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PC Tips Townsville

For all your computer tips for desktop computers, laptops, printers, software, modems, cleaning, this is the place to be.

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Desktop Computers
Computer or PC cleaning is straight forward where you do not have to get in there with a shovel or chisel just to clean it. Although some of them look like you should have to, the reality is that it is just dust build up around the fans, air vents, hard drives and motherboard.
All this constitutes to heat and when it comes to computers, they hate heat. Smooth air flow and free flowing fans is the priority here and to make sure you get a long life out of you computer, a regular clean will be required.

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No matter how clean your house is, computers will find the dust so every three to six months, consider using a screwdriver to open your computer’s side panel or both. With a can of compressed air (available at any computer store), clean the dust buildup out of the fans and the case making sure you get in and around the components like the hard drives, DVD drives and memory. For hard to remove dust, which is usually encrusted on the fan blades, use an old toothbrush (Not when it is wet) and gently rub the remaining dust off. Blow the interior of the computer again with the compressed air and put the case back together. When screwing the sides back on, when the screws just get tight enough, stop as you may strip the threading on the case.

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You can do the same with the keyboard where gently cleaning between the keys with the toothbrush will loosen the buildup and then gently blow out the dust and then tip it upside down and give some very gently taps on the bench to shake out the remain grime and dust. While cleaning the mouse is easy, you will still have to be careful on the sprays you use where household detergents could damage the laser encasing and deteriorate the plastic mould. The same care must be remembered for you monitor screen as well. Going down to a computer shop, they will have the right cleaning fluid for your type of monitor so it doesn't do any damage. When cleaning the monitor, remember to turn it off as you will be able to see the smudges and marks more easily.

To add to insult, don't forget the desk and shelves and chairs. All make for a clean and healthy environment.

Never use electronic machines that blow air. The static discharge could cause damage to your computer

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Laptops are a little bit more tricky where opening them up is not so easy sometimes. There are ways, though, that will clean about 80% of the dust from your laptop. The majority of the inside should be relatively dust free but those little vents on the sides and underneath do allow some particles to get in.
With a small screwdriver, or even a jewellery screw driver, undo the small panel on the base of your laptop. This should expose where the memory and perhaps the wireless card sits. If you have two areas of panels, the second is most likely where the hard drive is hiding.

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Now don't just go blowing air straight away because we have to do one step first. With the panels removed underneath, this allows air to flow through so with the can of compressed air, at an angle, start blowing the vents on the sides and underneath. By doing it sideways, your blowing the dust back into the laptop. This should only take a few seconds and from this point, you can start directing the air through the vents. Keeping the laptop off of the surface, you will see the dust emanating through the exposure in the panels. Apart from entirely opening the base of the laptop, this is a quick and easy method with without the hassle of damaging anything inside. Once done, very, and we repeat, very gently use the compressed air in the opening panels while making sure you don't bump anything.

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As for the keyboard and screen, follow the same methods as you would for the desktop computer. Be a little more gently as the keys on the laptop keyboard are a little more delicate when using the compressed air.

File recovery
File Recovery
File recovery is one of the most difficult areas of computer work anyone can do. Time consuming, boring and then there is the sorting out of all the files and folders. Windows, though, does have a backup. This is called the recycle bin.

Recycle bin
Unfortunately, we can't guide you through the process in doing data recovery as that would take a long time and it is a specialist area but by following these guides, we can save you the anguish of losing items that you might not know how to recover.

Windows empty recycle bin
As you know, right clicking and selecting delete will place the item in the recycle bin but also highlighting the item on hover and pressing the delete key will do the same thing. This is your backup as you may want it back later on. In doing this, you can select the file, right click and select restore. If the folder in which the file was in has been deleted, Windows will automatically create a folder called restore. This is usually done in the directory you had the original file. From here, you can copy and paste. The recommended time frame to empty the recycle bin has been determined at once every two months but this is up to you of cause. Once emptied, you thus regain disk space for more photos and music.

Virus removal
Virus Removal
We all have had one or more over the years and yes, they are nasty and most annoying. We're not talking about Covid or the flu but computer virus's. Here is a sticky one where you might be asking, what is the difference between a virus and malware?

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Not much really as both have a purpose in either trying to gain money out of you or blatantly destroying your computer. This is where anti-virus programs come in. If you are on Windows, Denlyn Computers recommends a paid version of an anti-virus like Kaspersky, Norton, Bullguard and many others out there. If you are on Linux, they are not so safe either. Not as bad as Windows but still at risk.
Your anti-virus will be doing a lot of work in the background to protect your files and folders and computer. In saying that it is essential to make sure it is up to date and working properly. If they need something done, they will always have a little warning sign over their icon on the taskbar.

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If you feel you have been infected or you simply want to do a scan for peace of mind, We recommend downloading Malwarebytes Free as that will do a very good job as detecting anything that shouldn't be there. Allow it to do a full scan and also doing a regular scan with your anti-virus is recommended at least once every three months. If you are still having problems, turn your computer off from power point and call Denlyn Computers.

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Software Updates
How many times have you been caught out with an update making certain things not working on your computer? We have been there too.

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Sometimes programs misbehave because they haven't been updated in such a longtime that they simply don't work anymore. This is because quite a few people have a bad habit of not updating their system not because they don't care but because they forget about it. This includes Windows, Linux, MacOS and not to mention your Office apps. Thankfully, most of the programs nowadays have built in reminders and other programs like Kaspersky have update reminders and you can even add to their list.

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There are programs out there that are called "Drive Booster" or "Driver Easy" that cause more problems than they are worth so it would be wise to avoid these programs. Always rely on the app itself as the creators of the programs update them when needed and they inform you via their app or program. But if you are having a problem with updating or installing a software driver, call us today and let us have a go.

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Device Drivers
In most instances, Windows will update the hardware drivers for you. As long as they have the drivers from the manufacturers.

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Sometimes you will be confronted with a problem of a hardware part misbehaving and the first place everyone should look is in the Device Manager of Windows 10/11. This is where all the hardware is listed that is connected to your computer and in saying that, you might come across a little warning symbol. This is telling you that the item is not currently working. Don't panic yet, as there could be a logical reason for this being so. Right clicking on the item in question, click on "Update Driver" and then click on the "Search automatically for drivers". This will search the Windows databases for updates that they have and if none appear, then you will have to go to the manufacturers website to see if they have any updates.

Image of Windows device manager
Just remember, the manufacturers will not support the hardware forever and if this is the case, then new hardware will be required. Another method is to use the compatibility option which may give you some extended time until you can afford the replacement. You should always make sure that your device drivers are properly updated. Not only will this keep your computer in good operating condition, it can save it from potentially expensive problems down the line. Neglecting device drivers are a common cause of serious computer problems that can impact other devices on your computer. If you are having problems and do not know how to solve them, call us today.

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Hard Drives
As we have covered a little bit with cleaning your computer, laptop and monitor, we still have to look at your your hard drives.

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The problem here isn't the hard drives but what is stored in them. As we all know, the hard drive is what keeps our information intact and in order but here are the words.
"In Order"
Just think of it like you would with your knives and forks draw in your kitchen. Here you have a draw with sections, usually in the form of a tray organizer and here we will see teaspoons, forks, knives, and spoons all in their individual areas. Neat and tidy isn't it!

Image of fragmented hard drive
The hard drive in your computer is the same where you will have documents and pictures and videos and looking in the Windows folder, you will see how Microsoft has ordered all their files and folders. Now, inside each of your Documents and Pictures and Video folders, you will notice how they are in a disarray where you will have all of your files scattered all over the place. See where we are getting at?
If you have an old Sata hard drive, this will end up getting cluttered in an unsorted way. This is where fragmentation steps in. Over time, Windows will see this and start defragmenting the hard drive and that is when the hard drive is working overtime to sort them out. This wears down your hard drive and lessons the life span. As unlikely as it seems, this is a major problem when it comes to data recovery. Keeping your files and folders in an organized way, will make your hard drive live for a long time.

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No Fix, No Fee
As we honor our terms when it comes to "No Fix, No Fee", this is where you can say it upon yourself.

"If you can't fix it, you don't pay yourself."
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Denlyn Computers recommends using a qualified computer technician for the above work.

Denlyn Computers takes no responsibility of the above advice if the customer decides to do the work on their own behalf. The customer takes full responsibility.

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