Over the years, our professional staff members have answered many questions posed by our customers. Our goal is to provide information that is clear, succinct and useful. The questions below represent those that have been most commonly asked. If you would like to learn more about one of the topics, or if you have a question that is not represented on our list, please don’t hesitate to call us at 714-969-3001 or email us at
. As always, HB Computers is dedicated to superior customer service at all times. No question is too small or too complex for our undivided attention.
There are several reasons why you are experiencing a high CPU usage, and most of these causes are avoidable. Often a high CPU usage will simply slow your computer system, but you will still be able to get your work done. But sometimes, it can be so high that it stops your system completely, and you will have to manually shut it down and restart.
- There are many types of malware that can max your CPU usage. Removing malware requires an expert – it is a task that our technical team can usually do very easily. Please note that this is best done as soon as you notice the problem before the malware does more damage. Once the malware is removed, the CPU will be perfectly normal. The best way to prevent this is to install and run a trusted antivirus /antispyware program.
- A common practice that can affect your CPU performance is multitasking. We all do this inadvertently at time. Just remember – the more programs you use at one time, the higher your CPU usage will be!
- Sometimes high CPU usage is due to incompatible software. For instances, some programs are too sophisticated for Windows XP, while others predate Windows 7 with no compatibility patch. Some may have specific hardware requirements, and others may actually be corrupt.
Call us at 714-969-3001 so that we can advise you the best course to take. There is no need to be dealing with a high CPU usage!
Partitioning is simply a way to organize the physical space on a hard drive – similar to a directory. Most PCs have one physical hard disk
drive and only one partition labeled C. Although it’s not mandatory at all (and many computer users choose not to do so), there are several advantages to having more than one partition.
If you have two partitions, one can be for your operating system, and one could be for your personal data. Hard drives are not as durable as you
may think. This way, your personal data is less likely to get lost in a computer crash. If you have to reinstall your operating system, your data
will be safer.
- Also, with multiple partitions, you can select which partition with sensitive data should be encrypted.
- Some components of an operating system need storage space to operate. In Windows, if there is no available space on the drive where it is
installed, you will not be able to print.
- You can shorten your operating system boot time by placing your operating system in a partition at the start of the hard disk drive
- It’s easier to access your information because when you click “Computer” from the Start menu in Windows 7, you’ll see each partition clearly
with its own drive letter.
- It’s easier to organize your data. You can have separate partitions for your documents, pictures, music, videos, games, and back-up data.
- It’s easier to back up your personal data when it is stored in smaller partitions. At the same time, it’s easier to perform upgrades on your
If necessary, you can use more than one operating system on the same PC and share data among the operating systems.
- Performance is better because hard disk drives work better on smaller amounts of segmented data. Less-frequently used data can be separated
from the data used most frequently.
A cautionary note:
Since partitions do not share free space, if one partition runs out of space, you’ll need to resize, move or delete other partitions to address the free space problem. If you need to do this, be sure back up your data before making any changes.
If you have any questions about partitioning your hard drive, please don’t hesitate to call HB
Computers at 714-969-3001. Our expert technicians are ready – and eager – to help!
The motherboard is often considered the heart of a computer. As long as it’s intact, most computer problems can be successfully repaired by a skilled technician at a reasonable cost. But occasionally motherboards do fail! Here are the most common reasons why:
- A major cause is a power surge. A sudden change of voltage can damage the circuit of your motherboard. This can occur when there is a problem with the wiring in your home or office, an unequal draw of power by appliances sharing the electrical source, a problem with the power supplier outside your home or office, or even an electrical storm. Plugging your computer into a good surge protector is the best way to control power surges by neutralizing the effects. And during severe storms, it may be best to shut down your computer and wait until the storm subsides.
- Dust and dirt can cause your motherboard to overheat by clogging the fan that is meant to keep it ventilated. Even pet hair and tar from cigarettes can be the culprit! This can be avoided if you try to keep your work area dust free and schedule a regular cleaning with certified technicians.
- Performing too many multiple operations at one time, such as when you are gaming or if you are watching a movie for an extended period, can also cause your motherboard to overheat. Be sure to give your computer a rest from time to time and keep it in a cool and well-ventilated area.
- An accidental spill of liquid on your computer or a sudden impact caused by dropping your computer can cause your motherboard to fail. Spills are common and can short out the circuits. If this happens, shut down (or disconnect the power) and remove the battery. Do not turn it back on. Instead, take it to a qualified computer repair service.
- Since motherboards are mass produced, sometimes manufacturing defects occur. Your computer has a manufacturer’s warranty to protect you from these occasional defects. A qualified technician can assess your motherboard failure and determine whether it is a most likely a defect or due to another cause.
- At some point your motherboard will fail simply because of aging. An electrical circuit board has a finite life span. At this point you may have to replace your computer. But with care, your computer should give you many hours of work time. Some of the better motherboards last up to 50,000 hours!
Don’t hesitate to call HB Computers if you have any questions or concerns about your computing or mobile device. We are here to help you with a staff of some of the very best technicians in the area!
File system corruptions can occur on both PCs and Macs and on internal drives or external drives. When a file system corruption occurs, you usually receive an error message and are not able to access your file. Most causes of file system corruptions are because of not properly following startup or shutdown procedures. Sometimes it is due to a hardware failure or other causes. A power outage or accidental unplugging while files are open can also cause a corruption in your file system.
When this happens, you might want to first try a Disk Defragmenter to rearrange fragmented data, but if disk defragment is not responding, try to repair the disk first by using a SFC/SCANNOW command and then running a CHKDSK/F command. CHKDSK/F scans your hard drive for errors and can help determine the overall performance of your PC. It takes CHKDSK a step further in helping you fix system problems automatically.
After running these two steps, test to see if the disk defragmentation works, and then try to perform a system restore.
This may seem daunting unless you are familiar with these options. If your file system has been corrupted and you need help, please don’t hesitate to call us at 714-969-3001. Our experienced technicians can fix this problem for you quickly and efficiently!
There are several steps to take if you spill something on your computing device. First – unplug your device (or if it’s a keyboard, disengage it from your device). If it’s notebook, turn it off and then take out the battery. Then turn your keyboard or notebook upside down so the liquid drains out and doesn’t reach the circuits.
If you spilled water on it, you won’t need to clean it as the next step, but if it’s coffee, wine, beer, sodas or any other liquid, you should clean it because the residues may damage the circuits. If it’s a notebook, remove the keyboard from the device and rinse it with clear water (swabbing whatever you cannot reach with rubbing alcohol). If it is a keyboard, see if you can pry the key-tops off the keyboard and rinse with pure water – but if there’s no water pooling under the keys, just use an alcohol swab rather than a water rinse.
Then let it dry in a warm ventilated place for at least 24 hours before plugging it back in. 48 hours would be even better. Another option for drying is to submerge the device in rice after completing the steps above.
Please call us if you would like a professional to do this. We are capable of fixing most logic boards after a spill. Every case is different, but HB Computers is simply the best when it comes to computer repair.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (MBAM) is an application that removes malware. It was created for the Microsoft Windows operating system in 2008. The free version can be easily downloaded and scans every time that it is started manually. It removes worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, spyware, and other dangerous malware from your PC. The paid version of MBAM provides both scheduled scans and real-time scans.
Hard drive failure happens when the hard disk drive on your computer fails to function properly and the information stored on your computer can no longer be accessed. This happens for a variety of reasons, ranging from hardware life expectancy to human error.
A hard drive is a mechanical device with moving parts that are subject to wear and tear. The parts operate with amazing precision and can be fragile. Hard drive failure can be gradual or sudden. Failure can happen during normal operations, or it can be due to an external cause like exposure to water, a liquid spill, a system or enclosure overheating, or a sharp impact. Sometimes it’s simply because parts have worn out. At other times they fail prematurely if there is a manufacturing defect.
Some of the most common destructive forces that can damage your hard drive are:
- Overheating and insufficient ventilation
- Overworked hardware with no down time
- Smoke or fire
- Physical damage like any type of physical force like dropping
- Power surges
- Water damage
- Corrupted files due to not closing a program properly before turning off your computer
- Human error – like accidently deleting files that are imperative for the functionality of the disk drive
By being careful, you will be able to avoid the destruction of files that cannot be easily retrieved. Backing up your data is one of your very best protections against irrevocable damage. Call HB Computers at 714-969-3001 for professional advice.
Unfortunately, there is no single product that will catch every new virus. People can write malware more quickly than anti-malware tools can be updated. However, there are precautions that you can take.
- Don’t accept a process without understanding the prompt. You may get a message from the Internet claiming that your computer is infected by a virus with an offer to fix it. Unless it’s a trusted source, don’t do it!
- Don’t use a friend’s USB stick or CD without scanning it first.
- Don’t open an e-mail attachment unless you are expecting it. Sometimes a virus is attached to an email from a friend or another trusted source, but they are totally unaware. If you aren’t expecting an email attachment, don’t open it until you verify with the sender that it is safe.
- Keep your computer updates current. Make sure you have the latest version of your computer updates. Many of these updates are there for your system’s security.
- Don’t use software, music, or movies unlawfully. If you participate in pirating copyrighted material, your computer is at risk because sometimes viruses travel attached to the stolen files.
- Protect your computer with antivirus spyware scanner. Having some form of reliable antivirus and spyware protection is critical, especially for Microsoft Windows.
The short answer is “yes.” However, it’s less likely for a Mac computer to experience viruses than a Microsoft Windows computer. However, since Macs are gaining popularity, viruses are becoming more common. Also, if you install any software, plug-ins, or other add-ons that are connected to the Internet, you may become vulnerable to viruses. The most common ways that viruses attack a Mac computer is through a third-party browser and browser plugins like Adobe Reader, Flash, and Java. Some of the current anti-virus programs that work on Mac are: Comodo, ESET NOD32, Kaspersky, McAfee, Network Associates, RAV, Sophos, and Symantec (Norton). Please call HB Computers for more information!
If you install a solid state drive (SDD), your computer will run almost four to five times faster. Here are 8 other ways that you can increase your computer’s speed:
- Uninstall programs that you are not using
- Delete temporary files
- Increase your hard drive storing capability
- Disable unnecessary start-ups
- Increase your computer’s random access memory (RAM)
- Change the power plan of your desktop computer to “High Performance”
- Run a disk clean-up
- Update your browser
Please feel free to call HB Computers to help you increase your computer’s performance!
First wait a minute or two. Sometimes your computer may seem to freeze, but it is simply processing a complex task. You can also press Ctrl + Alt + Del to open the Windows Task Manager. Then highlight the program that is not responding and select “End Task.” This should unfreeze the computer. If it is still frozen, you may need to reboot your computer by pressing and holding down the power button until it shuts off. Then reboot. If you are working on a document when your computer freezes, the program you are using may have an AutoSave feature, and you can most likely recover a recent version of the document after rebooting. If none of this works, please don’t hesitate to call HB Computers for advice.
You won’t be able to prevent all spam, but here are a few practices that may help.
- Try not to post your email address in chat rooms, news groups or other public venues.
- Don’t purchase products or services that come from companies that solicit you in an email.
- If you receive an email from an individual or company you do not know, delete it.
- When you fill out a form on the Internet, see if there is a “check box” that is checked by default for you to receive a newsletter or other information.
- Consider using a more complicated user name.
- Don’t participate in chain emails.
- Only click links and open attachments from trusted senders.
- Check the spelling of the email. Spam often contains misspellings, oddly-worded phrases, and gibberish.
- If you get a great deal of spam from a specific source, get in touch with your Internet service provider and complain. They don’t like spam either. Once they are alerted, they can filter out mail from a suspected spammer address.
- Many email programs allow you to set up rules to filter out emails or you can install a “spam filter.”
Since there are several reasons for Windows blue screen errors (BSoD), you’ll first need to identify what kind of error it is before trying to fix it.
If your computer immediately reboots without your being able to read the text in the blue screen, follow the steps below. If you’re unable to access Windows to perform the steps below, boot the computer into Safe Mode.
Blue Screen Errors:
- From the Desktop or in the Windows Start menu, right-click on My Computer or Computer.
- Click the Properties option.
- In the System Properties window, click the “Advanced” tab or the “Advanced System Settings” link.
- On the Advanced tab, click the Settings option in the Startup and Recovery section.
- In the Startup and Recovery window, uncheck the “Automatically Restart” check box.
- Click “Ok.”
Windows XP, Vista, and later versions of Windows have a blue screen error that’s similar to the example shown below. These error messages often contain more detailed information. If you’re not getting a blue screen error that looks like the example below, skip to the next “Fatal Exceptions” section.
If you are getting a solid blue screen with no white text, you are not encountering a BSoD. It’s likely a problem with your video card, monitor, or other hardware. Follow the “No Display” on monitor troubleshooting steps to diagnose this problem. Otherwise, follow the directions below:
- Identify the blue screen by locating a line containing all capital letters with underscores instead of spaces, such as the above example, BAD_POOL_HEADER. Write this information down. If you do not see anything written in all caps with underscores like this, skip this step.
- Get either the STOP: error message at the top of the error, or in the “Technical Information” portion of the error. For example, in the above error it’s STOP: 0x00000019 … write the first portion of this error message down.
- Finally, if technical information is shown, write down the file and the address.
Once you have the above information, you can start troubleshooting the issue. Below are common blue screen errors and links to pages that contain the troubleshooting steps for some of these errors. If your error is not listed in the below section, search for the error you wrote down.
Many of the blue screen error messages you’ll encounter with earlier versions of Windows will be “fatal exception error messages” or “Fatal 0E messages.” If your blue screen message begins with “A fatal exception 0E” or “An exception,”
you are encountering this error. For these blue screen errors, follow the “fatal exception error” troubleshooting steps.
Yes! You absolutely can.
Yes – as long as you have a static or semi static IP address from your ISP.
You can run anti-virus software in the background, but by doing, so you risk aging your HDD. The fact is that most antivirus software cannot completely protect your data. The most important antivirus measure is your vigilance.
You can do many things to protect your data. One way is to add a second HDD and run both with mirroring. By doing this, you will protect yourself from hardware failure (although you will not be protected by viruses, software-induced corruption or self-harm). To be completely protected, you will need to conduct Daily Automatic Backups. It’s not difficult. Simply ask one of the HB Computer staff members for assistance.
Yes you can! Simply call HB Computers for help.
Wireless technology is still catching up to wire-based technology in reliability. However, there are simple reasons for non-persistence. Your neighborhood may have too many wireless signals that cancel or “noise over” each other. Your wireless adapter or router may be old or outdated, and possibly using better “N” technology would help. Ask any HB Computers team to help!
There could be many causes. It could be due to overheating because of dust accumulation in the heat sink fins, or maybe one of your fans is not working. There could be also a device driver malfunction or a conflicting application that might contribute to this problem. Bring your computer to HB Computers for comprehensive diagnosis.
There’s very little that we can’t do! To name a just a few – we can repair your motherboard, your hard drive, your broken LCD, your video card or chip, your cooling system, and your DC jack. We can install a new operating system, replace your keyboard or touch pad, upgrade your memory, solve your Windows to Mac OS X printing issues, and remove viruses. We can also recover data or perform data migration. We can even repair your iPad, iPod or iPhone!
No, it’s not expensive at all. For just $50, we can conduct a comprehensive diagnosis of any problem on any computer. Diagnosing a server just costs $75.
We can absolutely take care of all of your network needs.
You may just need a simple repair rather than replacing your favorite device. Why don’t you let us take a look at it before you spend money on a new one? We can fix yours and also upgrade it for you. Some customers even like us to build a custom one just for them. However, if you would like to purchase a new one, we can direct you to the best Mac or PC for your needs.
We can come to you! Whether you work in an office building or have your own home office, we can provide on-site diagnosis and service for only $125.
Absolutely! Our door-to-door delivery service only costs $49.
There are hundreds of new viruses appearing on weekly basis. They can destroy data on your computer or allow unauthorized access to sensitive data on your system. With the rise in email usage, standard desktop protection is no longer sufficient. Call HB Computers so that we can help you identify potential risks and help you secure your network.
Yes. If you are too busy to bring your computer or device to us, we can connect to your computer remotely for only $69.00!
Yes. Don’t let small problems become big ones. Opt for our contract maintenance plan for only $249 per month and keep your systems humming at all times!
We have a buy-sell-trade plan. In other words, you can sell yours to us, purchase a new one, trade it in, or let us refurbish it. We can even build you a custom computer according to your specifications.
Our technicians are the very best! They are all highly skilled, certified and have many years of experience with both Mac products and PCs.
We have experience working on ALL servers, including IBM, HP, Dell and many more!
Simply call us. It doesn’t matter what you have lost or what caused it – we will restore your data quickly and completely.
When we say 100% satisfaction guaranteed, we MEAN 100% satisfaction. We are proud of the great relationships that we have maintained with our customers and receive consistently high ratings and recognition from sources like Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo, and Angie's List.