Back Up for a Rainy Day!


We had a customer drop a laptop just 1 foot onto a carpeted floor. The computer seemed to be fine but started locking up and then just wouldn’t start after 2 weeks. Her hard drive was failing. She hadn’t backed up her files for 6 months. We saved all of her files, including pictures of her two 6-year-old twin girls. We can help you back up your files to the cloud or to an external hard drive or flash drive. Paying us to prepare a backup system is way less than hiring us for data recovery services.

What is Your Data Worth?

Hard Drive reflecting circuit board at angle

Hard Drive reflecting circuit board at angle


A competitor hired us for the 2nd time to save them embarrassment. A technician at this larger business reinstalled Windows on top of the customer’s hard drive before backing up her files. Whoops! They tried 3 different data recovery programs and failed to get any files back. They brought the hard drive to us (in their pockets without being in an antistatic bag) and we tried to recover her files. The competitor restored “garbage” files on top of the existing drives (a big no-no), which made our job even more difficult. After 5 hours and 5 different data recovery programs, we retrieved 15% of the customer’s files. Her address book, pictures of her grandparent’s funeral, poems, and more. However, the competitor didn’t want to pay us for our work and would rather suffer the customer’s wrath. Moral of the story: back up your files and bring your computer to a professional with almost 30 years of experience.

Computer Graveyard

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At Strike Twice Computers, we are in limbo. We are expected to keep up with the latest technology and trends while supporting old technology. Today, we got a Windows 98 computer up and running. The disk check and disk defragmenter have not been run in over 8 years! The customer, who has irreplaceable DOS programs on this computer, is going to have us clone her hard drive so it is newer and faster. We don’t want to be a computer graveyard, but it is nice to have the right parts for those older computers.

Protect Your Work!

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Sadly, several customers have had failing or vandalized hard drives in the last 2 weeks. We have saved most of them…for a price. If your hard drive is older than 3 years old, hire us to clone it onto a brand new and preferably solid-state drive. Also, 2 customers have opened up malicious e-mails and had their files encrypted with a ransom note. Unfortunately, those files are unrecoverable. Do not open up links or enable Word or Excel features to supposedly “read” a file or resume. If you have any doubts, call us first at 952-939-0174. Also, have an external back up drive, cloud-based backup service…or both! Be careful out there!

Windows 10 Upgrade Headaches

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What a week we’ve had at Strike Twice Computers. Microsoft’s aggressive pushing of the Windows 10 upgrade has caused customers a lot of anger. Over a dozen people hired us to revert them back to their prior operating system. Even after the reverting, some customers had some problems, which we fixed. By the way, we can block the Windows 10 upgrade for you. The Windows 10 upgrade is free until July 29th. After that, it will cost you $119.

We’re Not Cheap but It’s Done Right!

Young Business woman wearing white shirt and black tie using laptop computer

We had a good customer come in today. His laptop wouldn’t start Windows. To “save money,” he took it to a large competitor instead of Strike Twice Computers. They backed up his files and reinstalled Windows from scratch. However, several problems happened when he got home. His printer wouldn’t install, he had an annoying popup error every time he started the computer, and various other issues. After this competitor couldn’t fix these issues, the customer came to us. We fixed them in an hour and a half but the quality of the competitor’s work was not good. Windows wasn’t activated, some drivers were not installed, and dozens of common, helpful tweaks were not done. The customer is happy now but had to pay two companies to get it done right.

The Cloud

Cloud computing concept with copy space

A lot of people are talking about “The Cloud” lately. The cloud is really a storage place accessed through the Internet. Backing up to the “cloud”, for example, lets you copy your files outside your home or office for safekeeping. Most services charge for storing your files in the cloud, but some are free if your space needs are small. Dropbox, Google Docs, Microsoft One Drive, all offer some free storage with upgrades to store more for a price. Paid services such as Carbonite allow you to back up your files easily.

 
These services are fine, but some people put too much faith in them. Some people think the cloud backup will magically get a dead computer going again or that restoring files only takes minutes. You are limited by the speed of your Internet. Also, the cloud-based backup software slows down your computer. It is still nice to back up to a flash drive or clone your entire drive for peace of mind. We offer a variety of free and paid software and services that can back up your data or even make a perfect clone of your entire hard drive, in case your drive crashes. Also, Windows includes some free backup software that we can help you configure. Please call us at 952-939-0174 to help you decide whether the cloud is for you.

Failing Hard Drives

Colored lighting and selective focus make for an interesting inside view of a mass storage device.

We have had two customers come here in the last week with failed or failing hard drives. Data recovery is not cheap. We have purchased tools from Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery and other companies to help us recover data somewhat affordably. While other companies charge $1,000 to $3,000, our data recovery fees range from $130 to $500.

One way to not need data recovery is to replace your hard drive every 3 years. Also, using a solid-state hard drive, or SSD, eliminates the chance of a drop taking out your files. An SSD drive has no moving parts and is very fast. We can replace your old mechanical drive with a solid state drive so that you need not reinstall your software. Call us at 952-939-0174 for more information.

Forced to Upgrade to Windows 10?

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The 2nd Tuesday of each month is when Microsoft releases updates for Microsoft Windows. Yesterday, April 12th, was “Patch Tuesday” and customers are complaining of their computers automatically installing the free Windows 10 upgrade. A one-hour countdown occurs and your computer is tied up for 2-4 hours for the upgrade.  
 
If your computer gets updated to Windows 10, we can get you back to your old operating system and install a utility to disable future Windows 10 upgrades so you can install it when you are ready for it. We charge one hour of labor for these services. NOTE: The free upgrade to Windows 10 expires on July 29th. After that, it will be $119 for the upgrade. Call us at 952-939-0174 or stop in for help.

Adobe Flashplayer Hole Leads to Ransom Demands

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Ransomware has become one of the most acute problems on the Internet. A recent security hole in Adobe Flashplayer (used by websites for animation and such) allowed Cerber ransomware to get installed on computers. This type of malware (“bad software”) encrypts most files on a victim’s computer. The decryption keys are only obtainable by paying a ransom, which is usually requested in bitcoin. Usually the ransom is $500 to $1,000.

Keeping your Java, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flashplayer up to date is important. We update these and other items in our $129 tuneup. We also check for existing viruses, seen and unseen. Call 952-939-0174 for more information or drop in. No appointment necessary!