-What to know about Windows 8-

Windows 8 was released on October 26, 2012 and is the newest Microsoft Operation System available.  Although it is more oriented to Mobile Phones/Tablets (Windows 8 RT), there is a revision (Windows 8) for potential PC end users.

The Windows 8 operating system supports X86/X64.

Windows 8 & what is means to you:

Upgrading to the latest and greatest Microsoft product might not be the ideal solution for many consumers, but certainly not businesses.

Windows 8 cannot be domain joined.  This downfall prevents group policies from being applied to Windows RT Tablets from Active Directory

If you are residential consumer and are looking to upgrade your mobile gadget or pc, the “upgrade” price from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is $39.99.

If your PC is running Windows 7, your files, apps, and settings will easily transfer to Windows 8 Pro.

If your PC is running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you will need to reinstall your apps. Some features such as touch may require a new PC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Windows Store”

This is the primary distribution platform for a new type of app. Free and paid applications can be downloaded through the Windows Store.  Paid apps range in cost from $1.49 to $999.99. The Windows Store was first made available with the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on February 29, 2012.

 

Windows 8 Enterprise Minimum Requirements

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 20 GB available hard disk space
  • 1366 × 768 screen resolution
  • Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • Internet access
  • Microsoft account (LiveID) required for some features
  • Some features such as touch and Client Hyper-V may require advanced or Windows 8 certified hardware

If you have additional questions about Windows 8, feel free to give us a call: 267.923.8132.  If you would like to do your own research, check out this webpage: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/category/w8itpro

 

 

 

 

-The new “hostage virus” Ransomware-

A Ransomware Program is a program that holds the data or functionality of your computer hostage until you perform an action; which is typically to purchase the program or send the virus creator money.

Description of infection:  This infection usually opens up a window as soon as the computer boots, informing the user that their computer has been compromised.  It lists your IP address, adds a small window to the top screen saying that your are being monitored by video, and with the later versions, encrypts your information rendering it completely useless.  The later versions of this “ransomware” are difficult to remove.  Even if removal was successful, the virus creator still holds your information hostage.  There is a secret key that only he/she has, which is needed to decrypt your information.

Signs that you may be infected:

  • Your computer has a pop-up screen looking similar to this:(right)
  • Your information may not open correctly due to your info being encrypted by the virus creator
  • Redirection when trying to surf the web or no connection at all.
  • Your files may be hidden as a “scare-tactic”

The removal of these infections in the earlier stages were not as difficult, but the encryption factor was not part of these viruses.

One of the most important things to remember with these viruses is the creators are out to make money. Losing your information do to the virus encrypting your info can be a devastating experience, but actually going through with giving the creator the requested money could have an even worse effect; your credit and identity.

If you are unsure about the legitimacy of a pop up, always seek help before continuing.  Not doing so can sacrifice much more than just your computer.

Here at PC Professionals, we have the solution.  If your information is not encrypted, we can perform a virus removal with the various tools we have.  If your computer is encrypted, we recommend a complete computer rebuild, guaranteeing the infection is gone.  The computer will be restored to the out-of-box state.

Unfortunately, if your info is encrypted, it cannot be saved.  As stated above, the virus creator is the only one that has the secret key to decrypt your information.

After the rebuild is complete, we also recommend you perform a backup and have adequate antivirus installed; which we also offer here at at PC Professionals.

For a few more recommendations/advice, visit PC Professionals Website here:

 

-Windows XP Coming To The End?-

Windows XP, Your days are numbered!

Yes. you heard it correctly. Nothing lasts forever, especially if you have a Microsoft product. Windows XP had a great run from 2001 and should have been retired in 2011 but with Windows Vista being a failure and nothing to step up and take it’s place, Microsoft extended the support for XP until April 8, 2014.

What does this mean to me or my company?

It means no more support via phone or web. No more Windows updates, new drivers, software or any new hardware will be designed for Windows XP. This is especially important to understand simply disconnecting your PC from the Internet will only act as a bandage. When your printer dies or you need a new video card, you will not be able to use them with XP. Your Anti-Virus Software was also told to stop writing support for XP as of April 8, 2014 as with all software developers.  Simply put, if you are still using XP after 04.8.14 you will be on your own heading to a bad place.

 

How do I avoid going to PC Hell?

Windows 7 has been out for several years now and proven itself as a worthy replacement. There are ton of new changes to look as you are make the move to the new platform.

  • Old Software & applications. 16-bit or 32-bit. You are going need to find out before moving to Win7 if they will still work, and if not, figure out what upgrades to software need to be done. NOTE: Check your Office suite & Accounting applications. Any version Of Microsoft Office older than 2007 will not work. Quickbooks follows the same, anything older than 2009 will not run on Windows7. Your anti-virus will also need to be upgraded to a x64 bit version.
  • Hardware. Printers & every other device attached to you computer or network needs to be verified if it will work correctly under Windows7. Microsoft also released a x32bit version and if you can, pass it by and go right to x64 as that will allow for better memory limits and put you on a better upgrade path to the future since all CPUs for the past few years are all x64 already.
  • PC System Requirements. You should have a x64 bit CPU, 4GB memory and at least an 80GB for Windows, Office & file storage. These specifics are not requirements by Microsoft, they are much more realistic and not bare minimum. If you use Microsoft minimum system requirements which are a x32 1gHz CPU & 1GB memory, Windows will install but will leave the user disappointed with the performance they get out of their PC as soon as they start using a few applications at the same time.

-PC Professionals’ Blog is now open.-

Greeting all!

We open this blog to inform our clients of any news, tips and resources that may help them with technical problems. This blog is an additional channel to ask questions. This is not a “How To” or “Free Support” Forum. We will assist you the best we can online, but if need be, you can bring your PC into the shop or schedule an appointment on site.