How to improve your wireless network and boost its signal

by Kaschimer 13. February 2012 02:41

From Microsoft At Home

Good tips for improving the reach and reliability of your wireless network, whether you are a home user or a business user. Go to the site for the full information. I’ve reproduced just the tips below.

  1. Position your wireless router, modem router, or access point in a central location
  2. Move the router off the floor and away from walls and metal objects (such as metal file cabinets)
  3. Replace your router's antenna
  4. Replace your laptop's wireless PC card-based network adapter
  5. Add a wireless repeater
  6. Change your wireless channel
  7. Reduce wireless interference
  8. Update your firmware or your network adapter driver
  9. Pick equipment from a single vendor
  10. Upgrade 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g devices to 802.11n
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How to improve your wireless network and boost its signal

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General | Home Office | Productivity | System Maintenance

10 things you should still do to every Windows PC

by Kaschimer 1. August 2011 01:00

This is a good article from TechRepublic. It's applicable to both "back to school" computers as well as more general use at home or for your business.

The "things" are:

  1. Prepare it for the Internet
  2. Turn on ClearType and adjust your Desktop settings
  3. Configure the file system
  4. Set the screen resolution, refresh rate and DPI
  5. Activate Windows
  6. Copy over your browser shortcuts
  7. Install any needed applications
  8. Uninstall the crapware
  9. Set up your email and your homepage
  10. Backup your harddrive and registry (just in case...)
Please click over to the article to read the full details. You'll see there is an additional item about installing power toys, but that's only applicable for Windows XP which is not sold any longer...



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General | Productivity | System Maintenance

5 good computing habits

by Kaschimer 16. April 2010 07:55

Microsoft At Work

Another great article from Microsoft At Work. This one describes some very basic things that you can do to help your computer run faster, be more organized, and generally keep it on the right track. Tips include:

  1. Organize Your Folders
  2. Clean Up Your Hard Disk
  3. Use System Restore (although not on a regular basis…)
  4. Keep Windows and Office Up to Date
  5. Run an Antivirus AND AntiSpyware Tool (like Microsoft Security Essentials)

Great tips. I suggest clicking through to the article to learn all the juicy details!

5 good computing habits

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Productivity | General | Home Office | System Maintenance

Fix common PC problems

by Kaschimer 4. March 2010 10:27

Microsoft At Home

What problems do you have with your computer? Has it all of a sudden slowed down to a crawl? Are you having trouble launching an application? Is your Internet acting funny? Chances are, there is something that you can do to fix the issue. This article from Microsoft at Home can help point you in the right direction for fixing some of the more common problems that people seem to have with their computers. I’ve just provided a small sampling of the article here and suggest you click through to the original for all of the information you will need.

1. F1 is magic: Get help on your PC

2. The Basics

  • Backup your computer regularly
  • Make sure the plugs and such are connected properly
  • Write down contact information for your particular computer manufacturer as well as the operating system manufacturer (like Microsoft)

3. Locate the Problem

4. Software Issues

  • Make sure the software is compatible with your operating system
  • Close down any programs you are not using
  • Check how much hard drive space you have left
  • Check for program updates and information on frequently encountered issues at the software manufacturer's Web site.
  • Uninstall or delete unwanted programs
  • Disable programs you don't use
  • Defragment your hard drive
  • Scan for viruses and spyware.
  • Reboot your computer and try loading the program again.
  • Contact your software’s manufacturer customer support

5. Internet Connectivity

6. Hardware Trouble

  • Determine that equipment has been assembled correctly
  • Confirm that your device is securely plugged in and receiving power.
  • Make sure any cables are plugged into the right spots on your computer.
  • Verify that hardware is turned on.
  • Look for error messages displayed.
  • Install or reinstall drivers for the device.
  • Confirm that you're using the latest drivers for your hardware.
  • Reboot your system and test the device again.
  • Consult the manufacturer's Web site or customer service for assistance.

6. System Failure

  • Confirm that your PC is plugged into an electrical outlet and receiving power
  • Try restoring your system.
  • Check to see if you have a memory problem.
  • Scan your hard drive for errors.
  • Look for driver problems.
  • Try advanced boot options and working in safe mode.
  • Did you just install a new hardware device or driver?
  • Repair your PC using the Startup Repair function (new in Vista).
  • Reinstall Windows.

Link to the original article is below. I would HIGHLY recommend reading it as it provides a number of useful links to instructions on how to perform these tasks. Don’t feel comfortable monkeying around with your computer in this way? Dash Technical Solutions can help you out. Just give us a call today!

Fix common PC problems

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General | System Maintenance

Add more memory to your computer

by Kaschimer 4. March 2010 10:24

Microsoft At Home

Does your computer seem to be slowing down? Have you added any programs lately that seem to make your computer crawl on its knees whenever you launch it? Well your problem *could* be that you need more RAM (memory). In this article from Microsoft at Home, you will learn how to do just that, and *hopefully* make your computer and that new application a little happier.

What is RAM, you ask? Well, this explanation from the article is probably the most intuitive I have seen, so I am including it here for your benefit:

If the hard drive is the filing cabinet in which you store your documents, then memory, or RAM (random access memory), is the table you work on. The easiest way to get more space is to add extra leaves.

  1. There are a few simple steps to take:
  2. Determine how much RAM you have and how much you need
  3. Figure out what type of RAM you require
  4. Buy it (of course)
  5. Install your new RAM

It’s not super difficult to do yourself. Like all things inside your computer, you have to take certain precautions, but it really is as simple as snapping the old memory out, and snapping the new memory in. Once you purchase your memory, it is usually about a 10 minute task to install.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, you can always call Dash Technical Solutions and we can help out.

I would suggest clicking through to the article, as there is a lot of good information that it provides for ensuring you purchase the correct kind, installation tips, etc.

Add more memory to your computer

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Productivity | General | System Maintenance

How do I install and configure Microsoft Security Essentials? - TechRepublic

by Kaschimer 19. February 2010 05:23

Microsoft Security Essentials So I have to say, I have tried a lot of different antivirus products because I believe that by knowing what your alternatives are, you can make a more informed decision. Such is the case with Microsoft Security Essentials. And I will tell you up front that this offering from Microsoft is just as good as any of the other more established antivirus/antispyware/antimalware companies out there.

From the product website:

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.

Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.

In this article on TechRepublic, Mark Kaelin walks you through the steps required to install and configure Microsoft Security Essentials.

Click the link to read more. And seriously, if you don’t have any kind of anti-something on your Windows system… please download and install this.

How do I install and configure Microsoft Security Essentials? | Microsoft Windows | TechRepublic.com

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Tools | System Maintenance

5 ways to speed up your PC

by Kaschimer 11. December 2009 04:49

Great article from Microsoft at Work

microsoft-at-work

Everyone forgets the basics, which is what this article is all about. Getting back to the basics of maintaining your computer.

By following a few simple guidelines, you can maintain your computer and keep it running smoothly. This article discusses how to use the tools available in Windows 7, Vista, and XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to more efficiently maintain your computer and safeguard your privacy when you're online.

I suggest reading through the whole article for the “hows”, but here are the “whats” summarized:

  1. Free Up Disk Space (Cleanup)
  2. Speed Up Access To Data (Defragment)
  3. Detect and Repair Disk Errors (Check Disk)
  4. Protect Your Computer Against Spyware
  5. Learn All About ReadyBoost (Vista and Windows 7 only)

Go read the article now. Especially now that the picture-taking season is upon us. You’re going to need your computer to be performing at it’s peak.

Want some help with this? Call Dash Technical Solutions today and we’ll be able to help you out!

5 ways to speed up your PC

 

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General | Productivity | System Maintenance

Put Your PC Maintenance Routine on Autopilot

by Kaschimer 22. July 2009 00:40

A good article from Microsoft at Home that describes how to keep your computer running in tip top shape. I routinely do what they suggest, and believe me, it does help… a lot. And automating is just one more way you can “set it and forget it”. An excerpt is below, but I suggest you take a look at the whole article as it will walk you through step-by-step on how to do this in Windows.

Create a preventive maintenance plan for your computer

When people notice their computer's performance slowing, the most common reason is the hard disk. Your computer's hard disk is a non-removable area that holds all the information available from your computer. Over time, hard disks begin to lose their ability to store data efficiently.

The Windows operating system provides three great tools to help keep your hard drive humming smoothly. These tools are Disk Cleanup, Disk Defragmenter, and Check Disk. Find more information about using these tools to optimize your PC.

Ideally, you should run these tools on the following schedule.

Preventive Maintenance Activity Recommended Frequency
Clean up the hard disk of temporary files Weekly
Rearrange (defragment) the hard disk Monthly
Check the hard disk for errors Weekly

Of course, who has the time (or the desire) to keep up with this schedule? The best solution is to let Windows do all of the work.

The Windows Scheduler Task Wizard allows you to set up and automate these tasks, so you never have to worry about them again.

Click on over to the site for more information

Put your PC maintenance routine on autopilot

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General | System Maintenance

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

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