The Wired Office Blog



 

System restore not working after virus scam

 

When you get a pop up alert for a virus from fake tech support companies the first thing many users do is panic and call the number on the screen. But often within a few minutes the penny drops and the victim turns the computer off. Then they try to run a system restore either from within the system or outside the system using the repair my computer option.

It can be disheartening to find at this point that the restore failed. This is because system restore is the first thing the scammers fake virus alert disable. But there is a way to restore the system beyond the sub system disabled by scammers. This DOS based solution does not always work but mostly it does and is worth a try.

Before giving up, potentially losing your data, and spending a day reinstalling Windows 10, contact us to bring your pc in to our workshop in Duncraig, Perth, Western Australia.

 
 


 

The Say Yes Scam – is it really a scam?

 

There are numerous websites of the so-called news variety who parrot the advice given by some police departments and the Better Business Bureau in America about popular scams, without giving this anymore thought or conducting any kind of analysis or research. In fact, the BBB warning against the current scam causing and delusional thinking into good folks around the world. The Say Yes Scam came out of a BBB satellite office in Florida and not the BBB as a national entity. We better say this is a scam just in case it is.

The idea is the scammer calls you on a fake number and asks a question designed to elicit a yes or no response, such as “am I speaking to joe smith”. If you are running a business where your name is well known in the area you might instinctively say yes.

The BBB or others spreading warnings about this scam do not appear to have analysed the status of this scam alert. As Snopes.com reported recently there does not appear to be any evidence of victims. The fear mongers want you to blindly accept that the word YES can magically amount to stealing money from you. As snopes rightly pointed out, how can YES be used in any kind of context to buy something in your name. Anyone can say the word YES.

I got one of these calls recently. The voiced asked if it was me they were speaking to. I said yes. The voice sounded artificial, digitized in some way, but why should that trouble me? I don’t care if it came from the moon. But I will keep you updated on this blog about any attempt to gouge money from my bank account. Stay in touch.

The say yes scenario reminded me of a few movies following in the footsteps of The Ring. Watch this video and you will die with ten days, answer the phone and you die within 24 hours. So I am seriously wondering if the Say Yes Scam should be known as the Say Yes Prank.

 
 


 

Make sure your website is HTTPS compliant or you will disappear.

 

https compliant website

Google is punishing websites with the secure socket layer (SSL) by dropping them off the search radar and in some cases websites can basically disappear overnight.

If your business relies on being searchable on google you need to act now.

  1. contact your website hosting provider and pay the fee to upgrade to HTTPS. In Australia the fee is usually $49 as of 2018.
  2. if you get mixed media messages / ssl errors or this site is not fully secure after getting your HTTPS in place it is not the job of your host to fix this as it’s time consuming. We can usually help on a consulting basis for a small fee.
 
 


 

The WMDC (Windows Mobile) issue in Windows 10 – explained 2018

trimble and wmdc issues

I wrote the following post on the Microsoft support channel after seeing so many trying futile workarounds and fixes that are not addressing the real issue for the retired WMDC and connectivity issues in Windows 10. Re posted here.

[OP]

The problem is best addressed by understanding the general life cycle of devices and the retirement of WMDC many years ago.

You will need windows 7 to run most of the legacy devices reliant on wmdc.

Some of these devices *may* run on windows 7 on Hyper-V, but the gotcha here is that if the device is not recognized by wmdc to start with there can be no device pass-through. Resetting the device to open wmdc in compatibility mode, then resetting the wmdc service protocol to run on a local system account with desktop interaction may give temporary access but this by no means a workable solution. Only a device seen as a disk drive can be manipulated as a pass-through device for hyper-v.

So for wmdc users with specification applications, such as data analysis software, install win7 on a standalone PC/laptop. This will be a workaround for some devices which rely on wmdc for the interim until the device vendors create a new model for windows 10 connectivity.

Some devices, such as Trimble data analysis devices, may have wifi connectivity. Have you tried this to bypass wmdc? Let us know how you got on.

Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP)

 
 


 

How to buy a new router – the definitive guide for 2018

There are plenty of blogs and articles around with convoluted explanations about wifi. Most of them will leave you non-technical types bewildered and none-the-wiser about which model to buy. At the end of the day you want to walk into a shop or buy a new modem/router online with the knowledge you need to make a sound buying decision.

Some of these questions will include:

  1. Do you have a small house, a medium house or a large house?
  2. How many people use devices, laptops, computers, android devices, ipads and iphone in your home?
  3. Do you have a garage or external office that you need to get the wifi signal to with good reception.
  4. Do you know the model number on the box is *NOT* the model number (for many brands including Netgear)
  5. Do your research first and never fall for the version trickery going on.
  6. Is there a lot of downloading and streaming in your house?

 

  1. Netgear generally is my preferred modem. Let’s not get all technical and geeky. These are the best, most reliable consumer modem/routers on the planet. If you go to the Netgear product page and look at the details tab it will tell you if it is for small homes, medium or large homes.
  2. the same product page will tell you how many simultaneous connections the router can handle. I find most average homes with a couple of brats will need 8 or more simultaneous connections to cover those almost always on at the same time devices, including AppleTV and androidTV’s.
  3. You should not need to use extenders. These irritating things are a poor excuse for not knowing your stuff. The right router will most likely reach to every room. We use a signal meter to do a walk-through in the house and find the weaker points, then look for the optimum place to position the modem.  Some homes with reflective wall insulation for example can be problematic. For those without the luxury of a signal meter remember to use only channels 1, 6 or 11. Some detection software will suggest channel 14 is a stronger signal but if you choose any channel outside the 1-6-11 rule you will overlap with your neighbours wifi and cause both yours and theirs to have degraded performance. Finding the right channel without the right tools is tricky but sticking to the 1-6-11 is a good start.
  4. The number shown on the box such as N300, or N600, or N900 is not a model number but the speed of the wifi, 300mbps, or if the router is a dual band model with 2.4ghz /5GHz that model-looking number is the combined speed of both bands. Confused? You’re not alone. The difference between the GHz range is 2.4 extends further than 5GHz. So 2.4 is usually preferred.
  5. So many sell old stock online. It is critical you check up at the product page to find out ALL the versioning revisions (if any). If you have a version 1 of the Netgear wndr4500 on offer, but your research tells you there is a version 2, then it has to be version 2 you want because version 1 will be flawed. If you’re buying online it will mean a lot of email exchanges because they don’t seem to care, whatever it takes is the order of the day.
  6. If you do a lot of downloading, movies, torrents, games, netflix, and so on, just remember you need a good quality router with plenty of memory inside the router, and a good processor chip. Modems delivered by the big ISP’s are usually cheap devices with poor routing capabilities. If you do a few movie downloads and your internet performance drops, or you experience drop-outs on the network, it might be a sign your router cannot handle what you ask of it.

Some routers are capable of upgrading from the vendors own internet software running on the router to powerful Linux based routing systems like DDRT and others. If you are doing a lot of downloading and movie watching these systems will give speed and stability to the right router.

One last word of advice, always change the default LAN password on your new router. I am referring not to the wifi password, but the actual router password. Most of them have admin or password as the default. If you want to see your router get hacked and a virus placed on router leave the password at the default.

Happy shopping!

 
 


 

How to never lose data again from a USB flash drive – white paper for professionals and students

 

Over the years I have seen a great many people who save documents which are in-progress to USB drives so they can continue working on the documents from various locations and devices.

Some of these people were students who put many hours work into a document or powerpoint presentation, doctoral students with just one copy of a thesis on a USB stick, medical and nursing staff putting hours into preparing presentations, manuscripts and the like. only to see the data disappear when the drive fails. USB drives are very flexible and convenient but also very prone to failure.

There is no need for any additional service or hardware for personal, professional users, but good common sense, freely available services and minor technical know how. The white paper shows you what I use, and what I have setup in the past for dozens of people to eliminate the risk of data loss completely. There are many websites offering various solutions but who do you trust? You need a best practice for critical data solution.

The white paper “How to never lose data again for professionals and students” also includes recommendations for disaster recovery for Office 365 and Sharepoint Server for Business. It is now available free with any service, otherwise for the one off price of $25. Order your copy today. Send an email or call to order.

 
 


 

First with flat rate price for computer support in Australia

 

Wired Office is an ad-hoc service on call 7 days a week for break/fix support, general support, and online remote access support for the home, home office and professional computer users. We don’t have contracts, just a reliable service whenever you need it, anywhere in Australia.

We have set up flat rate pricing so users of the service can know in advance how much it’s going to cost. That is not a per hourly rate as you usually find, it is the flat rate. The only catch, if you can call it that, is the rate applies to a single support incident. So, for example, your email program is no longer receiving emails. As a customer recently found, iinet support techs were unable to help resolve this issue after spending a few hours logged in to his machine. We diagnosed and fixed this issue within the 30 minute time frame applying to our $49 flat rate offer.

Not sure if your issue applies to this offer? Just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

For local customers in Perth’s northern suburbs bring your computer or laptop in to Duncraig for the flat rate offer.

 
 


 

How to Hide Most Visited Tabs from Google Chrome Start Page

 

I get a fair amount of questions about this topic of privacy on the start page of google chrome.

Not everyone wants the entire office or household to know at a glance which are your most recent or most visited pages on the internet.

Clearing the browsing history does not clear this cache. You can manually delete each page shortcut but they will just return a day or two later. The hide most visited extension is a handy plugin.

  1. open chrome and type “hide most visited pages chrome”
  2. choose the chrome webstore link
  3. install the extension to keep your home page private

As always, only install extensions from the google web store for your safety.

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Call us today for trusted online computer support, malware or virus removal.

 

 

 
 


 

Ready, set, go! Upgrade to Windows 10 now and our tech guru will show you how to use it!

 

If you are still using Windows 7 you’re missing out on some great user experiences on Windows 10. We upgraded one of our office-workshop PC’s to Windows 10 and did not have any compatibility issues with the wide range of software we use, including a lot of out-of-hours music related programs. But overall one of my favourite things about Windows 10 is it is fast and smooth. If you upgrade your old mechanical drive to a solid state drive the performance, startup and shutdown times of your desktop or laptop will amaze you. You might not do much on your computer beyond pictures, picture editing, surfing the interwebs, and email, but it is a joy to use a fast computer and see programs open up as soon as you click them.

If you’re one of those people who have stuck with what you know best – windows 7 – it’s time to get with the program – windows 10.

For a while we are going to spend time with every new customer to demonstrate how to use windows 10. It’s my experience that people are more affected by change and navigation in new systems, once we show how easy it is to navigate the apprehensions seem to vanish.

Get windows upgraded by an I.T. pro ensures your settings are optimized, the system is installed correctly, and we may also be able to include windows 10 at no cost to you. Please bring your computer in or call for service onsite.

 
 


 

Find the Windows 10 Product Key and other critical licences

If you need to reinstall Windows 10 at any point you may be a little confused by the activation and licensing approach for Windows 10. It is not being displayed in the product key code box in system tools and if you upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you could use this previous key to get to activation for the current version, assuming you still have the old licence key.

Another method is to download the industry standard analysis tool Belarc and take a snapshot of all your system data such as programs installed and their respective licences, plus details about your computer specs, motherboard, hard drive and ram memory installed.

If it’s good enough for NASA it’s perfect for the rest of us.