Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Computer Maintenance

Troubleshooting, Installations & Cleanup

Computer repair services: troubleshooting, installations and cleanup

Computer Running Slow?

If your computer is running slow or if certain programs don't work any longer, I can help.

I provide the following maintenance and troubleshooting services:

  • Ensuring your computer's operating system and programs are updated.
  • Installations of new software and devices.
  • Removing old or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs).
  • Diagnosing computer crashes, failed programs and installations.
  • Recommendations of hardware upgrades that will improve your experience.

Assessing the Problem

Troubleshooting services start with an assessment of the problem followed by recommendations and solutions that work.

Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance ensures that your computer is running as smoothly as possible with current versions of your software installed and older or dangerous software removed.

Call to book an appointment!

Onsite or In-shop

These services are available either onsite (in-home or in-office) or in-shop (you can drop off your computer).

Onsite servicing is more convenient and is required for the setup or troubleshooting of most network-related issues.

Getting Prepared

Start by recording the information about your computer hardware and software. Here's how.

Backup Your Files

You can help speed the process by ensuring that you have a recent backup of your computer files, particularly:

  • your documents, music, photos, videos and other data files;
  • backups to your email program including email addresses;
  • Firefox or Chrome bookmarks & Edge or IE favorites;
  • critical system files; and
  • any other files that are important to you.

Locating Your Data

Note that some older programs keep their data within the program folder and most recent programs keep it either within the Documents folder for the current user or within hidden folders inside your personal area (C:\Users for Vista or later).

Software & License Numbers

You should also have these items handy:

  • operating system software*;
  • software program disks as well as licensed downloaded software;
  • operating system and software license keys;
  • your ISP setup instructions; and
  • any network or proprietary software and instructions.

* Windows 10 computers don't generally come with software. You can reinstall Windows from within Windows itself.

Discovering What Went Wrong

Computer and related services

It helps to know what you were doing on your computer when your problem occurred as well as any error messages that were displayed.

Its Not About Blame!

This is not an issue of blame. However, it narrows the possible causes of your problems and helps speed up the process of recovery.

Selective Reinstall

Sometimes the problem can be resolved with either a selective reinstall of the program or the hardware driver affected.

  • Windows System Restore may recover your system.
  • Other solutions may require looking for aberrant settings or corruption in the system files.

Is a Clean Install Needed?

In some cases I will recommend a "clean" install. This consists of formatting the hard drive followed by a complete reinstallation of the operating system. By removing all files you can eradicate problems that may not be corrected by a standard reinstallation.

Removes Corrupt/Unnecessary Files & Settings

This removes all corrupt and unneeded files from your computer including those infected by a virus or spyware and those remaining after programs or other software has been uninstalled.

Backups are Critical

Unfortunately this process will wipe all programs and data from your computer. It is essential that you have reliable backups of at least

  • your data files (documents, photos, etc.); and
  • your user files (email backups, email addresses and browser bookmarks or favorites).

The Restore Process

The operating system (Windows, macOS or Linux) will need to be reinstalled, then the drivers for all hardware including printers and accessories then all programs not installed with the operating system.

Call to book an appointment!

 

Backup Your System

A full backup of your system is recommended prior to any servicing.

The backup will ensure that recovery is possible if your system or data files are lost. More about backup strategies.

Prepare for Disaster

Knowledge about critical files and system recovery for your operating system will assist you in preparing for potential disaster as well as keeping you from deleting or changing critical files that can lead to an operating system malfunction.

Loss Unlikely But Possible

While every effort will be made to save photos, music and other data, recovery of these files after a catastrophic failure is more difficult (and sometimes impossible).

Adds to the Cost

It also takes time to make these backups and will add to the cost of recovery.

Hidden Files

However, I can back up hidden and obscure settings most users are unaware of which can avoid lost data.

Call to book an appointment!

Support Resources

 

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Updated: March 30, 2021