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Click here for my "How to make using your computer an enjoyable experience" guide


How'd I get that virus?

Oddly enough, probably through that Antivirus / Antimalware program that you just installed!

Nearly all the virus removal work I do Involves so-called "Rogue" Antivirus software. Here's how you get them:

You're surfing the net one day and a message pops up on your
screen that says something like "Your system is infected!" or "We have detected multiple security threats on your PC!" Then it says "Download our FREE security/Virus/Malware scanner to check your system" (These warnings often look just like the legitamate Windows security alerts). So you download the scanner, run it and the "results" screen informs you that you are infected with one or more virii, but you'll need to pay for their removal tool to get rid of them. Now you'll either pay for the program or you'll start to suspect that this is all bogus. If you suspect it's bogus you might try to uninstall their scanner program. Hey, guess what? You can't uninstall it! Now you find that evertime you restart your computer you get a heap of pop-up warning messages, can't get on the Net or run your usual Anti-virus program. Your PC may even refuse to do anything at all except display their warning message. You are now up that famous creek without a paddle (Until you call me, of course!). I have one client who I found had six of these programs on their PC and they'd paid for all of them at around $50 each!

Now I'd like to say some nasty things about the people who create these "rogue" programs, but they do pay my grocery bills some weeks ( And, NO - I don't create them myself!)

If you'd like to know more about this subject I recommend the Wikipedia entry on Rogue security software you'll find it HERE.

There are some very good FREE Antivirus and Anti-Malware programs available. You'll find the ones I recommend on my links page.

Click HERE for a partial list of rogue Anti-malware and Antivirus programs (.PDF format).

If you're looking for an Anti-Virus application, I use and recommend AVG (See link on the left of this page).

Looking after your Hard drive

If your system seems to be getting slower and slower, chances are it is a result of the file-system on your Hard-drive becoming fragmented.
"Fragmentation" Refers to the condition of a disk in which files are divided into pieces scattered around the disk. Fragmentation occurs naturally when you use a disk frequently, creating, deleting, and modifying files.

At some point, the operating system needs to store parts of a file in noncontiguous clusters. This is entirely invisible to users, but it can slow down the speed at which data is accessed because the disk drive must search through different parts of the disk to put together a single file.

How to Check and defragment your hard drive.

Keeping your computer clean

Click here for my page on cleaning your computer


Improving Windows performance

How to easily speed up your Windows experience

Checking your home network's connections

Check your network and Internet connectivity






Protecting your PC against electrical surge damage.





Computers, modems, and printers are all susceptible to damage from

voltage "spikes" in their power supply. This is why it is a good idea to use a"Surge protection" power board to connect your computer and it's peripheral devices.
Another option is to use a U.P.S. (Uninteruptable Power Supply) attached to the wall socket. A U.P.S. is basically a storage battery that, in the event of a mains power failure, maintains power to the computer allowing you to save your open files and shut the system down.


The type of Surge protection powerboard I recommend has sockets for Network, phone line connections and USB (like the one pictured below). To connect the USB ports you need to have a USB extension lead coming from a USB port  on the back of   your PC to the board, and then a second lead going to the peripheral you are connecting. It has been my experience that, although good in theory, many USB devices will not work using 2 extension cables due to "attenuation". This is particularly the case when using USB powered Hard-drives.


It's good to remember that even the most expensive surge protectors will not survive a lightning strike. The best protection in the event of storms is to unplug your equipment from the wall AC and phone-line outlets.

Power boardSurge protector

If the sky looks a bit like this, it's probably time to start unplugging...

Brunswick Heads hail storm
Hail Storm, Brunswick Heads October 2007


Last updated December 29, 2020


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