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.
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.
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.
This topic only gets occasional updates. Not every job I do is included here, but here are some of the recent things I’ve been working on.
Windows Updates. Lots of Windows Update problems. Lots! Windows 7 takes ages to search for updates, and often fails. Windows 8 and 8.1, and Windows 10 often have problems too. There doesn’t seem to be one fix that fixes all problems. If you need your Windows Updates looked at then please let me know. I have a way of doing Updates without having to use the “Check for Updates” feature that can often resolve the issue.
I recently did remote support to help a customer set up a YouTube account, a YouTube Chanel, and upload her first video.
Phone support for a “laptop won’t turn on”.
Phone support for a browser locked by a fake virus warning.
Telephone support for another browser locked with a fake warning, and the screen was turned sideways.
Some of the jobs planned for today:
- Remote support to solve a lost password problem
- Reinstall Windows 7 after a virus (customer wants a fresh reinstall)
- Complete Windows Updates on the above PC. That’s a long job in itself because Windows Updates have been very slow lately, but I can use technicians tools to speed up the process
- Replace failing hard drive
- Solve a “Windows Repair” loop problem
- Reset an old Android tablet and install key apps to see if it’s still usable. Decommission if not
- Transfer old phone contacts to Google Contacts on an old Samsung phone so the magically appear on the customer’s new phone, then decommission the phone for recycling
I have a few other jobs to do too if I have time.
Here’s a selection of recent work I have done.
20 minute remote support for a regular client to fix a sounds and mic (microphone) problem. I installed one Windows Update for him too. We also scheduled another remote support session to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. We had blocked the automatic upgrade because the client wanted me to oversee the upgrade process.
Remote support session to revert to Windows 7 after an unwanted automatic upgrade to Windows 10.
Troubleshooting a failing disk drive.
As always, backup! If you don’t have a second copy of those files and photos, it’s only a matter of time before you hard disk fails and you lose them. Contact me for help and advice on backing up.
If you don’t want Windows 10
installed automatically on Tuesday 9th February (or shortly after) then you need to take action now. I have this from two very reliable sources.
*This applies to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. If you have these versions then Microsoft will “upgrade” you to Windows 10 as part of Windows Automatic Updates starting this Tuesday 9th February.
Some software (programs and apps) and hardware (printers and other things you plug in to your computer) will not work with Windows 10.
I can block this unwanted upgrade and turn off all the annoying popups about the upgrade.
I expect to be busy with this fix. I may not be able to reply to emails until after the deadline.
So, if you don’t want Windows 10 then phone me as soon as possible and leave a message if I am not available so I can get back to you.
Things have been too busy lately for me to post on my website. Things are a little slower this week. I’m tackling two troublesome computers left over from last week, a laptop and this PC which are fighting not to be fixed. The laptop has a SMART error which basically means the hard disk is at the point of failure and needs to be replaced. I did most of the work only to find out that Microsoft won’t authenticate the version of Windows that came with the computer. I spent over 30 minutes on the phone to Microsoft in India over a terrible phone line but no luck. So I’m trying a couple of other fixes that aren’t as idea but will get the client’s laptop back in working order.
This PC is a Windows 8 PC that just won’t boot up. Nothing wrong with the hard disk, it just won’t boot up. All four restore points fail, two of which are Windows Updates and two are (supposed) computer tune-up and troubleshooting software installs. I suspect this latest “tune-up” utility broke Windows. As usual, the client has precious family photos on the hard disk and has no backup, so the only thing to do is remove the hard disk and backup the data for him (should take all night), then try repairing Windows again. It’s always best to backup first in case something goes badly wrong. That’s not something a certain major retailer will do, they’ll just reformat and reinstall, losing all the software, photos and other data. Anyway, wish me luck!
If you need any help or advice with your computer, tablet (inc iPad) or phone (inc iPhone), then please let me know.
If you can’t upgrade to Windows 8.1 because you get the message “Your Windows 8.1 installation couldn’t be completed. Something happened and the installation of Windows 8.1 can’t be completed”, then I can help. Just go to http://www.bowenracing.com/ and click the “Get Remote Support Now” link. You can then allow me to log in and fix the problem for you.
Payment by Paypal or Credit Card accepted.
I do quite a few tune-ups. Windows gets more complicated each time Microsoft Updates are installed (yes, you should install them, they are often security updates). New software is installed, and often forgotten about. But what slows things down the most is the software that gets installed without the user realising it.
If you open up your internet browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox) and above the webpage there are toolbars (Ask Toolbar, Norton Toolbar, etc), these things are slowing down your internet use. You might not even have meant to install them, and some come in as part of other installations (like Abobe Flash player). Some are more sinister, like CoolWebSearch, ALOT toolbar, and others that give you search results that are paid adverts rather than the thing you’re actually searching for.
As part of a tune-up, I remove all those toolbars and other software that you don’t use (like old printer software). I also cut down on the things that run when your computer starts up, speeding up your boot up time.
You can see a list of the types of tune-ups I do here http://www.bowenracing.com/colin-bowen-it-services/servicing-and-tune-ups/. The Express Tune-up is one I can do online, so I don’t even need to visit you. You install some software that allows me to log in (with a password that changes each time) and tune up the PC via the internet.
Contact me to find out more.
It’s that time again, and Microsoft has just released it’s second biggest ever batch of Windows Updates.
If you haven’t done so already, look for the icon for Windows Updates in the bottom right of you computer screen. If you hover over each one in turn, their labels will pop up so you can identify them. When you find it, double-click it and follow the instructions. They require downloads of big files, then you install them, and you will need to reboot your computer.
If you have any problems, please get in touch.
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.