Geek Tips

March 28, 2019

How to repair Windows 10 by doing an in-place upgrade

Are you getting lots of errors when you log into Windows 10? Are you not able to get the Start menu or File Explorer to open? If so, it may be time to repair Windows 10 by doing an in-place upgrade. Sometimes repairing Windows 10 can be a challenging endeavor. One time I had a Windows 10 system that the right-click mouse function would only work in certain situations. Another time, I had a Windows 10 system that File Explorer and the Start menu would not work. This was one of those times when you think that you are going to just have to wipe the drive and do a clean installation of Windows 10. But in both cases, I was able to repair Windows 10 while keeping all of the user’s documents, settings and installed programs. I just performed an in-place upgrade of Windows 10. Remember that if you […]
March 27, 2019
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My digital toolbox 3

[ad_1] When it comes to repairing computers, every technician has what I call a digital toolbox. It is software that they use for specific tasks, like finding information on hardware or cloning drives. So here is another installment of my digital toolbox. CPU-Z When it comes to finding the specifications of your motherboard, processor, etc., you could open your computers case and disassemble the components to get that information. Or you could just download and run CPU-Z. CPU-Z will display the all of the information on your CPU (Central Processing Unit), motherboard, memory and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). It can even benchmark your existing processor against preloaded reference CPU’s. I recently needed to find out what specific memory a laptop was running. Instead of tearing it down to look at the memory modules, I just ran CPU-Z. If you need to know the specifications of your computer’s hardware, CPU-Z is […]
March 26, 2019
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My four favorite free programs I always recommend

[ad_1] Being a computer repair technician, I get asked allot of questions. Quite a few of them are about what software do I recommend. And since I am frugal, I will usually suggest ones that are free. So here are my four (4) favorite free programs I always recommend. Free graphic programs When it comes to graphics, everyone knows about Photoshop. And you have probably heard the phrase ‘photoshopped’ before. Photoshop has become the leading image editor. But what if you cannot afford Photoshop? Well, there are other alternatives for image editing. And it just so happens that they are free too. Paint.NET Paint.NET started out as a free replacement for the Paint program that comes with Windows. But it has grown to be a top-line graphics editor that compares to Photoshop for all of its useful features. Paint.NET has quite the intuitive interface and includes support for layers, special […]
March 25, 2019
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Understanding long folder and file names in Windows

[ad_1] Did you know that there is a limit to how long a file name can be? Did you know that the folder name is also include in that limit? And what about the path? Let’s take a look at long folder and file names in Windows. I recently recovered files from several Windows based computers for a client. He asked that I put them onto an external drive for storage. But I ran into a problem, file names that were too long. Now allot of people think that the maximum length for the name of a File in Windows is 255 characters. But that is not really correct. Technically, Folders are also a File but with a special attribute designating it as a Folder. And Folder and Sub-Folder names are also included in the full File name. So, the actual File name also includes the Folder and Sub-Folder name(s) […]
March 25, 2019
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Understanding Windows 10 updates

[ad_1] In previous versions of Windows, we had service packs and critical / non-critical updates. But Microsoft changed all of that with Windows 10. To better understand Windows 10 updates, we need to take a closer look. With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft changed the concept of the Windows operating system. Microsoft calls it Windows as a Service. Basically, it is a new way to keep Windows 10 up to date. Now the terminology Microsoft uses can be a little confusing. But when you break it down, it is quite simple. Let’s start with the big picture, then work our way into the details. Now Microsoft has created two (2) different categories for updates: Feature and Quality. Now this is where things get a little confusing. When Windows 10 downloads updates, it refers to them by Version (Feature) and Build (Quality) In fact, everyone refers to Windows 10 by […]
March 24, 2019
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Overlooked features inside of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

[ad_1] Microsoft recently released the Fall Creators Update for Windows 10. As usual, Microsoft has added some pretty cool features in this version of Windows 10. Let’s take a look at some of the new overlooked features included in the Window 10 Fall Creators Update. There are a couple of new features that have gotten all sorts of publicity, the support of virtual reality headsets and mixed reality. But there are a few new features that have gotten passed over. Make a movie using the Photos app Creating a video using the Windows 10 Photo app This feature is reminiscent of the old Windows Movie Maker program. You just select some pictures and videos, set up the different parameters and then export your video out. A one of the coolest features in that you can add either predefined generic music or use your own. Another is the predefined themes that […]
March 23, 2019
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How to handle a tech scam

[ad_1] It happens to all of us. You get a pop-up on your computer screen or a phone call telling you that your computer is infected. More than likely it is bogus. So here is how to handle a tech scam. Tech scams have evolved over the years. They first started out as random phone calls, but have quickly progressed to using pop-ups in web browsers. And the one thing they all have in common is that they try to scare you. Who hasn’t gotten a phone call from someone saying they are from Microsoft or Windows Support. At one point in time, I was getting 2-3 per week. But they started to slow down when Microsoft started to prosecute companies for using their company name. So, then they started to use ads on websites to scare you. Since the majority of ad networks do not actively monitor the ads […]
March 23, 2019
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What is the Microsoft Garage?

[ad_1] Have you ever wondered where some of the ideas for Microsoft programs come from? You know, the apps that are on the cutting edge. There is good chance they started out in the Microsoft Garage. The Microsoft Garage is a platform for Microsoft employees to explore new technologies and get their ideas moving in the right direction. Some of the projects succeed and some fail. But one thing is for sure, they are some of the coolest apps around. First thing you should know is all of the projects are called experiments and are run by one or more Microsoft employees in their spare time. Some are open to the general public and some are by invitation only. You have to remember that these experiments are strictly just beta tests. Once an experiment is complete, you can no longer download it. But it is a great opportunity to give […]
March 21, 2019
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What you can do with an ISO file

[ad_1] Have you ever downloaded an ISO file and did not know what to do with it? More and more software companies are now distributing their software using ISO files. Here is what you can do with an ISO file. Nowadays, it seems like everyone is starting to use ISO files for distributing software. In fact, ISO files are just an image of a CD or DVD disk. You commonly see them used to deliver software that is bootable. Now really quick, ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization. They have a set standard (ISO 9660) for the file system used for optical disks (CD, DVD, BD, etc.). Even Microsoft is now using ISO files for distributing Windows. If you download Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 from Microsoft, you will get the option of downloading an ISO file. But once you download the ISO file, what can you […]
March 20, 2019
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How to make your computer look and run like brand-new

[ad_1] For most people, there is nothing better than a brand-new computer. But of course, you cannot get a new computer every few months. But you can get that same feeling. Here is how to make your computer look and run like brand-new. For most of us, getting a brand-new computer every year is not financially possible. It would be nice, but realistically it is out of the question. But with a little work, you can get that brand-new feeling from your existing computer. Looking brand-new Perception is everything. If it looks new to you, it will feel new to you. And with a little cleaning and maybe a couple hardware changes, it can look brand-new. First place to start is with the keyboard. Most keyboards are black and will show dirt and grim like no tomorrow. You will be amazed at how a good cleaning will make it appear […]