Common IT Issues We Faced During Our Tech Support Sessions in Westchester

Common IT Issues We Faced During Our Tech Support Sessions in Westchester We have recently analyzed all the emails, service tickets and phone calls we have received regarding requests for Tech support help and we have decided to provide a glimpse on what we discovered. Our aim is not to be judgmental towards our clients but to teach users that several computer problems can be avoided by staying calm and using common sense. Also, Westchester county users are not any different from any other user or company in new York City or Connecticut: it’s just a matter for us to be professional in doing or job and provide computer and networking assistance when needed. OUTLOOK NOT GETTING EMAILS If a user calls than he or she cannot receive emails, the problem can be caused by the fact that user may have updated recently her password and he/she cannot see the message at the bottom right that says “Need password”.  Also one of the main complaints that users have is that they “did not receive all the emails”. In this case a compare contrast with the cloud version of Outlook will she light on what it’s missing. MOUSE AND KEYBOARD NOT WORKING If a hardwired usb mouse and keybaord are not workinmg, the IT consultant should check the connections and possibly swap the USB ports. If instead users has a bluetooth mouse and keyboard, check the batteries first and see if they work or not. Try to replace the batteries with new ones and see if it’s a usb dongle issue. CANNOT GET TO A WEBSITE If the user unable to get to a specific website or to any website? If user cannot get into any website, it can be that there is no Internet on his machine or in the office. If the user cannot get into a specific web page, it can be a firewall that blocks it and in that case user can ask IT department to apply an exception explaining the reasons behind the request. INTERNET IS NOT WORKING If a user cannot get to any network resource or to any website, the Internet may be down. It’s recommended in this case to do first a reboot of the computer, check the physical connections. Sometimes our clients in Westchester had the NIC that was not picking up signal anymore and with a ethernet to a USB adapter, the issue was resolved and user was back in business. USER NEEDS ACCESS TO A NETWORK DRIVE Usually those requests are handled by the help desk in a coporate environment. The access to a shared drive would need to be first approved. Once it is approved, the help desk, pulls up active directory and put the user to the group he/she has been approved for. After that, the user should log off from his machine and log back on to see the new drive showing up in the list of the drives. If the drive does not show up, the tech support can map the drive in person or remotely for the user. THE AUDIO ON MY PC IS NOT WORKING The problem here can be that usually users had plugged headsets and forgot to adjust the defalt sound. Also, tech support should check if drivers or software for headsets are needed. If headsets are USB, users can try to use another usb port. EXCEL CRASHING WHEN RUNNING MACROS Check if the corporate environment blocks macros first or if macros are allowed, I would run Microsoft Office repair tools or SARA.

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Let’s Find Out What Caused Computers to be Slow in Westchester NY

Let’s Find Out What Caused Computers to be Slow in Westchester NY Between 2021 and 2022 Sandanotech has been collecting statistical data about computer hardware and software issues encountered by its Westchester clients. The stats provided below she lights about user habits, company hardware procurements and computer maintenance. Given that the range of clients we have is a mix, it is important to highlight that some of the companies decided to join our managed services, but some of them, because of budget constraint, prefer to use our services on request. On the other hand, those who have joined our services, are more careful in avoiding downtime and have newer hardware and software. Those who call our IT support services on request, have experienced more downtime because of older hardware and randomness in applying patches and updates. Our Westchester IT Support Provides Computer Services   To Workstations Running Windows 10 and Windows 11 To Workstations Running Intel Core I5 and AMD Processors To Computers that are usually no more than 5 years old. To Pcs that have SSD but also Mechanical hard drives Let Sandanotech Know if you Need Tech Support When users call for tech support and report that the computer is slow, they usually don’t describe the reasons why their machine is acting their way.  Slowness can depend on software problems or ageing hardware. In this scenario, we have though to lay down what we have discovered in the computers of our clients and how we were able to implement a decent solution to correct the issue. COMPUTERS WITH MECHANICAL HARDWARE -HDD For machines running on mechanical hard drives, we usually recommend to do first a disk error checkup and disk defragmentation. Once those tasks have been completed, the computer’s speed can be incremented by running Windows updates and by removing unnecessary software. IDENTIFYING WHAT CAUSES SLOWNESS Not all the programs were created equal. For example, Outlook and Chrome take up a lot of resources. In the system resources after having hit task manager, find what program takes most resources and maybe propose the user to use the cloud version of it. One example could be if Excel keeps crashing, a user may want to use the onlinbe version of it on OWA. REMOVE MALWARE Constantly scanning for viruses can keep system clean, remove infections and prevent the computer from getting clogged with files and programs users do not need. OPTIMIZING STARTUP PROGRAMS The startup program is crucial in discovering what resources are taken when the computer starts up. For example, Microsoft Teams and One Drive can be turned off and free up resources. CLEARING BROWSER CACHE Keeping browsers such as Chrome up to date allows a faster Internet experience. Also clearing the browsing history will result in a safer behavior as browser does not have to store passwords and cookies. Keep also browser extesnions at a minimum so that the browser won’t slow down or crash. HARDWARE UPGRADES If a desktop runs Windows 10 or, even worse, Windows 11, with only  8GB of RAM, I recommend to upgrade the ram at least to 16 GB. That way, multitasking will become easier and several high-intensity programs such as Chrome will run better and faster. On the hard drive side, we have already specified that it’s much better to have a ssd or NVME hard drive rather than a mechanical hard drive. The HDD can be easily cloned to an SSD resulting in 30 per cent more read and write speed. UPDATE THE WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 10 has 2 more years of support left as of this writing and many companies are already upgrading their computers to Windows 11. Upgrading the OS right now does not make the computer faster, and honestly it can translate in a bad user expericence because many of our clients in Westchester still don’t like Windows 11, Better to run a fully patched Windows 10 than a Windows 11 system on a 5 years old machine. That would complicate things even further.

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Should you Get a New Computer or Upgrade the Existing One?

Should you Get a New Computer or Upgrade the Existing One? There are many things to consider when thinking about upgrading or replacing your computer, and there really isn’t a straightforward answer. I think the most important thing to do first is to create a list of the main the reasons why you are deciding whether to upgrading what you have or to get a new machine. Also, you need to consider the specifics of why you need a particular upgrade, whether it’s one component or maybe even the entire computer. The first thing I would do is a diagnostic of the performance of my current computer. Type on your keyboard CTRL + ALT+ DELETE and go to the Task Manager. The second tab will list the main parts of the computer that are being used, such as CPU, Hard Disk, Memory and Graphics Card (if you ahev one installed already): WHY YOU WANT TO STICK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE Is really time for an upgrade or should I keep what I have? 1) If your computer still runs Windows 10 and it is no more than 5 years old, you may want to wait before getting a new machine because new hardware just came out in October 2022 and Windows 11 is getting better.2) If your computer runs Windows 10 and has at least an Intel Core i5, a 512 GB Solid State Drive and at least 8 GB of memory, you have a computer with standard specifications that is good for basic tasks such as Internet browsing and email.Basically, if your computer is 2-3 years old, has decent hardware and you are a basic user, you don’t need to do any upgrade. WHY YOU DECIDED TO UPGRADE 1) If your computer is unable to do something that you consider important. For example, all your friends just got a new video game, but your computer doesn’t meet the minimum specs. If your friends have a computer that can handle games, you may want to ask them what hardware they got and upgrade to similar or more powerful specs. To upgrade a computer to meet specifications for gaming, I would upgrade the memory to at least 16 GB of RAM and install a PCI Express graphics card.2) Another example is if you use your computer to render videos. If you have a low power computer, you could wait an entire day for the video to render. To upgrade a computer to handle video editing I would upgrade the memory and install a graphics card like I would do for a computer that I would like to handle games.3) If you have just gotten a new job and have a lot of multitasking to do to meet the productivity of your new work environment, I would just put more RAM in the machine because adding more memory does not necessarily translate into a faster computer but, rather, it can help with multitasking, especially if you have multiple programs open at the same time.4) Even if all the circumstances above are not met and if your computer still has a mechanical hard drive, getting an SSD over a hard drive will almost always improve performance because a mechanical hard drive is slow compared to other components in your computer and often causes the bottleneck, from copying files to searching through folders in file explorer. Down below I have listed a table with the main components that can be upgraded: CURRENT UPGRADED     Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM, 512 Mechanical Hard Drive Upgrade Hard Drive by Cloning to an SSD     Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM, 512 SSD Upgrade RAM from 8 to 16 GB For Multitasking   Intel Core i5, 8 GB of RAM, 512 SSD Upgrade Ram to 16 GB an Install a Dedicated Graphics Card, for Video Editing or Gaming     Intel Core i7, 16 or 32 GB RAM, 1TB NVME This is the Ideal Computer that Can Handle Productivity, Gaming, Video Editing, and a Small Virtualization WHEN IT IS TIME TO GET A NEW COMPUTER 1) If you are still running Windows 7, backup your computer files, make a list of all the programs you are running and get a new computer with Windows 11.2) If your computer is 4 to 5 years old and all of a sudden does not turn on anymore, I recommend to shop for a new one and avoid to repair it, unless you don’t have a backup in place and you need a computer technician to recover your data that are still hostage in the broken computer.3) If your computer runs a Pentium or a Core I3 processor, I think that you may want to skip the upgrade of the processor because it can be too expensive, and the upgrade of a CPU is not always successful. You may want to get instead a computer with an Intel core i5 or i7.4) In 2025 when Windows 10 will run out of support and Microsoft will not release updates anymore, you may want to get a computer that runs Windows 11.5) If you want to get a new computer that runs Windows 10 at the end of 2022, that is fine but make sure that the hardware of your machine is not too old when it will be time to upgrade to Windows 11. At the end of 2022, we are still in between the switch between Windows 10 and Windows 11 and new hardware running Windows 10 is still totally fine and can overcome the glitches that Windows 11 still has. This table lists the current status of the hardware for new computers, as of November 2022: CPU Intel 13 Gen, AMD Ryzen 7000 Series     RAM DDR4 and DDR5     NVME HARD DRIVE PCI Gen 3 and PCI Gen 4     GRAPHICS CARD Nvidia RTX or AMD RX Series     OPERATING SYSTEM Windows 10, Windows 11     As you

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Is it Necessary to Upgrade your Internal Hard Drive to an SSD?

Is it Necessary to Upgrade your Internal Hard Drive to an SSD? In a previous post I have described what happens to the computer when the operating system is upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and the hardware stays the same. Windows 10 running on an older hardware that was perfectly fine with Windows 7 can make the computer almost unusable and lead to the 100 per cent disk usage issue.After having upgraded the system to Windows 10 or Windows 11, it is necessary to upgrade the hard drive from a mechanical hard drive to a Solid State Drive (SSD). This tutorial will explain how to upgrade your hard drive from a spinning internal hard drive to a SSD without losing your data. 1- GETTING READY FOR THE UPGRADE What you need is an SSD that’s at least at equal size of the spinning disk that you currently have so if you have a one terabyte drive make sure you get a one terabyte SSD. If by mistake you are getting an SSD that is smaller than the mechanical hard drive, you have two choices: a) Or you return it to the store and exchange it for a same size hard driveb) Or you must reduce the size of the partition on the HDD to the size of the smaller hard drive you have just purchased. 2- GETTING YOUR HANDS ON YOUR DESKTOP COMPUTER The first thing to do is to remove the side panel of your desktop computer. If there are some screws on the back of your system that you can remove them with a screwdriver to get the side panel off. All systems are different, but most systems have screws on the back, and they have a side panel that will just slide off. After having removed the side panel, you may want to get a sata cable so that you can plug the SSD to the motherboard. Now the computer will see the mechanical hard drive and the SSD like a USB devices attached to it. If you don’t have a sata cable, you may want to use the one that feeds the CD rom. Without completely removing the CD ROM, you can just unplug the sata cable from it and plug it to the SSD. This is just a temporary situation and at the end of the task, you should be able to put back the sata cable to the CD ROM. 3-USING THE RIGHT SOFTWARE FOR THE UPGRADE The software required will create an image of the system that would have to be transferred to the new SSD. In order to do that you need a blank usb thumb drive that will host the image. I recommend using a 16 GB flash drive. Go to your browser and search for Clonezilla. Once you are on Clonezilla website, go to downloads and click on stable. The download type you need is an ISO and not a zip file. To burn the Clonezilla image to the flash drive we need a second piece of software called Rufus. Download Rufus from here. When Rufus populates, you will see two fields: in the drive properties you will see the flash drive and its size and on the Boot selection you will select the Clonezilla ISO that you have just downloaded. Click on the start button and Rufus will make the USB bootable with Clonezilla in it. 4- IT IS TIME TO CREATE AN IMAGE OF YOUR PC The next step is to boot the computer off the flash drive. This task is accomplished by typing on the keyboard the keys F2, or F12 or F10 depending on the computer make and model you have. You may want to check online on your computer manufacturer’s website what is the right F number to tap before booting the computer to the newly created flash drive. Once you booted up to the flash drive you will see the minimalistic interface of Clonezilla. Select your language, keep the default keyboard layout. Pick the option “device to device”, choose the expert mode, disk to local disk clone. A new window will prompt you to pick the source disk: you may want to select the mechanical hard drive because that is the hard drive we want to clone. Click ok and then pick the destination hard drive which is the new SSD. After that a new window with advanced parameters will show up. Scroll all the way in the middle and select -q1 Force to use sector by sector copy as per the image above The next window will ask the user to check or skip the source file system. You can skip to check the source file system. Select to use the partition table from the source disk. After all the menus have been filled, Clonezilla, will warn user a couple of times that all the data on the target disk will be erased.Once you click ok, Clonezilla will begin its work sector by sector. As the sector by sector is better suited for Windows 10, be patient for several hours and let the software complete its task. 5- GETTING YOUR HANDS BACK TO YOUR PC Once the clone is completed, we need to shut down the pc and remove the power cord. Let’s now replace the HDD with the SSD. Let’s also remove the flash drive that still contains the bootable version of Clonezilla. Let’s reboot the computer and now you should have a faster pc that boots up from the newly cloned Solid State Drive. If the computer has hard time booting or if it displays a boot error, you can get to the bios and set up the correct boot sequence order which should start with the new SSD. Press F10 to save the new boot order you have established, and your computer will work fine. THE BOTTOM LINE You may be wondering why you would want to clone your computer. How does it help me? What problem

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