Steve the Computer Guy - FAQ and Advice
Question: I want to have you fix my PC. What do I do?
Steve the Computer Guy says: Give me a call, or a text or an e-mail and we can arrange between us a convenient time for me to come round and sort out the problem. Or you could bring it round to me if you wish. Whichever suits you better.
Question: I have spilled something on my laptop, what should I do?
Steve the Computer Guy says: Make sure its not connected to the mains. If the battery is removable then take it out. Then open it to around 45 degrees and turn it upside down so it looks like a tent. Put it somewhere with dry, ambient, gentle heat (no direct heat and for goodness sake never use a hairdryer on it, you’ll melt the keys), ideally an airing cupboard. Leave it there for about a week. Don’t be tempted to go back and “just try it” after a couple of days, leave it for at least five days. If you spilled water on it and it wasn’t switched on at the time, chances are it may come back to life after its dried. Other liquids may involve having to replace the keyboard and yet others may utterly kill your laptop but the vast majority can have their data extracted. Give me a call and we can discuss your options.
Question: I have just been phoned by someone claiming to be from Microsoft/my internet service provider/a kindly soul who wants to let me know my computer is infected, should I trust them?
Steve the Computer Guy says: NO! Nobody legitimate will ever phone you about your
computer. If anyone does call, it is a scam. Usually they will either guide
you, or take control of your PC and show you, to the system logs part of
Windows and tell you that all of the errors within are examples of when someone
was “hacking” your PC. This is utter rubbish. The system logs on anyone’s PC
will have errors in it. Its normal and nothing to be worried about. Don’t
listen to these people and just put the phone down on them. If you have already been the victim of this scam, don't panic, usually these guys don't leave anything malicious on your PC. If you're at all worried then give me a call and I can help you sort it out.
Question: How can I avoid being infected with viruses or malware?
Steve the Computer Guy says: You can’t. At some point everyone will be infected with something. What you can do is minimise the possibility of it being a serious infection and remove the stragglers that do manage to make it through. Always keep your anti-virus program up to date, use a secondary infection defence like Malwarebytes Anti Malware (freely available online) to remove anything your anti-virus misses and most of all, be cautious about anything being offered to you, especially if it is free. Nothing legitimate will just present itself to you, always just say no.
Question: Do I really need to back my stuff up?
Steve the Computer Guy says: YES! Always! The rule of thumb is that if you keep everything precious in two places at once then you can’t really go wrong. Most PCs come equipped with DVD writers and the discs are very cheap, so why not use it? You can get up to 4.5GB worth of data on a standard DVD which may be all you need. (Do remember to store them in a dark place though as they are sensitive to sunlight and your data could be bleached away). If you have more data to save you might consider a USB pen drive or a USB external hard drive both of which have never been cheaper to buy. Better to spend a few quid now to prevent data loss than spend a fortune trying to recover it.
Question: I’ve changed the ink cartridges in my printer, but it still doesn’t work. Should I have it fixed?
Steve the Computer Guy says: To be honest, no, I wouldn’t bother. With the likes of
Tesco selling wireless capable printer/scanner/copiers for around £30.00 its
really not worth paying to have it fixed. Just make sure you dispose of it
responsibly at your local tip in the electronics department. Of course, if your printer is still under a year old it'll still be under the manufacturer's warranty. Give them a call, and after making you jump through several hoops in the vain hope that it might fix itself, they should offer to replace it for you.