Windows 10 Updates Are Now Mandatory

For those who have made the switch to Windows 10, there are some changes to how the new operating system updates are handled.

While users were previously notified of the availability of updates and were prompted to install them, these changes are now made automatically. Most Windows 10 users are likely unaware of this change because the only notification from Microsoft is a brief line in the licensing agreement that states users will “receive automatic downloads without additional notice.”

Microsoft doesn’t have any nefarious intentions (or at least we hope they don’t) by making this change; its intent seems to keep the most up-to-date version of the operating system on users’ devices.

There are, however, some potential drawbacks to having automatic updates without user knowledge. While the updates make it easier for Microsoft to keep up with changing technology, knowing its users are basically all on the same page and developers have a consistent target audience, these updates can potentially cause systems to interact differently with other hardware devices that aren’t part of the updates.

A particular printer’s driver, for instance, may lose functionality with an automatic update, and affected users would just be dumbfounded as to what happened, ultimately having to replace that hardware device.

Although Microsoft isn’t making any settings changes widely known, there is a way to configure your device to only install security updates automatically. This keeps your PC or tablet safe from the latest security threats while keeping your computer system as stable as possible.

Unfortunately, this option is not available to users running the Home version of Windows 10. Thus far, only the Enterprise Edition provides this capability, which is an important consideration for business owners.

Top 5 Ways to “Break” Your Computer

Here are the top five most common ways to “break” your computer. The reason break is in quotations is because no matter what happens to your computer we can almost always fix it…it just doesn’t make sense sometimes from a financial stand point to do so.

My computer won’t turn on
This very common situation and can be caused by many different things.

One common cause, however, that IS preventable is the computer overheating.

The first step to preventing this issue is to put the computer on an elevated surface instead of the floor if you have the space to do so.

The reason you want to do this is normal everyday foot traffic around or near the computer kicks up a lot of dust and debris that can coat the insides of a computer and cause the processor to not be cooled properly.

The other step you want to take to prevent this issue is to take a can of air and blow out the computer on occasion.

We do NOT recommend open­ing the case and doing the interior yourself as it is possible to cause damage to components.

My computer is running really slow
Yet again another common scenario we hear almost every day.

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid this, but there are some ways to slow it down.

As your operating system instal­lation ages, and depending on how much it is used, the operating system, and software files in it can become damaged or corrupt, which slows your computer down.

The best way to combat this issue is to make sure that your uninstall­ing unused programs through the control panel, and simply keeping unused junk files clean off of your com­puter.

The more you keep your computer and OS the way it was when you pur­chased it the better it will run.

This can also happen if you shut your computer down improperly. Always go through the Start Menu/ Shutdown process when powering off your computer.

Constant popups are interrupting me and making my PC slow
Almost always, this very com­mon issue is caused by a virus or spyware on your computer.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any fool-proof methods of preventing a virus or malware attack.

The best thing you can do to help prevent an infection is to have anti­virus software installed on your PC, but keep in mind, even this does not guarantee you will not get a virus/ malware infection.

The other step to help prevent this is to only go to websites that are considered to be “safe,” meaning they are legitimate websites that its owners would not be trying to gain access to your PC or have any reason to infect your computer.

The most common place for users to get viruses and malware is from browsing the web for free items such as software, movies, music, etc. or even from emails.

Unfortunately, if you do end up be­ing infected by a virus, they’re very difficult to completely remove.

The process used to properly remove a virus is complex and if not done properly can damage your computers operating system and/or cause data loss.

That being said even if you bring the computer in it is possible for a virus to attach itself to a file and damage it permanently so even we may not be able to recover all of your files in the event of a very bad infection.

In most cases we are able to remove all viruses/malware from a system and the user not even notice that they ever had one. There are times, though, where the virus does irreversible damage.

My computer can’t get online
This is another common issue, and is most often caused by the above issue – viruses or spyware on the computer.

Viruses, spyware and malware have all kinds of different effects on the computer. When that is not the cause there are several other issues that may come into play.

As long as other computers at your home/business are able to get online the issue is more than likely due to a setting on your computer itself.

The most common instance I can think of with laptops is the user ac­cidentally switches the WiFi switch to the off position (and doesn’t realize the laptop even had a WiFi switch).

In a desktop, however, as long as the connection issue has not been caused by failing hardware, it is usually caused by a setting changed within the computer.

Connection issues encompass a number of possible settings on the computer, so it’s hard to give you all the information to properly troubleshoot this issue in a small newsletter article.

When it comes to connection issues your best bet is to give us a call and let us diagnose the issue for you.

We troubleshoot many connectivity issues here in the shop as well as onsite. So, no matter where your problem lies, we can get you back online.

Windows told me I had some updates so I installed them. Now my computer won’t boot
Windows updates are almost always important, but they can also be complex in how they interact with your operating system and installed software.

Unfortunately, since most of the updates address serious security risks they must be installed.

The best practice regarding updates is to review them immediately, and perhaps even download them to the machine, but wait a few days in case there are issues with the updates.

If Microsoft finds that there are is­sues with a patch, even though they do test them to begin with, they will pull the update off of Windows updates until the issue is resolved.

This will help prevent you from getting an update that can cause a problem.

Hardware driver updates are by far the most common type of update that “breaks” the computer.

We generally don’t recommend downloading them unless you are having a problem with your current driver, or there’s a serious security issue with the current driver.

With hardware sometimes it’s better to go with the “Don’t fix it if it isn’t broke” sentiment. If you do mistakenly update and then are unable to get into Windows, bring your computer in and we can get the issue corrected!

These are a few of the common is­sues that we see every week. Hope­fully this short list can help keep your system running smoothly, and help you solve basic issues.

Featured Article Written By: Tech Experts

Automatic Updates: Be Safe by Being Secure

We are all well aware of how  popular the Microsoft Windows operating system has become. Not only is this  operating system popular for the business world, the vast majority of home computers run this operating system in various forms.

This popularity can make you a prime target for hackers and other criminals looking for a way to take advantage of a security risk in the operating system. Microsoft is keenly aware of this issue and takes steps almost instantly to make security patches and updates available for you, or your IT professional, to download and install.

Depending on how you have the automatic updates setting configured, these updates may or may not download and install themselves automatically, or you may have to initiate the process yourself manually.

While this feature is nice, most IT pros would rather pick a time to download and install these updates in a controlled situation, where the loading process can be monitored for any problems or issues that may arise.

The automatic updates utility can be accessed through the control panel. Once you open up automatic updates, you have the option there to select automatic updates, but even if you have automatic updates turned on, it is always a good idea to visit Microsoft’s update website occasionally and have the update center scan your computer to check and make sure you have all the latest updates available.

Microsoft also has a very thorough program called “Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer 2.1.” This tool written for IT professionals provides a streamlined method of finding common security misconfigurations.

This tool allows our technicians to quickly scan your server or workstations and identify any missing security patches and provides a quick link to the supporting white paper that will explain to the technician exactly what security issue is being addressed with the particular security patch. Once enough of these security patch releases become available, Microsoft bundles them all together into what is called a service pack. This allows IT pros to download this patch to portable media and deploy it very quickly in a network environment.

I cannot stress the importance of keeping up with these service packs and security patches. A case in point, I went to a client’s office and checked every one of their workstations to see how “up to date” they were.

One of the stations required a service pack installation that has been available for months now. In addition, it
required 59 additional updates to bring it up to date.

You can imagine the risk that this system was to the client’s network. We now have this client’s network under our Managed Services Plan. This plan is offered for a nominal monthly fee and encompasses their server and all  stations.

Now these stations are monitored around the clock by our network operations center, and updates are downloaded and installed after hours, as soon as the updates are available.

So make sure to keep your computer and your information safe by being secure and contact Technology Experts to get your network protected by our Managed Services Plan. It’s the best way to make sure your network is safe and  secure.