Special offer. Upgrade your computer with a SSD drive

Slow Computer ? Is your computer a little old and slow You might have been putting off replacing it because of the cost or the hassle of reinstalling all your applications. You might just your computer or laptop Here at CT North Sydney an SSD upgrade is one of the most common type of computer upgrades we do.  So we are doing a special offer with special fixed pricing on SSD upgrades What is an SSD ? SSD stands for Solid State Drive.  A traditional hard drive has a spinning platter (disk) that stores your information, this is spinning constantly at around 5000 rpm , these disks wear out over time , getting slower and risking your data due to failure An SSD has no moving parts. You can think of it as a large USB Flashdrive but one that replaces your internal hard drive. These are literally 10 times faster than a traditional hard drive SSD drives are also much more reliable and less likely to corrupt your files We use Kingston SSD drives, all our drives come with a 3 year warranty Our upgrade will wake up even the slowest computer. Your computer or laptop will be faster than it was the day it was new Price includes parts and all installation costs. (In some circumstances the price may vary slightly. If this is the case you will be quoted before any work takes place) 120 GB    $290 inc GST 240 GB     $350 inc GST 480 GB     $420 inc GST What you get . We will check your existing computer to see what size drive is appropriate... read more

NBN is coming to the North Shore

One question i get asked all the time is ‘When can I get the NBN?’ Well, I would like to answer that question by letting you know about a fantastic free offer To bring you this offer, I have teamed up with Astron Communication & Information Services. Astron is a Retail Service Provider of the NBN located in North Sydney, that has been serving Australian Homes & Businesses for over 20 years and has recently been taken over by new management. The health check takes about 30 – 60 minutes with one of my technicians and covers • Upload / download speed tests • Modem port speeds • WiFi speeds • NBN ready date • NBN network technology type • NBN data and voice plan options You will receive a detailed report with the health check results and all you need to know about getting the best out of the NBN rollout. If you would like to book in a time, please all Astron on 1300 72 42 72 You can also call CT North Sydney on 1300 883 421 should you have any questions Kind regards Gavin McInnes... read more

7 Deadly IT signs

The 7 Deadly Signs You Should Never Ignore We have all done it, we have all ignored some very blatant signs that something is wrong with our computer. Unfortunately, this often means we put off calling tech support until we have a real emergency. To help stop any future emergencies here are our 7 deadly signs of impending computer disaster Regular pop up messages; This generally means you need to run some system updates on your computer. Your computer is running very slow; This can be a sign of a hard drive starting to fail needing replacement before it fails Your system regularly freezes up and forces a reboot for no apparent reason; This may mean you are running out of space & your system may need a cleanup. You face the “Blue screen of Death” or a blank black screen; This generally happens with older systems and can mean either sectors on your disk are failing or that a malware is the operating system . An application closes without warning; it could mean you don’t have the latest version of the application or that your operating system is not compatible with the version you are using. Your system is making noises; Any unusual noise should be looked at right away, clicking or whirring are signs like future failure. Blinking or flashing screens; Screen resets in the middle of using applications may mean your video card or graphics chip is failing. If you see any of these signs your best bet to save time and grief is to give us a call. Call your local Computer Troubleshooters now we... read more


Unfortunately one of the things that I spend way too much thought and energy dealing with is the scourge of Ransomware-Cryptolocker criminals out there targeting your pc Most of you will be aware of what Cryptolocker, is but if you have been living on another planet for the last few years. there has been a lot written about it. I won’t re-invent the wheel so here is a good article by our beloved ABC Now, what can you do about it ? Apart from the obvious, take care not to click on suspicious links or attachments in emails. [backup and disaster recovery plan] The best thing you can do is have a rock solid backup plan, even if you are a single computer business running from home you need to have a backup and recovery plan, in-fact it’s the single laptop businesses that so often don’t do this properly. Businesses like this can be devastated by a disaster such a ransomware attack, hardware failure or loss of hardware   Recovery If a disaster occurs, the more recovery options that we have available the better It’s not enough to just switch on windows backup and forget about it In my experience there is no such thing as a completely automatic backup system that requires no checking or input, such a thing simply does not exist. Unfortunately I have had many people call me after a disaster occurs saying something like ‘my old IT guy said my backups were working’ then when I check we have not had a successful backup in 12 months What do we recommend? Well every business... read more

How to recover deleted files? – File Recovery

As IT support specialists virtually every day we are asked to recover deleted files. With so much valuable information now stored in digital format, so many devices and options we are all increasingly vulnerable to human error! That’s right over a quarter of data recovery requests are as a result of human intervention. The good news is that of all the file recovery requests we receive, accidentally deleted files are regarded as our most likely to have a successful file recovery. Recovering deleted files can still be complicated and may require an expert to use Data Recovery software to examine computers storage to find the hidden remains of the deleted files and extract them back into a workable form. What to do if you accidentally delete a file? Don’t Panic – we recommend that you keep the computer turned on, and all applications open while you investigate the simple solutions below: Deleted Items – if in email, check the deleted items folder (it is generally near your inbox) this holds all deleted emails until you close your email application. If you can see your deleted file in the deleted items folder just click & drag across back into your inbox. File restored. Recycle Bin – if the file deleted was a document or image file, check your recycle bin, which has icon that is generally found on your desktop, click on the icon, it will show you deleted files that are awaiting permanent deletion (generally these are deleted when the computer powers off), just click and drag back onto your desktop. AutoSave –applications such as word and excel have... read more

Windows 10 Help – what to do Before & After you Upgrade

Windows 10 is the latest Operating System (OS) from Microsoft; you may have read our explanation of Windows 10 the feature, benefits and risks associated with upgrading, plus some Windows 10 help tips. Having taken all this into account if you are keen to proceed with your upgrade to Windows 10 here is our Before & After advice to help you protect yourself in the noticed a Windows 10 notification on your current system. Here are some Windows 10 help tips: Check your computer to see if you have any devices, apps or compatibility issues that would mean an unsuccessful upgrade. Check whether your computer has enough resources to run Windows 10. Most computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8 won’t have a problem unless you’re already running out of disk space. Download 3GB over your internet connection. Build in some protection for ‘rolling back’ the upgrade if it fails. But being a realistic and slightly cynical systems administrator (one who sees the pain when updates go bad), here’s what I want you to do: BEFORE the upgrade, create a System Repair Disk (Windows 7) or USB Recovery Drive (Windows 8) Instructions for creating a Windows 7 System Repair Disc: Click Start, then Control Panel, then System and Maintenance, then Backup and Restore. Click Create a System Repair Disc and follow the steps. You will need a blank CD. Instructions for creating a Windows 8/8.1 System Recovery Drive: BEFORE the upgrade, lay your hands on your original software installation CDs and/or license keys for any of your critical software applications. BEFORE the upgrade, confirm that you have a copy... read more

Windows 10 Release – What to do?

Windows 10 is the latest Operating System (OS) from Microsoft; you may have noticed a Windows 10 notification on your current system. What does it all mean & what should you do? Microsoft have has announced that eligible computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can gain a free upgrade to Windows 10 from the of 29th of July. This free upgrade offer is available to be taken over the next 12 month; those who are eligible will receive a system icon and popup on their screens. Windows 10 notification Once you have the notification after this date you will be able to upgrade. But the question is should you upgrade or not. Most experts are confident about the stability of this operating system than any previous version. The end user testing (through the Windows Insider program) has been unprecedented, so a significant amount of feedback has already gone into this product from technical people who are very particular! That doesn’t guarantee that your upgrade will go smoothly, but all software upgrades come with a degree of risk. Windows 10 Recommendation Our general recommendation is to initially hold off upgrading until there are sufficient worldwide users to stress test the OS and isolate any bugs that may have slipped through testing, after a few weeks there will be a consensus on performance. The free upgrade offer will be available until at least 29th July 2016 so there is no rush. Some of your applications may not work properly or some features may not function. QuickBooks has been identified as a potential problem, for example. Intuit does not have Windows... read more

Cryptolocker is back – Ransomware beware!

Cryptolocker the planet’s worst ransomware trojan has reappeared in all its ugly forms. Across the world networks and computer files have been encrypted by this trojan before a ransom demand is made to the user or administrator. Some victims who don’t have adequate backup are losing all their files, or having to pay a ransom of thousands to the criminals who propagate this electronic curse. Cryptolocker is propagated via infected email attachments, and via abotnet; when activated, the malware encrypts certain types of files stored on local and mounted network drives using RSA public key cryptography. Cryptolocker itself is readily removed, however encrypted files will remain locked unless the key is provided. Worse some who have paid the ransom, have not had the key provided being left with encrypted files and a big bill. It is estimated that around 3% of affected users pay the ransom requested. Almost a year ago the US Department of Justice announced that the FBI and Interpol had publicly issued an indictment against a Russian hacker and had gained the keys to the malware. However it appears a new version and clones such as CryptoWall and TorrentLocker are back in business, Security software is designed to detect such threats, however it may not detect Cryptolocker at all, or only after encryption is underway or complete, particularly if a new version unknown to the protective software. To how do you get Cryptolocker? Email is the primary entry point for the Cryptolocker Trojan into networks and computers. Cryptolocker typically is propagated as an attachment to a seemingly innocuous e-mail message, which appears to have been sent... read more

Skype for Business – What is it?

In the popular 2008 film “Up in the Air,” George Clooney portrays a corporate downsizing expert who spends nearly all of his time flying around the country on business. In fact, the character actually spends 320 days per year on planes and in airports. His enthusiasm for air travel is partially based on his goal of accumulating 10 million frequent flyer travel miles. Clooney’s character does eventually achieve his frequent flyer travel goal, but by that point let’s not speculate on his health, wellbeing, social life or family relationships Why Travel When You Can Skype? Up in the Air” did depict the differences between face-to-face meetings and the video conferencing technology that was in use at the time. Now, seven years later video technology has steadily improved and business travel has dramatically declined. Flight cancellations, over sold flights, weather delays, lost luggage, overcrowding and cramped seats have conspired to make business travel even more frustrating and exhausting. Thankfully there are now great video communication alternatives to time-consuming and expensive business travel Microsoft Introduces Skype for Business Currently, over 300 million people use Skype every month to communicate with their long-distance family, friends and colleagues. Last year, Microsoft announced that they were updating Lync, their business-centric chat app, by meshing it with the strengths of Skype. Microsoft’s new upgraded product known as Skype for Business is based on Skype’s design while drawing on many of Lync’s features. Skype for Business is scheduled to roll out in May 2015. Here’s what you can expect from this new Microsoft business product: Microsoft has expanded Lync features in Skype for Business with enterprise-grade... read more

Microsoft Small Business Server (SBS) replacement

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server was hugely popular with businesses of up to 75 people. The most recent version (SBS 2011) offers a combination of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010 in one box at very good price. It also includes SharePoint Foundation 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2 Express and, with the additional purchase of a Premium Add-On pack, it can support applications that rely on SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard. However, last July, Microsoft said Small Business Server 2011 would be the last SBS version and no longer be available for purchase. Support would also cease sometime in the future. So, where does this leave businesses that previously would have used SBS as their low-cost, all-in-one server solution? Microsoft would like you to purchase Windows Server 2012 Essentials, the product it has positioned as a replacement for SBS. Essentials is however quite a different animal altogether. For one thing, it provides out-of-the-box support for just 25 users (and 50 devices.) If you have more than that, you must purchase the full-blown Windows Server 2012 Standard edition. More importantly, one key attraction of SBS has been removed: Essentials doesn’t include Exchange at all. For that functionality, you’re expected to subscribe to Microsoft Office 365, use a hosted Exchange service or buy and run your own Exchange server on a separate physical box, all at an additional cost. Our recommended Small Business Server Solution; Email – Small Businesses need to move to their email to Office365, or hosted Exchange, as a hosted solution it is an enterprise grade product supporting multiple device access (including Windows, Apple &... read more

Want to Fall in Love with Your Computer Again?

The Thrill is Gone – do you remember that classic blues song? It’s a heart-breaking reminder about the loss of a once exhilarating and passionate connection. It’s a bitter realization when the old spark seems gone forever. Somehow over time, all the previous excitement has simply fizzled out. Excuse us, but we are talking about your relationship with your computer! How is Your Relationship with Your PC? Yes, even your formerly beloved computer can slow down over time until the thrill is most definitely gone. Honestly, does your computer seem unresponsive, sluggish and outdated? Are those exciting new models starting to turn your head? Maybe you and your cranky computer just need a little professional help to rekindle that old flame. Tips on Learning to Love Your PC Again It’s very likely that the relationship between you and your computer is salvageable, it just needs a little extra attention. Try these steps to put some zip back in the relationship with your computer: Slow Startup? Does it take your computer way too long to wake up and get started with the day’s tasks? It’s possible that there are too many non-critical programs launching during the startup process. Streamline the start-up process by consulting with a technology professional who can identify unnecessary programs that are slowing down the functioning of your computer. Cutting back on these boot problems should speed things along. Is Your PC Bloated? PC makers often throw in a lot of free tools. Initially, it sounds good to have all of those freebies, but a lot of techies call those freebies “bloatware” for a good reason. It’s... read more

Microsoft Server 2003: End of Life July 2015?

Microsoft have confirmed that they will end support for their popular Server 2003 product range on the 14th of July 2015. It was first released on April 24, 2003. An updated version, Windows Server 2003 R2, was released on December 6, 2005. This product range also includes Small Business Server 2003. These products were aimed towards the small to medium-sized businesses. Supporting file and printer sharing, secure Internet connectivity, centralised desktop application deployment, and in the case of Small Business Server the addition of Microsoft Exchange (email) and SQL (database). When Microsoft ceases support for Server 2003 they will no longer issue security updates or software patches for any version of Server 2003. If you continue to use this product it will be like basing your business on a piece of equipment that is 12 years old, no longer serviced, and who the manufacturer no longer provides parts. Ultimately businesses who continue to use Server 2003 will take on declining performance & escalating risk over time. Upgrade or your business systems due to Security and Compliance Issues If you are still using Server 2003 or Small Business Server 2003, you should take this situation seriously or your business will be negatively impacted with some significant consequences. You should consider the following information as you make your Server 2003 migration plan. Security Risks: The biggest problem is the security threat to your business. Without the security provided by an updated operating system, all of your business data and personal information is vulnerable to harmful viruses and spyware. There is a strong likelihood that malicious viruses will be developed & unleashed... read more