Tag : desktop

Best Bang for Your Buck – Inspiron Desktop

desktop-inspiron-MT-3650-pdp-module-6

 

At $829 the redesigned Dell Inspiron Desktop is a marvelously capable machine for any and all multitaskers. Packed with a 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700 Processor, 8M Cache, up to 4.00 GHz, Windows 7 Professional 64bit and Windows 10 Pro License, this desktop can easily handle your biggest computing needs. In addition to a super speedy processor the Inspiron comes equipped with a 2 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive, with plenty of space to store thousands of family photos, documents, games, applications, movies, with room to spare. The new Inspiron Desktop offers powerful and reliable performance to be shared with your family in the living room or kept all to yourself at the office. In addition to the impressive specs and sleek design, is 5.1 channel sound professionally tuned by Waves MaxxAudio® Pro for a truly immersive entertainment experience. Stay connected with the latest integration of WiFi and Bluetooth technology. For the game lovers, parents, or even the technological challenged, having easy connection to devices such as tablets, TV’s and larger displays for video streaming and casual gaming is a must! This desktop comes with convenient access to VGA, HDMI out and 6 USB ports, you know, in case you don’t have enough.

 

 

 

Dell Inspiron

 

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.dell.com 

 

What to do if you suspect Malware? We have the answers

Most often one does not know that they are infected with Malware until it is indefinitely too late. A few signs can lead you too believe you might be infected, such as incredibly slow PC performance, browser pop-ups when no browser is open, and security warnings from security programs that have never been installed on your computer, can make you feel uneasy about your machine. Try these tools to kick Malware in the butt. malware-microsoft

Update Antivirus

The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field.

Find Safe Mode

Most malware, when designed correctly, is ready to evade System Restore points set in Windows. Perhaps this might be enough to fix the problem, but say that its not, as it most likely won’t be, try running a program designed to kill any known malware process in progress, such as RKill. The other option in this case is to boot Windows in a way that will not allow malware to get started, aka Safe Mode. By first restarting your PC (Windows 8 or 10), hold down the shift key during the boot sequence, and choose Safe Mode within the troubleshooting options.

Delete Hiding Places

You should then delete all temp files that could hide malware. To delete temp files, open the Start menu, type Disk Cleanup into the search bar and it will check the C:drive for all temp files that can be safely deleted. The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field. After this process it is advised that you run an antivirus on-demand scanner, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This program is a great line of second defense against malware because it often comes to the rescue if your initial antivirus fails.

No Connection

A RAT, means that someone is remotely accessing your PC. Your first step in this case is to get off the internet. Turn off the Wi-Fi, remove the Ethernet cable, turn off the router, whatever needs to be done in order to detach from the internet. Now, being disconnected from the internet ensures that you are no longer able to be controlled, but it makes it a great deal harder to receive the latest antivirus without access to the internet. The latest software will need to be retrieved from a third party PC, at a different location preferably, then transferred to the RAT PC via USB flash drive. Another option would be to reboot the computer with a CD. Running a full anti-malware utility, these CDs are sometimes called “rescue CD” and can be used without internet connection. Of course, in order to use this option, a CD player will be necessary.

Portable Help

If all other options have failed, it may be the Operating System that has already been infected, making it impossible to even download the newest antivirus software. In order avoid the OS and let the antivirus do its job, you will need to utilize portable apps through a USB flash drive. These portable apps do not require a direct installation. Apps like this consist of Microsoft Safety Scanner, CLamWin, McAfee Stinger, or Kaspersky Security Scan. You can also try a mix of many portable apps since they will not conflict as you have to run each scan individually. There are also other software options such as Spybot and Symantec’s Norton Power Eraser that specifically target a type of malware called crimeware, that run scams. Although this is measure is aggressive, and often times deletes files that might not be malware, all in the effort of safety of course.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: How to Remove Malware From Your PC

Microsoft OneDrive raises the bar for cloud storage

Microsoft OneDrive Cloud Storage The Microsoft OneDrive, otherwise known as “device cloud”, is available free of charge for anyone who has created a Microsoft account. Included are 5 GB of free storage, easy access to media files, folder syncing, documents, as well as playing and viewing capabilities in addition to simple storage.

Similar to the iCloud for iPhones and iPads, OneDrive allows iPhone, Android, and Windows phone users to automatically upload photos to the OneDrive camera roll. Combining online storage and syncing into one device, One Drive offers a new convenience for Microsoft users who had to previously deal with separate storage and syncing services. Windows 10 has allowed OneDrive to grow as a built-in capacity. If you utilize other technology platforms OneDrive is compatible with Windows 7 and 8, Mac OS X, iOS, and Android.

 

PROS-

Excellent photo viewing and slideshow capabilities.

Clear interface.

Works with Windows phone, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Easily retrieves any file from a PC.

 

CONS-

Storage offerings shrinking according to a recent release from Microsoft.

Not a share target for Windows 10 apps.

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2409569,00.asp

Windows 8 – Boot Directly to Desktop

One of the most annoying features of Windows 8 is the metro screen. Many users would prefer to simply boot directly to the desktop. There are rumors that the next update to Windows will add this feature back along with possibly the start menu. However until then, there are ways to make your OS boot directly to the desktop.

Use Classic Shell.
1. First of all download and install Classic Shell software using following link:

Download Classic Shell for Windows (http://www.askvg.com/classic-shell-get-classic-start-menu-and-explorer-toolbar-buttons-cut-copy-paste-etc-back-in-windows-vista-and-7/)

2. After installing Classic Shell, open Classic Start Menu Settings window. You can open it either by going to “All Programs -> Classic Shell -> Start Menu Settings” option or by right-clicking on Start button and selecting “Settings” option.

3. Now go to “Windows 8 Settings” tab in Settings window and make sure “Skip Metro screen” option is enabled.

4. That’s it. Apply the changes and restart or log off and get ready to directly boot into Windows 8 Desktop.

Air Display – User your IPad as a Second Monitor

As more and more users become mobile the need for mulitple screens on the road has become invaluable. Now if you have an iPad, using wifi, you can use it as a second monitor with your laptop.

You’ll have to install the app on your ipad for $9.99 as well and download and install the app on your laptop.

http://avatron.com/apps/air-display

Key features:
– An instant second monitor
– Touch your desktop
– Display it the way you want (ie Landscape or Portrait)
– No wires needed

Free up disk space on a Windows 2008 Server without a system reboot

Disk clean up can be a very useful tool especially in Servers when Disk space is fully utilized.  But what do you do when you are working in a production environment and you can’t reboot the server.  In a pinch, I found the following process to cleanup a congested System Partition.

Copy cleanmgr.exe to System32 folder

A favorable alternative to adding the Desktop Experience feature to your production server, while requiring no system reboot or maintenance window, is simply copying the cleanmgr application files to their appropriate location.

There are two files that need to be copied to the Windows System32 folder.  The only downside to this process is that the disk cleanup utility will not appear in the normal disk drive properties.  However, as these files will be copied to the System32 folder location, the utility can be easily launched from the integrated server search bar.

The two files you are looking for are the cleanmgr.exe.mui and cleanmgr.exe. Below is listing of folder locations that these two files will be located for the most popular version of Server 2008.  After you have found these files, simply copy then to their designated locations as described below.

  • Copy cleanmgr.exe to the System32 folder
  • Copy cleanmgr.exe.mui file to System32en-us

Windows Server 2008 64-bit:

C:Windowswinsxsamd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_c962d1e515e94269cleanmgr.exe.mui

C:Windowswinsxsamd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.0.6001.18000_none_c962d1e515e94269cleanmgr.exe

Windows Server 2008 R2:

C:Windowswinsxsamd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr.resources_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_en-us_b9cb6194b257cc63cleanmgr.exe.mui

C:Windowswinsxsamd64_microsoft-windows-cleanmgr_31bf3856ad364e35_6.1.7600.16385_none_c9392808773cd7dacleanmgr.exe

To run the disk cleanup utility, simply navigate to a command prompt or Run and type cleanmgr.exe

Review of the Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z

Are you looking for a top rated, middle of the road desktop for your offices? The Lenovo ThinkCentre M71z may be just what you need. With a touch screen 20 inch widescreen monitor at $917 direct, this PC is perfect for your mainline workers — the ones that manage projects, file and search data, or deal with your clients on a day-to-day basis. While less flashy then some other all-in-one PC’s such as the HP Compaq 8200 Elite or the Apple iMac 21.5 inch, it is definitely the biggest bang for your buck.

The desktop will blend seamlessly into your offices and while you should still supply a keyboard and mouse because of the vertical screen, the touch monitor is great for zooming in and out of photos, rotate online interfaces, and use swipe commands on the internet. The screen however isn’t the best for resolution. While still sufficient for clerical and mainline office workers, it’s not going to be ideal for digital artists who use their fingers as digital paintbrushes.

With two USB 2.0 ports, a media card reader, and audio jacks are on the left side; a tray-loading DVD drive on the right side; and a power button, drive light, and +/- on screen controls (brightness, etc.) on the front. The system’s forward-firing speakers are below the screen on the front panel as well. In the back, there are four more USB 2.0 ports, a standard 3-pin power jack, Ethernet, serial port (for older peripherals like bar code scanners), a Display Port-out port, a Kensington lock port, and a handle. The handle and power jack make things easier for your IT workers: the handle makes the system easy to transport, and the standard power port means that you don’t have to keep track of external power supplies (aka power bricks): you can just use the standard power cables used by tower desktops. If you have a 802.11 b/g/n wireless network, the M71z will connect to it easily. It would’ve been nice to see a Display Port-in or HDMI-in port, so you can reuse the M71z’s monitor with a future laptop or desktop when the M71z’s internal finally become too slow, but the DisplayPort-out is still useful. The DisplayPort-out port lets you use the system in a dual-monitor setup.

Performance wise the ThinkCentre M71z is very good as well—the ThinkCentre M71z’s 2,134 points on PCMark 7 beats the EC winning HP TouchSmart 320-1030 ($699.99 list), which got a lower 1,825 point score. The recently reviewed HP Compaq 8200 Elite and not so recently reviewed iMac 21.5-inch (Thunderbolt) are both quite a bit faster than these systems, but then again both the HP and iMac are significantly over $1,000.

The combination of price, capabilities, and corporate credibility earn the Thinkcentre M71z our Editors’ Choice award for all-in-one business desktops. Its features, performance, and price are excellent. This is the system we’d buy if we were outfitting an office with clerical level desktop PCs.

Mulitple Displays

Recently I wrote a blog on the use of travel monitors so even when you’re out of the office you can have multiple displays. Now while in the office I use three monitors, one is my laptop screen, and two external monitors. Now you may ask, “how do you have two external monitors attached?” as laptops only have one VGA port available. The answer is simple, I use a USB video adapter for my third screen. I’ve tested a number of these from makers such as Iogear, StarTech, Kensington, and HP. The problem with a lot of these USB video adapters is the resolution isn’t always the greatest because of the hertz rates they use there can be frequency issues so you’re seeing the screen flicker or streaming lines also you may experience slowness when moving items on the screen. This hardware uses the DisplayLink software to simplify how multi-monitors talk to each other.

I have been using the HP external video adapter (Part: NL571AA) for the last year and a half and I have to say it works great! The resolution is amazing; I experience no slowness, and no flickering. Priced between $49 and $79 the unit is a must have if you’re in need of multiple screens and are a laptop user or even a desktop user and don’t want to hassle with installing a video card into your machine. At home I have to of the adapters installed so that I can use 4 screens on my desktop!

Remote Desktop Access for iPhone and Droids

Control your desktop or server with your smartphone or tablet from any where you have internet access.

There are many remote applications out there today to help one remote into desktops or servers via smartphones or devices such as iPads. I found that Jump Desktop (remote desktop) app works great on both the iPhone and the iPad. You can easily setup a RDP sessions and log into any desktop or terminal server with remote access and control apps, type information, and move files around. This is an easy to use app for RDP sessions and VNC client.

Features include:
• Connect to multiple computers
• Printing support
• Audio Streaming
• Console sessions
• Multiple monitor support for Windows 7 and above
• Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, Server 2003, Server 2008, Server 2008 R2 and SBS Server
• Free PC-to-PC remote desktop

2X Client is another app for accessing remote desktops and files securely. Both apps allow for seamless access to remote computers.

Desktop Imaging – Good or Bad

bva gets many inquires about how should organizations back up local desktops.  Of course as technical professionals, bva recommends having nothing on the desktop with regards to important data.  But never the less it is always a subject matter that gets voiced and requested from management.  Having the ability to build and push an image to a user desktop is a great and easy way to ensure user satisfaction and lowers administration time.  That being said it is starting to be a common development when moving email into the cloud such as Exchange Online with BPOS/Office365.  There is currently no way of backing up the mail store which is painful.  That being said the way around that is to back-up the local OST file that can be backed up to local disk from the desktop.  Of course for restoration purposes you really need to move the OST to PST for restoring with typically takes another migration tool that is not free and needs to be purchased per mailbox.  A great way around that is to simply image the desktop and keep that image locally on slower or cheap disk.  That covers you on many levels from our perspectives and has many copies of data on different sets of hardware,  something to consider.

The popular software that we are using as of right now are as followed:

  • Acronis® Backup & Recovery™ 11 Advanced Workstation  Website Link – Use console to manage machines locally or remotely, Includes Acronis Management Server for single point of centralized management, Group machines into static on dynamic groups, Automatically include multiple machines or group of them to backup task, Monitor backup and recovery activities on all machines from a single place, Build customizable reports.
  • Symantec Backup Exec 2010 Desktop and Laptop Option  Website Link – With the majority of business-critical information residing outside the data center or off corporate servers, protection for desktops and laptops is a must. The enhanced Desktop and Laptop Option delivers continuous data protection to desktops and laptops whether in the office or on the road. Not only improving data protection and efficiency, this option enables users to restore their own files and maintains synchronization between multiple desktops and laptops so the most up-to-date file versions are available on all of a user’s computers. Because the Desktop and Laptop Option does not require a dedicated stand-alone server as competing products do, it easily integrates into existing IT infrastructure and policies, helping lower the total cost of ownership.  The new push-install functionality from within Backup Exec centralizes deployment. Backup Exec 2010 includes support for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP 64-bit OS, as well as delta file transfer, reducing the total amount of data being backed up. With this release, this option is integrated with Backup Exec Retrieve (available with the Backup Exec Continuous Protection Server) for even greater simplified file recovery.