Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Computer Maintenance

Computer Running Slow?

If your computer is running slow or if certain programs don't work any longer, I can help.

I provide the following maintenance and troubleshooting services:

  • Ensuring your computer's operating system and programs are updated.
  • Installations of new software and devices.
  • Removing old or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
  • Diagnosing computer crashes, failed programs and installations.
  • Recommendations of hardware upgrades that will improve your experience.

Call to book an appointment!

Troubleshooting services start with an assessment of the problem followed by recommendations and solutions that work.

Routine maintenance ensures that your computer is running as smoothly as possible with current versions of your software and older or dangerous software removed.

Getting Prepared

Start by recording the information about your computer hardware and software. Here's how.

You can help speed the process by ensuring that you have a recent backup of your computer files, particularly:

  • your documents and other data files;
  • your email addresses, Firefox bookmarks & Internet Explorer favourites;
  • critical system files; and
  • any other files that are important to you.

Note that some older programs keep their data within the program folder and most recent programs keep it either within the Documents folder for the current user or within hidden folders inside your personal area (C:\Users for Vista or Windows 7).

Software & License Numbers

You should also have these items handy:

  • operating system software;
  • software program disks as well as licensed downloaded software;
  • operating system and software license numbers;
  • your ISP setup instructions; and
  • any network or proprietary software and instructions.

Discovering What Went Wrong

It helps to know what you were doing on your computer prior to your problem occurred. This is not an issue of blame, but narrows the possible causes of your problems to help speed up the process of recovery.

Sometimes the problem can be resolved with either a selective reinstall of the program or the hardware driver affected. Windows System Restore can help here. Other solutions may require looking for aberrant settings or corruption in the system files.

Clean Install

In some cases I will recommend a "clean" install. This consists of formatting the hard drive followed by a complete reinstallation of the operating system. By removing all files you can eradicate problems that may not be corrected by a standard reinstallation.

This removes all corrupt and unneeded files from your computer including those infected by a virus or spyware and those remaining after programs or other software has been uninstalled.

Unfortunately this process will wipe all programs and data from your computer. It is essential that you have reliable backups of at least your data files and such user files as your email data files, email addresses and Firefox bookmarks or Internet Explorer favorites. All programs will need to be reinstalled as well as the operating system (Windows or Linux) and drivers for all hardware including printers and other accessories.

Call to book an appointment!

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www.russharvey.bc.ca/trouble.html
Updated: December 24, 2016

Computer repair services: troubleshooting, installations and cleanup

Backup Your System

A full backup of your system is recommended prior to servicing. The backup will ensure that recovery is possible if your system or data files are lost. You may wish to read more about backup strategies.

Knowledge about critical files and system recovery for your operating system will assist you in preparing for potential disaster as well as keeping you from deleting or changing critical files that can lead to an operating system malfunction.

While every effort will be made to save photos, music and other data, recovery of these files after a catastrophic failure is more difficult (and sometimes impossible).

It also takes time to make these backups and will add to the cost of recovery. However, I can back up hidden and obscure settings most users are unaware of and that can save time and avoid lost data.

Call to book an appointment!