Tag Archives: Files

Is Your System RAM About to Fail? Signs & Symptoms That Give You Warning

Img: www.Pexels.com

Img: www.Pexels.com

If you are a person that takes proper care of your tech devices, the majority of them will last for many years. Of course, electronic components will need replacing as time goes on. One of the most replaced components is RAM or Random Access Memory. The good news is, many times when your system RAM is about to fail, there are signs and symptoms to warn you.

Declining Performance

Declining performance is one of the most common signs of failing RAM. If your computer runs perfectly when you power it up but becomes slower the longer it is on, there could be a problem with the system RAM. This problem is more noticeable when using apps which are more memory-intensive such as web browsers or complex video games.

Crashing Randomly

If you experience random crashes, it might be faulty RAM. When these crashes are random rather than consistent, it is more likely to be RAM instead of a program. However, if you consistently get the blue screen of death when opening a certain program, it is likely the app causing the problem, not the RAM.

Data Files Corrupted

Another sign of failing RAM is when files that were used or accessed frequently can no longer be opened or they are corrupted. If you are receiving more and more errors about these files, or the problem is worsening, it is more than likely failing RAM to blame. This is because the bad RAM causes the structure of your hard drive to degenerate. If left unfixed, this failing RAM will eventually make your computer unable to boot at all.

Unable to Load Video Card

You more than likely hear a loud beep each time while turning on your computer. This means, your media and video hardware for your computer have been recognized and booted correctly. However, when there is no beep, it is not loaded. Failing RAM could be the problem for this. In addition to no beep, you will see a warning message from the OS on your screen letting you know it is attempting to boot.

System RAM Incorrectly Displayed

To check the amount of RAM on a Windows system, go to the Start Menu and right-click. Next, go to Control Panel > System. You can see an overview of your machines statistics here, including the installed amount of RAM.

To check from a Mac, go to Apple > About This Mac and look to see if Overview tab is selected, if not check it.

If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms of failing RAM, keep in mind, there may be a different reason for the problem. Have an experienced professional assist you.

Using Document Inspector to Remove Personal Data Hidden in Microsoft Office

Document inspector can help remove unwanted hidden files.

Document inspector can help remove unwanted hidden files.

Remove Personal Data Thats Hidden with Doc Inspector

Microsoft Office produces and keeps a hidden metadata on your documents for Office, including such information as how long the document has been worked on, when creation of the document took place, documents previous versions, and name of each person that worked on it. Every time this document is sent, these details are passed on to the recipient and anybody after that in which the document is sent to. This might be okay to do in some situations, however, there are times when it can be best for your documents to be cleaned of any personal data prior to sending them on.

Information Microsoft Stores

There is several types of hidden data and personal information in which Microsoft Office automatically stores. This data is not immediately noticeable, it is not next to your document on display. It needs to be rooted out. Some information, but not all, Office documents contain include:

  • Personal Information and Document Properties. Document properties indicate metadata for the document, such as author, title, and subject. This is mostly information generated automatically by Office and is kept each time every time a document is worked on. This can include information which is related to specific features a document is used with. For example, printer paths, email headers, and file-path information.
  • Comments, versions, revision marks, and ink annotations. If there was collaboration on your document, there might be comments, revision marks, and more from the working process. Other people are able to see who worked on this document, and what changes each person made.
  • Hidden Text. Hidden text can be placed on Word documents. If you do not know if there is, Document Inspector can look for it.
  • Invisible Content. PowerPoint presentations and Excel workbooks can contain objects which were items formatted as invisible.

In many cases this content being saved does not pose any issue. There is no problems from most people that create and send documents with the use of Microsoft Office sending this information with their work.

Document Inspector for Personal Data

Select File menu in Microsoft Office, now select Info and you will see the tool for Inspect Document. To view this documents hidden metadata, select Check for Issues, then Inspect Document. Now you have a choice of what metadata you want the document examined for. If want to check for all metadata, you can leave all options selected. Finally, select Inspect. Office finally examines your document for all metadata. To remove any metadata found you must select Remove All next to it.

Prevent Metadata Being Stored

This can only be done by document specific, not multiple documents. This setting needs to be saved each time a new document is used. Go to File > Options > Trust Center > Privacy Options. Now select Remove personal information from file properties on save. Keep in mind, this only works on current documents.

Free Tools to Convert Any File Format Online


Use These Free Tools for Conversions

There is no need to download any software when wanting to convert a PDF into a DOC or a FLAC into an MP3. You only need to go to the computer, open your browser, go to one of these sites mentioned below, and be done in a hurry.

When using apps on the web, you do not need to worry about malware being installed as it does with software. In addition, there is no need to uninstall or clean this stuff out of your computer.

Zamzar: Convert Anything to Anything

Zamzar is one of the most popular and oldest online conversion tools. More than 1200 different format conversions are supported. It is safe to convert video files, audio files, images, documents, and many more. Size needs to be below 100MB.

After a file is added, the extension is analyzed and file formats in which it could be converted to will be shown next.

Interface is easy to use, with an option for a notification to be sent by email, which can be a nice way to send a friend your file link. There is no need to sign up.

Cloud Convert: Convert Cloud Based Files

Zamzar has two limitations making it worth to look at Cloud Convert. You are able to convert up to 1GB of files when you sign up for a free account, and you are able to connect it to cloud storage such as Google Drive. OneDrive, Box and Dropbox to download and upload files automatically from them accounts.

Although Cloud Convert only supports 208 file formats rather than the 1200+ that Zamzar supports, majority of formats you regularly use, including video, audio, image, and office-suite formats. Compared to Zamzar’s interface, it is more appealing and modern.

Small PDF: Convert To and From PDF

In many cases PDF files are not able to be edited, they need to be converted first for program use such as PowerPoint and Word. You cannot easily combine 2 PDF’s into 1, or only take one page out. Special software is usually needed for these actions, however, Small PDF takes care of this need.

It is possible to also convert a PDF file into PDF, so you will be able to compress and reduce the size of the PDF. You are able to split and merge two separate PDF files using Small PDF. The user interface is the most simplest ever.

Google Docs: Convert Images to Text

Google Drive is the best tool to use online for converting images to text. Go to Google Drive, click “Settings” under the cog wheel icon, and check the box “Convert Uploads”. This brings uploads to Google Docs. Upload a PDF or image to Google Drive, right-click, select Open With > Google Docs.

Very simple to convert files without having to download any software.

Resourceful Tips and Tricks for Windows

Windows tips can save a lot of time.

Windows tips can save a lot of time.

Utilizing Windows With These Tips

Microsoft Windows can amaze us with the amount of stuff you can do using this OS. There are some tricks many people are not aware of, or how to use them. Below are some of the more helpful tips and tricks for Windows, users will find handy.

Tip #1

When logging in, go straight to the desktop. The default setting when starting up your computer takes the user to the Start Screen. To change this, on the desktop toolbar, right-click>Properties>Navigation. Look for the box next to “When I sign in or close applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of start” and check it. Hit apply, then close.

Tip #2

Run applications at all times as administrator. You most likely have already noticed, some programs need you to run as administrator in order to use them. Many older programs require this. To set this, right-click on the shortcut for the program>Properties>Shortcut>Advanced. Put a check in the box, Run as administrator and hit OK.

Tip #3

Tiles on the home screen can be customize. Right clicking on the tiles give you an option for resizing. You can move and group these tiles, as well by dragging them. Each group can be given a name by right clicking and select Name groups. Above each group you will see a space to enter each name.

Tip #4

Have your Windows apps update on your schedule. By default, updates are installed automatically without user consent. To prevent this, open Windows Store then the Setting Charm>Settings>App Updates. There is an option to disable or enable having apps updated automatically.

Tip #5

Default printer can be changed according to your location. To set this feature search Devices and Printers, and open the window. On the printer you want to use as your default, right-click and set it as such. Next, click on any printer in the window and select Manage default printers available on your toolbar. Look for and check, Change my default printer when I change networks. From the dropdown Select printer and Select network, click Add for each one. Continue doing this until you have added all the networks you plan connecting to. If you decide you want to use only one printer, select Always use the same printer as my default printer.

Tip #6

Each screen can be scaled independently by customizing the settings. On your desktop, right-click and choose Screen Resolution. Next, select Make text and other items larger or smaller. Set to the size you desire.

Tip #7

Smart files allows you to view and edit OneDrive files while offline. While you are still connected to the internet right-click on the folders or files you want to use offline and select the option Make Available Offline.

Using these tips and tricks can give you a better experience while using Windows.


Free Up Space on Hard Drive or SSD

Free up space on your hard drive.

Free up space on your hard drive.


Space is Essential for a Computer

Even with the large amount of space we have on our hard drives, they tend to fill up quickly. There are options of upgraded disk space by replacing your hard drive, or using an external drive. Before we resort to those measures, you can free up space on your current hard drive or SSD.

Run Disk Cleanup

Using Windows 8, right-click on the screens bottom left corner. Now select control panel. Find on the bottom, Administrative Tools, and select Free up disk space. If you have two or more drives, Dick Cleanup will ask you to select which drive you want cleaned. Disk Cleanup now scans how much space on your disk drive you can save. After scan is complete, a dialog box will appear showing how much space you can save at the top of the box. The choices for cleanup include recycle bin, temporary internet files, offline webpages, and more. Now select Clean up system files, toward the bottom of the dialog box. Everything that is selected will now be cleaned.

Uninstall Application No Longer Wanted

Again, open control panel. Under Programs, select uninstall programs. Check all the programs, and select uninstall on ones that you no longer need or use. Before doing this, make sure you know what each program controls before uninstalling.

Remove Window Store Apps Not Needed or Wanted 

Windows 8 comes with many Window store apps already installed, and you can download many, as well. Some people do not use many of these apps, or they no longer want them. These can be deleted. Pointing your mouse upward from right hand lower corner, or swipe inward from the right of screen, select settings. Now select Change PC settings, PC and devices, Disk space, then App sizes. This will give you a list of store apps installed. Select each one you want removed, and hit uninstall. Keep in mind, this only uninstalls them from the user account. You can empty your recycle bin on this page, as well.

Clean Browser Cache

No matter what browser you use, cleaning their cache can free up space. Most times temporary files at approximately one gig, are saved. You should do this occasionally, or when space is desperately needed.

Copy Music, Photos, Videos

If there is music, photos, or videos on your PC that you want to keep, consider copying them to DVD, USB Drive, or an external storage. This can free up plenty of needed space.

External Drives

If you still need room after following these steps, external drives can give a lot of space easily. These come in several types, and sizes. Very simple to use and install.

There are many ways to clean up space, or even get more space on the PC that you’re using. Which you choose to go with depends on the needs and wants you have, and which you feel is the best choice to go with. All of them have pros and cons when it comes to additional storage space for your PC.

Internal hard drive 3.5 inch - What is a Hard Drive?

What is a Hard Drive?

Want to know what a hard drive is?  A hard drive, hard disk drive and HDD are all one in the same thing. A hard drive is the permanent storage center of your computer system. This is where your operating system, music, pictures and any other data that you save to your computer is stored. This is not to be confused with system memory (RAM) which is erased when the computer looses power.

Hard Drive Types

The general public mainly uses two types of computer hard drives, a 3.5 inch desktop drive and a 2.5 inch laptop hard drive. As of right now the 3.5 inch hard drive can have up to 4 TB of storage space and the 2.5 inch can have a maximum of 2 TB storage space. These hard drives can come in a variety of speeds but for the most part you will see 5,400 rpm and 7,200 rpm. The faster the speed the faster the files and programs are found on your computers hard drive.

Hard Drive Usage

You use your hard drive every time you save something to your computer. When you install something like a game on your computer it takes up space on your hard drive. If you download movies, this can especially take up a lot of valuable space on your hard drive. The more you download, install and save on your computer the more space you take up. This is why  it a good practice to keep your system free of unwanted files and programs.

If you are having trouble with your hard drive read “How to Fix Hard Drive Errors“. For more information on Hard Drive care and the longevity of  your Hard Drive take a look at “Hard Drive Life Expectancy“.

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.

How To Back Up PC Using Windows

hard drive

Back Up Your Computer


In this time where your entire life is stored on your computer, a backup can save all that you hold dear. Whether it be movies, photos, documents, school work, tax or business records,  if you don’t backup your files you risk losing them forever.  A computer virus could cripple your everyday life by making your computer unusable.  Fortunately, Microsoft included a built-in application without having to purchase another program.  I am going to tell you step by step how to create a system backup in Windows 7 to protect yourself from disaster. Other Windows operating systems versions vary.

 Backup Using Windows 7

  • First, pick a storage device – external hard drive, CD, DVD, or flash drive (Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise offers a network drive backup feature)

    laptop dvd back up

    DVD, Flash Drive Back Up

  • Ensure your chosen media is ready for use
  • Now click Start
  • Click  Control Panel
  • Select System and Security
  • Click Backup and Restore
  • Now choose Set up Backup
  • Click the media selected for backup and click Next
  • Select Let Windows Choose (recommended)
  • Click Next
  • You can schedule automatic backups or just simply disable
  • Click Save Settings and Exit
  • Finally click Backup Now

Depending on how much data you are backing up, this process can take from a few minutes to a few hours.  It is really worth the wait for the piece of mind knowing that when the worst happens and the computer crashes the files you backup are still safe and ready for a system restore. Even those who are buying a new PC can take advantage of backing up their old computer and moving things easily to the new PC.

How Often Should I Back Up My Files?

Backing up your PC is not something you should do once in a while.  You should complete back ups regularly to ensure your important files, and memories are safe. You never know when something like hard drive failure could happen and your computer just doesn’t start-up the next morning.