Digital Insite Adelaide Computers + Support

Hi, I'm Mark Jansen from Digital Insite! Follow my adventures around Adelaide as I provide quality new computers and laptops + friendly and reliable home & office computer support

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 5)

Malware on a hacked slow laptop in Norwood

My adventures took me to Norwood today to help a girl with her laptop that she suspected had been hacked into and her passwords had been compromised. The first thing I checked was her anti-virus which had expired but didn’t give her any notice about it so I remedied that by installing a new antivirus for her.

Next up I checked the programs in the startup for her laptop as well as deleting any and all temp files for both her profile and for Windows 10 itself (viruses and malware love to hide in temp file locations). Next I checked her scheduled tasks as I’ve seen quite a lot of viruses hide in there so they can run at different intervals or even a minute or two after startup so you don’t notice them. She did have a few tasks that were very suspicious looking that referenced strange files located in folders inside the appdata area of her profile.

After seeing enough to warrant a good scan, I ran a malware removal tool which found over 800 infections. Needless to say once all the malware was gone and a good tuneup was done on her laptop, She was happy and things were running much better!

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Bad wireless signal fixed in Seacombe Gardens

A lady from Seacombe Gardens contacted me on the weekend saying she has a very poor wireless signal in the back rooms of her house after her new NBN modem was installed. Her son said Netflix and Youtube we’re completely awful to use and continually dropped out and come up with buffering messages all the time.

I took one look at her setup and told her that she was an ideal candidate for a powerline adapter + wireless access point upgrade.

She liked the sound of what this new technology can do and half an hour later the new network gear was installed and completely up and running with a brand new wireless access point in the bedroom area at the far end of the house.

Basically if the wireless signal from the original modem isn’t strong enough where you’re currently located in the house simply connect to the secondary wireless access point and BAM – perfect wireless reception. Good wireless signal throughout the house means everyone is happy πŸ™‚

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Malware removal and a PC tune-up in Hallett Cove

One of my long time customers contacted me today saying he was seeing all sorts of strange messages coming up on his PC including very “inappropriate” ads and even a spoken message from “Microsoft” telling him that he had been infected with a rootkit virus and that if he turned off his PC it would never come back on.

Thankfully he called me and I was able to remove all viruses and malware from his PC and get him back in action in no time. I also installed the awesome web browser add-on called adblock plus to remove a lot of the annoying ads you see on websites. If you’ve never tried it, you really should – I wouldn’t browse the internet without it!

Have an awesome day guys πŸ™‚

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Blue Screen of Death in Windows 10

I had the pleasure of helping a customer this week with his Windows 10 PC that was displaying the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) at random intervals while he was using it but most especially when trying to play videos from YouTube. The error messages didn’t really have any common theme to them but all seemed to point to some sort of hardware failure. I initially suspected his video card as it was a Nvidia Geforce 650ti froma few years back.

He had already had 3 technicians look at the PC and charge him quite a lot of money without actually fixing the problem. As you can imagine he was quite dissapointed and frustrated by the whole situation and desperately wanted it resolved.

I proceeded by assuring him that I will get to the bottom of the problem and began by removing any unneeded software and scanning for viruses. Even after removing all suspicious programs the computer was still crashing in under 5 minutes of playing YouTube. Time to dig deeper…

Next up was hardware testing. I started by removing his graphics card and replacing it with one in my workshop but unfortunately the PC was still crashing in the same way. Testing the RAM with memtest was next and while all tests passed for over an hour of solid testing the PC still crashed in Windows just the same. Next I tested all of his hard disks by simply removing all but his primary SSD… still crashing. Lastly I ran a linux based stress test program outside of Windows that tests for motherboard faults etc and it didn’t miss a beat. Strange…

So after all my testing I concluded that the hardware was fine and the problem must lie elsewhere. Reinstalling Windows 10 was the final option but before I went down that road I had another idea to make life a lot easier. I disconnected all of his hard disks and connected only an SSD from my workshop to his PC to eliminate all risk of data loss for my customer (data loss for my customers is NEVER an acceptable outcome in my books). Now I was able to safely reinstall a fresh version of Windows 10 as a test to see if something had corrupted his installation. Everything worked OK and was rock solid stable with the fresh install of Windows 10 with nothing but device drivers installed so this finally proved where the problem lay… Windows 10 and not his hardware. I was relieved for him that this was the case as his PC was quite a high spec model with a nice i7 4770 processor, 16GB of RAM and plenty of other high quality upgrades so it would have been a shame to say he needed to buy a whole new PC.

So the story ends by safely reinstalling Windows 10 on his primary SSD, installing his device drivers then moving and merging all of his personal data and profile back to their original locations. Just to be extra sure everything was fine I tested his PC by leaving YouTube running for over 8 hours playing 15 videos simultaneously and it never crashed once. As you can imagine he was quite happy with the end result and was finally able to use his PC again without it crashing every 5 minutes and didn’t have to buy a whole new system.

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

New Eco-system PC with SSD installed in Seaford

I was down in the southern suburbs of Seaford today installing one of our Digital Insite Eco-system PC’s to dual 27″ LED screens while also setting up printers for a plumbing business so a new staff member is all ready to go for Monday.

I recently overhauled the specs of both our Eco-system and Powerhouse PC’s to include an SSD as standard and I can tell you that it makes an absolutely huge difference to performance vs a system with a standard mechanical drive. Less than 20 seconds from a completely powered off state to fully loaded showing the desktop and ready to use. I can’t state enough how much SSD technology has changed computers. Really cool tech πŸ™‚

best regards,

Mark JANSEN


DIGITAL INSITE
Onsite Computers + Support
Mobile: 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023
www.digitalinsite.net

Network congestion issues after NBN install in Lonsdale

Today I’m helping a plastics company in Lonsdale with some network issues that have been preventing them from getting on the internet since their NBN install. A business without the internet these days is as good as a fish out of water so they we’re keen to get it sorted and back online asap.

After some detective work and some network troubleshooting I went on to replacing their ancient 100mbit network switches, sorting out a mess of network cables and configuring the IP settings for their modem and network to avoid the congestion issues they were having previously.

Once that was all sorted they were running faster than ever. Before my visit today they were getting network dropouts every 10 minutes and around 21mbit for their NBN speeds on speedtest.net but are now getting around 47mbit and a rock solid connection all day every day.

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Fish and Chips at Brighton Jetty

One of my favourite spots in Adelaide… The Brighton Jetty. No special effects added to this photo whatsoever. Just an incredible sunset with the last rays of light peeking through the railing and drawing amazing shadows on the sun drenched pavement.

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Modem redirecting virus…

I had a very interesting job early this week. A customer in Glengowrie called me saying she had a problem where certain websites on her laptop would redirect to porn and ad pages after around 30 seconds. I naturally assumed like anyone else would that there must be some sort of virus or malware on her system so I began by scanning her laptop with some tools designed to get rid of this sort of thing (malware, rootkits, hijack viruses etc).

Her laptop had a few bugs in it which I removed but the redirection problem strangely still occurred. After trying every single virus removal program I know and trust and getting 100% clean results on her laptop yet the website redirection bug still existing had me a little puzzled. I said to her I would take the laptop back to base to do some deeper testing using Linux and other methods but everything always came back clean. Here’s where it got very interesting… I then got a text from the lady saying that she was getting the same website redirection bug when using her Windows 10 work laptop and even seeing the same problem on her daughter’s Samsung tablet. I tested whether the laptop I brought back to base was still doing the redirection and even more strangely it now wasn’t redirecting.

This led me to believe that it must be a network issue and most likely modem related. I told my customer to call her internet provider but they shrugged it off saying something like that isn’t possible but I knew it had to be the case. The next day I returned to her house and logged in to her modem and found that the DHCP settings that assign an IP address to any device connected to the modem (wired or wireless) had a custom DNS server applied. I knew this wasn’t normal as the standard procedure is for people to automatically get their DNS settings from the internet provider without needing to input custom values.

Long story short, I removed these custom DNS settings and the redirection stopped as I expected it to. The real mystery is how the custom DNS settings got into her modem in the first place though as she didn’t put them there and had no knowledge of how to do that sort of thing. Very strange but glad to have it sorted in the end πŸ™‚

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

My computer is so slow! How to tell what’s causing it… (Windows 7 / Windows 10)

We’ve all had or worked on a slow computer at some stage and it can be extremely frustrating when you’ve got things to do and it’s slowing you down from getting there. The thing is, computers don’t think for themselves and only do what they are told so there’s not much point getting angry at an inanimate object – instead it’s better to take a little bit more of a better look as to why your computer is running slow.

The first place I tell my customers to look if their computer is running slow is the programs or apps on your PC or laptop. In a nut shell, the more programs you have running on your PC or laptop the more work your computer is doing and the slower it’s going to be. The less programs it’s running, the faster it is… funny about that hey πŸ™‚ So, an easy way to get a speed boost (even if it’s just a small one) is to remove any programs or apps you don’t need any more. This can easily be done by using the control panel on your PC then look for “uninstall a program” under the word “Programs” or simply click on “Programs and Features” in Windows 10 and you should be able to work it out from there.

The next step to speeding up your PC is to disable unwanted programs in your computer’s startup. This can be done in Windows 7 by clicking Start then typing MSCONFIG and pressing enter. Go to the startup tab and look for any programs you don’t need always starting up when you turn on your PC and turn the tick box off. Don’t worry, this isn’t the same as uninstalling a program – it simply makes it so it doesn’t auto start when you boot up or log in. You can still manually run the program from it’s shortcut any time you need. In Windows 10Β  you can do exactly the same thing through ther Task Manager. Press the keys CTRL + ALT + DEL and click onΒ  “Task Manager” on the screen. You’ll see a tab at the top called Startup – click on this and look for any programs you don’t need to auto start when you log in. Right-click them and choose disable. You should find this should help speed up your PC if it’s running slow.

Now the last section of this article covers the hardware in your PC or Laptop. If your PC or laptop is running slow and you’ve already done the steps above and it’s still painfully slow, then it might be that the hardware in your PC is worn out and possibly out of date. The best way to see if this is the case is to run your program of choice (eg. Word, Excel, Youtube, or your favourite game) and then press the keys CTRL + ALT + DEL and click on Task Manager. Go to the performance tab. Windows 7 gives you your CPU usage and your RAM usage which lets you see how hard the CPU (essentially the brains of your computer) is working or how much RAM (sort of like the short term memory of the computer) is being used. Windows 7 Task Manager won’t show you the hard disk usage on this screen but can be seen by clicking the “Resource monitor” tab then clicking on the “Disk” tab. Look for the small blue “Highest Active Time” box and if it’s percentage is very high then your hard disk is getting used to it’s limit. The Windows 10 task manager is much easier to read and gives you all of the things you need on the performance tab (CPU, RAM, HDD).

Basically, what you want to do is see which of these is hitting high percentages when you’re running your program of choice. If the CPU is 98% but the HDD (Hard Disk) and RAM are around 20% then you know it’s your CPU that’s the limiting factor. If your CPU is 5% and RAM is 50% but the HDD is 99% then you know that your hard disk is not delivering data quick enough to the other parts of your computer and it’s the limiting factor. The same above applies for RAM if it’s reading a very high percentage on the chart.

If you find your RAM usage is high then there’s a very good chance you can upgrade the RAM in your PC or laptop. Most PC’s and laptops usually have a spare expansion slot and if they don’t you can often remove a smaller stick of RAM and replace it with a larger one. Get a professional like myself to do this though as you can damage parts in your PC or laptop with static electricity etc if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If your HDD (Hard Disk) usage is very high in Task Manager then you’re probably an ideal candidate for an SSD upgrade (unless you already have one installed). Again, get a professional to install an SSD because if it’s done right by using cloning tools etc if can be a nice easy, pain free experience. Get it wrong and you may have to completely re-install Windows.

If you are finding that the CPU usage in Task Manager is very high then it’s showing that the processing (maths computation) side of your PC or laptop is not being able to keep up with the workload. CPU’s can be upgraded but it’s not a common thing to do as it often requires a whole new motherboard. Laptops don’t usually tend to CPU upgrades very well so if your CPU is the limiting factor in your laptop it’s probably just old or a bit of a weak CPU and it might be time to look at upgrading to a new model.

I hope this helps give you a little bit of insight into why your PC or laptop is running slow and what you can do about it.

Have a great day guys πŸ™‚

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023

Dying hard disk recovery in a 7 year old HP pavilion PC

A customer of mine contacted me saying her husbands PC had crashed the night before and now won’t boot up and is coming up with pages and pages of “bad block” errors while trying to load up Windows 7.

The PC is a HP Pavilion i7 2600 series from around 6 years ago so I immediately had suspicions of extensive hard disk wear as I’ve been seeing a lot of PC’s and laptops lately around the 5 to 7 year old bracket have issues for the same reason. Basically, if a computer system has a single hard disk and is “thrashed” for years on end through regular large downloads from the internet or sustained pagefile usage (as a result of not enough RAM) it eventually starts to give way and critical errors will begin to occur in the read/write heads.

In a nut shell, this hard disk was dying… fast. I was able to get around the boot up issue and look at her data by using a unix boot disk and at least confirm that it was still there and then and begin the recovery process. The hard disk was in such bad shape that I found if I started to copy the data off to another external USB drive the original hard disk would heat up after about 15 minutes and then essentially turn itself off and become invisible to the system halting all data recovery.

I ended up having to create a script to copy data for 10 minutes, wait for 10 minutes to give the drive a chance to cool down and then run the data recovery for another 10 minutes. I left my custom script running for about 9 hours and after about 300 odd attempts at copying the data in the end I got back for her at least 95% of the data on the drive. She was absolutely stoked and ended up buying one of our new Powerhouse PC’s with an i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, 240GB SSD + 1TB SSHD Hybrid hard disk. All up, her husband is back in business on a blisteringly fast new system and all of his important data back.Β Β 

best regards,

Mark JANSEN

DIGITAL INSITE
Adelaide Onsite Computers + Support

Mobile : 0404 110 526
Office : (08) 8387 9023
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