Stay Virus Free – Follow These Simple Steps

Stay Virus Free – Follow These Simple Steps

  1. Watch out for Scam Emails – We are seeing an increase in Fake Office365 emails requesting you to reset your password, or allocate more space. If you hover over the link they provide (without clicking it) you will see that the url does not look legit. The same applies for Docusign, UPS, Fedex etc. Delete these emails.
  2. Treat Pop-Ups Correctly. DO NOT HIT THE “X”. Simply hit ALT-F4 or CTRL-W to close the pop up. If you hit the X you can activate a virus.
  3. If the whole screen is taken up and ATL F4 does not work, then hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, bring up the task manager, select the offending program and End-Task.

After these type of pop ups it is a good idea to do a disk cleanup.

 

I have including a video which goes through these in more detail

More Info on our website

 

Happy Surfing!

Worried About Losing Emails and Contacts? – Backup Your Outlook Now

This week I had a number of customer’s coming to the store who had lost all of their emails and contacts, even though they were backing up.

The problem is that they had not backed up their Outlook correctly.

If you use Outlook (even if you use Exchange), you should do a weekly backup of your Outlook.

Here are the correct steps

In Outlook, click on File, then Open & Export.

 

  1. Left Click on Open/Export.

 

  1. Left Click ” Export to a file”.

 

  1. Left Click “Next”.

 

  1. Left Click on “Outlook Data File (.pst).

 

  1. NEXT STEP IS IMPORTANT – Outlook defaults to the “inbox” and if you do not change this, the only thing that will get backed up is your in-box. Move the slider to go all the way to the top and left click on your email address right at the top.

 

  1. Make sure that the box is checked that says “include subfolders”.

 

  1. Left Click on Next.

 

  1. Now you will get a chance to change the path where you want it backed up to (like to an external) The default is C:Users”username”DocumentsOutlook Filesackup.pst.

 

  1. You can also change the name of the file to include the date “backup080216.pst” so that you can have multiple backups

 

We have also prepared a Video for you if you find it easier http://www.impresscomputers.com/Resources/How-To-Videos/How-to-Backup-Outlook-Data-File

 

Then make sure you keep copies on a flash drive or USB external drive USB Flash Drives http://www.impresscomputers.com/c/Computer-Parts/Memory/USB-Drives

USB External Hard Drives http://www.impresscomputers.com/c/Computer-Parts/Hard-Drives/External/Ultra-Portable-25-USB

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Daniel, Roy or Michael on 281-647-9977

 

Have a great week

 

Roland

Checking Your Hard Drive and RAM (Memory) On Your PC

We have had a lot of customers come in recently that were getting confused between running out of Memory and Running out of Hard Drive Space.

You Hard Drive is where all Data and Programs are stored on a permanent basis. If you want to check out how much of your hard drive you are using click on the following
1. Left Click “Start”, then left click on “Computer” (In Windows 10 just Type “computer” in the search)
2. Right Click on Your Local Disk (C:) and left click on Properties
3. You should always have more that 10% Free Space otherwise your computer will slow down.

You can free up space by doing a Disk Cleanup whilst you are in this position – just click on the “disk cleanup” icon to the right of the Hard Drive Chart then check the boxes and hit OK

This will also clean out the temporary Internet folders, which is Important, as most of the Bad Guys tend to hide in that location, causing pop ups etc. Doing this on a regular basis is a good idea.

Memory
To see how much memory you have installed and are using you can either hit CTRL-ALT-DEL or right click on the bottom bar and left click on the Windows Task Manager, then click on the Performance Tab.
The Total Memory is the Total Installed Memory in Your PC
Cached Memory is data that has been fetched into memory during the current session, but is no longer in use.
Free Memory is Memory that is free for use immediately.

If you do not have enough Free Memory your computer will slow down.

You will either need to
a. Close Programs
b. Restart Your PC

If you continuously run out of Free Memory then you will either need to add more memory or you may have spyware running in the background.

To find out how much memory your computer will hold use one of our memory Finders
http://www.impresscomputers.com/Resources/Memory-Finder

If you want to watch a Video on the above this can be found on our website
http://www.impresscomputers.com/Resources/How-To-Videos/Difference-Between-Hard-Drive-and-Ram

I hope you found this useful and if you would like to add more memory or a bigger hard drive you can always come by the store and ask for Roy, Daniel or Michael and they will help guide you in the right direction.

Have a great Week

Roland
281-647-9977

5 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Using Battery Backups

With the storm that blew through last night I thought it prudent to highlight some big mistakes that people have made when connecting UPS’ (Battery Backups).

We actually had multiple cases in the past two weeks where improper use of battery backups caused issues and downtime.

First off, let me stress that EVERY Computer and EVERY network device (switches, routers and modems) should be connected to a UPS. It does not help you if your server and your workstation stay up during a power outage/fluctuation if the device that connects them goes out.

The same must be stressed about your phone system. Businesses can lose tons of money when their phone system goes down for a period of time.

So to minimize downtime, protect the electrical equipment and extend the life of your computers you should ALWAYS use a UPS.

Having said that, improper use of battery backups can cause problems.

Here are the biggest mistakes.
1. DO NOT CONNECT A LASER PRINTER TO YOUR UPS. Laser printers draw too much power and can drain the battery in the UPS quickly. When that happens it shuts down your computer. We had a company last week that was having problems whenever they printed their PC shut Off. Our techs discovered that an employee had connected the copier to the UPS! Use a surge protector, not your UPS.

2. CONNECT YOUR PC TO THE BATTERY/SURGE OUTLET. Seems simple enough, but we received calls last week from companies in the Cinco Ranch area saying that their computer shut down when the electricity went off even though the PCs were connected to a new UPS. We discovered that they had connected the computers to the SURGE only side. UPS have 2 sides, one that has battery and surge and one that only has surge. Peripheral devices can be connected to the surge, but your Computers, Monitor, Switches, Modems and Routers should be connected to the Battery Side.

3. REPLACE YOUR UPS EVERY 3 YEARS. We received a call a few days ago from a company that their computer was coming up with a low battery warning and then it shut the computer down. It turns out that the battery in the UPS was faulty and the UPS software then shut the PC down. Every time the UPS takes a jolt in electricity it suffers some damage. Keeping old UPS’ around is a bad idea. The cost of the UPS is a fraction of the cost of a new computer or server, not to mention the cost of down time. SO replace your UPS every 3 years.

4. INSTALL THE SOFTWARE THAT COMES WITH YOUR UPS AND CONNECT THE USB CABLE. Most UPS’ these days come with management software and a USB cable, but seldom do people actually take the time to install it or connect it to the computer or sever. There are 2 advantages for doing this.
a. If the power goes out for an extended period of time the software will correctly shut your computer down instead of just killing the power to it when the battery dies.
b. We can use that software to test the UPS and receive other warnings.

5. CONNECT EVERY NETWORK DEVICE TO A UPS INCLUDING YOUR PHONE SYSTEM EQUIPMENT AND YOUR NAS BACKUPS DEVICES. We have seen database corruptions occur because the company failed to connect the switches to a UPS. They had multiple computers connected to a server and when the power went off they ended up corrupting the database. a basic 350va UPS is sufficient for most of these networking devices and only costs $42.

If you would like more information on UPS’ please contact Roy, Daniel or Mike on 281-647-9977, or come by the store on 21733 Provincial Blvd Katy TX 77450 and we will be happy to give you free advice.

For a list of current UPS/Battery Backups that we hold in stock please visit our website
http://www.impresscomputers.com/c/Computer-Parts/UPS-Battery-Backup

Have a great week

Roland

To DeFrag or Not DeFrag That is The Question

Following on from our email last week about hard drives we had a lot of questions regarding whether you should Defragment Your Hard Drives and how often you should do it.

1. Why Should You Defrag You Hard Drive?
When your Computer writes data to your hard drive it does so in BLOCKS that are ordered sequentially from one side of the drive’s platter to the other. Fragmentation happens when those files get split between blocks that are far away from each other.

The Hard Drive then takes longer to read that file because the read head has to visit multiple spots on the platter.

Defragmentation puts those blocks back in sequential order, so your drive head doesn’t have to run around the entire platter to read a single file.

2. IF YOU HAVE A SOLID STATE HARD DRIVE DO NOT DEFRAG.
SSD or Solid State hard drives don’t use a spinning platter so it isn’t necessary and running the defrag will actually REDUCE THE LIFE SPAN of your SSD drive

3. When to Defrag a Hard Drive
Windows 7 and Windows 8/10 automatically defragment your hard drives for you on a schedule, so you shouldn’t have to worry about it yourself. To make sure everything’s running smoothly, open up the Start menu or Start screen and type “defrag.” Open up Windows’ Disk Defragmenter and make sure it’s running on a schedule as intended. It should tell you when it was last run and whether your drives have any fragmentation.

Note: A lot of you are finding that Windows 7’s “automatic” defrag leaves a lot to be desired. All the more reason you should check in with Disk Defragmenter every once in a while and make sure it’s doing its job! Windows 8 seems to be much better about running it regularly.

For more information on your hard drive, check out this video
http://www.impresscomputers.com/Resources/How-To-Videos/Difference-Between-Hard-Drive-and-Ram

This Week’s Special
10% Off all Hard Drives, Including SSD Drives and USB External Drives
http://www.impresscomputers.com/c/Computer-Parts/Hard-Drives

If you have any questions please contact Roy, Daniel or Mike Stegall for more information

Have a great week

Roy
281-647-9977

You Need to Make a Choice on Windows 10. Read This

Over the weekend we had many enquiries on how to prevent Windows 10 from

Installing.

To make your life easier I have put a page on our website which shows you

how to prevent Windows 10 from installing

You can find the instructions here

http://www.impresscomputers.com/Resources/Tips/Windows-10-How-to-prevent-it-from-Installing

Time is running out on the Windows 10 Free installs as Microsoft will end

the promotion at the end of July, so it is important to make a decision one

way or the other

There are a couple of things to remember:-

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer will expire on July 29th 2016. If you think

that you may want Windows 10, now is the time to do the upgrade.

  1. If you decide that you do want Windows 10 you need to ensure that all

your programs are Windows 10 compatible along with other hardware like

printers and the internal components inside your computer.

  1. If your computer is more than 3 years old and running Windows 7 you are

more likely to experience issues.

  1. If your DO NOT want Windows 10 then your need to :-

A: – Run this program from our website

http://www.impresscomputers.com/Resources/Tips/Windows-10-How-to-prevent-it-from-Installing

B:- Bring your computer in:-

i)Windows 7 Will continue being supported by Microsoft until January 25 2020

ii)Windows 8 will continue being supported until January 10 2023

IMPRESS COMPUTERS WILL RUN THE SCRIPT TO PREVENT WINDOWS 10 FROM INSTALLING

FOR FREE WITH ANY COMPUTER BROUGHT IN FOR A TUNE-UP

http://www.impresscomputers.com/Services/Computer-Tune-Up-in-Houston-and-Katy-TX

With your Tune-Up we will also include the following 10 step process”-

Test Your Hard Drive.

  1. Test Your Memory.
  2. Test Your Motherboard.
  3. Verify your AntiVirus.
  4. Optimizing Your Startup.
  5. Remove unwanted programs.
  6. Clean the PC.

8.Enable Security Functions.

9.Removing basic malware and spyware.

  1. Run the script to prevent Windows 10 from installing.

 

If Windows 10 was installed and you want it removed we can also do this for

you. Sometimes the reversal process does not go according to plan so we have

3 options:-

Basic Reversal – This includes a Tune Up – $70.

More Complex – Windows is corrupted – We do the reversal and repair

Windows for the Windows Repair Fee of $129.

Worst Case – We have to do a Backup Wipe and Reload of the Original

Operating System for $149.

This week will be busy, so I recommend bringing in your computer as early as

possible if you would like us to do any of the above options.

 

Regards

 

Roland

281-647-9977

 

Impress Computers Expands Technical and Service Department to better suit your needs

Rapid growth in the Katy and West Houston area has attracted thousands of new residents and businesses, leading to expansive development across multiple industries. One principal region of growth has been the IT sector, will new residents and businesses all requiring computer maintenance and support. Impress Computers, a well reputed computer store with hundreds of five star reviews, has been a primary recipient of this growth. In recent months they have expanded not only their customer base, but also their team of employees.Mike Stallings

Bringing his wealth of experience from 18 years of corporate networking and problem solving to the team is Michael Stallings. Mike is a certified professional who has spent most of his career working as an IT technician in the medical, oil and gas, and real estate industries. He started his IT career path working in the cell phone, paging and two way radio arena diagnosing, repairing and aligning equipment. Michael brings many years’ experience as a customer support senior analyst as well as a systems administrator. Many have described Michael as a perfectionist as he strives to pull off the unthinkable when repairing hardware or software as well as optimizing performance of workstations, peripherals, and networking systems.

Roger Bequette

In order to meet the demands of their commercial sales growth, Impress has brought in Roger Bequette. Roger is a business growth coordinator, and has spent his last 10 years as the vice president of Smartmoves Cost Reduction Systems Inc., where his expertise and outgoing attitude led to increased sales and satisfied customers.

 

Kurt McClean

Rounding out the IT department is Kurt McClean, an IT consultant with over 20 years of experience. His primary focus lies in providing remote maintenance and network configurations for business environments, and he plans to use his knowledge in this area to further develop Impress’s flourishing remote support side.

Kurt and Michael will add to compliment of technical talent at Impress Computers. Konstantin and Hazem welcome them aboard

Daniel Storch

Finally, the newest member of staff is Daniel Storch. Daniel is a sales associate with experience in diagnostics, computer repairs, and over 8 years of experience in customer service. While at home, he spends most of his time gaming on his own custom built PC, and has been called upon numerous times to help build, repair, and maintain the computers of his close friends and family.

Impress’s focus over the last few years has been to deliver high quality solutions with a friendly smile. In pursuit of this goal, Impress has built a team of warm, capable staff members who genuinely care about their client’s happiness. It is this customer focused culture that has been the key to Impress’s sucsess as they strive forward into the New Year.

Sales Team

If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact me at any time

My Cell is 713-724-5858 

Roland Parker

Important Read – Steps You Need To Take Protect Your Data from being Encrypted

Over the past month we have seen another surge of infections by Cryptowall, WHICH WILL ENCRYPT ALL OF YOUR DATA.

This is a serious problem that you cannot ignore. We have seen customer’s lose month’s and years worth of data because they were not protected!

 

The most common cause is the user clicking on an attachment in an email that contains an executable file. IT IS EXTEREMLY IMPORTANT TO VIEW ALL ATTACHMENTS WITH SUSPICION

Servers are being infected over the network after a user clicked on a file.

CAN YOU AFFORD THE DOWNTIME AND POSSIBLE LOSS OF DATA?

You need to be aware of this problem and take evasive action.

 

With the elevated threat of the Cryptowall, it is essential to have in place some kind of protection and a  backup plan in case you get hit.

 

​CALL IMPRESS COMPUTERS NOW TO GET PROTECTED TODAY 281-647-9977

What is Cryptowall? 

Cryptowall is a new kind of Virus, it has been around for about 24 months in the mainstream “market”. What this virus does is encrypt all the data stored on your computer and any devices attached to it, such as a USB external hard drive, NAS drive etc. There are 2 keys that are needed to decrypt your files, the 1st one is stored on your computer. The 2nd key is stored on a server somewhere on the internet. The only way to get this key is to pay a ransom to the virus makers. Ransom must be paid in a digital currency called Bitcoin. In short, if you are encrypted the ransom  will cost about $1500 after all fees and  commissions are paid.

Why didn’t my Anti-Virus  pick this up? 

The easiest answer, the encryption software that they use is technically not a Virus. It is a standard encryption software that is similar to software being used by Norton and some backup hard drives. The 2nd Key is witheld until the ransom is fully paid.

How can I protect myself better?

A good solution is to get Impress Computers to install Anti-Cryptowall Software.

for a  One time fee of $25

This can all be done remotely and only takes about 15-20 mins to set up.

Secondly BACKUP Your Data.

I cannot stress this enough.

You should have at least 2 forms of backup to your data in addition to what is stored on your computer / server.

1. Local Backup in the form of a ultra portable USB Drive, 3.5″ External Hard Drive or a NAS Drive. You can also use automated software like Backup4AllPro to make it easier for you.

2. Offsite backup from CrashPlanPro.

 

REMEMBER – If a drive is connected after you received the infection the backup drive could be infected as well. IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONTACT US AS SOON AS YOU SEE ANYTHING LIKE THIS….

 

Call Impress Computers today on 281-647-9977 to get protected.

If you are not sure if your computer was affected, bring it in for a FREE Inspection

IMPRESS Computers
281-647-9977
Email: roland@impresscomputers.com  //  Website: http://www.impresscomputers.com

Local Company Offers Solution to Crypto-locker Virus

CryptoLocker is a deadly Trojan horse virus that has been crippling business and home computers for the last two years. Recently, it’s propagation through infected machines and a botnet has enabled Crypto to evolve into a greater, more prolific problem than ever before.

 

Crypto isn’t just any mundane virus however, once on a machine it completely shuts out the user. It spreads incredibly quickly through seemingly safe areas, such as a user’s dropbox or even an email from a friend. Although the virus itself is easily removed, it requires only a small amount of time to encrypt important files on local and mounted network drives.

 

This renders the machine completely inoperable and files cannot be accessed without the code to unlock them. The code, of course, is held at ransom by the criminal organization propagating the virus. With the rapid rise of Crypto infections in recent months, it has become vital to businesses and individuals with valuable data to protect themselves. Most users feel secure with a backup in place and antivirus software on their system, however Crypto completely rips through these. Most antiviruses are unable to pick up that Crypto is even on the machine before it encrypts all the data, and a normal backup will just get encrypted when it backs up – rendering the backup completely useless as well! A local computer company, Impress Computers, is one of the few companies in the Katy-Houston area offering a real solution to deal with the threat of CryptoLocker.

 

A proper defense against Crypto will take a two-fold approach. The first step involves the installation of CryptoPrevent, a software designed specifically to prevent infection by CryptoLocker. This software is constantly updated and provides the best protection on the market. The next step is to shift from a normal backup system, which is vulnerable to encryption, to an incremental backup. With an incremental backup such as Crash Plan Pro, a user can select to go back to a date prior to infection and completely negate the effects of Crypto.

 

In a world where viruses such as Crypto have become a common sight, it has become increasingly more and more important to have multiple layers of defense. The solution offered by Impress Computers offers just that, providing not only protection, but peace of mind. – See more at: http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/659856-1453852116-local-company-offers-solution-to-cryptolocker-virus.html#sthash.j4JHYvP2.dpuf

Server Migration Giving You a Headache?

In a world where a few hours of downtime can lose a company thousands of dollars, the thought of shutting down an entire company just to change out an old piece of hardware does not appeal to most businesses. Upgrading servers to keep up with the times is mandatory however, and nobody does it better than Impress Computers. This growing business is taking over the Katy and West Houston server industry through the sheer force of their high quality service.

 

Part of the service they provide for their clients involves a one-on-one meeting in which the client and a knowledgeable staff member analyze the demands that will be placed on the server. This is an important step because it ensures that the server is able to meet the needs of the client while maintaining cost effectiveness. Impress brings in everything from $1200 to $10,000 models, including the Lenovo TS140, TS440, TD440 and RD530

 

The TS440 utilizes a variety of useful features aimed at reducing or eliminating server downtime. First and foremost on this list is insurance that the server won’t experience a loss of power during a storm or power surge. To do this, the server operates with two hot-swappable power supplies running at half power. If one shuts down or fails, the other one just runs at a normal rate until a new power supply is installed. To take this one step further, Impress recommends that each power supply receives its own Uninterrupted Power Supply unit. In the event of a power-cut, the server will be able to continue running for hours.

 

It also supports a Raid 10 system with its four hot-swappable hard drive slots. Raid 10 is arguably one of the best storage methods for small to medium sized servers, as it creates a backup set of the data as it writes. If a hard drive fails, the server immediately switches to using the backup copy. These two features work together to protect the business from any data disruption or downtime in the event of hardware failure or even power loss.

 

It is this careful attention to detail that sets Impress apart from other server vendors in the area. They don’t just provide a generic machine, they deliver a secure server with integrated fail-safes and parts specifically geared to fit the needs of the client. – See more at: http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/659857-1453852614-server-migration-giving-you-a-headache.html#sthash.BvaHIobv.dpuf