Archive | August 2013

Laptop Screen in the Dark? Here are Some Tips as to What Could Be The Cause

pc repair_baltimoreHere at  Baltimore Computer Repair we have recently been getting many laptop computers with blank LCD screens. So this weeks piece of advice tells you how to find out what may be causing the problem with your laptop computers LCD.

These are the most common problems which affect laptop screens and cause them to go completely black.

Burned Out LCD Bulb
A laptop computer has a very thin and long light bulb which shines light at the screen and when this bulb gets burnt out the screen goes dark. However the laptops screen itself is still completely fine and its only the bulb that needs to be replaced.How to find out if it’s the bulb that’s broken: If the bulb is burnt out the computer should start up like normal including all of the lights on the computer turning on. The only real difference is that the screen will be completely black and wont show any images. What you want to do is shine a flash light at the LCD while the computer is on. If you are able to make out a the background or at least see that their are some images then you just have a burned out laptop LCD screen bulb.

If you can not make out the background, proceed to the next problem of how to test for inverter problems.

Note: Many laptops have the ability to dim the light on the LCD by pressing a certain key, so make sure that the laptop is not just dimmed down.

Inverter That Doesn’t Give Enough Power.An inverter is simply a part in a computer which makes DC (Direct Current) into AC (alternating current). When the inverter in a laptop fails it doesn’t give the amount of power necessary to power the laptops screen and that’s why you may suddenly see it turn black for no apparent reason. Or when you turn on the computer the LCD screen doesn’t turn on, even though everything else seems fine.How to tell if the inverter is broken on your laptop: Well if you cant make out the background of the screen with a flash light, the next most likely problem you would have would be a bad inverter. What you want to do is hook up a monitor to the laptop, if the monitor recognizes the laptop and the laptops screen shows up then you have a bad laptop inverter that needs to be replaced.(you may also have a loose video cable, see next possible issue)

Note: On some laptops the screen will not be recognized automatically and you may have to press a certain set of keys on the laptop. You may need to consult your computers manual for further instructions.

Loose Video CableTheir is a very thin cable which connects your laptops motherboard to your screen and provides it with all the power and information needed to display the images. However some laptops my pull at the video cable when opening and cause it to became loose.How to tell if its a loose video cable that’s giving you a blank screen on your laptop: Well unfortunately the only way to tell is if the computer is opened up and the cable is reset. I recommend that this only be done by someone who has good knowledge and is comfortable with opening up the laptop.

If that still doesn’t solve the problem then it is likely a bad video card.

Bad Video CardThe video card controls all of the information that relates to images, basically it tells the screen what to display.Does my laptop have a bad video card? If after hooking up an external monitor and the screen doesn’t display anything it is likely the video card that has a problem. You may also see a black screen and hear beeps.

On the majority of laptops video cards cannot be replaced separately and the entire motherboard will have to be replaced.

Note: The beeps do not automatically mean that it is the video card that is faulty. The beeps are codes which refer to a specific malfunction within the computer. You will need to consult your computer manual for what are known as POST or BIOS codes.

While these are the most often problems which create a blank or black laptop screen they are not the only ones. ***Please be aware that this is general information and you should get a computer diagnosed by a knowledgeable technician.

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Why We Do Not Recommend Norton

computer-repair -baltimore-county-pc-crashA lot of people always ask us “What security program do you recommend?” and usually they follow up by saying “I was thinking of getting Norton”. Once upon a time we would have said its easy to use and has great protection, but that was a long, long, long time ago not today!

One reason why we don’t recommend Norton is because it is a jack of all trades and a master of none.

The current Norton program has the ability to do about 20 different things such as parental controls, email protection, and performance alerts.

Just looking at the features that Norton offers it may seem like a good deal but its unfortunately not. Many of the features that Norton offers are not as robust as they need to be and so they are simply attempting to do far to much. All of these extra features are more then the average computer user or business user actually needs, yes to much of a good thing is bad at times.

One of reasons why I don’t recommend Norton: 
It slows down computers way to much, in my opinion Norton has become bloated and has way to many things that in reality most people won’t ever use. What people really need is a good security suite and not a program that does 20 different things.

If you currently use Norton I suggest that you try and see what I’m talking about by removing the program (do not go online without internet security), once the program is removed you will see an incredible boost in speed and even after replacing Norton with another security program you computer will still be much faster.

The even bigger reason why I don’t recommend Norton:
I have seen far to many computers infected with viruses that have Norton protection on them. In fact over 70% of the machines we remove viruses from have Norton or McAfee installed. There is no point in paying $79.99  for  a security program  if you end up having to go and take your computer for a virus removal.

We Recommend a Multi -Layered Approach to system security encompassing of a Solid Anti Virus, a Good Anti Malware, and a dependable Anti-Spyware program combined with custom browser settings

Computer Repair and Virus removal in Baltimore County Maryland

Connected PC Solutions – Providing affordable computer repair since 1999 – http://www.BaltimorePCFix.com

 

Outbreak: The FBI Virus

Perry_Hall_Maryland_FBI_Virus_RemovalThe FBI will stop prosecuting for only $200, or at least that’s what the FBI Virus is saying. This week we have seen 10 clients get what is known as the FBI virus.

To many such a thing would scare you right into running off to one of your local retailers to avoid prosecution, but the virus is what is know as ransomeware, meaning that it hijacks your computer and won’t give back control until you give it some money. I would like to take this chance to remind everyone to make sure that they don’t open any odd emails or go to websites which are not reputable.

Most popular question we get is: 

If I pay the money will it go away? No, it actually won’t it says that it will but current research suggest it goes away for a brief period and then comes back again.

What Should I Do?

Have a reputable Computer Repair company remove the virus, Again if you do pay the money it will come back.

Affordable computer repair in Baltimore CountyConnected PC Solutions

Virus Removal in Perry Hall

Virus Removal White Marsh

Virus Removal Parkville

Our Multi-Layered Protection Service

wpid-special_offer.jpegWe use a multi-layered security system with overlapping software layers. Inevitably, no security software will catch everything. Just like in a football game, you have the first line of defense, and then back up players who catch anyone who breaks through the front line of defense.

Many times, when a user notices an active piece of malware, It is merely the visible tip of the infection iceberg. There are usually many malware items laying just beneath the surface in the operating system. This can range from your internet browser home page being stolen, to Trojan horse software targeting your banking account information.

We have carefully hand picked and tested the software we use in our in our Multi-Layered Security Plan. Our program work and it is a plan that we employ ourselves here @ Connected PC Solutions.

Our Plan includes:

  1. Pre Setup Virus Spyware  Scan and Removal
  2. Custom Browser/Internet Settings
  3. Anti Virus Protection
  4. Anti-MalwareProtection
  5. Anti- Spyware Protection
  6. PC Tune Up

All this is done for one low Price of:

$99  In Shop – Free Pick Up and Delivery

$159 On Site – 

Scam Alert: Microsoft Windows Phone Call – Our Systems Says You Have A Virus

phone-scam-alertBeen getting news of “somebody” calling people saying they are from Windows and demanding that you open up your system to an online security scan.

Don’t fall for this scam. Microsoft, your ISP and the FBI will not call you about a virus on your computer and your bank will never call about your account.

Never do anything somebody that cold calls you tells you to do.

 

Baltimore Computer RepairConnected PC Solutions

Laptop Cooling – It’s Getting Hot in Here! Maintenance Tips for Your Laptop

dell-laptop-fire-baltimorecomputerfixThat hum your laptop makes? You know,  that annoying hum inside your laptop that grows louder with time.  Or maybe it’s a persistent clicking or whirring sound from the fan.  Perhaps the  laptop’s fan is not audible at all and instead the computer gets very hot and even shuts itself down.  All of these symptoms could point to a laptop fan failure — and it’s critical to get it checked out.

Should the fan begin to fail then the hard drive, as an example, may sustain damage.  This can result in slow performance, data loss and eventually a hard drive crash. Laptop fans provide an essential function the cooling of the internal components,

laptop_dust_heatvent_Baltimore_Computer_FixLaptop fans should be kept clean and sometimes an intensive clean-up can rectify fan problems before they worsen.  We recommend that our clients clean their laptop vents at least once every few months.  The there are usually at least two vents.  One on the bottom for taking in cool air and another on the side or back for exhausting hot air.

Using compressed air to clean out these vents can be  helpful in reducing dust inside the computer, and therefore increasing airflow.   If you use canned air it’s best to spray in short bursts so that no condensation forms inside your computer.

 

Computer Repair in Perry Hall MarylandConnected PC Solutions

 

Real Life Disaster Scenario- Pre-Loaded Software and Your Restore Disc

 computer-repair -baltimore-county-pc-crashScenario: A Customer will call him “Bill” purchased a new computer 3 years ago and had the option to get Microsoft Office pre-loaded for $95 no disks or purchase Microsoft office for $199 of Microsoft Office with the disks and install it himself.  “Bill” went against the advice of his pc technician and ordered the pre- loaded version saving a few bucks. Fast forward 3 years and his system has suffered a severe crash before calling for support decides to use his system restore disk and restore the system to day one.  “Bill” had a backup of all pertinent files but since Microsoft Office wasn’t included on the restore disk “Bill” was without a way to use Excel, and Outlook two essential tools for his business.

Pre –loaded versions of Office is basically a version that is installed from a OEM cd and assigned a valid product use license key. They are not included on any restore cd because they are an option not typically included on a system by default.

It is important to have a backup of your system not just a restore disk. One way for this to happen is to have a system image created on a back-up hard drive.  By doing this you will have another option if the system crashes and you have installed programs such as Microsoft Office, QuickBooks etc.. It makes a system crash like the one “Bill” suffered a lot less painful.

 

Connected PC Solutions has been providing affordable computer repair since 1999