PCT News

November 2015

Windows 10 - Should I or Shouldn't I?

Are you considering upgrading to Windows 10?  We’ve heard from many of our customers who are seeking advice on whether or not to jump on board with the new operating system.  Although there is not a one size fits all answer, we thought we’d pass on a little information, as well as a few of our thoughts on who should upgrade and who should wait.

Windows 10 is free for most people and offers plenty of new features and apps.
If you’re still running Windows 7 and avoided Windows 8 because of the bad reviews, or you just didn't get around to upgrading, Windows 10 is your chance to benefit from a host of improvements.  For many people, Windows 10 is a great release that goes beyond just bringing back the Start menu including a lot of security improvements that businesses will welcome.  For starters, it will improve performance on many systems. Windows itself takes up a little less disk space but what you'll notice if you're coming from Windows 7 is much faster boot times and longer battery life (the gains over Windows 8.1 are less impressive).  Other improvements include more tools in File Explorer and Task Manager, the simple refresh and reset tools that make it easier to fix your PC, and having settings automatically sync to other PCs that you use with the same Microsoft account.   Click here for more Windows 10 information from Microsoft.

Like any new version of Windows, there are advantages and disadvantages and Windows 10 is no exception – except that the free upgrade for the first year makes it more tempting to go for it without necessarily thinking things through.

One possible concern for those moving up to Windows 10, especially from older versions of Windows, is whether their important applications will work on the new OS.  For most major software releases, this will almost certainly be a smooth upgrade, but it’s worth checking with the software provider, as they may still be working on a new version.  You don’t want to upgrade and suddenly find you can’t do your normal work on your PC. The same holds true for peripherals such as printers and scanners, which may require the downloading of new drivers to ensure they work properly on the new platform.

There are also considerations on whether or not your system meets (and preferably beats) the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10.  Although the Microsoft compatibility check (before the Windows 10 download) attempts to correctly determine compatibility, occasionally it gets it wrong.  In that case, the system can be reverted back to the original operating system (in theory).  We’ve seen quite a number of system’s where the revert process has failed, so no guarantees.  In the event that the revert fails, the only option is to re-install your original operating system which will result in the loss of your data (documents and pictures etc.). As a precaution, be sure to have current backups of your important data before attempting the upgrade.

So, the bottom line is really subjective and depends on a number of conditions.   In the end, you’ll have to weigh out the pros and cons, whether or not you’ll attempt the upgrade yourself, or whether you’ll bring it in and let us take care of the process for you.  Click here for more information on our Windows 10 upgrade service.


Phone Scams: Microsoft does not call offering Tech Support


Check out this KOMO News Report by Connie Thompson

You get a telephone call from someone claiming to be with tech support from a well-known software company. Microsoft is a popular choice. The callers often have strong accents but use common names such as “Adam” or “Bill.” The scammers may know your name and other personal information, which they get from publicly available phone directories. They might even guess what computer operating system you’re using.
The caller tells you that your computer is sending error messages, and they’ve detected a virus on it. He says only a tech support employee can remove the virus, but first you need to grant him access to your machine. If you give the OK, the caller will run a scan of your files and actually point out how the virus has infected the computer. The scammers then offer to remove the virus…. for a fee. Of course, they need your credit card details first.
Here’s the twist. Those who allowed the caller remote access to their computers, whether they paid for the virus to be removed or not, reported difficulties with their computer afterwards, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Some said their computers would not turn on or certain programs/files were inaccessible. Some victims even reported taking their computers for repair, and the technicians confirmed software had been installed.
Here at PC Techs, we hear these same scenarios day after day.  Here is our advise if you get a call from “Tech Support”

  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from tech support.
  • Ask for the caller’s information and report it to your local authorities or the FTC.
  • If you did allow a caller to access your computer:
      • Change the passwords for your computer, email and online banking/credit card accounts.
      • Be sure to run a virus scan
      • Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report if you shared personal and banking information with the scammer.

If your computer is acting strange, slow, or just different than it was before the remote access, consider having it fully cleaned by a professional.  Better safe than sorry.

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