Google+ July 2011 ~ High Tech House Calls

Mesmerizing Sheep Harding

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Software to Display How Your Windows Hard Drive is Feeling

In a previous blog, I talked about how to determine if your Windows hard drive was failing.

Click here to read previous blog:

http://hthcatlanta.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-tell-if-your-windows-laptop-disk.html 

Active@ Hard Drive Monitor uses SMART to determine the health of your hard drive.

Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, or S.M.A.R.T., is a monitoring system for computer hard disks to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, and assist in the anticipation of failures.

Click here to download the software:
http://www.ntfs.com/disk-monitor.htm

This alert may give you enough warning to back up your system one last time before your start the process of replacing your hard drive and re-loading your software.

Carl Thorne
High Tech House Calls
Expert Computer Consulting
voice: 404.229.0839
email: carlthorne@hthcatlanta.com
web: hthncatlanta.com
blog: hthcatlanta.blogspot.com

How to Tell If Your Windows Laptop Disk Drive is Failing

Eventually, your hard drive will fail. Hard drives are expected to last between 3 to 5 years before they eventually fail.

How do you know when your time is up with a hard drive?
  • Your computer starts to slow down. (but a slow computer can be caused by other things besides a failing hard drive.)
  • Go to Computer and select your C Drive. Right mouse click and select Properties. Select the Tools tab and then select Error-Check. Make sure the check box for Repair is selected.Finally, when given the option, select Schedule. The next time you boot your computer,the error scan program will scan your hard drive and fix any problems it discovers. When the scan is complete, your computer will boot normally to the operating system.
  • One or two errors are probably no cause for alarm. More than that and your hard drive is starting to fail and you should back up what you can and plan for the replacement of your hard drive and reloading of all your software.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Worried About Finding a Lost Blackberry?

Here are two Blackberry Applications that can lower your anxiety over losing your Blackberry:

Blackberry Protect
  • BlackBerry Protect is a free application designed to help find your lost BlackBerry smartphone, and keep the information on it secure. It can also offer peace of mind for small businesses and families, with the ability to protect multiple smartphones.
  • Your contacts, text messages, calendar and bookmarks can be backed up wirelessly. It’s done automatically, and as often as you choose (daily, weekly or monthly).
  • You’ve lost your smartphone. Why wonder who has access to your information? Simply log in to the BlackBerry Protect website and lock your device. Pretty sure you’re not going to see it again? You can delete the information on your smartphone and microSD card from the BlackBerry Protect website too.
  • Maybe you’ve just misplaced your smartphone. Lock and display a message on your smartphone Home screen for whoever may find it. Then locate it on a map and go get it. Or if you think your smartphone is nearby, simply force it to ring at full volume.
  • Just bought a shiny new BlackBerry smartphone? BlackBerry Protect makes it easy to restore the device settings, contacts and calendar items you had backed up on your last one.
  • If you have multiple smartphones in your company, or even your family, you can use BlackBerry Protect to keep everyone’s information secure and to find lost smartphones.
http://us.blackberry.com/apps-software/protect/

Verizon Backup Assistant


Have a Verizon Blackberry? Here is a link to a tutorial video on how to backup your contacts wirelessly and how to retrieve them.


https://wbillpay.verizonwireless.com/vzw/nos/ba_nab/overview_def.jsp

Saturday, July 16, 2011

College Student? Buy MS Home and Student 2010 and Get Outlook For Free!

Buy Home and Student - Get Outlook Free!

TiVo Broken? Here is how to fix it.

If you have unplugged and and then plugged your TiVo back in, but the familiar cartoon-like TiVo character is not dancing across your TV screen and you cannot hear the TiVo background music, the hard drive has probably crashed.

Your TiVo is a desktop computer that uses your TV as a monitor. The Operating System and all your programs are stored on a hard drive.

If the hard drive on your desktop computer crashes, you would replace the hard drive and re-load all the software that came with the computer and that you bought in the first place.

If your TiVo hard drive crashes, all your previously stored programs that had been recorded are gone with the crashed hard drive along with all your recording preferences such as season passes. How do you re-load the TiVo software? You don't. You buy a pre-loaded hard drive and follow their directions that come with the replacement hard drive on how to install the new hard drive. Once the replacement hard drive has been  installed, you plug your TiVo back in, re-connect it to the TV and the cable system and re-program it to recognize your cable system and re-program all your preferences all over again.

Here is a link to a company that can supply you with a pre-formatted hard drive for your particular TiVo system: http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/index.php

Free Software to Display How Your Mac Hard Drive is Feeling

In a previous blog, I talked about how to determine if your Apple hard drive was failing.
Click here to read previous blog:
http://hthcatlanta.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-tell-if-your-apple-laptop-disk.html

SmartReporter will read your S.M.A.R.T. status every 15 minutes and alert you to a hard drive that is starting to fail. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology. Here is the link to the software:
http://download.cnet.com/SMARTReporter/3000-2086_4-49263.html

This alert may give you enough warning to back up your system one last time before your start the process of replacing your hard drive and re-loading your software.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 2011 eNewletter

July 2011 News From High Tech House Calls

Monday, July 11, 2011

- - Upgrading to Mac OS 10.7 Lion for Your Apple Computer? - Lion is the newest release of the Mac OS http://ow.ly/1dKGPd

Sunday, July 10, 2011

- Upgrading to Mac OS 10.7 Lion for Your Apple Computer? - Lion is the newest release of the Mac OS 10 http://ow.ly/1dJo4j

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Upgrading to Mac OS 10.7 Lion for Your Apple Computer? - Lion is the newest release of the Mac OS 10.x Operating Sys... http://ow.ly/1dIte1

Upgrading to Mac OS 10.7 Lion for Your Apple Computer?

Lion is the newest release of the Mac OS 10.x Operating System for laptops and workstations.

Here is a link that describes what is contained in the release:  http://www.apple.com/macosx/apps/all.html

Due to be released in July 2011, Lion will only be available via the Application Store Application that is installed on your computer instead of the normal DVD you would purchase online or from a store. The Application Store concept downloads software as iTunes downloads music.

If you bought your computer after June 6, 2011, the upgrade to Lion may be free. Click on this link to see if you qualify: http://www.apple.com/macosx/uptodate/

It not unusual that application software you currently have installed will not run with a major Operating System upgrade such as Lion as this is the case with Quicken. Do your research carefully on what the real cost of the upgrade will be for example if you have to buy new versions of applications that run fine on your current Operating System, it may be more expensive than anticipated.

Once you decide that you want to upgrade, how do you tell if you meet the requirements to upgrade your computer?
  • If you are running an Apple computer that does not have an Intel Processor such as an iBook G4, you cannot install Lion. The last Operating System release that supported your computer was Leopard (10.5.8). How do you tell what release of the operating system you are running and if you are running an Intel Processor? Click the Apple Icon in the upper left corner of your screen and select About This Mac.
  • If your computer processor is an Intel Processor, you must have Snow Leopard (10.6) loaded on your computer to have the Application Store App loaded on it. Therefore, you cannot upgrade directly from a pre-Snow Leopard release of the Operating System to Lion. You must purchase Snow Leopard first for $29.99 from a store or online vendor and install it in order to have the Application Store App installed.
  • Once you meet the requirements for an upgrade to Lion, purchase and download Lion from the Application Store. I would suggest you wait a week or so after Lion is available to see if you can expect any problems with the upgrade.