General questions
Depending on what is wrong with your machine it normally takes one to two business days unless parts have to be specially ordered. Rush services are available.
Unless your hard drive has mechanically failed we can normally back up all your important documents before we work on your machine.
Yes, we try to keep both refurbished laptops and desktops available for interested buyers.
Yes, we can set up both wired and wireless networks for PCs.
Generally speaking, adware is hidden in advertising-supported software. Adware is an application within an application for the purpose of delivering advertisements, and can be installed together via active-X controls on the Internet. This additional programming-code can display Pop-up windows, or fill-in the ad-banner rectangles in an open browser window. This helps offset the cost of programs and websites, even to the point of making it free to all users. Additionally, the ad-banner itself can install adware simply by allowing the browser to display the ad.
Typically, adware is attached to an intentionally installed program. Freeware (software available at no cost) is one of the most common ways adware is installed on a machine. Installers of freeware unwittingly sign up for an infinite supply of pop-up ads. Here are some common examples of freeware that may include adware:
  • A better, more advanced search engine
  • Tool bars
  • Unusual mouse pointers
  • Instant news, and weather updates
  • Computer games, screen savers, and desktop enhancements
  • Applications to improve your computer’s efficiency (Repair Utilities)
  • File-sharing resources for digital photos or music
  • Emoticons, little smileys, or other facial expressions used in email
  • Running chatroom and Instant Messenger programs
It is also very common that adware programs are very poorly written and in many instances contain bugs that cause your computer to malfunction.

Adware can do a number of different things to your system. More likely, it will simply monitor and profile your web usage and direct pop-up ads based on your surfing habits. Most peer-to-peer file sharing programs (IE: LimeWire and KaZaA) come bundled with Adware and the user is only notified of this in the fine print of the End User License Agreement. Adware is not as dangerous as other infections, but it can be incredibly annoying.

Often, an adware-infected freeware or shareware program downloads files onto your computer and states they are necessary for certain websites or the free programs to work correctly. While some people consider this a great concept to take advantage of quality software products without having to pay for them, many others are concerned about privacy issues involving the data that is processed for statistics and targeting.

The Registry is a database of nearly all the settings for Windows and your installed applications. In Windows 95, 98, and Me, the Registry is contained in two hidden files in your Windows directory, called USER.DAT and SYSTEM.DAT. In Windows 2000 and Windows XP, the Registry is stored in several Hives, located in the \windows\system32\config and \Documents and Settings\{username} folders.

The Registry has a hierarchal structure, like the directories on your hard disk. Each branch (denoted by a folder icon in the Registry Editor, see below) is called a Key. Each key can contain other keys, as well as Values. Each value contains the actual information stored in the Registry. There are three types of values; String, Binary, and DWORD - the use of these depends upon the context.

There are six main branches (five in Windows 2000 and Windows XP), each containing a specific portion of the information stored in the Registry. They are as follows:

  • HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT - this branch contains all of your file types as well as OLE information for all your OLE-aware applications
  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER - this branch points to the part of HKEY_USERS appropriate for the current user.
  • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE - this branch contains information about all of the hardware and software installed on your computer. Since you can specify multiple hardware configurations, the current hardware configuration is specified in HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG.
  • HKEY_USERS - this branch contains certain preferences (such as colors and control panel settings) for each of the users of the computer. In Windows 95/98/Me, the default branch here contains the currently-logged in user. In Windows 2000/XP, the default branch here contains a template to be used for newly-added users.
  • HKEY_CURRENT_CONFIG - this branch points to the part of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE appropriate for the current hardware configuration.
  • HKEY_DYN_DATA (Windows 95/98/Me only) - this branch points to the part of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, for use with Windows' Plug-&-Play subsystem.
Intuitively, when you drag a file from one place to another, it would seem reasonable that the file will be moved, not copied. That is, when you see an object disappear from a location, it shouldn't still be there next time you look. One of the worst inconsistencies in Windows is what actually happens to files when they're dragged. Dragging from one place to another on the same disk ends up moving the files, while dragging from one disk to another copies them. If you're just dragging EXE files, a shortcut is created, and the file is neither copied nor moved. The only consistency here is that this same design flaw is duplicated on Macintosh and OS/2. To cope with this, follow the following instructions:
  • To copy a file under any situation, hold the Ctrl key while dragging.
  • To move a file under any situation, hold the Shift key while dragging.
  • To choose what happens to dragged files, drag them with the right mouse-button, and a menu will appear when the files are dropped.
  • Note: Notice that the mouse cursor changes depending on the action being taken. A small plus (+) appears when copying, and a curved arrow appears when creating a shortcut.