Category Archives: Tips/Support

Ways to Improve Your Computer Performance and Reliability

There’s no doubt about it – slow computer performance, poor reliability, and a host of software issues can mount up to a very bad day indeed:

Just about everyone deals with a lagging computer sometime or another.

Not only is it a pain to try and figure out which programs or applications are causing your computer to perform badly, it can be a serious hit to your day’s productivity. Improving the performance and reliability of your computer allows you to work faster and smarter, freeing you from the persnickety task of having to play IT guy over your lunch break.

Here’s a quick list of things that you can do to help your computer work the way you want it to.

1) Clean up your hard drive. There may be programs and software installed in your computer that you never use, and just by merit of their existence, they’re slowing your computer down. In the Control Panel, under “Administrative Tools,” you can choose a “Disk Cleanup” option that will help you get rid of the unnecessary junk. Under the “Tools” tab, you’ll see an option for defragmenting your hard drive, which will consolidate the fragments of programs cluttering your drive.

2) Make sure that your anti-virus software is up to speed. After you’ve owned your computer for a while, chances are good that your subscription to your anti-virus software will have run out. There are tons of good, totally free anti-virus and anti-malware programs like Malwarebites and Microsoft Security Essentials that will find the pesky viruses that sneak into your computer and get rid of them with ease.

3) Manage your startup tasks. Some programs start as soon as you turn your computer on, and they might be programs that you don’t even use. A long list of startup tasks means your computer will take some time to get going. Managing these tasks varies by operating system, but Windows has pages to guide you through the process.

4) Take note of the little things. Is your computer running too hot? Are there alerts about software or driver updates that you’ve been ignoring? Are your computer’s power settings adjusted for optimal usage? Make sure your computer has sufficient airflow, update your software and drivers, and adjust your power settings!

5) Download responsibly, or clear the clutter! Make sure if you download a program or application, that it’s not just a piece of spyware or a toolbar that you’ll never use. If your computer is covered with toolbars, icons, and games you don’t play, get rid of them. They’re more than likely the culprit for some of your computer’s speed issues.

6) Regular maintenance is essential. The above aren’t just one-time fixes – you need to make sure that you’re regularly checking for viruses, defragmenting your drive, getting rid of clutter, and more. Treat your computer like your car: the oil needs to be changed, the vehicle needs to be inspected, and vigilance is required to catch small problems before they become big ones.

Mirekusoft develops software that helps maintain your computer’s speed and enhance its reliability. Download Mirekusoft Install Monitor now.

Also, you can take a look at the infographic below, which shows the dangers of Malware in a bit more depth.

http://visual.ly/impact-malware-your-computer-ans-business

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The Problem with the Shutdown Dialog

In addition to installing software I need, another thing I also do when setting up a new computer is enabling the following group policy option for Turn off automatic termination of applications that block or cancel shutdown. It’s in the Shutdown Options part of the group policy editor (you will need the Professional edition of Windows for this). What does it do and why is needed?

image
Shutdown Options

This option controls the Shutdown UI that gets shown when you have an application that blocks shutdown. Since Windows Vista, the following UI is show on shutdown. What problem did it solve?

shutdown screen
The full screen shutdown dialog

Well prior to this dialog when you attempted to shutdown it was hard to keep track of the different application windows that may have been blocking shutdown or requesting something from the user to allow shutdown. The shutdown dialog allows you to easily see what applications are blocking shutdown.

However this dialog creates issues of it’s own. It gives you two options that aren’t really helpful. Shut down anyway and Cancel. Shutdown anyway means exactly that. It means possibly losing work and important state. And choosing cancel doesn’t help because you’re back to square one of trying to shutdown.

It would be nice if there was a way to respond to applications that are blocking shutdown and save your work as necessary. However the dialog is full screen and doesn’t allow switching to other applications.

Ideally most applications would be smart enough to save their current state and restore it when on reboot instead of blocking shutdown. For instance if you had a document you had modified the application would save the modified document to a temporary document and restore that when it was run after restart. However until that happens I find disabling the shutdown dialog allows me to restart without losing work.

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How to prepare your computer for the holiday season

September has arrived and before you know it, it’s the holiday season. How prepared are you  and your computer for this big event?

Most common PC problems experienced during the holiday season

holiday PC problem fixes and recommendations

holiday PC problem fixes and recommendations

For some reason, the holiday season makes our computers ran a little bit slower and a bit weird. Avoid having to deal with this during the height of the celebration by following these recommendations.

Insufficient Memory

Check your memory and see if it has sufficient space. Discard unnecessary files; otherwise purchase additional memory to ensure it will work efficiently this holiday season.

Transferring important files to new computers

At times, it is just inevitable for us to purchase a new computer. However, transferring your files to your new PC could be a very time intensive process.

An easy way for this is to transfer it using USB based flash drives. You just have to ensure that it is free from any virus. But for bigger data files strictly for archiving, then purchasing an external hard drive to save it there may be more practical.

Upgrading your graphics

For many, the holiday season is a wonderful opportunity to:

  • Watch and share family videos
  • play video games with kids
  • Edit Youtube videos for everyone to see

It would be a disappointment if you will not be able to enjoy these because you failed to upgrade your video graphics.

Preparing your needed cables

It might have been months since you last used your printer, cameras and digital audio players. Sadly, you may have misplaced its necessary cables. Do check it out and remember where you’ve placed these cables, otherwise you may need to purchase a new one to be able to use it this holiday.

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Should You Uninstall Java, Today?

Approximately three (3) billion devices uses Oracle’s Java software and in a PC Pitstop study, they’ve shared that out of 155,745 computers, 29.6% of these have Java.  Sadly, Kapersky Lab, stated that half of the cyber attacks that happened last year have been caused by it.

Java and the Department of Homeland and Security

How to uninstall Java in Windows 7

Is it time to uninstall Java?

On January 2013, the Department of Homeland Security recommended everyone to uninstall Java immediately. This was issued after the Department issued a rare alert saying,

… Java 7 Update 10 and earlier contain an unspecified vulnerability that can allow a remote, unauthenticated attacker to execute arbitrary code on a vulnerable system. This and previous Java vulnerabilities have been widely targeted by attackers, and new Java vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered.

Java and the Zero Day Mayhem

“Zero Day” refers to an infestation with no patch to it. As a result, users are given no alternative on how to keep themselves protected.

Doing further analysis, Kapersky revealed its 2010 Third Quarter malware attack report to the online community with these figures:

Java security holes were responsible for 50% of attacks. Windows components and Internet Explorer were only exploited in 3% of incidents.” 

With these facts, is this a call to finally get rid of Java?

Programs that Require Java

These programs require Java for it to operate:

  • OpenOffice
  • Adobe Creative Suite 5.5
  • Crash Plan Pro
Should you still use Java?

Retain Java if and only if you really need it.

Do you believe you need Java for your systems to function efficiently? You can still have it in your system, just make sure you disable it in your browser plug-in.

Games that Require Java

Should you still install Java?

Games that require Java

The following are some of the most popular games that require Java:

Minecraft – 26 million registered users
Runescape – 10 million active accounts

You can stick with the games you love. Just make sure you keep the most recent update for Java. Always check your system and uninstall unnecessary files that are starting to accumulate that is now slowing down your PC.

What’s the score? Should you uninstall Java?

Unless you do need Java for you to run your applications, it is highly recommended that you uninstall it by following these steps:

Internet Explorer

  1. Click on the Tools dropdown menu.
  2. Go to Manage Add-ons.
  3. Find the Java Plug-in under Toolbars and Extensions (it’s listed under Oracle America).
  4. Highlight it and click Disable.

Chrome

Click on the Chrome menu.

  1. Select Settings.
  2. Click Show advanced settings at the bottom of the Settings window.
  3. Click on Content Settings located at the the Privacy Section at the bottom of the page.
  4. Still at the  Content Settings panel, scroll to the Plug-ins section and click Disable individual plug-ins.
  5. Locate the Java plugin and click Disable.

Firefox

  1. Click on the Firefox tab.
  2. Choose Add-ons.
  3. Select Plugins.
  4. Find “Java (TM) Platform plugin”.
  5. Click Disable.

NOTE: (An advise has been issued that as of 1/11/13, Firefox has automatically disabled the Java plugin, but you should check to verify this has been done for your browser).

Taken from: http://techtalk.pcpitstop.com/2013/01/16/uninstall-java-now/

To fully uninstall your system from unwanted programs left behind even after uninstalling the Java, download Mirekusoft Install Monitor. Its an efficient way of removing unnecessary junk that may have accumulated over time in your system.

Sources:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/14/department-of-homeland-security-disable-java-unless-it-is-absolutely-necessary/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2013/feb/08/java-remove-ask-jack-technology
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/how-big-a-security-risk-is-java-can-you-really-quit-using-it/4749

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How to Take Back Control of Your PC

People often wonder how Install Monitor is different from other uninstaller software. First it’s more than an uninstaller and it uses a superior approach to other uninstallers. However another reason Install Monitor is unique is a reason I mentioned a while back. Mirekusoft

take back control of your PC

Mirekusoft helps you to take back control of your PC

Install Monitor helps put you back in control of you computer from bloated software that can slow it down and take precious disk space.

Providing the solution to unruly software

Sometimes you are stuck with applications that are not well written and use excessive resources. For instance iTunes is one program people complain about a lot. Mirekusoft Install Monitor 2.0 provides you unique features that I call anti-bloatware features. These features give you back control when dealing with unruly software. This is one of the key emphases of the 2.0 version.

 

How does Mirekusoft give you back control?

More information

Mirekusoft Install Monitor 2.0 provides more data about your applications. In addition to what changes the application made and how much space it is taking, you can see how often and when you last used an application. Combined with information from the Program Process Viewer, it is easier than ever to make informed decisions about what programs to remove so that you can improve performance and/or increase disk space.

The Program Tree

This provides a way to identify how a program got on to your computer. No longer having to guess how that toolbar you didn’t know about got installed.

More Control

The Program Process Viewer

This provides information about what CPU and memory resources are currently in use. It also provides you the ability to instantly stop a program from running without the need to worry about finding what services or processes to stop.

The Restart Monitor

This prevents a program’s uninstaller from unnecessarily restarting the computer. This allows you deal with badly written uninstallers.

The Startup Monitor

This gives the control back to you by allowing you to efficiently manage how your computer starts up. You can instantly “turn off” a program and the program will no longer start automatically. No guessing how to stop a program from running automatically. It’s literally just a single click of a checkbox.

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