-
LIKE A THIEF IN THE NIGHT...

10.28.17


Microsoft is at it again. Its latest (October 2017) updates have wreaked even more destruction on people's computers...this time, they are wiping out your photos. 

The above article offers a few potential solutions to the lost photo problem. It might or might not work.  I have not been able to duplicate this issue on my Win 10 test machine.  So far, all my updates have gone swimmingly. This, apparently, is an anomaly.

(But, back up your computer. OFTEN!  There is still no way to permanently disable these automatic updates on a Windows 10 Home computer.)

I am now suffering from outrage exhaustion.
Being thus abused by a huge corporation does not seem quite so egregious in the current political environment; it's more like the norm. So rather than rant and rage, my advice would be ....Get A Mac.

OR...i f you don't want to spend a fortune and months learning a new operating system, then your best bet is to roll back to Windows 7. MS has extended the end of support date - even on Skylake processors. So now Win 7 is perfectly safe until at least August of 2020, and you might be able to squeeze a little more time out of that.

And maybe by then, (Thus sayeth Pollyanna) MS will have banished the bugs from Win 10.

Even if your PC shipped with Win 8 or 10, you can install win 7; a license is not too expensive.these days.

And I will wipe out the old and install the new for $40. It might take a day or 2...mainly because of the many Win 7 updates.

(But you have to BACK UP YOUR DATA, and your apps will need to be reinstalled as well. )

With Win 7, you will be safe and back in business for at least 2 1/2 years.

(To call me:  Four four nine, one seven eight nine....)



ABOUT CCLEANER HACK

9.20.17


I havn't used or recommended CCLEANER in almost 5 years - ever since I foolishly ignored my own good advice, and used its dangerous "Registry Cleaner"...thereby trashing my entire Win 7 install.  (I re-iterate: There is no such thing as a "Safe" registry cleaner!!)

But if you were tempted to install it, then here are some encouraging facts about the malware it has been delivering:

This malware only exists in the 32 bit version. Almost everyone runs 64 bit systems now, so most are safe from the hack. ALSO....it's only two of the later versions that are affected: 

CCleaner v. 5.33.6162 or CCleaner Cloud v. 1.07.3191

If you use CCleaner, Click the update link on the bottom right of the app interface. Then run ADW Cleaner and MalwareBytes   in that order. Specifically look for "Trojan: Floxif".




ABOUT KASPERSKY

9.15.17


At the risk of sounding mildly treasonous, I came online to announce that Russians are - alas - smarter than us.  Way smarter. They were smarter in 1957 when they launched the first satellite, and they are still smarter now.

Our problem is that we are forced to be politically correct. For instance, if Putin doesn't like someone, he'll just make a phone call and have them arrested or killed.

We're not supposed to do that.

We do have some fantastically gifted geeks in this country. But many of them are pot-smoking, hippy-types who live in old tee shirts, so our government will not hire them. (Can't have folks like that running around Washington!)

Russian oligarchs could care less about such niceties. If you can bring down the enemy (eg: us) then bring it on.

So that brings us to Kaspersky Anti Virus Software

Some US officials see it as a huge fox guarding American hen houses.

I have to admit that I almost never find much malware on computers running this AV (Even though it is expensive in both financial and resource cost).  At least, I never find much malware that I am capable of finding. But some things like rootkits (coincidentally discovered by Russian Mark Russinovich) are notoriously difficult to validate.

Part of me feels very bad for Eugene Kaspersky, who is an amazing geek, and might just be at the mercy of his circumstances.

Or maybe not.



SHOVELING THE TIDE AGAINST WINDOWS 10

7.26.17 

I had a long, witty post in mind, all about Windows 10 and the problems its has caused everyone - especially  techs. But after 48 hours of wrestling with Microsoft's latest problems, I am too tired to type.

Let it just be known that Windows 10 is not yet a viable operating system. One can spend hours, days, even weeks dealing with the problems that its MANDATORY updates have caused. But as soon as you fix one problem, Microsoft will release yet another onslaught of updates that will -very likely - crash the system again.

I don't charge if I can't fix something, and so far, nobody can (permanently) fix Windows 10. Here's hoping that some miracle happens, and Windows 10 will become something a sane person can actually use.




DANGEROUS NEW RANSOMWARE
5-13-17 


UPDATE 5-15  The patch is even available for Windows XP. Control Panel to Windows Update.

But the (of course!) Russian hackers are working on a work-around for the patch, so be careful)......


We have recently learned of a nasty new ransomware virus that's gong around. It's called WanaCrypt0r (WannaCry, WCry or WCrypt ) and it's infecting computers all over the world. It is installed via Phishing attacks, so don't trust  emails you get from sites claiming to be somebody with whom you do business. Never type in login info, etc, from within an email link. Go to the site from a new window.

Once you are infected with these ransomware attacks, you have pretty effectively lost everything on your hard drive. This bad guy has been demanding a $300 ransom in Bitcoin. But there is never any guarantee that they will unencrypt your files once they have received this money.

I generally tell people not to install Windows updates until a few weeks after they are first released. But the update that prevents this exploit came out over a month ago.

So GO AHEAD AND DO A WINDOWS UPDATE NOW.





TIME SAVER...
5-7-17

I get a lot of calls for broken laptop screens. I’m not doing screens anymore, because it has become too cumbersome: a laptop video problem might be caused by the LCD, or the inverter, or the cable, or the controller on the  motherboard…and I would have to order each part individually.

So I generally recommend my customers try one of the many online sites that do nothing but laptop video. (After first checking to see if it’s still under warranty!)

Another very helpful suggestion I share:  When you have a hardware problem on a machine that is over 1-2 years old, always go to eBay and type in the exact model. It might just be cheaper to get a new one and then port the old hard drive and RAM over. That will also leave you with extra parts just in case.

And good news: A customer just told me about this business in Freeport, ME. It’s called CCS (link)

They do just about everything that I am not set up to do. AND…they have drop off and pick up service. (!) 

Bad news: They charge between 3 and 4 times as much as I do, and I do very good work.

So if it's a convenience thing, then give them a call.



NEW WINDOWS 10 FEATURE
4-14-17
  (Link) Windows 10 enacted a feature that can help save your system from a catastrophic crash. You can now pause the inevitable mandatory update for 35 days. (See the previous link for instructions.)


You can only do this once per update, but I would recommend using this feature at all times. 35 days might be enough for Microsoft to patch any potentially dangerous updates.
Save us both some time
 
I

LOST DATA?

4.13.17

 I just bought some decent data recovery software, in case someone accidentally deletes something, or even (gasp) formats their hard drive and re-installs Windows.. Call me.

But first, here are some very good tips. If this happens,  DO NOTHING!   When you "delete" a file, you are not actually getting rid of it, you only remove the reference to that file in the file table. (Call it a "Table of Contents") The file does not actually disappear until you have written over it.

So, if you accidentally lose something, (and it's not in the recycle bin) do not write, surf, or save anything at all. Just turn off the computer and call me.  Four-four-nine-one-seven-eight-nine.



WINDOWS 10 AGAIN....

3-24-17

If your Windows 10 machine has crashed, read this (link) on your tablet, and contact me if you must. Godspeed! I just got


Robocalls.....

12.16.16

I've been forced to remove my phone number from this site, since I've been getting far too many robocalls. Please use the "Contact" form on the left. Or call : four-four-nine- one- seven-eight-nine. Thanks!


Arrrgghhhhhhh....Microsoft, what are you doing now?

7.15.16

Don't panic yet. 

MS has just announced that there will be a #7.00/month "subscription" fee to use Windows 10. In other words, in a few years, if you want to use a PC, you must pay a monthly fee, on top of your cable bill.

The good news -so far - is that this fee only applies to the "Enterprise" (Business) edition of Windows 10. However, one never knows what the future holds.

So, since the July 29th cut-off date for the free Win 10 upgrade is rapidly creeping up on us, it might not be  bad idea to upgrade now, then do the "Roll Back" feature to go back to the previous version of Windows, within 30 days. However, do be warned that you should first back up your files. And this process might take you the batter part of a day, so have another computer, tablet, etc handy.

You can do that here:

If you have installed any Win 10-Protection apps like "GWX Control Panel", then you might have to open up that app and tell it to allow the upgrade.

Then, if you still do not want windows 10, you can do THIS to roll it back.

I can't be positive that MS will give you Win 10 for free if you decide to upgrade again, but this is what they advertised previously.

I suggest you get that in writing....


BEWARE FAKE "URGENT" FIREFOX PATCH


June, 2016      Facebook strikes again. (Gotta watch that click bait)

If you are surfing along and a big orange page pops up, telling you to download and install an "Urgent" Firefox patch, then ignore it.


For the record, I did scan this download with both Panda Pro and Malwarebytes; they both detected nothing, on June 26, 2016. But this file has been flagged, and I have never had Firefox so classlessly scream in my face like this.




IMPORTANT WINDOWS 10 INFO

5.27.16

Microsoft has done it again. They are now emulating the biggest and baddest malware makers by foisting the Windows 10 upgrade on unsuspecting and unwilling consumers. When it offers the upgrade, it sends that same annoying popup. But when the user clicks the "X" button in the corner to close the popup, this is a signal for Microsoft actually to install Windows 10.

If you have been thus sucker-punched, then fear not; it can be fixed. (Not a bad idea to back up all your files first...). You have 30 days to do this, and make sure that you have a few free hours in which you won't be needing your computer. Here's what to do:

1.  Click the START button

2.  Click SETTINGS

3.  Click the UPDATE and SECURITY icon - usually bottom left.

4.  Select RECOVERY

5.  You should see an option that says: "Go back to Windows 7 or 8. 

6.  Click "GET STARTED",  and follow the prompts.

(It will probably ask for a reason you have thwarted this home invasion; none of the options include any strong language, alas, so just tell them that you don't like it, and off you go.)

The good news:

According to Microsoft, now that you have installed Windows 10 once, it will henceforth be free to you, even after July 29.

_____________________________________


THANKS FOR VISITING

Hutchins Computer Repair is a different kind of PC repair business. I fix PC's on the side, in my spare time, but this doesn't mean that I'm not qualified. My work is guaranteed, and if I can't fix it, you don't pay.

I'm focused on providing fast, high-quality service and customer satisfaction - and for the best prices around...  currently, $50 cash - $60 check - for a complete virus/malware removal/tuneup. (Take $10 off for seniors and students). And I'll even barter---can you carpent, garden, shovel, plow?

(A complete backup and re-install, laptop fan or DC Jack replacement - if not soldered - would be a bit more...)

Call me anytime for a free consultation. 207.449.1789. It might be something very simple to fix.

I'll also set things up for you so that you can keep things running right, and not have to bring the computer back to me.

Check out the "Helpful Hints" page for some interesting  tips.  And there are even more words to the wise on the "Updates/News" page.

If you have any questions/comments, please contact me (207.449.1789); your problem might be something very easy to fix, even over the phone -  for free. 
 
I hope to see you again. Come back later for new updates to the website.






















_______________________________________________________
Website Builder provided by  Vistaprint