After many years in technical support I get all kinds of questions about computers and software – some very basic and some very technical. I have noticed over time that there is a certain set of questions that seemed to be asked by almost everyone that I help. Below is a list of those questions along with the answers to get you going with your base computer knowledge!
What should I backup on my computer?
If possible, everything should be backed up your system including the operating system, program files, email and data files. The most important files that should be backed up include your email and data files as these can’t be re-installed like the operating system and program files.
Is it really necessary to install all the annoying updates?
Yes! Though some updates may seem like more of a hassle (and yes some can even cause issues) the majority of updates that are distributed are to solve a specific issue or security concern.
Why is my computer always prompting me for permission for certain tasks?
This is caused by the UAC (user access control) system that is part of Windows Vista and Windows 7. The UAC prevents programs that want to run as administrator from running without explicit permission – it is a security measure to prevent rogue software from running without you noticing.
UGH! My computer is so slow! Why?
There are many factors that can cause you computer to run slow. Unfortunately, there is no quick method to determine what is causing the issue – takes a little troubleshooting and detective work. Below is a list of the common problems that can be causing your computer to run slow:
- Defragmented hard drive
- Excess software loading
- Driver/software conflict
- Low memory
I received a prompt from my virus software that is asking for permission for a program to access the Internet. Huh?
If there is software (good or bad) trying to access the Internet from you computer and the virus software is not familiar with the software you will be prompted to allow the software to run.
This functionality is by design and it to make sure rogue software (such as viruses) is not running or accessing the Internet from your computer. The problem with this functionality is you may not know if the software that is accessing the Internet is legit or not.
The best method to determine if the software is legit is to Google the name of the software (should be listed in the dialog box) to see if it is a legitimate process and if it should be allowed to run. If you are not sure then do not allow the software to run to be safe.
I hope these questions and answers helped you with your computer curiosities.