A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for use at a single location due to its size and power requirements, usually by one person. The most common configuration has a case that houses the power supply, motherboard, disk storage (usually one or more hard disk drives and optical disc drives); a keyboard and mouse for input; and computer monitor and printer for output. The case may be oriented horizontally and placed atop a desk or vertically and placed underneath or beside a desk.

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Remote Desktop Authentication Error -
Remote Desktop Connections and VPN Connections Fail. Starting May 9, we received many reports of Remote Desktop connections failing globally. Users received error messages on authentication when they try to remote to machines or VPN. Here's the cause, symptoms and simple workaround.
Microsoft Azure 2017
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Microsoft Azure 2017

Azure has a changed a lot since it was originally introduce by adding new services and features. Do you know everything you need to about Azure? This course will teach you about the Azure App Service, monitoring and application insights, DevOps, and Team Services.

Nintendo Switch - a Controversial Console? -
When the first reports of the initial sales of Nintendo Switch in the Land of the Rising Sun appeared. In Japan, only 330,637 consoles were sold for the first day. But many large retail chains have already sold out the entire edition of the console and were waiting for the replenishment of stocks.
Stay Alert. Act fast.
To share tips on how to stay ALERT and avoid being the next victim - at least not due to your own poor cyber habits and hygiene!
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by:Scott Silva
Good article, but maybe a bit of grammar polishing would make it better... It seems to drift from first person to third person and back, and for an old time technical proofreader like me, it just jumps out...  Not nit picking, but a lot of people might be reading it in the future...
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Author Comment

Thanks Scott for the comments, I have done some revision.
How do you create a user-centered user experience on your website? And what are some things you should consider in the process?
Win 10 - Audio Problem
It is a real story and is one of my scariest tech experiences. Most users think that IT experts like us know how to fix all computer problems. However, if there is a time constraint and you MUST not fail the task or you will lose your job, a simple task might turn out to be your scariest experience.
Speed up a Slow Computer
There are many software programs on offer that will claim to magically speed up your computer. The best advice I can give you is to avoid them like the plague, because they will often cause far more problems than they solve. Try some of these "do it yourself" tips instead.

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by:Arkel Thompson
Thank you very much, Andrew Leniart for that very informative and thorough article. Keep up the good work.
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Author Comment

by:Andrew Leniart
You're very welcome Arkel and thank you for the compliment, I appreciate it.
Skype for Business
Skype is a P2P (Peer to Peer) instant messaging and VOIP (Voice over IP) service – as well as a whole lot more.
I use more than 1 computer in my office for various reasons. Multiple keyboards and mice take up more than just extra space, they make working a little more complicated. Using one mouse and keyboard for all of my computers makes life easier. This combined with automation s/w makes my work a breeze.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Here are several of the scripts to automate tasks in EndNote.  They currently work for me, but your mileage may vary.
vga cable
pc, laptop  monitor connection configurations

Author Comment

hi ericpete,
next time I will write current topics on ciphering algorithms.ok!
No matter the version of Windows you are using, you may have some problems with Windows Search running too slow or possibly not running at all. Before jumping into how you can solve this issue, just know there are many other viable alternative desktop search options out there.
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by:Jim Horn
Nicely illustrated and reads very well.  Voted Yes.

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Great article - thanks!

I wish Microsoft would recognize the real problem they keep causing, however-

Despite ANYTHING I say, my girlfriend would rather dismiss the "Upgrade to Windows 10 for free!" notification in her task tray than actually upgrade, for fear that it'll break more than it improves...
...exactly things like this.

So also at a domestic level, thanks - this will help me avoid the "I told you so!" when I finally raise the nerve to convince her to pull the trigger on that upgrade.
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT
Ensure you’re charging the right price for your IT

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!

Library Card Catalog Drawer Search Concept
Windows 7 does not have the best desktop search built in. This is something Windows 7 users have struggled with. You type something in, and your search results don’t always match what you are looking for, or it doesn’t actually work at all. There are a couple of things you can do to try to improve t
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by:Kyle Santos
Great job!

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by:Yashwant Vishwakarma
Good One !!! Voted Yes !!! Thumbs Up !!!
Like many organizations, your foray into cloud computing may have started with an ancillary or security service, like email spam and virus protection. For some, the first or second step into the cloud was moving email off-premise. For others, a cloud-based CRM service was the first application in the cloud.

Currently, we see organizations rapidly moving file services and storage into cloud-based solutions as more marketing, sales, and line of business applications switch to Software-as-a-Service ("SaaS") solutions. Often, this leaves you with a small set of business applications running on-premise.

What do you do with applications and services left on-premise when most of your systems have moved, or will be moving, to the cloud?

While you may wish to keep these legacy systems on-premise, you can move them into a cloud or hosted Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment. VDI environments provide a virtualized, remote desktop accessible via browser or "receiver" app. When connected, users get their full desktop environment with access to local and network applications.

Some applications, such as computer-aided design (CAD) and manufacturing/process controls, are not well-suited for VDI. Most local and network applications work well within a VDI environment. VDI services typically charge based on processor load, memory, and allocated diskspace. Fees may also include standard office software, data backup services, malware protection, and other common …
Computer running slow? Taking forever to open a folder, documents, or any programs that you didn't have an issue with before? Here are a few steps to help speed it up.

The programs mentioned below ALL have free versions, you can buy them if you want, but I suggest using the free version in this case.

First step is to check, and clean up, any viruses / malware you might have installed on your computer. Any good antivirus will help with this. There are many out there, if you don’t have any currently installed, you should do this right away. Many of the big names have free 30 day trials to find one you like. There are also many free ones, but they may only give you a quarter of the feature or not have real-time scanning as an option. The only downside is this could slightly slow your computer as it will be running in the background at all times. However, it is very important you have an antivirus program installed to help prevent you from becoming infecting and losing personal information.

Once installed run a full system scan and clean up any viruses it may find.

One suggested antivirus program to run is MalwareBytes found at ( Use the free version (this does not do real time scans unless you buy it. However it is free to do on demand scans for this case. However, I highly recommend buying a antivirus program from your favorite antivirus vendor (or do some research and pick which one is best for you).


Expert Comment

by:Rochelle Adsitt
Also - is a fabulous resource for installing the latest version of utilities and other software we've come to depend on (Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, Malwarebytes, etc.) cleanly and quickly. It installs the software for me and doesn't allow any of the extra junk (like toolbars) to get installed or enabled.

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CCleaner I mentioned above can be found at ( use the free version

i installed and analyzed saw 9243 mb worth of files. now cleaning them.

when i open the windows explorer (windows key+E)it is closing by itself in few seconds saying 'windows enountered a trying to find solution etc) not sure why
The default behavior of the User Account Control (UAC) dialog is to disable (gray-out) the rest of the desktop when prompting for elevation. This is known as secure desktop. There are reasons that you may want to disable this secure desktop behavior, such as capturing a screenshot of the UAC dialog or moving one of the other open windows. There are, of course, security reasons for not changing that behavior, which is why Microsoft made Enabled the default. But if you want to disable the secure desktop behavior of the UAC dialog, here are the steps (this technique works in both Windows 7 and Windows 8):

Control Panel
Administrative Tools
Local Security Policy
Local Policies
Security Options

Scroll down to the item User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation:

Double-click it and you will get this dialog:

Tick the Disabled radio button and then OK. That's it!

To show the effect of disabling the switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation, I used it to be able to capture a screenshot of the UAC dialog for an article that I wrote about the Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration Software. With the secure desktop disabled, I was able to hit the Alt-PrintScreen key to capture just the UAC dialog box:

I was also able to position on the screen both the UAC dialog and the window containing the imaging software (IrfanView) that I used to handle the screenshot. So when I hit the PrintScreen key

The 5 R's

1. Repair

2. Restore

3. Reinstall

4. Remote admin

5. Run away

There is no hard and fast rule to computer repairs but given proper experience an engineer can easily determine whether a computer or server is worth repairing or upgrading.  If you're setting up SLAs or merely want to give yourself some working timescales, consider this as your benchmark:

Repair - estimated time: <1 hour

Repair is your first stage.  Assess hardware, software, obtain information from the client, observe the fault happening.  Formulate a solution and implement it taking into consideration availability of parts and spares and incorporate into your repair bill.  Process of elimination and like-for-like swap outs, is the quickest turnaround.

Restore - estimated time: <30 minutes

Sometimes software errors and errors brought on by patches, updates, and questionable third party drivers can best be resolved simply with a system restore.  It is a Godsend and an amazing time saving tool.  Even if you restore a PC to what it was a few hours ago, it is a safe process and has minimal side effects and lots of bonuses.  When in doubt, restore back to the oldest restore point and if this resolves the problem then work your way forward from there.

Re-installation - estimated time: 1 - 2 hours

Re-installation is predominantly dictated in time by the speed of the overall PC or in the least by which operating system you are installing.  I have not timed it personally but end to end on a new system Windows 7 takes about 20 - 30 minutes.

Re-installation has the added bonus that you do not have to backup the user files first, and is quick way to deal with hard-core viruses and malware.  The downside being the need to re-install all applications and possibly restoring user documents and settings.

Remote admin - estimated time 10 minutes - 4 hours

Remote admin should always be an option for engineers who have problem clients/PCs/servers.  If you are unable to perform the above scenarios at your leisure or convenience, then consider having remote access to allow you to tweak and repair in your own time.  It will save on travel and being able to repair a system remotely and in your own environment takes the stress off you as you are not being scrutinized or pressurized.

Run away - estimated time: <10 minutes

No real engineer or technician likes to admit defeat but we should be able to recognize our limitations even if it's just a limitation in time.  Learn to identify time consuming faults, non-paying customers, and when you may be flogging a dead horse.  Step back and consider whether this item is uneconomical to repair.

If you charge 30 - 60 units of currency per hour then a 4 (plus) hour job becomes more costly than most NEW items off the shelf.  If you work for a company as a technician, then your average hourly rate is roughly 50 - 90 units of currency and this can eaisly equate to the price of a reasonable laptop or computer.

Step away from the job and move on to the next.

In closing, I recommend that you read this great article about why we should not do jobs for free:

   WARNING: 5 Reasons why you should NEVER fix a computer for free


Author Comment

by:Firmin Frederick
Most of the introductory paragraph which was wordy and unecessary, some grammatical errors and sentence structure throughout, removing some words that made the gist a little dull.  In essence making it more concise and relevant.  Thank you.
Basic computer tune-up with little or no hardware upgrades.

Giving an old computer a tune-up usually results in a minimal performance gain, but a gain nonetheless. Several times a week, I’m faced with users at work who ask to make their computers ‘faster’. I’ll cover the steps that I take below in each of four categories.
( Although I’m the first to admit these are not the only steps someone can take to improve PC performance, they cover some basics. Much information is left out and this article is not really written for the technician who already knows most of this as well knows of other better alternatives/solutions)

Some of the main components controlling computer performance:
Processor, Video card/controller, Memory, Hard Drive, and operating system modifications( covering XP primarily).

Processor upgrades:
Out of the question for most computers and not realistic since this usually involves replacing the systemboard.

Videocard/controller upgrades:
Again, out of the question for most corporate desktop and almost all corporate/home laptop computers; but a possibility for some home desktop computer users who want to spend $50 to $200+ dollars for a video performance increase by buying a new videocard.

Memory upgrades:
The, currently, cheapest way to increase performance for older/newer computers. If you have the memory slots available and have the money, buy more memory! Windows XP 32bit is limited to …
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by:Danny Child
Useful article, some very good points covered.
Only comment I'd make is that I don't think there's any point moving the swapfile to a separate partition UNLESS that partition is on a separate physical disk.  

If the disk controller (on the disk itself) is writing data *anywhere* on the disk, it will be just as busy, regardless of what partition it's writing to.  

Disks tend to be so large these days, it's not worth arguing about what size the swapfile will be either. Plain old Windows Default settings are fine by me.
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Author Comment

by:Rob Hutchinson
Yep, good point, but was thinking "moving the swap file" was not to give better performance, but just to free up more space on the C drive; but you are right disks have changed--although with some of the SSD disks being 128G ...this is somewhat smaller than the current norm that people are use to.

You have to look at the article date too: this article is also over four years old...and a lot changes in four years too.
Many people don't really know what the difference is between memory and storage. And most regular users don't understand the relationship between any of those fancy words printed on the front of their new computer. Of course, it's perfectly fine -- we are all experts at something, and we can't be experts at everything. Well, friends, I would like to share with you an easy-to-follow analogy that will make you grin from ear-to-ear. I guarantee you'll understand how a computer works after reading this article.

That big, square metal box is an office

If you were to take the cover off your PC, what would you see inside? A mass of wires and blinking things, perhaps? That's probably what many people might expect. Actually, imagine that metal case as an office. Inside are all the tools a worker needs to do their job. Now, that office is fairly worthless without you in it, right? Why? Because you are the one who's doing the work! Stick with me.

In your office, you have a desk where you do your work. You probably have a filing cabinet where you keep all of that work and information. You likely have various other things, too because they make your job just a little more pleasurable.

Inside your PC are parts whose terms you may have already heard of: RAM, or memory; hard drive; network card; and various other components. These components, like the things in your office, are the tools inside your computer's "office".  However, we'll only discuss the necessary items in …
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I love this sort of analogy.  I try to use this type of description myself in answering questions asked by people clearly not acquainted with certain aspects of hardware, software, etc, but your explanations are excellent.  That is exactly how computing courses should begin.

Your article now makes it clear to me "Why a faulty computer is like a government department".

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Thumbs up from me too.....I use the same filing cabinet/desk analogy to explain what RAM and hard drive space is. Great job!






A desktop computer is a personal computer designed for use at a single location due to its size and power requirements, usually by one person. The most common configuration has a case that houses the power supply, motherboard, disk storage (usually one or more hard disk drives and optical disc drives); a keyboard and mouse for input; and computer monitor and printer for output. The case may be oriented horizontally and placed atop a desk or vertically and placed underneath or beside a desk.