If your computer has crashed, it’s unlikely that your pictures, documents and movies are all gone. Many times, it’s a matter of simply replacing the hard drive and copying files from the old drive. There are other times when special professional data recovery tools are required and finally there is the somewhat expensive clean room repair.
If you want to avoid shipping your drive to an expensive clean room recovery center, bring your computer in whenever it becomes slow, has intermittent boot failures or displays a message that says ‘impending drive failure’. Keep in mind that your data is almost always recoverable as long as it isn’t overwritten with more data.
Perhaps the earliest icon of the Information Age was a simple punched card produced by IBM, commonly known as the “IBM card.” Measuring just 7- 3/8 inches by 3- 1/4 inches, the piece of smooth stock paper was unassuming, to be sure. But taken collectively, the IBM card held nearly all of the world’s known information for just under half a century—an impressive feat even by today’s measures. It rose to popularity during the Great Depression and quickly became a ubiquitous installment in the worlds of data processing and popular culture. What’s more, the punched card provided such a significant profit stream that it was instrumental to IBM’s rapid growth in the mid-twentieth century.
It’s true. If you press PRNT-SCRN on any Windows computer, it copies the entire screen to the clipboard. After that, all you have to do is load Microsoft Paint and paste the clipboard to your file.
There are so many scams today that you have to be suspicious of any phone call from someone you don’t know. For example, if you get a call from your credit card company, it’s best to call them back via the phone number on the back of your card. If someone calls and tells you that your computer is sending his company “signals,” then you should hang up immediately. However, sometimes you may look up a company like Hewlett-Packard or Netflix via Google. You need to be aware that the Google search will return some ads at the top of the page and the ads may have been purchased by scammers. It’s best to check and make certain that the site is actually Netflix.com and not something like netflixsupportbuddy.com. On the other hand, help.netflix.com is ok. Just remember that the domain should be Netflix.com, ibm.com, HP.com, etc.
With that said, here is one of the latest scams reported by several recent customers.
You have already used the fake tech support company and you have previously given them remote access to your computer. Then you get a call saying that you are due a refund from them because they are in trouble with the BBB, etc. Since they already have access to your computer, they may in some cases have obtained access to your bank where they will transfer an amount like $2500 from your savings to your checking account. They often prevent you from accessing your own computer by adding a startup password that looks like the image below.
They inform you that you are owed $500.00, but they accidentally deposited $2500.00 into your checking account. “Please go to Walmart and send us a $2000.00 gift certificate” is the next thing you will hear from them. So don’t do that.
When I receive computers like this, I back up all of the data, wipe the drive, reinstall the operating system and restore the files (photos, documents, videos, favorites, etc).
A few scammers like this have been arrested, but there are just so many of them. Keep in mind that Microsoft will never call you on the phone, the IRS will initiate contact through the mail (not email) and hpsupportbuddy.com is not HP.com.
Here’s a couple of pics of a partly disassembled Dell XPS notebook with a stuck clicker.
The thin battery inside has expanded and pushed the touchpad above the palmrest.
They should be replaced promptly. The puffy ones can be dangerous. Also, if you have a computer with a Lithium polymer battery, it shouldn’t be left in a hot car. That’s one thing that can lead to a puffy battery.
Here’s one example. Someone brings in a reasonably modern laptop purchased from a pawn shop. It has plenty of personal data from the previous owner and needs to be wiped clean with a fresh Windows installed. It also has an unknown bios password…. and it overheats.
Step 1: Fix the overheating problem.
Step 2: Reassemble the laptop, and then remove the bios password via secret proprietary method.
Step 3: Wipe the drive, and then install and activate Windows 10. Windows 8 laptops can be upgraded to Windows 10 without making an extra purchase from Microsoft. Install all drivers and updates.
Step 4: Remove the junky advertising from the start menu and add useful freely available programs and utilities.
Total cost: $95.00 exactly