Virus and Malware Removal Service is one of PC Overhauls’ specialties. I have worked on thousands of infected Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 desktops, laptops and MAC OSX computers in the past 19 years.
Malware has changed over that time from worms to password and credit card stealing Trojan horse viruses, to adware and spyware toolbars and fake antivirus programs to modern ransomware and everything in between. I have experience with all of them.
Sometimes the damage is so severe that the system needs to be wiped clean and reloaded from scratch. You can learn about that process, the PC Overhaul, here. The PC Overhaul and virus removal service cost the same, so you will be charged for one or the other, not both.
Typical malware removal takes 24-48 hours depending on how sever the infection is, but can sometimes be done the same day.
The Canon PowerShot SX420 IS is a fixed lens point and shoot digital camera. The 20.0MP 1/2.3″ CCD image sensor (with DIGIC 4+ image processor) gives you very high resolution, crisp and clear photos. It shoots video in HD 720p at 25 fps, which is good for most video applications, but not the best you can get. The SX420 IS has a 42x optical zoom which is the equivalent to a 24-108mm focal length. Built in Intelligent IS Image Stabilization reduces shaking while walking or zoomed in. Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows you to share your photos and movies with any linked smartphone or tablet wirelessly. You can also remotely control the camera from your mobile device using the Camera Connect app. On the rear of the camera is a 3.0″ 230k-dot rear LCD monitor for composing your photos, changing camera settings and reviewing photos and videos you’ve already taken. This camera uses a rechargeable battery (NB-11LH)- one battery and a battery charger are included, but it’s a good idea to have at least one additional battery to swap out if you’re going to be taking lots of photos and/or video. Compared to other similar cameras, this is one of the lighter options at .72 pounds.
The Canon Powershot SX530 is another fixed lens option, and also has the Canon DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, at 16MP. The 50X optical zoom gives you the equivalent of a 24–1200mm lens, meaning you can get amazing quality shots from a great distance. This offers the same Wifi with NFC as the Powershot SX420 above, but records video at a higher quality 1080P Full HD. Slightly heavier than the SX420 at .97 pounds but still small and light enough for a medium sized purse.
Niklon’s Coolpix B500 takes great photos with it’s 16MP low-light sensor with Lens-Shift Vibration Reduction. The incredible 40x optical zoom gives you super telephoto power, then Dynamic Fine Zoom, an enhanced digital zoom, effectively doubling to an 80x zoom. This shoots full HD 1080P video with stero sound and has a flip up LCD so you can hold the camera at various angles and still see what you’re shooting. Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) are great for transferring and managing photos with a smartphone app. This weighs a bit more than the Canon cameras at 1.19 pounds but should still be a manageable day to day camera. Unlike the two Canons, this camera uses 4 AA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery, so be sure to bring extra.
If you’re looking for a basic laptop for a younger student at a reasonable price, this may be the laptop for you. The Core i3-7100U CPU (2.4GHz) and 4GB of DDR4 RAM (expandable to 32GB) provide enough power for light multitasking, but not enough power for more than basic gaming.
The 1TB hard drive is a large amount of space at this price, especially compared to most chrome books that don’t offer more than 64GB. It includes two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a VGA connection, an Ethernet jack, and even a USB-C (USB 3.1) port. The 15.4″ screen offers 1080P video at 1920 x 1080 resolution, so it plays HD movies easily. But this laptop has integrated graphics so it won’t be good for more than basic gaming. Battery life is excellent at over 8 hours, almost double the 4:25 the more expensive Dell Inspiron 15 5000 offers. All in all, for a student who needs to do internet research, type papers and do projects for school, this is a very affordable option.
The Acer Aspire E15 High Performance 15.6” Full HD Laptop (2018 Edition) offers very good performance at a lower price than most competitors. It features the 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500 Processor (2.7GHz, 4MB Total Cache, can be overclocked up to 3.50 GHz) and 8GB DDR4 Memory (up to 32GB Maximum). Just like the other two laptops mentioned above, this Acer comes with a 1TB hard drive with plenty of space for a studnet to store school documents, photos, music and movies. There’s also an SD card slot for transferring those files to and from a smartphone, tablet or digital camera. And speaking of cameras, this laptop comes with an HD webcam, great for video chatting and collaborating with groups working on school projects together. For ports, it offers a 1 x USB-C 3.1, 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, for a total of 4 USB ports, 1 x HDMI so you can connect it to an HD or 4K TV, and a headphone/microphone jack. There is no DVD drive in this unit, but that reduces both the heat created and the weight, which is 4.92 pounds.
This New HP Notebook has an AMD Quad-Core E2-7110 APU, (1.8GHz) and 4 GB DDR3L-1600 SDRAM system memory and comes with Windows 10 home 64 bit installed. The 500 GB SATA hard drive should be enough storage space for documents, photos and music, and you can read and burn CD’s and DVD’s with the SuperMulti DVD/CD Burner. This HP has a 15.6″ HD BrightView WLED-backlit display so streaming from Netflix or Amazon Prime video looks amazing. It has a built in Front-facing VGA webcam with integrated digital microphone, a full-size island-style keyboard with numeric keypad, and the touchpad supporting multi-touch gestures without on/off button. For ports, it’s got 1 x Ethernet port, 1 x HDMI port, 1 x headphone/microphone jack, 2 x USB 2.0 ports, and 1 x USB 3.0 port.
These are all good laptop deals for the average student who isn’t doing any gaming, photo or video editing and only needs to research, check email and write some papers for school.
There are some very fast computers in the under $500 price range. These laptops are perfect for internet use, streaming video, word processing, basic photo editing and organizing and other day to day tasks.
2017 Lenovo 320 15.6 Inch Premium Flagship High Performance Laptop AMD A12 up to 3.6 GHz, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, AMD Radeon R7, WiFi, Bluetooth, Webcam, HDMI, USB-C, DVD-RW, Windows 10 Home
This Lenovo has a fast quad core CPU, very fast 128GB SSD hard drive and 8GB of DDR4 memory. It’s got an HD webcam, bluetooth, a very good AMD Radeon R7 video card and a Multi-format SD media card reader for camera and phone memory.
Windows 10 brings back the Start Menu from Windows 7 and introduces new features, like the Edge Web browser that lets you markup Web pages on your screen.
15.6″ display Typical 1366 x 768 HD resolution. Energy-efficient LED back-light.
8GB system memory for advanced multitasking
Substantial high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run your games and photo- and video-editing applications, as well as multiple programs and browser tabs all at once.
128GB SSD for ample file storage space and faster performance
Holds a sizeable collection of digital photos, music, HD videos and DVD-quality movies. 5400 rpm spindle speed for standard read/write times.
AMD Radeon R7
Integrated graphics chipset with shared video memory provides solid image quality for Internet use, movies, basic photo editing and casual gaming.
Weighs 4.85 lbs. and measures 0.9″ thin
Balances portability and screen size, so you get a respectable amount of viewing space without the laptop being too cumbersome for practical portability. 2-cell lithium-ion battery.
Bluetooth 4.1 interface syncs with compatible devices
Wirelessly transfer photos, music and other media between the desktop and your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or MP3 player, or connect Bluetooth wireless accessories.
Ports: 1 USB Type-C port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 HDMI output expands your viewing options
Built-in media reader for simple photo transfer
Supports SD, MultiMediaCard, SDHC and SDXC memory card formats.
Full keyboard with 10-key numeric keypad
Type comfortably, input numbers quickly and maneuver through games with ease.
2017 Dell Inspiron 15.6″ HD (1366 x 768) Laptop PC, Intel Dual Core i3-7100U 2.4GHz, 8GB DDR4, 128GB SSD, DVD +/- RW, MaxxAudio, HDMI, Bluetooth, WIFI, Intel HD Graphics 620, Windows 10
This Dell Inspiron comes with a strong Intel Dual Core i3-7100u 2.4 GHz Processor, 128GB SSD hard drive and 8GB of memory, making it a good laptop for all basic tasks plus internet streaming and basic computer gaming.
15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) Truelife LED-Backlit Display,
Intel Dual Core i3-7100u 2.4 GHz Processor
8GB Single Channel DDR4 2400MHz (8GBx1) SDRAM
128GB Solid State Drive
Tray load DVD Drive (Reads and Writes to DVD/CD)
Intel HD 620 Graphics with shared graphics memory
Media Reader (SD, SDHC, SDXC)
Stereo speakers + MaxxAudio
HD 720P Webcam
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x Headphone output/Microphone input combo
Windows 10 Home 64-Bit, Standard Keyboard, Color: GRAY
ASUS VivoBook F510UA FHD Laptop, Intel Core i5-8250U, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD, USB-C, NanoEdge Display, Fingerprint, Windows 10, Star Gray (F510UA-AH51)
The ASUS VivoBook F510UA FHD is a beautifully designed laptop, perfect for work or college. Featuring the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5-8250U CPU and 8GB of DDR4 RAM, it can handle your everyday computing needs easily. While this computer does not offer a fast SSD hard drive, the installed 1TB drive gives you plenty of storage space.
Powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U 1.6GHz (Turbo up to 3.4GHz) processor
14.2″ wide, 0.8″ thin and portable footprint with 0.3″
NanoEdge bezel for a stunning 80% screen-to-body ratio
15.6″ anti-glare Full HD display with ASUS Splendid software enhancement, 1920×1080 pixels
8GB DDR4 RAM
Ergonomic chiclet keyboard with fingerprint sensor
USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1), USB 3.0, USB 2.0, and HDMI
Lightning-fast 802.11ac Wi-Fi keeps you connected through any congestion or interference
There are links on this site that can be defined as “affiliate links”. This means that I may receive a small commission from Amazon (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. PC Overhaul is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com, audible.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.
If you are willing to go with a refurbished computer, you will save several hundred dollars, but the computer will only have a 90 day warranty so that needs to be weighed against possible repair costs down the line.
2018 HP Compaq Elite 6300 Tower Business Desktop Computer, Intel Quad-Core i5-3470 up to 3.60GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 500GB HDD, DVD, WiFi, USB 3.0, Windows 10 Professional (Certified Refurbished)
Computer processors (CPU’s)are really, really fast. Standard hard drives are really, really slow in comparison. If computers handled and processed data by writing and reading directly from the hard drive, computers would be extremely slow too, because the hard drive couldn’t keep up with the processor’s speed.
RAM (memory) is there to address this problem. It’s a place where data is temporarily stored that is really really fast. The processor can read and write to and from RAM to run programs, view web pages, and cache video, leaving the hard drive to store permanent files like documents, photos and music.
This HP Compaq Elite computer has a very fast Intel Core i5-3470 CPU, with 4 cores. The more cores there are, the more tasks can be running at the same time. So a quad core CPU like this can handle several tasks at once without bogging down.
The computer comes with 8GB of DDR3 RAM. This large amount of memory allows the computer to keep lots of things available to access very quickly. For example, more RAM means you can have more tabs open in your web browser before the computer starts to slow down.
Windows 10 (64 bit) and your programs are installed on a 256GB SSD hard drive. These drives are incredibly fast (roughly 100 times faster than standard SATA hard drives) because they have no moving parts that need to spin. They are also not affected by vibration, heat or damage from dropping- but they are more expensive. This is a similar type of storage used in digital cameras and smartphones, only on a larger scale.
Audio is High Definition with Realtek ALC221 codec SRS Premium Sound, with a microphone and a headphone jack. For ports, this computer has 4 USB 3.0, 6 USB 2.0, 1 serial, port, 2 PS/2 ()older mouse and keyboard connectors), 1 VGA (blue standard video connector) 1 ,DisplayPort (newer video connector), 1 RJ-45 (network connector) and built in Wi-Fi. Also has a DVD drive.
For the money this system has a very fast CPU and SSD hard drive and ample memory for multitasking.
Dell Optiplex 990 Tower Premium Business Desktop Computer (Intel Quad-Core i5-2400 up to 3.4GHz, 16GB DDR3 Memory, 2TB HDD + 120GB SSD, DVD, WiFi, Windows 10 Professional) (Certified Refurbished)
Designed for professionals, small businesses and college students with high-end performance computing needs, this Dell Optiplex 990 Tower brings serious computing power to help you manage even your most demanding multitasking. Featuring an Intel Quad-Core i5-2400 3.1GHz CPU processor and 16GB DDR3 RAM it is capable of delivering super fast speed and super efficiently managing any demanding operations
For hard drive storage space, It has 2 hard drives. A super fast 120GB SSD for Windows and programs, and a huge 2TB 7200 rpm standard SATA hard drive for storing your files.
It also includes a DVD ROM, USB Keyboard, Mouse, Integrated Audio, 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet RJ45 LAN; 10 x USB 2.0 ports, 1 x Ethernet port, 1 x VGA port, 1 x DisplayPort, 1 x audio out jack, 1 x line-in jack, 1 x microphone jack. Also includes a USB Wi-Fi adapter for wireless capability.
It’s designed to flawlessly handle your everyday computing or entertainment needs such as listening to music, watching or downloading files.
Fast Intel Core i5-2300 3.1GHz Processor with 24GB High Quality DDR3 RAM & Huge *NEW* 256GB Solid State Drive with 2 year Manufacturer Warranty. The system comes Pre-installed with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Operating Syste.
Also includes an nVIDIA GeForce 1GB HDMI video card. This gives you the option of dual monitor capability as well as some RAM dedicated to video processing. Plus Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, Publisher & More).
HP Z210 Workstation Desktop Tower Intel Core i7 3.4GHz 16GB 240GB SSD Windows 10 Pro (Certified Refurbished)
A good backup is like an insurance policy for your files. If you are infected with a virus, if the hard drive crashes or fails, or if you just accidentally delete your files, a thorough and recent backup can be a life saver.
External USB hard drives come in various sizes, styles and configurations. There are the larger desktop sized hard drives designed to be set up and kept in one location, but be aware these usually require a power cable in addition to the USB cable. The there are the smaller 2.5 inch external hard drives that are much smaller and lighter and are usually powered via the USB cable itself. These are much more portable and will easily fit in a laptop bag, backpack or purse.
External USB drives generally connect with some type of USB cable. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 cables are the same size and shape on the end that goes in your computer, and work in the same ports, but USB 3.0 devices are capable of faster file transfer speeds. If you’re not sure if you have any USB 3.0 ports, look and see if you have any blue USB ports on your computer.
Blue cables and blue connectors are an easy way to distinguish 3.0 devices and cabled from 2.0 devices. Either way, USB 3.0 drives are backward compatible to work in a 2.0 port, they will simply run at the slower 2.0 transfer speed. Some newer drives may connect with USB 3.1 cables (USB-C) , but your computer needs to have a USB 3.1 port in order to use them.
This chart above from Amazon.com can give you an idea how much storage you need. The estimate is calculated based on average file sizes- professional photographers will use more space per photo for example, especially if they shoot in RAW mode. People will movie collections should know that movies can be in various formats that range in size. But the graphic is a good indicator for the average person’s files.
This is a USB 3.0 1TB hard drive that works with both Apple MAC OSX and Windows PC’s. It comes with a free trial of WD SmartWare Pro auto and cloud backup software, or you can use the backup software of your choice. It is one of the smaller drives, measuring 4.4 x 3.2 x 0.6 inches and weighing only 4.8 ounces. This is perfect for the average person’s needs and works well for backing up both desktop and laptops. Also available in 2TB, 3TB and 4TB sizes.
This is another 1TB USB 3.0 external hard drive, but this one is specifically designed to stand up to the rigors of travel. The casing is made of specialized rubber with a custom suspension system to reduce damage from accidents. The drive passed both crush testing and transit drop testing to US military MIL-STD-810G standards. It’s also resistant to being sprayed by water, which should protect against spills. If you are prone to accidents or just want the extra peace of mind, this is the drive for you. Also available in 2TB, 3TB, 4TB and 5TB sizes.
This 4TB USB 3.0 desktop style hard drive includes an NTFS driver that allows it to be used by both Windows and MAC computers interchangeably. It also includes a 2 port USB hub so you can plug USB devices directly in to the hard drive, including cell phones and tablets. And the ports will work for charging even if the computer is turned off. The hub is especially helpful if the ports on your desktop computer are hard to access or if your laptop computer doesn’t have many USB ports. If you install the Seagate Mobile Backup app on IOS or Android devices, you can back up to this drive from those devices via the cloud. Available in 4TB, 6TB and 8TB sizes.
8TB of storage space in this desktop drive, but it weighs a little over 2 pounds so it’s certainly made to be left in one place. It connects via USB 3.0 and works with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 right out of the box with no drivers to install.
Any of these drives will be helpful in setting up a backup system for your personal or business files.
As a local small business owner myself, I know how important is to shop at other local businesses as much as possible. In my case, many of the tools and parts I need to repair computers can’t be found locally, so I shop for them online. But there’s a way to shop online and still support local schools, charities and other organizations by using Amazon Smile.
Undoubtedly the biggest online retailer in the world is Amazon.com. You can find almost anything, and if you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can get most orders in two days with free shipping or overnight for $3.99. (You also get access to Amazon Prime Video, a Netflix alternative, and Amazon Photos, a free cloud backup service for your photos and videos). With service like that it’s no surprise people use Amazon from everything from books to electronics.
There’s a way you can shop on Amazon and still support local schools, charities and other organizations of your choice. All you need to do is use smile.amazon.com as the web address instead of amazon.com, and a percentage of some of your purchases will be donated to the charity of your choice.
Once you get to the smile.amazon page, you just sign in with your amazon account, and you can select a charity.
There are some great charities suggested on the right hand side of the page, or you can search for one in the box at the bottom.
I decided I wanted to make my donation to a local charity so I searched in my hometown of Norwood, Massachusetts.
It’s amazing how many local results I got. I decided to refine my search and specifically look for something to support our local school PTO’s.
I have a first grader in the John P Oldham Elementary school right now and one who will be attending in 2 years, and I know fundraising is always a challenge, so I chose the Oldham PTO.
Whenever I place an order that qualifies, Amazon Smile notifies me that a donation has been made to my charity.
Here are my contributions to the Oldham Elementary School PTO so far and the total they have brought in from all Amazon Smile users.
It feels good knowing I am helping an organization that’s important to me while I shop. There’s no extra cost to do it and all you have to do is use smile.amazon and you can be raising money for a cause that’s near and dear to you. You can also change your charity at any point, so you can spread your donations around.
I’ve got more passwords than I can count. Work email, Personal email. Facebook, Twitter. Instagram. Snapchat. Pinterest. LinkedIN, Online Banking. Every single credit card. The Patient portal for my doctor’s office (and my childrens portals as well). Netflix, Hulu, Plex, Reddit, Ancestry, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Verizon for cable, Sprint for my cell phone, Online shopping at Amazon, Kohl’s, Target, Old Navy, Home Depot, Sears, eBay… it’s easy to forget all the places where we have online accounts. and how many passwords we’re using.
in fact, the average computer user has over 130 passwords to remember. And the worst thing you can do from a security standpoint is use the same password for every site because it makes a hackers job much easier.
Lastpass is a web based app that allows you to save all your different passwords in one vault, out in the cloud, and set one master password to get that vault open. Your password vault is encrypted so even the team at LastPass can’t access your passwords. Set one secure password for the vault and never worry about remembering each and every site password ever again. I suggest a long phrase that’s easy to remember and type. For example, I might choose Chara33BigZchamps2011 or Gronkspike87NEpatsSBx4
With my one master vault password, I can log in and access literally 1000’s of passwords I would certainly have forgotten. This is especially true for those sites you only visit once or twice a year.
Another nice feature included in Lastpass – you can create multiple profiles containing all your contact info, like the stuff they ask for every time you sign up for a website – and lock them down with the vault password too. My PC Overhaul profile has my name, street address, phone number, credit card, date of birth and credit card numbers for the business. When I go to a site to buy parts for a customer, the checkout process is simple. I click on my PC Overhaul profile in lastpass and it fills all that information in for me. And you can have as many different profiles as you want. I have a profile for work, another for personal purchases, and a 3rd for web forums (using my spam email account).
Lastpass also has the ability to create randomized secure passwords for you. This is handy if you always plan on using Lastpass to log in to sites, but won’t be helpful otherwise.
Once you have it installed, whenever you go to a site with a saved password, lastpass offers to autofill the username and password fields for you. You enter the vault password and can choose not to be prompted for the vault password for a period of time. If you know you will be in front of the computer for 3 hours, you can set it to leave the vault open for that long, and after that time anyone with access to your system will be asked for the master vault password again to get in.
There are literally dozens of handy features to lastpass, especially considering it’s a free app, I highly recommend you check it out.
This series of error messages- Boot Device Not Found, Hard Drive not Detected, No Boot Device Found, No Bootable Device,, No Boot Partition Found, Hard Disk Drive Failure, Data error Reading Drive, Blank screen with flashing Cursor, Seek error – Sector not found, Missing Operating System, Operating System Not Found, Primary Hard Disk Failure, Error Loading Operating System, Drive not Ready- all these messages are really saying the same thing. The computer can’t find your operating system so it can’t boot into Windows.
The easiest thing to check is whether the hard drive, or the cable running to the hard drive may have come loose from the motherboard. Connecting the drive or cable snugly to the motherboard will quickly resolve the problem.
Virus or malware infections can also damage or remove the Windows boot files, which would give you this message. Sometimes a Windows Update doesn’t install correctly or isn’t finished installing when you restart your computer, and that can prevent Windows from starting too.
Many times, the error results from some type of problem with the hard drive itself. You can read my post about some of those problems here.