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NWFA Tech Support Thread - Help With Computers, Tablets, Mobile, & More

Discussion in 'Questions, Problems, & Feedback' started by Joe Link, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    My thought for this thread is that those of us who are more experienced with computers and other tech can help NWFA members who aren't.

    If you're having general tech-related trouble or questions feel free to post here and we'll try to help ;)
     
    elsie, Dyjital and rick benjamin like this.
  2. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    You should probably make it a sticky...


    elsie
     
  3. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Done :)
     
  4. byronnlunz

    byronnlunz Beaverton New Member

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    Okay, no questions yet, so how about an answer? :)

    If you're considering a VOIP provider, avoid axvoice at all costs. I just switched to CallCentric and am very glad I did. They require you provide your own phone adapter, but I picked up a basictalk.com kit at Walmart for $4.88 and was able to reset the included HT701 to work with CallCentric.

    If you don't know what VOIP is, then skip this post.
     
  5. byronnlunz

    byronnlunz Beaverton New Member

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    Here's another tip I learned the hard way this week: when upgrading your PC to Windows 10, you'll see an option to either "Check for Updates" or "Do it later". Select Do it later. You'll get any updates eventually, and won't have to wait (maybe for hours) on the overloaded MS servers. Doing a laptop yesterday took over 12 hours total, most of that "checking for updates". Upgrading my wife's PC today, without checking for updates, completed in less than 2.
     
    Joe Link likes this.
  6. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    When in doubt - restart. Something is working right; start with a reboot.

    Pay attention to the little icons next to your clock. There may be a carrot ^ or < to see more. Get familiar with what's 'normal'. Mouse over those icons and look for things that need patches, scans, subscription updates or things you don't need and you can remove (through add remove programs).

    Google is your friend. Error messages are great. Put them in a search engine to see how everyone else fixed the problem.

    Use critical thinking skills when dealing with e-mail or online links. Does the IRS really have your e-mail address? How would FedEx know to send you tracking information? Does Pete normally send you non-descript messages with vague links? These are almost always phishing attempts and will ruin your day. Stay away.

    One does not have to follow every link in 'not enough goofy humor' or on facebook. Just sayin.

    If you do suddenly get pop ups - Shut down immediately. Don't reboot or use the start menu, just flip the switch. If you continue to get pop ups, click the start menu and search for system restore. Go back a few days to a week to make sure you caught the infection.

    Chasing a virus/aggressive advertising for more than an hour or so is a waste of time. Back it up and nuke it. Cleaner recovery, faster PC and if it's not backed up you don't need it away.

    On PC's, right click on the start menu and choose Explorer. Then right click on your hard drive (local disk C or Windows C etc). Choose Properties. Click Disk Cleanup. Select all the boxes and click OK. Then click to Delete files. This will purge temporary files not cleared otherwise. Should do this monthly or whenever you have performance issues.

    If it's more than 2 years old - buy a new one.

    Above all - when you do have a problem; be specific: "When I print this document for Word I get the error message 'xyz123' (control, Alt, Print Screen all at the same time will take a snapshot of the active dialog box - then go into your e-mail and do control V to paste the picture in). Those problems are quickly solvable. Going to the IT guy and saying 'I can't print' isn't helpful. You'd never take your car to the mechanic and say 'fix it - it's broke' without giving some semblance of an idea of what the problem is and how to reproduce is.

    FWIW - YMMV
     
    Burt Gummer likes this.
  7. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Well I definitely know what VoIP is, I've been doing phone systems for 33 years! Owned three telecom companies and one security company. Had my first test set (butt set) at age 4. I own the oldest VoIP communications companies of its kind in the area. (Business systems only - calm down potential leeches hahahaha!!!!!)

    My tip would be when buying anything from an HDMI cable to a Cat6 patch cord - PRE-PLAN and get what you need off E-Bay. Such items at places like Home Depot, Best Buy, etc are their highest margin items. For instance, a 6' 3.5mm audio cable at Best Buy $17.99. Same or better cable on Ebay, including shipping - $4.
     
    Nick Burkhardt likes this.
  8. Kimber Custom

    Kimber Custom Vancouver, WA Bronze Vendor Bronze Vendor

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    Monoprice dot Com for all your cabling needs
     
  9. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Cheap PC option - if it breaks toss it out -- http://www.ebay.com/itm/191522651476?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I've purchased ten of these already to use as site PCs w/ Teamviewer. They are work great.
    Delete the HP bloatware, add AVG antivirus free edition, Spybot, Mozilla, and Teamviewer and we have an easy way to manage our installs.

    These are no powerhouses for gaming, etc, but great for basic needs - email, browsing.
     
  10. etrain16

    etrain16 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    +1 on Monoprice - we use them for cables at work because their pricing is really hard to beat and they carry just about anything you can imagine.
     
    Joe Link likes this.
  11. Joe Link

    Joe Link Portland, OR Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Another Monoprice fan here. Fair warning, it makes it really painful walking into a retail store for a cable you need now.
     
    Dyjital and etrain16 like this.
  12. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Darn, I wish that I has seen this thread earlier. Last month my wife's five year old Windows 7 Dell started turning off if left idle. Apparently she had missed a few hundred updates. The free tech site BleepingComputer walked her through some scans before giving up. Then about ten days after the shutdowns started the OS would not boot up. Luckly my teenager built his own gaming PC last year so I turned him loose with a $600 limit at NewEgg and she is finally back in business with a new Windows 8.1 PC. Now once a day I get to hear "Where the hell did the put the... oh there it is".