Viruses are programs on your computer that destroy files or wreak havoc on your system. If you’re computer’s running slow or not responding properly, it could be a virus. Usually, viruses replicate and stop any threats to themselves. That means the first thing most viruses do is disable your anti-virus software. It may seem like your anti-virus software is monitoring your system properly, but if you’re infected, you’re probably allowing further infestation. You might have viruses on your system right now and not even realize it. (Kinda scary, isn’t it?) Most viruses get into your system through e-mail or from downloading files from unreliable sources. All computer viruses are man-made.
enters your system disguised as something else, like another program.
propagate on their own by hijacking your e-mail accounts, user IDs, file transfer programs, etc.
are placed by a person or another program and activate with a trigger: a certain time or when you open a program or file.
hide on your system and scan the surrounding environment for IP addresses and open ports. Then they make your computer “available” to other malicious code or people.
Can you categorize viruses by what they do?
infects the boot sector of disk storage.
infects executable programs.
is a combination of boot and program viruses.
can avoid detection by removing itself from the system registry or masquerading as a system file.
embeds itself into another file or program and leaves the original file functional.
changes its code structure to avoid detection and removal. Like a living virus, it mutates.
exploits the macro language of a program like MS Word or Excel and does serious damage.
How can I remove viruses from my system?
In some cases, you can remove viruses by simply installing or updating your existing anti-virus software and scanning your computer’s hard drives. However, this can be tricky. A well-written virus will not allow your anti-virus software to be installed or updated. Your computer will need to be cleaned by another method before your anti-virus software works. Does the Computer Clinic have virus removal? Do we ever! We remove viruses every day. SPYWARE So what’s the deal with spyware? Spyware is software that’s installed on your system and transmits your personal information and monitors you when you’re online. It then sends your information to advertisers or hackers. Spyware, also know as malware or adware, can be downright sinister when hackers use remote control programs to access your computer. Although it’s not always harmful, a lot of spyware can drastically affect the performance of your computer, hijack your home page or search page, cause Internet browser pop-up windows and lead to identity theft.
Can I remove spyware from my system? Yes, with a but. Most spyware can be removed using a program downloaded from the internet. However, some tenacious spyware might require a more hands-on approach by a technician. (That would be us.) Beware of anti-spyware tools that remove spyware only to replace it with their own. These totally unhelpful tools are usually free and are often advertised through popup windows or banner ads. Does the Computer Clinic have spyware removal? It’s, like, our favourite thing to do. We remove spyware, malware and adware all the time.
My computer used to be faster. Now it sucks. What can I do to speed it up?
Scan for any viruses and spyware, then remove them
Remove old or expired software applications
Remove cookies and temporary Internet browser files
Remove files and folders from all temp directories
(If any of this doesn’t make sense to you, give us a call.)
How can you improve my computer’s performance?
We heal your viruses. (Actually, we kill them.) Then we remove unwanted software and unused files. You’ll probably notice a big difference in your computer’s speed.
Should I upgrade my computer’s hardware?
Not to be wishy-washy, but the answer is definitely maybe. As software becomes more complex, you may need to upgrade some parts of your computer to make everything work. Here are some basic upgrades that we can do to improve your computer:
(random access memory) reduces hard drive swapping, which hinders performance. Here are the memory requirments for each operating system:
Windows XP: minimum 1GB, 2GB preferred
Windows Media Center: minimum 1GB, 2GB preferred
Windows Vista: minimum 2GB, 4GB preferred
Windows 7 32/64: minimum 2GB, 4GB preferred
Increasing your hard drive size
helps in two ways. First, your operating system will have more room for swap and temporary files. Second, you’ll get quicker execution, especially with newer drives.
Upgrading your CPU
(central processing unit) will give you faster execution of tasks and calculations. If your motherboard will allow, we can replace your CPU with a faster processor.
Will the Computer Computer Clinic upgrade my hardware?
We will, but only if you need it – and you want us to. If we can give you a few more golden years with your current system, we’ll upgrade or replace your hardware. However, if your computer is way past its prime, we might recommend you save your money and start fresh with something newer. (We’ll tell you what we think, then you can make your decision.)
Recovering and transfering all your stuff
I bought a new computer. How do I get my e-mail and documents transferred to my new computer?
Use CD burner in the source computer
Set up an external or portable hard drive
Connect through the network between your old and new computer
Why should I get the Computer Clinic to recover my information or transfer it to my new computer?
We’ll make you feel so secure. First, we’ll keep a copy of your hard drive on our file server and restore only the information you want. Second, we’ll keep your data for at least two weeks. (Think of it as insurance for your important files.) If you can’t find something you want, let us know and we’ll get it for you.
What is the best way to backup my data?
Backing up your software is simply making a copy of your data to a different location. This can be done by copying your data (documents, pictures, music, etc…) to another device, such as a CD, USB stick, or secondary hard drive. There are dozens of software packages that can do this automatically for you. We use a free program built by Microsoft called Synctoy. This program once setup will copy all your data to a different location, once complete the next backup will only copy new files. It is recommended that you do this at least once a month or more often if the data is really important. The backup should be stored in a different physical location than the computer so if there is a power surge or fire, your backup doesn’t also get destroyed.
We also offer an online update service. This service runs daily and will securely update your data over the internet. We recommend this for all of our business customers.