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This Must-have tool has been around since Windows 7, and Microsoft hasn’t touched it since. You won’t find it in the Settings app where you likely first turn when you need to perform a bit of system maintenance on your PC. Instead, it’s hiding out in the the old Windows Control Panel. What it is is the ability to create a full system backup, which you can use to restore your PC should it fail, become corrupted or otherwise stop operating smoothly.

Because the tool to create a system image is somewhat buried in Windows 10, let’s shine a light on where it’s located and how to use it.

Instructions Here

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There are three reasons to upgrade a motherboard:
1. The existing one has failed
2. You want increase your PC performance
3. To modernize your system

However, this is not the easiest of tasks as it can mean literally stripping the system down to gain access to the board, and then rebuilding it. Also, because so many other parts are involved, the potential for something going wrong as a result is higher than with any other type of upgrade.

These are two good reasons to not do it unless absolutely necessary. Another is that a motherboard upgrade may require other components to be upgraded as well.

The older your system, the more likely this is. Old computers will be incompatible with modern motherboards in virtually every respect. Even the case may need replacing. In this situation, a brand new PC makes more sense than a motherboard upgrade.

With systems between 3 and 5 years old, the CPU and memory will almost certainly have to be replaced. The good news is however, that the new motherboard will come with integrated networking card, integrated sound card, integrated VGA/HDMI ports.

A motherboard upgrade to accommodate a modern CPU could mean a new power supply unit as well. This is due to the high power requirements of these devices. It would be absolute silly to run one of the latest CPUs on an old 300 watt PSU.

The bottom line then, is that before you do it be sure that there is no alternative. Clearly, if the existing board has failed, its a no-brainer. If it’s a faster PC you want, try a memory upgrade first. If that’s not enough either, consider upgrading the hard drive to Solid State Disk. These newer hard drives are so much faster that it will greatly improve booting time, opening your heavy programs and your web browsing will be much snappier.

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Here is my take on to how to make passwords more secure:

* Use a mix of lower and uppercase letters: Mixing up your cases adds complexity and safety to your chosen password.
* Add numbers: adding your favorite numbers will give you a safer password by increasing it’s complexity. EASY can be 345Y
* Add symbols: Symbols are the secret to security. In the basic ASCII character set, there are 128 possible characters can you imagine some one trying to guess which letter/character/symbol is next on your password?

Password length = Password strength

Most websites prompt you to create a code with a minimum and maximum amount of characters, often between 8 and 14. Since each additional character increases your odds of staying safe, be sure to max out the length of your password. If you can enter 14 characters, don’t stop at 10 — those extra 4 characters will work to your statistical advantage.

Password padding: Symbols are your secret weapon

It used to be that a random password like Pr5^w4”t3F was perceived to be the best password. But the reality is that people can’t actually remember those totally random passwords, so they don’t end up using or sticking with them.

To solve this dilemma, Security researcher Steve Gibson wanted to create a memorable password strategy that would be equally secure. He stumbled onto the idea that long passwords loaded with symbols can be both ultra-secure and yet also easily memorized. He came up with the following example to prove his point.

Which of these is easier to remember? Which is more secure?


The more memorable password is D0g!(!(!(!(!(! since it looks like the familiar word “dog” and ends with a repeating pattern of symbols. And according to Gibson, D0g!(!(!(!(!(! is also the more secure password because, while it too has numbers, letters (upper and lowercase), and symbols, the first example is one character longer than the random second password — and it has more symbols.

We found this cool website that gives you an idea of how strong or how easy it is to crack the password you enter. Search Space Calculator

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We feel computers in general can be categorized into three groups: low-end, mid-range, high-end. The type of CPU to get will directly depend on how you plan to use your computer.

Low-End Systems
Computes in this group are good for basic applications such as word processing, playing simple games, basic finance software, printing, emailing and HTML web browsing. If this sounds like what you’ll be doing most of the time with your computer then you will be more than okay with any of the newer Intel or AMD dual core CPU’s. The price for these processors are priced under $100.

Mid-Range Systems
Computers in this group are good for all above plus the ability to to some multitasking. Perhaps you’d like to watch a video while you’re working on a different program on a second monitor. for this type of use, you’ll want to get yourself at least a second generation i3 or i5 Intel CPU or A6 / A8 / A10 series processor. The price range for these group of CPU’s is between $100-$150. Generally speaking, these computers are awesome for students and those who do office-type work.

High-End Systems
Computers in this group are good for all the above plus the ability to run heavy applications much better. If you’re into video editing, simulation software, games, music editing. you want to get the latest Intel i5 or i7 quad core processors or AMD’s FX quad/hex/octa Core processors. The current pricing for these CPU’s start at around $200+.

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If you are looking to boost your wifi signal here are some simple tricks and advanced techniques to improve to your home Wifi in your house.
Move your router:
It is so simple, but you may not realize that where you place the router really makes a difference. Clearly best location should be somewhere open and central, but often you are forced to having the router where the Internet modem is.
Turns out, the higher your router is on a shelf or furniture, the less physical interference it is likely to encounter. Move the router to the best highest possible position to take advantage of doorways and open spaces instead of walls and corners. Furniture, walls and appliances can weaken your wifi signal substantially.
Walls and physical obstacles weaken your signal, but signals emitted by any electromagnetic household appliances do too. Move your router away from: microwaves, cordless phones, other wifi devices, and Bluetooth devices.

Router Tweaks:
Once you have got your router on a good spot, take these next steps to help further improve your wifi signal.

  • If you own an older B or G router it is time to upgrade to an n router to double your range and speeds. There are some new n routers for as little as $30. These n routers can handle local electrical and physical signal interference better than B and G.
  • Fact is current N routers can operate at either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands. Make sure your router is set to 2.4 GHz because the wifi signal is noticeably better at travelling through walls.
  • Routers have frequency channels within the 2.4Ghz band; make sure your neighbors are not on the same frequency. To find out what wifi frequency you and your neighbors are on use a software tool like inSSIDer. Once you have found the ideal channel, follow your routers  instructions to change the channel.

Get a WiFi Range Extender:

I’ll try to make it as simple as possible. The basic Idea here is that the WiFi Range Extender will literally amplify the wireless signal by rebroadcasting it. The setup can sometimes be tricky but try to follow my advise here and things will go smoother. First, you’re going to connect your laptop or desktop directly to the extender using a standard cat5 network cable. Try to do this where you have good wireless signal. Next, you’re going to turn off or disable the WiFi adapter on the PC/laptop you’re using to do the setup. Next, open up your favorite web browser and a setup page will pop up. If you don’t get anything, try again by going to any website or go to the IP address that is specified on the extender (some models want you to enter a username & password that it’s also provided on the back). At this point all that needs to be done really is to enter the current existing WiFi information (SSID and password). Some models will have other advanced settings but you don’t really need to mess around with those settings- defaults should be okay. So click save or apply and the page will verify connection and you’ll be told that the info you provided is good to go or the password was wrong. Once you get the green light on that setup page, simply unplug the extender from your PC/Laptop and relocate the extender somewhere in between where your signal starts getting weak fast. You might need to try different spots in your house to get the best result. The settings you applied should stay saved even if you loose power for couple hours.  That’s all there is to it.

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Many things can cause a computer to break down. Anything from a broken component to malware can put a machine out of action or cause it to operate so poorly that it is practically unable to function. However, malware and other software-based problems can be solved easily with antivirus and other software repair tools.

Hardware issues require a different approach.

There are a few simple ways to tell which computer hardware component is broken. The first way is as simple as paying close attention when turning it on. The timing of when it fails and what the computer does is critical in this step. If the computer will not start at all or begins to get going and then stops abruptly, the problem is most likely the power supply, which should be easily and cheaply replaced. If the computer is able to start, but then you hear a few tones and the computer shuts down, there is a problem with the hardware configuration. The tones you hear are a code played by the motherboard that indicate what is wrong. If the computer is functioning properly, it will play a single tone at start-up. Otherwise, you will hear a series of beeps. To identify what the problem is at this stage, simply check your specific computer’s manufacturer documentation. These steps will lead you in the correct path to repairing your own computer. Some manufacturers also use led codes instead of beep codes to let you know what’s wrong with your computer. For example several of the dell desktops have 1-2-3-4 led lights that turn amber or green giving you a unique combination that tells the user exactly what’s computer part is failing.

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When you first got your computer, you effectively sailed around the Internet. But if loading websites now takes forever, some simple maintenance will help you speed up your browsing.
Think of your browser as a bike; the more belongings you load onto it, the slower you will go.
Toolbars are infamous resource leeches. Rule of thumb is if you are not using a toolbar several times a day, ditch it. In Firefox, go to Tools, Add-ons, and Disable Toolbars. In Internet Explorer, go to Internet Options, Advanced Tab, click reset.
Add-ons and Extensions
These are like toolbars but may be running in the background. Check to see you are really using these tools enough to merit their resource consumption.
• In Internet Explorer, go to tools Internet Options, Programs tab, and Manage Add-ons. You will see all the add-ons that are enabled. I say disable everything but the Shockwave Flash add-on.
• In Firefox, hit Firefox, Addons,  then uninstall/disable everything you can.
• In Chrome, go to Tools, Extensions and disable everything you can
Bookmarks and Favorites
Another drag on your browser comes from bookmarks; mainly because those links tend to be scanned by Antivirus software. Limit them to 25 or so, and keep the rest in a separate Word file on your desktop.
Change Browsers
Toms Hardware is a tech site that tests the speed of browsers yearly. Their most recent assessment shows Firefox is fastest, then the Chrome browser, Internet Explorer second to last, and then Apples Safari is slowest.
Even just getting a new browser, one you have not played with, can be faster than your previous browser.
Defragging your hard-drive is a well-known tool for speeding up all facets of computing – even web browsing. Hit Start, type “defrag” in the search bar and open Disk Defragmenter.

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STEP 1: Back Up Documents
The instructions to follow will show you one way of removing computer viruses and spyware for free! The method used here is aimed for users who are not too technical but are comfortable using computers. Before you venture onto removing computer viruses and spyware, save your files to an external hard drive if possible. Be sure to scan this external drive after you remove the computer virus; we don not want to re-infect your computer after the clean up. If you already have backup or do not have an external drive go ahead and start with step 2.
STEP 2: Reboot in Safe Mode
The idea here is to prevent the computer virus or  spyware program from running when you attempt to remove it. To do this, unplug any external hard drives and reboot in safe mode. Safe mode runs only the basic Windows operating system and a few important programs to still let you use your computer. Restart your computer and hit the F8 key on the keyboard repeatedly until you get to a black screen with the option of restarting in Safe Mode. Choose Safe Mode with Networking. Windows will boot-up and allow you to perform step 3.
STEP 3: Download Three Free Virus Removal Tools
We recommend downloading two or three different programs to find and remove the malware. One may do the job, but three will do a cleaner job. These three have worked well for most cases.
Norton NPE
STEP 4: Run The Virus Scanners
After downloading, install them accepting all the defaults. Next, run the scanners one at a time. This will take a while, about an hour and depending on how much data you have. When these programs locate a computer virus or any suspicious files choose delete files.
STEP 5: Reboot in Normal Mode
Reboot your computer normally by going to Start then Restart. If you have files backed up on an external drive, plug it in and use the security programs downloaded to scan this drive before you open or transfer any files.
We say that at this point, most people should take the computer to a local PC repair shop or contact us if you are nearby.
STEP 6: Add Security
Since you got a virus in the first place it is clear you need more protection. Malwarebytes is a real-time scanner that you can use as your ongoing protection or install something like Bitdefender.

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Hard drive failure is easy to identify, in most cases the system will not boot and the BIOS will not detect it.

First item to check here is that the hard drive powers up. For most conventional hard drives, the way you tell if a hard drive powers up is simply buy touching or holding the hard drive on the label side. You will feel the rotating disks and vibration when the hard drive is powered up. Open the PC case and connect a different power plug to the drive so we can establish power in the plug and good connection.

Second item to check is that the SATA interface cable is connected and seated properly at both ends. Borrow your optical drive cable just to see if you can get it to recognize on with the BIOS.

Third item to check is the BIOS itself. Rule out that no one has altered your BIOS settings. If you are unsure about the values, reset all the settings to default settings or optimal settings

If the hard drive is recognized by the BIOS but the disk makes some clicking noise as it spins then it is also an indication that you have got a hard drive failure.

Lastly , there are few but common cases where none of the above is conclusive but the disk is failing. For these cases you will need to run some software based testing.

A lot of new computer models nowadays come with built in BIOS based memory test and hard drive test utilities, take advantage of those tools and run the tests. If your PC model did not come with such a tool, you can always download a freely available Drive Fitness Test ISO to burn onto CD. This CD will allow you to boot-up with it to run the hard drive test utility.