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Diagnosing Windows 10 Performance Issues | Apple Valley Computer Upgrades

Diagnosing Windows 10 Performance Issues

Microsoft has done it again. With Windows 10 clearly on track to becoming the most popular operating system in the world, the number of computer and mobile users who complain about performance issues is increasing.

The Migration Towards Windows 10

The staggering adoption rate of Windows 10 can be pinpointed to a couple of factors: First of all, Microsoft has developed a powerful operating system that users are strongly attracted to; second, the company has been particularly aggressive in terms of pushing free upgrades.

Just a few months after the official launch of Windows 10, several users went online to vent their frustrations about the sluggish performance of their systems after the upgrade. The complaints ranged from an overall slowdown to long waiting times when switching between applications.

Possible Causes of Performance Issues

One of the problems with Windows 10 can be attributed to Microsoft being too aggressive in terms of marketing free upgrades to users whose devices barely met the system requirements, and this is a situation that the company has previously experienced back in the days of Windows XP and Windows 7.

The most frustrated users who encountered performance issues after the Windows 10 upgrade opted for reverting back to their previous operating system; however, this is not necessary in many cases.

Diagnosing Potential Issues

Many of the problems being reported by users who have recently upgraded to Windows 10 are not related to the operating system itself; in fact, these are not exactly new issues. Computer owners from Victorville and Apple Valley have likely experienced similar issues with previous versions of Windows.

If a computer that has been upgraded to Windows 10 starts acting up, the best course of action is to conduct a diagnostic session. Some issues may be related to the operating system in terms of compatibility with the hardware platform; these problems can be solved by optimizing the page file settings, fixing registry conflicts and defragmenting the hard drive. There may be hardware concerns related to the functioning of the fans, loose connection and the seating of the processor cards. In some cases, the device settings and power management options must be adjusted to match Windows 10, and this is particularly the case with laptops.

Get Help From Experts when Upgrading
To properly upgrade and modernize a computer, installing the latest version of an operating system may not be enough. In many cases, certain hardware upgrades can be applied to “future-proof” the device for the next few years. If you are experiencing issues with Windows 10 in your computing device, be sure to give us a call today.
Backing Up Personal Data Has Never Been Easier | Apple Valley Computer Security

Backing up Personal Data Has Never Been Easier

One of the most important aspects of computer operations whether in a personal environment or a business environment is data backup. The importance of data backup can never be overstated. There are numerous reasons why data backup is important. However, one of the most important is the need to have at least one additional copy of all data in case something happens to the computer where the original data is stored.

Computers have been around for many decades. During this time period, the technology concerning computers has improved tremendously. Although computers are constructed very well and contained quality components, there is always the chance that a problem can occur. As with all equipment, computer parts can go bad or software can become corrupt. Sometimes an accident may occur that can damage a computer. In addition, problems can occur that are the result of someone trying to cause harm to a computer such as hackers.

Being Prepared for Damage to Data

With so many different ways that computers can be damaged, it is always a good idea for people to perform data backups. The need for the data backups may never occur, but it is better to have data backups just in case there is a computer problem that results in damaged, deleted, or destroyed data.

The methods for data backups have changed significantly over the past decade. Today people have options concerning storage methods that were not available a few decades ago. One of the most popular data backup methods that many people use today is the cloud. In general terms, the cloud is a relatively new phrase that people use in the computer world to describe storage on a third party network.

Common Backup Methods

The cloud is used for many purposes, and one of the main purposes is to provide storage for people and businesses concerning computer data. There are many benefits to using the cloud for data backups. However, due diligence should be used regarding the cloud. Every third party cloud provider does not adhere to the same procedures and policies. Therefore, the data stored in the cloud has different levels of security, privacy, and technical operations provided by the companies that offer data storage.

For people in the Apple Valley, Victorville, and Hesperia areas who are looking for computer services, A+ Computers provide a variety of computer services such as data backup. A+ Computers has been providing services to the Apple Valley, Victorville, and Hesperia areas for many years.

We understand the importance of computer services such as data backup, and we provide the people in the Apple Valley, Victorville, and Hesperia areas with a high level of customer service along with quality technical services.
The Basics of Keeping Your Computer Equipment Clean | Victorville Maintenance

The Basics of Keeping Your Computer Equipment Clean

Spring cleaning is something that we often neglect to apply to our computer equipment. These days, when we talk about the need to keep our computers clean, we often refer to scanning our operating systems for spyware, browser extensions, hijackers, and unnecessary processes that load at startup or else continuously run from memory.

Keeping computers clean also means eliminating the dust that accumulates around crucial components. Dusty systems are common in Apple Valley, Victorville and other communities in the High Desert; this is due to the dry and arid conditions that translate into very small dust particles that get into hardware.

The Importance of Cleaning Away Dust

Computer fans tend to be the most affected by dust particles that accumulate and reduce the system’s overall cooling efficiency. Dusty computers tend to run hotter and force fans to spin faster, thereby reducing their useful life. Frequently dusting computers on the outside is something that all computer owners can do, and this will certainly go a long way in maintaining the longevity of systems; however, an internal dusting is something that should be done once at least once a year.

Clients who bring their systems to A Plus Computers for spring cleaning usually request dusting in addition to a system tune-up; this makes sense insofar as improving overall performance. When a dusty computer is running hidden spyware processes, the CPU temperature rises as more resources are taken up; this will cause the internal fans to spin at higher speeds.

Don’t Delay When It Comes to Cleaning

You would be surprised how much dust and dirt can accumulate in the case of computers and laptops alone. A full cleaning includes the internal components such as heat sinks, graphics and sound cards, fan blades, rails, etc. We use compressed air, special solvents and small precision tools to accomplish this. When systems are properly dusted, cleaned and tuned-up, clients can immediately notice an improvement in performance.

Desktops and laptops are not the only computing systems that need dusting from time to time. Keyboards, speakers, mice, tablets, smartphones, media centers, printers, scanners, and monitors can also benefit from internal cleanings. In the end, these cleanings help avoid malfunction, and the also extend the lifetime of the devices.
Hard Drive Encryption and Permanent File Deletion | Victorville Data Backup

Hard Drive Encryption and Permanent File Deletion

Electronic file encryption is a topic that has been making news headlines lately. Apple Valley and Victorville residents who have been following the outcome of the horrific terrorist attack in nearby San Bernardino are by now familiar with the efforts by law enforcement to access the files inside the computers and mobile devices left behind by the attackers.

How Encryption Factors Into Recent Events
Investigators have been looking for a missing hard drive, and they are in possession of the smartphones of the dead shooters, who were killed in a fierce shootout with police. FBI forensic investigators have not been able to access the data in the encrypted iPhones, and they have obtained a court order compelling Silicon Valley giant Apple to collaborate in this effort. Thus far, Apple has refused to comply, and the explanation by the company’s legal team is that helping to break the encryption of the seized iPhones may put the data of millions of users at risk.

The Development of Modern Encryption

Modern computing devices and operating systems feature much stronger security and encryption protocols than they did in the early 21st century, and this is largely due to the revelations about widespread surveillance and spying by the United States National Security Agency (NSA). Hardware manufacturers and software engineers believe that users have a right to privacy, and thus full encryption can be found in many settings, from hard drives to smartphones and even in the cloud.

Full disk encryption and secure file deletion are features found in Windows versions 7 through 10, and they are also found in Mac OS X. Windows also offers the BitLocker encryption tool, which requires a special chip in the system. By using the highest levels of encryption, users can ensure that their files will not be accessed by others who do not have the right credentials, which can be password combinations, challenges and even biometric scans.

Should the FBI be successful in breaching the encrypted iPhones mentioned above, there is still a chance that the dead attackers may have executed a secure file deletion, which means that the data may be irretrievable beyond any forensic means. Average users may not be able to perform such high levels of file deletion if their operating systems prevent them from doing so.

The best way to ensure that a computer or mobile device is fully encrypted, or to confirm that files can be safely deleted permanently, is to speak to a computer repair technician so that these features can be adequately enabled.
Apple's El Capitan Update for Mac: Is It Worth It? | Apple Valley Laptops

Apple’s El Capitan Update for Mac: Is It Worth It?

California is a region near and dear to tech giant Apple; after all, this is where founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs once dreamed of shaking up the computer industry by making it appealing to households. For this reason, it should come as no surprise that Apple products are quite popular in the High Desert area.

A Brief History of Apple’s Operating Systems

There used to be a time when Mac users in Apple Valley and Victorville did not have to worry about operating system (OS) upgrades; that was decades ago when the architecture of Apple computers was built in a way that the OS was integrated and locked to the hardware. These days, however, Apple seems to release OS X updates more often than they actually release new systems.

One particular OS X update is causing concerns among Mac users. We are talking about OS X El Capitan 10.11.3, which Apple released for the purpose of providing greater stability and security. The first thing that Mac users have noticed about this OS X update is that clocks in at a considerable 661 MB and does not really offer any new, visible features.

Possible Issues Experienced by Mac Users

Something else that some Mac users have noticed is that they are running into errors when trying to install this update. These errors display a message that explains that the update can not be verified or that the installation was not successful. As with many other issues related to Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad, these errors may be related to the OS X date and time, which can be set automatically when the Mac is online or manually if the Internet connection is unreliable.

Another fix to the errors above can be found by navigating to the Apple Support website using Safari and getting either the update or the actual OS X package with the patch, but this would be a 1.47 GB download.

Visit A+ Computers For Technical Assistance

Yet other Mac users are bringing their computers to the shop after installing the update; they believe that their system is now running too fast and unstable. This problem is usually related to an older hardware configuration, and it may just be a matter of getting used to the update.

Mac technicians can tell whether a specific machine should be running the latest OS X; however, Apple is known to release updates that are better than others. Skipping the current update and waiting for the next one, which promises new features, is another solution at this time.
Trying Out New Operating Systems | A Plus Computer Services in Apple Valley

Trying out New Operating Systems

For certain computer users in Apple Valley and Victorville, 2016 will the year they decide to break from their molds to test a new operating system.

A History of Operating Systems

Over the last few decades, the personal computing industry has been ruled by Windows and Mac OS, the flagship operating systems respectively developed by Microsoft and Apple. While these two tech giants have dominated the operating systems landscape in recent years, computer users these days are more likely to venture out of the mold in this regard.

There was a time when American computer buyers had more choices related to operating systems. In the late 1980s, for example, personal computers were powered by a variety of operating systems, from Windows to Macintosh and from Amiga to Atari. In some cases, computer manufacturers would offer more than one OS choice; for example, an Amiga could run on OS/2 and AmigaOS while a PC could run on Windows and DOS.

In the early 21st century, Windows and Mac OS dominated both the personal and business computing markets. Although Linux distributions started making headlines, Apple and Microsoft still held the lion’s share of this market; in fact, the two tech giants even released new iOS and Windows Phone for their own mobile devices.

By the time 2010 rolled around, computer users had become more open to the idea of an operating system that was not necessarily Windows or Mac OS. This idea was prompted by some school systems and government offices using Linux distributions in Europe and Latin America as well as by the proliferation of Android and Google Chrome OS on portable and mobile devices.

Modern Systems Available for Users

Computer industry analysts believe that the year 2016 will see more computer users trying out new operating systems. For those who are concerned about privacy and security, there’s Tails, an ultra-secure Linux distribution that even Edward Snowden has recommended in the past. There’s also Remix OS 2.0, an exciting version of Android that will actually run on a desktop PC or on a Mac.

Breathing New Life Into Old Computers | Victorville PC Maintenance & Repair

Breathing New Life into Old Computers

Not long ago, tech analysts pondered whether the phenomenon known as Moore’s Law was finally slowing down after more than four infallible decades. Moore’s Law refers to a 1965 article written by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel. Moore was a semiconductor visionary who reasoned that exponential growth of microprocessors will have a downward effect on pricing and access.

Moore’s Law has been a virtual fact of computer science since the last quarter of the 20th century, particularly with regard to personal computing. Out computers have been getting faster, smaller and cheaper. If you think about desktop systems a few years ago and compare them to the new modules that are about the size of a smartphone, you can certainly see Moore’s Law in action.

There was a slight lull in Moore’s Law circa 2010, but that was mostly related to the global financial crisis and to the market adjusting to the new paradigms of cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and mobile devices. We have to get used to the idea that Moore’s Law still has quite a few years to go before it slows down.

Implications of Moore’s Law

As with other concepts that define modern technology, there is a downside to Moore’s Law. As personal computing gets faster, smaller and more affordable, the potential for electronic waste increases. Old and unused computers often sit in homes and offices across Apple Valley and Victorville until they become dusty and are ultimately thrown away.

The programs currently in place to properly dispose and recycle electronic waste are not fully mature. For this reason, environmentalists in California often urge residents of the Golden State to hold on to their old devices just a little longer. Pursuant to this advice, an interesting subculture of repurposing computers has developed.

Repurposing an old computer is as easy as thinking about how and where it should be used at home. The most common example in this regard is to create a media center. Computers can easily accomplish with just a few upgrades, connectors, and peripherals. How about a home server? For most people, home networking is limited to installing a wireless router; once you install an actual server, however, the experience is improved on several levels.

Computer and Network Security Concerns for 2016 | A Plus Computer Solutions

Computer and Network Security Concerns for 2016

Over the last couple of years, the shadowy world of cybercrime has expanded and increased in terms of its reach and potential for harm. Whereas 2014 was notorious for spectacular data breaches by hacking outfits that stole personal data from massive databases, 2015 will be remembered as a year when the vulnerability of the Internet of Things (IoT) was truly laid bare.

Cloud and Smart Device Security

Two reports from 2015 are of major concern with regard to IoT security. One of these reports suggested that Iranian hackers may have gained access to a network that controls flood gates in New York. The incident appears to have been a practice run for the hackers, who may be planning retaliation for the Stuxnet malware attack allegedly perpetrated by the United States and Israel against a nuclear facility in Iran.

The second report comes from the Ukraine, where security specialists believe that Russian hackers may have injected malware in a series of networks connected to a major power plant. The breach culminated with the hackers taking operational control of the power grid and causing blackouts on Christmas Eve.

In the two reports above, security specialists are concerned that systems connected to the cloud are vulnerable to cyber attacks. This means that malicious hackers could also launch attacks on residential IoT devices that connect to the cloud, which include: printers, refrigerators, smoke alarms, home security systems, and even wearable devices. It is clearly evident that cloud and IoT security has become a must.

Choosing the Right Security Configuration

Manufacturers of consumer electronics in the U.S. intend to release and market many IoT devices in 2016. It is not unreasonable to think that every other home in Victorville and Apple Valley will soon have at least on IoT device by the end of the decade.

If you plan to introduce an IoT device to your home this year, you should also think about upgrading your security. Cybercriminals will increasingly target cloud-connected devices for the purpose of following their data stream to the homes and offices where they physically reside; the nefarious idea is to explore the potential for intrusion through the Wi-Fi network.

In 2016, cyber threats will no longer be confined to computers; they will extend to smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, and any cloud-connected object. To this effect, it is imperative to choose the right Internet security suite and to configure home and office networks so that they are protected against intrusions and breaches.

Why Custom Computers Are Making a Comeback | Victorville PC Center

Why Custom Computers Are Making a Comeback

“I’m going to get a new computer” is a simple New Year’s resolution to make; however, once the time comes when a purchasing decision must be made, the various choices require some level of consideration. The sheer amount of choices and different configurations can be overwhelming, which is why custom computer builders expect a resurgence of interest in 2016.

Custom Built Computers Customizes to Your Needs

There used to be a time when custom computers were so in vogue that major manufacturers such as Dell created a business model based on this option. In terms of full customization, Dell and other computer giants did not offer that much; however, their marketing and scalability made them very successful for a while. In the last few years, the world of retail computers mostly focused on out-of-the-box systems, but a few trends are signaling the return of custom computers.[/su_note]

In the United Kingdom, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has been making headlines with its commitment to advance computer science through a hands-on approach. The hardware promoted by the Foundation is a tiny and very affordable computer that does not do much on its own, but it can be customized so that it can provide a variety of solutions.

Modern Innovations More Powerful Than Ever Before

What we are seeing at A Plus Computer in Apple Valley is an interest in custom computers inspired by the tiny Raspberry Pi. A number of electronic manufacturers are producing single boards with powerful microprocessors and enough ports for accessories and peripherals; these small devices are replacing the tower computers of yore, and they allow a high degree of customization.
Clients from Victorville are intrigued about these petite machines that can breezily run Windows 10 or the latest Linux distribution. These devices do not take up a lot of room, and they can be hidden within attractive and unusual cases.

The advent of Bitcoin has also advanced the field of custom computer building since mining this digital currency requires special computing rigs. All the same, advances in cryptography and the Edward Snowden NSA spying scandal have prompted the custom building of ultra-secure computers by technicians who can be trusted.

Yet other clients are not too thrilled about smart television sets; they are more interested in home theater solutions operated from a media server. In these cases, a custom computer with the right video card, processing power, and generous cooling can be made and configured as the ultimate entertainment center.

Home Networking Trends for 2016 | Apple Valley Home Computer Setup

Home Networking Trends for 2016

By virtue of being home to Silicon Valley, California is one of the most connected regions of the world, and Apple Valley is no exception. Virtually every other household from here to Victorville has some sort of network installed within, and in some cases the connections and devices are very sophisticated.

Networking is More Crucial Than Ever

In 2016, we expect to see a greater demand for home networking. We can now pick and choose the type of network installation we would enjoy at home based on our needs. The network configuration that are most requested across California is wireless. Some clients who run a business from their homes request wired networks with multiple Ethernet outlets; these are often clients who want to run their own Local Area Network (LAN), or who may have a special home automation project in mind.
Speaking of home automation, we believe that 2016 will be a great year for smart home networks. Up until recently, smart home appliances were limited to lighting control systems, fire alarms, and security devices. What we are seeing a push towards the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), which is a set of technologies and protocols that allow smart devices to network and communicate.

Networks Will Becomes More Complex

As the IoT becomes more complex, so will the need for properly installed and configured networks. Until recently, setting up a network between a laptop running Windows, an Xbox One, and a Nokia Lumia smartphone was something that anyone could easily accomplish. When we are talking about networking various computers, tablets, smartphones, printers, scanners, game consoles, electronic locks, refrigerators, smart televisions, thermostats, security cameras, and even wearable devices, a special network installation and configuration will be required.
Now that more smart devices are entering our homes, we should be paying attention to the quality of our network, which should start with a solid wiring backbone before configuring the router. Haphazard installations often result in unpleasant issues such as latency, dropped streams and bad connections. The problems are not limited to backbone wiring; the placement of networking devices such as routers and switches is also crucial for the purpose of avoiding interference and boosting signal strength.