El-Blog

This article is inspired by Malwarebytes...

10 easy steps to clean your infected computer

You log onto your computer and it takes forever to boot. When it finally does, a few unfamiliar applications litter your desktop, and your browser immediately sends you to an ad for hair loss products. Sounds like your PC has a problem with malware.

So what should you do? Before you flip out, try these simple steps to clean up your infected computer.

Computer acting suspect? Do a little digging and check for symptoms.

  • Does your web browser freeze or become unresponsive?
  • Do you get redirected to web pages other than the ones you are trying to visit?
  • Are you bombarded with pop-up messages?
  • Does your computer run slower than usual?
  • Do you see new icons on your desktop that you don’t recognize?

These are just some of the issues that are characteristic of a malware infection. Unfortunately, even if you see nothing wrong with your computer, there may be trouble brewing under the surface, sneaking around and screwing with your files undetected. So here’s what to do:

  1. Use protection: Enter safe mode.

    • Remove CDs and DVDs, and unplug USB drives from your computer. Then shut down.
    • When you restart, press the F8 key repeatedly. This should bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu.
    • Select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter. Only the bare minimum programs and services are used in this mode. If any malware is programmed to automatically load when Windows starts, entering safe mode may block the attempt.
  2. Back up your files, including documents, photos, and videos. Note: This is an essential step. Always have a current backup! Elbowman recommends Bvckup2.

    • Do not back up program files, as those are where infections like to hide. You can always download these programs again if files are lost.
  3. Delete temporary files.

    • To speed up your virus scanning, free up disk space, and possibly even get rid of some malware, delete your temporary files using Disk Cleanup.
    • For Windows 8, select Start and search for System Tools. Then select Disk Cleanup. For Windows 7 or lower, select Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then Disk Cleanup.
  4. Download an on-demand malware scanner such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Malwarebytes is the number one malware tool on the market, in Elbowman's humble opinion.

    • Follow set-up instructions and install the program.
  5. Disconnect from the Internet. Then run a scan.

    • If you truly believe you are infected, do not pass go, do not collect $100. Just go directly to the scan. If you do have an infection, your on-demand scanner should let you know that you in danger, girl. A list of scan results tells you what malware was found and removed.
  6. Restart your computer. After all, everyone deserves a second chance.

  7. Confirm the results of your anti-malware scan by running a full scan with another malware detection program. Note: always use more than one anti-malware tool, says Elbowman.

    • Restart again if the program found additional infections.
  8. Update your operating system, browser, and applications.

    • If there’s an update available on any of your software, go ahead and do it. Some of the most dangerous forms of malware are delivered by “exploits” that take advantage of out-of-date software.
  9. Reset all of your passwords.

    • Before being deleted, malware could have captured your passwords and forwarded them to hackers. Change each and every password you can think of, and make sure they’re strong. None of this 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 business. That’s the combination an idiot would use on his luggage.
  10. If, after all of these steps, you’re still having problems with a possible infection, feel free to contact Elbowman for assistance. Or, just contact Elbowman to begin with and let him handle the problem for you!

So, you're a cutting edge kind of person. You want the latest and greatest today, not tomorrow.  You went out and bought a 4K UHD-TV.  Now what?

  • How do you get 4K content to that beast? In my mind, you have two main choices.  

There's Netflix.  And, there's Amazon Instant Video. All other choices are either exclusive, proprietary, and extremely expensive. The choices of content on Netflix and Amazon are also extremely limited. But, it's early in the 4K game and that will change as more acaquire and demand the technology.

  • How do you take advantage of the improved sound capabilities?  You need to make 'sound' decisions.  

You basically have three choices when it comes to sound.  One, use the built-in TV speakers. Not the greatest solution. We all know any TV's built-in speakers are just barely OK. Two, you can buy a soundbar.  There are a number of high quality soundbars available.  You'll want to decide what your budget is, and do some research. Finally, three, you can purchase a multi-media receiver. This is what I would have called a stereo receiver, in the not too distant past, except today they provide surround sound capability and accept inputs from multiple audio and video sources, including your TV.

This last option is the choice I would recommend. If you're going to drop the money to buy state of the art television, you want the best sound you can get, too. Check out this excellent article by CNET's Geoffrey Morris. 

When you're ready contact Elbowman for assistance in setting up that home entertainment system.

marantz sr5009 receiver product photos08

I stumbled upon a great article from PCWorld's Derek Walter on how Google Search links to your Android phone, in 5 different ways.

Perhaps, one of the most useful of those 5 is to send a map to your phone for offline use, or to help a friend.  Have you ever gotten a call from someone trying to find a location and asking for your help? You can actually send directions directly to your friend's phone using Google Search.

Need to remember to stop by the grocery store on the way home from work?  Send yourself a reminder at a scheduled time (on the way home), so you can walk in the door with the milk as requested, a conquering hero!  You know you always forget.

And, I know you've never misplaced your phone, certainly I never have (cough, cough).  Google Search can help you find it.  

Thanks to Derek Walter and PCWorld for a very informative piece.  

Five ways Google search works directly with your Android phone

You can now do even more than send directions to your phone or track its location down via Google search. Google keeps adding tricks, and now there’s a total of five functions that tie Google even closer to your Android phone.

To make any of these happen, just open a new tab in Chrome or head to the Google search page in another browser. When you type the right phrase a box will appear for you to add the content, along with a menu to select which of your Android devices you want to connect with.

Be sure you’re signed in with your Google account in order to make these five options work properly. Google has a support page for linking your phone to these services if you run into issues.

1. Send a reminder

Type “set an reminder” or “remind me” (without the quotes) and then write your note in the box. Once it’s sent, you’ll get a notification on your device, which you can open with several different apps, such as EvernoteOneNote, or Google Keep. With the latter, you can pick a time or location to get your reminder.

2. Set an alarm

You can search for “set an alarm” and then select a time, or specify “set an alarm for 6:30” in the search box or Chrome address bar. The alarm will appear in the default Clock app on your device. For now, it looks like you can’t pick a third-party app for this.

3. Send a note to your phone

Type in “note to self” or “create a note” and add the details.

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Send notes and reminders right to your Android device.

Just as you’re able with the reminders, you can open it with Gmail, Keep, Evernote, OneNote, or similar apps.

4. Get directions

As we discovered recently you can send directions right to your phone or tablet. Just type “send directions” on the Google search page or in a Chrome tab and it will launch a map interface, complete with auto-suggestions for typing in where you want to go.

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Get a map and directions sent right to your Android device.

When you unlock your phone it will launch right in Google Maps, ready to guide you on your journey.

5. Find your phone

If your device has gone missing, whether in the house or back at the restaurant, you can track it down very quickly. Just type, “find my phone” and Google will pinpoint your device on a map. 

There’s a button for ringing your phone, which is helpful if you think it’s under the couch. However, you’ll need to hop over to Android Device Manager if you want to lock or wipe it because it may be stolen.


Have you ever had one of those slap yourself in the forehead moments?!  I just did.

Today, is May 11th.  The day after mother's day.

Too late to get Mom a gift, right?! 

Why not give Mom (and now Dad, too, since Father's Day is approaching) the gift of Tech Support?

You could do it yourself, or you could send Elbowman to the rescue

Just contact me, at the previous link.  I'm happy to help anyone needing tech support, or any kind.

What a great gift idea!  Why didn't I think of it sooner?

Happy World Backup Day!!!!  Whoo HOOO!!!!

What?  You're not that excited?!  Why not?!

A backup of your PC today could save your rear-end, tomorrow.  I mean are you ready for your PC's hard drive to stop running?  What if your system takes an electrical spike?  Could you get back all your data?  Seriously.  What if you hit Delete, and all of sudden realize you didn't mean it?

Your data is your gold.  Your PC is your storage box.  If your storage breaks are you ready to lose your fortune, of music files, photographs, documents?  That's what will happen not if but when your PC crashes, or you lose a file you desperately need.

I rely on Bvckup2.  The backup utility, I think, that is the simplest most easy to use program of it's kind.  Making backups easy it Bvckup's goal.  Because we all know if it's not simple it won't get used.  

Bvckup2 runs in the background on your PC.  Once configured you won't even notice it's there.  Any time you add or change a file it will automatically create a backup copy.  It can backup your entire system.  It can backup only the changed files on your system.  Once configured it can perform multiple backups at the same time, say a full system backup once a month, at the same time it's peforming incremental backups of any changed file.  It can perform a full backup to one destination, while performing another backup to a different location.  It's just extremely versatile and easy. I know it works because I was on the beta program that helped Alex Pankratov of Pipemetrics SA fully test. Alex and his team are readily available to help you should you have questions or issues.  Find a feature that you don't think works properly, let them know.  A patch will be immediately created, or directions on resolving your issue will be available forthwith.

Today only, this inexpensive ($20) program can be purchased for 30% off.  See the ad below and click through to get a great program at a great price.  Use the discount code provided.Click on the discount code to automatically apply your price reduction.

Do it today, World Backup Day!  Yea!!!

Bvckup 2
News and updates
WBD Coupon
The World Backup Day
To mark the occasion of the World Backup Day and in a spirit of keeping things simple here's a discount code for Bvckup 2 - 

WBD-2015

•   30% off personal licenses
•   15% off professional licenses
•   Valid through today, March 31st only 

Don't forget to click on "Review Order" to apply the discount. 

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