Onsite Home Computer Service, Help and repairs Lidcombe Auburn Bankstown Fairfield Revesby Blacktown Strathfield Parramatta Sutherland Sydney
DTH Computer Help! (C). Onsite pc service, pc virus removal  services, pc fix, pc help,computer service all areas

         DTH Computer Help is an Australian owned and operated mobile computer repair business providing onsite PC/computer services to your home or small business. I aim to provide prompt and friendly service so when you call David your talking to the person who will be fixing your problem - not a call centre or sub-contractor.

DTH Computer Help! - Questions and Answers

If you have a question please email me at:

david@dthcomputerhelp.com.au
 
 
 
FAKE NITECORE D4 BATTERY CHARGERS
Please note: If you have purchased a Nitecore D4 battery charger on overseas internet websites such as dhgate.com or aliexpress.com -there is a high probability they are counterfeit.
They pose a serious electrical hazard as they have not been manufactured to Australian standards/specification.
 
Please see link below for full description on what to look for:
Fake Nitecore D4 info
 
 
 
Should I buy a laptop with a glossy LCD screen or matte screen?

You usually have a choice between the glossy reflective screens referred to as truelife, truebrite or crystabrite or the standard Matte finish. The glossy highly reflective screens have a slightly better colour reproduction but are almost useless if used outdoors or near a window with sun light coming through. Matte LCD screens can be used anywhere and the colour/brightness reproduction is very good

Should I buy a laptop or PC with Vista or XP?

 
XP has been around for several years now and most of the problems have been resolved with Service packs 1 and 2 etc.
XP is a sound operating system which is almost guaranteed to work well with all hardware and software.
 
If you need a new laptop or pc now - I recommend Window XP, otherwise wait until Microsoft release service pack 1 before purchasing Vista.
 
 
Which laptop configuration is best recommended for running Vista smoothly?
 
Vista needs:
 
Powerfull processor like Intel core duo 2.0ghz or better.
 
2 GB Memory or more.
 
Powerfull graphics adaptor - Do not buy a Vista laptop with out upgrading the graphics adaptor. Usually laptops come with standard intel integrated (basic type) graphics adaptor to keep cost down. Upgrade the graphic adaptor to a 256mb NVIDIA OR ATI option- otherwise you wonít be able to appreciate Vista Aero graphics.
 
80gb hard disk or more.
Update: Vista will be superseded with Windows 7 - Most new PCís and Laptops now come with Windows 7 installed.
 
 
Should I buy a laptop or PC with Vista Basic or Vista Premium?
 
Vista Basic is a cut down version of Premium and is recommended for older or low powered pcís and laptops which are not capable for running Vista premium/Aero.
If you have an old Winxp PC donít bother with Vista as it will slow your machine down and likely introduce hardware and software compatibility problems.
 
Look for a PC or laptop that is Vista Premium ready.
Update: Vista will be superseded with Windows 7 - Most new PCís and Laptops now come with Windows 7 installed.
 
 
Is internet banking safe?
No - Definitely no.
 
 
Internet Banking fraud case.
 
A customer recently had several thousands dollars withdrawn from his bank account via the internet on two occasions. The Banks fraud monitoring system had noticed this and notified him. The bank discovered his bank account and password credentials were comprised and after further investigation discovered the customerís PC did not have any anti-virus or firewall software installed.
 
After a month the customerís stolen money was returned and the bank made sure he installed Norton anti-virus and firewall security on this PC.
 
Soon after the customerís PC had another problem - Winxp would not boot up(which was caused by some undetected malicious software). After I had repaired corrupted Winxp files the PC booted up ok - but I found the systems performance to be very slow. The customer notified me it was slow even before the Winxp boot problem.
 
Even though Norton security had been installed - I noticed several suspicious programs running in the background. I performed a manual system cleanup and ran dedicated anti-spyware scan which detected 20 items of spyware that was collecting and sending personal information out to the internet or opening a back door on the system so it could download more malicious software.
 
If you use your PC for internet banking and you find yourself in the situation as described above - It is simply not good enough to install anti-virus, firewall ,anti spyware to cleanup the PC after the event and think all is well and now I can do internet banking. It is too late to install security software, as your PC has been compromised in more ways than you think.
 
In this case the only way to be 100% sure your PC is free of viruses or spyware is to format your pcís hard drive and reinstall windows with latest security updates, anti-virus/spyware and firewall. You must then be ever vigilant to make sure your PC security is always up to date.
 
 
Should I leave my PC on all night to make sure I get all my windows and anti virus updates.?
 
Donít leave your PC on all night unless your downloading a movie/music etc.
Leaving your PC on all night on a broadband connection will make your PC more vulnerable to hacker attacks and worm viruses - not to mention wear and tear on hard drives and serious damage can be caused by a brown out - power surge or black outs.
The PC can consume as much power as a 75W light bulb - so why leave it on all night if not needed.
 
Check your Anti virus and Microsoft updates are configured to update when you use the computer most- eg 6pm to 8pm.
 
 
Which Anti-Virus product should I buy?
 
Make sure your antivirus product includes anti-spyware/malware, root kit protection and firewall. Anti-virus alone is not enough.
 
 
Should I get an unwired wireless type of modem ?
 
Only if you are frequently moving house or need mobile internet access. Unwired technology relies on radio waves which are prone to interference and even if the area you live in has coverage - you may still receive a  poor or low signal which equates to slower internet speeds and dropouts.
Fixed line Internet services ie ADSL or Cable Internet are almost 100% reliable.
 
 
Which brand of PC should I buy?
 
When buying a PC brand name is not important - Itís just a company logo stuck on a box. Brand name PCís usually only come pre-configured with standard integrated hardware and the user has little choice in what components are installed. Brand name PC usually have a nice looking case, usually installed with only minimum memory and are more expensive. What really matters is whatís inside. ie. the brand/quailty of motherboard, quantity and speed of memory, video and sound card. So if your in the market for a new PC, go down to your local computer shop(ie not a department store) where you have choices of a budget PC, mid range, high power gaming machine or order one to your specifications/price.  Buying from your local PC shop will be a few hundred dollars cheaper than buying from a department store.
 
 
Now that my PC has anti-virus and anti spyware software protection installed , it wonít get any more viruses...
 
Wrong!, Just because you have anti-virus protection doesínt mean your PC is now magically immune from virus/ spyware infections.
If anti-virus software was good as it claims to be - techs like me would not be needed to clean your pc. Remember anti-virus software can be disabled and rendered useless by some clever malware. There are many ways malicious software can infect your PC. So keep your PC up to date with the latest Microsoft security updates and be very careful which websites you access and files you download.
 
 
Where do you recommend to buy a PC ?
 
The cheapest retail outlets to buy a PC from is your local PC/repairs shop. Almost every suburb has one. ie Look for COMPUTERS signage. You will easily save at least $200.00 on PC systems and at least 50% on accessories ie. external usb hard drives/enclosures, keyboards/mice, surge guard power boards etc. Major dept stores will charge you at least 30% more for a PC and then recommend you pay more for extended warranty and then try to sell you a $30 surge guard power board for $140...etc... etc. When you buy a PC from your local computer shop you will still get the standard one year warranty and things like monitors and motherboards may have a warranty of 2-3 years.
 
 
How can I prevent my PC being infected with malware?
 
Ensure you have  antivirus , antispyware and firewall security installed and up to date.
 
Ensure you have the latest Microsoft Security Updates
 
Avoid using file sharing programs such as limewire, bearshare, bitorrents - these are the main virus distribution networks. Almost every file you download from file sharing networks has a malware  payload attached to it.
Do not rely on any antivirus product to protect your PC if you are using file sharing programs.
 
Do not open unsolicited emails.
 
 
Iím using brand x of anti-virus and I  never get viruses...
 
If youíve  been using an antivirus product for a few years, youíre more than a light user of the internet and your anti-virus scan always reports no threats - This should ring warning bells.
It is quite possible your antivirus product has been compromised. Also never upgrade an older version of your antivirus without first uninstalling it completely, then re-install the new version.
It is highly recommended you get your pc checked out by a technician(thatís me!) if you have any doubts.
 
 
If your PC has been compromised the internet can be an extremely dangerous place.
Please read article by * By JORDAN ROBERTSON, AP Technology Writer - Mon Nov 9, 2009 12:10AM EST
AP IMPACT: Framed for child porn ó by a PC virus

   Of all the sinister things that Internet viruses do, this might be the worst: They can make you an unsuspecting collector of child pornography.

Heinous pictures and videos can be deposited on computers by viruses ó the malicious programs better known for swiping your credit card numbers. In this twist, it's your reputation that's stolen.

Pedophiles can exploit virus-infected PCs to remotely store and view their stash without fear they'll get caught. Pranksters or someone trying to frame you can tap viruses to make it appear that you surf illegal Web sites.

Whatever the motivation, you get child porn on your computer ó and might not realize it until police knock at your door.

An Associated Press investigation found cases in which innocent people have been branded as pedophiles after their co-workers or loved ones stumbled upon child porn placed on a PC through a virus. It can cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars to prove their innocence.

Their situations are complicated by the fact that actual pedophiles often blame viruses ó a defense rightfully viewed with skepticism by law enforcement.

"It's an example of the old `dog ate my homework' excuse," says Phil Malone, director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "The problem is, sometimes the dog does eat your homework."

The AP's investigation included interviewing people who had been found with child porn on their computers. The AP reviewed court records and spoke to prosecutors, police and computer examiners.

One case involved Michael Fiola, a former investigator with the Massachusetts agency that oversees workers' compensation.

In 2007, Fiola's bosses became suspicious after the Internet bill for his state-issued laptop showed that he used 4 1/2 times more data than his colleagues. A technician found child porn in the PC folder that stores images viewed online.

Fiola was fired and charged with possession of child pornography, which carries up to five years in prison. He endured death threats, his car tires were slashed and he was shunned by friends.

Fiola and his wife fought the case, spending $250,000 on legal fees. They liquidated their savings, took a second mortgage and sold their car.

An inspection for his defense revealed the laptop was severely infected. It was programmed to visit as many as 40 child porn sites per minute ó an inhuman feat. While Fiola and his wife were out to dinner one night, someone logged on to the computer and porn flowed in for an hour and a half.

Prosecutors performed another test and confirmed the defense findings. The charge was dropped ó 11 months after it was filed.

The Fiolas say they have health problems from the stress of the case. They say they've talked to dozens of lawyers but can't get one to sue the state, because of a cap on the amount they can recover.

"It ruined my life, my wife's life and my family's life," he says.

The Massachusetts attorney general's office, which charged Fiola, declined interview requests.

At any moment, about 20 million of the estimated 1 billion Internet-connected PCs worldwide are infected with viruses that could give hackers full control, according to security software maker F-Secure Corp. Computers often get infected when people open e-mail attachments from unknown sources or visit a malicious Web page.

Pedophiles can tap viruses in several ways. The simplest is to force someone else's computer to surf child porn sites, collecting images along the way. Or a computer can be made into a warehouse for pictures and videos that can be viewed remotely when the PC is online.

"They're kind of like locusts that descend on a cornfield: They eat up everything in sight and they move on to the next cornfield," says Eric Goldman, academic director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University. Goldman has represented Web companies that discovered child pornographers were abusing their legitimate services.

But pedophiles need not be involved: Child porn can land on a computer in a sick prank or an attempt to frame the PC's owner.

In the first publicly known cases of individuals being victimized, two men in the United Kingdom were cleared in 2003 after viruses were shown to have been responsible for the child porn on their PCs.

In one case, an infected e-mail or pop-up ad poisoned a defense contractor's PC and downloaded the offensive pictures.

In the other, a virus changed the home page on a man's Web browser to display child porn, a discovery made by his 7-year-old daughter. The man spent more than a week in jail and three months in a halfway house, and lost custody of his daughter.

Chris Watts, a computer examiner in Britain, says he helped clear a hotel manager whose co-workers found child porn on the PC they shared with him.

Watts found that while surfing the Internet for ways to play computer games without paying for them, the manager had visited a site for pirated software. It redirected visitors to child porn sites if they were inactive for a certain period.

In all these cases, the central evidence wasn't in dispute: Pornography was on a computer. But proving how it got there was difficult.

Tami Loehrs, who inspected Fiola's computer, recalls a case in Arizona in which a computer was so "extensively infected" that it would be "virtually impossible" to prove what an indictment alleged: that a 16-year-old who used the PC had uploaded child pornography to a Yahoo group.

Prosecutors dropped the charge and let the boy plead guilty to a separate crime that kept him out of jail, though they say they did it only because of his age and lack of a criminal record.

Many prosecutors say blaming a computer virus for child porn is a new version of an old ploy.

"We call it the SODDI defense: Some Other Dude Did It," says James Anderson, a federal prosecutor in Wyoming.

However, forensic examiners say it would be hard for a pedophile to get away with his crime by using a bogus virus defense.

"I personally would feel more comfortable investing my retirement in the lottery before trying to defend myself with that," says forensics specialist Jeff Fischbach.

Even careful child porn collectors tend to leave incriminating e-mails, DVDs or other clues. Virus defenses are no match for such evidence, says Damon King, trial attorney for the U.S. Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

But while the virus defense does not appear to be letting real pedophiles out of trouble, there have been cases in which forensic examiners insist that legitimate claims did not get completely aired.

Loehrs points to Ned Solon of Casper, Wyo., who is serving six years for child porn found in a folder used by a file-sharing program on his computer.

Solon admits he used the program to download video games and adult porn ó but not child porn. So what could explain that material?

Loehrs testified that Solon's antivirus software wasn't working properly and appeared to have shut off for long stretches, a sign of an infection. She found no evidence the five child porn videos on Solon's computer had been viewed or downloaded fully. The porn was in a folder the file-sharing program labeled as "incomplete" because the downloads were canceled or generated an error.

This defense was curtailed, however, when Loehrs ended her investigation in a dispute with the judge over her fees. Computer exams can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Defendants can ask the courts to pay, but sometimes judges balk at the price. Although Loehrs stopped working for Solon, she argues he is innocent.

"I don't think it was him, I really don't," Loehrs says. "There was too much evidence that it wasn't him."

The prosecution's forensics expert, Randy Huff, maintains that Solon's antivirus software was working properly. And he says he ran other antivirus programs on the computer and didn't find an infection ó although security experts say antivirus scans frequently miss things.

"He actually had a very clean computer compared to some of the other cases I do," Huff says.

The jury took two hours to convict Solon.

"Everybody feels they're innocent in prison. Nobody believes me because that's what everybody says," says Solon, whose case is being appealed. "All I know is I did not do it. I never put the stuff on there. I never saw the stuff on there. I can only hope that someday the truth will come out."

But can it? It can be impossible to tell with certainty how a file got onto a PC.

"Computers are not to be trusted," says Jeremiah Grossman, founder of WhiteHat Security Inc. He describes it as "painfully simple" to get a computer to download something the owner doesn't want ó whether it's a program that displays ads or one that stores illegal pictures.

It's possible, Grossman says, that more illicit material is waiting to be discovered.

"Just because it's there doesn't mean the person intended for it to be there ó whatever it is, child porn included."
END OF ARTICLE.
 
 

Did you know that antivirus software cannot protect your PC from the continuous onslaught of  new malicious programs ie malware being released daily.

Many reviews of top rated antivirus software claim 80-90% detection/removal success rate in a simulated real world test. This percentage varies each review time. This sounds great but means the door to your PC is 20% open all the time. It only takes 1 item of clever malware to enter your PC, disable your antivirus and inundate your PC with more malware. Most people never realize their PC has been compromised due to the trust they have in their antivirus software. How many times have I heard - Ē how can my PC get infected when I have antivirus and internet security installed ? Ē

If antivirus software cannot continuously supply 100% protection to your PC  then all it really does is delay the inevitable.

Many devious computer programs such as rootkits hide both the most important malware components, and the fact that the computer has been infected. The victims machine can become part of a botnet(network of thousands of infected pcís that can be remotely controlled by an attacker). The cybercriminals profit by selling botnets and as long as a malicious program is profitable,  cybercriminals will continue to support and develop it. Rootkits represent a serious headache for antivirus companies.

The techniques used by Antivirus companies to detect viruses appear to have reached the limits. Recent techniques such as whitelists, blacklists and reputation based detection indicate they are running out of ideas. The fact is that all antivirus software employ almost the same detection techniques. Antivirus software is only a computer program designed to detect and remove programs it thinks are malicious. Programatically all the techniques that can be used have been exhausted - thatís why antivirus software is becoming less effective every day. Antivirus software is good at detecting known malware but almost ineffective against the continuous barrage of new highly sophisticated malware appearing in the hundreds daily.

This is not the fault of the antivirus companies as they are desperately trying to stop malicious software entering your computer. The job of the antivirus company is made more difficult due to design weaknesses and faults(bugs) in the operating system. Every operating system has faults eg. Linux, UNIX, WinXP, Vista,Windows 7, OSX. Many of these faults are fixed over time but every new version  of the operating system or application brings with it new faults. These faults in the operating system are exploited by clever individuals to allow them access to your PC or private information such as your email address, account username and passwords.

Antivirus software is designed to detect and remove malicious  software.

Malicious software is designed to detect, remove or disable anti-virus software.

When antivirus software detects and removes a virus it usually reports it immediately.

When malicious software detects and disables your antivirus, it doesnít report it!.

 
Are Apple Mac computers any good? :
 
Yes they are - and can do anything a PC can. Apple computers do not use Microsoft Windows but have their own operating system called OSX Snow Leopard. Presently Apple computers do not suffer virus issues to the  extent windows based PCís do. The reason for this is Applesí operating system design helps make it more secure and currently  most viruses are written to infect Windows computers - even if you downloaded a windows virus on your Apple computer - it simply cannot execute.
 
This does not mean Apple computers are immune from virus attacks, but  at present your apple computer is much more secure than a Windows PC. If you intend to do internet banking/transactions the Apple computer is recommended.
 
 
How much money do I have to spend on a new computer.
For under $800 will get you a Windows 7 fast dual or quad core PC with LCD monitor.
 

1GB of RAM is better than 512mb for internet use.(WINXP)

No. Whether you have 1GB or 512mb makes nil difference for internet performance. Your internet performance is determined by the internet download speed/plan you have with your provider.

Inadequate RAM memory will affect computer performance.

The following is a guide for general computer use:

WINXP computer should have 512mb to 1gb RAM

Win7 or Vista computer should have 2gb to 4gb RAM.

Are Apple computers more user friendly than computers with Microsoft windows?

For many years Apple has been promoted as being very easy to use but after owning an Apple Macbook, I must say Apple is not as user friendly or intuitive as Microsoft Windows PC. Apple graphical user interface appears very pretty but will take you some time to get used to the apple way of doing things. The Apple mighty mouse and keyboard are simply badly designed. If you are new to computers then go ahead and buy an apple computer. If you have been using Microsoft windows computers then you will appreciate windows more.

Should I buy an Apple computer or a Microsoft Windows based Computer?

Apple computers are much more expensive than the PC equivalent, especially the laptops. In 2011 Apple has recently modified the hard disk drives in their iMac computers from standard readily available cheap hard drives to a modified apple version. This means it can only be replaced with a much more expensive apple hard drive.

 

Should I leave my external USB drive plugged in all the time.

No unless you are doing mission critical backups every day.

The external USB backup drives are mechanical devices which have a life span of appox 5 years. Inside the backup drive case is the same disk drive you find in your PC or laptop. Only power on the drive when needed - to maximize its life span. When not in use, leave the drives power pack unplugged.

Power surges/spikes will damage your power pack and disk drive over time if left plugged in 24 hours a day.

Also leaving external drives plugged in all the time can slow the PCís performance if using automatic backup software.

Do not shake or drop the drive.

Remember the backup drive is your insurance policy.

Computers should be replaced/updated every 2-3 years.

If your computer is working fine - why replace it? It will need some maintenance over itís life span or even a memory upgrade. This is not expensive and will prolong your computerís life.

If the PC/Laptop hard disk drive performance has diminished significantly causing extreme slowness, or your PC is not able to run the latest software - then you should consider purchasing a new one. Many of my customers are using PCís up to 8 years old.

Windows 8 - Why?

All of my customers so far that  have purchased a new Windows 8 PC are not happy with this new version. When first confronted with the tiled icons they must guess their way through and once they open up a tile they canít get exit, as there is nothing on the screen that indicates how to exit. Microsoft in their wisdom thought it would be a great idea to have an invisible charm bar  which can be accessed by moving your mouse to the far right of the screen. Or if you move the mouse to the far left corner you will see something appear that resembles the start button. The more you try to use Windows 8 the more one realizes it is extremely fustrating and totally impractical. What were the designers and management at Microsoft thinking when they decided to radically change a long established and proven desktop computer interface. The desktop graphical interface with its variations is used on all computer platforms such as Unix/ Linux Apple and Microsoft. The reason  the traditional desktop graphical interface is so popular is because it has been well designed and improved on for decades. As for touch screens - so far none of my customers that have touch screen use them- They are simply not interested to touch the screen when all they have do is click on a mouse. The mouse is mightier than the touch screen.

Fortunately someone at Microsoft had the foresite  to leave a version of the familiar windows 7 desktop which you can switch over to -   by clicking on the Windows 8 desktop tile(if you can find it!) or pressing the windows key on your keyboard. The windows 7 style desktop is still crippled by the exclusion of the start button and many other features - but is better than nothing. This is what all my Windows 8 customers are using now. It still requires some work to configure the desktop to behave as windows 7 does- but is worth it in the end.

News Update June 27 2013 - Sydney Morning Herald article

Microsoft is trying to reverse slumping PC sales and quiet growing criticism of its flagship operating system with the release of a revised version of Windows 8.

On Wednesday, Microsoft made a preview version of Windows 8.1 available for download. It includes alterations meant to address consumer dissatisfaction with the operating system. Analysts believe users' frustration with Windows 8 is partly to blame for the biggest drop in personal computer sales in nearly two decades.

At a conference in San Francisco, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged that the company pushed hard to get people to adopt a radical new tile-based Modern user interface in Windows 8. Microsoft  is now back-pedaling, making it easier to reach and use the older  "Desktop" interface.

Let's make it easier to start applications the way we're used to," Ballmer told the audience of software developers. "What we will show you today is a refined blend of our Desktop experience and our Modern experience."

 

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Mobile Onsite Computer Technician - Home Computer Service
 Computer troubleshooting - Internet problems - Virus removal service.
Data recovery- PC fix/PC Repairs.