Hours: 9am-7pm Mon-Sat

Problems getting online - then check these pages before you get worried about your computer :-)

Erwin Utilities (check their Facebook page for outage notices):
Erwin Utilities Facebook

Centurylink Service Problems Map:
Centurylink Down Map

Comcast Service Problems Map:
Comcast Down Map

  • Wanna Decryptor ransomware
    Saturday, 05/13/2017

    BIG exploit, also known as wncry or wcry ransomware.

    It can encrypt all your personal files and charge a ransom of you ever want to be able to see them again... a patch was issued by Microsoft in March, but if a system was not updated it could still be vulnerable. More likely to happen with older systems -- but MS has issued patches even for XP.

  • Webroot deletes windows files
    Tuesday, 04/25/2017

    I don't use it or install it, but I have had several customers who use webroot antivirus (suggested by some other "computer guy") -- might be a good time to consider my recommendation of Panda Antivirus or Avira, if you are sticking with the free stuff.
    Webroot Errors

  • Windows 10 Updates
    Wednesday, 04/12/2017

    Creators Update (1703) started its rollout yesterday.

    As with other major "updates", this does not simply update a few files and apply patches -- basically your entire operating system is replaced. The Windows folder is renamed Windows.old and a new windows folder is generated. Often some apps and utilities had installed files in the windows folder, so they will no longer work (For example, the Classic Shell Start Menu that many folk use on non-touchscreen devices.) Simply re-installing those apps that don't work will almost always take care of any problems.
    If you have trouble or want to make sure apps are installed and set up correctly, bring it by my shop on Main Street and I can get everything back in a few minutes.

    If you have much larger problems and need to revert back to the way things were...
    Since the Anniversary Update, you've got 10 days to Rollback to your previous version of windows. Go to:
    PC Settings > Update & Security > Recovery
    You will see Go Back to an Earlier Build
    then click the Get Started button and follow the directions.

    This option will not work if running on battery, or if a refresh/reset/disk cleanup was run, or if you added a user account.

  • False Virus Warning!
    Monday, 02/06/2017

    You are online and suddenly there is a warning that you have a virus or malware and Microsoft (or someone else concerned) wants you to call...


    Microsoft is not contacting you. This is a browser pop-up scam. All you have to do is close the browser to get it to stop -- but the scammers make it difficult. Here's how to shut them out:

    You open the task manager and "end task" for the browser you were using (be it Internet Explotrer, Firefox of Chrome.

    1.) On your keyboard, press the keys CRTL and ALT and Delete

    You will see this screen:

    2.) Then choose Task Manager and you will see:

    3.) Then choose the browser (in this case Chrome)
    and hit End Task

    And the warning should disappear.

  • GMail on XP and Vista
    Sunday, 02/05/2017

    You should be using Firefox on XP or Vista, as it is the only browser still being updated for those old operating systems. (Until September, 2017)

    Now GMail won't work anymore unless you use HTML Mode.
    To switch to HTML Mode, go to this link:
    GMail HTML switch

    To switch back to standard view: GMail Standard

  • Quicktime for Windows
    Get rid of it!

    Friday, 04/15/2016

    It has unpatched security flaws for over four months that Apple never fixed, and now the company says it is simply dropping support for the software on Windows. Uninstall it -- it is not needed for recent versions of itunes. http://fortune.com/2016/04/15/lose-quicktime-pc/

  • Jigsaw Ransomware
    A new "Your files have been encrypted" scam

    Wednesday, 04/13/2016

    But this one not only encrypts your files, it also starts deleting them after each hour... and if you reboot deletes a whole lot at once.

    Because of this you can't shut down and bring it in to my shop. Thankfully, there is a solution for you at:
    bleepingcomputer.com where they tell you what steps to take along with a download to help decrypt your files.

    If you have trouble folloing the instructions, give me a call.

  • Windows 10
    Is it good? Should I upgrade?

    Win 10 is better than Win 8/8.1,
    but there are a couple drawbacks.
    Winows updates CANNOT be easily turned off,
    a lot more personal information is being aggregated by Microsoft.
    Other the other hand, security, the interface and hardware compatability are all better.

    My bottom-line advice: If you have windows 8, go ahead and update.

    If you have wWin7, don't update.
    Stick with Win7 -- Win10 runs more services and requires more horsepower and a faster internet connection to get the same things done. Security updates for Win7 will continue until 2020.
  • More thoughts on Windows 10

    Microsoft is definitely trying to make your desktop act like a really large smartphone. Apps and tiles instead of menus and programs -- a Microsoft account and the App Store. Cortana is there, to search for you with voice commands. It uses Bing to search and requires a Microsoft Account.

    Done well these can be good things.
    They are done this way to make money.
    Because smartphones and tablets are the trend in internet access, and advertising and charging for apps (and ads in apps) are how companies make money... (Facebook, Google, even Apple.) that is where Microsoft feels it has to go.

    For better or worse, it looks like we have to get used to it. Windows 10 will be free for Windows 7 and 8 users for the first year it is released. And if Microsoft's app store starts to catch on, I have a feeling the cost of Windows after that will be very low.