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Slow Computer, Crashing Computer, and Black Boot Screen: Is Your Hard Drive Failing?

Could your #computer  hard drive be failing? It's possible, even if your computer is less than a year old. Within the last few months my PC Techs has seen an abnormally high ratio of hard drive failures in computers that are less than a year old. These dying hard drives were purchased from multiple sources including online and local retail outlets, and some computers had been in service for two months or less. 

Hard drive errors of this nature may be caused by mechanical defects, heat, or even a #virus  infection. The good news? #Dell  and #HP  computers almost always come with a minimum one year warranty. You may be eligible for a replacement hard drive as long as your hard drive is failing and your computer is still under #warranty

You might suspect that your hard drive is starting to fail if your computer displays the following symptoms:

 - It #hangs  on a black screen forever during boot
 - You receive frequent #crashes  and error messages
 - You receive frequent messages about 'checking the hard drive'
 - Many programs crash or hang while you're using them
 - Programs and the operating system load abnormally slow

If this is happening to you there are ways to test your hard drive to find out what's going on. 

1. Run the Windows #Chkdsk  tool to scan for file system errors. If your hard drive is failing you will notice multiple files that need to be repaired during the scan.

2. Run the built in system #diagnostic  tools from HP or Dell. These tools are accessed during system boot and provide you specific error codes about your hardware.

See the attached screenshots for an example of a hard drive failures on an HP computer. The client had reported slow system performance and a black screen during boot.

How can a company like my PC Techs help your business get work done faster? During our routine computer system maintenance, we also check for hard drive errors. If we can identify a failing hard drive before it has completely died, we will help you replace the hard drive before losing your important data.

Call us today to find out how we can help your #Phoenix , #Arizona  business get work done faster and avoid costly computer failures.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust
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Fixing a SSL (HTTPS) Page Issue when All Browsers Error Out in Windows

Fixed a client issue today on a #Windows  7 computer. The #computer  had been attacked by a #virus  and, although someone cleaned the virus recently from the system, problems remained.

The biggest issue that remained was the inability to open any #https  page on the system. No matter which browser we tried, #IE , #Chrome , and #Firefox  an error would pop up when trying to load a page with an #SSL  certificate.  

See attached for an example of the error in Firefox and Internet Explorer. "This Connection is Untrusted" and "There is a problem with this website's security certificate."

Other problems were related to this issue. For example, windows #updates  would not install since those are delivered via HTTPS. Certain anti-virus software would not install, such as #Avira   since that is also installed via HTTPS.

If you're getting this error, it is probably caused by a combination of different issues. We performed multiple steps as follows to solve the problem:

1) Run the #FixIt  tool from the following Microsoft support page:

2) Go through all of the troubleshooting steps in this #Microsoft   SSL repair steps document:

What worked in our case was repairing components manually using the regsvr32 commands in step 1. Then, in step 2, we found that the system clock was set to May 1, 2011 even though today is October 8, 2014! We changed the system date and time to reflect the current date and time.

After performing all of these steps and rebooting, we could finally load in all browsers without a security error. Windows updates worked again, and we were able to install Anti-Virus updates from various vendors.

Do you need help diagnosing slow computer in your #Phoenix  area business? my PC Techs can help.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust

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Slow HP Omni All in One? Check for OSDManager.exe

A client described an issue today with their #HP   Omni 220 all in one computer running #Windows   8.1. The #computer  was running slowly and took a long time to do much of anything, including opening a program or printing.

Upon examining the running tasks we found that the program OSDManager.exe was running at 100% CPU and taking all of the available system resources. Forcibly stopping that program returned the system to normal function.

As it turns out, the OSDManager.exe #bug  has been reported elsewhere and while HP knows about it, no known fix has been presented. It is part of the "Portrait Display" software that comes bundled on HP All in One computers.

Here's what we did to fix the issue:
 - Disable two Portrait Display services in the services list.
 - Stop the Portrait Display startup task from the registry.

Upon making these changes and rebooting the system the speed returned to normal and no additional issues were found.

Do you need help diagnosing slow computer in your #Phoenix  area business? my PC Techs can help.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust

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Creating an Animated GIF Google+ Cover Image

We've changed our Google+ cover image to an animation, see it on our page here:

If you're curious about the process here's a step by step guide on how to do it quickly for your own Google+ page:

 - Create a new Photoshop image template 2120x1192
 - Create three (or more) slides complete with text
 - Export each slide from Photoshop as a bitmap
 - Create a new Adobe Premiere Pro project
 - Import the three (or more) animation bitmap slides
 - Arrange the timeline slides w/ transition animations
 - Preview your animation until it's how you like it
 - Select File, Export, Media

Here are the export settings to generate a GIF file:

 - Format: Animated Gif
 - Width/Height dimensions set to 1080 x 608 PX
 - Frame rate: 5
 - Field Type: Progressive
 - Aspect: Square Pixels

At those settings the resulting animated GIF was 12.5 MB and still within the upload limits for Google cover images. From here, just head to your Google+ page, manage it, and select the "Change Cover" button. Upload your new GIF file, set your cropping preferences, and you're done!

Pretty fast and easy to do. I am sure there are other ways to create an animated cover picture for your Google Plus profile but these steps worked well for us. See the MP4 (non GIF) version on Youtube here: Google+ Animated Gif Cover Image

Did you follow this guide? Let us know how these steps work for you in the comments below.
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Windows 7 or Windows 8, Which One is Right for You?

Some of our clients love #Windows8  and some prefer #Windows7  . In most cases, we find that those with a #touchscreen  computer such as an all In one PC or a tablet are better off with Windows 8. Those with traditional desktop systems or non-touch laptops will often get better performance from Windows 7.

We still can and usually do purchase and install Windows 7 computers for our #Phoenix  area business clients. We only purchase and install Windows 8 computers by request.

If you would like some expert advice about the best operating system for your next computer purchase, consult with us. We can determine your needs and help you acquire the best possible operating system for your intended usage.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust

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Save Money on New Business Computers 

Are you looking to speed up your workforce and increase productivity with new #computers  ? As a #Dell  registered partner, my PC Techs will save your business money and greatly simplify any technology #upgrade  for your #Phoenix  area office.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert IT Solutions You Can Trust

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my PC Techs in #Phoenix  , #Arizona    Brings Your Office Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust

Faster computers, faster networks, and devices that work better together. That's the my PC Techs advantage.

Give your business a cutting edge over the competition.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust

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Simplify Technology Management for Your Business

Managing technology assets for a growing business can be a daunting task. There is a wide mix of devices and hardware available, including #computers  , #laptops  , #tablets  , #smartphones  , #servers  , #thecloud  , #networks  . Beyond the hardware itself, a business also needs to manage a complex variety of #apps  and  #software .

We find that most of our clients will have a tech-savvy employee with moderate computing knowledge. That same employee is responsible for day to day #technicalsupport  in the office. However, that employee will often call us for more complicated projects they either cannot understand or don't have time to manage.

How can an #IT  company like  *my PC Techs* in #Phoenix  , #Arizona  help your business? We take the pressure of technology management off your hands and provide assistance with:
 - Computer #Upgrades  
 - Software #Updates  
 - Budgeting Decisions
 - #Cloud  Deployments
 - Server #Maintenance  
 - #Virus  Removal
 - Computer Maintenance and Computer #Repairs  
 - Computer #Networking  and Cabling

We understand how to make all of your mobile devices, servers, computers, and office equipment work together. The result is increased productivity and increased profits. Call us today to find out how we can help your Phoenix area business make the most out of the modern technologies available to it.

Call Now: (602) 456-0150

Expert Computer Solutions You Can Trust
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