Computer Support & Repair
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Computer Support & Repair
Oct 2009: Where can I get my laptop repaired?
I reviewed old messages but didn't find any posting on computer
repair. Is it true that people have to go either to Best Buy or
Compuusa or something to repair their computer? Or buy a new
computer? My Laptop died suddenly and few people, including
Best Buy told us my hard desk died and needed a new one. Best
Buy says it will cost more than $350 to repair it. Of course,
that makes me think i should get a new laptop then. But really?
I looked around for computer repair service but it doesn't
exist. Does anyone know if there is such a service called
computer repair? or do we only have Best Buy?
can't afford new pc
Try Area Computer and Service Center at 915 University Avenue
in Berkeley. I had a broken laptop and was quoted an outrageous
amount at Best Buy. My brother recommended this place and he
fixed my computer for a fraction of the price Best Buy was
charging. The number is 510-843-0388
Computer repair at Best Buy is a scam especially when it comes
to hard drive repair. (Just do a Google search and you will
find tons of complaints.) There geek guys are not trained to
do repairs, they are just trained to up-sell customers new
equipment. The Geeks who do know how to fix computers
(especially hard drives) are threatened with being fired it
they do the simple repairs that do not make Best Buy a huge
profit. There are blog posts from Geek Squad guys telling
customers how sorry they are for having to lie to customers
telling them their hard drive is beyond repair so they will buy
a new computer.
There's an association for IT Professionals in the Bay Area
called Pacific IT Professionals, http://www.pacitpros.org I
would contact them for a referral.
I recommend you at least call Info-Gate, Mark Rosen, for a
consultation. I trust them completely with all of my computer
issues and they have saved me tons in repair costs by noticing
something small. Phone is (510) 808-0370, and they work all
over the Bay Area. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org. He owns the
company and has a terrific staff.
There are SCADS of repair folks there. Here are some. I've used
the first (and would use them again), would have no qualms using
the next two (the first guy was just a little more convenient for
me to get to), and had the fourth recommended to me when I posted
a similar question last spring:
1. Authorized Computer Repair
(did a great job switching a new laptop from Vista to XP and
then getting an old one working after it stopped booting)
2, Berkeley Students Computer Service
(smart students / know what they're doing)
3. Computer Courage
(may be more business-oriented but you can always ask)
I have used LMi.net for computer repair. They are our Internet
Service Provider, but they also do computer repair. They are good
at virus removal as well as general computer tune-ups. I
recommend them for Internet service as well as computer repair.
I had a really great experience with: My Computer Guy, 1501
Eastshore Hwy, Berkeley, CA 94710, Phone: (510) 524-9221. He
fixes hardware problems, really knowledgeable, will tell you if
cost of repair is worth it. Will find used parts at less cost on
E-Bay or other places if he can. I hope it's not too rude to say
that like some engineer-types, he can be a little hard to
communicate with, he's not greatest at the social niceties, but
his work was excellent, reasonably priced, and he saved me from
having to buy a new laptop with a practical repair that was
elegant in its simplicity (disconnected something that was
interfering with entire computer, and since I never used it, it
did no harm to just disconnect, and much cheaper than trying to
actually fully replace).
There are lots of small computer repair businesses around. Ask
friends and co-workers if they recommend anyone. Jonathan at
Authorized Computer Repair in Berkeley fixed some hardware
problems with my PC laptop, and I would call them back in a
heartbeat if I had another problem. You can reach them at 510-
We've taken our computers to Leon, who owns/runs Domino
Computers, on Adeline, for years. We've sent lots of friends and
family to him, too. His number is 653-6286.
Give Jonathan Wishnev a call. He's great to work with-
knowledgeable, trustworthy and super friendly. He's incredible
with all sorts of Mac & PC repairs. He'll come to your house or
office and even does remote support. (So weird to see the cursor
moving on someone else's command) His know-how is responsible
for keeping countless Bay Area computers out of landfills.
Jonathan Wishnev: (510)747-8324 Email:email@example.com
Sept 2009: Looking for Home Computer Consultant
I'm looking for someone who can help trouble-shoot my wireless connection, issues with efficient operation and help advise me on best software solutions. Thanks!
Belinda in Albany
I've used the Affordable Computer guy in Montclair. 339 316 0074.
Not sure how far he travels, but he was cheap and good. He talks
Jason Webster of MacAssistant is great! He is extremely knowledgeable
and easy to
understand. He has helped us for years and is great with all kinds of
audio and video
solutions for Macs. His number is (415) 987-1280.
I highly recommend Ron Huppert of rhSystems. He's worked
wonders for me and my family soloving a wide range of computer
problems including pc troubleshooting, wireless networking
problems, and general questions about what products to
purchase. (He recently saved the contents on my 83 year old
fathers's hard drive that had crashed.) He's knowledgable,
reliable and reasonably priced. He even does house calls. I
can't say enough about him.
Ron uppert: 510-593-6318
We recently called Becky Waring (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help clean out old PCs, upgrade
a Mac, connect printers, and solve a seemingly intractable printer problem. Becky went
to MIT, is extremely knowledgeable, tenacious and competent, and will really take the
time to solve the problem. In one instance, Becky used her own time to devise a
solution without charging us for it. I definitely plan to have her help us in the future.
Aug 2009: Virus and network problems
Help! One of our computers has a virus and one is off network and our
computer support guy is out of the country. We are looking for someone who
can help us with our small business network at home located in Alamda.
Someone who is quick when he is working and reliable.
Jonathan Wishnev (510) 747-8324 www.wishnevconsulting.com
is the man you are looking for
I have a great computer consultant for my small business. His
name is Rob Gross (338-0101, email@example.com). He is smart,
talented and really personable
Happy small business owner
June 2009: Someone to uninstall Vista
Bought a new Dell laptop. Had to accept Vista. Would rather have
XP Pro and I have a legal copy from a defunct computer. Need
someone who can install XP Pro as the operating system and find
the drivers for the other stuff. Feel free to contact me
http://www.tech-buddies.net/ Came highly recommended by others that
have used them so I called and these guys are GREAT!! And VERY
reasonably priced. Having a little one of my own it's often hard to
find the time to get things done let alone take a heavy computer
somewhere. These guys came to ME and fixed everything within an hour
and took care of other issues and answered all of my questions...and I
know my questions were silly. I felt very safe when they were in my
home. Call them...you won't be disappointed.
Original poster here. Had a couple of tips (thanks), but wanted to
let the community know about a super company in town: Authorized PC
Repair, conveniently located in new digs at Virginia and MLK Way.
Replaced my Vista O/S with XP Pro quickly, accurately, and at a
reasonable price. Just left a malfunctioning Inspiron with them for
diagnosis and repair. Contact Jonathan Santeramo at 786-7103 or
April 2009: Help our computer is kaputs
our computer 's USB Ports are all frozen or dead , just not
working , not the keyboard, not the mouse, nothing is getting
through to the computer and on to the screen.
Has anyone ever had this problem?
We have a dell .
Does someone out there work on pc or can recommend a good
Repair man scares me i hate to spend more money on the repairs
then the computers worth.
Please let us know if you have had this problem to , asap we
need the computer for work .
thanks so much
Our Dell also went kaput a couple of years ago, following a
cross-country move. I did a hasty internet search and found
Carl Nussbaum, of Nussbaum Computer Repair (firstname.lastname@example.org,
(510) 540-8347, 2618 College Ave, Berkeley). For ~$120 (way
cheaper than buying a new one), he quickly repaired our poor
PC, saving most of our files, and reinstalled MS Office Suite.
He's very friendly, and I would absolutely recommend his
services. BTW, our Dell is still working, and it has been over
two years since he repaired it!
I can't recommend this guy highly enough - George Tsai, 510-307-
9878. I'm not sure he would want me to give out his cell and
that's what he usually answers, but leave a message on that
land line & he'll get back. He has been repairing my computers
& dealing with viruses, hackers, firewalls, networks, updates,
cloning, etc. for my business for over 10 years. He is
reasonable, does not nit-pick on fees, takes responsibility and
comes back without charge if the problem persists (it usually
doesn't). Security threats constantly morph and he's on top of
it. He has large co. clients with giant, multi-location
networks, and he also works with the little people like me.
He's a little brash but he's a genius and he's fair. I know
nothing, but it sounds like either a security issue or maybe
your equipment is obsolete. Anyway, tell him I sent you and
Jan 2009: Wanted-Computer Techie in Walnut Creek
I need computer tech help in Walnut Creek. Can you recommend
someone who makes house calls, is reasonably priced, and who can
talk to an elderly person in non-tech speak? Thanks!
I've been using Info-Gate for several years now and am thrilled at
the service and care I've received. My elderly mother has used
them as well. Mark Rosen is the owner, and has a wonderful staff
that makes house calls. His office is in Oakland, but I've never
been there as the techs always come to me! Call him at (510)
808-0370. He lives in Pleasant HIll, I think, so has an affinity
for the East Bay. email is email@example.com
I have a guy I can recommend. His name is Bryan, and he
specializes in 'tweaking' computers that have become slow. He also
does diagnosis and repair of other computer problems, as well as
installation and setup of new computers. He also does training on
internet, email and windows updates. He can recommend and install
software to keep your computer tuned, and show you how to use it.
He's worked on my computer as well as my sister's and my parents',
and we can all recommend him. He doesn't work on Macs or network
problems, so he charges a lot less than others, like Geeksquad.
He's in WC, but makes housecalls throughout the Bay Area. He can
be reached at 925-285-1507.
Good luck with your PC.
Definitely call CyberDoc, they came to my home office and quickly
dealt with my computer issues, they are very nice, knowlegeable
and accessible. I also felt their pricing was fair and affordable.
If you have internet access they can then help you remotely which
means that any future problems you have can be solved in minutes.
Contact Sebastian Stuart at 510-492-9237 and their website is
Nov 2008: Computer savvy person to help artist
I am an artist with little skills in the computer world. I am
seeking someone who can help me to prepare professional
presentations of my work. I know there are many out there who do
this type of thing, but I am at a lost of where to find them. I
do not want to do this over the phone, or online, I am the type
who wants to sit down with a person and explain exactly what I
want. I am open to photoshop, graphic designers, etc. I cannot
pay more than $25.00 per hour and am willing to work with
students, someone seeking some easy work on the side, ect. I
will expect to see examples. Any direction appreciated.
I think I know the perfect person for you! His name is Richard
Tsuei. He's an artist himself, but is also very knowledgeable about
all things digital. He's helped me buy computers, set up systems,
taught me software etc...I'm sure he'll be able to help you! You
can reach him at 408-772-5698 or by email at
Nov 2008: Computer Expert (mac/pc) 4 housecall
I am trying to find a person who can come to the house and
re-jig my computer system(s) Mac and PC so everything runs well,
networks and prints. I think I'm running on one cylinder right
now and I have a V8. Berkeley Area.
I suggest you call Blair Collins at 510-444-4344 to see if he'd be
able to help. Or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is
Microsoft Certified and loves Macs. And he's totally honest.
Nov 2008: computer technician to help with disk problem
Hi, I've checked the archives, but would like current recommendations
for a trusted computer service repair person. We've never gotten in the
habit of backing up the computer hard disk-drive. Once the drive became
full, we installed a second drive and a friend copied everything over to
the new larger drive. The problem being the digital photos (our
wedding, babies, etc) somehow aren't fully readable (we used Adobe
Photoshop for storage). The images seem to be there, but when you click
to open a file, a different image displays. And now the kicker, the new
disk-drive won't boot up. I fear we've permanently lost our photos and
other miscellaneous files. I'd like to find someone to get the drive
working, but more importantly to recover the photos and files.
I highly recommend Sebastian Stuart with CyberDoc. He and the other
technicians in the company are knowleable, friendly and very responsive.
I was having some computer problems, probematic firewall, decreasing
computer performance and I needed help fine-tuning my small office
network. They came and did all of that for a reasonable price. They also
set up a program that enables them to troubleshoot and fix my computers
from a distance which is amazing! I call them and we initiate a online
session where CyberDoc gains access to my computer and they go about
fixing the problem remotely. They returned my call promptly and I had
some printer issues that they fixed in a matter of minutes.
You can contact Sebastian at 510-452-9237 - ext 101.
If you want further information, please contact me at 510-569-7246 or
Tell Sebastian that Catherine sent you.
Oct 2008: service and repair home computers
Can someone recommend an individual who can do PC service and repair for
home office computers? I would like to find someone who can come to our
home periodically and service our computers, make recommendations about
appropriate software, virus prevention, and call in case of urgent
problems. The postings on BPN are somewhat outdated, so would like
Need computer help
We use Ludovic Ibarra of Homeputer. 415-652-2068. Ludovic is
very helpful, affordable and never makes you feel dumb.
Feb 2008: Affordable computer person needed
Computer person needed to get my computer to work faster and
stop freezing on me.
I can't recommend Dean Bradley highly enough. She helped me when
my hard drive crashed. She does really great work and is very
reasonably priced. Her number 510-531-9631.
I wanted to offer my recommendation for a fantastic computer consulting company here
in Berkeley. Computer Courage, ran by Adam Schwartz is wonderful. Our company had gone
through 5 computer techs in 2 years... I finally buckled down and started doing phone
interviews with several computer techs in the area. Using BPN as a resource, I found
Adam and his company Computer Courage. A young dynamic professional who has a crew
that is both highly knowledgeable, professional and personable. We are very pleased,
excited and confident to have Adam and his team as our computer techs. I highly
recommend them for your business and/or home.
Feel free to contact me for a reference.
Adam Schwartz Contact info is:
A satisfied customer
June 2007: Computer (PC) repair
I have a desktop computer (originally custom-built) which is a bit old (Windows 2000
Pro), but has a lot of data on it and is attached to many peripherals (scanner,
printers, Network, etc.). It has recently been showing signs of ''age'' with
unexplained dropping out of USB connections, temporary loss of sound capabilities, etc.,
and I am looking for someone who will come to my Home Office (El Sobrante) to check the
machine out; fix it; or consider installation of a totally new machine, but with
preservation of the data on the old machine. I am of ''intermediate'' computer savvy
but will not attempt to ''open up the box'', and need someone who will help me to get
fully up and running again. I prefer someone with a ''track record'' (who has been in
business for a while). Please contact me via e-mail and give your phone number, as I
would like to speak with you in person. Many thanks, Bob Fink
A great computor PC repair and assistance person is Dean Bradley at 531-9631.
She has helped me with my two computors.
Oct 2007: Mac/PC comupter consultant needed
I have a small design business and I am looking for a computer consultant
that has experience in networking and servicing BOTH Macs and PCs. We are
moving into a new office space and I need someone to help set up our
computers and network. After that I will need some general maintenance. Any
recommendations would be appreciated!
Rob Gross has been an amazing computer consultant for my small business
for many years. We have an office that has both Macs and PCs, and he has
been a wonderful coordinator and trouble shooter who has always kept us
up and running perfectly. He is at 338-0101.
Small business owner
I enthusiastically recommend Yaron Rosenthal of 57 Works (510-677-5816)
for your business computer needs. I admit, Yaron is a close friend who
has rescued my home computer on numerous occasions. However, as a solo
law practitioner, I would not trust my computer to anyone else. Yaron is
exceptionally skilled, trustworthy, and committed to his craft.
June 2006: Computer overhaul recommendation?
Can anyone recommend a person or business who can overhaul
our son's laptop computer. It is full of viruses
and ''bugs'' so he needs it made ''like new'' before he goes
off to UC Santa Cruz in the fall (as a freshman). I took
it to a place on Bancroft near the Cal campus and they did
not do a satisfactory job.
We had a similar problem with my son's laptop last fall and
used BBC Computer Specialist at 510-325-5522. We got their
name from a previous recommendation on the Parents Network
and I strongly second that recommendation. They came and
picked up the computer, kept it for a day or two and retured
it problem free, after rebuilding the hard drive. Cost was $100
In response to the person who needs someone to overhaul a computer: I have had very good
experience with Andy Spalaris. He does computer work for UC Berkeley, but also does private
consulting. He will come to your house or, if it's a laptop, you can let him take the
computer to his house to work on it. His number is 848-0432.
Yaron Rosenthal, a BPN member, is a fantastic computer
repair person. His rates are reasonable and he comes to you,
so you don't need to drop the computer off to be fixed. His
email: shakalim[at]pacbell.net Phone: 510 677-5816
For several years now, I have used a great computer tech
named Paul Paz y Mino for work like this. He has done
several computers for me, with a total overhaul including
reinstalling the operating system and all the software to
make it really clean. He also checks it over and suggests
easy things to make it run better like more memory or a
faster drive, then tells you exactly what you need and the
absolute cheapest place to buy it. His rates are very
reasonable. I recently bought two used computers for my
business that were a real steal (a business liquidation)
and Paul got them up to speed for me. He's also a really
nice guy! You can reach Paul at ppaz[at]igc.org
I strongly recommend Berkeley computer consultant Max Weinryb (848-8996).
He has done numerous projects for me, my husband, and many friends
including dealing with hardware and software problems, installing upgrades,
adding memory, replacing fans, eliminating viruses, and setting up networks.
Excellent skills, completely reliable, and a nice guy. For most projects, he
guarantees his work: If he doesn't solve your problem, he doesn't charge you. He
has always solved our problems -- fast -- and his rates are low.
Feb 2006: Computer help: 1. Wireless network setup; 2. Something "fishy" running on PC?
Hi - I'm looking for recent recommendations for a computer geek-type service to come and 1. install a wireless network (this may include setting up one of the computers which is still in the box, printer, etc.), and 2. advising about/fixing the "???" that constantly (CONSTANTLY!) runs on the older/current PC. Something is running in the background which I can neither find, nor stop. Not sure if I have a virus, spyware, or ??? The web site recommendations are all older, and I'm seeking recent recommendations/reviews/advice/names, etc. Thanks!
Need geek service!
Try Steve at Berkeley Backup: 510.848.5990 and www.bbackup.com. The business consists of
Steve and his son Jesse (no experience w/ son). Have taken my hard drive to his
house/office for diagnosis and he has made a house call to resolve internet connection
problem w/ my daughter's computer (and dispensed lots of advice along the way). He also
networked my husband's office (4 - 5 computers). Steve knows what he is doing, is
efficient, a nice guy, and for the personal computer problems, charged -- I think --
I would recommend: Yaron Rosenthal, 57 Works, Computer Consulting - (510)677-5816 -
www.57works.com. Yaron works on both PC's and Mac's. His speciallty is back-up systems,
but he does all the other stuff too. Reasonable rates. He is a member of the Berkeley
Here's a recommendation for a remarkable computer consultant.
His name is Rob Gross, and you can reach him at 338-0101. One of
my favorite things about him is that he will come to your house
or business, fix your computer, and tell you what you need to do
in terms of ongoing hardware and software protection and safety.
He is competant, reliable and amazingly personable.
Need to use it, don't want to fix it!
I'd like to recommend Steve Abbitt of MOJO-IT for computer
repair and servicing. He has helped me twice this year, once
with a complete disaster, and once with some minor problems.
I work from home and don't have IT support; I'm sleeping much
better knowing that I can call Steve if my computer crashes.
He's fast, friendly, reasonably priced, knowledgeable, and
soothing when you're on the edge of hysteria.
Call Mojo-IT at 510-849-1095.
Re: Computer Virus -- HELLLLP!!!
I'm so sorry about your computer virus! It stinks that people
are out there ruining the internet for those of us who get great
value from it.
I have a good person to recommend to help you reclaim control
over your computer. His name is Paul Paz y Mino. He has done
great work for me and my computers both at home and in my office.
You can reach Paul at 510-773-4635 or ppaz AT igc.org.
I would like to highly recommend Michael Dang for any computer
work or advice. I can not say enough good things about
Micheal. He is bright, knowledgeable, honest, extremely hard-
working, and a pleasure to work with. He is the type of person
that goes way out of his way to help people, even if it means
inconveniencing himself. He is a UC Berkeley graduate and lives
in the East Bay. He can be reached at 510-875-5568 or feel free
to email me for more info.
We have a good friend who runs his own business helping folks
with their personal computers. He's very reasonable and can
probably help you get rid of the virus/worm you describe.
Email Rob Love at rob AT anywherepcrepair.com
March 2005: someone to clean up our computer?
Our Windows XP computer is rife with pop-ups, arcane error
messages, and possibly spyware. It works OK, but not as
efficiently as we'd like, particularly since we have a 15-year-
old (and sometimes her friends) roaming around on it. The BPN
computer consultant postings are a little old; can anyone
recommend a consultant who'd come over to our house in central
Berkeley for an hour or two, do some clean-up, and make some
recommendations? Some idea of his/her hourly rate would be nice
I highly recommend Terry Leake. He is a computer specialist who will
come to your house and do whatever it takes to get your computer
humming again. He is wonderful to work with, has great integrity and I
think charges around $75 an hour. His number is 877-861-4344.
I would like to highly recommend Michael Dang for any computer
work or advice. I can not say enough good things about
Micheal. He is bright, knowledgeable, honest, extremely hard-
working, and a pleasure to work with. He is the type of person
that goes way out of his way to help people, even if it means
inconveniencing himself. He is a UC Berkeley graduate and lives
in the East Bay. He can be reached at 510-875-5568 or feel free
to email me for more info.
I am looking for current recommendations for someone to
help me set up a new home computer (PC), including
transferring files etc, from my old computer. Someone who
is skilled, reliable and charges reasonable rates.
Thanks for your help.
We used Geek Squad (1-888-GeekSquad) to set-up Tivo and a
wireless network on our home computers. They were great -
very professional and thorough. I don't know if they
charge reasonable rates as we didn't really shop around (we
paid a flat rate of $ 159.00 for each set-up). From your
post, you might do well by hiring a computer saavy high
schooler if you just need set-up and file transfers. Good
Help! I need someone to fix my computer, which has gone
bonkers. I have a 3.5-year-old Dell that I 've never had any
problems with. But now I am constantly getting messages I
cannot understand and, being a technophobe, I just ignore them
and plow ahead. Lately I have trouble shutting down or
rebooting (is that the word?). I was keeping track of the
various error messages; now I have given up. I need a computer
repair person to come to my home. I don't do anything with my
computer other than check email, draft the occasional document
for work and download (upload?) digital photos. I checked the
recommendations; the most recent is from May 2002. Does anyone
have any current recommendations? I did find one person whose
rate was $100/hour. Is that the going rate? What should I
expect? I need this person to 1) fix what is ailing my computer
and 2) do any maintenance stuff I should've been doing all
Not a techie
$100/hr for PC diagnostics and repair sounds steep. You should
be able to find qualified help for half that cost. That $100/hr
rate may include a premium for making a house call and you will
surely find a better rate at a shop if you take the computer in
Ludovic Ibarra 415-652-2068-he's in Alameda. He has been very
helpful to me both at home and at my non-profit where he keeps
my machines humming away. I am not sure of his rates exactly
though I know they are competitive but a good tech won't be
really cheap. Good luck
I'd like to recommend BBC Computer Specialists (510-325-5522).
We had a problem with our PC that Dell's lousy Customer Service
couldn't help us fix. Based on a yellow pages listing, we
called BBC. Charley Plock, one of the cofounders, picked up the
computer within hours, did the appropriate first-step
troubleshooting and recovering, and dropped it off.
Unfortunately, the problem recurred. Again, Charley picked up
the computer, determined that the hard drive needed to be
replaced, helped get one within 24 hours from Dell, and had the
computer back in our hands within one business day after
receiving the hard drive. We didn't have to drive anywhere and
the total bill was only $100. Charley was pleasant and
professional, and responsive to questions that we phoned in
during and after the repair.
Help - both my home and office computers are having problems.
My home computer has a virus that shuts the computer down just
minutes after I turn it on, and the office computer keeps
freezing. Does anyone have a good recommendation for someone
who can fix computer problems like these? (They are both PCs)
I'm not sure if you are willing to take your computers to
someone, or if you hoped to have someone come to you, but if
you're willing to take them somewhere, I highly recommend Leon,
who runs Domino Computers on Adeline in Berkeley (3360 Adeline,
near Alcatraz). We've taken our computers to him for years and
have sent lots of friends and family members to him. He can
diagnose and fix anything. Their phone number is 653-6287.
From your description, it sounds like you have the RPC bug, which
came out back in November. You can remove it using a tool from the Symantec
If you're not a computer person, you should definitely keep virus software
up to date and automatic updates for both it and Windows enabled. Don't
cancel out of it when it pops up... You need for it to be keeping track of it.
We have been working with Bill Hetzel and he's GREAT. He set up
a new computer for us and networked it with our laptop. To me he
seems a computer genious! Can answer any question, easy to
reach, can talk you through stuff on the phone and has a pretty
flexible schedule. His number is 632-5670. Tell him Marissa
Call Ludovic Ibarra at 415-652-2068. He's in Alameda. He's our
tech guy for my small non-profit and he aso does home computer
set ups. He's fabulous!
asking for current recommendations for someone who can work on
my computer--I'm not sure what are hardware or software
problems. I'm reasonably computer literate but the recent
problems are beyond my scope and I don't want to spend time
figuring it out. Would like current recommendations/experiences
with someone who comes to your house and 'tunes up' the
computer, including installing a new hard drive and more
memory. Thanks in advance.
I am looking for someone to help clean off our hard drive and
organize our PC computer. I have seen all the past
recommendations, but they all seem out of date. Any rec's are
For computer repair at home or at the office, I would recommend
Mojo-IT in Berkeley. 510-849-1095
They do software/hardware integration, installation,
Hardware replacement,(cards, hard drives, memory etc) internet
setups and many other services.
I have used them myself and would recommend them. Same day
appointments at your home or office. Good rates and friendly
Wonderful computer repair company: FTF, Inc. They are very
friendly, responsive, and affordable and make house calls.
510-748-9382. Ask for Matt.
I'm hoping to hire someone with software management skills who can help
clean up a hodge-podge hard drive and teach me how to maintain it better.
I have a 4-year-old PC with Windows 95 OS. It came with a bunch of
software, much of which we don't use, and we've installed more.
Recent software additions have started to affect unrelated
programs, for example, upgrading NetScape resulted in problems
shutting the computer down. I don't think this is due to a virus, but
results from my limited software-management skills. Recently
I bought a computer program for my academic work that that operates best
using virtual memory. I'm afraid to use it because of what I might mess
up. I hope you know someone who can help me reorganize my machine!
--I know of a very good person who will work in people's home, named Paul.
I'm not sure of his going rate these days, but you can contact him at:
paul at teknights.com
He networked the entire head office of the clothing company that I used to
work for, but then he also helped a friend of mine set-up her personal
computer at home, so he is definitely well versed.
If you are on campus you might check out the Computer Assistance Program. They
have a web site at: http://www-oms.berkeley.edu/cap/what.html. They have a staff
of undergraduates that have some computer experience and are often quite skilled.
I've seen several calls for computer help on the list recently so
I thought I would try to start a response thread on how to hire
someone and have the best chance of success. I'm sure there are
other computer professionals on the list who can add to this.
Consider whether taking the computer to a store might not make the
most sense. The advantages include having a reputation, clear
policies (not necessarily good, just clear), presumably some measure
of training and oversight, better recourse in the event of a problem.
It's unlikely that you would be ripped off at a brick and mortar
store. The disadvantages are that you have to schlep the computer,
some problems can only be solved in situ, the best computer techs
are not working for $8/hour at CompUSA.
If you decide to find someone to visit your house to look at your computer,
here are some suggestions for what to do:
1. Have a written list of your issues and the resolutions that you
would like to see. Make a checklist that will be used at the end
of the tech's visit to agree upon what has been completed. You
should run through a standard list of checks beyond the work that
was done to make sure the machine still functions properly. While
the tech is still there, you should include in your check the
following frequent problems (ideally you would do these checks before the
tech starts, also - that way everyone agrees that they used to work):
Can you still print (Number one problem after the tech leaves)?
Does the modem still work? Connection to the internet?
Zip drive still working? If on a PC, does it have its old drive letter?
CD ROM drive still working? If on a PC, same drive letter?
Screensaver setting still the same?
Does "mission-critical" software still launch?
Has the screen resolution or color depth been changed? If so you should
check any programs that might rely on those settings (mostly games,
but also some high end graphics programs).
2. Know how much you want to spend. Have your prospective employee
look over your list and give you an estimate. Some people may not be
willing to give you a firm amount (the situation is often difficult
to discern without sitting at the console). I think that's okay,
but they should be able to give you a rough guess of the time
involved. Certainly after they examine the machine they should be
able to give you an accurate measure of how long it will take.
3. Get references.
4. Backup your machine before your techie arrives or pay the tech
to do it. It cannot be stressed enough. You must backup the files
you cannot afford to lose.
5. Have everything about your computer, hardware and software, out
and available including all manuals, the registration numbers and/or
cd keys. There's no sense in paying the tech to wait for you to find
stuff. As an aside, do not ask the tech to install pirated software.
6. Offer the tech a glass of water. Often they like chocolate, too.
7. Clean and organize the area the tech will be working in before
I hope this helps get the ball rolling and we can generate a thorough
list regarding hiring a tech to work on your home computer.
I don't know anyone that could come to your house but I do know of a Mac
message board online that has a moderator there to answer Mac related
questions. If your connection is as slow as you say it is, it may be
difficult to reach the board though. Brian Forte is the moderator's name
and he may be able to give you some insight into your problem, if you can
get there. You can find the message board at:
There is also a list of all other computer related message boards with
moderators and members that are willing and able
to help you work through just about any computer problem. The full list
of message boards can be found at
I hope that helps.
I can't recommend Rob Bradshaw highly enough! He does Mac and Windows,
and is very good - software and hardware configuration, installation,
troubleshooting... He used to be a Software QA Engineer, and then went
out on his own so that he could work more directly with people. Give hime
a call and tell him I (John Tangney) sent you.
Almost all his clients are private individuals with computers at home,
some of them in a home office situation. He has also worked at Head Royce
in a computer support role, and one of his clients is the new Chabot
Rob's is very people oriented. His first priority is making sure that the
client gets what s/he needs in a timely and cost-effective fashion. He is
Rob and I worked together at two separate companies over the years, he in
a QA role, and I in a Software Engineerin role. If you know the way that
goes, you'll appreciate it when I say that the stereotypically
adversarial relationship between Engineering and QA was greately
softened, largely due to Rob's efforts. He would do things like bring in
cookies for all the engineers to make the bug reports more palatable!
(925) 256-5673 (pager)
The company name is Paper Machete.
Try Peter Golitzen. His e-mail address is golitzen at ifn.net. He lives in
El Cerrito and has done just this type of thing for individuals and
businesses. Peter is the husband of my office mate.
Looking for a computer consultant to set up our home office - wireless network - and
help de-bug a few glitches. We used GeekSquad a year ago and were disappointed. I'd
also like to find someone who could teach us a thing or two so that we are more
self-sufficient in the future. Noticed some postings from 2003 & 2004 but for folks in
e-bay area. Looking for someone in San Francisco who is reasonable. Thank you
I want to recommend Rob Gross (510-338-0101,
rgross[at]esoftltd.com). I have a small business and he has been my
technology consultant for many years.
Here are the things I especially like about him:
1. He is very intelligent, clear and articulate. If I have a
problem, he tries to see if he can tell me how to fix it (good to
be educated), or if he can fix it remotely (and therefore, reduce
the amount of time I need to be off my computer)
2. He is interested in empowering his clients to do what they can
3. He sets up systems (backup, spyware removal, etc) that keep my
computers functioning optimally
I recommend him highly!
I have a small business (5 people) in San Francisco. We are
looking for a consultant or small consulting firm to help us
upgrade our computer network with a new server and updated
software. I'd also like someone who can give us security
recommendations. I'd prefer someone Microsoft certified. Does
anyone have a recommendation for an individual or small
consulting firm that does this type of work?
I would like to recommend the Computer Company that my Law Firm
uses. We are very satisfied with their knowledge, as well as
their prompt response to all our various needs whether small or
large. We are a small Law Firm that needed to update all of our
computers as well as invest in a server. We basically needed to
update all of our computer environment. I can not recommend them
enough. The owner is very involved and a great guy to do
business with. The business is called The Wizards of OzTechs,
and they are located in Walnut Creek (I think they travel all
over the Bay Area). Their phone number is (925) 280-7400
I highly recommend PHW Consulting Services. Paul Wilson has
offered computer and networking support to individuals and
companies alike for over ten years. He is professional,
courteous, Microsoft certified, and thorough. He pays attention
to details and asks questions without assuming he knows your
situation from the moment he walks in the door.
He has assisted our company for the last five years in
networking, upgrading systems and software, remote access and
online demands, and the general cleanup and emergency situations
that can pop up in that span of time. He has also helped many
individuals and companies in the Bay Area and is a ''Computer
Guru'' for many folks in an on going capacity.
Your situation sounds right up his alley. He has a lot of
experience in security and network upgrades. I'd definitely
call him to discuss your situation.
PHW Consulting Services
I am trying to create a small computer network between a mac and a pc, and 1
printer. I need help!
Can anyone recommend a reasonable computer consultant that can deal with 2
Rob Gross, 338-0101, has been an incredible computer resource.
He is smart, a great problem solver, and is very easy to work
with. He is both Mac and PC savvy, and works with home and
business systems. I recommend him highly.
I have worked with a consultant at a company called 57 Works.
His name is Yaron Rosenthal, and he can be reached at
510.677.5816. He is flexible in all ways and will work with you
until everything is fully working. He has worked on both Macs
and PCs for many years and is very familiar with both.
I can't recommend him highly enough.
I use Cheshire Computing. April Wofford makes house calls. Recently, I had a
memory upgrade and she noticed that my computer was running a little slow so she
suggested a spa treatment while I'm on vacation (take it in to get to the bottom of
things). Anyway, she's funny, a pleasure to be around and takes care of business.
Her phone is 510-315-0547
Her email is april [at]cheshirecomputing..net
We have a growing family with several children, each of whom
will be getting their own computer and sharing a DSL line. My
husband and I also want to have home offices. We're looking for
help from a computer network consultant, preferably from a
reputable outfit that has commercial accounts - we've had some
bad luck with the dependability and expertise of some less
professional people. If they are good, I might be able to refer
them to work at my office in San Francisco as well. Thanks for
Hi, I can strongly recommend Bill Hetzel, who has his own
company, Hetzelogic. He worked at my previous place of
employment with a consulting company, and now handles all my
home computer needs as well. He can be reached at 510-632-5670,
or william_hetzel at yahoo.com. Very laid back, reasonably priced,
professional, and responsible. Good luck!
Do I have the guy for you. Ludoivc Ibarra who is an independent
contractor and not attached to a big operation BUT who is very
dependable, works hard and doesn't charge an arm and a leg has
worked for me both in my home and in my office. He has also
worked for other colleagues who have all been happy with his
work. Give him a call and see for yourself 415-652-2068.
I wanted to recommend a computer consultant, Rob Gross at Esoft,
338-0101. He is bright, capable, and terrific at sorting out
what people really need in a computer system. He usually works
with larger companies, but enjoys doing family and home-office
The Alameda Computer School sets up in-home networks. We
charge a rate of $35 an hour for our services plus the cost of
the materials. If you are interested email us at
networks at alamedacomputers.com or give us a call at (510) 749-
We love Bay Office Computing. Dan Bodner is the owner and my
firm uses him for all their computer needs. I don't think they
do a lot of residential work, but they go to all of our
partner’s homes and help them with their computers and their
home networks and everybody is delighted. We used to use a
larger company and were very dissatisfied and also suspected we
were getting ripped-off. Bay Office Computing is a smaller
firm I think Dan actually founded the company a couple years
ago after quitting a larger consulting firm. Technically they
can do it all and they are very talented, very fair, easy and
pleasant to work with, and always know how to make things work
or suggest the best most cost effective solutions. They’re also
much more responsive than other consultants we used to struggle
with. Their number is 510-272-0001 and Dan is at extension
44. His email is dan at BayOC.com. Good luck.
We would be completely up a creek, tech-wise, if it were not for our
magnificent computer consultant, Rob Gross. (He can be reached at
510-338-0101 or rgross at esoftltd.com)
Over the past many years, he has bailed us out numerous times,
patiently explained things to us, help us transfer data to new computers,
pointed out that our computer had come unplugged without laughing at
us (!), and overall been an invaluable fount of knowledge, expertise and
know-how. We don't know how other people with computers survive
without having someone like this to call.
He works with clients both in their homes and at their businesses. He's
set up and maintained a system for a close friend in his business, and I
know my friend also considers Rob an invaluable resource.
We have been helped many times by a computer consultant named Ray
Marshall (The Computer Doctor). He charges extremely reasonable
rates and is helpful and pleasant to work with. His background
is extensive in both hardware and software, so he's able to
handle either situation to really find out what's wrong! His
number in Oakland is: 836-1572
I would like to chime in that we've also been using Bay Office
Computing at our law firm and for home offices of the attorneys
and have been very pleased. Dan Bodner and company do it all and
do it well. Dan will take very good care of you.
Does anyone know the reasonable and quick computer repair shop? I bought a
second hand computer, but it doesn't recognize CD drive. It is just a minor
I highly recommend Tom's Computer Repair on Gilman in Berkeley.
What do others do about backing up the data they have on their home
computer? The most important thing to me are the pictures I have.
Now that I only take digital pictures, what if I lost them all? I
do have them backed up onto a external HD, and some are on CD, and
a selection are uploaded to a share site so I guess I'd still have
access to some of them there. But I'm worried about hard drive
failure or my computer or backup HD being stolen. (There have been
breakins in our neighborhood, we have been lucky.) What are others
doing? Are there good online backup sites? I have 20+ GBs worth...
a little worried
I don't know if this is the perfect solution, but it works for
me so far: Once a month (I make a note on my calendar), I back
up all my ''My Documents'' files (I don't worry about software,
just the content) onto a 250GB external USB hard drive (less
than $100) and walk it down to our safe deposit box, and at the
same time pick up my second external drive from the box for the
next month's backup, just swapping them in and out. The one
that's at home could still get stolen, but at least I have a
copy of everything relatively safe from fire/theft at all
times. I also periodically burn CDs of photos to store at home
or in the safe deposit box.
Knock on Wood
Backup, backup, backup. And backup again! I keep at least triple
backups of all of my data. I have over 600 GBs of photography work
and 700 GBs of music. I backup all the time and keep several off
site. I've spent too much time ripping music and my photography
work is too important to me to lose any of it.
If you have a Mac you can use Carbon Copy to back either entire
drives or specific content. 1 TBs drives are priced reasonably
I buy most of my drives from OWC.
Backup often and have more than one backup! Keep one at work or at
a friends house.
I use an online backup program called SugarSync, available at
https://www.sugarsync.com/ I pay about $50 per year for 30 Gb
of storage. Whenever you add a file or change a file on your
computer, it automatically uploads to the online website
(password protected and secure). It also saves the last five
versions of everything so if you make a mistake, you can go
back to a previous version. You can turn it off when you need
bandwidth for other things, like streaming video, etc. There
are different plans with different storage maximums. You can
try it free for a month too. You can also share files with
others easily and share photo albums, and sync files from
differnt computers. I love the piece of mind knowing that all
my files are online in case my house burns down or everything
is stolen. I can access all my files from any computer hooked
up to the internet too, which is very handy. I am VERY happy
with this service.
When thinking about backing up data, the rule of thumb is that
data must exist on two completely different 'things'. that can
be an external hard drive, CDs, another computer, etc. Hard
drives fail often and data can usually be restored but you
don't want that kind of worry.
The other rule is that if you are protecting the data from
theft or damage like fire/water, you will need to have the data
in two different physical locations. I am now a fan of going
with an online storage/backup service. You can either use
something like a photo sharing service or get a service that
stores yours files for you. I would recommend getting a large
external hard drive and synching it to a hosted site--that
would be your belt with a pair of suspenders......
You should check out either www.mozy.com or www.BackBlaze.com. For about $5 per
month you can back up your entire hard-drive to Internet based storage.
Mozy asks you to define what you want to back up. BackBlaze backs up everything by
default. I prefer latter but it's a matter of opinion really. What I love most: both
both Mac and PCs.
I back up my computer on Mozey.com (I think that's what it
is...I'm out of town right now and using another computer).
It's about $10.00 per month. It automatically backs up
everything daily. There are many sites like this.
It also backs up my pics, BUT I also put all of my pics into a
Kodak site. That way I can send them to other people without
taking up too much of their computer space) and they/I can
order prints etc.
Hope this helps. It's important to have some kind of back up.
Good you are doing this now.
$5 per month - we use it - it's great. YOu can schedule it on
your computer so you don't have to remember to back it up
yourself. And it's offsite.
When searching for an online site, I would recommend to use one
that functions as a storage database so you can get your
originals back, rather than a photo-sharing site like Snapfish.
Flikr will allow you to upload pictures and retrieve your
originals. You can get a small monthly allotment for free (100MB
I think), but to upload more than that you pay a monthly fee. I
also back up my pictures onto DVDs and put it in a bank safety
deposit box. That way if there is a fire, flood, etc. in the
house, all my backup won't be in one place. Good luck!
Here's what I do for backups:
I have two small USB disk drives (I like the little Western
Digital Passport -- tiny, and about $100 from Amazon for 500 GB;
only $75 if 250GB will do). I format the whole partition with
TrueCrypt (www.truecrypt.org) -- free and very secure, so if the
drive is lost or stolen I don't worry.
I keep one at home, and one in my safe deposit box at the bank.
I use the one at home to back up every few days (incremental
backup, so it takes very little time). I store the drive AWAY
from the computer, so if it's stolen they won't think to take the
backup drive. About every three months, I swap the home drive
with its twin at the bank, so I have one that's no more than a
couple months old totally safe even if my house burns down.
There are various ''cloud storage'' options these days, but I
haven't used them and don't know how to evaluate their security
or permanence (what if the company goes out of business? or an
irate employee erases everything? etc.).
--Careful about backups
I use an online service called Mozy that backs up everything
automatically. It's affordable and gives me peace of mind. The
website it mozy.com/home
Yes, you should definitely back up your photos (though it sounds
like a lot of yours are already sort of backed up). Don't do
what I did. My hard disk died a couple of years ago. I had
years and years of photos on it, never backed up. Sometimes you
can recover data from a failed hard drive yourself, using
software, but mine was beyond that. I ended up paying $2,000 to
have an organization in Novato recover all my data. Ouch! Since
then, I back up regularly. The easiest way is using an online
backup service. You might want to take a look at Carbonite
(www.carbonite.com). It's very easy to set up and use. The
first 15 days are free, so you can see if you like it. It costs
about $60 a year to keep it going. Another, cheaper,
alternative, if you have a DVD burner, is to burn all of your
photos to DVD now and then. If photos are mostly what you're
concerned about, online backup might be overkill. The
disadvantage of the DVD solution is that you actually have to do
it! Carbonite is automatic. If you don't have a DVD burner, how
about just copying all of your photos to an online photo site?
Learned the hard way
I need to have a back up system for my computer...all my documents,
photos, itunes, etc. I've been putting this off for a very long time and
don't want to wait till it's too late.
I have a PC....what's good? Prices? Easy-ish to manage?
Thanks in advance
I just love my new backup software/website. It was recommended by the
tech Q&A guy in the SF Chronicle. It's at www.sugarsync.com You
download their program to your computer. You tell the program which
files to back up and then it backs up all the files online to
sugarsync's website. The great thing is, everytime you add a new photo
or song or file to your computer, or save a new version of a document,
it automatically backs it up to sugarsync. This way, you always have a
100% current back up online should there be an earthquake or your house
burns down. You can access your files (securely) using any computer
with internet access, which is very handy. You can also share your
photos online with people through sugarsync's website, and you can
share large files or folders with others if you choose to. I bought 30
Gb of storage for $50/year. I think it's a bargain for the piece of
mind. They have different packages depending on how much storage you
need. You can do a!
free trial if you'dike to check it out (30 days?). It's also very
easy to use, and quick to set up.
I'm not expert, but on the suggestion of the Chronicle's computer
columnist, I started backing up my PC files online at idrive.com. You
set up when, how often, and what you want backed up, and then it runs
automatically (your computer has to be on, but you don't need to be
Their basic program is free, but will only back up 2 GB. That's what I
use, but I don't have it back up everything - especially photos, since
they take so much space. They also offer $50/year for 150 GB.
For photos, as soon as I put them on my computer, I try to remember to
upload them to two different online photo sites (I use Shutterfly and
Koday Gallery) - in case one of them goes belly-up - so I don't have to
use a ton of CDs. Not as convenient, but I don't have to do it often.
There are two main options for computer backup, online and external
hardware, each has advantages.
You can use an online service like http://mozy.com and get 2GB of
storage for free or they have paid plans that accommodate more space.
You set the computer to backup at a certain time and day and it takes
care of the rest. The disadvantage is the data is stored elsewhere and
may not be immediately accessible. If you have a catastrophic failure,
you're going to have to know how to access the data from another
computer for retrieval.
Personally, I use an external hard-drive that backs up all my important
data daily without intervention. Most external drives will come with
some type of software which will allow you to accomplish this in very
easy fashion. For less than, $100 you should be able to find an
external hard-drive to accommodate most needs. Your photos will take
up the most space. I recently purchases a 1 terabyte drive for about
$200 which should be more than enough for quite some time.
The downsides to the external hard-drive would be the potential for
theft, damage (such as fire/flood) and cost. They will also wear out
eventually since they are mechanical.
Eventually I will probably move to a dual external hard-drive
configuration where one gets saved in a fire resistant safe.
Hope this helps!
I would like help understanding the various components needed
to get a home office and business up and running.
1. Domain name - I do understand how to buy one. Is there a
reason not to use GoDaddy?
2. If you have a domain name who hosts you -- or is that even
the right terminology? If I want JaneSmith.com who does someone
send email to -- is it Jane@JaneSmith.com? But then who do I
get my email from? Is that the same as whomever provides my DSL
3. What are the advantages or disadvantages of having these
services bundled or not from a single provider? Recommended
comapnies for all these things?
4. I want my email to download to my computer not just exist on
a web-based service. How do I make this happen?
So....how do I beign to understand all these component parts
and does anyone have suggestions as to who can teach me or how
I do it myself?
Behind the technological curve
Yaron Rosenthal, Berkeley Parents Network Member and owner of 57
Works, can help you with the computer issues that you need help
with. He can also help with just about any PC or Mac problem you
might have. His specialty is setting up back-up systems to
protect your data. 510 677-5816 or shakalim[at]pacbell.net
As a web designer, I get these types of questions a lot from my clients. Here are the basics:
You buy hosting from a hosting company - there are a million of them out there. Most hosting
companies (GoDaddy included, since you mentioned them) also do domain registration, often as
part of the hosting package, and it usually makes sense (convenient and cheap) to do both
through the same company.
Whatever hosting package you choose should come with email accounts that you set up with
whatever name(s) you want - Jane[at]JaneSmith.com, etc. You generally check this email online.
There are ways to hook it up to your Outlook, etc. box, but I've never done that.
Make sure that whatever host/package you choose provides the tools you need - if you plan to use
Front Page, ASP, FTP access, etc., check that those features are included/supported. If you're
working with a web designer, ask them what they need.
In my experience, the smaller hosting companies (my current fav is 1and1.com) are better than
the big providers (Yahoo, Verio, SBC, etc.) when it comes to customer service, features and
price. There are a bunch of sites out there that rate and compare various hosts -
www.hostsearch.com, www.hostcompare.com, etc. Or ask around and see what other people like
You have asked very good questions. I would go for bundled services - one host with web, email
and other functionalities all provided. It's more convenient for you service-wise and more cost
effective. My company offers full webcenter services with complete email package so that you can
access email accounts directly through such favored Pop3 email clients as Outlook, Thunderbird
and Eudora. It also has Auto Responders features where replies can be sent when you are not
physically available. The Design Center feature gives you quick, easy and cost- effective
control over the look and feel of your Business Web site. I would like to discuss with you about
your business needs and give you complete answer of all your questions. Please give me a call at
510 410 9798 or email me at gloriouszone[at]UnFranchise.com
My problem is
that I have two local disks (C and D; the floppy, and CD drives
are A, F and G respectively). Drive C is 16 GB but only has
500 MB available. Drive D is 58 GB and is essentially empty
although I have moved all of my personal files and pictures
onto the D drive. It appears that the C drive is full of
programs (including ITunes). Is it possible to move some of
the programs from the C to D drive or do I need to uninstall
and reinstall on the D drive? Is this DYI project or do I need
to call in the professional? Any websites that might address
issues like this? Thanks!
To answer your main question, about moving software from your C to your D drive,
unfortunately, the only surefire way to do this is to uninstall the software and
reinstall it on D. If you've got the original CDs for the software (or downloaded
copies, or in the case of software like iTunes, access to the WEB site), you can
certainly do this yourself. The tricky part will be moving all of your associated
data over to D. It's not that hard if you're pretty comfortable in general with
moving files around. After you uninstall software, those data files are left around.
Unfortunately, they can sometimes be hard to find. For instance, Microsoft tends to
place your data in some obscure folder that's shared by lots of other software. If
you were to uninstall Outlook, for instance and reinstall it on D, when you ran the
newly installed program, you wouldn't see any of your data (e-mails, contacts,
calendar) until you found your old data and either moved it or told Outlook where to
A bit tricky, but it completely depends on which software you're moving.
All that said, if you can afford to, I'd recommend a different fix. A larger C drive
would be a much better solution. You could even get a used one, cheaply. There are
lots of things that just have to be on C, so you're likely to run into this pretty
constantly. Copying the contents of your old C drive to a new one can be done without
reinstalling everything, but you'd want to hire a pro to do it.
It is possible to uninstall programs from your C drive and re-install them on your D
drive, but that's kind of tedious. The simplest solution is probably buying a new
hard drive and using it as a replacement for your C: drive. Hard drives are so
inexpensive now that it will cost less than $100. Maxtor hard drives come with
instructions and software to help you copy the contents of an old drive to a new
drive. (Other manufacturers probably have the same thing, but I've done this with a
Maxtor drive). Whether you can do it yourself depends upon how comfortable you are
with opening up your computer and removing components. It is a process intended for
consumers to complete, but you have to be comfortable at installing/uninstalling and
connecting/disconnecting your hard drives. If you're not, BestBuy (for instance)
advertises they will installl a hard drive for $39. Finally, there are a lot of
different acronyms associated with hard drives and you need to make sure to get one
that is compatible with your computer. If it currently has only a 16GB drive then it's
probably pretty old, maybe mid to late 90s? It might be time to consider upgrading to
a new computer to solve your hard disk limitations.
Upgrading all of the Time
You could temporarily transfer all your documents (photos, etc.) to an external hard
drive (HD) or burned on DVD, then reinstall your operating system (OS) and all
programs on the large HD (58GB), then transfer all your docs back to the 16GB HD.
Another way of doing it is getting a larger HD, say 150 GB, setting that up as your
storage HD, then transfering all contents of your 16GB to it and converting the 58GB
as your OS HD, for programs only.
The reasoning is that you will accumulate docs more quickly than programs, so you will
need more storage space eventually. And 16GB is small for an OS HD; they work faster
when there is empty space, at least twice as much as taken space.
And your 16GB could remain a back up HD, a MP3 HD or an external HD.
Upgrading a Computer Yourself
I'm needing to upgrade my IBM-compatible PC (memory and hard drive). Any
good suggestions about
where I could have this done in the East Bay?
The cheapest way is to do it yourself. Neither installing more memory nor
a new hard drive is beyond the abilities of anyone who can turn a
screwdriver and plug in a lamp. Get a copy of a book like Upgrading and
Repairing PC's (Pub. QUE, any recent edition will do) at the library if
you're nervous. Ask a computer literate friend to help. At $50/hr. and up,
you'll save some money.
If you still want to find a shop to do it, the folks at PC Ten (on Solano
in Albany, and Piedmont in Oakland) are reliable. 5271388/6525268. Or any
small computer shop -- take a look in Computer Currents for lots of
Putting in new memory is a snap. It is as easy as inserting new batteries
into a flashlight.
Read in your literature that came with the machine to see if you can find
the kind of
memory required for the machine and then go to a catalog and order it. Make
they send instructions. Changing the hard drive is a little bit more
difficult, more screws
to unfasten and to remember where to replace, but is like putting in a
new can of oil into
your car engine. If you can be assured that it is easy and that you can
do it, you will save
a bundle of money. You can order a hard drive directly from IBM or you can
try Le Cie.
Their web page addresses are obvious. Also, to get more experience you
could sign up for
an adult school class dealing in sevicing your computer. I did not go to a
class, but I changed
my own hard drive from a 2 gig to a 9 gig and doubled my memory on my own,
I am 68 years old!
Installing Network Cable
I want to have access to my computer network from the downstairs living room.
The computer room is just almost above the living room, upstairs. I think we could
get a very long network wire and string it inside the wall so it isn't visible. We
need to be concerned about a fireblock in the wall because this wall is very tall,
so we might have to poke a hole through the wall and drill a little hole in the fireblock
so the wire can pass through and down to the bottom of the wall. But, then we have
to be concerned about patching up the hole. Does anyone have suggestions to make
this procedure as painless as possible? Maybe you can recommend a handy person
to do this?
A handyman who did something like this for us a long time ago use a VERY
long drill bit (5 feet?) to get through the fireblock from the top the
the wall in the attic.
You might also consider various wireless networking stuff, there are
Airports for Macs, and for PCs there are wireless options and there are
products that communicate through the power wiring in your home. For
200-500 bucks you can get a complete setup, that's probably as much as
you'd pay a handyman to make all these holes and patch them.
We have an Apple Airport hub that we got just for this
purpose. It is meant for Macs but we adapted for use on our PCs (you can find instructions
on the web but you will need a little technical expertise).
When I got a new computer, I changed from AOL to ATT dail up
internet. Everything works fine. My 11 year old computer is
fine and I want to tie it to the new one. My new one has a
connect to att icon. The old one just has the defunct aol
connect icon. How do I get the att connect icon over to the old
I just want to let the kids do pbskids.org while I read my e-
mail. I have the old one with a phone line going into a y
splice in the new one's phone jack....the old one's msn network
icon ''cannot locate''.....what should I do?
Please advise me.
Get one of these or something similar (a router). You may have to upgrade
In any case, it's pretty unsafe to plug a Windows machine
directly into the internet without a firewall - you can get all
sorts of viruses and worms.
Hi, my husband brought me water last nite when I was working on
our new Dell laptop and he spilled water on the keyboard. I
immediately wiped the water off but within a few minutes the
computer just blew off and shut down. It would not turn on
again. We didn't get the accident insurance and we know the
warranty won't cover the damage. Any advice? Are you a techie
or have a techie partner that might have some feedback? Nancy
I'm not a techie, but my husband is. In any case, you probably
shorted your motherboard. There's nothing you can do, other than
replacing it. I had the same thing happen to me with my
I don't know Dell's arrangements, but even though I recovered
most of the data on my hard drive before sending the laptop to
IBM for repair, I was pleasantly pleased to find out that all the
data was still on the machine after the repair. I believe they
just swapped out the motherboard.
I doubt it's covered under warranty, but I also doubt that it
will be a huge fee. I think our repair was in the neighborhood of
$40; the computer was also returned in a week.
It has been my experience, however, that you can't always count
on having your data on a computer after a repair. Often machines
are ''wiped'' clean when during the repair.
What you may want to do before you send it in for repair is
purchase a ''shell'' ($15 to $50 at Fry's or similar stores) and
get some somewhat savvy person to remove your hard drive and
place it in the shell, connected to a working computer through a
USB port (it's best if you have the same operating systems). You
may be able to recover the data on your hard drive. If you can't
see any of your files, try Googling for free- or shareware
this page was last updated: Oct 19, 2009
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