Transferring Files to Your New Computer

Transferring Files to Your New Computer

Have you ever tried to transfer your old files from your old computer to CDs or DVDs after you’ve purchased a new computer? Even though that process does work, there are more efficient ways to transfer your files. One of the best ways to transfer your files is using an external hard drive. Hard drives come in various sizes, from 100 GB to 2 terabytes (TB). Purchase a hard drive with the largest capacity so that all of your files, pictures, music, and videos can fit nicely onto one hard drive. Most often than not, your hard drive will interface with your computer using SATA, eSATA, USB 2.0, or FireWire*. USB is the most common and easiest connection method. USB ports are also generally on most laptops and computers. Ensure that your old and new computers are able to connect to your external hard drive.

USB flash drives are also great devices for transferring files. They are small, inexpensive drives that you can take anywhere. They range in storage size from 1 GB to 64 GB. Most USB flash drives work best with a high-speed USB 2.0 port. If you are transferring a large amount of files, USB flash drives can be significantly slower than an external Hard Drive.

Double check all of your document folders when you transfer your files and keep your old computer for a few days just in case you missed an important file or folder.

After you’ve completed transferring your files, you may no longer need your old computer. Be careful not to simply throw out your computer. There are some parts of your computer that need to be taken to a hazardous waste facility, recycling depot, or given to charity.

Ensure that all of your personal data is completely removed before you throw it out. Your numbers, passwords, and user names will still be stored on your hard drive. It’s important that you destroy this data to prevent identity theft from occurring. Use software that will erase your hard drive or take it to a professional who will destroy it while you watch. Read my prior blog post “Copy Machines Are a Serious Security Risk” for suggestions on software to use. Another option is to take it out and store it in a safe somewhere (or destroy it with a sledge hammer or drill)

Decide if your computer can be donated. If not, simply contact your local electronics recycler or waste facility. Most will recycle your computer for free and some will charge you a small fee. Above all, recycling your computer is the best option.

How to Speed Up Your Computer

How to Speed Up Your Computer

You may have a computer that is, to put it simply, slow. There are some easy, cost-effective ways to restore and upgrade your computer without purchasing a new one. The following tricks will help you save ample time and money.

Check your computer for viruses as they can significantly slow down the speed of your computer. Free anti-virus software, such as AVG, AvastClamWin, Avira, TrendMicro, and Nod32 remove viruses automatically and offers virus scanning with free/trial updates.

When you save and delete things from your hard drive, data gets scattered across your hard drive in small pieces, instead of chunks. Your hard drive may need to look in a number of different places before it retrieves one file, which slows it down. Defragmenting your drive will speed up your computer. Look under ‘System Tools’ in your ‘Accessories’ folder and click ‘Defragment.’ It may take awhile depending on the size of your hard drive.

There may be programs running on your computer that you don’t use. These programs inevitably slow down your computer. On Windows if you click CTRL-ALT-DEL for task manager you can see exactly what’s running on your computer. Process Scanner and Uniblue are more user-friendly programs that will help you determine what programs you do need and how to delete them. Once you rid your computer of these programs, your computer should operate more efficiently.

A great program that defrags, speeds up, and examines programs running is Advanced SystemCare. This has helped solve many computer issues and speed things up.

Wiping everything off your computer and starting from scratch is another viable option. Sometimes this can be better than resolving individual problems. Remove all your important files and record the names of programs you need and use. Purchasing an external hard drive is also a good idea. If you have a recovery CD, you can simply select “Restore”.

Upgrading your system can also speed up your computer. You can add more RAM to your computer which is a cost-effective way to upgrade your computer. You may also want to consider your video card if you’re having difficulty playing games.

Upgrading your CPU may be the next step, but if you need a new processor you should probably consider buying a new computer instead.

If you are going purchase a new computer, read this article regarding transferring files.

How to Check Your Computer Power Supply

How to Check Your Computer Power Supply

The power supply for your computer is the most important element. But it’s often the component that is overlooked; therefore, it’s usually a generic, budget brand. The power supply can cause errors and restarts because other parts in your computer are not getting enough voltage or power. If your computer is causing problems, test the power supply before spending money on maintenance.

Why do they fail? Power supplies don’t put out as much power as what they are rated for over time. Their output decreases. Overheating a computer (power supply) can cause issues. Bad power (black outs, brown outs, spikes) can cause the life to decrease as well.

You should always try to troubleshoot your power supply. Use a power supply that you know works before you spend money on a tester or new power supply. This is a simple, effective solution to solve a seemingly complex computer problem.

Purchase a low cost power supply tester as it’s an efficient, easy way to tell if the PSU is good. A multimeter is also an excellent solution because it can also be used for other things. Choose the most viable option that works best for you and your computer.

Ensure that your power supply fan is operating, especially if you have an older PC. If it is not working properly, replace the power supply as soon as possible. Sometimes fans can be blown out with compressed air. But if it’s not spinning, you need to replace your power supply immediately.

Check that your power supply is powerful enough for your operating system and your needs. If you have added extra hard drives, a powerful graphics card, and new RAM, then you should ensure that your power supply has enough juice.

How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop

How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop

There are pros and cons to owning a desktop and a laptop. You may already know some of them if you own both. Remember to choose the type of computer that best suits your lifestyle and living space.

A laptop is a great option even if you don’t check your email or browse the Internet when you are away from home. You can take it anywhere and everywhere you go, including in and around your home.

Laptops are also fantastic space savers. They are small, sleek self-contained units free of a monitor, CPU, and extra power cords. Laptops operate on only one power cord, which you only need to use if the battery needs recharging. Try to purchase one with a long live battery as a wireless laptop is only as good as the battery that powers it. With advancements in batteries, hardware, and software, a laptop can run as long as five hours or even more.

It’s a good idea to purchase a laptop that has a wireless adapter built in, along with a wireless network in your home or community so that you can use your laptop in any room in your home while being connected to the Internet. How convenient! You can even purchase a wireless printer that communicates with your laptop via infrared (IR), WiFi, or Bluetooth technology.

Desktop computers are a viable option if you want to pay less and get more. When you’re looking for great performance features in a reasonably priced package, the desktop computer may be the right solution for you. With a larger tower case, the manufacturer has more space to install more technologies. New processors usually favour desktop computers first.

If you download a lot of music, movies, and videos, a desktop computer is the best choice. Because it can handle more powerful technologies, you can watch movies and videos with remarkable clarity and no lag time. You can also purchase large hard drives and CD/DVD-ROM drives and still have space for upgrades.

Unlike laptops, you can upgrade your desktop and make it better, stronger, and faster. You can add memory, a better video card, and processor if you want the latest technologies at your disposal. With a desktop, you virtually have no limitations.

A laptop may be a good choice if your living space is small, and you’re constantly on the go. Desktops are great if you are home often, and want to get the most out of your money. Choose what works best for you. If ever in doubt, you can always purchase a laptop and a desktop computer.

Going Paperless: Scan to PDF

Going Paperless: Scan to PDF

Going paperless

Scan to PDF

Going paperless is not only environmentally friendly, but also has many added benefits. It is a good way to help de-clutter your life and organize information for greater accessibility. Setting up a quick ‘Scan to PDF’ function on a scanner, along with ‘Print to PDF’ on your computer will help immensely.

Many of the new scanners on the market are now supporting ‘Scan to PDF’ buttons right on the console. Recently, I acquired an HP OfficeJet Pro 8500 Wireless, which has saved me plenty of time. You can use it as a fax machine, copier, and printer. However, the main reason I purchased it was for the scanning capabilities. This device can be installed in minutes on your home or office network and allows you to easily place a stack of papers (due to the multi-page sheet feeder), press a button, and instantly have all those papers emailed or saved as a PDF. Fantastic!

If you install a free program, such as CutePDF or doPDF you can view an email, website, or a document and ‘print’ it to a PDF file.

The next step is to rename the generic PDF files you are creating to something meaningful so that you can easily find it when needed.

Using a variety of free remote desktop services and programs, such as LogMeIn allows you to easily access documents that you need remotely. This can be very powerful for many people and it helps reduce the amount of paper stacks in your home or office.

Of course, you need to ensure that you properly secure these files and remember to backup, backup, backup.

Certainly, there are many documents in our world which still need to be kept; however, these tips can help make you more efficient by saving you time and space. Plus, it’s easier to share information with your contacts.