Monthly Archives: June 2013

Should I Get a Laptop Bag?

laptop bag

Should I Get A Laptop Bag?

Imagine you are traveling through a busy airport when a stranger bumps in to you. Since you don’t have a laptop case, your laptop slips out of your hands and hits the ground and breaks with a loud crash. Now the question isn’t “should I buy a laptop bag”. The question becomes “why didn’t I”. The answer is definitely yes. Having a laptop bag is not only convenient, it can save your laptop from being dropped. That is why this decision should be easy. An investment like a laptop case will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Buying a laptop case is not very difficult but there are a few things to consider that most people don’t think about.

Proper Size

When you think about the size of your laptop bag you need to consider all the things that will need to be stored besides your laptop. You will need room for your power cord, any software discs, portable backup drives, and possibly a USB mouse or keyboard to take with you.

Laptop Protection

Think of how this laptop case will protect the contents it holds. Does the bag use straps to lock your computer into place? Is the case cushioned enough to protect the computer system from drops or any other mishap?

Cost Efficient

When shopping for a laptop case you will find some prices to be outrageous. Ranging from around thirty dollars to several hundred dollars. Pay attention to the features on these bags so you aren’t misled by features like water proof. Most seams and zippers water resistance will degrade over time.


Depending on your needs there are lots of different styles of laptop bags that you can choose. If you need a more hands free set up then the backpack or laptop case with a shoulder strap is the way to go. There are also other styles like a briefcase to carry more for the busy business professional. Those in need of simple protection for your laptop around the house may consider the protective sleeve that adds light padding and better grip for hand carrying.

No matter what your occupation, lifestyle or budget there is a laptop case to suit your needs. If you have a laptop and haven’t bought a  laptop case yet, I urge you to invest  in your laptops’ future.

Data Recovery – How To Fix Hard Drive Errors

Data Recovery for Your Hard Drive

Have you ever had the error message “disk is corrupt and unreadable” or “you must format this drive before use” on your external hard drive?  Hard drives do fail for various reasons and data can become corrupted unexpectedly.  The first thing you do when you see this error is panic.  That reaction is not uncommon or unwarranted because your files are very important to you and the thought of losing everything is not a pleasant one.  There are some steps that you should take when you encounter an external hard drive error. 

First, stop using the drive if it is malfunctioning, working intermittently, or running check disk or scan disk automatically when you turn on the computer.  Continuing to use the hard drive could lead to its immediate failure and reduce the chances to transfer or recover files.

Next contact a computer service professional at IQ Computer Services be sure to explain everything you can remember about the circumstances before and during the problem.  For example, mention if the computer dropped or involved in a spill.  This information may not seem important to you, but IT professionals are able to take the details and plan a strategy for data recovery.

Data recovery is a task best left to the experts.  You could make things worse by attempting to do your own file recovery.  The following tips are for those who want to accept the risk and try things on their own.

How to fix “disk is corrupt and unreadable error”

Option 1:

Start your computer outside of Windows using a boot disc such as Linux Umbuntu.  Do NOT install the Linux operating system on the computer, instead load from disc.  Connect an external hard drive to the computer and copy the important files from the internal hard drive to the external hard drive.  You may be able to do this even if Windows is won’t start up normally.

Option 2:  Plug in your USB external hard drive.  Start up your computer using the repair my Windows Vista or Windows 7 Recovery Disc or System Repair Disc.  Choose the option for Command Prompt.  Next type C:  chkdsk /r and press Enter.  The computer should begin to start scanning and fixing disk and file problems.  If you get a message saying that the disk in locked or currently in use, choose to run at next reboot.   Type exit and select restart.  Be sure to remove the repair disc from the DVD drive before the computer restarts.

After the disk check utility has completed, you will get an on screen report of the results.  It may tell you that errors were found and fixed.  Try to start up Windows normally and copy and paste files from your computer to your external hard drive.


Hard Drive Life Expectancy

How Long Do Computer Hard Drives Last?

The industry standard average hard drive life expectancy is from three to five years. That doesn’t mean your hard drive cannot fail sooner or last longer, it’s just an average estimation of use. A hard drive can last you ten years or two years depending on its use and care. The storage and physical characteristics of a hard drive have nothing to do with its life expectancy. Laptops are more susceptible to hard drive failure due to bumps, drops, and general jarring. Hard drive failure is a common issue in computers today. This is why backing up your files is so important.

Hard Drive Care

The more you move your hard drive the more you increase the risk of it failing. When moving your computer, handle it with care.  Bumping your computer may be the breaking point for your hard drive. Dust and overheating often cause hard drive failure.

Hard Drive Failure Symptoms

Symptoms of a failing hard drive can vary widely between hard drives. The hard drive may blue screen on boot or randomly throughout start-up process. Some hard drives may even blue screen randomly during use. Other hard drives could present a loss of data slowly. The worst instance is complete hard drive failure. Most of the time when this occurs your system will display an error message of “no boot device detected”.

     Recovering From Hard Drive Failure

Unfortunately, there is no way to repair a hard drive once it has crashed. The only real solution for hard drive failure is preventative maintenance. Backing up your files is your first line of defense.  The second line of defense is knowledge. Knowing that your hard drive may be having an issue can save you from permanent data loss. If you do find yourself in a situation where you need data recovery, IQ Computer Services offers Data Recovery Service that can help.

Top 10 Laptop Care Tips

Top 10 Laptop Care Tips

Many people have laptops but don’t understand how to take care of them. Here are ten quick tips on caring for your laptop:

  1. DustingUsing a can of compressed air, gently blow dust out the fan and keyboard.
  2. Cleaning – Ensure you clean your laptop regularly.  A clean computer runs better and is easier to see what is on your screen.
  3. Drops– Use a cushioned laptop case when on the go to prevent damage from an accidental drop.
  4. Spills– It is good practice not to eat or drink around your computer to avoid messy spills.
  5. Update OS– Most updates are created to fix or prevent known issues that may be potentially harmful to your laptop.
  6. Storage ( Put It Away) – Store your laptop somewhere safe to prevent it from getting stepped on and to keep it away from children and pets.
  7. Properly vent when in use– Setting your system on a blanket or couch cushion during use can cause the laptop to overheat due to insufficient ventilation.
  8. Battery care – Don’t leave your laptop plugged in all the time. Use the battery and when it needs to be charge plug it in. This will keep you battery functioning properly.
  9. Care for your power cord – Knotting and twisting up your power cord can cause the wiring inside to fray making it useless. Keep it put away to be sure pets can’t chew it.
  10. Antivirus– Always run some kind of antivirus to keep your laptop safe from malicious software. Updating your antivirus regularly will help save you money and precious data.

Following these laptop care tips can keep your laptop running great for years.


How to Fix Internet Explorer “Page Cannot Be Displayed”

webpage cannot be displayed

Internet Explorer Cannot Display Page

Most people have witnessed the horror and pain of the Internet Explorer error “Page Cannot Be Displayed”. I’m going to share some tips to remedy this problem and get you back to  web-surfing with relative ease. First verify that you do have a good internet connection. You can check by hovering your mouse over the network icon in your system tray (bottom right-hand corner of your desktop). This should show you what network you are connected to and the connection status of the network. Some common causes of the error include virus infection, incorrect settings, or multiple anti-virus software. Make sure you are not running multiple anti viruses because they may conflict with each other and  prevent Internet Explorer from working correctly. Temporarily disable your anti-virus for diagnostic purposes and check to see if your browser is working properly. If you are unable to open Internet Explorer, you can access the internet options page through these steps:

  • Go to Start 
  • Control panel (Needs to be in classic view)
  • Select Internet Options

Clear Cookies and Delete History

The fastest option is to clear cookies and delete history.

  • Go to Tools
  • Select internet options
  • (Under browsing history) Click Delete
  • From here select Temporary internet files, Cookies and History
  • Click delete

Now check Internet Explorer by trying to pull up a web page.

Check Proxy Server Setting

  • Go to Tools
  • Internet options
  • Connections Tab
  • Click LAN Settings
  • (Under Proxy Server Area) ensure the Use a proxy server option is unchecked
  • Click OK
  • Click OK

Check again to see if that has resolved the issue. The next option is to be used if you have exhausted all other options and still can’t load a website. This option will erase any saved passwords and accounts that your computer may normally remember for you. If you do have to use this option you need to make sure you know or have all your log-in information written down. Any add-ons you use will be disabled as well as any personal settings you may have configured.

Reset Internet Explorer to Default Settings

  • Go to Tools 
  • Internet Options 
  • Select Advanced Tab
  • Go to the bottom and click Reset
  • Select Delete Personal Settings 
  • Click Close ( Now you will need to restart your browser)
  • Click OK

Try to verify functionality of the browser. If you are still having problems then it’s possibly more severe and you can contact IQ Computer Services for any of your network trouble shooting needs.