The nightmare scenario is familiar to many people: You are sitting at your computer surfing the Internet or working on a document, when out of know where, your computer blue screen crashes and leaves you out in the cold. At first, you worry about losing all of your data files, documents, photos and so on. If this type of issue becomes a reoccurring problem at some point you may begin to wonder if your PC is too “old" to continue to fix and economics are playing in . Is it time to take the plunge and get new hardware?

Symptoms to look for

There are several signs that could spell trouble for your equipment: Your computer is running very slowly and it takes forever to boot, open files, send emails and there are strange sounds coming from it. If your computer is overheating the result could be severe problems that may cause permanent damage to your computer. Be wary of spyware, malware and viruses, which can considerably slow down your computer and make it malfunction. If you are getting persistent operating system errors. Sudden power outages or brown outs can also cause damage.

Steps to take

We recommend steps to resolve your computer glitches. First, contact us so we can run a system scan on your computer. It may be that your computer is running fine but just can’t handle what you’re trying to do. Adding memory resources to the computer can help. Even if you meet minimum requirements for the software you are running, your computer will still run slowly if you don’t meet the recommended requirements. If you are too behind in technology, it may be time to invest in to new equipment. Software advances rapidly while hardware can stay the same for years. The software requires more resources the hardware cannot provide therefore your computer performs poorly while it struggles to multitask. We advise you to watch out for unusual noises coming from your computer. Frequently, this spells trouble for a hard drive, at which time you may want to consider having us to back-up your computers data if it isn't involved with a automated back-up process already. The average lifespan of a computer is approximately 4 years.

Precautionary measures

By taking precautionary measures, you can keep your computer healthy for a long time to come. First, you can prevent spyware, malware and viruses from infecting your computer by investing in a good anti-virus program and having it continuously updated. The greatest danger that viruses and malware cause is usually the ability to steal your identity or other pertinent information. Second, updates and maintenance on your computer operating system should be performed regularly by a AuthorITy technician and if you are not already on a AuthorITy Care Maintenance Plan inquire to us for more information on how our care plans protect your investment and save you money in the long run. Third, stay clear of clicking on suspicious links you may see on the internet or receive via e-mail, which may result in you compromising your security.

Category: Computers


AuthorITy Server preventative maintenance care is an excellent way for businesses who do not have an IT administrator on site to ensure not only that your servers are running optimally but also to identify potential issues before they arise, thereby reducing costly downtime.
How Does AuthorITy Preventative Maintenance Care Work?

Typically a AuthorITy consultant performs a series of tasks outside of normal office hours so as to avoid impacting server performance when users are logged in. The kind of tasks undertaken are agreed upon with the client beforehand which usually include the following:

* Hard Disk check & Rectification as required
* Backup system check/Rectification as required
* Operating System patch/update check plus installation
* Firewall and Managed Switching patch/update as required
* Server reboots as necessary
* Anti Virus software check, update and status report if relevant
* Event Log review plus investigation of errors
* Server hardware health check

When a AuthorITy Server preventative maintenance agreement forms part of a wider IT support contract AuthorITy recommends that one of our consultants attends on site at least every four months and performs additional tasks, such as testing the restore and data backup functions.

How Much Time Should You Spend on Server Preventative Maintenance?

Two hours a month is sufficient to cover the time necessary for effective proactive server preventative maintenance on a single Small Business Server. However, in some cases, AuthorITy may recommend three hours where a server has not had the benefit of regular upkeep and maintenance in the past.

Should my Network PC's get Preventative Maintenance?

As with all computers, Workstations or Personal Computers (PC's) do suffer from performance issues if they are not updated and maintained. This can not only cause productivity issues with your users but could result in downtime if the performance issues progress. AuthorITy can provide updates and housekeeping tasks, such as disk checks, anti-virus checks, defragmentation, general clean-up and driver updates on a scheduled basis. If you'd like to implement regular routine maintenance on your computer network's PCs we'll be happy to work with you on your specific requirements and design a customized AuthorITy maintenance care plan. You'll have peace of mind knowing your network is being maintained properly and your data is being safeguarded. Give us a call today for more information.

Category: Computers


Hard drives are the basis of any computer these days - unless you are using solid-state technology which is still being perfected and isn’t captivating the mainstream of the IT industry yet. The use of computers comes down to the manipulation of data, and the hard drive is, of course, where we store all our personal data, music, documents, email and more.

Most of the components in your computer or a server are electronic devices. Some parts are moving while others are not. Hard Disks don’t typically fail with time like a mechanical device such as a car. But your hard drive is one of the few mechanical devices used in modern computing, and as such, it’s destined to stop working eventually due to wear and tear.

It’s important to learn to recognize the warning signs of an imminent hard drive failure, since you might not have the budget for an extensive back-up system. In this article we will educate you on the signs to look for in a failing hard disk. Since hard disk failure is imminent. It’s important that you take action if your hard disk is degraded and failing so that you can have authorITy Computer Network Consultants rescue all that data before it’s lost—sometimes forever, not retrievable at any cost. Your data is the single most important thing in your business. It must be protected at all costs.

Why do hard drives fail?

Logical failures occur when the electronics of the hard drive or the firmware of the hard disk has a problem. This kind of failure is usually the cheapest and simplest fix amongst all of the reasons a hard disk could fail. Unfortunately, it’s an uncommon failure compared other more extreme symptoms.

If the hard drive has been handled improperly or the internal media is scratched, or has read/write errors or formatting problems, then this would constitute as a media error. These are also relatively uncommon reasons for failure. Once the media is scratched, data is likely to be damaged. A head failure on a hard disk occurs when the read/write head makes contact with the media discs inside the hard disk (A crashed head), the head is improperly aligned with reading the media or the wiring between the logical board and the drive head is faulty among other failures related to malfunction of the read/write head. This is the most common failure. Head crashes are considered to be the worst scenario of drive failure. Mechanical failures make up the bulk of hard drive failures.

A hard disk can overheat, or other mechanics of the drive get stuck — something you expect to see when an automobile fails. These kinds of crashes can be very difficult to recover from and may require emergency recovery services by a qualified technician. If this type of hard disk crash occurs you might have a chance of recovery if the damage the drive head inflicted on the hard disk media disc is not extensive.

Are you hearing noises coming out of your hard disk?

Sometimes hearing strange grinding, banging and clicking noises coming out of your hard disk means your drive may be passed the point of being repaired — for instance, if you’ve had a drive head crash in to the media as it very often does when hard disk failure occurs. It’s also possible that the motor of the hard disk that turns the hard disk could fail or other mechanical components that work in conjunction with the motor have severely degraded. If you’re hearing some strange noises coming out of your hard disk that you haven’t noticed before, and your performance of your computer has degraded then it could very well be possible that your hard disk is erroring and failing. We recommend act very quickly in contacting a qualified IT consultant such as authorITy to assess the issue because the reality is you probably don’t have much time before complete data loss or complete failure occurs.

How do I find out when it’s going to fail before it happens?

There is no crystal ball that a IT consultant or professional have to predict when exactly a hard disk will fail, and sometimes a hard drive will provide no symptoms and just experience total failure — but it’s still important to keep an eye on the symptoms so you have the chance to back-up your data and get professional help.

A hard drive is an incredibly sensitive piece of hardware, so it’s not recommended to try and crack open its case and have an peek inside unless you know what you’re doing and are a qualified emergency data recovery specialist. You could be doing more harm than help by attempting this type of procedure. The internal components of a hard disk can be damaged from other elements including dust and dirt so they should be only opened in a clean room recovery environment. Just the slightest piece of dust or a fragment can destroy hard disk media causing complete data loss.

Back your data up or lose it!

It’s so much easier to take the proactive approach and back-up your valuable data than to have to get your data recovered. It’s also less expensive because of the costs associated with emergency data recovery and downtime to your business. Once you detect any of the signs of failure we recommend contacting a qualified specialist such as an authorITy Computer Network Consultant to examine your hard disk and make sure your data is safely backed up and secured if you do not already have an automated process in place doing this. This is so that when the drive finally quits, you may be able to claim your warranty if one applies, or purchase a new hard disk and have qualified specialist such as an authorITy Computer Network Consultant restore your data on the new hard disk device.

Emergency Recovery of a hard disk can cost thousands of dollars in some cases; but if your hard disk gets to the point of critical failure then there is not much you can do but have Emergency Data Recovery attempt to recover your valuable data. The cost of transferring a back-up of your data onto a new drive is much cheaper than performing an emergency recovery.

What to do if you think your hard disk failing?

Don’t try to play IT technician. If there’s time, get your data backed up. Contact a qualified IT specialist such as an authorITy Computer Network Consultant to assess your hard disk. Hard drives are very sensitive equipment. You don’t want to mess with them unless you know exactly what you are doing. When it comes to hard drives, just remember to keep an eye and ear on it and act quickly. Always keep extensive back-ups, and if such an event should occur you will have peace of mind that your data is recoverable and safe.

Contact authorITy Computer Network Consultants for all of your data back-up solutions.

Category: Computers


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AuthorITy Opens a New Office: SANTA ROSA, CA., December 13th, 2011 — AuthorITy Computer Network Consultants one of the leading Southern California providers of IT technology serv...