Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ’s - About our Computer Repair Service
How much do you charge?
Our call out charge is €20. After your technician has performed diagnostics, he should be able to indicate to you the price.
I work all day. Can you call out in the evening?
We work every evening during the week until 8pm except Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Can you call to my house / office on a Saturday, it’s the only day I have off work?
Yes, we do Saturday call-outs.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept PayPal, cheque, cash and bank transfer.
What areas do you cover?
We cover most areas of North and South Dublin.
I have extremely confidential data on my PC, how do you handle that?
We deal with systems containing confidential data on a daily basis and it is understandable you have concerns about confidentiality. With our on-site service you can observe our technicians as they work in your house or office. All data is treated with the strictest confidence.
I am technical designer and use some very graphic intensive applications. Can you recommend a monitor that shows as much detail as possible?
Assuming you have a high specification graphics card in your system already, you could look into acquiring one of the Eizo Flexscan range of monitors. These offer excellent detail, resolution and contrast.
What if you consider my PC is too old or not viable for repair?
That is no problem. Nobody wants to throw good money after bad. Should your PC be too old or not economically viable for repair, we will have no hesitation in informing you so.
I’ve lost the disks that came with the system, is that a problem?
We carry a complete set installation disks for all major brand desktops, laptops, iMacs and Macbooks so you do not have to worry if you don’t have the disks.
Do you carry parts?
Yes, our vehicles carry hard drives, power units, memory, routers, modems, wireless adaptors, cd/dvd-writer drives and anti-virus software. This saves you (and us) time.
Do you sell PCs?
No, we do not sell PCs. If you do need experienced advice on which systems or peripherals to purchase, our technicians will be more than happy to help you in recommending quality equipment that best suits your needs.
If you need us to arrange the purchase of computer equipment on your behalf, this can be arranged.
FAQ’s - Technical. Common Computer Repair / Computer Support Questions
Why is my PC so slow?
Bloated Registry –Your computer registry fills up with code from all the programs and applications you have installed since you bought your PC. Eventually, this clutter of files creates “registry bloat”.
Viruses and Malware – An accumulation of viruses and malware will cause your PC to slow down. Just like legitimate programs, viruses and malware have their owning running processes working in background of your PC, this can create a drain on your processor.
Overheating – The holy grail of computing is keeping your processor (main CPU and GPU) cool. When your processor is operating at above recommended temperatures, your PC system will be slow and freeze intermittently. A cool processor is an efficient processor.
Runaway Processes – When a program or application goes corrupt it can create what is known as a “runaway processes”. Typically, a runaway process will be an .exe file belonging to a program (e.g. anti-virus software) that uses above-average CPU cycles and interferes with other applications from doing their job.
Windows Rot – (a.k.a OS Rot) – Your computer has probably not the same speed as the day you bought it. This is because over time there is a gradual degradation of your system files (i.e. the files needed to make your system run normally). Tiny glitches and errors accumulate over time in your these files that cause a lag in overall system performance.
Hard Drive Wear and Tear - Apart from your systems fans – the only mechanical part inside a computer is a hard drive. A hard drive, like any mechanical device, suffers from wear and tear. An experienced technician can usually spot this problem within minutes – the hard drive LED light on your system will be continually blinking even when the system is in an idle state. In addition, you will be able to hear the continual “labouring” of the hard drive even when performing a simple task like opening a Word document.
My email just stops working when sending and receiving?
The most likely culprit is your anti-virus or anti-spam program. These programs work by scanning each email received into your inbox. Sometimes when these programs crash or need input from you they delay the sending and receive process. When this happens, restart your anti-virus or anti-spam and try downloading the messages again.
I have just bought a Windows 7 Professional system for use as a file server in my office. Even though I have enabled “file and printer sharing”, I still cannot access any files from systems running Windows XP?
Even though you have enabled “file and printer sharing”. You must also disable “Password Protected Sharing”. To do this, go to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Centre. Look for “Password Protected Sharing” then click on the down arrow to the right. Select “Turn Off Password Protected Sharing”.
Will my old monitor work with my new computer?
For the most part, monitors are universal. The only difference you might notice is that your new computer might only have a DVI compatible graphics card whereas your old monitor only has a VGA connection. However, this can be easily solved by purchasing a VGA-to-DVI adaptor.
On my new 64-Bit version of Windows 7, I cannot view any webpages with Flash?
You are probably also using a 64-bit browser. Currently Adobe Flash does not support 64-Bit browsers. Therefore, for the time being, download a 32-bit browser and Flash should install fine.
Who makes the best printers?
The main features to look for when buying a printer are running costs, print quality and reliability.
For inkjet, we recommend Epson, Brother and Canon.
For laser printers, we recommend Oki, Canon, Brother and Epson.
My office is using a VPN router, but at home I am using a 64-Bit Windows system and the VPN client software is not compatible with 64-Bit Windows?
You could use what is known as a universal VPN client such as the NCP Secure Entry Client from NCP Communications. This VPN client works with most major brand VPN routers and is fully compatible with 64-bit Windows.
Will you have to wipe my system clean to fix the problem?
No, wiping the system clean is only ever a last resort when your Windows or Mac system shows signs of extensive system file corruption.
I’ve done a huge clean-up of my computer putting a substantial number of files onto an external hard drive but the system is still slow?
There is an enduring myth out there that removing data from your hard drive and putting it on an external drive is going to make your system faster! Often, this is not the case. One of the main reasons a computer gets slow is due to a bloated registry and the progressive degradation of system files. When you transfer data off a system’s drive onto an external drive, the files in the registry are still there. Even if you manually remove programs or use a so-called “registry cleaner” there will still be file fragments remaining.
Does my PC need to get a service every so often?
Ideally yes. Your computer needs to get checked for dust accumulation, viruses, trojans, spyware, overheating, capacitor damage, hard drive health, RAM health and your system files need to be checked for consistency.
The main benefit of a well maintained PC is that it will be faster to use, lasts longer and a well maintained PC reduces the risk of data loss. Moreover, the better maintained a PC is, the less likely it will need computer repair!
Where can I recycle my old computer in Dublin?
There are seven official computer recycling centres in Dublin. These can be found on the Dublin Waste website under “I.T. equipment”.
Is free anti-virus like AVG any good?
Free anti-virus software such as AVG only provides an adequate level of protection. This software is great for a PC system which only gets moderate usage, for example Word, Excel, email and internet browsing on known safe sites. If, however, the PC is used by multiple users and has a history of virus infections then more robust security software is recommended.
I’ve recently changed my broadband provider and now I cannot send out emails?
When you change broadband provider and are using an email client such as Outlook or Windows Live Mail, you need to change your SMTP server settings as recommended by your new ISP.
If I buy a Mac, can I use Microsoft Word and Excel?
Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook are now all available in one package called Office for Mac, which as its name suggests, is a version of Microsoft Office compatible with Mac.
If I buy a Mac, will the documents I send to other people be unreadable?
File incompatibility used to be a problem for Mac owners. Now, most document files created on a Mac can easily read on a PC and vice versa.
I use Sage Instant Accounts on my Windows laptop, can I use this on my Mac?
Yes, there is now a Mac compatible version of Sage Instant Accounts and Sage 50 for Mac.
I want to login to my Macbook and Windows PC’s remotely while I’m away from my computer?
You can use a great little app called iTeleport to login remotely to your Mac or Windows PC from your iPhone or iPad.
Can I share folders with a Mac in the same way I can with a PC?
Contrary to what some Windows users believe, Macs and Windows do actually talk to each other! To make some of your Macs folders available on the network, follow these steps.
Go to your Macs System Preference Sharing pane.
Make sure “File Sharing” is ticked.
Click the “+” under shared folders to add the folders you want to share.
For any given folder you can share using AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) to share with other Mac systems or SMB to share with Windows PCs (Server Message Block)
After you’ve shared with AFP, all other Macs on the network will be able to see and connect to the share immediately.
When you share with SMB, the Mac system will usually give you the message that reads something like
Windows users can access your computer at smb://xyz.xyz.x.y
Where xyx.xyx.x.y is the IP address of the shared folder or you can just access the shared folder by name e.g. use the command prompt or search box and enter the network path e.g. \\macpc_yourcomputername
How do I connect my iPad to (Eircom, UPC, Vodafone) wireless network?
Connecting an iPad to a wireless network is fairly simple. You must first make sure you have your wireless network encryption key to hand. Many home and business networks use a password or encryption key to limit network access to those who have a valid reason to use the network. To join such a network, you must enter the password when prompted during a connection.
Follow these steps:
1. Open the Settings app.
2. Tap Wi-Fi.
3. Look for the network’s name in the Choose a Network list. iOS may take a few seconds to scan for networks and complete the list.
If your network doesn’t appear: You may be too far away from it or have a solid obstruction in the way; or, it’s possible the Wi-Fi base station has crashed or been unplugged.
No lock icon next to the network name: The lock icon indicates a password-protected network. If there’s no lock, the network isn’t secured, and you won’t be asked to enter a password.
4. Tap the network’s name when it appears in the list.
5. iOS 4 prompts you to enter a network password. The device deter-mines which kind of security is being used; you should be able to enter the password without a prompt to select the security method.
6. Tap Join on the right side of the keyboard. Your iPad should join the network, and an icon showing a Wi-Fi connection should appear near the upper left corner of the screen.
I cannot print from my Windows computer?
Most printer problems are caused by, an incorrect port assignment issue, the printer spooler service not functioning or a corrupt printer driver.
- Check the Port Settings. If your PC is a standalone system make sure it is using the correct printer port (usually USB01)
If you computer prints via printer sharing on another computer – make sure the host computer can print and verify that the mapped printer driver is valid.
If the printer is on a network and has an IP address assigned to it. You must have the IP address correct. Try pinging the printer using the command prompt function.
Check that the printer spooler service is functioning. To check this, go to Start and in the command prompt box type “cmd” followed by “services.msc”. When the services list opens up, click the “standard” tab and check that “printer spooler” service is running.
Try reinstalling the printer driver.
I have extremely confidential information on my work laptops, is there any way these can be encrypted in event of it getting lost or stolen?
Laptop theft is getting more prevalent in Ireland every year. If you hold confidential customer data on your laptop, it is advisable that the device is encrypted in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2003. For a device such as a laptop whole disk encryption is recommended. Protecting your laptop with just a Windows login password is not enough, as this can be circumvented. With proper encryption, if your system did ever get into the wrong hands, the user would only ever be able to get as far as your login screen. Even if the drive was physically removed from your system, it would appear to the unauthorized user as blank storage device.
How can I maximise the battery life on my laptop?
Here are a few ways to extend the battery life of your laptop.
Dim the Display. The screen uses the most power from your laptop’s battery. Therefore, by reducing the brightness level of your screen you can help preserve the battery. The brightness of your screen can be reduced on most laptops by pressing the Function (Fn) key and a numeric key simultaneously (1-9 depending on manufacturer).
Turn Off Bluetooth and WiFi – If you are not using Bluetooth or Wifi constantly, turn off these adaptors.
Fully Discharge Your Battery – Try to avoid having your laptop plugged into mains power when not charging as this can reduce the life of your battery. Every 20 charges or so, fully discharge your laptop’s lithium-ion battery.
I keep on getting pop-ups saying “your computer is infected” and the pop-up box is asking me for my credit card details?
This is a classic “scareware” pop-up scam. Scareware is malware masquerading as free or anti-virus software or some other “free” online scan. Do not disclose your credit card details to such sites.
I have an external hard drive which contains a lot of my data from my Mac but I cannot read some files from my Windows PC?
You can download a copy of MacDrive, a program which makes your Windows computers understand Mac-formatted disks and drives. Alternatively, you could format your external drive with a FAT32 partition which both Windows and Mac understand.
I am going abroad shortly and intend buying a new laptop, will it work in Ireland?
Yes, the device should work fine. Even if you bought the system in a country where the mains power is predominantly 110 V (such as USA) it will still be compatible with the Irish 220 V system as most laptop adaptors are dual voltage. However, it is necessary to bear in mind that should you experience hardware failure within 12 months of purchase, your warranty will probably not be honoured in Ireland by most manufacturers if bought outside the E.U.
How can I prevent a power surge damaging my PC or server?
Power surges are much more common than people think. They can be caused by transmission faults from your local ESB substation, lightening strikes or faulty electrical circuits in your home or office.
At the very least you should have a basic surge protector. These can usually be bought your local hardware store. Try to buy one with Kitemark or TÜV certification.
For a belt and braces approach to surge protection, you can buy what is known as a UPS “uninterruptible power supply”. This device acts an intermediary between your wall socket and system. Should the a potentially damaging power surge occur, the surge protector will most likely incur the damage and not your PC or server.
How can I securely wipe data from my old PC’s hard drive?
Once you are completely satisfied that all your data has been backed up, you can securely wipe your PC using specialised data erasure tools. These tools usually work best when loaded from a bootable CD/DVD. We recommend data erasure tools from Lsoft Technologies.
Is it safe to use my credit card online when my PC is potentially infected?
No, you should not use online banking or your credit card if you believe your system is infected.
I keep on getting “acquiring network address” when I try to logon to a wireless network?
This is usually due to an encryption key which is incorrect or an encryption protocol that is not supported by your system’s wireless adaptor or a firewall issue.
Firstly, login to your access point or router to double-check that the encryption key you are using is correct. If that does not work, try changing your encryption to WEP so see if that works. If not, it is probably a third party firewall which is blocking the connection. Therefore, temporarily disable or remove it from your system.
What sort of printer should I buy for my home office / small business?
For speed, cost efficiency and output quality, we recommend monotone laser printers. While they just print in black and white, they do so quickly, cost-effectively and reliably. While inkjet printers have a lot of merits for colour printing, they are relatively slow, unreliable and very expensive to run. For example, one recent survey found that inkjet printers cost more than seven times as much, millilitre for millilitre, as a 1985 vintage Don Perignon champagne!.
If you really need colour output, you can buy an additional inkjet printer which you can use solely for colour printing. This may seem a tad extravagant but actually saves money in the long run.
For small businesses, laser printers are an absolute must. These can be easily networked and need much less maintenance. For example, we have one small business client who has 8 employees and they have just one networked monotone laser printer. The printer is nearly over 6 years old and is still printing sharp and crisp output as the day it was bought.
What is the difference between 802.11g and 802.11n?
Wireless N networks have very high data-transfer speeds compared to Wireless N.
802.11g has a throughput of 54Mbps whereas 802.11n has a throughput of 100Mps +.