“My Mom called and told me she’s got a pop up window on her computer that won’t close,” Brenda said. “And that the text says “Click here to authorize all necessary repairs now.” She asked me if I should click it and I practically screamed “No!””
Pop ups telling a computer user that there’s a problem with their computer requiring immediate repair are one common tool of computer repair scammers. Be aware that internet service providers, software companies, and computer companies like Toshiba, Dell, and Lenovo never use pop up windows for customer service messages. If there’s any type of problem these companies want to make you aware of, they will most likely contact you via email or even in writing.
Baby Boomers and the elderly are among the most vulnerable to computer repair scams. The reason for this is two-fold. While older people are increasingly comfortable with technology, many still aren’t entirely sure about how things are supposed to work. Some of the computer scams are quite sophisticated and appear legitimate. The second reason is that there is a greater response to authoritative messaging among older listeners: when they’re told they have to do something like click on a window authorizing remote access to their computer, they do it.
Once remote access has been granted by an owner to a scammer, there’s literally no telling how much harm can be done. Scammers have been known to engage in identity theft, access online banking accounts, and even insert malicious code into a computer’s programming that makes it inoperable without a password only the scammer has. The scammer may be willing to sell you the password for hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, but there’s no guarantee it will actually unlock your computer, and you have no recourse if it doesn’t.
Let your older friends and loved ones know that if they have any concerns about the way their computer is operating, their best bet is to bring it to their local computer repair shop. This removes the threat posed by hackers seeking remote access. Legitimate problems can be addressed, but many times scammers send “You need repair messages” when there’s nothing wrong with the computer at all!
Did you know that there’s a medical term for the experience of being burned by your laptop? It’s called Toasted Skin Syndrome, and it occurs when an overheated laptop comes into contact with your body. Burns can be quite serious: there have been reports of second degree burns caused by overheated laptops. Overheated laptops can also be a contributing factor in structure fires. This is why it’s never really a good idea to use your laptop propped up on a pillow, blanket, or other soft, flammable surface.
Why Do Laptops Overheat?
PC laptops have heat vents underneath, while Mac laptops vent heat out through the hinge area. There are fans inside your laptop to efficiently move heat through the vents. If these fans stop working, heat builds up without being circulated. This can lead to an overheating situation. If your fans are working but the vents are blocked, overheating can also occur. Ironically, the worst possible place to operate a laptop computer is in your lap: your legs will block the vents and you’re very vulnerable to getting burned. If the fans on your laptop aren’t working properly, bring it to your local computer repair shop: it’s a quick fix that can add years to the useful life of your computer.
On an ongoing basis, it’s a good best practice to operate your laptop on a stand that elevates it slightly, allowing air to circulate freely underneath.
Another Overheating Cause: Dust
Even the most ardent housekeeper will wind up with dust build-up inside of a laptop. It’s inevitable. Electronics attract dust the way free Red Sox tickets attract baseball fans. This dust builds up and up, causing your laptop to run hotter and hotter. It’s possible to remove some of this dust yourself using a can of compressed air. For a more thorough cleaning, you’ll want to bring your laptop to your local computer repair shop. They’ll open it up and remove all accumulated dust in the computer and fan area for you.
“I’m a car guy,” Brian said. “Anything that happens underneath the hood, I can take care of it. That’s why I jumped at the chance to purchase this garage. Lenny’s retiring, so he just wanted to get rid of everything. That means I got the shop, the tools, his established customers – and his computer system.”
The garage’s computer system was a mess. “A lot of people don’t realize how much a repair shop needs reliable computers,” Brian said. “Ordering parts and maintaining inventory alone is a huge job. There’s the accounting end of the business – billing, paying my my guys, insurance. Emissions testing is computerized. I need everything to work quickly and reliably. What I had here did neither. And I don’t even begin to know how to fix that.”
Almost every business needs IT support, but not every business needs to keep an IT professional on staff. For this type of business, managed monthly IT support can be the perfect solution. The very first step is identifying and assessing all of the tech your business currently has, including servers, workstations, printers and other networked equipment.
“What we had in place was sub-par. I needed to replace and upgrade my tech, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money I didn’t need to,” Brian explained. An IT consultant can help you create a system based on your business’ unique needs that meets your budget. Many times businesses can save money and improve overall data security by taking advantage of cloud-based systems for basic business operations, including inventory, accounting, payroll, HR and more.
Once an appropriate system has been designed and installed, managed monthly IT support is available to keep everything working properly. Regular network scans and data backup eliminate a lot of the stress and worry associated with maintaining a business network. It’s smart, strategic, and allows the business owner to concentrate on what they do best.
Windows updates can be problematic. Sometimes the issues are built in, like we saw in the recent Windows Creators Update: there are enough concerns that CNET recommends waiting for the known bugs to be worked out before you install it. Other times, an issue can develop with Windows as a result of using third-party programs, such as utility check up programs or virus/malware protection.
One way you know there’s a Windows issue on your laptop or computer is when the computer fails to boot. The power will come on, and you’ll be able to hear the fan running, but the screen will remain blank. At this point, the computer owner’s main concern is often for the data that is stored in that computer: if you can’t get your computer to boot, can your files be saved?
If you’re really, really comfortable working with your computer, you may be able to attempt file recovery on your own. However, if you’re not confident or it’s very important to you that your files be recovered properly, you’ll want to seek out a PC repair shop in Boston. Make sure the PC repair shop you choose supports the type of computer you have. Popular PC models include Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony, and Microsoft.
The PC repair shop will open your computer using either the Windows Recovery Environment or ‘Safe Mode’. During this time, vital files can be recovered and transferred to an external drive, so you can access them from another device. Once the data has been secured, the issue becomes repairing whatever concern caused Windows to fail to boot. Troubleshooting tools and System Restore features may be sufficient to repair your PC, or the technician may find it is necessary to reinstall Windows for your PC to work properly.
If you’re having troubles with your PC after a Windows update, bring it in. Our convenient Plymouth location is secure. Our experienced techs will do everything possible to recover your files and get your PC working properly again.
The minute Donna walked into the Boston medical office she manages, she knew something was wrong. There was a line six patients deep in front of the check-out desk; even more patients were waiting to check in. When Donna asked her staff what was going on, she got the answer she was dreading: the practice’s network was down again.
“People don’t like to think about it, but there’s a lot of hackers that try to target medical practices,” she explained. “They’re after our data. Luckily, they haven’t gotten anything so far, but they cause a lot of problems. Sometimes we can’t log onto the network, or sometimes we can access some functions but not others. Sometimes everything just gets slowed down to the point where we’d be better off trying to manage everything the old-fashioned way, with paper files.”
Your business network needs to be robust and reliable. Security threats and system issues can occur at any time, without warning. Most small businesses don’t have the resources to keep a dedicated IT professional on staff. That’s why we developed the Pro-Covered Priority One support service.
For one low monthly fee, all of your network support issues are addressed by our skilled professional team. Remote service means we fix issues without ever having to visit your premises; for more significant issues, on-site support is provided. We keep an eye on the most common problem areas, including your server, patch management and backup to make sure everything is working properly. Additionally, we monitor for viruses, spyware, and other security threats. Hackers prefer to do their work where no one is watching. Choosing Pro-Covered Priority One support means you can enjoy greater peace of mind. Not only will your network have fewer performance issues, but when issues do arise, they are addressed promptly and professionally. This makes life better for your team, your customers, and your business!
“I’ve had this laptop for three years, and honestly, I love everything about it,” Mark said. “I wasn’t planning on replacing it, but now it’s doing this thing where it goes into sleep mode and won’t wake up when I need it to. What I want to know is if it is better to replace or repair a broken laptop?”
Consumer Reports, one of the most trusted publications on the planet, has found that 24% of laptops develop problems requiring repairs. This number has been trending downward over time, but at this point, it’s still pretty close to 1 in 4 computers having significant issues. Power management issues, such as entering sleep mode and not waking up, as well as battery, keyboard, touch pad and display issues are the most common; another common concern is when a laptop stops connecting to wifi networks.
The decision to repair or replace a laptop has several factors involved. The first is the cost of replacing your laptop. You know what you paid for your computer. A newer model of the same laptop will likely cost more, depending on the features you choose. Any reputable computer repair shop in Boston will provide you with an estimate of what needed repairs will cost. Use these numbers to help you decide what option makes sense for you.
Another factor to consider is the information you have on the laptop that’s not working. “I know you’re supposed to back up all of your files, but who does that?” Mark asked. “I have all of the pictures from the vacation trip we took with our granddaughter on there, and some of the research from a genealogy project that would take many hours to re-create from scratch. I’d love to get that all back.” A skilled computer repair shop may be able to recover your data, whether or not you choose to have the laptop repair.
Still not sure if you’re better off having your laptop repaired or replaced? Give us a call. We’ll be happy to provide you with an estimate and other information you need to make an informed decision!
“So I turned on my laptop and got nothing. I mean, absolutely nothing. It wouldn’t turn on at all. The screen stayed black. I could hear the fans whirring and things clicking around inside, but that was it,” Daniel said. “So I decided to take it to a computer repair shop in Boston.”
Daniel’s first instinct was to go to the big box store where he’d purchased the computer. “That was a mistake,” he said. “It took forever even to find someone who worked in the electronics department, and when I finally found someone, they didn’t have the first clue about how to help me. They asked, “Did you try calling the customer service number on the box?” Daniel shook his head. “Really? That’s the help I can get from you?”
If a computer repair shop isn’t a computer repair shop at all, but is instead the customer service of a big box store, run, do not walk, away! You’ve paid good money for your computer, and need it to perform reliably. Big box stores may be willing to ship your computer off for repairs for you, but they don’t do the work themselves, and there’s no accountability: more than one customer has had their computer come up missing after trusting a big box retailer to repair it.
“The second place I went to looked like it just opened up,” Daniel said. “But I figured I might as well give it a shot. I went in and asked the guy if they work on Macs, and he answered, “It depends. What do you got?” Daniel laughed. “That didn’t inspire too much confidence in me. And when I looked around the shop, things just seemed sketchy. I didn’t feel safe leaving my computer there. I told him never mind and moved on.”
Three signs that you’re in the wrong Boston computer shop include a lack of professionalism, the inability to work on all types of Windows and Mac computers, and inexperience. All of these should be dealbreakers – and the fact that the business hasn’t appeared to be around for long and appears to be on the shady side are also good reasons to exercise extreme caution.
You deserve a Boston computer repair shop that’s skilled, experienced, professional and trustworthy. That’s what you’ll find when you choose Power Up Boston. We’ve been providing top-notch computer repair services for seven years, and work on Mac and Window computers.
“The world has changed radically. You don’t need a building to have your own business anymore. You don’t even need office space! Everything I need to run a profitable company exists on the cloud, and as long as there’s wifi, I can work anywhere,” Rudy, a Boston entrepreneur who provides coaching and consulting services, shook his head. “Of course, that assumes my computer is working. If my computer’s not working, neither am I.”
Computer Repair: Windows & Mac Computers
There are several issues small business owners have to keep in mind when choosing a computer repair service in Boston. “For me, the top priority is knowing the issue will actually be fixed,” Rudy said. “I’ve gone through the whole box-up-the-computer-send-it-off-for-repairs-and-then-wait game and after all of that frustration, finally get my computer back and it’s still not working the way I need it to. It’s much better to deal with a computer repair professional who’s right here in Plymouth.” Choosing a computer repair service that has been in business for 5+ years is a good idea: that way you know you’re dealing with an experienced, reliable provider.
“The other concern is really speed. Every minute my computer’s down, I’m not able to do my job to the best of my capabilities. Of course, you try to do what you can with your phone, but even the best smartphone has limitations. If you can’t afford a lot of downtime – and I don’t know many small business owners who can! – you want to choose a Boston computer repair service that gets the job done quickly. I’ve found it’s much better for small businesses to work with other small businesses – you get better treatment from other entrepreneurs than you do from the big box store chains.”
When you are a small business owner who needs to get your computer repaired properly and promptly, choose Power Up Boston, conveniently located in Plymouth, MA.