they appeared to be working. I told them that if they have a problem on the day they need to print the boarding passes, they should call me and I will come to sort it out. In view of the short time window, I will take my laptop and portable printer to make sure I can get things printed in time.

On a previous visit, I had shown them how to backup their documents by dragging a copy of the documents from their PC to the memory stick. They couldn’t remember how to do it and hadn’t backed up since. This is often a problem for people, even though the process of doing a backup only involves a few steps, it’s a problem to remember how to do it, if they remember to do it at all.

I showed them one of the new backup devices I recommend, and explained that once the software is installed, all they have to do is plug the device into the computer, and press the button on the device marked ‘Backup’. Their backup would complete automatically and tell them when it’s finished. That ‘one-click’ backup solution appealed to them very much.  Although I explained that one device could backup both their new laptops, they ordered one for each laptop ready for my visit after their holiday. Just for their peace of mind, I did a backup for them to their existing USB memory stick.

They signed up for the CBits by Subscription service too, and we arranged an appointment in March for me to set up their new laptops and transfer their documents from the old PC.

These new backup solutions are proving very popular with my clients.  If you would like to know more about them, or have anything else you need help with, please leave a comment.  Personal details are extracted from the comments by me before any comments are published, so feel free to leave your contact details.

Remember, I provide remote support over the internet too, so contact me even if we’re miles apart.