How To Minimize All Windows Except The Active One?

How To Minimize All Windows Except The Active One?

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Windows 10 Tips, Tricks and Hacks
Whether you’ve been using Windows 10 for years or have only recently upgraded, there are plenty of new and old tips, tricks and hidden features to learn that will make using your laptop every day faster and smoother. Learning to be quicker and more productive on your laptop may be especially appealing now that more of us are working from home, or spending more time on our laptops in general. Finding the secret Start menu and saving battery power with a simple trick are great ways to get more out of your machine.

How To Minimize All Windows Except The Active One?

If your desktop screen has gotten too crowded with open windows, you can quickly minimize them all except the one you are currently working in.

Just click the title bar of the window you want to remain open to select it. Then, hold the mouse down and move the window back and forth quickly — shaking it, essentially. After a couple of quick shakes, all other open windows will minimize, leaving only the one you’ve shaken open. Neat, huh?

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What’s the Best Antivirus for Windows 10?

What’s the Best Antivirus for Windows 10?

Whats the Best Antivirus for Windows 10?
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Windows 10 Defender

Windows 10 won’t hassle you to install an antivirus like Windows 7 did. Since Windows 8, Windows now includes a built-in free antivirus called Windows Defender. But is it really the best for protecting your PC–or even just good enough?

Windows Defender was originally known as Microsoft Security Essentials back in the Windows 7 days when it was offered as a separate download, but now it’s built right into Windows and it’s enabled by default. Many people have been trained to believe that you should always install a third-party antivirus, but that isn’t the best solution for today’s security problems, like ransomware.

When you install Windows 10, you’ll have an antivirus program already running. Windows Defender comes built-in to Windows 10, and automatically scans programs you open, downloads new definitions from Windows Update, and provides an interface you can use for in-depth scans. Best of all, it doesn’t slow down your system, and mostly stays out of your way—which we can’t say about most other antivirus programs.  RELATED: Do I Really Need Antivirus If I Browse Carefully and Use Common Sense?  For a short while, Microsoft’s antivirus fell behind the others when it came to comparative antivirus software tests—way behind. It was bad enough that we recommended something else, but it’s since bounced back, and now provides very good protection.  So in short, yes: Windows Defender is good enough (as long as you couple it with a good anti-malware program, as we mentioned above—more on that in a minute).

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Is Windows Defender Good Enough?

When you install Windows 10, you’ll have an antivirus program already running. Windows Defender comes built-in to Windows 10, and automatically scans programs you open, downloads new definitions from Windows Update, and provides an interface you can use for in-depth scans. Best of all, it doesn’t slow down your system, and mostly stays out of your way—which we can’t say about most other antivirus programs.

For a short while, Microsoft’s antivirus fell behind the others when it came to comparative antivirus software tests—way behind. It was bad enough that we recommended something else, but it’s since bounced back, and now provides very good protection.

So in short, yes: Windows Defender is good enough (as long as you couple it with a good anti-malware program).

Call PC Expert Services for a FREE Consultation Today!

Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

What is RAT Malware, and Why Is It So Dangerous?

What is RAT Malware, and Why Is It So Dangerous?

What is RAT Malware, and Why Is It So Dangerous?
what-is-a-malware

What is RAT Malware, and Why Is It So Dangerous?

A Remote Access Trojan (RAT) is a type of malware that allows hackers to monitor and control your computer or network. But how does a RAT work, why do hackers use them, and how do you avoid them?

RATs Give Hackers Remote Access to Your Computer

If you’ve ever had to call tech support for a PC, then you’re probably familiar with the magic of remote access. When remote access is enabled, authorized computers and servers can control everything that happens on your PC. They can open documents, download software, and even move the cursor around your screen in real time.

A RAT is a type of malware that’s very similar to legitimate remote access programs. The main difference, of course, is that RATs are installed on a computer without a user’s knowledge. Most legitimate remote access programs are made for tech support and file sharing purposes, while RATs are made for spying on, hijacking, or destroying computers.

Like most malware, RATs piggyback on legitimate-looking files. Hackers can attach a RAT to a document in an email, or within a large software package, like a video game. Advertisements and nefarious webpages can also contain RATs, but most browsers prevent automatic downloads from websites or notify you when a site is unsafe.

Unlike some malware and viruses, it can be difficult to tell when you’ve downloaded a RAT. Generally speaking, a RAT won’t slow down your computer, and hackers won’t always give themselves away by deleting your files or rolling your cursor around the screen. In some cases, users are infected by a RAT for years without noticing anything wrong. But why are RATs so secretive? And how are they useful to hackers?

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RATs Work Best When They Go Unnoticed

Most computer viruses are made for a singular purpose. Keyloggers automatically record everything that you type, ransomware restricts access to your computer or its files until you pay a fee, and adware dumps dubious ads onto your computer for profit.

But RATs are special. They give hackers complete, anonymous control over infected computers. As you can imagine, a hacker with a RAT can do just about anything—as long as their target doesn’t smell a RAT.

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In most cases, RATs are used like spyware. A money-hungry (or downright creepy) hacker can use a RAT to obtain keystrokes and files from an infected computer. These keystrokes and files could contain bank information, passwords, sensitive photos, or private conversations. Additionally, hackers can use RATs to activate a computer’s webcam or microphone discreetly. The idea of being spied on by some anonymous nerd is pretty upsetting, but it’s a mild offense compared to what some hackers do with RATs.

Since RATs give hackers administrative access to infected computers, they’re free to alter or download any files on a whim. That means a hacker with a RAT can wipe your hard drive, download illegal content from the internet through your computer, or place additional malware onto your computer. Hackers can also control your computer remotely to perform embarrassing or illegal actions online in your name or use your home network as a proxy server to commit crimes anonymously.

A hacker can also use a RAT to take control of a home network and create a botnet. Essentially, a botnet allows a hacker to utilize your computer resources for super nerdy (and often illegal) tasks, like DDOS attacks, Bitcoin mining, file hosting, and torrenting. Sometimes, this technique is utilized by hacker groups for the sake of cyber crime and cyber warfare. A botnet that’s comprised of thousands of computers can produce a lot of Bitcoin, or take down large networks (or even an entire country) through DDOS attacks.

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Don’t Worry; RATs are Easy to Avoid

Of course, you should also enable your anti-virus software. Windows Defender is included with your PC (and it’s honestly a great anti-virus software), but if you feel the need for some extra security, then you can download a commercial anti-virus software like Kaspersky or Malwarebytes.

Use Anti-Virus to Find and Exterminate RATs

There’s an overwhelmingly good chance that your computer isn’t infected by a RAT. If you haven’t noticed any weird activity on your computer or had your identity stolen recently, then you’re probably safe. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to check your computer for RATs every once and awhile.

Since most hackers use well-known RATs (instead of developing their own), anti-virus software is the best (and easiest) way to find and remove RATs from your computer. Kaspersky or Malwarebytes have an extensive, ever-expanding database of RATs, so you don’t have to worry about your anti-virus software being out of date or half baked.

If you’ve run anti-virus, but you’re still paranoid that there’s a RAT on your PC, then you could always format your computer. This is a drastic measure but has a 100% success rate—outside of exotic, highly specialized malware that can burrow into your computer’s UEFI firmware. 

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New RATs that can’t be detected by anti-virus software take a lot of time to create, and they’re usually reserved for use on large corporations, famous people, government officials, and millionaires. If anti-virus software doesn’t find any RATs, then you probably don’t have any RATs.

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Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

How do you Initialize new Disks?

How do you Initialize new Disks?

How do you Initialize new Disks?

how to initialize a new disk using Disk Management

How to initialize a new disk using Disk Management

If you add a brand new disk to your PC and it doesn’t show up in File Explorer, you might need to add a drive letter, or initialize it before using it. You can only initialize a drive that’s not yet formatted. Initializing a disk erases everything on it and prepares it for use by Windows, after which you can format it and then store files on it.

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Warning

If your disk already has files on it that you care about, don’t initialize it – you’ll lose all the files.

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To initialize new disks

1. Open Disk Management with administrator permissions.

To do so, in the search box on the taskbar, type Disk Management, select and hold (or right-click) Disk Management, then select Run as administrator > Yes. If you can’t open it as an administrator, type Computer Management instead, and then go to Storage > Disk Management.

2. In Disk Management, right-click the disk you want to initialize, and then click Initialize Disk (shown here). If the disk is listed as Offline, first right-click it and select Online.

Note that some USB drives don’t have the option to be initialized, they just get formatted and a drive letter.

 

how to initialize a new disk using Disk Management
3. In the Initialize Disk dialog box (shown here), check to make sure that the correct disk is selected and then click OK to accept the default partition style.

The disk status briefly changes to Initializing and then to the Online status.

4. Select and hold (or right-click) the unallocated space on the drive and then select New Simple Volume.

5. Select Next, specify the size of the volume (you’ll likely want to stick with the default, which uses the whole drive), and then select Next.

6. Specify the drive letter you want to assign to the volume and then select Next.

7. Specify the file system you want to use (usually NTFS), select Next, and then Finish.

About partition styles - GPT and MBR

Disks can be divided up into multiple chunks called partitions. Each partition – even if you have only one – has to have a partition style – GPT or MBR. Windows uses the partition style to understand how to access the data on the disk.

As fascinating as this probably isn’t, the bottom line is that these days, you don’t usually have to worry about partition style – Windows automatically uses the appropriate disk type.

Most PCs use the GUID Partition Table (GPT) disk type for hard drives and SSDs. GPT is more robust and allows for volumes bigger than 2 TB. The older Master Boot Record (MBR) disk type is used by 32-bit PCs, older PCs, and removable drives such as memory cards.

To convert a disk from MBR to GPT or vice versa, you first have to delete all volumes from the disk, erasing everything on the disk.

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Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

How to Fix Windows Error Code 0x8007025D?

How to Fix Windows Error Code 0x8007025D?

How to Fix Windows Error Code 0x8007025D?

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Error Code : 0x8007025D shown while trying to clean install windows 10

The Windows Error code 0x8007025D is usually prompted during clean install of Windows 10 on a new HDD or SSD. 

The installation of the Windows fails right after it starts to copying the files and a window prompts that Windows cannot install required files. 

Solution for Windows Error Code 0x8007025D

  • Connect your HDD or SSD externally to another PC
  • Open a command prompt and use the command DISKPART
  • In DISKPART use the command CLEAN for the assigned HDD/SSD to remove  any and all partitions or volumes off the drive
  • Use the command CONVERT MBR to convert the assigned disk in DISKPART window to MBR partition (You can change a disk from a GPT to an MBR partition style as long as the disk is empty and contains no volumes.)
  • Now you can install the HDD/SSD in your computer and boot from the latest Windows 10 ISO to complete the installation without any errors.

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Please use the picture below as a referrence. You might need to assign your own disk # which could be different from the disk # in the picture below.

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Warning

Be very cautious with the command CLEAN!!! Make sure that you have selected the correct disk. There is NO coming back from CLEAN. All your data will be erased after the command CLEAN has been executed!!!!!! 

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Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs

What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

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Benefits of cloud computing

Cloud computing isn’t an all-or-nothing service approach. Companies can choose to use the cloud to store their data and execute logic as much, or as little, as necessary to fulfill their business requirements. Existing businesses might choose a gradual movement to save money on infrastructure and administration costs (referred to as “lift and shift”), while a new company might start in the cloud.

Let’s learn some of the top benefits of cloud computing.

It's cost-effective

Cloud computing provides a pay-as-you-go or consumption-based pricing model.

This consumption-based model brings with it many benefits, including:

  • No upfront infrastructure costs
  • No need to purchase and manage costly infrastructure that you may not use to its fullest
  • The ability to pay for additional resources only when they are needed
  • The ability to stop paying for resources that are no longer needed
This also allows for better cost prediction. Prices for individual resources and services are provided so you can predict how much you will spend in a given billing period based on your expected usage. You can also perform analysis based on future growth using historical usage data tracked by your cloud provider.

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It's scalable

You can increase or decrease the resources and services used based on the demand or workload at any given time. Cloud computing supports both vertical and horizontal scaling depending on your needs.

Vertical scaling, also known as “scaling up”, is the process of adding resources to increase the power of an existing server. Some examples of vertical scaling are: adding more CPUs, or adding more memory.

Horizontal scaling, also known as “scaling out”, is the process of adding more servers that function together as one unit. For example, you have more than one server processing incoming requests.

Scaling can be done manually or automatically based on specific triggers such as CPU utilization or the number of requests and resources that can be allocated or de-allocated in minutes.

It's elastic

As your workload changes due to a spike or drop in demand, a cloud computing system can compensate by automatically adding or removing resources.

For example, imagine your website is featured in a news article, leading to a spike in traffic overnight. Since the cloud is elastic, it automatically allocates more computing resources to handle the increased traffic. When the traffic begins to normalize, the cloud automatically de-allocates the additional resources to minimize cost.

Another example is if you are running an application used by employees, you can have the cloud automatically add resources for the peak operating hours during which most people access the application, and remove the resources at the usual end of the day.

It's current

When you use the cloud, you’re able to focus on what matters: building and deploying applications. Cloud usage eliminates the burdens of maintaining software patches, hardware setup, upgrades, and other IT management tasks. All of this is automatically done for you to ensure you’re using the latest and greatest tools to run your business.

Additionally, the computer hardware is maintained and upgraded by the cloud provider. For example, if a disk fails, the disk will be replaced by the cloud provider. If a new hardware update becomes available, you don’t have to go through the process of replacing your hardware. The cloud provider will ensure that the hardware updates are made available to you automatically.

It's reliable

When you’re running a business, you want to be confident your data is always going to be there. Cloud computing providers offer data backup, disaster recovery, and data replication services to make sure your data is always safe. In addition, redundancy is often built into cloud services architecture so if one component fails, a backup component takes its place. This is referred to as fault tolerance and it ensures that your customers aren’t impacted when a disaster occurs.

It's global

Cloud providers have fully redundant datacenters located in various regions all over the globe. This gives you a local presence close to your customers to give them the best response time possible no matter where in the world they are.

You can replicate your services into multiple regions for redundancy and locality, or select a specific region to ensure you meet data-residency and compliance laws for your customers.

It's secure

Think about how you secure your datacenter. You have physical security – who can access the building, who can operate the server racks, and so on. You also have digital security – who can connect to your systems and data over the network.

Cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies, controls, and expert technical skills that can provide better security than most organizations can otherwise achieve. The result is strengthened security, which helps to protect data, apps, and infrastructure from potential threats.

When it comes to physical security – threats to cloud infrastructure, cloud providers invest heavily in walls, cameras, gates, security personnel, and so on, to protect physical assets. They also have strict procedures in place to ensure employees have access only to those resources that they’ve been authorized to manage.

Let us talk about digital security. You want only authorized users to be able to log into virtual machines or storage systems running in the cloud. Cloud providers offer tools that help you mitigate security threats, and you must use these tools to protect the resources you use.

Summary

Cloud computing makes running a business easier. It’s cost-effective, scalable, elastic, current, reliable, and secure. This means you’re able to spend more time on what matters and less time managing the underlying details.

Call PC Expert Services for a FREE Consultation Today!

Top Reasons to have your repair done by PC Expert Services in Irvine

  • We use grade A+ parts
  • Free Diagnostics
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Local Repair done by Certified Tech
  • 1 Year Limited Warranty on all repairs