Category Archives: Computing Tips

New PC Lost Connection

New Windows-based computers will typically begin to look for driver updates once they go online. Since drivers are programs that operate individual components, sometimes Internet connectivity is lost temporarily while network components are updated. The outage usually lasts only a few minutes. Sometimes a reboot is required to finish applying the update and restore the connection. Bottom line: If you seem to suddenly be unable to access the Internet soon after you’ve established connection on a new computer, walk away for a few minutes. When you return, restart the computer (more…)

Windows 10 DIY Style

I’m sure by now you have probably heard the news. With few exceptions, you can upgrade your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC to Windows 10 for free. Due to many differences between Windows 10 and the earlier versions of Windows, I recommend only the most tech-savvy home users attempt this upgrade without assistance. Therefore, until I have scheduled at least one upgrade each Monday through Thursday between now and October 1, the price for EarlsHelpDesk.com upgrade assistance via phone and remote access is only $30. If you still want (more…)

Windows 10

Windows 10 is coming July 29, 2015. It is probably best to learn about this latest operating system directly from Microsoft. These links might help. Overview http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/features How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 for free http://www.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/windows-10-upgrade Windows 10 FAQ http://www.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/windows-10-faq Specifications http://www.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/windows-10-specifications If you plan to upgrade from an earlier version, please carefully read the entirety of the “Specifications” page. There are a few things you will need to consider. For example, watching DVDs on your computer running Windows 10 will require separate playback software and automatic updates (more…)

Error 500: Proof That Techs Are Human

While attempting to change a minor setting on the sidebar of the help desk this morning, I made a mistake. This error of only a few standard characters of text in the settings of a plug-in, caused the site to go down in flames with an unpleasant “Error 500: Internal Server Error.” Even having knowledge of the internal workings of the site, this experience was quite unsettling. Well, I came in through the back door, edited a file, and brought the site back to life. “Why is Earl telling me (more…)

Cyber Monday

It’s “Cyber Monday”, a day promoted by online retailers as “the” day to shop online. Stay safe as you browse for specials and keep in mind the age-old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” I am working late today and waiving my advertised $15 minimum fee, so if you run into trouble as you shop, please don’t pull out your hair; pick up the phone and call regardless of the time of day —or night. (more…)

Avoid This Scam

If you receive the following email, do not click the link. Instead, notify the supposed sender via a new e-mail message or by phone. It is likely the sender’s computer is infected.   If you do click the link, your browser will open and quickly redirect to a page that will attempt to force you to interact with malware. If you reach that page before you realize you were duped, use the Windows Task Manager to close your browser. When you reopen the browser, look quickly for windows or tabs (more…)

Beware of Fake Download Buttons

A leading cause of malware (junk software) infections I have seen in recent years is fake download buttons on advertisements on pages that contain a legitimate download. In other words, people arrive at a page to download a decent free or inexpensive app and are presented with one or more fake download buttons linked to junk installers rather than the software they want. I urge website operators to quit doing business with any ad rotation services that allow download buttons in ads. If this is not feasible for whatever reason, (more…)