FAQs

Q?

Does Total PC offer one time support as needed?

A.

Yes, we do. However, without a maintenance contract in place you may find that you'll end up paying more out of pocket in the long run.

Q?

Should I hire an employee or an I.T. company?

A.

When you start your own small business, by yourself or maybe with an employee or two, you likely just begin by setting up your own systems, or call someone for computer help as needed. This is reactive support and at some point you realize that it's not the best way to do business. With reactive support usually only the issue at hand gets resolved, and all of those minor issues you have aren't "important" enough to spend the money or time to have fixed. Usually this becomes the point where an I.T. Management Solutions company like Total PC can be of great help.

For medium sized companies that are considering opening up an I.T. Department, or just looking to switch providers, this is also where Total PC can be of great help. Hiring on just an individual you'll very likely get someone with experience in a specific field of I.T., programming, networking, or computer repair. With Total PC, we can provide you with support in all areas of I.T. at a fraction of the cost it would be to hire on an additional employee.

Q?

At what point do I need a website?

A.

The answer is different for everyone, and this is why we offer customized services. If you're just interested in acquiring new business from referrals by word of mouth and your sign on the side of the street, then you're probably not too focused on a website just yet. All businesses grow at different rates and there comes a point where a website is critical to providing your services. If you're ready to take that step and show the world what you have to offer then the answer is a resounding YES!

Q?

What brands do you recommend?

A.

Manufactures are always changing and so are our recommendations for tech brands. For example, I personally was a fan of HP laptop products years ago, but after seeing some simple flaws in their newer laptops (back around the late 1990's) causing over heating issues and seeing so many of them come in to our shop for the same repair, I started looking more into Dell's lineup. I then fell in love with their tool-less design that made them so easy to work with, and the fact they would still maintain their warranty even if techs went inside them. It seemed Dell was doing everything right at the time, and other manufacturers eventually followed suit. That said, to this day I still lean more towards Dell laptops, desktops, and servers. However, I have noticed they've been outsourcing their tech support and have had a couple issues recently, but I also understand that these things happen, so I've still stuck with Dell.

There are times where a different brand may fit your needs. Microsoft Surface is an excellent tablet/laptop replacement if you're willing to spend the extra money. Our recommendations for other tech products are as follow:

Hard Drives (HDD): Western Digital, even for servers. However, with SSD's becoming more affordable I highly recommend those over traditional HDD's.

Solid State Drives (SSD): Samsung, it use to be OCZ when SSD's first hit the market but they've seemed to be surpassed recently by other brands.

Processors: Intel, AMD had it's day back in the 90's but they just can't seem to keep up any longer in my personal opinion. Just view benchmarks to see for yourself, scroll down to around #88 and you'll find AMD (ouch).

Memory: G.Skill, Curcial, or Kingston in that order depending on your budget.

Monitors: LG or Samsung, then Dell or HP depending on budget and what you're looking for. I have this gorgeous 34" Dell Curved over-sized monitor that I use mainly for programming, surrounded by two standard wide screen 24" LG monitors. They also work great for gaming (when I get the time).

Wireless Routers: Linksys (Which is owned by Cisco) for a budget router, or ASUS for a highend router.

Wireless Adapters/Cards: ASUS

Enterprise Network Equipment: Usually Cisco products but sometimes in smaller environments SonicWall products fit nicely.

InkJet Printers: Most brands are created equal in this area, HP, Canon, Brother, or Epson. Only get an InkJet printer if you really need color at a low cost, or are printing high quality photos on photo paper, only then is an InkJet printer the option. However, in the long run, for high volume printing, a laser printer is recommend.

MonoChrome Laser Printers: HP, they are low cost, take up a small amount of space, and rarely have I seen issues that were un-repairable.

Color Laser Printers: Xerox for smaller environments, but Kyocera or Knoica Minolta for large/higher volume printing. For even higher volume printing (millions per month) we recommend HP Digital Press, they're incredible machines.

Want a recommendation on something not listed, just ask through our contact form and we'll add it to this list.

Q?

My computer is slow, how can I make my computer faster?

A.

First, are you sure you don't have a virus? Sometimes a slow computer is the result of MalWare.

If you're sure you don't have any MalWare then the first recommendation I have for you is do not download anything claiming it will make your computer faster. Downloading more things will not speed up your computer, and chances are (especially if it's free) it's going to intentionally make your computer slower so it will fix everything it claims is wrong with your system.

If you're on a Windows PC click the Start button, type MSCONFIG, hit Enter, and a window will pop up. DO NOT make any changes here unless you know what you're doing. Click on the Startup tab and you may uncheck the things that YOU KNOW you don't need starting up with your computer. Don't just "Disable All", know what you're disabling. This won't remove anything, all it's doing is stopping somethings from loading when you turn on your computer which does two things:

  1. 1. Your computer will start faster since less has to be loaded.
  2. 2. Your computer will run faster since less memory is being dedicated to these unneccesary programs sitting in the background.


You really shouldn't be able to cause any damage in this section, but if your computer is dependent on some of these things (i.e. a virus has been loaded and messed up your system to the point that if something is not loaded everything goes haywire.) I have to disclaim here that I'm not responsible for any problems that arise from any changes you're making. That said, again, you shouldn't be able to cause any harm editing these startup options.

If your still not satisfied with your computer's performance the other options are:

  • • Your Hard Drive may be begining to show it's age and it could be a great opportunity to replace it with a Solid State Drive.
  • • Increase the amount of Memory in your system
  • • It's time for a new system

Q?

My internet is slow, how can I make my network faster?

A.

There's really not a straight answer to this one, the answer depends on your network setup. But, in the simplest network setup where you're only using your ISP's network equipment there's three typical possibilities.

  • Your ISP's device is showing it's age and needs to be replaced.
  • Your ISP needs to some out and make sure the connection is solid.
  • You need to increase the speed that your ISP supplies to accommodate your network's demands.

If you are using your own personal router (bridging your ISP's device), as much as I hate to say it (as I prefer having the control over my network as I'm sure you do), sometimes having your internet going through multiple devices can have a large impact on your internet speed.

For more complex environments there's dozens of possible issues that would require a professional to investigate. I once had a client experience extremely slow network traffic every day around the same time, Noon - 1:00pm. As it turned out, somehow their old microwave was interfering with their network. New Microwave, New Network (during lunchtime anyway).

Test your internet speed here using Ookla. Ookla provides internet metrics all over the world.

Q?

Oh’ no! I think I have a virus, what should I do?

A.

Depending on the severity, you might want to turn off your computer and bring it to a professional to remedy the problem right away. Some viruses, RansomWare for example, can very quickly affect every file on your system causing you to loose everything. If you're still interested in fixing the problem yourself I first have to disclaim here that I'm not responsible for any problems that arise from anything you choose to do.

  1. 1. I first recommend getting a different Anti-Virus program if the one you currently have didn't stop the infection. I use AVG Anti-Virus with all my systems and also provide it as a free added service to new clients. Remember, no Anti-Virus company can keep up with the thousands of new viruses released every day so even the best ones are vulnerable.
  2. 2. Make sure your Anti-Virus has the latest definitions by clicking on that update button then begin a full system scan.
  3. 3. Once the scan is complete remove any infections found and take note of the infection names/types if it supplies that information.
  4. 4. If the infection remains download and run ADWCleaner. ADWCleaner finds common infections in Windows and your Browsers and does a really good and quick job of it.
  5. 5. At this point, if you're still having trouble, I recommend leaving the issue in the hands of a professional technician, but you may be able to correct the infection by running a system file check. Sometimes you may have removed the infection but the damage to your system has been done and the removal didn't revert the changes made. In Windows, Click on your Start button, type CMD, right-click on CMD.exe, click Run As Administrator, type SFC /Scannow then hit enter. The check may take several hours and may require a restart or even your recovery disc. Once it's completed I hope your issue has been resolved
  6. 6. Still infected? Now it's for sure time to leave it in the hands of a professional. Still don't want to? Ok... Start asking Google about the types of those infections found, or the problems you're having, to see what others have done to remedy the problem. I hope that's not how you managed to get here and this wasn't your last hope. If it was and you're still having trouble, feel free to contact us and we'll see if we can post a solution for everyone regarding your specific issue.

Q?

How can I tell if this eMail or phone call is a scam?

A.

If you have to ask, chances are that it is a scam.

E-Mail addresses and phone numbers can so easily be faked. No joke, I could write one line of code and send you an email that looked like it came from the president of the United States. And, I did that once or twice to prove my point to some people that didn't believe me.

The truth is, we live in a digital age and as such those little ones and zeros in all the digital code can be manipulated to work against your better interests.

My tips are...

If you get an email from someone or some company that you're unsure of, instead of clicking on any links, replying, or especially downloading anything, go to the company's website directly or contact that person/company by phone and ask them about the email. I can assure you that if you have a vague message encouraging you to open an attachment, don't. If you see an attachment that's anything other than a .JPG, .PNG, .PDF, .DOC, .DOCX, .XLS, .XLSX, be weary. Common file types of possible viruses include: .EXE .COM .HTML .JS .ZIP

If you get a call from someone or some company that you're unsure of, ask them for their call back number and tell them you'll call them back when you have time. If it's a scam, they likely will just hang up at that point because they don't want anyone to know their real number.