Reconditioned Dell PC, Milton Keynes A few ideas and suggestions for Microsoft Windows users in Milton Keynes to keep you up and running economically:-

Antivirus: I use Kaspersky, which you can get from Amazon. Remember that any 'warnings' or 'updates' that appear when you are surfing are probably fake; just close your browser. Have a look at Avoiding Viruses and Scams. See reviews at AV-Test.

Adware: These are programs designed to throw adverts in your face. Some people call them Pups (Potentially Unwanted Programs). Remove them by running both adwcleaner and Malwarebytes, as well as a full scan with your antivirus program. Also, reset your browsers to Factory Settings. If you still have a problem after that, consider reinstalling Windows 7 (after backing up your files) or Refreshing Windows 8 (which preserves your files). Alternatively install an alternative browser like Opera.

Bluray Movies: You can watch them only if you have a bluray player in your PC and bluray capable software such as Cyberlink PowerDVD, available from Amazon. Really its better and cheaper just to get a bluray player for your TV.

Broadband: Check your speed at www.fast.com. See if you can get fibre broadband at Openreach.

Browsers: You can download Opera or Google Chrome from www.ninite.com. If you are concerned about privacy or are driven nuts by adverts, download Epic browser; this also includes a proxy server icon on the address bar to hide your IP address.

Chinese Characters: Here's a good guide: Window7ChineseSetup.pdf

Common Symbols and Accents...

Data recovery methods ...

  1. Download Knoppix to a CD or an 8GB memory stick on a good computer, then use it to boot your bad PC. Copy your data to an external hard drive or memory stick. Good for small recoveries.
  2. Or: Remove the hard drive and use an HDD caddy to connect it to an Apple Mac which has Paragon NTFS installed. Copy your data to the Mac and then on to say a memory stick. Good for most recoveries.
  3. Or: Remove the hard drive and use an HDD caddy to connect it to a PC. This is not an ideal solution as Windows will try to give you permission to access the files and this process may cause the HDD to fail.
  4. Or: If the data cannot be read, use an HDD caddy to connect to a good PC that has data recovery software, like MiniTool installed.
  5. Alternatively, PcFix can usually recover your data for you in Milton Keynes for £45 to £70.

Design Software: Try DraftSight from Dassault Systems. It's like AutoCAD but free. You can download it from: www.3ds.com

Disposing of a working PC whilst preserving your privacy: ...

  1. Copy your data onto a memory stick or external hard drive.
  2. Uninstall any programs that are licensed to you, e.g. iTunes, Microsoft Office, Kaspersky etc.
  3. Create a new user called say 'User' without a password from the Control Panel and set him as an administrator.
  4. Log out as you, then log in as the new user.
  5. Delete your old user choosing the option to delete the files as well.
  6. Download ccleaner free and use its Drive Wiper tool to 'wipe free space only'. This may take a few hours.
  7. You can now safely sell your old PC.

Disposing of a non-working PC: Remove and retain the hard drive. Dispose of the tower or laptop at your tip or carboot.

Email: If possible, use gmail through your browser, alternatively use your email provider's website. If you have to use an email client, download Thunderbird via www.ninite.com.

Note: Windows Live Mail, Windows Mail and Outlook Express are obsolete. The Windows 10 Mail app and Outlook.com are not a suitable replacement and may not work fully with your email provider.

File Transfer Service: If your attachments are too big for an email, you can use wetransfer.com.

Firewall: This prevents unauthorised access to your PC. Chances are your router has one, and there is one built in to Windows. No need to buy another.

Google Chrome: Well and away the most popular browser. To avoid irritations like Google Doodles:

  1. Open Settings and change your Home Page to duckduckgo.com for, say, the first three tabs.
  2. Open Extensions, install Adblock Pro.
  3. Consider changing your Search Engine in settings to DuckDuckGo.

Graphics for Websites: If you look after a lot of websites, it is worth subscribing to Adobe Photoshop. However, if you only look after a few, Adobe Photoshop Elements will do the job. Buy a copy and see my tips.

iPod: To copy music from your iPod to your Windows PC you need Sharepod. It costs about £16.

Flowcharts: Go for Gliffy. It's like Visio but free. Get drawing at www.gliffy.com. You can export diagrams in a number of formats, or you can use Snip in Windows 7 or Grab on Mac to capture your new diagram and paste it into another document.

Microsoft Money 2005 UK: if you have mislaid your CD or you do not have a CD drive, you can download it.

Microsoft Outlook Tips ...

Microsoft Outlook: Copying contacts to a new PC.

Microsoft Outlook: Copying data to a new PC.

Microsoft Outlook: Not working? ...

  1. Try Microsoft Help which includes using scanpst tool.
  2. Try repairing Office Microsoft Office Repair.
  3. Third party tool to repair pst file from Kernel Data Recovery.
  4. Consider switching to gmail instead. Much more robust.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar shared across multiple devices?  
  1. Create a new email address at outlook.com, e.g. fred@outlook.com
  2. Add your new email account to Outlook on your PC.
  3. Install Outlook app on your tablet and phone, then add your new Outlook account to it.

Microsoft Support (e.g. for Outlook or Windows): Need to speak to them?

Networking: Direct connection between two PCs with a crossover cable.

Office Work: You can download Libre Office for free. It has a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. It is compatible with Microsoft Office and Visio, and can be used to create PDFs; great tool. Alternatively, you can also buy Microsoft Office 2016 very cheaply from Amazon.

Partition Editing: Sometimes PC suppliers partition your hard drive incorrectly. So, if your D: drive is largely unused and your C: drive is over 60% full, you might want to make C: bigger. Partition Wizard is the tool to use and its free.

Photo Editing: Just visit PixLr and start editing your photos online for free.

Search Engine: Use www.duckduckgo.com for better and cleaner search results.

USB3 Ports: Are much faster than USB2, but how many do you have?

Video to PC: Normally you can connect your video camera to your PC with a USB cable and then access the content via Windows Live Movie Maker. If this does not work for you, then you may need to get this Honestech VHS to DVD kit. Have a look at Black Cat's professional service.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): If you want to appear to be located in a different country to access their local TV content, or to help preserve your privacy, you need to use a VPN. Probably the easiest one to try is Avast SecureLine. It is free for a week. Once installed, you can see if its working simply by looking at the adverts that Google serve up as they will be from your new 'country'. You can also check by visiting whatismyipaddress. See this VPN guide.

Windows 7, 8 or 8.1: If you have to reinstall, you will find that the update process is broken or ridiculously slow. For a workaround, see here. Unless your PC is a Sony or Samsung, it is best to replace these versions of Windows with Windows 10 (normally free) or with Linux Mint (always free) after recovering your data.

For an appointment in or around Milton Keynes, call David & Margaret 01908 317575.

© PcFix, 2014.