My Windows hard drive is full! Or is it? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

The hard drive in your computer is an important device that holds your files while the computer is running and when it’s not. Some of these files are operating system files like Windows or Linux or Mac. Other types are software programs that allow you to get work done like writing letters or edit a video for your web site. And your data files are also there.

Hard drives are divided into partitions to separate the different types of data or to separate operating systems. Most computers I encounter have one partition with everything on it: operating system, programs and data. The partition is usually labeled C: .  Another way to set up a computer is to have one partition for the operating system and programs and another partition for your data( D: or E: or higher).  This way if something renders the operating system partition unbootable or corrupt, your data is still accessible.

A problem can happen when a hard drive partition almost fills up with files.  The computer becomes slower and may grind to a halt because there is no room to save and open files.

When there are two partitions and one fills up, it’s usually the first one with the OS on it.  This scenario makes the hard drive appear full when it usually isn’t.  There usually is plenty of room on the other partition. The problem is the owner and user of the computer doesn’t know they have another place to store data and they keep using the C: drive which is the first partition. If they install any new programs they typically forget to use the data partition as well. 

So the next time the you get warnings about your hard drive being full, check to see if you have two partitions and just one of them is full.  Then start moving files from the full one to the other one. Probably not, but it’s worth a shot.

 

 

Maybe they don’t know how good you are. Fort Wayne Computer Repair

Maybe they don’t know how good you are. Fort Wayne Computer Repair

Last month a networker mentioned they may have a project for me with two other companies. I wasn’t sure how much they or the other two companies knew about my company.  I wanted to make it easy for them if they did not.  I didn’t want to lose this opportunity and I gave them three easy ways to investigate and see how good I am.

The first one was my Linked page that has 40 recommendation from my connections and many endorsements. Next, my Facebook company page has 33 recommendations from clients. The last page to showcase my talent is my Google business page with 35 recommendations and a 4.9 out of 5 rating.  I hope this will be enough to convince them to partner with me for the future, 

Don’t hesitate to let potential clients know about your business listings like LinkedIn, FaceBook and Google if they are in decent shape. If they aren’t good, then start working on them.  To build my numbers, I emailed my clients one at a time and asked for recommendations, reviews and likes. Not everyone did, but enough did that I started looking better and better compared to my colleagues over time.  And don’t forget to reciprocate with your providers and recommend and review them as well.

Are you using LinkedIn, Facebook and Google business to improve your image?

LinkedIn.  Fort Wayne Computer Repair

LinkedIn. Fort Wayne Computer Repair

I must be doing something right with Social Media because over the past few weeks I have been asked to speak at two different networking groups on LinkedIn. In the networking group arena when I meet a new business person, I ask them if they are a member of LinkedIn and most networkers are nowadays. Five or so years ago I would get,”What’s LinkedIn?”  If they are on LinkedIN, they usually say “I don’t know what to do with it.” 

Some of the things I do on it are promote my business blog, promote my clients, promote my networking group and other networking groups. LinkedIn is also my secondary contact list behind my Google contacts. When a client or networker asks for someone’s phone number, I use LinkedIn to fetch it if I don’t have it in Google. 

Lately, I’ve been sharing more pictures on LI and to a lesser extent, videos.  The majority of the pictures are from my smartphone at my computer repair clients and at networking groups. I’ve found that FaceBook is favored by some Social Media smartphone apps for sharing. One of them is Swarm which doesn’t have a LI cross-posting option, but it does have a Facebook and Twitter one.  Instagram has the same bias against LinkedIn.  When I take a smartphone picture and share it to Instagram, an option is available to share to Facebook and Twitter, but not LinkedIn. 

To save a picture or video to LinkedIn, it has to be done directly.  I open my android smartphone’s gallery and click on the share button.  I peruse this list and find LinkedIn and click on it and follow the directions.

How are you using Linkedin?

 

Comcast- When are you going to support Linux?

Comcast- When are you going to support Linux?

My internet provider, Comcast or Xfinity, has a nice, on-line streaming service. It allows me as a subscriber to watch live television, watch my recorded TV shows and watch popular shows on a computer.  It works wonderfully on Microsoft Windows devices, but for Linux users like myself, it doesn’t work.  I’ve tried different web browsers like Opera, Chrome and Firefox, but none of them work. When I try and open Comcast in a web browser, I get the message I’ve included in the accompanying photo saying you need windows or Mac to view.. Comcast – Please allow us Linux users to see our shows on-line. Not everyone uses Windows.

This one hitch is preventing me from using Linux on a full-time basis on at least one of my computers. I have researched this problem and I’m not the only disgruntled Comcast customer.  I think I did see an article on tricking your web browser into thinking it’s something different so the web page will display properly.  I think it has something to do with Adobe Flashplayer which gives me problems in Linux.

It’s not all bad news for Comcast Users with Linux: I can read my Comcast email in Linux and get my voice mail as well.  If you’re a Linux user and can watch your Comcast TV on it, let me know how you did it. But Comcast – [lease stop blocking Linux on your Streaming TV service.

“This is driving me nuts” Fort Wayne Computer Repair

“This is driving me nuts” Fort Wayne Computer Repair

A call from a business client was received recently who wasn’t happy with the security product I installed. It wouldn’t allow them to get any work done on their Microsoft Windows 10 computer. “This is driving me nuts”, they said. “Can you fix this?”

An on-site service call was made and I could see what was driving my client nuts: Comodo Internet Security was popping up with a warning about every two minutes and dinging, as well.  The process which was causing the constant warning was flagged safe by Comodo and run virtually so it didn’t harm the computer. The running process was c:\windows\system32\Conhost.exe. I scanned with Comodo and Windows defender and all files were clean but I knew something was up.

I checked the Comodo logs under “containment events” and every minute it was stopping this process.  Something was trying to execute and install itself and Comodo blocked it. I searched programs in Control Panel and found Driver Support installed today! This is a malicious program so I removed it.  After removal, the Comodo alerts stopped. Comodo was blocking driver support from running.

Comodo has a ton of settings, logs, tools and modules which can make it difficult to troubleshoot.  Once it’s set up and tweaked for your software, it does a wonderful job protecting your windows computer. My client now understands this and I hope will heed comodo’s warnings.

What web browser is it? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

What web browser is it? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

Many times while I work on a computer I have multiple web browsers open. Firefox, Tor, and Chrome may all be open in Linux or Windows. Sometimes it’s so I can have multiple email accounts open for my company email. It won’t let me do that on multiple tabs on the same browser. Another reason is to test how a web page reacts to different browsers for a client if one isn’t working for them. 

As I’m flipping from one browser to another I need to know which one I have active at the time.  In the past on Microsoft Windows it was easy to tell because every browser displayed their name prominently in the title bar at the top of their browser.

Nowadays, some do and some don’t.  As an example, in Windows 7 Internet Explorer does have it’s name in the browser title bar, but in Windows 10, it doesn’t. In Windows 7, Firefox won’t display its name, but in 10 it does better by having a Firefox logo and name near the title bar on the right.  In Linux Mint, Firefox and Chromium both show their name in the title bar. In Window 10, Edge browser doesn’t display it’s name.

Having to look for the browser name slows me down because I have to open help or settings to see which one it is.  I wish all of them in all operating systems displayed their name.  Maybe there’s a way to turn enable this as an option. Does anyone know if this can be done on any of the web browsers?

Can you help with my mobile hotspot? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

I was at a coffee shop picking up a client’s dead laptop one day. As I was leaving I bumped into a networker who asked me to help with their mobile hotspot device.  The hotspots came from their cell provider and they had their original one which failed and a replacement one which was supposed to work. They were having trouble getting either one working with their laptop. 

A hotspot provides the user with a secure Wi-Fi connection in case there isn’t a land-based Wi-Fi Access Point available like a coffee shop or library. 

I starting investigating one of the hotspot devices by powering it on and its display showed a power-on self-test and a signal strength icon with a spinning wheel. Using my smartphone, I found the hotspot listed in the WiFi network and successfully connected to it. The password was printed on the hotspot device.Next. I connected my client’s laptop to the hotspot and they could now browse the internet.  

I started working on the other hotspot device to see if it worked or not. When it was powered on, the self-test ran and I was ready to test it. Once again my smartphone was used to test it, but no new hotspots were listed.  I looked on the hotspot display and no signal strength wheel icon was present. Also, no data counter was there either and I knew this was defective one.  My client will ship this one back to her smartphone company and start using the good one.

The volume is low! Fort Wayne Computer Repair

This summer I had a computer service call to a current client for many different technical complaints.  One of the perplexing ones was low audio on their very nice Harmon-Kardon externals speakers connected to their Microsoft Windows 7 desktop computer.  No matter what program I chose, real player or YouTube, the audio was very low.  I checked the Device Manager and nothing unusual was seen. Next the audio controls in Windows was checked and it was set to full blast, but still no sound. I checked for volume controls on the speakers and didn’t find any, The speaker cables were already connected to the right computer jack so focus was returned to Microsoft Windows. I removed the sound card from control panel and restarted the computer. The sound card was found again when Windows restarted and the sound still was too low. 

I was close to giving up when I checked the speakers again for any controls. This time success was mine when I found volume controls on the top of one of the small speakers. They were flush with the top and easy to miss.  Once I slid the volume slider up, the speakers came to life and filled the room with sound. My client was slightly embarrassed to find out it wasn’t the computer, but the speaker controls.

Why can’t I connect? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

I was helping a computer repair client of mine with a client of theirs recently. My client was attempting to access their client’s Microsoft Windows computer via a remote control service on their own Windows 7 computer.  They tried for  hours one day and never connected. After hours of frustration set in, they asked me to find out why they couldn’t connect to their client’s computer.  Their  client said their computer was powered on and they remote control software was running. 

My investigation began and I tried connecting to the remote computer and got the same connection error message(computer has been off-line 7 hours)as my client.  I called their client on the phone and found out they leave the laptop running while they leave the location for the day.  They assured me the computer was running and the remote control software is running when they leave. I asked them if they hibernate the laptop or put it to sleep. They said no and the only other thing is they close the lid on the laptop when they leave. Bingo!  I explained when the lid is closed on a laptop computer, it goes to sleep and no would be able to remote in to it. 

Now my client successfully connects to their client’s laptop because the lid isn’t closed any longer.

Wireless printers. Fort Wayne Computer Repair.

Wireless printers. Fort Wayne Computer Repair.

I get asked questions frequently by networkers, clients and others about computer matters. One I got last week was really good and I will discuss it now. A client asked, “Does my computer need to be wireless to print to a wireless printer?” They were asking me because they had an office full of desktop computers connected to their network with ethernet LAN cables.  They didn’t know how they would print to a wireless printer on the wireless router.

Their question made sense because they saw their company network as two separate, disconnected ones.  There is an ethernet switch in the network for interconnecting the wired computers and a wireless router for interconnecting laptops, wireless printers and smartphones. The switch and wireless router are connected together with an ethernet cable so the wired and wireless computers and devices are connected together physically.  Another criteria for the printing to work, is all the devices must be on the same logical network on the same TCP/IP subnet. This means they need to have IP address in the same range as in 192.168.1.4 or 192.168.1.6.  The last criteria is the wireless printer is connected to to the same wireless router AP (access point) which is wired to the switch. 

If all this criteria are met, then you should be able to print wirelessly. Oh, and the printer must be powered on!

Who is this email message really from? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

I get spam and phishing emails just like you and everyone else in the world.  Sometimes, I analyze them to get the real story.  You can examine the email header in an email message to get more information to determine if it’s fake or not. To get this extra information most email interfaces have buttons at the top.  In one of my email interfaces I click on “View Full Header”.  In my other email it’s called “view source”.  Clicking on these buttons expands the email header with much more information.

Here is a line from one of my email messages which is supposed to be from Network Solutions but it says something different in the brackets: 
   ” From:”supports@networksolutions.com” <dpalmer@eischec.something> “

  It’s really from someone else so I know this is probably a phishing email and not to believe it or click on anything in the body.

Here are snippets from another email message which looked as if it was from a client of mine:                     “<MarkBerman@artisan.net>”   

It looks a little funny because it isn’t Mark’s usual email address.  Maybe he got another email provider.  Let’s look further at the IP address of his email provider:

Received: from mails.turbide.net ([69.70.161.66]:19673 helo=mail.turbide.net)”
 

  The IP address, 69.70.161.66,  is from the email provider.  I ran a command on it to see the physical location.

” whois 69.70.161.66″

Here is part of the output:  

“OrgName: Le Groupe Videotron Ltee
OrgId: VLCA
Address: 150 Beaubien Ouest
City: Montreal
StateProv: QC
PostalCode: H2V-1C4
Country: CA”

As you can see the email provider is in Canada and my client lives in Fort Wayne so I doubt this is from my client even though his name is on it. 

Be careful with emails because they can deliver malware or take you to sites with malware on them.

   

Why can I map only one network drive? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

Not long ago I was at business client of mine and we were creating drive mappings to a Linux server.  The computer we were using was a Windows 7 professional model like the others in their company office. Their Linux server uses the Samba service to allow Microsoft Windows clients to access files and folders over their network. 

On the Windows 7 computer I mapped the first drive easily. Next, the second drive mapping was attempted and failed. I can’t recall the exact message, but it said something like two paths to the same location couldn’t be mapped from one login. I tried many different things and I thought I found the problem when I saw the other computers were logging into a Windows domain and this computer was on a workgroup. I couldn’t get it to connect to any Domain Controller and had to get their Linux server guy involved. He tried all kinds of things and finally discovered IPv6 was interfering with the drive mapping. Once it was disabled, we could map as many drives as we wanted. I don’t think we ever did figure out why it interfered- we were just relieved to fix it.

Why can’t I connect to the Internet? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

Why can’t I connect to the Internet? Fort Wayne Computer Repair

I was on-site at a company a few days ago and was asked to assist the office manager in setting up a new employees computer. The office manager followed their notes, but was unsuccessful in getting this computer connected to their local network and the internet.

My investigation was started to see what was wrong and I first asked if the other computers in the office were good on the internet and local network – they were. Next, I started checking the network settings for the network adapter of the computer. As I was checking settings, a Windows system message appeared on the screen which warned that there was an IP address conflict.  Any device on a computer network requires a unique IP address address and this network was violating this rule. I noticed the IP address was set to static on this computer while the other computers were dynamic.  This means the other computers were getting their IP address assigned to them from a DHCP server and this problem computer’s address was manually set by a human. The manually set one happened to conflict with one of the dynamic ones on the network and until corrected, this computer was not working on the network. I changed the IP from static to dynamic and the network and internet worked like a champ.  We could see the other network resources like folders and printers. Internet web browsing was working as well.

Comodo Internet Security Essentials – What are you?

I use Comodo Internet security suite on my computer clients’ computers as well as my own. Comodo has versions for Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.  It seems to do a great job, but can be challenging to configure sometimes. It has many great parts and options to protect your computer and if one misses something, the other parts usually catch it.

A few weeks ago I noticed a similar product showing up on my clients’ and my computers: Comodo Internet Security Solutions. I never consciously installed it, but I found it on three or four computers recently.  My research shows it may be a rogue, fake security program or a bad product from Comodo. The computers that had it installed seemed slower to me and had problems I couldn’t explain. On Comodo’s web site, they mention it, but there is no way to download it as their other products.  This confuses me and for the time-being, I am removing Comodo Internet Security Essentials.  Have you experienced it? 

Reader’s choice awards. Fort Wayne Computer Repair

Reader’s choice awards. Fort Wayne Computer Repair

The Reader’s Choice Awards always sneaks up on me and like many of you, my company is on the ballot. Voting is supposed to start today  and my company is under Shopping / Electronics Store-Computer Repair Store. Look for Shane Grantham Consulting. It would be nice to have a category just for on-site Computer Consultants/Repair under Services, but I’m happy to be on the ballot.

I’m not a store or a shop and I go a step farther than the shops and stores by actually making on-site service calls to my clients. This takes more effort on my part than if I had a fixed location and just waited for single computers to come in for repair. I work with people and their whole computer systems, networks, printers, etc. in my client’s business or home.

If you’re on the ballot, tell me what category so I can vote for you and tell others as well.

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