The Blue Screen of Death!

September 21, 2010

It has probably happened to everyone at one time or another.  You are happily using your computer to surf the internet, send emails, use a graphics program or play a video game.  Suddenly and with no warning, the entire computer freezes and you see the dreaded blue screen of death.  With a blue background, and lots of gobbley gook written on the screen, you may be unsure what to do.

You power off the computer, turn it back on and voila, it seems to be working fine.  So what is the deal with that blue screen error?  And what happens if it starts freezing and displaying that screen more often?

Memory Conflicts – The memory on a computer is like a pie, and every program needs a piece of that pie.  Windows manages what programs get their slices of pie.  Sometimes, a program will take a bigger piece of pie than offered.  If that happens, and another program is already chowing down on their piece, you may see the blue screen of death.  This is called a memory dump, and is usually a random event that occasionally happens.

Corrupt System Files – If you continually get the blue screen of death, especially when trying to turn on the computer, the Windows system files may be corrupt.  To fix this issue, you will probably need the Windows installation disk to run a repair on the operating system.

Hardware and Drivers – Installing a new hardware device, and subsequently the software drivers for that device, may also be the source of the blue screen.  If you have recently added new hardware, and suddenly your computer crashes every time you turn it on, try removing the hardware and uninstalling the drivers to see if that helps.  If it does, you may need updated software drivers for the hardware.  Check the website for the hardware manufacturer for the latest drivers.

The blue of screen of death happens for a reason, and by doing a little research, you should be able to resolve the issue.


Why Windows 7?

July 13, 2010

inQuo Computer Support in Salt Lake City, inQuo Computer repair Salt Lake City, inQuo computer support in Utah, inQuo computer repair in UtahMuch of the hoopla by the Microsoft marketing team talks about all the benefits of upgrading to Windows 7.  But is it all smoke and mirrors?

Speed – One of the great things about Windows 7 is the vast improvement over Vista when it comes to using the memory on your computer.  Booting up, switching applications and browsing the internet are all significantly faster with Windows 7.

Compatibility – One big complaint with Vista was the lack of support for many of the software programs people used in Windows XP.  Windows 7 makes the process of installing software and hardware much easier.  More software programs can be used with Windows 7, and installing hardware like printers and cameras has been streamlined.

Hardware Specifications – Windows Vista required a huge investment in hardware, including more memory and a better processor.  Windows 7 can work on more Windows XP hardware, making the transition less expensive.

Search – The built-in utility for search runs incredibly fast and is very easy to access.  Simply click on the start menu and start typing your search term.  With extensive indexing, search will look within files on the hard drive, emails and compressed folders.

Windows 7 is definitely an improvement over Vista, and can be an option for improving features in XP, especially security.  Remember, be sure to back up all of your important files before performing an upgrade, just in case something goes awry.

Surge Protectors

May 11, 2010 - computer repair in salt lake city, utChances are, if you have a computer, it is plugged into a surge protector.  What is a surge protector, and does it really protect your computer?

So What Exactly Does It Do?

Surge protectors are sold as a shield from power bumps, surges and other electrical impulses that can cause damage to the sensitive hardware of computers, like memory, motherboards, power supplies and the hard drive.

Power surges can come from outside the home through lightning strikes and power outages.  They can also come from other electronics and appliances inside your home.  A good rule of thumb is to have any major appliance, televisions, and other electronic items plugged into a surge protector.  You may have a whole house surge protection system in place, but that really only protects surges that come from the outside of the house.

For most computer hardware and other small electronic devices, a surge protector with a Joules rating of at least 4,000 should do the trick.

Some Surge Protectors are kind of Pricey

The prices for surge protectors can range from a couple of bucks, to well over a hundred dollars.  Although a cheaper model will probably work ok, the parts inside of it may wear faster.  You may experience power surges inside your house all of the time, without even knowing it.  A mid to high range surge protector will probably last longer than a less expensive model.  Eventually, any surge protector will stop being effective as time moves on.

Is a Surge Protector the same as a UPS?

A UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) is similar to a surge protector with one big difference.  It also has a battery inside that will keep your electronics running even if the power goes out.  Although a surge protector can prevent power surges from frying the circuits inside a computer, a power outage can cause other problems for electronic components.

Most home UPS systems will only power your devices for minutes, but this can be enough time to properly shut down your computer, and save any important documents you were working on at the time.

The bottom line is to always plug your expensive electronics into a surge protector.  Serious over here!