It appears as if a Windows update has caused this issue on a number of computers across the world. Everything seems to point to some kind of cached ip configuration that is getting corrupted. There are currently a number of suggested fixes, so I will start with the quickest
1. release and renew your ip config:
From a cmd prompt type: ipconfig /release
once that command has run type: ipconfig /renew
If that command completes successfully, the issue may be resolved
Do a full shutdown of Windows – to do this you must hold down the shift key while you click the shut down button in the start menu. Once the computer is completely off, hit the power button and once you get into Windows the issue may be resolved
Disable Fast Startup – to do this open the Control panel (right click on the start button and select control panel), show icon view, go to Power Options, on the left side click on the link that says “Choose what the power buttons do” , on the next page click on the link that says “Change settings that are currently unavailable”, uncheck the “Turn on fast startup” box. – Restart the system and the issue may be resolved
If the above fail, you should try to do a system restore to a date prior to December 6th. To open system restore in Windows 10, go to the search box and type in: rstrui.exe then click on it, that will open system restore.
Hopefully one of the above solutions will fix your issue
iTunes is Apples crowning achievement – it is also their favorite mechanism for trying to sway people to buy into the whole APPLE is Best garbage. While Apple does make high quality (albeit way overpriced) products, they continue to undermine people’s faith in technology by their sneaky, and greedy attitudes – lets review how they have achieved a great coup in turning people into Apple fanatics who believe Apple products have no fault – I can’t tell you how many people I know who own iPhone’s, iPod’s, iPads who think they have made so many mistakes on their devices – like when a app just disappears – most people assume it was something they did mistakenly – I mean there wasn’t an error message, so it couldn’t have been the app? Meet Apples greatest smoke and mirrors – their software actually sucks, it breaks, it doesn’t work, it crashes, but hey Apple has the masses convinced that it’s their fault. How did they do this – simple, no errors are allowed to be displayed, so they make people think it is their mistake, not the crappy software. Pretty smart on their part, until people realize they have been tricked, people don’t like to be tricked and in the end they will throw their iDevices away in disgust.
Which brings me to that most terrible of software – iTunes. This software is junk, it is total crap that slows down computers, crashes them, causes conflicts, and yet Apple has people once again totally fooled the public – it works great on Apple computers, when it doesn’t work on a PC it is because it is a PC – what rubbish! I have installed iTunes as a test on a number of brand new machines and on every single one, the performance of the PC dropped dramatically. Also, in running some PC optimizer software tools (none of which I recommend) – every single one of them showed multiple errors in registry and PC settings “AFTER” installing iTunes. Lets also mention how crappy their uninstallers are. It just took over 20 minutes to uninstall iTunes, during which the uninstalled crashed leaving iTunes half installed/uninstalled – and this on a completely clean install of Windows with no other software installed – but of course, it isn’t Apple’s fault, I should be running an overpriced, unsecure, walled off Apple product.
If you want to run iTunes, by all means go out and spend (waste) all your money and buy a Mac, of course you won’t be able to use it for most business applications, you won’t be able to install the majority of free software out there – almost everything for Apple costs $$$$, if it breaks, good luck getting warranty service, and oh yeah, don’t forget the nasty Mac viruses that are out there (there aren’t that many, but there are some real nasty ones!)
If you are trying to remove the very annoying SavingsBullFilter from your computer, and you have successfully removed the offending files with a program like Malwarebytes, you may have difficulty removing the entry from Add/Remove programs – you click uninstall, the unistaller runs for a second or two then closes, but the SavingsBull Filter entry remains in the Add/Remove programs list. Unfortunately, even CC Cleaner seems to have problems removing the entry. There is a fix though that worked for me – use the Microsoft Fixit that is available here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301 – run the Fix it utility on that page – I successfully ran it on Windows 7 and even though it doesn’t say it supports it, I also used it successfully on a Windows 8 Machine (Use at your own risk!!)
** SIDE NOTE: This fixit utility is great for many issues that involve problems with installing/uninstalling programs
Recently a virus that has been around since earlier this year, has morphed into a greedier and more prolific version. The current version of this virus was first reported in September of 2013 and is considered to be in the class of Ransomware. What this virus does is it encrypts certain file types on your computer such as pictures, documents etc using a mixture of AES and RSA encryption. Once the virus has encrypted the files, you will not longer be able to access them, and it will display a CryptoLocker payment program which says you must pay $300 USD within 96 hours or the encryption key which will unlock your files will be destroyed making your files for all intents and purposes unrecoverable. Currently there is no one who has been able to crack this encryption, and a brute for attack to decrypt the files would take a super computer years and years.
Although some websites have reported that this virus makes your computer completely unusable, that is far from the truth, you can still use your computer, the virus makers need you to be able to use your computer to pay the ransom, you can even easily remove the virus, however at this time, the only known way to recover the files is to pay the ransom (we are not suggesting to do this, as there is still no guarantee that it will get you your files back). The virus is being spread most commonly through email attachments that pretend to be from places like FedEx, DHL, UPS and are often sent to company email addresses. The emails contain a ZIP file that when opened show a file that will often to appear to be a PDF file but is actually a exe file (file names like FORM_12345.pdf.exe with the exe being hidden depending upon your computer settings). In order to see the hidden exe extension in Windows, open Windows Explorer (file manager ie My Computer), and if on Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, go to Tools, Folder Options, View and uncheck the box that says “Hide extensions for known file types” – in Windows 8, go to the View tab at the top of Windows Explorer and Check the box that says “File name extensions”. You should never ever run any kind of .EXE file that comes in an email, and you should only open any kind of attachment when you know that the specific person who sent the email was sending you that specific file – when it doubt, call the person/business, or send them an email asking about it BEFORE you open the attachment.
It is also been mentioned that if your computer is already infected with some malware that makes your computer a member of a botnet, that this virus can be automatically downloaded by other malware on your computer – you should always keep your antivirus and antimalware software up to date and do regular scans! If you do get this virus and your files become encrypted, you have 96 hours to pay the ransom or the current copies of your files will become useless. This virus is especially dangerous to businesses as it is reported that it can and will encrypt files that are on mapped network drives (usually on servers in businesses where files are shared and stored). Unless you have what is called shadow copies enabled on your computers, or have online backups or backups that are not on any mapped network drives, it is possible that you will never be able to recover viable copies of these documents once they have been encrypted – we highly recommend using online backup such as iDrive or Carbonite – ( visit us at http://pensacolacomputers.com for more info on online backup solutions)
This virus is actually fairly easy to remove, however if it is removed by antivirus after the files are encrypted, you will have to manually re-install the virus in order to pay the ransom. The guys over at Bleepingcomputer.com have an excellent guide telling all about the cryptolocker virus as well as removal instructions – http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptolocker-ransomware-information although if the virus morphs, these tools may not work.
For virus and malware removal, or general computer repair or computer service here in Pensacola Florida, visit Pensacola Computers at: http://pensacolacomputers.com
Pensacola computers has been providing licensed and certified computer repair and computer service to local businesses and home users since 2003 and focuses exclusively on Microsoft Windows and PC’s
Windows 8.1 is finally here and becomes available for the general public today. If you are running Windows 8 currently, all you need to do is visit the Windows store from within Windows 8 and download Windows 8.1 (it’s a free upgrade). This is an update that holds quite a few new features and improves and fixes some things that were already a part of Windows 8.
Windows 8.1 brings back a kind of start button and also the option to boot directly to the Desktop mode rather than the new Start screen (although we still recommend using something like Classic Shell to give you a more functional Start Menu – see our article: HERE).
Microsoft has also now fully integrated SkyDrive into windows 8.1 and you will find a new Skydrive Folder in your Windows Explorer.
Another noticeable change is the ability to change the size of the tiles in the new Start Screen to 4 different sizes, and depending upon your screen resolution, you can now display up to 4 apps side by side (4 apps will only work on ultra-high resolution monitors).
Skype is now the default messaging app, and the Mail app has been overhauled with a fresh look and some nice tweaks including a nice integration with multiple side by side windows allowed for apps.
Microsoft has also added some nice updates to the People (contacts) app as well as the Calendar app.
One of the only features that we have seen removed that is really a shame is the ability to use Windows Easy transfer to transfer your files From a Windows 8.1 system to a new system – you can still use Easy Transfer to transfer in files from another computer, but for some reason it appears as if Microsoft has removed the ability to save From a Windows 8.1 system – go figure?
For those who have been waiting to upgrade from a previous operating system, Windows 8.1 will be available to purchase from retail starting tomorrow, Oct 18th 2013 from online and brick and mortar stores.
For questions about Windows 8.1 or assistance with migration and upgrades, call Pensacola Computers at (850) 390-4242 or visit us on the web at http://pensacolacomputers.com. Pensacola Computers provides Pensacola Computer Repair and Computer Service for Home and Small Business users and has been working with Windows 8 since the early Beta test stages.
Recently, a previous client called me and told me that Microsoft had called them and told them their computer was infected, and that they needed to allow one of their engineers to remote into their system to clean it – Please note: MICROSOFT WILL NEVER CALL YOU ON THE PHONE ABOUT A VIRUS ON YOUR COMPUTER! As a matter of fact, no one reputable will ever call you on the phone and tell you there is a problem on your computer – first of all, how would they know? (unless they themselves created the problem). While it is possible that you may receive a call from your ISP (Cox, ATT etc) if your computer is spamming emails or something, no software company will ever call you on the phone (if you do receive a call from Cox or ATT, never allow anyone you do not specifically know and trust to remote into your computer! – also if you ever have a question as to the legitimacy of a caller, call them back on the official phone number for their company)
Remote computer support is something that a lot of technology companies offer, but it should only be allowed if you know the person/company (and trust them). Also, you should be careful to only allow reputable remote software such as Citrix GotoAssist – beware if someone wants to install something like GoToMyPC, or TeamViewer on your computer as these software installations can be set to allow a hacker unrestricted access to your computer (GotoAssist only allows a single session and requires a unique one time key that the technician will give you, it also requires you to grant it permission to do things before someone can get into your computer). Remote support is a great tool for helping people solve some computer issues, but once again, it should only be allowed if you personally know/trust the person/company using it.
If you have questions about remote computer support, or need computer help or service visit http://pensacolacomputers.com or call Pensacola Computers at (850) 390*4242. Pensacola Computers provides computer service, computer repair, troubleshooting, hardware and software help, malware and virus removal, and is always available to answer your computer questions. Now providing support for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 as well as Office 2013 and Office 365
With Windows 8 being installed on the majority of new computers these days, I am still astounded by the number of people I run into who want to buy a machine with Windows 7 instead. While I do understand some of the frustration that comes with Windows 8 new interface, there is in my opinion no reason to go backwards and get Windows 7. Windows 8 is much more secure, faster, more efficient and overall more polished that Windows 7, and with the addition of one free aftermarket program called Classic Shell, you can have Windows 8 look and feel pretty much like Windows 7 and still have the Windows 8 features there waiting for you to explore and learn at your convenience.
Classic Shell is a program that give you your Start Menu back on the Desktop view, allows you to boot straight to the Desktop view (instead of the new Windows 8 tiles), and also has some other neat interface tweaks which you can do with it. You can get Classic Shell free here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/classicshell/ – when installing on Windows 8, I generally only install the Classic Start Menu and the Classic Shell Update (you want to change the install options for the Classic Explorer and Classic IE9 to “entire feature will be unavailable) see below pic
The first time you start Classic Shell, you will be prompted to choose the default style of the start menu – Windows Classic, Windows XP, or Windows 7. You can also at this time choose to see either the Basic or Advanced features in the interface – shown below is the dialog box with the Advanced Features showing;
From the Advanced screen you can customize all kinds of things related to the Start Menu and general Windows behavior such as skipping the Metro (Tile) screen on startup and going directly to the desktop, changing the appearance of the start button, changing how things are displayed in the Start Menu, as well as many aesthetic options on the skin, menu look, etc.
With the addition of Classic Shell, you can regain much of the look and feel of Windows 7 and also get the benefit of all of the under the hood improvements in Windows 8 as well as still retaining the new features of Windows 8 which you can learn as you wish. The new features in Windows 8 aren’t going away (and you might even find that you like some of them), and I highly encourage people to go with Windows 8 over Windows 7 when purchasing a new computer. **Note: you can still get Windows 7 on new computers, however you usually have to go directly to the manufacturers like Dell and HP, and even then you might have to buy through the business sections as the consumer sections are pretty much all Windows 8 now.
For questions or help regarding Windows 8 (and previous version of Windows), or general help with computer hardware or software issues, please visit Pensacola Computers at http://pensacolacomputers.com . Pensacola Computers provides computer service and computer repair for small businesses and home users in the Pensacola FL area including Perdido Key, Gulf Breeze, Cantonment, Navarre, Pace, Warrington, and Milton
So here we are with another OfficeMate upgrade. This time version 10.8.6 which we are installing on a combined Database/Terminal server. Below are some overview notes that may help you with your upgrade installation.
Be sure to read the installation guide from OfficeMate and take care to ensure that the noted prerequisites are taken care of prior to your installation.
**Always ensure you have a backup of your SQL database prior to upgrading OfficeMate, in addition, I highly recommend having a full bare metal server backup available in case you need to roll everything back.
Once your server is ready and you have freshly rebooted, you are ready to start.
When you are ready to install, head to the MyInstallCenter at OfficeMate.net to get the latest installation and service pack files. I highly recommend that all staff read up on the latest changes, fixes and known issues so they can be ready for them (all the PDF’s are available here: http://www.officemate.net/support_om_resources.aspx )
When downloading OfficeMate installation files, it is probably a good idea to rename the installation file to indicate the version of OfficeMate you are downloading so you can keep track of your installation files. – OfficeMate in its infinite wisdom has seen fit to name all of the install files the same, thus making it very hard to tell what version of the file you have – in addition, despite the normal and common programming practice of digitally signing all executable programs for security, OfficeMate has dangerously not done this, and in fact you can’t tell the version of what you are installing by the file properties as OfficeMate seems to not be willing to change the file properties to indicate that it is even an OfficeMate file as it just uses the default InstallShield properties showing that the file itself “Setup.exe” came from Macrovision, thus you are introducing and unknown and potentially dangerous file to your server.
** NOTE: If you are like most security conscious server admins, you will probably have to change your server security policy to allow unsigned executables from running so you can install OfficeMate – remember to change it back after the installation. Most IT people understand the importance of having signed executables, and I encourage everyone to demand from OfficeMate that they change this dangerous practice and start following common security practices by digitally signing and properly naming their installation files – having a file that does not have the correct name of the file and version in its file properties, and that is not digitally signed so you can tell where the file is from, and that it is legitimate, is a serious security issue, not to mention just plain confusing.
When you are ready to install the OfficeMate 10.8 Server component on your server, and you have ensured that all the listed prerequisites are complete, first right click on the install file and select properties, if your server security policy is set normally, it is a good idea to click the Unblock button next to the warning that the file came from another computer. Then, just to be safe, I always right click the file and select run as Administrator (you should be logged in as an administrator already). Following the ‘official’ installation guide, if you are doing an upgrade like we are, some of the installation guide is wrong. Step 8 tells you to select the option that best describes how you will use the computer – at this step you are NOT giving this option,instead you get a screen that tells you that Setup has enough information to begin
– you can then safely proceed to Step 13 and complete the Server component installation – you will probably get the warning that isn’t in the installation guide that reminds you to be sure have a backup of your SQL database, just click yes to proceed. If all goes well, you will get to the Installation Complete screen that indicated the SQL Express Installation and database conversions have completed without errors. You can then continue on to the Workstation and Service Pack installations AFTER rebooting the server.
You are now ready to install the OM_Suite_Programs which hopefully you have renamed as well to indicate the version. Remember to unblock the installation file and run as Administrator. ** NOTE: if installing on a Terminal Server be sure to follow the instructions for removing the current omate32.ini files prior to installing (http://www.officemate.net/pdfs/Terminal%20Server%20Upgrade.pdf ). The programs component installation is pretty straightforward and follows the official guide with the only deviation I encountered on an upgrade being a dialog asking what type of installation (this probably came up because we deleted the prior omate32.ini files on our terminal server)
and also the Question dialog after Step 11 that asks you about the location of your OfficeMate database (In our case we were installing the programs on the server itself, so it indicated the database was on the Local machine.)
Once the Programs installation completes you will reboot again, then you can apply the service pack. **NOTE: If installing on a terminal server, don’t forget to complete the special instructions to copy your omate32.ini file to the C:\Windows\ directory.
Upon reboot from the Programs Install on your server/workstation, Install the Service Pack – once again, you may have to right click on the file itself and unblock, and as I always do, then right click and run as Administrator (this isn’t necessary, but I do it anyway just to ensure no issues).
A few cautions: It is always a good idea to reboot after each step. If you encounter an installation error that you are unsure of, reboot and try the installation again. If you encounter something such as a dialog box or question that isn’t in the installation guide it is often just something that OfficeMate forgot to tell you about.
* Pensacola Computers is not officially connected to OfficeMate software in any way, and all opinions stated are my own observations and you may experience different results. This guide is meant only as a narrative of my own experiences and is current as of the date posted.
I have been working as an IT consultant with Optometrists that use OfficeMate for over 7 years and have installed OfficeMate numerous times for 14 different practices. Please feel free to contact me via my contact info at http://pensacolacomputers.com with any questions.
Beware the latest 4.1.2 Verizon Galaxy S3 OTA update ( VRBMF1). I got this update yesterday, and this morning I got an email from Verizon saying the features on my phone had been changed as requested – but I never requested anything, nor did I get any kind of message or option to opt in (or out) of anything when performing the OTA update. It seems like this update adds a Caller Name ID for Mobile Devices ‘Free Trial’ to your plan that begins charging you $2.99 a month at the end of the trial. This is a pretty sneaky thing for Verizon to do, adding something that will cost you money if you don’t opt out, and doing so without telling you. At no time did I get any kind of opt in screen or anything – I have done many updates over the years, and I always check every screen to ensure that I am doing things properly. Luckily I called Verizon where after asking them what had changed, I was informed of this ‘free trial’ thing and was able to remove it from my plan. The fact that I have to waste my time to call Verizon to remove something that I never asked for in the first place is very irritating and just adds to the list of things I dislike about them – if it weren’t for the fact of their superior coverage areas, I would have ditched them a long time ago.
So if you get the latest OTA update, watch for a notice from Verizon, and keep a close eye on your bill for the next few months (actually, you should always review your Verizon bill carefully!).
** Note: it appears that some people did see an opt-in pop up for this on an earlier update, but I know I never did and others are reporting the same thing
I can’t tell you how many times in the past months I have heard people say they want a Windows 7 computer rather than Windows 8 because they have ‘heard bad things about Windows 8′. When I ask them what exactly it is that they have heard that turns them off they tell me that Windows 8 is so different from Windows 7 that it is too hard to use. To me, that is utter rubbish, and I feel sorry for those people who have refused to get Windows 8 on their home machines because of things they have ‘heard’. Notice I say home machines, because Windows 8 for business is another matter due to support from third party software manufacturers for business software.
To me, the only big glaring issue for many people is the lack of a start button in Windows 8 desktop mode (and this can be very simply resolved by downloading one of the many mostly free software add-ons, personally I like Classic Shell **Note: I only install the Classic Start Menu and the Classic Shell Update, deselecting the Classic Explorer and Classic IE9 components), other than that, which as I said is a simple fix, using Windows 8 in Desktop mode is really no different than Windows 7, except that it is more secure, has better built in support for things like multiple monitors and iso files, and has some great new and improved features like a revamped and much more user friendly task manager and Windows explorer.
By choosing Windows 8 you can easily mimic the Windows 7 experience (with add-ons like Classic Shell you can even go directly to the Windows desktop and bypass the new start screen). Plus you do get the addition of the new start screen and new full screen apps like Netflix and great new Xbox live based games like Wordament which are available from the Windows App Store (there are thousands of app with many great ones for free, and more every day). Windows 8 also allows you to sign in to the computer using a Windows live id (Hotmail, Live.com, Outlook.com, MSN email), and when doing so, you can choose to carry your settings and things like internet history etc with you to other Windows 8 computers. When signing in with your Hotmail etc email address you also have direct access to your emails, calendar and Sky Drive (which is between 7-20 GB of free online storage for your documents, photos etc). If you don’t already have a Hotmail, Outlook, Live.com email, I highly suggest getting one and using it for your Windows 8 id, if anything just to get the free Skydrive storage and use of the online versions of Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
I can’t see any downside for using Windows 8 on a home computer over Windows 7, and I can see many advantages such as ones I have outlined above.
The other thing about Windows 8 is its much improved touch interface for those computers with touchscreens. The touch on Windows 8 machines is much improved over previous versions of Windows, and using the new start menu and apps on a touch enabled computer brings a whole new experience to Windows. Many people who at first were hesitant about touchscreens on Windows 8 find that after a very short while, they use touch more and more as it is easier to do many things with touch rather than using a mouse or touchpad.
In the end, by spending a couple minutes downloading a free start menu replacement, and taking a few minutes to learn about the enhancements in Windows 8, I think the majority of people will be pleasantly surprised by their Windows 8 experience.
I currently use a Lenovo Yoga 13 convertible ultrabook as my main laptop/tablet and it is a great testament to what Windows 8 can do as it has both a tablet and laptop mode, incredible battery life, and amazingly responsive touchscreen, and can easily run any full Windows program. For home use I have a Lenovo A720 touchscreen all in one which is fantastic (see review here)
For Windows 8 questions and help with migration, upgrades and new computer setup – visit PensacolaComputers.com