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Surge Protection

Don't plug your computer OR ANY OTHER DEVICES ATTACHED TO THE COMPUTER directly into a wall outlet. That's right, you must use a GOOD surge protector. So, get a good surge protector, and plug your PC, scanner, printer and devices into it. If you run out of outlets, get another surge protector. Also, if you use dialup Internet access, or have the phone cord plugged into your modem for faxing or any other purpose, run the phone cord through a surge protector.

I get a lot of calls each year where the customer had their computer plugged into a surge protector, but their computer got fried through the telephone line. Also, if you use a cable-based Internet provider (such as RoadRunner), then get a surge protector that protects the incoming CATV cable.

You can get GOOD surge protectors almost anywhere. Expect to pay $25 - $70 depending on the features. If you got a "bargain" surge protector for $5, expect to replace your equipment when you get a significant spike. A good surge protector is one of the best investments you can make.


There are two programs you need to keep your PC clean from Spyware: ADWCleaner and MalwareBytes.

You can get ADWCleaner here. Run ADWCleaner before running MalwareBytes.

We recommend you download, install and run MalwareBytes Anti-Malware. It is a FREE program that will remove a lot of spyware that is slowing down your computer.

You can download the FREE version at 

If you find you are getting infected regularly, get the PAID version of MalwareBytes. I have had computers that needed cleaned 3-4 times a year ($$$) go to ZERO times a year after getting a MalwareBytes paid subscription. And, NO, I do not get any referral fee from MalwareBytes if you buy a subscription. I just believe in the program.

I cannot overemphasize how important these programs are for you to install, update and run weekly!


If you have Windows 8 or Windows 10 as your operating system, Windows Defender came preinstalled. Windows Defender is Microsofts' FREE antivirus that NEVER expires.

If your PC came with a trial version of McAfee, Norton, or some other antivirus, the subscription most likely expired 30 days after you bought your PC. You can check the subscription status by opening the program.

The BAD thing is if a trial version of antivirus that STOPPED UPDATING when the trial expired which leaves you at severe risk of infection. Why? Because when another antivirus product is installed, it TURNS OFF Windows Defender.

So, I recommend UNINSTALLING the trial antivirus which should automatically turn on Windows Defender again.

Computer Locking Up? Reboot!

Many people will get an error message while in a program and promptly forget about it. They then run other programs, noticing their computer gets slower and slower. Finally, I get the call and ask the infamous question: "Have you tried rebooting?"

Believe it or not, this fixes the problem the vast majority of the time. There are a few times when they are infected with a virus, the hard drive went kaput!, or some other serious problem exists, but most times it just needs rebooted.

What does reboot mean? You click on the Start button (usually in the lower left corner of the screen) and choose restart or shutdown.

What if the computer locks up? Then you have to turn it off manually. Normally, you can hold down the power button on the front of the computer for 5 - 10 seconds and it will shut down. Many people just press the button, see that it won't shut down, and pull the plug. Wrong idea! You have got to HOLD the button for 5 - 10 seconds and it WILL shutdown. Then wait 10 seconds, press the button again to restart.

Printer Won't Print?

Has your printer stopped printing? You have already checked the toner or ink, and it has paper, but it just won't print?

These two steps will usually fix the problem IF the printer isn't broken.

1. Turn off the power to the printer
2. Shut down your PC
3. Power on your printer
4. Turn on your PC

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