Posts Tagged ‘computer’

What Is a Home Computer Network to you?

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Your home network is a computer network you have in your home. True, but not very helpful? Let’s look a little deeper.

Most people know by now that in order for one computer to share information with another, it’s necessary to connect them together in some way. Those connections and the computers that are part of them form a network. Just like a spider web, when the trapped fly tugs on one part, a signal is sent to the spider at the other end.

In the case of a home network, the web is made up of either cables or wireless signals. Those two basic options make up the difference between what is called a cabled or wired network versus a wireless network. As recently as five years ago, a lifetime in the computer world, the wireless option was complicated and expensive. Today, wireless home networks are often less expensive and easier to create.

At different points along the web there are junctions called nodes. Those nodes can be in the form of computers, switches or routers.

Switches provide a place to plug the cables in that allow a physical connection between communicating computers. Routers perform a similar purpose but with more functions, such as the ability to connect multiple networks together and (as the name suggests) route traffic intelligently between them. In many cases, computers themselves can perform those functions. Software within the system can use the network cards in each computer, with a simple switch in between, to allow communication between them. Though routers have become commonplace, that’s still possible and if your needs are fairly simple it can be the cheapest, easiest way to create a home network.

But computers, switches and routers aren’t the only possible components of a home network. Familiar devices that go under the general name of peripherals are often part of the home web.

One of the reasons for undertaking the expense and effort of creating a network is often to share folders, printer, fax or scanner among multiple computers. If you splurged for a color laser printer or a fax machine at home, you save money by only needing to purchase one device each, instead of multiple printers and faxes for each computer. A home network allows sharing those devices. As part of the basic home network system, you’ll often want to include software and/or hardware known as a firewall. A firewall allows for passing some information sent by trusted sources, but blocks other types of data, or unfriendly malware, viruses, etc that are sent from any other source.

With wireless networks or any home network connected to the Internet, they are a must. Fortunately, routers typically contain some inherent firewall functions. Even software within the OS today can usually perform that function. Putting all these different pieces together in a coherent way that allows you to send and receive files, share printers and more is the process of creating a home network.
Of course, doing it in a way that doesn’t get you tangled up in a sticky web requires a bit of homework.

Probably by the year 2015 all of your appliances in the kitchen along with every entertainment device you have in the house will be connected to the internet.

Watch for future articles that will help you with your Home Network.

Transfer Data From a Hard Drive on a Dead Computer!

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

A dead computer is not exactly a technical diagnosis, but in general people refer to a computer as being dead when it won’t start at all. This is usually because of a dead power supply, motherboard or something similar. In most situations, you can recover the information from the dead computer’s hard drive and transfer the information to another computer. The only time you can’t transfer the data is when the hard drive is dead or corrupted.

1. Open the case on the dead computer. The case can usually be opened by unscrewing the access door from the back of the case. Sometimes one or two buttons or a sliding bar must be pushed to open the case.

2. Disconnect the power and data cable from the back of the hard drive. Pay close attention to how the cables are connected. Unscrew the hard drive from the case. You may have to remove the access door on the other side of the case to completely unscrew the hard drive.

3. Open the case on a second computer that has the same type of hard drive connections. Find another hard drive cable connection on the motherboard. You may have to refer to the user manual to locate it. Connect a hard drive cable from the motherboard to the hard drive. Connect a power cable from the motherboard to the hard drive. Sit the hard drive somewhere where will not fall or interfere with any fans.

4. Start the computer. Windows will find the second drive and give it a letter. Click on the files you want and copy and paste them onto the computer’s main hard drive.

These tutorials are a one-person effort. Please donate if you find them usefull.

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Remove a computer virus in Windows 7.

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Here are a few things you can try to remove a computer virus:
Keep your antivirus program up to date. If you have already installed an antivirus program on your computer, it’s important that you keep it up to date. Because new viruses are being written all the time, most antivirus programs are updated frequently. Check your antivirus program’s documentation or visit their website to learn how to receive updates. Be aware that some viruses block common antivirus websites, making it so you cannot go to the website to download antivirus updates. If this happens, check with your antivirus vendor to see if they have a disc you can use to install the latest updates. It might be possible for you to create this disc on a computer that is not infected (for example, on a friend’s computer).

Turn off System Restore. You should turn off System Restore before you try to clean the computer to avoid re-infecting it once you’ve removed a virus. To turn System Restore off, follow these steps:

1. Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.

2. In the left pane, click System Protection.   If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

3. Under Protection Settings, click the disk where protection is turned on, and then click Configure.

4. Click Turn off system protection, and then click OK. Repeat steps three and four for each drive that has protection turned on.

5. Click OK.

Once you’ve removed any viruses from your computer, you can turn System Restore back on by repeating these instructions, selecting the disks in step three that you want to be able to restore later, clicking Configure, and then clicking Restore system settings and previous version of files.

Use an online scanner. If you don’t have antivirus software installed, visit the Windows Security Software Providers website for more information about security and virus prevention. Some of the partner sites offer free online scanners which will search your computer for the latest viruses. These scanners will not protect you from getting a virus, but they can help find and remove viruses your computer already has.

Use the Malicious Software Removal Tool. Microsoft offers the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which is updated once a month. Visit the Malicious Software Removal Tool website to install the tool and learn more about it. The tool scans your computer for most new viruses and malicious software. After you run the tool, you will get a report that describes any malicious software found on your computer and lists all the viruses it scanned for.

Stop a runaway virus. Viruses are often created specifically to take control of your computer and send copies of themselves from your computer to other computers. You can usually tell this is happening if your computer is performing slowly and accessing the network more frequently than normal. If this is happening, you should disconnect from the Internet and network (if you’re on one). If you are connected to the Internet through a physical connection, disconnect the network or phone cable from your computer. If you’re connected to the Internet through a wireless connection on a laptop, turn off the wireless adapter on the computer (by right clicking the connection in your connections folder and selecting disable). Once your computer is disconnected from the Internet, run your antivirus software (from a disc or software on your computer) to remove the virus.

Manually remove viruses. Sometimes a virus must be removed manually. This is often a technical process and should only be attempted by computer users who have experience with the Windows registry and who know how to view and delete system and program files in Windows.

The first step is to identify the virus. Run your antivirus software to identify the name of the virus. If you don’t have an antivirus program, or if your program does not detect the virus, you can still identify the virus by looking for clues about how it behaves. Write down the text in any messages displayed by the virus or, if you received the virus in e mail, write down the subject line or name of the file attached to the message. Search the antivirus vendor’s website for references to those specific things you wrote down to try to find the name of the virus and instructions for how to remove it.

Once a virus is removed, you might have to reinstall some software, or restore lost information. Doing regular backups can go a long way toward easing the pain of a virus attack. If you haven’t kept backups, start now.

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