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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in hardware

Everything You Wanted to Know About Hard Disk Drives

What does a hard drive do?
Information storage is the hard drive’s main responsibility. Think the electronic version of the old office filing cabinet. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. Not just documents, emails, contacts, favorites pictures, music and videos. Your programs, your preferences, your printers, your settings, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive.

If your hard drive is damaged or fails, you can lose it all. This is the sad truth and unfortunately we still see this 10+ times per week. Which is why most smart people have a backup system. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

 

How big of a hard drive do you need?
Everything that can be saved on a hard drive is measured in terms of its size. Text is very small, pictures are larger, music is even bigger, and video is the biggest of them all.

A hard drive is like a scale. It doesn’t know the difference between things that are on it; it only knows their size. But instead of kilograms, a hard drive measures things in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB.)

Roughly speaking, a megabyte is 1 million bytes, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes, and a terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

What does this mean for you?

If you need to transfer files between computers or a drive to back up just some of your files, you can get by with a smaller drive (such as a 500GB External Hard Drive).

If you want to back up your entire computer, or even several computers, or if you store a lot of video and audio files, you’ll want a larger drive (such as a 1TB or larger Network Attached Storeage System - NAS for short).

 

Will your drive work with a PC or a Mac?
Most Hard Drives PC Pitstop sell works with either a PC or a Mac. Some drives are already formatted to work with one or the other. But any drive can be reformatted to work with either type of computer.

IMPORTANT: If you reformat a drive, every single file on that drive is erased. So make sure you copy your files somewhere safe before you reformat.

It’s more difficult to use the same drive on both a PC and a Mac. The short answer is, they’re not really compatible. The more detailed answer is that, in a few specific circumstances, you can do a few specific things. 

What are the different types of hard drive connections?
There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer:

USB
This is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.

FireWire
Plug-and-play like USB, Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.

SATA
This is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.

eSATA
A less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.

 

How important is hard drive speed?
When you start your computer, open a file, listen to a song, or do just about anything else, you use your hard drive. The discs inside the drive spin. The faster they spin, the more quickly your computer can find the file you want.

So a drive rated at 7,200 rpm will be faster than one rated at 5,400 rpm. What that means for your day-to-day use will vary. With external drives, you’ll hardly notice a difference. With internal drives, the difference will be slight with smaller files and applications, but will be obvious with larger files and applications - and all of this adds up.

Should you choose internal or external?
An internal drive provides built-in storage at top speeds. An external drive gives you greater flexibility and expanded storage whenever you need it.

Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks.

Internal drives have to be physically installed and configured by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician opening up your computer. But your files and programs are stored directly on your computer; they’re always there whenever you need them.

External drives are connected to your computer via plug-in cables. This lets you take files with you, transfer them to other computers, or instantly add storage to your computer or network without too many technical hurdles.

 

How much can I store?

Here are some averages to give an idea of what you can store on which size drive.

  Digital Music (MP3) Digital Photo's (JPG) Digital Video's (MP4)
500Gb 25,000 Songs 160,000 Photo's 500 Hours
1000Gb (1Tb) 50,000 Songs 320,000 Photo's 1000 Hours
2000Gb (2Tb) 100,000 Songs 640,000 Photo's 2000 Hours

 

 

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Posted by on in Repairs

 

Why do computers slow down?

A question that we get asked all the time here at PC Pitstop is why computers get slower over time. This can start to happen within a year after you get a new PC, but usually it happens in just a few short months.

Since we all use our computers for a whole range of different tasks and activities, there isn’t one single reason that pinpoints why this happens.

The thing is, when you first get a new computer and boot it up it works lightning fast. That’s because it doesn’t have anything on it except the bare bones operating system. 

Regardless of whether you have a PC or Mac, over time as you download files, install software, add printers and surf the Internet etc, your computer gets bloated with files that hog system resources.

In addition, there are many other things that contribute to a slowdown. Here is the most common issues we find:

1. Hard Drive Corruption

The hard drive is the electronic equivalent of the old office filing cabinet. It's really is an amazing piece of technology that has helped propelled our world forward into the information age. A typical computer can hold anywhere from 150,000 - 300,000 high quality photographs or over a million documents or books.

All of this information is tightly packed ingeniously onto a disk and into a tiny enclosure, which looks suprisingly similar to that of the old record player. The information is stored in magnetic form on top of the disk and this is where the complexity starts to become its own undoing.

The problem is, corruption can occur from power surges (power spikes), brown outs (power dips), static electricity (from carpet, clothes and other fabrics), solar flares, cosmic radiation, vibration, bumps, knocks, computer viruses, software errors and even the layer on the magnetic disk changing over time.

 

2. RAM

Not having enough RAM is like not having a big enough table to work on. You can only have so many items on the table before it get clutted and full. The computer does its best to keep going without crashing - moving things around - but to do so - it slows down even further. Solution - the more RAM the better! RAM is cheap these days and the more you got - the more the computer will be able to use as a super fast temporary storage place.

 3. Spyware, Viruses and Unnecessary Software

These programs all need attention - they run in the background and all want to steal a little bit of time from the CPU/Processor (Think information pump).
This all stacks on top of each other and adds up very quickly. Typically we remove 500+ pieces of spyware and virus related programs on EVERY computer we service (our record is over 20,000!). PC Pitstop have an award winning and unique 5 stage process that removes all spyware, viruses and nasties that even the best AntiVirus protection leaves behind.

4. System and Software Updates

If you are updating your software regularly, this will take up space and more system resources - contributing to the slow down even further. Interestingly enough, if you were to wipe the computer in year 3 and put all the original software back on - it would be as fast as the day you brought it. However this is not exactly secure or feasible way to run your computer. Updates are mostly security and bug fixes that go a long way to protect your computer.

 

5. Mechanical Hard Drives Slow Down With Age

If you have a standard hard drive (not SSD) your hard drive will slow down and fail over time. Being mechanical - this is the nature of their design and cannot be avoided without upgrading to a Solid State Hard Drive (SSD). Solid state hard drives are reasonably new and more expensive than their mechanical counterparts but wow - they work really really fast. I MEAN REALLY REALLY REALLY FAST. For the single most impressive upgrade you can do for your computer - get a SSD Hard Drive. You will love the difference and never look back.

Now I have painted a picture of why computers slow down - how do you fix a slow computer?

Easy - just like your car goes in for a 10,000Km service - your computer also needs regular tuning up as well. For power users and businesses - minimum every 6 months and for the rest of us - every 12 months. This is what the big department stores will not and do not want to tell you. It is in their best interest for you to get annoyed with your computer to the point of frustration within 18 months - that you go out and buy another one.

 

A tuneup finds and fixes problems, spots bigger problems (before they occur and cost you more time and money), removes virus and spyware infections, scans and repairs your hard disk, installs necessary security updates and is also a perfect time for you to engage a PC Pitstop Trained Technician to ask any questions that have been niggeling at you or to fix other issues that you have been putting off.

Your computer is an investment - and for most of us - a very important tool we use every day. It pays to be proactive with your investments - instead of waiting for the day when everything grinds to a halt and you have lost some or all of your important data. Unfortunately we still see this every day.

SO - drop in and book in for your routine computer tuneup at PC Pitstop - 10 Bellbowrie Street Port Macquarie - 02 65 841551.

PC Pitstop Port Macquarie Business Awards

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Just experienced a computer catastrophy and had your computer wiped and reinstalled?! 

  •           You may notice little things that are different to the way you have had them before - This is because Windows had learnt the way you did things and remembered these settings.
  •      You may need to reinstall any programs and devices (e.g. printers, Office, Photoshop etc.) that you have previously used if you advised your technician not to do so for you. Use your original CDs for programs or use the manufacturer’s website downloads for printers (e.g. HP, Canon etc.).

 

Documents and Data Policy - While every care is taken to protect your documents, pictures, music etc, in some cases this is not always possible due to certain conditions.

Professionally, while we take every care and technological measure to protect and recover your data, PC Pitstop cannot accept responsibility for any consequential data or financial loss through the loss of any data, through any fault whatsoever.

Unfortunately, during a Windows rebuild, these little personal touches may disappear until your computer picks up the way you do things again.

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We wrote a user manual and service planner just for you....so come and get it!

It's packed full of how to hints and tips and details the best way for you to look after your desktop or laptop computer - at home or in your business. Everyone is loving them and we don't want you to miss out!

Besides, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to tune your computer in readiness for a smooth sailing year ahead!

See you instore soon.

manual-planner

...from the manual

A Word from Ben and Sam

We wrote this Computer Manual & Service Planner for you.
In fact, we started PC Pitstop for people just like you. People who are amazingly skilled at what they do and confident in many areas of their lives. People who aren’t afraid to ask for help to remain amazing and confident. People who want to grow, embrace technology and get more out of life.

The PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner is a comprehensive go-to-guide for all things computer-user based that will see you through the life of your computer and beyond. If you find this useful or need more information be sure to sign up to our e-newsletter or blog on the PC Pitstop website. And of course, give us a call or pop in, we love to keep in touch with all our amazing customers.

We hope the PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner challenges you, increases your productivity, improves your confidence and inspires you to learn even more!

Believe in Better
                                                                                                                                  
BEN WATERS & SAMANTHA CLARK

                                                                                                                                                      PC PITSTOP FOUNDERS

 

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Do you love PC Pitstop?

NSW Fair Trading’s popular I love my local business competition is back for 2014. 

In its work to promote a fair marketplace, Fair Trading recognises that the vast majority of local businesses do the right thing and play a critical role in the local community. That is why NSW consumers are being encouraged to nominate their favourite local business by telling Fair Trading, in 60 words or less, what they love about them and why. There are six prizes of $250 to be won!

Consumers can nominate a local business which goes out of their way to do the right thing by their customers. It might be because of their excellent customer service, or the fact they proudly sponsor charitable and community causes; it might simply be that they are really good on the tools or have the funkiest retail shop in town!

All shortlisted entries will be promoted on Fair Tradings Facebook page, which has close to 40,000 followers. Shortlisted and winning entries may attract local media interest.

We have also created some resources for businesses to use to help them promote the competition to their customers, including a downloadable poster, web images and more. Go to the I love my local business page on the Fair Trading website to find out more. 

The competition runs from Monday 13 October – Sunday 9 November 2014.

For more information and to enter go to Fair Trading’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FairTradingNSW

10360960 10154707687875137 8556640207931967004 n

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This is such a great article from Smarter Business Ideas...had to share!

the-internet-of-things-hero

If your computers are four or more years old they’re artefacts of earlier technology eras – and they could be costing you big time.

Brought to you by Intel

The computers you bought a few years ago were designed to meet the processing demands of the day – and then some, depending on their specifications. But even the highest spec machine from four years ago can struggle to deliver the performance you need today. 

To find out how a PC refresh can make a big difference to business productivity, Smarter met with Danielle Watts, Intel’s national marketing manager for Australia/New Zealand. What we learned about tired old computers versus the new generation of machines might surprise you.

Some business owners figure that as long as their old machines keep working they can hold off upgrading a little longer. That logic might suit mechanical devices designed to perform simple tasks but even so, the more you use them, the more they suffer wear and tear. 

It also ignores the many competitive advantages and lifestyle-enhancements offered by innovative technologies. “Given they’re running their businesses on those old computers the consequences can be frightening,” ponders Watts. “What if they lost 
all that data?”

Moving business records safely 

While it’s fairly easy to calculate the costs of repairing, upgrading or replacing components in your IT set up [see below: “Maintenance costs add up”], it’s harder to put a value on the data you own.

“Businesses rely so heavily on databases, so it’s understandable you’d be worried about moving them,” Watts acknowledges, “An expert service provider can help transfer accounts, HR and customer records safely and securely – the upgrade decision could include looking at server technology or Cloud-based tools to support and manage the business.”

Adding to the woes of outdated technology are security issues: “If you’re still using Windows XP you really need to upgrade,” advises Watts. “As of April this year technical support and security updates for XP from Microsoft ended, so your laptop or PC is far more vulnerable to malicious attacks.”

SEE ALSO:

Slow machines cost time and productivity 

Older PCs not only cost more to maintain, their performance also diminishes as they age. 

Consider recording the time lost to PCs taking forever to start-up, running slow or not working at all: “That’s a lot of lost productivity,” notes Watts. “If you value your employees you want to provide them with efficient tools. Investing in new technology shows that you value their contribution – and they’ll respect that.”

Can you work three times faster?

If you like spending time making a nice cup of tea or coffee while you wait for your computer to wake up you might want to update your schedule. 

According to system performance benchmarks from Intel the latest Intel processor-based systems running Windows 8.1 Pro typically start-up within a handful of seconds – and when you’re hard at work running your business with them, they’ll run everyday computing processes more than three times faster than a four-year-old system.

Latest devices are fast and ultra-portable

“Start-up time and battery life are especially important for road warriors,” says Watts.

“You don’t want to wait so you can enter an order, start a presentation or check inventory. Devices with fourth generation Intel processors also work for up to 10 hours on battery power – a big advantage over the 2.5 hours of older PCs – and include management tools specifically for businesses.

“We’re running our personal and business lives on them, so it helps that notebooks are lighter (some less than a kilo), thinner and offer powerful multi-tasking. On average they cost $200 less than PCs four years ago, so over time the cost to replace rather than repair becomes a lot more attractive.”

Maintenance costs add up 

All machines need some maintenance but as a machine ages it can break down more often and cost more to repair.

The Techaisle May 2013 whitepaper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study”, reviewed direct and indirect costs of maintaining PCs. The research found:

  1. Direct maintenance costs (repairs and upgrades) – jump more than 33 per cent for older PCs. (Average yearly costs for a PC less than four years old: US$324 to repair and US$95 to upgrade; costs for a PC more than four years old: US$427 to repair and US$134 to upgrade.)
  2. Lost productivity costs (downtime) – double from an average of 21 hours a year of lost work time on a newer PC to 42 hours a year for an older PC.

Did you know?

36% of small businesses use PCs that are four+ years old
Source: Techaisle June 2013 whitepaper, “The Ageing PC Effect – Exposing Financial Impact for Small Business.” 

42 lost work hours on average every year due to an old PC needing repairs
Souce: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Older PCs might handle up to 5 applications simultaneously vs newer PCs that easily run 8 applications simultaneously 
Source: Techaisle May 2013 white paper, “Small Business PC Refresh Study” 

Case study: Brightstar

After a successful stint at a big software firm, Jon Yeo set up Brightstar in 2003 to coach businesses on using technology to improve their lives. More recently his passion for ‘ideas worth sharing’ also motivated him to become the licensee and curator for TedxMelbourne.

His studies in information management and organisational behaviour serve him well to help clients embrace more rewarding and productive ways of working: “They often don’t have a technology problem – they know they need it – they have a people and process problem,” he explains. “They aren’t making the most of what is available.” 

And he’s adamant that old technology is demotivating: “Old systems are slow, inaccessible and unresponsive compared to today’s technology. If you’re not thinking about upgrading now you’re making it much harder to compete at all in the next two to three years.”

Yeo suggests that if you’ve accepted your old systems need replacing then you know you have to transfer your valuable business data somewhere. So why not make it easier and faster to access and manage?

“Think about what you really need to convert across – it might not be so complex. Cloud services, ultraportable laptops, mobile devices and integrated communications help us make greater use of our information,” he explains.

“I now have a very small laptop that weighs less than a kilogram and does everything and more that my old desktop and laptop could do combined, faster. Because I’m on the road a lot, I have seven to eight hours of battery time on my new machine versus two hours maximum on my old laptop – there is no competition. 

“I also have a stylus-based tablet so I can take client notes once and they’re stored in the Cloud. I used to have a heavy laptop, a paper compendium and my briefcase full of paperwork – I still smile when I think about hauling it all through airport security.”

Find the right devices for the job

In three simple steps find out the ideal technology mix for your business – and how much your older computers are really costing you: http://smb.intel.com.au/start

 

Call into PC Pitstop today and discuss the best upgrade option for you and your budget!

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E-Waste and Recycling

pcpitstop sustainable

With awareness about the environmental impacts of sending electronic waste (e-waste) to landfill increasing, many households and businesses are keen to dispose of their unwanted electronic equipment in a responsible way.

Computers and other e-waste contain non-renewable resources such as tin, nickel, zinc aluminium and copper, as well as hazardous materials such as lead and mercury. Sending these products to landfill means the resources they contain are potentially lost and there is a risk that the hazardous substances may be released into the environment.

What can you do? Almost 99% of the components that make up a PC can be recycled. By recycling we can avoid serious toxins, chemicals and heavy metals from going to landfill and polluting our environment.

pcpitstop recycle

Talk to your nearest PC Pitstop team about the best recycling option for your equipment in your area.

* Port Macquarie residents can recycle monitors at the local council tip. Laptop computers and desktops however, can be recycled at PC Pitstop, Bay St, Port Macquarie.

 

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Funny Computer Memes & What They're Trying to Tell You

First up. What is a meme?

meme
miːm/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.
  2. 2.
    an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.
     

Thanks Wikipedia.

Now. Here's a few memes created to teach you a lesson. 

PS. It's ok to have a giggle!

1.

7-our-computer-is-slow-funny-meme

LESSON: Less is more. The more unnecessary toolbars you add the slower stuff will happen.

How do they all get there? Not without a little help from you. If you have the Ask toolbar for instance, it might have been installed when you did a Java update and failed to uncheck the optional little box that asked you if you wanted to install that particular toolbar.

If you’ve installed one of the free antivirus programs, like AVG, it will install its own toolbar into your browser. Have you joined an on-line photo sharing site? You probably got another toolbar then as well. You get the idea?

None of those toolbars are absolutely essential and your browser will generally be much happier without them. How many different 'search' buttons do you really need?

2.

IE9-Faster-Downloading-of-Chrome-Or-Firefox-Nerd-Computer-Interwebs-Funny-Motivational-Meme

LESSON: Pretty self-explanitory.

Internet Explorer sucks.

Use Firefox or Chrome as your default internet browser.

Just remove IE9 altogether.

3. 

song-chart-memes-repair-shop

LESSON: Avoid doing the RED.

Really.

Unless 'buddy' agrees to pay the bill and replace all those memories.

Remember 'the poor man pays twice'....know when it's time to call PC Pitstop.

4. 

Mom-Vs.-Normal-Computer-Savy-People

LESSON: Too many unecessary words. Get to the point for a better search result.

Read this >>> ARTICLE <<< to search Google like an expert. It's good.

 

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Keyboard Shortcuts for the Modern User

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Want more?

web-keyboard-shortcuts

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Avoiding Moisture & Corrosion

It is true that salt air will corrode hardware and electronics especially near the ocean/coast.

Whether you prefer a laptop or a desktop your PC is affected by its environment. While overly dry conditions can cause static electricity in your computer's components, excessively humid conditions can cause faster corrosion and internal damage. If your environment is especially humid you should take precautions to protect your computer from malfunction due to moisture. Take note of the general level of humidity and follow these simple steps to stop damage.

  1. Install a dehumidifier in your home or office. Dehumidifiers remove some of the moisture in the air so it's safer to use your desktop, laptop or tablet PC. When using a dehumidifier remember to empty out the reservoir regularly to ensure that the machine works efficiently. Small hippos may work for some, others may need to invest in domestic or commercial stand-alone models.
  2. Situate your computer in an area of the home or office with a controlled temperature. Avoid using your computer in humid areas such as a hot tub room, sauna or the bathroom. Condensation from the humidity can affect the internal components of your computer causing corrosion or sudden malfunction.
  3. Keep your computer stationary whenever possible. One way humidity builds up in your computer is when you experience sudden temperature changes. For instance, going from the cold winter air to a warm office could cause condensation. Transport your computer as little as possible and always use an insulated case to protect it from extreme temperatures if you must travel with it.
  4. Wipe your computer down quickly if you notice moisture on the outside of the case. Use a clean towel to remove outer moisture before it has time to seep into the computer through the keyboard or vents. For this very reason, avoid positioning your computer near windows or external doors.
    *Iron rust is red/brown, aluminium rust is white, copper corrosion is blue/green.*

     
    1214101740 apmgk-L corrossion

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Desktop Safety Tips

Safely using your desktop will help ensure that the computer works properly and you don't get injured. Improper use or not being aware of safety issues can cause your desktop irreparable damage. These tips will help you stay productive and safe no matter where you are working.

  • Vent Maintenance - Part of your weekly routine should be to inspect and clean the air vents at the back of your desktop. Forced air dusters can be used to keep the air vents clean and free from debris. It's important to know that you should never push anything into the air vents.
  • Secure Transportation - Make sure that if you ever have to transport your desktop that you first unplug all accessories from it and carry it with two hands from the bottom of the case. Secure the desktop in an upright position wherever possible using the vehicles seatbelt for example. Parts may come loose during transport
  • Soft Spots - It's a wise idea to use your desktop in a well-ventilated position with no soft material covering the fans located at the back or side of your machine. Soft materials can block the airflow vents and cause it to overheat.

desktop cleaning case

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PC Pitstop iphone and smartphone repairs

PC Pitstop iPhone Repairs    Smart Device Repairs

Dropped or damaged your

smart device - iPhone, iPad
or Samsung Device? 
Most repairs same day!

Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 

PC Pitstop Computer Repairs

PC Pitstop Workshop Repairs   Workshop Repairs


We locate the issues & 

determine the best way
to fix them. Most repairs
completed within 24 hours

 Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 

PC Pitstop Computer Tune-ups 

PC Pitstop Computer Tune Ups   Computer Tuneups


Over time you will notice your 

computer slowing down. Time
to book your computer for its
yearly service and tuneup.

 Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 

 PC Pitstop Business Support

PC Pitstop Business Support   Business Support


PC Pitstop provide reliable

small business solutions so
you can focus on delivering
exceptional customer service!

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 PC Pitstop Virus and Spyware Removal

PC Pitstop Virus & Spyware Removal  Virus & Spyware removal


Most computers are home
to hundreds of viruses and 
information stealing bugs.
Stay protected & up to date.

Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

 PC Pitstop Home and Business Onsite Support

PC Pitstop onsite Home and Business Support    Onsite Support


PC Pitstop can provide you
with onsite assistance in your
home or office at time that suits
you. Most areas only $99/hour

Get a quote >>   |   Learn More >>

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PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner :: Making IT Easy for YOU

manual-planner

We are so excited to finally have our PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner in store for everyone who receives any service from PC Pitstop! So many of you have been wanting something like this and it will definately make life easier for a lot of businesses and families! We've been working on this handy guide for 12mths and it's jammed packed with over 30years experience in computer repairs, computer builds and everything in between.

It features an entire section dedicated to Customer Care Guides - 22 simple 'How-To' guides for navigating your computer, your devices and the internet. The Preventative Maintainence Schedule at the back of the booklet details exactly what service is recommended for your computer at various points in it's life and can even be stamp certified that you were looked after by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician.

We love providing extra value and this Manual is the perfect tech-education and tracking tool for all our customers!

Pick yours up after your next service today.

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Why You Would Need a Data Transfer or Recovery?

A Data Transfer may be necessary for a number of reasons.

PC Pitstop can transfer your data (documents, pictures, music) but not programs (software, downloads, etc). Your original installation media is required to install programs on another computer. PC Pitstop, by law, cannot install counterfeit software.

What types of transfer are there?

  1. Computer to computer – e.g. your computer failed and you’d like your information transferred onto a new computer.
  2. Computer to external hard drive – e.g. you are giving away an old computer and want the info off that computer for safe keeping.

If you request data transfer to an external drive you may have to follow correct steps to restore this information to a workable state on your computer if you choose to do so down the track, i.e. importing emails, address books, music, pictures and documents to their right location. (PC Pitstop also provides this service if required.)

Data Recovery is the process of retrieving your important files from faulty equipment. It may be necessary if you don’t have a working backup of your files. PC Pitstop provide a range of recovery solutions from small devices such as USB’s, computers and through to large Servers.

Things you should know about Data Recovery:

  1. Data recovery can take anywhere from one day to 2 weeks to complete depending on the severity and size.
  2. PC Pitstop can recover your information to another computer, to an external hard drive or other device of your choosing as long as the chosen device has the capacity and stability to handle the information.
  3. Once recovered your information may appear in an unfamiliar order. While every effort is taken to replicate the original file structure, in some cases this is simply not possible due to no prior knowledge of the original setup. We work in consultation with you to ensure this process is as smooth as possible.
  4. In some cases, the recovery process may need to be handled by a third party Forensic provider. PC Pitstop is in partnership with some of the best data recovery companies in the world. Please contact your nearest PC Pitstop for more information.
  5. Depending on the severity of the damaged device recovery may not even be an option.

Overall, Data Recovery should be seen as the last option because ultimately prevention far outweighs cure!

Small Office & Home
ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE BACKUP SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE: www.pcpitstop.net.au

  •       Easy to use interface
  •       Scheduled automatic backups
  •       Peace of mind security

 

  •       Enterprise backup software
  •       Backup individual workstations
  •       Server backup

SMEs
NORTON BACKUP EXEC SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE:www.pcpitstop.net.au

+ PC Pitstop Secure Online Backup – ASK US IN-STORE

 

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PC Pitstop Speciality Lessons

Stop banging your head on the desk trying to figure that pesky computer problem and ask for a Speciality Lesson from your PC Pitstop Trained Technician.

These 1hr in-store, one-on-one lessons can cover many topics that may be troubling you, such as:

  1. Basic Computer Use – start-up, shut-down, navigation, etc.
  2. Internet Use – effective searching, basic facebook, etc.
  3. Photo Filing – uploading from cards or devices, sorting and basic editing
  4. Windows 8 Use – introduction to the metro interface
  5. iPad Use – how to use your device, apps, etc.


Make the best use of your time and come with a prepared list of questions. Your Technician will answer as many of them as possible and show you how...and show you again! BOOK A LESSON TODAY.

 


 

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Doomsday for XP :: You could be under attack right now!

4 dys until we say Rest in Peace XP.

Are you ready for this?

"Microsoft first said it was planning to end support for Windows XP in 2007. It has since been warning consumers and businesses an upgrade is necessary to keep their computers from being run over by a train of malicious software, or malware."

READ MORE >>> http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/doomsday-approaches-for-windows-xp-users-20140319-hvkdg.html

Windows-XP-End

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, give us a call on 65 841 551, and as each situation has different variables we'll assess each accordingly and get your SORTED!:

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run any specialised software or hardware that only runs on XP?

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run software that needs a 32Bit operating system?

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run a business and share files or printers between any Windows XP based computers?

Arrow-Right-iconDo you run a business with new versions of Windows and Windows XP?

Arrow-Right-iconAre you confused about what operating system is best for you?

POINTS TO NOTE:

- Unfortunately, going from Windows XP to Windows 7 and above is not just a simple upgrade. There are just too many differences between the versions of Windows.

- A full migration of all your information needs to take place and you may need to purchase newer versions of software to compliment your computer (i.e Microsoft Office). All you programs and settings will be lost in the migration and will have to be setup manually again. It is a big job, but something the team here at PC Pitstop do every day. Our team are well equipped and will plan and work through with you to make the migration as smooth as possible.

- Your printer or a piece of hardware may also be too old to run the newer version of Windows and an additional investment may need to be made there too. We must assess each situation on a case-by-case basis.

- Additionally, our team can even come to your premises and spend the time to set everything up just the way you like it. We also go as far as offering one on one lessons to help you feel comfortable with your new system. ($85/hour instore, $99/hour at your premises)

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The Importance of Backing Up

Backing up is crucial. Backing up at the basic level involves the act of copying all your important files to a separate external device that can easily be taken off site with you each day for security measures in business or easily accessible during an evacuation for home users, keeping precious data and memories safe and saving you time, money and tears.

There are a several different backup types and just as many different ways to backup. We will run you through some of the most common. If you are unsure of which backup type you need, speak to one of PC Pitstop’s Trained Technicians for the best solution in your environment.

Basic Data Backup: The basic data backup is the process of backing up the data the program made, not the program or the programs settings. An example here would be backing up a Word or Excel Document but not Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel itself.

USB-backup BackUp-computer-support-port-macquarie backuphdd

How to do a basic data backup:

  1. Insert/plug-in your External Hard Drive (or Flash Memory Drive)
  2. Go to the folder or location of the files you want to backup
  3. To select all the files in that location, use your keyboard to press [CTRL] + [A] (Press Ctrl key then while still holding Ctrl key, press the A Key)
  4. You will now notice all the files in the folder are highlighted, this is telling the computer that you have selected these files and you want to do something with them
  5. Now use your ‘right’ mouse button and click on one of the highlighted files
  6. You will now see a little menu appear, run the mouse over the ‘Send To’ item then click on ‘Backup Disk’ or (E:) disk or similar (Depending on the number of external devices you have running, your hard drive will be assigned a letter to identify it)
  7. Your files will now copy/backup to the external device.

It’s a good idea to always have a copy of your files on at least one another device. Don’t make the mistake of copying your files to an external device then deleting them off your computer.

Remember: Backups can also fail. If you are worried about your computer clogging up with too many files, consider a Hard Drive upgrade – You will keep everything the way it is setup, but with a bigger storage capacity for future storage.

System State backup: The System State backup allows you to make a complete backup of your whole computer – operating system, programs, settings, data, email: the lot. This is great way to recover your system if the Hard Drive fails or you get a particularly nasty virus. The system state backup is only available on Windows 7 and above. For anything else, you will need a separate program like Acronis True Image to complete the task. A great feature of Acronis True Image is the ability to do a backup to dissimilar hardware, very handy when you have a motherboard failure where normally it would require reinstall every program, all your data and settings, even if you have done a system state backup.

Remember: Your data security is only as good as your last backup and backups can and do fail. There is a saying in the IT trade: You haven’t backed up until you have done the backup three times, and one of the backups is stored offsite.

SMEs
NORTON BACKUP EXEC SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE: www.pcpitstop.net.au

  •         Enterprise backup software
  •         Backup individual workstations
  •         Server backup

Small Office & Home
ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE BACKUP SOFTWARE
BUY ONLINE: www.pcpitstop.net.au

  •         Easy to use interface
  •         Scheduled automatic backups
  •         Peace of mind security

 

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hardwareupgrades

Benefits of Hardware Upgrades

There is the wide range of hardware available today that will, in most cases, plug in or integrate to your existing system with little or no fuss. Hardware upgrades such as bigger hard drives, more RAM or a better graphics card for example, can be installed to your core system in lieu of replacing the computer or to facilitate the needs of new software or peripheral equipment.

Hardware Upgrades provide:

  •         Speed and space increase from improved technologies
  •         Productivity gains from faster equipment
  •         Reduced cost of ownership over replacement
  •         Customised solution to fit your needs
  •         Extended service life by replacing ageing components
  •         Access to features not available with your original purchase

Talk to your PC Pitstop Trained Technicians about suggestions for your working requirements, 65 841 551.

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How safe is your phone and other devices?

smartphone-mobile-security-lock

ARE YOU DOING THESE?

Put a password on your phone and a PIN on your SIM card.
Do not rely on the default factory settings. Using a password and PIN will stop thieves getting access to your phone or using the SIM in another phone to make calls. All phones have security settings so familiarise yourself with them and turn them on.

Setup your device to automatically lock. If your phone has not been used for a few minutes, it should automatically lock and require a password or PIN to reactivate.

Encrypt your data. Some phones allow you to encrypt your data, sometimes using third-party software. Encryption secures your data if your phone is lost or stolen.

Consider installing security software from a reputable provider. Anti-virus, anti-theft, anti-malware and firewall software is available for some mobile phone operating systems.

Stay with reputable websites and mobile applications (apps). Always keep an eye on your commonly used websites' addresses and make sure you are not redirected or diverted to other websites. When using any financial mobile applications, such as mobile banking, make sure to only use applications supplied by your financial institution.

Be careful when allowing third party unsigned applications to access your personal information. This includes access to your location. Always read permission requests before installing new apps or app upgrades, looking for unusual requests or pleas for money.

Do not click on unsolicited or unexpected links. Even when they appear to be from friends.

Check your phone bill for unusual data charges or premium rate calls. Contact your service provider immediately if you discover any unusual calls or data usage on your bill.

Check for updates to your phone's operating system regularly. Install them as soon as they are available.

Be smart with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. When connecting to the internet using Wi-Fi, try to use an encrypted network that requires a password. Avoid online banking or financial transactions in busy public areas and over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Ensure that passers-by can't watch what you are typing (known as shoulder-surfing). Turn Bluetooth off when you aren't using it.

Back up your data regularly. Set up your phone so that it backs up your data when you sync it, or back it up to a separate memory card.

If you decide to recycle your phone, make sure you delete all your personal information first. Most phones have an option to reset to factory settings. Remember to remove or wipe any inserted memory cards.

To assist you in case of your mobile theft or loss, ask your provider or manufacturer whether it has services such as mobile tracking and the ability to remotely wipe your information stored on the phone.

>>> READ THE FULL ARTICLE & many other helpful articles HERE <<<

 

Is your phone smashed or damaged?

broken-devices

GET IT REPAIRED AT PC PITSTOP

iphone-repairs-port-macquarie

 

Live outside the Greater Port Macquarie Region and need your iPhone, iPad or other device repaired?
Send it to us, we'll fix it and send it back like new!

HERE'S WHAT DO TO:

1. Call ((02) 65 841 551) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. PC Pitstop with the answers to these Prior Device Repair Questions. This allows us to keep you informed at every step of your repair, ensure all necessary parts are in stock and ready for your items arrival and,most importantly, avoid a Return-Without-Repair. Items receievd without these answers will be placed at the end of the queue and may be further delayed if correct parts are unavialable.

2. Carefully wrap and package your device in a padded mailer like the one below. Send it to: PC Pitstop, Shop 13, 4 Bay St, Port Macquarie, NSW, 2444. Be sure to add your return address on the reverse and we recommend paying a little extra at the post office for insurance and tracking. We accept no responsibility for items lost or further damaged in transit.

3. We'll call you as soon as your parcel arrives, get it fixed and send it back to you - padded, insured and tracked for $10 + $Repair. Now that's easy!

qa  postal-envelope-small iphone-repairs-pcpitstop-before-after

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COMMON COMPUTER REPAIRS, PHONE REPAIRS & PRICES

PC Pitstop repair computers of all makes and models - laptops, desktops, MACs and all your small devices.
Get it done faster at PC Pitstop, simply call or pop in to your nearest store with your enquiries.

Tune Up/Clean Up $90+

Basic Virus Removal $90+ Data Recovery $90+
PC Pitstop will get your computer running back up to speed. Our removal process is thorough! No Bugs go unnoticed. Don't lose precious data with our 99% recovery success rate!
Workshop Assessment $59 Data Transfer $130+ Onsite Support $99+ p/hr

We locate the issues & determine the best way to fix them!

Transferring systems? Keep all your old files! We come to you! Great for home & business setups & more!
Workshop Assessment Data Transfer Onsite Support

 

iPhone iPod iPad SMART PHONE REPAIRS & PRICES

If its cracked, its dangerous! Those cracks contain microscopic shards of glass that once enter the skin are nearly impossible to get out. Stop using your cracked iPhone and get it fixed fast by PC Pitstop's Trained Technicians today!

iPhone 3G & 3GS Glass $90 iPhone 3G & 3GS LCD $90
   
iPhone 3G & 3GS Glass & LCD $130 iPhone 4 &4S Glass & Digitizer $179
   
iPhone 4 & 4S Colour Conversion $200 iPhone 5 Digitizer & LCD $250
   
iPod Touch 4th Gen $100 iPad 2,3,4 Digitizer Replacement $250
   
iPad 2,3,4 LCD & Digitizer $320 iPad Mini Digitizer Replacement $250
   
Samsung Galaxy S3 LCD & Digitizer $250 Samsung Galaxy S4 LCD & Digitizer
$350
We also repair iPads & others, please contact us to enquire about other iPod & other gadget repairs.

We also repair iPad screens!

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FOLLOW

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