Improving Stability In Client’s Machines

Oftentimes when you get a client with “PC problems” then it’s usually one of a few things.  I like to call it the trifecta of symptoms – they have slow performance, there’s usually signs of some malware, and there are crashes present.  Usually in this case I will run my usual array of software tools to try to weed out some common issues.  First I’ll run an antivirus tool such as Norton 360 (you’d be surprised how many people do not have antivirus software installed!) and clean out any suspect issues.  I will then run an antimalware tool such as Spyhunter 4 in order to clean out any third party software that might have snuck its way onto the computer.

For the most part this will fix the issue.  But unfortunately there will tend to remain some background issues.  For example, in a client computer that was infected by the Silly worm, it became imperative to replace certain system files.  He didn’t have a full backup of his operating system so I resorted to using Reimage, a great software program that can fix Windows on the fly without reinstalling anything.  It’s become quite a helpful go-to tool for people who have not backed up their files.  I’ve used Reimage before on my own computers and found it to be quite helpful as well, so I’ve added it to the shop toolkits.

I really think that you should urge your clients to back up their computers on a regular basis.  It’s just too important.  Viruses/malware/spyware tend to hop onboard at the worst possible time and leave you little to no time to remove your files.

I also suggest that you try to sell them on the idea of using cloud based backups.  Companies such as Backblaze and Crashplan are excellent and cheap solutions for having an off-site backup.  In the event of a fire or flood you could be left without your computer OR your backups.  This is especially important if you have non-replacable data on your computer.

I have personally used Backblaze for my own computers and have had it save me from a computer meltdown of my own.  I am personally not the best at keeping backups although I always preach about how important they are.  This time the power supply unit blew and took the hard disk with it – along with several video editing projects I had going on at the time.  Thank goodness I had Backblaze running in the backround the entire time.  I never even noticed it and so when I realized that I had been running it I was so relieved.  I fired up the mobile app (I was out of town when the repair shop called and said the hard drive was blown) and checked….and there were my files.  So relieved.

Anyway – don’t let it happen to you!  It’s so simple and cheap to run something like Backblaze and you won’t even notice that it’s there.  I highly recommend that you also keep a local hard disk backup just in case.  And don’t leave it plugged into the computer at all times in case of a power surge.