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Data Backups & Data Recovery

Data Recovery, Hard Drive Replacement, & Data Backups – Lexington, KY

Do you need to recover your data after a hard drive failure, replace a failing hard drive, or create regular backups of your data? Give us a call. We are glad to help.

We offer the following services in our Lexington repair shop:

  • Data recovery
  • Hard drive replacement
  • Backup solutions
  • External hard drive sales
  •  Restore Operating system
  • Computer repair – PC & Apple
  • Virus removal
  • Memory upgrades
  • and more

Call us or stop in today. (859) 523-5355

We perform data recovery in Lexington KY on a regular basis for customers who have failed hard drives or have been unable to access their files due to malware, viruses or data corruption. If your computer is having problems, give us a call or come by our store. We are glad to help you out.

We can also help you set up a regular backup plan to keep your important files safe in the event of hard drive failure or other mishaps. It’s always good to have backups of important information.

Some tips to help keep your laptop & data safe:


Be careful with the coffee. As we all know, liquids and electronics don’t mix very well. Spilling a simple glass of water on your laptop’s keyboard can damage the main circuitry of the computer. Though, a lot of water spills are not catastrophic if the user takes the appropriate steps. For instance, turning the computer off immediately, removing the power cord and battery if possible and letting it completely dry out (in rice or silica gel) for at least 3 days on average. It’s best to take the computer apart so it can dry in areas where air may normally have trouble reaching it. Also, if soda or a sweet drink spill on it, the computer will benefit from a professional cleaning as soon as possible, especially since soda contains corrosive acids. Turning the computer off and unplugging it still apply.

So try to keep food and beverages away from your laptop or computer. We’ve met many people who wish they had!

Keep an eye on the kiddos. Perhaps it’s safe to say small children and certain electronics don’t mix very well either. As cute as the little ones can be, they are sometimes rough on things. Many LCD screens, hard drives, data and hinges have fallen victim to accidents by children.  Although, we can fix or replace almost all internal components, the best repair is prevention.

If the kids are old enough to use the electronics, you can use some measures to help prevent accidents. For instance, try having a designated safe, low traffic area for laptop use. This will help prevent accidents.

Ensure good airflow so it doesn’t overheat. This is very important to a hard drive’s longevity. If a hard drive temperature often exceeds its upper limit, the drive’s life can be shortened and cause premature mechanical failure.

Computers and laptops have fans installed to prevent overheating and damage to the system. But sometimes people may not be conscientious of keeping the fan free from obstructions and dust to maintain enough airflow. If your hard drive has failed due to overheating or other causes, we can salvage important data in most cases and transfer it to a new, replacement hard drive.

We provide a free dust cleaning for most fans and cooling components with any other paid service (nicotine damaged computers are extra since they require more than a thorough dusting).

Be careful where you store it. Accidents happen, but sometimes they can be avoided by keeping them in a safe place. For instance, leaving a laptop on the floor or on a chair where it could easily be trampled over, kicked, sat on, or dropped should be avoided whenever possible.

Dropping a laptop or jarring it while the hard drive is running can cause damage to the internal parts of a hard drive – as well as other parts of the laptop, like the LCD screen. We have seen many a casualty in this fashion.

Remember that old age and long-term use is a common reason for hard drive failure as well. Even if you treat your computer perfectly it will still fail one day and you will likely want to have a backup plan set up for your important files.

Got files you’d hate to lose? Make backups of important data. You’ll save time in case of a mishap or hard drive failure, and it will help you to avoid a great deal of frustration!

Ask us. We can help. We offer data recovery, back up solutions, external hard drives, memory upgrades, virus removal, and more.

(859) 523-5355

Virus Removal and Malware Prevention

Virus Removal – Computers Plus Repair Lexington

Computer Virus Removal in Lexington KY

Computer Virus Removal in Lexington KYThe skilled virus removal technicians at Computers Plus Repair in Lexington have extensive experience and success in removing all kinds of computer viruses and malware.

One of the most common computer services we perform is virus and malware removal, including removal of rogue security software which is becoming increasingly common (see below for a definition of terms and prevention).

Our virus removal service is quick, guaranteed, and competitively priced.

See our price list or request a quote; or call us at 859-523-5355

First we diagnose the severity of the problem through observation of the computer’s symptoms. Then, we utilize one or more of a number of diagnostic scanning and removal programs. In more severe cases we remove the hard drive and connect it to one of our computers to run the scans externally. This way, the malware can’t prevent removal programs from scanning and removing the infected files.

In a few cases, where there has been substantial damage done to core Windows system files, we recommend a data back-up (if desired) and a re-installation of the Windows operating system. In this case, the computer’s software would then be restored to a similar condition as it was when the computer was new.

We guarantee our work for 30 days, but you can be free of viruses for much longer if you take some of the precautionary measures discussed below. Also, refer to our post about our top recommended free software, which includes some of our anti-virus software recommendations. We also sell some more robust anti-virus programs in our store. Feel free to call us or stop in with any questions. We are always glad to help. Read more

Remove Cryptowall Trojan Malware

Remove Cryptowall & Restore Files

A new piece of pesky malware is making its rounds. Often identified as “Trojan.Cryptowall”, it is a Trojan that encrypts your computer files making them inaccessible. It then requires payment to have the files decrypted and to remove Cryptowall.

The threat typically gets installed by clicking links in spam emails, via exploit kits hosted through malicious ads or compromised sites, or by other malware.

This is a nasty piece of malware. As always, we recommend users to be very careful what links they click on and to avoid suspicious websites. In about 30% of cases we have been able to successfully restore access to some or all of users’ files after removing Cryptowall. The remaining option is a system restore to remove the treat. 

We do not recommend paying the ransom as directed by Cryptowall. There is no guarantee that the scammer will give you a decryption key to unlock your files, and the threat still remains. If your computer has been taken over by this frustrating piece of malware, give us a call or bring in your computer for us to take a look. We are glad to help.

Computers Plus Repair in Lexington, KY: (859) 523-5355

More Detailed Info on Cryptowall

Once Cryptowall is installed on your computer, it creates several registry entries to store the path of the encrypted files and the program runs each time the computer restarts. It encrypts files with certain extensions on the computer and creates separate files with directions on how to allegedly acquire the decryption code.

This threat attempts to convince you to pay money to get the passkey to free your files. It uses a number of different schemes to encourage you to pay the ransom. Of course after the scammer gets your money, he is under no obligation to release your files.

Another variation of Cryptowall is termed Trojan Cryptodefense. Cryptolocker is a similar piece of malware.

Means of Infection

In Cryptowall spam campaigns, the email will usually contain an attachment to an infected file along with a message that tries to coerce the user to download the file. The spam email might say the attachment is an purchase invoice, an undelivered package reminder, or a fax alert. If you open the attachment, your computer will promptly be infected with Trojan.Cryptowall or a variation of it.

It can also be transferred through exploit kits on compromised websites or malicious ads. The Rig exploit kit and the Nuclear exploit kit are two kits that have been used to compromise users’ computers with Cryptowall.

Other pieces of malware can install Cryptowall as well. For example, if a computer is already infected with Downloader.Upatre or Trojan.Zbot, then it’s at risk of getting Cryptowalled.

Functionality

Cryptowall was designed to prevent you from opening your files so that it could attempt to require payment in order to regain access. It does this by encrypting a large number of files on the computer with public/private key encryption using a very strong 617 digit or 2048-bit RSA key.

Once it has your files on lockdown, Cryptowall displays a ransom message via text document or HTML page. It may also warn that the decryption key will be deleted after a certain amount of time in order to pressure the you into paying quicker. The scammer may demand hundreds of dollars, and the amount may increase after a certain amount of days.

Remove Cryptowall. Remove Cryptolocker

The message will then give a link to a website where the scammer wishes to take payment. These sites are usually hosted on the anonymous Tor network, which scammers often use to hide their identity. The threat has asked the user to install a Tor network browser in order to access the site, but newer versions of the threat do not require the user to do this. The user may have to pay using an anonymous currency such as bitcoin to help shield the attacker’s identity.

Remove Cryptowall. Remove Cryptolocker

Even if you pay the ransom, there is of course no guarantee that the scammer will give you a decryption key to unlock the files.

Our First TV Commercial – Computers Plus Repair – Lexington KY

Check Out Our Very First Commercial!

“Has your computer died? Running slow? Full of viruses? How much will it cost?

Drop your computer off at Computers Plus Repair and we’ll provide any service you need for the lowest price in town, or we’ll come to you (or we can login remotely). Computers Plus Repair is locally owned and operated so you know you’ll get the same expert service every time. We specialize in OS installs, failed hard drives, back ups, and LCD repairs on any Mac or PC (as well as virus removal, optimizations, upgrades and much more). Plus, we sell budget friendly refurbished computers (we buy used computers too). Computers Plus Repair in the Pimlico Shopping Center, where honest advice is always free.”

859-523-5355
[email protected]

3120 Pimlico Pkwy. Lexington, KY
Next to Subway and Great Clips
a BBB Accredited business

Let us know what you think.

Tips for Backing Up Data and Preventing Data Loss

Data loss can affect anyone…

It is especially problematic for those who have valuable information stored on their computers, such as business documents, financial records, or personal photos and videos.

Every hard drive will mechanically fail at some point and need replaced. Sometimes there are warning signs, and sometimes there aren’t. Also, malware and viruses can damage or delete critical system files. Oftentimes the only solution is to reformat the drive and reinstall the operating system. In these cases, everything on the drive will be lost.

We often perform data recovery for our customers in Lexington, KY due to hard drive failure or virus infection, and they usually regret not having a backup system in place when their valuable data is no longer accessible.  A little bit of planning now can prevent serious frustration and stress down the road in the event of hard drive failure or operating system corruption.

Here’s what we recommend to prevent data loss:

1. Back up your data

An excellent preventative measure is to buy an external hard drive. An external drive can be attached to any computer at any time simply by plugging it into a USB or firewire port. 

Many external drives also have the added benefit of one-touch and/or scheduled back ups – you simply specify the folders and the software will take care of the rest. Macrium Reflect software is a good free backup software if your external hard drive doesn’t come with it’s own software, or if it’s not user friendly. A 250GB hard drive will provide ample room for the average user, and Newegg.com is a good website to shop and compare drive prices, sizes, and ratings.

If it’s a desktop computer, an alternative is installing a second internal hard-drive in your computer (which we can do). Read more

Hard Drive Failure & Data Recovery – Lexington, KY

We perform data recovery in Lexington KY on a regular basis for customers who have encountered hard drive failure or have been unable to access their files due to malware, viruses or data corruption. If your computer is having problems, the article below may help you determine when a hard drive is failing or when it is virus-infected. In any case, if you’re having computer problems, feel free to come by our store or contact us with any questions.

Signs of Hard Drive Failure

Catastrophic hard drive failure is usually indicated when the computer doesn’t recognize the hard drive and Windows doesn’t even begin to boot. More technically, the drive can no longer be detected by CMOS setup, or if it fails to pass BIOS POST and the operating system never sees it. A hard drive also includes controller electronics, which occasionally fail. Hard drive failure is sad

Gradual hard drive failure is somewhat more difficult to diagnose. Its symptoms include corrupted data and slowing down of the PC caused by gradually failing areas of the hard drive, requiring repeated read attempts before successful access. These can also be symptoms of other computer issues, such as malware. A rising number of bad sectors (as indicated by S.M.A.R.T. data) can be a sign of a failing hard drive. Also, a cyclical repetitive pattern of seek activity, such as rapid or slow clicking noises (click of death), can be indicative of hard drive problems. During hard drive failure, each particle from the damaged platter and head media can cause a bad sector. Bad sectors, in addition to platter damage, may quickly render a hard drive useless if you continue to use it. Read more

Our Top Free Software List

In no particular order with varying degrees of awesomeness, here is some of

Our Favorite Free Software

1. Avast! Free version
http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-download
Windows
This version has new features and a great look, along with a boot-scan that strikes at malware.

2. Avira Free Antivirus 2012
http://www.avira.com/en/avira-free-antivirus
Windows
Lacking little from the premium version (save Web protection and live support), Avira’s free version also gets good scores from PCMag and independent labs for malware removal.

3. LibreOffice
http://www.libreoffice.org
Windows | Mac | Linux
Our reviewer calls LibreOffice “by far the best free office application suite” and says it should be the first choice for anyone that wants a free alternative to Microsoft Office. It’s another offshoot from OpenOffice.org, but it already has more features and an improved interface. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, presentations, and apps for math and drawing.

4. TeamViewer
http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx
Windows | Mac | Mobile | Portable | Mobile
Still our Editors’ Choice for remote control, TeamViewer 7 offers a brain-dead simple setup and a remarkably fast screen redraw when controlling another desktop, whether from a PC or Android and iOS devices. For free, you get access to a single system, which is perfect for providing tech support to family and friends. Read more

How to clean your computer

Do you have a dirty secret. Have you ever cleaned your computer? Sure, I’ve dusted my monitor, but I haven’t taken off the cover or tried to reach the crumbs lurking inside my keyboard. And I honestly don’t know the difference between pressurized air dusters and compressed air cleaners.

clean your computer

“Your computer could fry if you don’t keep it clean,” says Jonathon Millman, chief technology officer for Hooplah Interactive.

Whether it’s a desktop or laptop/notebook computer, dust and lint can clog the cooling vents. This can cause your computer’s brain—the central processing unit (CPU)—to heat up. And heat is the biggest cause of component failure in computers. Regular cleaning could save you costly maintenance fees down the road.

Follow the five simple steps in the cleanup and maintenance routine below to keep your computer and accessories looking shiny and new. It’s an easy, do-it-yourself solution to help them run smoothly and last longer.

Not what you were looking for?

Are you trying to clean up your computer in the antivirus software sense? This guide on the Microsoft Security website provides instructions, a free safety scan, and a malicious software removal tool you can download. Or, if you’re trying to find tips on cleaning out system clutter and unwanted files to make your programs run faster, you may find these articles helpful: Speed up your PC: Automate your computer maintenance schedule, Optimize your computer for peak performance, and How to delete programs you no longer need.


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