Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Protecting Personal Information

Many of our clients ask us about destroying or erasing an old hard drive when they upgrade to a new computer. It has become more popular to donate or find another use for an old PC to help lessen ones carbon footprint on the earth. There are many programs that claim to erase a hard drive that have both paid and free versions. They use reformatting multiple times to erase and clean the hard drive so that any old information becomes unusable. A popular program for this is called DBan.

Other clients have found it safest to physically destroy their old hard drives. By removing the hard drive from your computer and hitting it a couple of times with a hammer you insure that your data is irretrievable.

If you have a new computer and are concerned about data protection you should consider data encryption. Windows 7 offers a safe easy way of turning on file encryption. When you encrypt a file or folder, you are converting it to a format that can't be read by other people. A file encryption key is added to files or folders that you choose to encrypt.
For further information call or visit us at www.alohacomputers.net

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blue Screen of Death Error

I visited a long time client yesterday that gave me an idea for my information post. Now this user like many of our clients is a beginner user and started having trouble with her desktop computer. Inevitably she got the blue screen of death and not knowing what it would take to fix it since it was called the blue screen of DEATH she decided to purchase a new laptop. Now a BSOD does not occur just before your computer is going to combust rather is can appear for all sorts of reasons. This error shows when Windows detects a hardware or driver error which will not allow it to continue operating properly. In other words, it happens all the time, for all sorts of reasons.
At the very bottom of the screen there is a stop error message that tells (in code of course) why your computer is refusing to start.
It your confident and comfortable working with your computer write down the stop error at the bottom of the screen and either call a repair shop or search for that error of the internet. Most of the time the stop error is reasonably specific and you are able to find out whether is a silly software update change or if it is something more serious like your hard drive has failed. A simple reboot or disk check can often quickly fix these errors and allow your computer to reboot normally. I guess the underlying theme would be to ask a question about the error and for goodness sake don’t buy a new computer unless you KNOW you need a new one!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

LCD Replacement VS New Computer Replacement

Over the last few weeks the shop has gotten inundated with questions in regards to LCD laptop replacements. We have heard "My dog stepped on my laptop" to "the shipping company moving my household goods and re-delivered it this way" to "one plane ride and opps". No matter what reason each customer asked if it is cost effective to replace the LCD in their laptop.
Having done hundreds of LCD replacements on the last few years we weigh the age of the system and the cost of the screen. Most LCD cost between 80-150 to get to the islands. Labor for replacement is $75.00. So most of the time LCD replacement is under 200.00. An easy fix to get you back in touch with the online world!

Please call or email us for more information.
Aloha Computer Consulting and Repair, LLC
67-096 Kealohanui St #C (across from Waialua Library)
Waialua Hawaii 96791
808-372-2667 or 808-237-4558

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

PC Pipeline- Remaining 2 of the 4 major (hardware) parts of a PC

Welcome back to PC Pipeline – bringing computer technology home to you!

Today, we’ll discuss the remaining 2 of the 4 major (hardware) parts of a PC which affect its performance: hard drives and video cards.

The hard drive is where all of your software is installed and typically where your data is stored. Capacities generally range from 120 GBs to 2 TBs (Tera-Bytes) and they spin at speeds of 5,400, 7,200 and 10,000 RPMs. Data transfer speed is important as well. In both cases, faster is better. Like the CPU, hard drives also have a cache. The larger the cache, the better. I can never say this enough – back up your data from the hard drive to another media or storage device! Hard drives can and DO fail! If your data is not backed up, it’s most likely lost forever. So much for that great digital picture collection or music library…

The video card’s impact on system performance is most noticeable when playing games, and watching or editing videos. State of the art video cards have their own Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which takes care of 3D graphics rendering so the system CPU doesn’t have to tackle this chore. Video cards have their own RAM, too. Some desktop systems are designed for upgrading the video card, but not all; make sure you check this out on the system you’re considering buying.

Next time we’ll discuss the different types of new PCs that are currently available on the market. Stay tuned!

Monday, December 14, 2009

PC Pipeline Artical #2- Hardware Compents

Welcome back to PC Pipeline – bringing computer technology home to you!

Today, we’ll discuss 2 of the 4 major (hardware) parts of a PC which affect its performance.

The Central Processing Unit or CPU, is the brain or control center of a PC; it’s where the magic happens. CPU speed is measured in Giga-Hertz, or GHz. The faster the CPU, (3 GHz is faster than 2 GHz), the better. You’ll typically find CPUs in the 2.0 – 3.0 GHz range. The CPU’s speedy helper is its cache, an area where frequently used instructions are stored for faster access. The larger the cache (typically 2 – 8 Mega-bytes, or MB), the better.

The second performance part to become familiar with is Random Access Memory or RAM; capacity is measured and marketed in Giga-Bytes (GB). New lower end PCs typically contain 1 to 2 GB of RAM. Higher end systems, i.e., gaming, multimedia centers or video editing systems, may contain 4 to 8 or more GBs of RAM. The more RAM you can afford (even for web surfing) the better; in most cases you’ll see a noticeable difference with each 1 GB increase of RAM in your system. Most new systems are designed for upgrading, or increasing the amount of RAM, but not all; make sure you check this out on the system you’re considering buying.

The CPU and RAM really are the cornerstones of system performance. Next time we’ll discuss hard drives and video cards, the other 2 major performance parts.

Friday, December 11, 2009

North Shore News Article

For the last few months A.C.C.R. has been writing a bi-weekly article called Personal Computer (PC) Pipeline in the local North Shore News http://www.northshorenews.com/

I have decided to post a copy of each article so that all of our readers!

Personal Computer (PC) Pipeline – bringing computer information home to you!

Welcome to the PC Pipeline! This is our first article and we’re excited to share our technology information with you. It’s our goal to provide the community with computer information that’s both useful and practical, whether you already own a PC, are considering upgrading, or you’re shopping around for your first computer.

Most of the information we provide pertains to PCs running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Occasionally, we’ll discuss other computers like the Apple Mac and Linux PCs.

Let’s get started. Here’s lesson one: What should you consider when buying a computer? Except for your budget, the most important consideration is usage, which largely impacts cost. For surfing the web, using email, and printing pictures, a lower-end PC works fine. However, if you want to create and edit videos on your PC, work with large databases, or play the latest graphic-intensive games, you’ll need a computer with greater capabilities (and a bigger price tag). In our next article we’ll discuss the major hardware parts of the PC that affect those capabilities. Don’t miss it!

For more information, visit us online at www.alohacomputers.net or call us at 808-372-2667.