USB Flash Drives are NOT Infallable

USB Flash DrivesUSB Flash Drive, Memory Sticks, FOBs, whatever you call them.  We all have them.  Some of us have lots of them.

And they are absolutely NOT safe for your only copy of anything that is important to you.

They fail.  Actually fairly often.  So don't keep any documents or other files on them unless they are copies of files elsewhere.  If files are important to you, they should exist in at least 2 places.  Sure you can use them as primary storage for some files.  But again, have copies elsewhere.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by me.

You're welcome.

Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? Maybe you shouldn't.

Windows 10 is Downloading

For the most part, Windows 10 has been pretty good.  But then there are the times it isn't.  And the times it installs itself while you were sleeping, or at lunch, or when you turned your head.

I have had a whole lot of customers say that they woke up to Windows 10.  And sometimes it didn't go well.  Updates from Windows 7 or 8 can sometimes have issues days or weeks later.  The most common I've seen has been Windows 10 suddenly losing it's menu.  Click the little Windows menu button all you want.  It's not going to open.  And getting it back is a major chore.  Like doing a repair install or restore kind of major chore.

So, if you haven't done it, and don't want it, you MUST take an active step to stop it.  Just saying no every time it asks won't work.  Because it will do it when it KNOWS you're not around.  Sneaky devil.

Do You Backup?

Please do. Really, I'm not kidding.

External hard drives are modestly priced, and you don’t need to backup your entire computer, just data.

Complete system failure? You can always restore to original from your PC manufacturer’s discs and reinstall any other programs you use.

And, really, I am not kidding. If you ever have a complete hard drive failure, and you need to get the data off of the drive, it could cost you upwards of $2000 to get a lab to disassemble the drive and "scrape" the data off of the platters of the drive. And there is no guarantee that it will work.

So go out and get an inexpensive external USB hard drive and start a daily backup routine.

Did I say that I'm not kidding?

Do You Defragment Your Hard Drive?

Do you Defragment Your Drive?

Sometimes a slow machine just needs a little organizing. Simply put, a “defrag” rearranges your data so it’s not so scattered. Which means it can find and load it faster. It may take a couple of hours, but it’s worth it, and you can walk away while it does it’s thing.

In Windows XP:

Click on the Start menu.
Select All Programs >Accessories >System Tools >Disk Defragmenter.
In the top pane, select the drive you wish to defragment and then click the Defragment button below.

HINT: For the biggest performance improvement, do this 2 or 3 times within a couple of days.

Windows Vista, 7 and 8 defragment automatically.

House Cleaning

Have you ever cleaned your computers innards?

Heat caused by dust buildup is the number one killer of PCs. Dust and animal hair floating around a room get sucked into the air vents and layer the parts like a blanket.

Or the fans clog and run too slowly. This one’s easy.

Just take your PC outside (trust me, you’ll be happy you did), open up the case and blow everything out with a can of compressed air.

Your PC will thank you.