Should You Upgrade From A Hard Drive To An SSD?

SSD’s are a natural progression that I believe started with USB memory sticks. USB keys have certainly changed the way data is shared between people. More and more, we’re seeing solid state hard drives being offered on store shelves and being sold with new desktops and laptops.

HDD   HDD VS SSD   SSD

Advantages

SSD’s with no moving parts offer almost very fast access to data mean faster transfer rates, the current generation SSD’s offer 3 to 4 times greater speed. Upgrading to a solid state drive makes the overall system feel more responsive when compared to a mechanical hard drive.

Solid state drives, since they have no moving parts, should outlast comparable hard drives.  This does remain to be seen, though, since SSDs haven’t been out too long compared to standard hard drives.

Disadvantages

SSD’s weakness is significantly higher prices and comparatively lower capacities drive. Like all new technology, early adopters pay the price of new technology. While current costs per Gigabyte for SSD’s approach $2 per GB, traditional hard drives are approaching $0.05 per GB.

Who Should Buy a SSD?

  • Enthusiasts who’ve gotten their hands on an SSD and felt the difference don’t want to go back to using a mechanical hard disk.
  • If you’re used to waiting a minute to load Windows, then an SSD may be of value to you. The SSD’s specialty lies with accessing multiple files at once.
  • Upgrading to a solid state drive makes the overall system feel more responsive when compared to a mechanical hard drive.
  • With no moving parts laptops can run cooler then with hard disk

Let’s say it again, though. An SSD, regardless of which one you pick, runs circles around mechanical storage.

Windows 8.1 “It’s coming for you soon”

• Mimicrosoft 8.1crosoft Windows 8.1 new features Previewing on June 26.
Microsoft Final release of Windows 8.1, it will be later in the calendar year.   
Price for Windows 8.1 will be a free update to Windows 8 and RT users.
Windows 8.1 respond to customer feedback.

 

Let checkout some new features Windows 8.1 has to offer:

  1. The Start button is back: it will be a shortcut for the Start Screen only. It also will be visible while working on the desktop, while in the Metro UI; you will be able to access it by simply moving the mouse cursor in the lower left corner like it was before.
  2. The lock screen will let you customization with sideshows using photos that you stored on your computer or in SkyDrive.
  3. Windows 8.1 to let you shut down directly via Start button.
  4. The Start Screen will have new background and color settings and also features animated background. In also can use your desktop wallpaper as a background for the Start Screen, Metro and the desktop will blend seamlessly together.
  5. All Apps screen has been improved in a few ways. You swipe up to reach it now, and you can sort the screen by app name, date installed, most used or category.
  6. Live tiles will come in four different sizes will allow you to order them by usage. Microsoft thinks that the Start Screen will bring it closer to the original Start Menu.
  7. Internet Explorer 11 will also be included and will come with improvements.
  8. SkyDrive has a major improvement it will come with deeper Windows 8 integration. You can save your files right to SkyDrive.
  9. Snap View mode will let you run apps side by side like windows 7 does. You can snap up to 4 different Metro applications.
  10. The Windows Store will undergo a major makeover; will display more details about each app and have new rankings for each category.
  11. Metro apps will be updated automatically when a new version are released.
  12. The Search Charm will be powered by Bing and will allow you to look for information on the computer and on the web. It will offer support for files, apps, settings, web, and SkyDrive accounts.
  13. New Metro apps will be installed by default on all Windows 8.1 machines, including an Alarm app, Movie Moments, Reading List, and Calculator.
  14. The touch keyboard will have new improvements, auto-suggest features and will support new gestures.
  15. Users will be allowed to skip the Start Screen completely and boot directly to desktop.
  16. File Explorer, the new file manager available in Windows 8, will also be updated. Libraries will no longer be displayed in the navigation panel, while Computer will be renamed to “This PC.”

Check out the chart (by Into Windows) to see the difference between
windows 8 and 8.1.

Difference-Between-Windows-8-and-8.1

If everything works out for windows 8.1, I will be upgrading to the final release of windows 8.1 later in this year !!!

 

Speeding Up Your Computer

lightningThe first thing I will install or run portable is Crystaldiskinfo, to make sure that the hard drive is healthy and has no errors, because if the hard drive is healthy and will continue doing the next steps, if the hard drive is in caution state I will stop, making an image of the hard drive and restore it to a new hard drive before continuing.

You should perform this temporary file cleanup, a lot of uses don’t know about this and can lead to the computer slowing down. Over time running the computer could add up to hundreds or gigabytes of temporary files that need to be freed up on the computer that hasn’t seen regular maintenance.I recommend using a program like CCleaner.

CCleaner also features a built in registry cleaner, which I recommend for the next step. Simply run the registry cleaner by “scan for issues.” After this is completed, simply click “fix selected issues.” You can also check the option to backup the registry before applying the fix.

Next step you should perform is to remove unwanted programs, toolbars, coupons, etc… that was installed by mistake when installing programs. Also properly read the installation text when installing a new program and uncheck the unwanted programs that comes with this installation. Be careful not to remove any program that your unsure of or need because this can lead to programs that no longer work on the computer. The program I use is Revo Uninstaller.

Another task is your virus and malware programs, make sure they are up-to-date and are set to run automatic or manual scans. The program I use for virus detection is Microsoft security essentials it’s free, because the paid versions cannot guarantee removing viruses why pay for it. And for malware detection I used two programs Malwarebytes that I pay for the Pro version that will run in the background and stop the malware from coming in to the computer, and the free version of SuperAntiSpyware.

For added security I use Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer.

The last step I do is defragment the hard drive. The product I use is Auslogics free, I usually run defrag and optimize (Places system files to the faster part of the disk, minimizing the time needed for the hard drive to access them).

All together they can fix pretty much most basic speed problems, but still want a little more speed the next step is to upgrade the hardware to finish the upgrade.

Clean a Virus or Nuke and Pave?

This is a question that is frequently asked by computer repair technicians, and it generates strong opinions on both sides of the argument. Usually those discussions in online forums generate more debate.

Here are just a few examples on both sides of the discussion cleaning the virus or nuke and pave?

Malwarebytes     VS    Install Win7 

It is never in your best interest, and rarely in the client’s best interest, for you to nuke and pave the system as the first option, cleaning the virus makes more sense.

  • The client may not have the operating system anymore; they will have to purchase a new one
  • The client may not have all the programs and drivers that they have installed on the computer now
  • The cleanup is actually accomplished in 2 hours or less
  • There are a lot more tools to get rid of viruses, rootkits and malware today
  • If all malware is successfully removed from the infected computer
    (never 100% sure)

On the other hand nuke and pave maybe the way to go to make sure that the virus is gone for your client’s computer.

  • It’s the only way to be sure all infections are removed
  • It’s the fastest way to resolve the problem
  • In the process, it also gets rid of other clutter you don’t need
  • Make sure you backup the computer before nuke and pave

On the other hand nuke and pave maybe the way to go to make sure that the virus is gone for your client’s computer.

Windows XP, will soon come to an end!!!

Windows XP first released to computer manufacturers on August 24, 2001, it will have a 13 year run.

Windows XP end of support date is April 8, 2014 (less than one year from now!)

This will mean end of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides monthly windows updates, automatic fixes, or technical assistance.

XP logo

What does this mean to you?

Without Microsoft support, you will no longer be able to receive the monthly critical security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information.

What can I do about it?

My advice: nobody should continue using a computer with Windows XP operating system on the Internet after April 8, 2014.

You should either replace all your XP computers now, if you have not already, or plan to replace them before that date. I recommend replacement as soon as possible, especially for business users. I recommend a new computer with Windows 8.

Here are the reasons to replace a Windows XP computer now:

  • Windows XP is soon to be discontinued.
  • You will not be able to use the latest browser version, eventually you will not be able to get on the Internet because XP does not support the newest browser version.
  • Windows 7 and Windows 8 have many security improvements that XP does not have, and because of that, XP is less secure. Windows XP computers are more prone to get viruses.
  • Windows XP computers take more time to use and maintain than Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  • Computers running Windows XP are old and slow, new computers are many times faster.
  • A new computer, laptop will be more productive for you; it comes now in tablet Surface Pro and RT.

Should I buy a new computer, laptop or can I just upgrade my Windows XP software? While in some cases it is possible to upgrade your operating system from Windows XP.

I do not recommend it, here’s why:

  • Computers that originally came loaded with Windows XP have hardware that is too old to run the newest operating systems.
  • The processor and memory are not fast enough to keep up with the demands of a new operating system.
  • Also if you upgrade you have to buy the operating system and then install it.
  • Upgrading hardware costs money and takes time to installing it.
  • If using Windows 8 you can buy touchscreen monitor or touchscreen laptop or touchscreen tablet.

In my opinion, it is better to buy a new computer that already comes with the new operating system. A new computer comes with all new faster hardware and a warranty. The new computer will be faster and more reliable, it will be more enjoyable to use than an old slow computer that was upgraded.

What operating systems are there?

The currently available operating system is Windows 8, Windows 7, and then there was Windows Vista, and prior to that Windows XP.

FBI. Cybercrime Division Ransomware

This morning I was using my Surface Pro tablet to surf the web and all of a sudden this screen popped up,  it was a scary sight.

fbi-cybercrime-divisionThe FBI. Cybercrime Division or International Cyber Security Protection Alliance infection is a screenlocker from the Troj/Urausy Ransomware and Reveton family of ransomware infections. When installed this infection does not allow you to access your computer or your files without a paying a ransom. When infected with this Trojan, you will be shown a ransom screen instead of your Windows desktop when you login to Windows. This ransom screen will state that the FBI has detected that your computer has been downloading or distributing copyrighted content or pornography. This infection will display different lock screens depending on what country your computer is currently located in. It is able to detect your country by using the IP address of your computer.

sandboxieIn all my computers and Surface Pro tablet I have installed Sandboxie. Sandboxie runs your programs in an isolated space which prevents them from making permanent changes to other programs and data in your computer. I was lucky this morning  all I had to do was to turn off the Surface Pro tablet and turn it back on, Sandboxie had deleted the FBI. Cybercrime Division  ransomware.

Kickstart-LogoTo get rid of  FBI. Cybercrime Division ransomware, all you need to do is boot up your system with the help of the HitmanPro.Kickstart USB flash drive. The programs on the flash drive will make sure that you boot into your own familiar Windows environment and start HitmanPro.

You need to download HitmanPro and create a  bootable  USB flash drive, the website  will show you how to create it. http://www.surfright.nl/en/kickstart