Hardware

Selecting a System

Hardware is the equipment part 

My Favorite Tech can recommend the hardware configuration best for you, then build it, or order it, install it, and provide ongoing maintenance. Let’s discuss your needs today or at your earliest convenience.

Home users have different priorities than business users. But either way, it’s a major investment and worth doing your homework. There are lots of independent web sites and magazines that test and compare systems. Talk with others to see what they like and dislike about their hardware. Check out track records. Business users should find out if there’s a standard system for their industry.

Adaptive Equipment and Specialized Accessories

Do you find that standard computer settings or hardware don’t meet your needs? 

My Favorite Tech can adapt either (or both) to make using your computer easier.

Special needs can be accommodated in virtually every aspect of a computer, simply let us know what works best for you.

Digital Cameras & Webcams

You’ve heard it before: A picture is worth a thousand words. There’s nothing better than sharing photos, and it’s easy when you have a digital camera.

Digital photos have countless business applications. Use them when creating brochures or preparing presentations. Post digital images of products on your web site so shoppers see your merchandise at its best. Professional photographers can email images to a customer before actually printing them, saving costs and time.

Use digital photos to document valuable items in your home and business. Place the images on a disk and store in a secure location, such as a safe or safe deposit box, so you’ll have a record for insurance purposes. You may want to supplement your will with photos of bequests to each beneficiary to avoid confusion later on. If you don't have a digital camera, call My Favorite Tech and we will photograph your components for you.

Most digital cameras and web cams come with ample software for day-to-day needs. If you find that’s not enough, talk with My Favorite Tech about enhanced programs and added features.

Hardware Care

Hardware is a considerable investment, so it’s important to keep it clean and in proper working order. Preventative care is best:

  • Be careful if you eat or drink around your system. Liquids are especially dangerous as even one drop can permanently damage a part, especially in the keyboard.
  • Smoking near your system is a hazard. The computer’s fans draw in air and smoke can shorten the life of the components.
  • Keep your computer in a cool, dry place. The cleaner the environment, the longer your hardware will last.
  • Plugs can corrode and become grimy with age, especially on older computers. To keep the connections clean, we are happy to come by and clean the prongs a few times a year.
  • If you’re going on vacation or planning not to use your computer for a while, turn off the system and unplug the wall connection. Cover with a sheet or towel to protect it from dust.

Here are some tips for hardware care. Most of the cleaning materials mentioned are available at office supply and computer stores. Refer to your manufacturer’s instruction manual for specific care. Whenever cleaning your hardware, make sure the system is turned off.

Keyboard: Use a soft brush or a can of compressed air to blow away dust from your keyboard. If you drop crumbs into the spaces between keys, turn over the keyboard and gently tap it. If there’s grime on or between the keys, we are more than happy to come in and evaluate the safest way to clean the grime for you. Depending on the degree of damage, it may actually be more cost-efficient to purchase a new one.

Tower (or CPU): The tower houses your hard drive, the “brains” of the computer, so its care is crucial to your entire system. Whenever the computer is on, a fan draws in surrounding air to keep the tower cooled. That’s why where you store it – enclosed within a computer desk or sitting out in the open – affects how dirty is gets and how often it should be cleaned. If you live in an area with lots of dust or have pets that shed, you may need to have the tower cleaned more often. (Dust and pet hair act as insulators, keeping in excess heat that prevents the tower from operating properly and damaging its delicate components.)

Printer: Dust your printer often and wipe with a damp cloth as needed. Replace ink cartridges and refill paper when prompted by the system. Printers require specialized care, so contact us today for recommendations.

My Favorite Tech uses specialized equipment to clean the inside of your tower. The frequency depends on your environment; after a few service calls, we can suggest a maintenance schedule.

Troubelshooting

It’s frustrating when your system isn’t working properly. Here are some common problems and steps you can take to fix them. If your system still doesn’t respond, call My Favorite Tech for assistance.

  • Check all the cable connections to make sure everything is firmly plugged in on both ends.
  • Make sure the power strip is turned on and that it’s securely plugged in to the wall outlet.
  • Is the problem in the outlet itself? Test that it’s working by trying another item, like a lamp or clock.
  • If the problem is with the outlet, call a qualified electrician. If the outlet is fine and your system still won’t work, call My Favorite Tech.

A piece of hardware (e.g., monitor, CPU) doesn’t come on when you activate your system

Check that the hardware is turned on and that all cable connections are firmly plugged in.

The printer won’t print

  • Check the cable connection – is it plugged in on both ends?
  • Does the paper need to be refilled, does an ink cartridge need to be replaced, or is there a paper jam?
  • If your printer has multiple functions (such as faxing, copying or scanning) check that you’ve chosen the correct setting.

An entire program or parts of a program won’t respond

Check the basics. For example, if you can’t hear sound, have you accidentally turned down the volume control, placed it on mute, or disconnected a speaker? If you can’t find data in an Excel document, did you inadvertently hide the row/column?

If you can’t determine the cause of the trouble – or need a helping hand – call My Favorite Tech. In most cases, we can talk you through the steps to fix it. If the problem is more serious, we can either remotely connect to your computer or come out and fix it for you.

Discarding An Old System

It’s exciting to buy a new computer. But what to do with your old system? If your computer is still working, consider one of these alternatives:

  • Donate it to family, friends, non-profits, or a charitable group (for which you may receive a tax deduction).
  • Contact My Favorite Tech, and we will happily dispose of it for you, or give you recommendations for your area.

The most important thing to remember when disposing of your system is to clear out all your data. (Just imagine the damage if your personal or business information were to land in the wrong hands.) Most of us would simply delete our data, and that’s probably fine if it’s going to someone you know and trust. But even when you delete a file, it’s not really gone. Experts can use specialized software to recover deleted files. So, if your system is going to an unknown recipient, as through a donation or recycling program, it’s best to: