Malware Virus Attacks Facebook Pages

Virus Malware Facebook

A new Malware Virus is hitting peoples and businesses’ Facebook Pages!

If your page is suddenly crowded with ads, even in your timeline, you got the “Iminentmalware infection. You will notice their logo on the ads, like in the attached photo.

It will install to every browser on your PC! Your antivirus software won’t remove it, because it’s not technically a virus. It’s more like those toolbars that sneak in when you’re downloading something else. It won’t hurt your PC, but it will annoy you and make your Facebook page almost unreadable.How do I know? It happened to me!

It also puts in buttons on the ads do download other things, and I don’t know if those might hurt. The one that made me most suspicious was one telling me I had to download a “special player” to see a video. That’s a dead giveaway to more potential viruses.

To remove it, you must go into the “Add-ons” or “Extensions” area of your web browser and disable it. Then you must uninstall it from your PC.  I then recommend running a Registry Cleaner, like CCleaner or Glary Utilities. Here’s the steps to remove it from the different browsers. [Read more…]

Windows 8: A Computer Repair Guy’s Thoughts.

As a computer repair shop owner here in Tucson, I thought I’d share my experience and impressions of Windows 8 to help people make sense of this drastically new version of Windows that we’ll all have to get used to sooner or later.

I’ve been playing with Windows 8 since the preview release came out in the summer.
[Read more…]

Cracked iPad Screen Repair: What are your options?

cracked ipad screen repairDropped your iPad and cracked the screen? How can you get your cracked iPad screen repaired? First of all, don’t worry, you’re not alone! This is a very common accident. It’s not the end of the world and it can be repaired.

What are your options?

The Apple Store:

Is this a good option? Not necessarily. Apple is famous for voiding warranties when the product is dropped, or has suffered any other kind of user created damage. Even if you bought the Apple Care warranty, they may not honor it. You’ll have to buy a new one, or try their trade-in program for a refurbished unit.

But what about your e-mail, contacts, calendars, music and photos? If you go this route, you’ll lose all your data, unless you’ve backed it up on the cloud, iTunes, or your PC.

Third Party iPad Repair Services:

There are online repair centers that can repair your iPad, as well as local shops that can do it, but be careful. iPads are very delicate and require experience and precision. Not just anyone can perform these repairs. Make sure the repair shop is experienced, insured, and has a good warranty policy.
Beware of companies touting very cheap prices, as you’ll be in for a nasty surprise once they have it. Bait and switch techniques are rampant in this field.
We’ve had people tell us they found a place that will do it for as little as $49. That’s ridiculous and impossible! The industry average for an iPad screen repair is around $200.

Have you heard about replacing the “Digitizer” vs. the “LCD”? What’s the difference?

The iPad’s front assembly is made up of a frame, an LCD screen, and a digitizer.  The LCD screen is the actual display, just like any other monitor. The digitizer is the glass on top of the LCD screen.  It is the part that reads the touch gestures on the screen.

Without the digitizer, touching the screen would not do anything. Without the LCD screen, you wouldn’t be able to see anything! How do you know which repair service or part you need?

If your iPad’s digitizer glass is cracked or broken, you’ll still be able to see the screen through the cracks on the outer glass.  You might even still be able to use the iPad and its touch functionality. There are some cases where the touch functionality will cease to work, even if the glass isn’t cracked. If you can still see the screen clearly, the digitizer is defective and needs to be replaced.

If the LCD screen is broken, the display would be completely blank, very dim, or parts of the screen will not show anything or be distorted. You may also see black streaks or patches where the liquid crystals are leaking.

So to summarize, if just the outer glass is broken, you need a digitizer repair.  If the outer glass is not broken but the display is not working correctly, you most likely need an LCD screen repair.
The most common case is a digitizer repair, as it takes the brunt of the shock and actually shields the LCD screen.

By the way, all this is true for other brands of tablets, as well as smart phones. If you have any iPad or iPhone Repair needs, please give us a call or email us from our website’s “Contact” page.

Computer Repairs: What is a Fair PC Diagnostic Fee for Everyone?

computer diagnosticWhat should a computer repair shop charge to diagnose your computer problem? What is fair to both the business and the customer? What exactly is a “diagnostic” anyway? I get this question a lot and it’s sometimes hard to answer. I always try to give the best value I can, but sometimes people just don’t understand what’s involved.

A diagnostic simply means to find out what’s wrong with the computer. Usually, a technician can figure this out quickly, however, there are times when it can take hours to figure out what’s wrong. I’ll outline some common situations and how we handle them. [Read more…]

Cracked or Broken Laptop LCD Screen Repair Prices Drop

Broken Laptop LCD Screen Repair ReplaceNeed to fix a broken laptop screen but are afraid of the cost?  Fear not!  Prices for replacing laptop LCD screens have dropped dramatically over the past year.  With the proliferation of laptops, prices for screens have dropped below $100 for many models.  Even the larger, High Definition screens can be as low as $125.  Compare that to $250 plus, just a year or two ago.

That means it’s now worth fixing your laptop versus replacing it.  With labor, the total cost of most LCD replacement now averages around $230 – $250 at most Tucson computer repair stores, such as our shop.  If your laptop is less than 3 years old and is a mid-to-high-end model, it’s definitely worth fixing.

These prices are for refurbished screens.  New screen prices are about $25 – $50 more.  We usually recommend going with a new screen for higher end laptops less than 2 years old.  For all others, refurbished is your best bet.  We’ve been doing laptop LCD screen repair for several years, and have had very good luck with the refurbished screens.

Computer Repair or Replacement – Cheap Computers are Not a Bargain

In the PC Repair business these days, we are hearing more people say they can buy a computer for almost the same price as repairing their existing PC.  So why bother doing the repair?  An good repair shop will tell you if your computer is worth fixing or not.  If they value your continued business, they will be honest with you.

Some people like replacing their computer every year or two, so they they keep buying cheap, low end machines.  Problem is, their user experience will be awful.  Slow performance, crashing, lockups, bad battery life and lousy WiFi reception are some of the hallmarks of cheap PC’s.  Then they have to transfer over all their data, install all their programs, and redo all their personal settings.  Hey if you like this, knock yourself out.

Yes, computers have dropped a lot in price these days.  You can buy one for $300.  However, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. [Read more…]

Computer Repair Issues: All-in-One Desktop PC Repair and Maintenance

All-in-One Desktop PCThe PC repair realm has a new challenge.  All-in-One desktops are now all the rage.  These are the type of computers that have the CPU and screen in one single unit.  In other words, there is no separate tower.  This is a real space saving and convenient design.  MAC desktops took this form years ago, and now Windows desktops are following suit.

There is one drawback to having this type of unit however.  Maintenance and the cost of repair.  The main issue is heat, which wears down components or burns them out.  They really cram lots of components into a small space, so they tend to run hot.   These units are basically laptops on a stand, with the LCD screen attached, so they are more expensive to repair, just like laptops are.

They tried making these PC’s several years ago, but it was a disaster because back then, processors chips and hard drives ran very hot.  It’s a lot better now with the lower voltage, cooler running components, so it’s a better unit overall.  Still, you have to be careful.  Here’s some tips to help you.

1) Keep the unit in a well ventilated area, so it can get air to pass through it freely.  Keep the surrounding area free of dust, so it doesn’t get into the vents and clog things up.  If the PC will be in a dusty area, like a workshop, don’t get one in the first place.

2) Don’t run too many programs at the same time, or run heavy duty applications, like video editing or high-end games.  This works the PC very hard and generates lots of heat.

3) Check your start-up programs and any other background programs that may be running.  If too many are running, this works the PC harder and generates more heat.  If you know how to check for these, by all means do it.  If not, take your unit to a computer repair technician and have them tweak and tune up the PC so it runs less background programs.

Feel free to buy one of these types of computers if you like, but just keep the above tips in mind.  Do not buy one if you’re a heavy gamer or if you work your computers really hard.  They’re not designed for that type of use.  If you’re a casual user that mostly uses the internet and email, these units are just fine.

I hope this helped you.  If you need any more information or have more PC Repair needs or questions, please see the Saguaro PC Tech website for our conntact information.  Thank you.

Laptop Repair for Non-Removable Batteries, Drives and Memory

Did you buy a new laptop and discovered that you can’t find the battery, or the little doors to access your memory or hard drives?  Does this worry you?  Doe you ask yourself what you can do when one of these components goes bad, especially the battery?  Are you wondering if this means you have to throw the laptop away?

Fear not!  These components can be replaced, just not by the typical user.  The actual term for this design is “non user replaceable”.  I really hate this new way of doing things.  As usual, I suspect it’s the big manufacturers’ greed to force you to send your PC to them for an overpriced repair, not to mention a 2-3 week wait.  By the way, they’re starting to do this with cell phones too.

Can batteries and other components be replaced by a local computer repair shop?  Can they upgrade your memory?  Absolutely!

What we do is remove the entire bottom panel of the laptop, which then makes all these components accessible.  It’s a little tricky, as there are lots of tiny screws and you have to know where to pry open the case, but a good technician can do this easily.

The only problem is that it will cost a little more than it used to because of the extra work.  Nothing too dramatic, maybe $30 – $50.  If you need this type of work done, give us a call or stop by our Tucson Computer Repair Store, here at Saguaro PC Tech.  Our laptop guys can handle this an much more complex repairs as well.

Free PC Diagnostics: Confusion and the Truth

You see free diagnostics advertised everywhere. This subject needs lots of clarifying. It’s a touchy subject that angers both customers and computer repair shops alike. I’m no exception.

First, lets address the confusion. What exactly is a diagnostic?

… Is it a quick look at your PC and an educated guess?
… Is it a thorough testing of all your hardware and software?
… Is it a thorough troubleshooting and testing service?

The answer is yes to all of these. Therefore the question becomes, what can you expect for free? Do you really expect a repair shop to spend hours working on your PC for free? Do you think they can survive if they do this? Let me ask you this… do you work for free? What would happen if you did? Could you survive?

Now that we’ve cleared this up, let’s ask “What is a Free Diagnostic?” It is one of two things:

1) A “Bait and Switch” scheme to get you into the store
2) A quick look at your PC to get a general idea of the problem, i.e. a quick consultation.

Any honest repair shop will take a quick 10 – 20 minute look at the problem, or even do a simple repair for free, but that is all. However, some computer problems are complex to the point that even an experienced technician will not know what the problem is unless he or she does some in depth troubleshooting. That is not free, nor should it be.

Honest shops will not charge for all their time in these more complex cases if you decide not to do the repair, but they will charge a small diagnostic fee, usually somewhere between $30 to $60 (more for laptops). They still lose money, but at least they get something for their time.

The dishonest shops will pretend they did a diagnostic and then make up a story to get you to do an expensive repair, like replacing a hard drive, motherboard, or reinstalling Windows. This is also what usually happens with Big Box stores (including Office Supply stores). They also use this method to sell you a whole new computer.

In closing, a Word of Caution:

Do not pressure a repair shop to do a free diagnostic. If you do, they’ll either turn down the job and send you away, or recommend a major repair. They can’t spend the time to do a thorough diagnosis unpaid, and will recommend a broad range (i.e. major) repair to cover all the bases, which will definitely fix your computer.

If you’re fair to them, you may get out with a $100 repair. If not, it may be $400. This is more survival behavior than dishonesty (yes, I know it’s a fine line). They have bills to pay, and a need for food, clothing and shelter, just like you.

Laptop Repair: Overheating Issues

Does your laptop shut down on its own?  Does it get so hot you can’t keep it on your lap?  Does the fan scream or make grinding noises so loud it scares you?  If so, you could be having overheating issues.

What’s happening here?  First of all, if the processor (CPU) gets too hot, the laptop will shut itself down to protect it from burning out.  There are other reasons for unexpected shutdowns, but this is a major one.  This can also happen if the video (graphics) chip overheats.

This could happen for several reasons, but the major causes are as follows.

The fan is clogged or is going bad: 

It could be gunked up with dust or pet hair, preventing the air flow of the fan.  Sometimes the bearings on the fan go bad, resulting in grinding noises.  Dust and hair can either damage the bearings directly, or block the fan from rotating freely, which in turn can damage the bearings.

The Thermal Compound on the CPU has dried up and/or cracked:

In this case, the laptop will shut down on its own, or the fan will run really fast.  Why?  There is a thin film of heat conducting “grease” that sits between the CPU itself and the surface of a metal plate called the “Heat Sink”.  It’s like a radiator and has thin metal (usually copper) fins to help dissipate the heat from the CPU.

The thermal compound forms a seal that ensures full contact between the CPU and the heatsink, so that it efficiently pulls off the heat.  Over time, it can dry up and crack, breaking that seal.  Old, dried up compound also loses it’s ability to transfer (pull off) heat from the CPU.

Repair & Maintenance Options:

1. Get a can of air and blow it into the cooling vents of the laptop.  You’ll be surprised at what comes out.  If you wait too long however, there may be so much caked up in there, this won’t help.  The laptop may have to be opened up, so a technician can get in there and clean it up.

2. Broken fans have to be replaced.  This is not usually a big job, and the fans are cheap.  On some models however, the fan and heat sink are an integrated assembly and you have to replace the whole cooling system.  This is a bit more expensive, but still not too bad.

3. Remove the old thermal compound and put on a fresh layer.  This costs a little more, as you have to remove both the heat sink and fan, so you can get to the CPU.  When we do this, we use a higher quality compound than what the laptop came with.  We use a silver-impregnated compound that makes the laptop run up to 10 degrees cooler than standard ceramic compounds.

We can help you with these, or any other Computer and Laptop Repair issues.  If you’re reading this post from outside our website, click this link to our Tucson Laptop Repair website to learn more.

Thanks for reading, and check back for more helpful tips and information.