Holiday Computer Buying Tips

At Computer Corner we’ve recently seen a wave of customers who have bought computers elsewhere and discovered that the computers didn’t meet some basic requirements of their college dorms, work or software. They’re upgrading their computers with us, but wished they’d known more about what to buy to begin with.

Hence, our tips!

Windows 10 is our only choice now on a new Windows-based computer, and you’ll want to get Windows 10 Pro (or more appropriately Windows 10 Professional), 64-Bit Operating System. You’ll save money getting Windows 10 Home version, but you’ll not be able to connect to a network (which is essential for students and businesses), or connect remotely to any domain (if you plan to work remotely from home to your place of business). There are also some setting and security features that are not available to you with Windows Home.

Additionally, you’ll want to get a computer with at least 8GB of RAM. Yes, I know many are sold with 4GB, and again… that saves you money initially, but that is barely enough for Windows 10 to run and once you start doing other things with your computer, it’s going to be really slow when you boot up, save files and more.

If possible, an SSD drive would be a nice choice, especially on a laptop. This type of drive is different than the traditional SATA drives (with moving parts) and an SSD drive allows you to boot up, save and access files much faster than the traditional SATA drive. This is especially nice on a laptop, when you need access to the system quickly.

If you’re buying a laptop, you might want to opt for the accidental damage protection warranty, which will give you full replacement coverage no matter what happens to the laptop – even if a truck runs over it. Yep, it’s happened and it was fully covered under the accidental damage warranty. Do be aware that your data will not be replaced, so backing up your data is essential.

A Real Asset

Dear Ms Petranovich,

This concerns your technician. On the 9th of November he came to my home and worked with me regarding a printer that did not work and a computer that needed a tune up. He spend several hours improving my computer’s operation and analyzed the problem with the printer. He concluded that the printer was no longer operational and went back to the shop and brought a new one. He installed it and instructed me on how to use it. All the time while working, he was professional, courteous and patient. He is a real asset to your business and my thanks should be shared with him. If you have any questions about this, please contact me. Thanks,

Herb B.

You’ve Spilled Your Coffee on Your Laptop Keyboard, Now What?

My blogs are frequently about trends that we are seeing in the Computer Corner service department. Over the past few months, we’ve seen dozens of laptops come in to our shop with a variety of liquids spilled on their keyboards.

Obviously, your desktop keyboard is not as big an issue, because desktop keyboards are typically inexpensive and easy to replace, unless you have a fancy gaming or ergonomic keyboard. So, I’m going to focus on what you should do if you spill anything on your laptop keyboard.

If treated properly and quickly, you have a good chance of saving your laptop a caffeine-related demon, however we’ve seen a consistent theme of how people tend to react after a spill, and, inevitably, they’re at our service counter is because whatever they tried did NOT work.

In almost every situation the individual has tried to power on their laptop after merely towel drying the outside of the system. This is probably the worst thing you can do – your system must be completely dry inside and out before you attempt to power up again.

In fact, if you have gotten liquids inside your laptop, it may actually take several days to dry, not just overnight, so you’ll not only need to follow these steps but also be patient.

Many of the people we’ve seen recently with dead laptops started out down the right track but didn’t let their system dry thoroughly inside before they powered on again and that’s what ultimate damaged or even destroyed their laptops.

Here’s what you should do If you spill liquids in your laptop:

  • Immediately turn it off and disconnect it from any other device, especially the power adapter and even any USB drive or drives that are connected.
  • Depending upon how much you spilled, drain the liquid by turning the unit upside down, towel dry what you can on the outside and remove the battery. DO NOT use a hair dryer, it may result in a static electricity issue. Do Not use canned or compressed air to try to dry it out because you could be forcing the liquid into other parts of the laptop like the motherboard. ((Many online recommendations will tell you to use canned air to dry your laptop – do not do this).
  • Remove other components such as the battery and memory, if you have easy access to them, emphasis on “easy” – do not start taking your laptop apart with a screwdriver unless you really know what you’re doing.
  • Turn your laptop over and let it drain and dry out as much as possible. That may take days not hours – patience here is indeed a virtue.

Or you can bring your laptop into a qualified service center, where trained and experienced staff will disassemble your laptop and dry it fully before attempting to power it on.

Unfortunately, if you have spilled a soda beverage in your laptop, the likelihood of it surviving is small…. After all, you can use some sodas to tenderize meat and clean that porcelain convenience in your home, if you get my drift…

Any and all other sweetened beverages are also not as easy to clean as plain water, black coffee and unsweetened tea, and if you’ve unlucky enough to have doused your laptop with a Piña Colada, you probably should just make yourself another one and think of happier times.

Fantastic Customer Service

Dear Carole,

I really appreciate your service.

I had my Dell XPXL521X cleaned and serviced by your technician on June 18.

Today, I brought it in for analysis for CD drive not ejecting discs. Your tech quickly diagnosed the problem as the internal CD needed to be replaced. He gave me the job estimate for this at around $70 – $80. The alternative he suggested was to purchase an LG DVDRW external writer.

Not only did he save me $35, but this was a significant time in savings … not having to wait parts to replace the internal drive and repair time.

Your team is fantastic! Quick, friendly customer service, and very top professional advice.

As a retired Army veteran, Vietnam and 23 years Active Duty service, your commitment to and support of Veterans is very appreciated.

Also enjoy your radio show.

Thanks again for outstanding service!

Bob

Your showroom is beautiful…

Had a meeting with a manufacturer rep a few days ago, who said, “Your showroom is beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it and I travel all over the country. You have hands-on access to everything. It’s light and bright and inviting.”
John S.

Super Helpful…

Your technician was super helpful and really knows his stuff! He never complains about my long list of questions or makes me feel silly for asking like some places do. I appreciate his patience and knowledge! Definitely recommend!!

I’ve been a client…

I’m a medical transcriptionist who works at home. I’ve been a client of Computer Corner for many years and have always been happy with the service. This past week surpassed my expectations.

I purchased a new PC due to the fact that Nuance (a medical transcription software company) was hacked last year and is upgrading its security system. After getting set up, I’ve had a number of pesky little problems (all subsequently resolved). The *huge* one, however, was that I thought I had lost my AutoText. Finally brought it back in for service yesterday, and Chris not only retrieved it from my old hard drive, but also saved a copy to a thumb drive (this was my request, as I don’t ever want to go through this kind of stress again). As I said to Chris, now I’ll be able to sleep again. So, this is a “thank you” for Chris.

In addition, both Luke and Adam at the front counter were helpful. I’m sure I haven’t been the most pleasant person to deal with this past week, and they both did that beautifully.

~Annie B.

I came into the store…

Yesterday I came into the store frantic because I have been unable to retrieve my precious manuscripts from my laptop. This went on for 2 years…In the poor little thing’s defence, I was very I’ll. Until yesterday. Both Adam and Chris dove in, worked their magic (magic to me!!). They went above and beyond for me and I can never thank them enough. Several of those stories aren’t mine to lose…I’m just the caretaker, if you will! Again, THANKS TO EVERYONE AT COMPUTER CORNER!!

Beverly O

The Importance of a Good Data Backup Plan

Our Service Manager recently did an on-site service call to a small, local business. The business had been vandalized and their only computer was stolen…. Along with the backup drive located next to the computer and the USB flash drive (also next to the computer), that contained a secondary back up.

The business owner was also backing up to the cloud, but all info about where the backup was and how to get it back, well… you guessed it. It was on the stolen computer.

All the business and tax records, all the customer data and sales information – it was all gone in an instant. There was nothing that we could do to help the owner recover her company’s data.

Unfortunately, the owner went out of business about two weeks after the vandalism, after realizing that recovering from all the loss was nearly impossible.

We’ve talked about backing up your data before. And we’ve talked about keeping a local back up (external USB hard drive, etc.), as well as backing up to the cloud. The owner was doing all this, but it wasn’t enough.

Another thing to consider is that “data backup” does just that, it backs up your data only. That does not mean your application software (such as Word, Excel, Quicken, etc.) are backed up or your Operating System (OS). If you are only backing up your “data”, and a disaster strikes it will be necessary to reload the OS and your application software.

To protect yourself against data loss:
  • Utilize a local USB drive of some sort (hard drive or flash drive)
  • Store the backup device in another location – at least another room, hopefully in a water-proof/fire-proof safe, and preferably to an offsite location
  • Test your backup to be sure you can actually restore in case of a disaster
  • Keep your procedure for backing up locally and from the cloud, in another location
Types of backup devices and services:
  • USB flash drive – inexpensive, good for small amounts of data, but can be lost or damaged easily
  • External Hard Drive – also inexpensive these days, even up to 4TB of data storage.
  • External Hard Drive with removable drives – good choices if you want to leave the backup device next to the computer and remove the data drive to another location
  • Cloud-based services like Carbonite. You can opt for data only back up or a full image of your computer, which would include your programs, operating systems and data.