Mark’s Blog

When your Internet browsers don’t work

See if this problem sounds familiar: 

Problem Statement from customer: I don’t know if you’ve encountered this before, but my blog page on my website is not allowing me to click on any of the content to see what is written. Every other page allows me to put the cursor over items that can be opened.

The website designer has tried from her end and has been able to open the content. I deleted cache and browsing history, restarted the computer, etc. nothing has worked. Let me know if you have time and think of anything else I can do??

Solution: Reset the browser – here’s how:

Instructions to reset IE, Chrome and Firefox

1)      IE – in Control Panel, go to Internet Options, click on the Advanced tab and click on the 2 buttons to reset defaults. Restart IE

2)      Google Chrome – Open up Settings (the three lines or three dots in the top right corner of Google Chrome.  Click on Settings, then at the bottom of the Settings page on “Show Advanced Settings”, then scroll to the bottom and select the “Reset Settings” button.

3)      Firefox – see below: To Refresh Firefox:

  1. Open the Troubleshooting Information page using one of these methods:
    • Click the menu button , click help and select Troubleshooting Information. A new tab containing your troubleshooting information should open.
    • If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting Information page.
  2. At the top right corner of the page, you should see a button that says “Refresh Firefox” (“Reset Firefox” in older Firefox versions). Click on it.
  3. Firefox will close. After the refresh process is completed, Firefox will show a window with the information that is imported.
  4. Click Finish and Firefox will reopen.

Suggestion #2 was the solution, but I wanted to share all three browser reset solutions

Can’t connect to Internet? Here is the solution

Computer Network and internet communication concept

Many calls that I receive are in regards to not being able to connect to the Internet.  Here is my checklist of top tips in getting this issue resolved:

  1. Are other computers at this site able to connect to the Internet or is this computer specific? If all computers are affected, disconnect power from the Internet Provider’s modem/router.  If another Wireless router is connected to that device, disconnect power from it. Wait 30 seconds and reconnect power to the Wireless Router.  Wait 1 minute, then reconnect power to the Internet Providers modem/router.  Wait 1 minute, then test at the affected computer again.
  2. If a specific computer is unable to connect to the Internet, let’s check it from a command prompt.  Enter “cmd” in the Run or Search field.  When the cmd Command Prompt suggestion is shown in the results, right click and select “Run As Administrator”.  You should get a black box with a prompt like C:\Windows\System32> shown below. That is where we need to be.command-prompt
  3. To test if we can get to the Internet, try pinging the ISP box.  To determine the IP address of that box, type “ipconfig /all” to see a list of adapters and their status.  The Default Gateway is the IP address of the box that is our router.  See if you can ping that IP address.  For example, say the Default Gateway is showing 192.168.1.254, then try pinging that IP address to verify you can get to the default gateway. You should be able to ping that box inside your network with that command.
  4. (Screen shot of pinging the router) ping-router
  5. Next, try pinging a website like “ping weberscomputers.com”.  If you run that command, you will get a result showing how long it took to ping that website and a success message.  It should look like this: Pinging weberscomputers.com [162.249.0.243] with 32 bytes of data:
    Reply from 162.249.0.243: bytes=32 time=54ms TTL=50
    Reply from 162.249.0.243: bytes=32 time=62ms TTL=50
    Reply from 162.249.0.243: bytes=32 time=54ms TTL=50
    Reply from 162.249.0.243: bytes=32 time=54ms TTL=50
  6. (Screen shot of pinging an external website) ping-website
  7. If the request fails, you’re not able to get out of the router. Another trick is to reset the TCP/IP protocol stack.  To do that,we’ll have to type the following command inside the command prompt dialog box: “netsh winsock reset catalog”.  This will run and ask you to reboot your computer when it completes. Restart the computer and retest to see if the problem has been resolved.
  8. (Screen shot of netsh winsock reset catalog) netsh-winsock
  9. Other factors that can keep you from connecting:
    1. Proxy Server settings are turned on. Turn off if you’re a home user. To get to this page, go into Control Panel, select Internet Options, click on the Connections tab, then click on the LAN Settings button
    2. (Screen shot of Proxy settings – be sure everything is unchecked) proxy-settings
    3. Old DNS information.  You can clear DNS cache with the following command at the command prompt: ipconfig /flushdns
    4.  (Screen shot of ipconfig /flushdns)  ipconfig-flushdns
  10. Lately the resetting of TCP/IP protocol (step 7) has been the most important step to do. Remember, you’ll need to restart your computer after that step in order for it to take effect.

Beyond that, give me a call – or if any of these steps are beyond your pay scale.

Best Regards,

Mark Weber

(214) 533-6216

mark@weberscomputers.com

Should I get Windows 10?

windows10

All retail outlets have Windows 10 available on all new PCs since 7/29/15.

Windows 10 has been on the market for over a year now. The original version is referred to as Build 1511 and the Anniversary build (that released in August 2016) is Build 1607.

There is a Creator Build in development that will add 3D features to the next generation of software that will be coming out in 2017.

Some Linux developers are starting to request Microsoft Surface Pros as their next replacement laptop (that’s significant). All Surface devices are Windows 10.

Larger hard drives (above 2TB) are usable with Windows 10.  Many of the new devices and printers are available with Windows 10 drivers. The only hesitation some people have is their line of business applications or home offices haven’t approved the use of Windows 10 yet.  For those customers, I send them to Microcenter where you can still obtain Windows 7, if required.

Personally, I’m happy with Windows 10 and it’s speed.  When I was testing it against Windows 7- it performed faster and recently, it’s been much easier to update than Windows 7/8.1 which is requiring more time to apply the 230+ post SP1 updates. (Hint: Microsoft – all these updates need a Service Pack. Can we get a Service Pack 2 for Windows 7 or 8.1?)

At this time, I’m recommending Windows 10 over Windows 7, unless their is a specific business requirement that you must use Windows 7. Besides, some of those Windows 7 machines are starting to get 5-6 years old now and approaching hardware replacement time. Usually you can find a manufacture date stamped on the inside of most desktops or look up an original configuration date via a Service Tag number on Dell’s website. Check your hard drives, too, since many of those have about a 3-5 year life expectancy. Besides, we can quickly clone that drive to a larger, newer drive.

Typically, after 3 to 5 years your computer will slip into it’s own technology dinosaur era. It’s OK to upgrade your business computers to stay current on software and technology. Be sure to responsibly recycle your old electronics (check your city for available electronics recycling options).  Many electronics stores, like Best Buy, Office Depot and Target have recycling options available.

Is your e-mail address ready for business?

I receive many business cards that use @yahoo.com, @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, @sbcglobal.net or some other “free” email address for business.

If your email account is compromised on one of these services, whom do you call? (Beware that a Google search may give you a scammers call center to call into.  Google and Hotmail do not have published call center numbers, they are handled by FAQ and community bulletin boards).

Do you have an alternate email address on file? Do you have 2-stage authentication set up (where it sends a text to your cell phone in order to reset your password or authenticate that it is you that is making the changes?)

I’ve recently run into business users that were compromised by their password being guessed and when they finally got back into the account, their contacts and/or email was missing. And all of their contacts had been spammed, usually with an email saying you’re stuck overseas on travel and to wire you money at some website (this is a scammer’s technique of getting money).

Be sure to set up an alternate email address for any email account that you use for business and 2-stage authentication to send a text to your cell phone for account recovery. Know whom to call when your email service is down.

Another suggestion is to get your own domain name so you have more control of your business email and to give you someone to call when your email  account quits working.  If you need to see if a particular domain name is available, go to GoDaddy.com website and see if your desired domain name is available.  This also separates your personal email account from other businesses and shows you’re more serious about how you run your business.  The rates for domain names are very affordable and I highly recommend having your own specific domain name for business.

You’re only as good as your last backup

One of the biggest threats on the Internet is Ransom-ware.  The other danger for your computer is not having a backup. Here is an easy way to automate the process of having a backup:

I use Carbonite as my backup service. For $59/year, unlimited storage on their server – whenever my computer is idle, it begins backing up any new or changed files and it now has a 60 day history of files that I can restore from. Their tech support is based in Boston, MA and they are very nice to work with.

For more information about backing up your personal PC – click here

If you’re a business, you may wish to subscribe to their business service.  For more information about small business backups – click here

Don’t fall victim to fake Microsoft or Windows remote scammers

If someone claiming to be from “Microsoft” or “Windows” or perhaps “your Internet Service Provider” and they want to remote into your computer because “they’re receiving reports of various infections” and if you let them remote onto your computer – they will help remove that data (yeah, right).  DON’T LET THEM REMOTE INTO YOUR COMPUTER! IMMEDIATELY HANG UP! These are scam artists. More information about them is on Microsoft’s CyberSecurity Website (Click here to go to that site)

If you let them on, they will snoop around, try to password protect your hard drive or encrypt your data in order to lock you out and demand a ransom fee to get back into your data. Again, why would you let them on? (Instead, let’s report them to Microsoft – click here for that page)

Do not fall for these ploys to get on your hard drive – these are criminals that have no good intent and they don’t mind lying about who they are or why they called. If you stay on the phone too long just to mess with them, they may “SWAT” you – sending the police to your address reporting a domestic disturbance or something crime. Just hang up the phone on them and if they keep calling back, report them (see the first paragraph above)

Call me if you did let them on and now you need your computer secured!

Call Now! 214.533.6216