Author Archives: Shahul

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How to Troubleshoot a USB pen drive or hard drive?

USB drives are easy plug and play devices that has made mass storage and transfer of files much easier these days. However, there could be some potential issues that USB pen drives are prone to which in turn can affect the data on these drives. Here are few issues and the possible ways to solve them:

Troubleshoot USB Drives

Safe Removal of USB Drives:

It is important that USB Drives should be safely removed from the computer, else that could damage data. Most users tend to simply unplug the USB drives after usage which is an improper way to eject the external USB devices. Simply right click the device from the notification area and then click on Eject Mass Storage. If that does not work log off and log in again to eject. In some cases, few background applications may not allow you to remove the device, which is when you shall try using third party software or shut down the computer to remove the device.

USB Device Not Working:

If your USB device which was working earlier is not working now, then you shall try these steps-

  1. Check if the USB device is working in a different port (as the port could have gone faulty)
  2. Try the device in a different computer, if that works then try to uninstall the USB device driver from the Device Manager and then restart the computer to reinstall it automatically.
  3. If your USB device does not work even after reinstalling the drivers, that could probably be the faulty port. In that case please contact the support team.

Unlock USB ports:

Sometimes your USB ports on your computer may not work as they might have been locked by a third party program or Virus. In these situations there is an advanced level of troubleshooting that you need to follow. This might require you to be proficient with the registry editor, as any mistake may crash your computer. In case, you are willing to take up the risk, please contact our support team at (614) 656 3066, else proceed with the following steps:

  1. Type Regedit in the RUN line and open it. (Make sure your user account has all admin privileges).
  2. Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentContro>Set\Services\USBSTOR
  3. On the right side pane, change the data in start to from 4 to 3, to enable the ports.

This should solve the issue. However, if the value is already set to 3, then it could possible be an issue with the virus. You shall try running a full scan on your computer and if that does not resolve the problem, then feel free to contact us at (614) 656 3066.

How to setup dual monitors for your computer?

Multi Monitor setups means definite increase in productivity. More than two monitors shall make work even more convenient and efficient in many ways. Especially when comparing spreadsheets, doing research, managing multiple accounts on social media or subscriptions, etc.

So now taking in to account that you need two monitors to work on the same computer, we will explain you on how to do that. Before we begin with the tutorial, ensure that you have two monitors, two video cables and two video ports on your computers. A monitor shall be connected to a VGA, DVI or HDMI ports on your computer.

Dual Monitor Setup

  • By default all monitors are connected to the VGA port (Blue, 15 pins) or DVI port (white, 19 pins). In such cases connect the first monitor using the VGA cable and the second monitor using a DVI cable.
  • But if your computer did not have a DVI port, then check if it has a HDMI port. In that case connect the second monitor with the HDMI cable.
  • If your computer does not have both an HDMI or DVI port, then you shall have to purchase an USB to VGA card multi monitor adapter and then plug to any one of the USB ports in your computer. Then connect the second monitor to this external VGA port.
  • All inbuilt VGA, DVI and HDMI ports will have the drivers installed by your computer manufacturer. But if you have bought an external USB to VGA adapter then you may need to download and install the driver from the Internet.
  • After installing the drivers, restart your computer. The main monitor alone will only display the desktop.
  • Check for a new monitor icon on the system tray and then right click it. Choose Extend Desktop to and the select right or left as per your convenience. Now you will have an extension of your display on the second monitor. You can drag the windows between these two monitors based on your convenience of working.

Ten things that you should know about Windows 10

Windows 10 is upgrade is free

You may find it hard to believe, yet it is a surprising fact that Microsoft has announced the free upgrade to Windows 10 up to 29th July 2016. Any computer which is running a licensed version of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is eligible for the upgrade. In case, you haven’t received any notification for the upgrade, you shall download the 3GB, Windows 10 upgrade media here.

Windows 10

Windows 10 comes back with the Start Menu

It has been so disappointing for the users and many went complaining about the removal of the start menu in Windows 8. After a long wait, Microsoft has finally listened to its customers and has put back the start menu in Windows 10. Though it looks a little different from the previous versions of Windows, it definitely will give a sign of relief for the users.

Easy switch to Tablet mode with Continuum feature

The continuum feature in Windows 10 allows convertible laptop users to easily switch between the tablet and desktop modes. The feature automatically switches the device between desktop to tablet while changing the hardware modes.

The new Virtual Desktop feature

The task view and virtual desktop feature in windows 10 reduces clutter and helps you to navigate between the open windows and arrange them to a virtual desktop.

One Drive may now not be an Online only feature

Unlike Windows 8.1, the One Drive feature in Windows 10 will allow your files to sync only on demand, serving the purpose of both the lovers and haters of the concept of cloud storage.

Digital Assistance with Cortana

With the Apple fans more proud with Siri, now Windows users too shall be proud of their voice based assistance Cortana. Yes, Microsoft has introduced the voice based digital assistance called Cortana to assist you in searching your files or perform a task without clicking even a single button.

Faster Access to the Action Center

Swipe from the right or press Windows + A to get a quick glimpse of the system alerts and app notifications all in one popup without having to check for them individually. Also many important system settings like the WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane mode now shall be available with the Action center.

Microsoft Edge to save the browser market

Can you believe that the Internet Explorer loses its position as the official browser of Microsoft with Windows 10. Yes, with an aim to strongly hit back Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft has come back with a new browser called the Microsoft Edge. Though still to receive more updates, the browser is said to be highly active and responsive than its previous versions. Also, it will support all the browser extensions available for Chrome and Firefox in the future months.

Windows Update will be a compulsion

One feature which many users may not like is the compulsory installation of the updates in Windows 10. Unless a user defines his Internet connection as metered, they may not have any control over the installation of the updates.

Internet sharing with WiFi Sense

Similar to the Windows mobiles, Windows 10 will also feature the WiFi Sense option which will allow its users to share the login credentials of their WiFi network to other Windows 10 contacts. However, users have full control on whether or not not to share their WiFi network with their contacts.

How to recover deleted Data in your computer?

Most users have the habit of clearing up files and folders only after they get dumped up on the desktop. This sometimes lead to unavoidable deletion of important files that the users may actually require. Are you a regular victim of unavoidable file deletion? Never mind, we have certain steps and solutions which could possibly help you to get your files back.

Data Restore

Recovering Data from Windows Computer:

If you simply select a file and then press delete to clear up the files from your computer, then your data will be safely sitting on the recycle bin. Unless you have cleared the recycle bin, it will store deleted files to a maximum of 250 MB. However, if the recycle bin is cleared or if you have pressed ‘shift + Delete’ to remove a file, then it will disappear from the computer.

Data once deleted is actually hidden from the GUI but not completely removed. The data is still recoverable until it is overwritten by a new file. But you may need third party software support to do this. Once example of such software is Recuva. You can download the free version of the software, install it and then run it. The software will scan your computer and show the deleted files as a list. Select the file that you have accidentally deleted and then click on recover. That’s it! You will have your files back.

Remember, that the sooner you try and using the recovery software after the deletion, the higher chances are that the file will be available.

Recovering Data from MAC:

If you have simply trashed a file and later realize that you have done it by mistake, you can recover it if you have not emptied the trash. All you need to do is open the trash folder and drag the file out. However, if you have emptied the trash, the files are still recoverable until it is overwritten.

You shall download software like Prosoft’s Data Rescue or Clever Files’ Disk Drill to recover trashed data. Run the free version and restore the files that have been accidentally deleted.

Note: If you are unable to recover data by any of the methods or software mentioned in the above article, then you shall call upon our support team at (614) 656 3066 for advanced data recovery.

5 ways to detect if your computer is affected by Malware

The most interesting thing about a Malware is that it is created to stay unnoticed. There have been a lot of times when most users get confused with a Malware and a Virus. Any suspicious activity in general is related with an Virus attack. However, situations could be worse, if you have a Malware instead. You may follow the basics steps to save your computer from viruses, but if you are unsure here are a few ways to know if your computer is infected by a Malware:

Detect Malware

  1. Do you notice unwanted programs appearing on your system startup making you wait for a very long time even after you have seen your desktop screens and icons? May be its a Malware.
  2. Has your computer started responding slower than usual? Does it often hangs while opening up the usual programs that you work with? In this case, check if you have too many unknown programs and services running on the background consuming a lot of CPU usage. You can view this by opening the task manager by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + Del” or typing taskmgr.exe from the run command.
  3. Are you unable to open up standard windows programs like system restore and execute the ‘regedit’ command from the run command? If you receive a message that says Unable to find or open the programs even if you see that it exists in the system, then high chances, that it is a Malware. Because Malware are designed to protect itself by disabling programs that shall identify or destroy it.
  4. Does your browser is loaded with unwanted tool bars that you have never seen before? Then try removing or disabling them from the browser settings. If you find the tool bars reappearing even after many repeated attempts of removal, then its more likely to be a Malware.
  5. Is your default home page and search engine is replaced by different pages? Try changing them and if it reappears, then its pretty much the Malware is at work.

So, if you find these symptoms and conclude that you have a Malware in your computer, your Antivirus may not be the best option to scan and fix. You may try downloading Malware scanners from the Safe Mode with Networking. Else, give us a call at (614)-656-3066.

What to do with a stuck CD or DVD Drive?

Though a lot of us have upgraded to the habit of using a USB pen drives or External hard drives to store files, we may still have to rely on CD and DVD drives on many occasions like software installation, accessing old records, etc. You may not use it very frequently as before, but what if you discover that your CD/DVD drive is stuck when you want it to desperately work on that day.

Open CD Drive

Here we have a mentioned a few steps that you shall do to with a stuck optical disk drive:

  1. May be the button on the front of the drive is faulty or damaged, so don’t panic. Push the button gently once or twice and leave it if its not opening up.
  2. Open the Windows Explorer (My Computer) and right click the CD/DVD drive and click on eject.
  3. In case, you have a CD or DVD left out in the drive, check if the drive is running. In that case, try closing all the programs that are actively running, especially the ones that you think could cause the CD drive to run.
  4. Now, reboot the computer and press the drive’s eject button even before the system tries to load to the Windows.
  5. If the drive does not open yet, shut down the PC. Now check for a small pin hole near the eject button on the front of the drive. Once you have identified the hole, you shall use a paper clip and gently press the hole which might make the drive pop open slightly. Now try to pull the drive gently. But if you are unable to open up, then you may have a faulty drive which needs a replacement.

In case, you suspect the drive to be inactive, (If you do not hear any sound or lights blinking from the drive), may be there’s a problem with the power cable that is connected from the motherboard. You may open the CPU and try to unplug and re-plug the power cable. If its still not working, then try using a spare cable. However, if you are unaware or afraid of opening the CPU, then it is not advisable to proceed. Instead call up our tech support team.

How to and where to back your data for free?

It is not just you but almost everyone feels guilty of not taking a backup only after the hard drive crashes. Images, Documents, Invoices and a whole lot more are scattered across different drives in your computer and sometimes in more than one device. So now is the right time to know your options to back up these files and reserve it to restore on the day of disaster.

Data Backup

So you have got three options to do a quick backup of your files:

External Hard Disk Drive

This is the most simplest way to back up your data. All you need to do is select the files that you need to back up from the windows explorer, copy them and paste them on your external hard drive. You need not want to setup your drive as it is an USB drive which is plug and play type.

However, be sure to look at the wide variety of storage devices in the market. Unless physically damaged all the external storage devices shall lost for more than 10 years. So, it will be good if you pay attention to drives that are shock proof, fire proof and water proof.

Cloud Storage

Storing files in the cloud is the most recent and a very effective method to back up your files. There are a wide variety of cloud storage services like the One Drive, Drop Box and Google Drive that allows you to store a limited amount of data for free by simply signing up for the service. Extensive storage is available at a minimal monthly or yearly fee. Cloud storage has become one of the preferred storage options as it has options to back up data automatically if your Internet connection is active and is not prone to any types of physical damage. Moreover, files on the cloud shall be accessed from anywhere with the required login credentials.

Complete System Backup

While the above mentioned methods of backup allows users to select only a specific set of files to be backed up, a complete system backup is scheduled and backups the whole of your computer. This method takes a disk image of all your settings and files in your computer and will be make your computer up and running if the previous hard drive crashes or fails to load. But this method requires software to backup data. Though Windows provides an inbuilt software to schedule a system back up there are also other software programs available to do a disk copy with free and paid options.

However, in case if you fail to backup your files and your hard drive failed to load, feel free to contact our tech support agents at (614)-656-3066.

Ten simple ways to keep your Data Safe

Data protection can cost more time and money for your company. Any software or program installed on your computer shall be reinstalled in case of failure or corrupt. But data once lost can slow down your progress and incur serious loss in business. So we have formulated ten ways in which you shall protect your data:

Data Security

  1. It is always good that you save your work once in a while. Also, many users fail to learn about the auto save features of the windows applications which may protect your data in case of sudden system failure or crash.
  2. It is a good practice to take a back up of your most important files once in while. Also create a duplicate copy of a file before you make any critical changes to them.
  3. It is always good that you run a scheduled back up of all your files outside your office using a cloud storage like Dropbox or using an external hard drive, which may protect your data in case of your computers damaged physically.
  4. As technology keeps updating year by year, it is always good to keep your backup data in the latest format required so as to retrieve without any issues.
  5. Viruses you know could be a potential threat to your data. You may to refer to one our previous articles to know how to save your computers from virus attacks.
  6. Malwares and worms may also be a potential threat to your data which especially get its entry through USB drives and other external media. So, please be sure to run a scan before you open any file from unknown devices.
  7. Use the encryption feature to prevent other users from accessing or editing your files. You may also restrict user accounts to have control over installing unauthorized software from your computers.
  8. Make sure you setup a strong password which includes alpha numerical characters and remember to change them once in a while. Most data theft happens from computers that are left unlocked without a password.
  9. Please read and analyze what a program could do before you provide access to your data on computer. As most programs today are online they may upload images and docs to the cloud storage without you realizing it.
  10. Also, remember to run a system scan and do a defragmentation on your hard drive to keep it live.

What to do if your Microsoft Outlook isn’t working?

Being a pioneer as an Email client, Microsoft Outlook has been the key software used and appreciated by every small business owner. However, there may be a few circumstances when you really did not know what’s happening with your Outlook program. You may sometimes be annoyed seeing those error messages while sending or receiving the emails. Here are a few workarounds that you shall try before calling your tech support:

Outlook Not Working

Check your Internet connection:

Please check if your system is having an active Internet connection. In case, you are unable to access the web using your Internet browser, then problem could be with your Internet connection settings itself.

Check if Outlook is set to Offline Mode:

Most often, the problem could be simply because you have set your Outlook to work in offline mode knowingly or unknowingly. In case of Outlook version 2007, click on file menu and see if the Work Offline mode has a tick besides it and the same is available in the Send/Receive Tab in Outlook 2010.

A Simple Restart

Issues with Outlook are most likely to get resolved after you simply restart Microsoft Outlook program. In case, if its still a no go, then you shall try restarting your computer itself and then try connecting again.

Rebuild Outlook Data files

Outlook may use any of the two types of data files namely .pst and .ost which when corrupt may not allow outlook to work properly. You can rebuild these files with the following steps:

  • Close Outlook and Open the mail icon from the control panel.
  • Select your data file from the data files tab and click on open file location.
  • Locate your data file which will resemble your email address and rename the .ost extension to .old and close all these windows and repoen outlook again.
  • In case of your file extension being .pst, search for scanpst.exe in your windows explorer and run the application.
  • Click Browse and locate your .pst file and start the scan.
  • If the .pst file is corrupt, then windows will prompt you to repair the file.
  • Once the repair is complete close all windows and reopen outlook.

Run a Repair Install

You shall run a repair installation of MS Office by selecting the program from the ‘Programs and Features’ option in the control panel. Select MS Office, click on change and then select repair to execute the repair and then reboot the computer.

Create a new Profile

One last chance is that your outlook profile may be corrupt and you shall create a new one. Open Mail from the control panel and click add from the show profiles option and follow the outlook setup wizard.

If the problem still exists feel free to contact our tech support agents at (614)-656-3066.

How to save you computers from Virus attacks?

Virus attack is a dangerous and expensive threat for small business owners, as someone has to spend their time to clean up the system and recover any crashed or infected data. Though we have many clean up software and data recovery techniques to attend to the issue, it’s always prevention is better than cure. So here are few tips that you can implement to protect your computers from malicious attacks:

Save from Virus Attacks

Install an Antivirus Software:

It is always good that you have a licensed antivirus software installed in your computer to protect, scan and clean up viruses. In case, you aren’t sure on which one to buy, please get recommendations from your tech support team. Also, ensure that your antivirus program is up-to-date and remember to run regular scans on your PC.

Keep your firewall turned on:

It is always important that your windows firewall is turned on. Even in case you have turned off your firewall for some reasons, remember to turn it on as soon as possible. Firewall alerts you on every malicious attack on your computer and blocks hackers from downloading harmful programs.

Run regular software updates:

Updates are nothing but fixes for various identified bugs and potential threats identified on a regular basis. So it is always important that you install all the windows update and keep all your software programs up to date.

Scan unexpected Email attachments:

It is always safe that you do not open email attachments that have reached your inbox from an unknown source. However, even in case of you are too curious, please ensure that the attachment is scanned by your anti-virus program.

Scan all removable Media:

Please ensure that you scan all the removable media like CD, DVD, USB Drives, etc., before you open them. This is a real must even if it is for personal use only as these media are plugged to different computers and laptops.

Do not run Untrusted Programs:

It is a good habit to know more in detail about a specific program before installing it on your computer. Windows warns you on programs that are untrusted, which means they may not be safe to run on this computer. In these cases, please get advice from your tech support.

Avoid Downloads from Untrusted sources:

Most of the viruses and other malicious software are downloaded from the Internet. Avoid running any kind of executable files (.exe) from an untrusted online source. Also download from torrent programs may be infected as they are from unknown sources.

User Account Restriction:

User account restriction is one of the very primary steps that every small business should adapt to. Do not provide administrative rights to every user account in your office unless it is required. This may avoid users from installing unwanted programs or using unauthorized media.

Restrict Browser settings:

Small business owners may restrict users from accessing specific websites or restrict the downloads of any unauthorized programs.

Periodic Maintenance:

Maintaining your computers periodically is much cheaper and time saving than repairing an infected computer. It is always good that you have a scheduled maintenance plan for your Admin or tech support to inspect your computers periodically and get them cleaned up. This may ensure that all the settings and restrictions deployed in your computers are in place as some employees may be techie than you think.

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