Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Major computer components, specific systems, upgrades, motherboards and more general articles covering topics of a more general computer system nature.

Are 64-bit PCs more secure than 32-bit machines?

64 bit PCs bring more power to computing, but not necessarily more security. It sometimes seems like bigger is always better, but not always.

Are mini-tower machines more prone to overheating?

As with all computers, keeping them well ventilated and clean helps with heating problems. Do that and your mini tower should be just fine.

Can I move my system drive to another computer and have it work?

Windows configures itself to the hardware it finds, but changing everything at once by moving the system disk to a different machine might be too much.

Can you recommend an anti-virus tool that will work in a 256MB system?

The fact is 256 MB is not sufficient to run any of the current operating systems. That means that you're in a difficult place.

Does my computer use more power or generate more heat depending on what it's doing?

Several components in your computer definitely use power and generate heat in proportion to how they're used. I'll review the two biggies.

How do I know when it's time to replace my computer?

The decision of when to replace a computer is not an easy one. It involves not just replacement costs, but the cost of your time as well.

How do I stop my computer from turning itself on overnight?

Computer turning itself on at night could be the result of a faulty switch. It might not be an easy fix mechanically although there is one easy solution.

My computer has started to shut down randomly, could it be the fan?

Airflow through your computer is an important part of keeping it cool and running well. Frequently fans are just blocked by dust and dirt.

My laptop won't turn on and only beeps when I start it. Is it dead? Or is this a simple fix?

Ultimately, when you're getting beep codes, it is indicative of a hardware problem. It's not necessarily terminal!

My machine crashes randomly and it's not overheating, what else should I look at?

Overheating is the most common cause of random crashes in an old machine. If that's not the case, there are a few more things to look at.

My old computer is too slow for anti-virus software. What should I do?

Extending the life of older computers can be a challenge, especially when current versions of important tools like anti-malware scanners fail to run.

So ... what about Microsoft Surface?

Microsoft Surface is Microsoft's entry into the tablet arena dominated by Apple's iPad. I have decidedly mixed feelings about the device to the extent that we know what it is today.

What computer should I give?

A major purchase like a computer for a loved one can be very difficult. I'll review a few areas to consider when purchasing a computer as a gift.

What if my new computer doesn't work?

A brand-new computer should work right out of the box. Mine didn't. I'll review my experience and the steps I took.

What should I do first with my new computer?

First steps with a new computer would be to insure it is set up just the way you like, and then take recovery images of the new machine.

What's the difference between RAM and a Memory Module?

The terms RAM and Memory Module are occasionally used interchangeably, but in fact they're two different ways of looking at computer memory.

Which is better for computer longevity, turning it off when not in use, or leaving it on?

Computer longevity from turning it off or leaving it on is a question without a real consensus of opinion. Not dropping it is really the best plan!

Which laptop is best?

The best laptop is the one that will fit your needs. To decide what you want you'll need to first look at how you'll use it.

Why does my laptop suddenly shut down while playing games?

Games are processor heavy and could be generating a lot of heat. This is the first thing to look at with sudden shut-downs.

Why doesn't Windows show all 4gigabytes of memory I have installed?

Installing the maximum 4 gigabytes of RAM into your computer may not result in all 4 gigabytes being available. We'll look at why.

Why is my computer making a loud noise since I upgraded the motherboard?

The noise could be from several culprits, but the first suspect should always be the fan.

Why is my laptop hot and why does it eventually crash?

Some laptops don't have the proper ventilation to handle a high CPU load for a length of time, which causes them to protectively shut down or crash.

Will a dual core processor run single-threaded programs?

The way dual core processors work is quite complex. They allow the computer to do two things at a time, but that may only help for programs that are written multi-threaded.