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November 2009 - First Newsletter

November 2009

Welcome to our first release of PCTech Insider News. We are pleased to provide you information that will help you with your day to day operations while safeguarding your computer systems.

During the course of the year, PCTech will provide Insider News briefs that we believe could save you time and money with your specific technological needs.

We will include the necessary articles on viruses, software updates, new operating systems, and other topics related to technology.  

PCTech Insider News will ensure you stay informed on the latest technological issues making you more productive. 


Watch out for new spam disguised as: Microsoft Outlook Updates, Internal Revenue Service under reported income, and Facebook password resets

Many of our customers have already asked about this new malicious scam, so we needed to warn our valued clients before anyone is infected by the rampant and continual attacks.

These phishing attempts sent from what appears to be Microsoft will prompt you to update your Outlook and Outlook Express.  Such emails are not legitimate. Here's a sample of the FAKE Microsoft Outlook Update:

From: Microsoft Update Center
Subject: Install Update or Critial Updates for Microsoft Outlook
Body: It will contain a link to update Outlook or Outlook Express and it looks like it belongs to your server or website name. 

Do NOT click the link inside the email!  This link contains either malicious file or link that will attempt launch malware on your system.

To help protect against this attack, we recommend against opening or previewing this email. Having a good spam protection program will also help prevent similar messages from filling your inbox. In the event spam/phishing slips past, just delete the message from your inbox. 



Can't open new Microsoft Office documents

When Office 2007 was released, Microsoft changed their default file formats-- from DOC to DOCX and XLS to XLSX.  

If you have an older version of Office, you will need to download the Office 2007 Compatibility pack to view those files. 

Download the update here.


Still Annoyed by Vista?

Every time you try to "do something" in Vista, you receive a message: "Are you sure you want to do that?"  Like most users, you are probably annoyed by the constant pop-ups that waste your time. 

This User Account Control "approval system" can be turned off. After all, you survived the previous versions of Windows without a babysitter. For instructions on how to stop the Vista nagging, see the full article.



Windows 7 Is Finally Here

Always, our recommendation for any new technology is to wait a few months before making that investment. Yes, we know there will be a few of you that want to purchase Windows 7 immediately...  However, if your business depends on your computers running smoothly, let the other end-users spend hours on Microsoft Support while they work out the bugs. 

In fact, our office was able to beta-test Windows 7 before it was released.  Windows 7 isn't perfect, but it is an improvement over Vista.  Windows 7 does address and resolve several issues rampant in Vista, including the User Account Control "approval system" pop-ups that we mentioned in the previous section.  Microsoft also reduced the number of distracting messages from the operating system which now queue up alerts into the new Action Center. 

And while Windows 7's appearance has a similar look and feel of Vista, Windows 7 is less of a resource hog. So if Vista is running slowly on your current system, you might see increased performance by upgrading to Windows 7.

Will My Programs Work With Windows 7?  
When we tested the pre-release of Windows 7, our office applications did run surprisingly smooth.  However, you can expect that when you begin installing your productivity software, both retail/boxed and specialty/ customized programs will likely encounter issues that Microsoft didn't foresee.  We recommend that you talk to your software vendor/manufacturer and ask if their software has been tested for compatibility with Windows 7 before you upgrade.   

Can I Upgrade From XP to Windows 7?  
The answer is yes and no.  Your hardware may be able to support Windows 7 and you will be able to replace XP with the new operating system.  What you can't do is perform a direct upgrade from XP that saves all your installed applications and data.  To jump from XP to Windows 7, you must first backup your XP data, perform a clean install of Windows 7, and then reinstall your application programs and data files.  Be sure to make a complete backup of your XP hard drive just in case Windows 7 doesn't work for you.

How Do I Backup My Hard Drive?  
The most reliable and efficient method to backup your computer is to create an "image" of your hard disk.  Should Windows 7 not work for you, then you can use the original "image" of your hard drive to return your computer to a fully functional state. 
 

If you need assistance with imaging your drive for an upgrade, for data backup in case of hardware failure, or for offsite backup for your computer and data, call us for details.



Is your computer Running Dreadfully Slow?

You may have noticed a decline in your computer's performance since you bought it.  It may freeze up suddenly, or it just could be acting a bit sluggish. Instead of buying a new system, first try these steps.

If these tips don't work, then it may be time for a new PC.

Click here to view the four steps to attempt before throwing your computer out of the window. 

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Watch out for new spam disguised as Microsoft Outlook Updates
  • Can't open new office files
  • Still annoyed by Vista?
  • Windows 7
  • Is your computer running dreadfully slow?


    

  Needing a new PC?

PCTech is partnered with Dell to provide you with the best desktop, laptops, and server deals available.




Trend Micro Internet Security

  Have More Than 5?

If you have more than 5 computers, ask us about Trend Micro's Corporate Edition to protect your office network.







  You Requested It...
We Responded to You


Special thanks to our clients who suggested we bring these issues to everyone else's attention.

If you have a topic you want us to address, feel
free to send us an email.

Sneak Peek Next Issue:

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  PCTech Inc. 3510 Jeffco Blvd Suite 101           636.464.2400           
www.pctechrx.com

The above text is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for legal, tax or other professional assistance.
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