MINDPRIDE Computer Services

Home | About Us | Our Services | Contact Information | Tutorials, Articles & Dictionaries | Site Map



About Us



Virus Alerts




Refer A Friend

Site Map



Privacy Policy




Computer Repair Tips


Simple suggestions

  • Computers frequently loose their brains so: Re-boot. Re-booting solves an untold number of computer problems. If re-booting fails to resolve the problem, take a few extra moments to shut the computer down, walk away for a few minutes and start it up again.
  • Unless your livelihood depends upon possessing and constantly improving computer skill sets, relax and have fun learning about your computer.
  • It takes time and effort to learn how to use your computer and to run programs. While most people expect to instantly acquire the skill to do virtually everything with their computers, it does not happen. While reading is anathema to most folks, it is absolutely essential if you want to understand more about your computer.
  • As Will Rogers counseled, "If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging." Don't react to a computer problem by blindly punching keys, deleting files and changing settings.
  • If you are having a specific problem with your computer or a program, go to Google and perform a Groups search using the appropriate logic.
  • Certain questions crop up with a considerable degree of frequency.
  • Get a basic understanding of programs and files. Simply stated, you need a program to open every file on your computer. Two file types commonly encountered are zip and pdf, as in mydownload.zip and mydownload.pdf. To open these files, you will need compression software, such as WinZip®, and a pdf reader, such as Adobe® Acrobat Reader®, respectively.
  • Check spelling carefully. Whether it is something simple like entering a location in the address bar of your Web browser or something complex like writing a computer program, spelling errors will bite you every time.
  • Use Help. Your operating system and most programs have a Help feature. While the usefulness of Help features varies from program to program, you can't go wrong using it and it may solve the problem.
  • Back up your data. You probably have files that you would miss if your hard disk decided to give up the ghost. While there are several back up options available, for most folks the easiest way is to write the files to a CD-R (compact disc-recordable; don't use a CD-RW, which may fail unexpectedly and melt your data), an external USB memory key, or to a Zip® disk, which appears as a drive so that you can drag and drop to it. New Zip® drives have a capacity of 750 MB.



  • If you have not already done so, install an antivirus application. The default installation of Norton AntiVirus® activates an Automatic LiveUpdate feature that regularly checks Symantec's servers for new antivirus definitions. Don't disable this feature. When you connect to the Internet, Automatic LiveUpdate will run. Don't abort installation of new anti-virus definitions. If you abort installation, you may have real problems thereafter with this feature. Norton AntiVirus®, also, includes an Auto-Protect feature that provides real-time scanning for viruses. Don't disable this feature unless you are installing software that requires it to be disabled. Even if you have Automatic LiveUpdate activated, it is advisable to run LiveUpdate on a weekly basis to ensure that Norton AntiVirus® components and virus definitions are fully updated. Don't neglect to renew your subscription service before it expires.
  • According to Symantec, the "blaster" worm, also known as "LovSan" infected more than 400,000 computers around the world. Had the worm infected Windows®9x machines (on the home user level, only Windows 2000® and both versions of Windows®XP® were open to infection), the number of infected machines would have been much greater. The lesson learned from this worm is that an updated antivirus application will not protect you if the virus makes its way onto your computer by exploiting a flaw in the operating system or browser. Be sure to download and install all current critical updates and appropriate operating system patches.
  • If you have a broadband connection (ADSL or cable), you should be concerned about security. These "always on" connections make your system vulnerable to penetration by hackers. While there are many types of software and hardware security solutions, one of the simplest and most effective is a router. A router is a piece of hardware typically containing a firewall that provides a defense against unauthorized intrusions. Physically the router sits between your ADSL or cable modem and your PC. Using CAT-5 cable, you connect the modem to the router and then connect the router to the network card on the back of your computer. Out of the box, most routers provide adequate firewall features so you just connect the router and forget it. Unless you are a router expert familiar with arcane filtering rules, don't alter any settings on your router. The router provides security two ways. First, it only allows connections to your computer where you make the request. If you click on a hyperlink to retrieve a Web page, the page will load. If a hacker tries to gain access to your computer using the http port (port 80), the attempt will be blocked by the router. Second, the router hides your IP address. Using the Network Address Protocol (NAT), the router allows for sharing of a single IP address assigned by an ISP by all computers on a LAN. NAT dynamically assigns IP addresses to the computers on your LAN that are mapped to the single IP address and reverse maps the dynamically assigned addresses to the single IP address. The NAT assigned addresses are private, local addresses that cannot be accessed by intruders. In addition to the security afforded by a router, it allows all computers on your network to share files, printers and a broadband Internet connection. Please note that a router does not protect you against viruses. Remember to install an antivirus application and update the virus definition files and components regularly.
  • Be very careful with e-mail.
    • Hoax e-mail scams are on the rise. A scam message will spoof a legitimate e-mail address and sender. For example, the message may appear to emanate from PayPal with a subject field reading "Account verification required." You click on a link in the message and go to a knockoff PayPal site that looks authentic. You enter personal data, including credit card details. You hit the Submit button and your identity has just been stolen. Learn more about hoax e-mail scams and how to spot them here.
    • A worm, W32.Mimail.J@mm, uses a variant of the PayPal account verification scam to trick users into supplying credit card data, which the worm then sends to certain e-mail addresses. Unlike the knockoff PayPal scam described above, the worm creates pages for data entry on the user's own computer. For more information, go this Symantec page. And this from internetnews.com (http://www.internetnews.com/ec-news/article.php/3109201, PayPal Phishers Turn to E-mail Viruses, November 14, 2003), quoting a Sophos security expert, "It's the first time I've seen someone trying to steal personal information by spreading an e-mail virus. It just shows that the spread of viruses and spam have started to intermingle at a dangerous point. It shows that users need a solution to deal with both problems at the same time."
    • Since some viruses can launch and infect your computer if you view e-mail in the preview pane, don't use it (If is visible, from the menu bar, select View > Preview Pane to hide it.).
  • A virus spread by e-mail named "W32/Klez.e@MM" continues to infect machines. While the virus has several symptoms, the most common is a fake error message, such as "There is not enough memory to start LOYE292.EXE Quit some programs, and try again." If you perform a search of your hard drive, you will not find LOYE292.EXE. If you re-boot your computer, you will get the error message again, but the file name will be different. If you computer is infected with this virus, it can prevent running a virus scan using your anti-virus application. It can corrupt Word® and Excel® files so that they can't be opened. Removal of this virus requires a special tool and re-installation of the anti-virus application after the system has been cleaned. While some may say Klez, which first appeared in October 2001, is old news, variants are found with some degree of frequency on machines that we repair more than two years after its initial debut.
  • Don't download any program unless you fully and completely understand what the program will do. If you want to learn more about downloading programs, read our explanation of downloading files. If you download freeware, read the EULA carefully. You may agree to the installation of Adware/Spyware programs (also known as "Foistware"). Consider the following extracts from the EULA for Xupiter, a search agent that offers freeware: To further enhance your media viewing experience, Xupiter reserves the right to run advertisements and promotions based on URLs and/or search terms users enter when navigating the Internet. Our software license requires that users browser start page be set to Xupiter.com in order to continue use of the Xupiter toolbar, from time to time we verify that users start page url is set to Xupiter.com, if it is not we reserve the right to alter it back. If you install an Xupiter sponsored program, don't be surprised if you are overwhelmed by pop-up and pop-under advertisements. Quite a few users have downloaded and installed freeware that is supported by GAIN (Gator Advertising & Information Network), an Adware agent. Precision Time and Date Manager are two GAIN supported applications. If you want to check your system for GAIN supported programs, go to this location. GAIN can't be uinstalled directly. You must uninstall all GAIN supported programs in order to purge GAIN from your system. Don't be fooled by programs that promise to accelerate your Internet connection. Consider this extract from the privacy policy at webHancer's site: webHancer collects Internet performance information using a small, transparent program known as the Customer Companion. Users typically download and install the Customer Companion via the Internet. The Customer Companion measures web transaction performance experienced by users. Most Spyware programs contain code that causes them to load when you start your system, sapping system resources and degrading performance, especially when you are on the Internet. Some of these programs are virtually impossible to un-install without losing your Internet connection or causing a system crash. If you want to learn more about Adware/Spyware, read our discussion. Note that removing an Adware/Spyware program will in most cases also result in removal of the freeware program containing the Adware/Spyware component.
  • While most folks are unaware of alternatives to IE and Outlook, there are quite a few. One that we have tried is Mozilla, an open source suite, emphasizing privacy and security, that includes a browser, e-mail application and basic HTML editor. The browser and e-mail client are much more secure than Microsoft's offerings. Be advised that it takes some time and effort to configure. The browser blocks pop-ups and Active X installs by default. The e-mail client comes with highly effective junk mail (spam) controls. The suite is a free download at http://www.mozilla.org/.


  • Virtually every site you visit will use pop-up or pop-under advertisements that open a new window in your browser. In addition to creating great annoyance, these advertisements steal system resources each time a new window is open. We have downloaded and tested a free program from Panicware, called Pop-Up Stopper® that kills most pop-up and pop-under advertisements. To get the program, go to this location.
  • Use Windows® Notepad to cut down on printing when harvesting information from the Web. Notepad is a basic word processing application. To open it select Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad (not Wordpad). Instead of printing Web page upon Web page when you are researching an issue, select text on the page, copy it and paste it into a Notepad file. Remember to observe and honor copyright and other use restrictions.
  • Evaluate information carefully. Remember, that anyone with access to a Web server can hang a Web page. Some information is planted or utterly untrue. To learn how to critically evaluate a Web site, read this article.
  • Don't waste ink and paper printing a Web page. If you are using Internet Explorer® version 5.5 or higher, select File > Print Preview to see how the page will render in your printer. At the top of the Print Preview screen, the number of pages that will be printed will be displayed. Don't print the entire page if it is 10 printed pages and you only need the first three pages. The default setting is to print the entire page. To print pages one through three, select File > Print and find Print Range. Un-check All and check Pages and type 1-3. Click Apply and Print.
  • While most users will prefer using the mouse, every program has keyboard shortcuts. The following are some handy shortcuts for Internet Explorer®:
    1. Select address bar URL: <Alt> + D
    2. Find in page: <Ctrl> + F
    3. Back: <Alt> + Left Arrow or <Backspace>
    4. Forward: <Alt> + Right Arrow
    5. Open link in new window: <Shift> + Click
    6. Move to the end of a document: <End>
    7. Move to the beginning of a document: <Home>

  Services What We Offer Areas Covered Rates & Discounts
Estimates Maintenance Plans Links Phone Tech Support
About Us Refer A Friend Why Us? Reference Dictionaries Tutorials
Privacy Policy Service Protocol Disclaimer Contact Us

Web Page Designed By  ADAM
Copyright © 1981 - 2008
MINDPRIDE CONSULTING All rights reserved.
Revised: November 21, 2007