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Solve Adware and Spyware Problems

Adware is computer software that displays advertisements on your PC. These are the ads that pop up on your display screen, even if you’re not browsing the Internet. (Some companies provide “free” software in exchange for advertising on your display and this is how they make their money).

Spyware is software that sends your personal information to a third party without your permission or knowledge. This can include information about the website’s you visit or something more sensitive such as your user name and password. Unprincipled companies often use this personal information to send you unsolicited targeted advertisements.

Some forms of spyware are even worse and can act almost like viruses, hijacking your web browser, popping up ads, or just generally wreaking havoc with your PC by slowing things down or preventing Windows from reading your hard drive!

Adware and Spyware are a modern scourge and any web search will reveal how widespread this problem really is.

Check your Computer

At QBS PC Help we recommend several free software tools that can help to combat Adware and Spyware and these include; AdAware, SpyBot Search & Destroy, Malwarebytes and Microsoft Windows Defender (already installed in Windows Vista and Windows 7).

For checking spyware, adware and rootkits Prevx CSI is a fairly new security tool that we are currently using and it works well! And for clearing the Windows Registry, temporary files, browser or start menu run histories and cookies we love the highly rated CCleaner.

Download these, and many other free programs, from our Software Reviews Page.

Speed up Apple iTunes running on Windows 7

windows7professionalIf you use iTunes on a Windows 7 PC and only have 2GB of Ram you may find iTunes slows down or pauses unexpectedly. The problem is that Windows 7 loves to index all the files you have on your computer, including your music files. It is this process that can affect the smooth operation of iTunes.

Fortunately there is a fix for this. All you need to do is adjust Windows index options.

Click Start and in the Search programs and files box type – index options – and click on the option at the top of the resulting list. Now click the Advanced button (and then on Continue if you see a user account control warning) then select the File Types tab of the dialogue box that opens up.

Scroll down and remove the tick next to the XML Filter entry and click OK and OK again.

Now Windows 7 will not keep trying to re-index the iTunes library file, making the program run more smoothly.

How to find out what’s slowing down your Windows PC

The Windows Resource Monitor can help you to track down the resource hog’s that are slowing down your Windows computer.

If your using Windows XP click Start, and then Run and type ‘resmon’. Now hit Enter. For Vista and Windows 7 users click Start and in the ‘Search programs and Files’ box type ‘resmon’. Now click on resmon.exe in the resulting search list.

For monitoring slowdown issues take a look at the Memory tab. This tracks usage and shows you how much memory a program or service is consuming. Also check the CPU and Disk tabs and see what particular program or service is causing your PC to slow down the most. Look particularly at the programs you’ve recently installed or uninstalled and see if any of those are using the bulk of your PC’s available resources.

All the memory hogging and performance sapping programs, services and modules can make your Windows computer less stable so its also a very good idea to check the Windows Reliability monitor too.

You can launch the Reliability Monitor from Control Panel, System & Security, Action Centre. Then choose View Reliability History. For Vista and Windows 7 users just type ‘Reliability History’ into the ‘Search programs and Files’ box and select View Reliability History from the resulting list.

Take a look at the trend line which may be flat or downward sloping. A sudden sharp drop is certainly worth checking out. If multiple programs are shown to be unstable perhaps something you recently installed or uninstalled is the culprit.

Click on the columns representing dates to see a list of the ‘activity’ for that particular day. This will show you what was successfully installed or run and what was unsuccessful. You may be able to fix the instability problem if ‘Check for a solution’ appears under the Action column at the foot of the screen.

Use these two tools to keep your Windows PC in good shape and to nip problems in the bud before they start to get out of hand!

What causes that strange whirring noise inside your Computer?

artic-pro freezer 7A whirring noise inside your PC almost certainly comes from a loose or damaged fan. But you can never be too sure without opening up your PC’s case.

You may even have a hard drive problem developing. But a dying hard drive is more likely to make a loud clicking noise rather than a whirring one. To play safe make an extra image backup of your hard drive, just in case the hard drive is the culprit.

Once your hard drive is protected, start looking for a problem amongst the fans. You need to figure out which fan is causing the problem and see if it is loose or damaged in some way. How you do this depends on whether you have a laptop or a desktop computer.

Read the rest of this article – http://www.qbs-pchelp.co.uk/pchelparticles/whirringnoise-pcfans.html

Upgrading to Windows 8 will cost £24.99 in the UK

windows 8.1Microsoft is set to charge UK consumers £24.99 to upgrade to the latest version of its Windows Operating System – Windows 8.

The company announced in July that users would be charged $39.99 to upgrade from any version of Windows to Windows 8 Pro.

Yesterday it revealed the UK pricing for a downloaded update will be almost identical, avoiding fears that the firm would ‘rip off’ British consumers, as it has done in the past.

Microsoft is providing a UK English version of Windows 8 Pro, as well as special versions that don’t include Windows Media Player, to comply with the 2004 European Commission ruling.

Microsoft’s download store is registered in Germany, which applies VAT at a rate of 19% – 1% lower than the current UK rate.

The move comes just days after Microsoft revealed it has updated its corporate logo for the first time in 25 years as it prepares for the Windows 8 launch.

Faster Booting with Win 8

windows8lockscreen140105Microsoft will require that new PCs bearing the Windows 8 logo use a new boot solution called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI), which will significantly improve the boot process and experience. It replaces the archaic Basic Input Output System (BIOS) that we’ve used for decades.

You’ll see much faster boot times, on the order of 8 seconds from pressing the power button to being in Windows. This, along with less need for restarts, can help increase productivity in the office and save IT personnel time when applying upgrades or installing software.

Safeguards built into UEFI can also help save the IT department time and resources over the long term. Secure Boot prevents unauthorised operating systems from loading, and Early Launch Anti-Malware (ELAM) protects against boot loader attacks. UEFI will also allow remote diagnostics and repair of computers within the pre-OS environment. So instead of physically sending a technician to visit a PC experiencing boot issues, it might be possible to repair and restore the machine over the network.

Though most will enjoy the benefits of UEFI, there has been some controversy over the Secure Boot feature of UEFI that Microsoft is requiring PC makers to turn on by default. It’s not totally clear yet, but Secure Boot may have to be manually disabled for those who want to install or dual boot another OS such as Linux, adding an extra step to the process.

The Final Countdown for Windows XP

windowslogo_270x225If you are still using Windows XP be aware that Microsoft support for this Operating System will end on the 8th April 2014. So now is the time to make sure your Windows XP installation is fully up to date.

By now you should have Service Pack 3 installed. To check if you have, right click on My Computer and select Properties. Under the System heading make sure it says Service Pack 3. If it lists Service Pack 2 or even Service Pack 1 its time to update your copy of Windows XP to Service Pack 3.

Read more about installing Service Pack 3 – http://www.qbs-pchelp.co.uk/pchelparticles/windowsxp-thefinalcountdown.html.