"MegaBit Minute"
MegaBit Consulting, Inc.
Newsletter by Jason Stenvold
December, 2009
In This Issue
Windows Security Patches
Customer Corner
Business Links
Fun Stuff
Newsletter Archives
MegaBit Consulting, Inc.
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I provide businesses with personal, expert technology support. Call anytime for help with computers, email, web sites, internet connections, routers, firewalls, wireless access .... anything to help you run your business efficiently.
Windows Security Patches
All those little icons in the lower right corner of your screen - What's the Yellow Shield with the exclamation point?

That icon comes up several times per month.  It's Microsoft telling you that there are important security patches that need to be applied to your computer.  Whenever you see that Yellow Shield icon, click on it and 'Install' those updates.  If you don't, it just keeps bugging you and those updates will just keep piling up over time, then they'll take a long time to install. 
By keeping up with those updates, your computer will be more secure and they'll take much less time to install.
Tools I Use
Many wonder what's inside my bag of magic tricks that I use to solve mysterious computer problems.  At the risk of everyone out there fixing their own computers and putting me out of a job, I figured I'd spread the joy and let you know exactly what my 'go to' tools are, for fixing the majority of issues I encounter.
Whenever I get a call of a virus infected PC, and it's a bad infection, not just an annoyance, this software always saves the day.  It has removed every infection I've come across.  If the infection is bad enough so that the PC is unusable, I'll remove the infected hard drive and install it as an external USB drive to my laptop, then clean it that way.  This software won't stop infections from happening, but it will clean it after the fact.
This does a great job at stopping infections before they happen, then being able to clean them if you do get infected.  Now, keep in mind, the punks who create viruses are always one step ahead of all anti-virus software companies - these companies have to 'see' a virus, before they can update their software to protect against that virus.  So, that means no one is ever 100% protected and no software is 100% effective.
The heart or brain of any Windows based PC is called the 'Registry'.  This hidden system file is a database which stores all the options and settings for the operating system and all the installed applications.  Over time, the Registry can become unstable or slightly corrupted.  This tool corrects and repairs the Registry.
At least twice per month, I'll get a call about a computer or FileServer that's out of disk space. With todays 100+ gigabyte drives, you'd think that would be impossible!  Heck, one drive can hold the entire library of congress, 1,000 times over, so how could all of your Word, Excel and Outlook files be using that much space!?  Well, TreeSizePro to the rescue.  It graphically maps out and sorts all of your folders/files - with the folders using up the most disk space sorted to the top.  So, in the span of about 2 minutes, I can find out which files or folders are hogging up all the space.  It's usually some hidden temp area that's gone unnoticed for several years, or a picture/music folder gone crazy. 
Customer Corner
What's it like to be Jason at work?! Well, here's a peek into one of my typical support calls.
"My computer keeps shutting down!"
A Customer called to tell me that their PC shuts down without warning.  First, I have to determine, is this a software or hardware issue.  I ask, 'how does it shut down, is it orderly or does it go off like a light switch?'.  The answer is light-switch. Most of the time, that tells me it's a hardware issue.  But I'm a little thrown by this, because the PC boots all the way into showing the desktop icons, which takes about 2 minutes, then it shuts down.  Strange! Usually, if it's a hardware issue, what happens is when you press the power button, you'll see a quick flash of the power lights, maybe hear the PC start to boot, but only a few seconds into it, the PC will shut down.
So, it still might be a software issue.  During the boot process, all the programs running in the background load one by one.  It seems like it gets to one program then bam, it crashes.  To rule this out, I start the Windows XP PC into 'Safe Mode' by pressing F8 during startup.  This starts the computer by not running most of these startup programs, so theoretically, taking the software out of the equation.  And guess what, bam, it does the same shutdown.
I'm now confident that it's simply a bad power supply.  I swap out the $30 part and now it boots and stays booted.
Customer Happy - Me Happy :o)
Business Links
Support these fantastic businesses!
  I can personally declare that they are outstanding examples of personal service and value!
Chuck Ellingson owns this premiere western Minnesota hunting guide service.  Located on 400 private acres next to the Lac Qui Parle Refuge, Chuck offers professional guide trips for Geese, Pheasant, Deer, and Ducks. First Class Lodging and Catered Meals are all available in every hunting package. His facilities can also accommodate large gatherings, which is perfect for corporate events, class reunions and wedding receptions.
Susan Austin provides inspired Professional Portrait, Wedding and Event Photography.  She creates absolutely gorgeous images. Plus, she's one of the nicest, most personable people you'll ever meet!
Tom and Mike Ulmer have been providing businesses with promotional products since 1976.  They can put your company logo onto virtually anything, in small or large quantities. Examples include apparel, staplers, calendars, golf balls, can coolers, stickers, mouse pads, tote bags, water bottles....the list is endless!  Give them a call the next time you need something for a corporate giveaway, an employee event or business advertising.

Fun Stuff
Having a rough day?  Click these links to make it all better :o)
Newsletter Archives
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I specialize in supporting small/medium businesses. Please consider passing my info on to a friend or neighbor.  Personal referrals are the best possible way to expand a business and I appreciate being able to support your computers!
Jason Stenvold
Jason Stenvold
MegaBit Consulting, Inc.
"The highest of distinctions is service to others."
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