Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Episode 22

This weeks guest is Mark Cobb
He owns his own on-site computer repair business in Reno, NV
Computer Techs
Serviced 1100 clients last year alone!

You can hear the first episode of
Philly Tech Guys at
Philly Tech Guys
Mike Tech Show
Or watch the recorded show
on uStream

Don't forget to check out PodNutz Daily for a daily dose of computer repair info.

Use Craig's List to hire potential techs for your growing computer repair business

Make sure your ads are not deleted from Craig's List
Follow up with your customers after your hired tech worked on-site
On resumes look for work experience
Set up specific directions to apply (tests ability to follow instructions)
During the interview test their trouble-shooting skills via scenarios
Advertise via local newspaper and coupon books
Yellow Pages "leader ad" puts you at the top of the computer service/repair heading regardless of name.
Consistancy with advertising pays off because potential customers get used to seeing your company advertisement.
Buy parts from local shops to build business relationships in the field.
Reasons not to advertise on your car.
Look into local repair service/shops for better service and better prices
Do not rely on Best Buy for repair/service

SyncToy v1.4 for external backup drives

MiniPE to recover from BSOD
Thumbs up to Canon Printers (best install & sleek software)
Thumbs down to HP Printers (software requires too much memory)
Tip for installing HP Printers: Just install the drivers only

Marks Virus/Spyware removal tips:

Process Explorer v11.20
(Shows description/company name and verifiable through digital signature)
Tip: GoogleDesktop does not have a description/company name
Tip: Run on a good computer first to get an idea of normal processes/threads

Auto Runs v9.32
(ms config enhancement tool)

Hijack This

(Use AVG to test your autoruns flagged files for removal)

Tip: Not sure if you should remove that file?
Rename the .exe to a different extension to see if it breaks.
If it is needed rename it back to .exe

Thumbs Down: Windows Defender (useless)

Rootkit Revealer v1.71



Startup Control Panel

Page Defrag v2.32

Marks toolbag:
512 stick of pc3200 for Dells
CompUSA toolkit with magnetic screws and small flashlight
USB and Ethernet cables
USB to Ethernet Network Adapter
Seagate Free Agent 80G external drive
USB to SATA/PATA/IDE connector
hand sanitizer

Thumbs down: Dell Computers (hardware issues/tech support)
Thumbs up: HP and Toshiba for laptops

Onsite computers repairs vs shop computer repairs

Monday, March 3, 2008

Episode 4: Building Your Own System

-Introduction - Mike is back!

-Why build your own system?

-Determine what kind of system to build based on what you'll be using it for.

-Motherboards - could buy a general one for about $60 but for gaming can go up to hundreds of dollars.

-Processors - AMD vs Intel?
Core techniology put Intel ahead of the game and probably best bet.

-Which processor family, Celeron, Dual Core, Quad Core?

-Pay attention to onboard cache for processor.

-Make sure processor socket matches up with motherboard.

-Cases - the more you pay the better protection you'll get. Also more inputs such as USB and front panel audio

-Power Supply, some cases come with power supplies. For gaming or high video usage, get 500W and up. You're playing it safe with 400W for general use, any less might be a problem in the future.

-Antec, Coolermaster, Thermaltake are all good power supply companies. Can buy at www.newegg.com

-The more components in your machine is a factor in the lilfe of your power supply.

-RAM - difference between RAM and hard drive space.

-Mike clears up what all the numbers/labels mean in RAM
(DDR, pc4200,etc..)

-Buy as much as you can afford for RAM to help your system performance.

-Make sure socket on motherboard for RAM is same as RAM you are buying.

-Hard Drives: Two sizes 2.5 in for laptops 3.5" for desktops.

-Two types, IDE and SATA. IDE is 80pin fat ribbon, SATA is thin newer adapter.

-Most motherboards these days come with SATA connections.

-Only a few major players in the HD market.

-CD DVD Drives - Lightscribe - Most are SATA now.

-Add on components: Video cards, TV tuner cards, and card readers.

-Onboard Video vs add-on Video card. ATI and Nvidia are the two major players in the video cards market.

-For games need to get an upgraded video card.

-TV tuner cards not HD inputs yet.

-Camera card readers, fit in place where 3.5" floppy drives go.

-Operating systems: XP or Vista?

-Buy parts cheap at www.newegg.com

-Have fun!

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Episode 3: Your Questions Answered - Part 1

  • Gigabyte Vs. Gibabyte
  • Switching hard drives
  • LCD screen black lines
  • Is the hard drive bad?
  • Broken laptop power jack
  • Slow computer - Anti-virus or Windows reinstall?
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Friday, February 22, 2008

Episode 2 - Internet Security - Spyware, Viruses.... How to Fight Back!

Listen to Episode Two Here.

  • Introduction to Mike Petro

  • Norton or McAfee not so great

  • Windows Updates - download and install them!

  • New out-of-the-box computers are still not completely updated. Make sure to download the latest updates

  • Avast or AVG Free anti-virus available - these are light and don't hog up your system like Norton. Available here:
    AVG Antivirus - free.grisoft.com
    Avast Antivirus - www.avast.com

  • Run a resident anti-virus rather than passive

  • Safe browsing is the best way of avoiding malware

  • Limewire = bad, Avoid peer-to-peer networks.

  • Many people get tricked by pop-ups online. Scammers make it look like a valid windows message.

  • If it's too good to be true, it usually is. Free ringtones and such usually have a catch.

  • Watch for toolbars that suddenly appear in your Internet browser without your consent. Usually means browser hijack.

  • Free porn sites will usually give you a virus.

  • Adaware good tool to at least let you identify what kind of malware your have. Get at: www.lavasoftusa.com

  • Look in at the processes in task manager or msconfig utility to see what is running. Usually a randomly named, number and letter process is malware. Ex: kjflcitfb.exe

  • Look up suspect processes at:
    Liutilities - www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary
    Process Library - www.processlibrary.com
    Note: Listener Mark Vanderberg suggested a fantastic program that runs in conjunction with the ProcessLibrary web site to quickly identify processes running in your task manager. Check it out here. Definitely worth the download! (http://www.processlibrary.com/quicklink/)

  • Effects of Malware:
    -cause you to waste money on useless products
    -slow you system down
    -can steal your personal information with keyloggers

  • Don't do a google search for virus removal - you'll get results that could be
    just as harmful as your infection.

  • Read the user reviews on sites to get the real deal on software. Don't just take the editors word for it.

  • There is no all-in-one solution to getting rid of viruses/malware

  • System restore will restore registry to before the time you got the virus. but be sure to do a virus scan after you run it to pick up dormant viruses.

  • Norton and Mcafee put a strain on your system becasue they are too bloated (bloatware).

  • Free spyware protection programs that are good:
    Spywareblaster - www.javacoolsoftware.com
    Spyware Guard - www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareguard.html

  • www.Bleepingcomputer.com - great site about handling malware

  • Good ol' Spybot - Search and Destroy (www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html) is still somewhat effective.

  • If you are infected: try "hijack this" (www.majorgeeks.com/download3155.html) - will create a log of what is occuring with your computer. you may not be able to understand the log, but there are places to get it analyzed. Like bleepingcomputer.com, lockergnome.com, castlecops.com

  • BHO - Browser Helper Objects - Can be good, but also used by malware creators used to hijack your browser.

  • If you get an unknown error message, you can type that error verbatim into a google search and it my find useful result for you.

  • Way to clean out temp folders:CCleaner (www.ccleaner.com), Cleanup (www.stevengould.org)

  • If system Restore does not work, turn it off. So it doesn't save past bad points in time.

  • Smitfraudfix (http://siri.geekstogo.com/SmitfraudFix.php) -
    Good spyware handling program, deletes infected trusted zones then cleans system.

  • Combofix (http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/sUBs/ComboFix.exe) - Great for handling spyware - don't be scared by initial warning message.

  • Killbox (www.killbox.net) - Deletes harmfull that are hard to delete because of windows permissions.

  • Ultimate Boot CD (www.ubcd4win.com) - Great tool for booting into win xp environment, allows you to share drives and files, good for unbootable C: drive

  • Cookies, not all bad. Just text files. Leave footprint of bowsing habits - relatively harmless

  • How mike got started in the field:
    - in IT since 1996
    - started programming young
    - fell into first networking job
    - started doing computer repair and through word of mouth expanded his business to full time business.
    - niche is on-site prompt, effective service

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Episode 1 - Introduction, Blue Screen of Death

Listen to Episode One Here.

  • Introduction of host - Steve Cherubino
  • What is the "Blue Screen of Death" (BSOD)?
  • First fix - use FIXBOOT from the Windows Recovery console
  • Second Fix - Use CHKDSK /R from the Windows Recovery Console
  • Third Fix - Spinrite - from GRC.com
  • If you get the error that says "IRQ NOT LESS OR EQUAL", try reseating the momory or replacing the RAM.
  • If you can get into Windows, try a System Restore

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