By Tim Wassberg | New Pelican Writer
Seeking out and cleaning harmful viruses in personal computers is one of the biggest problems in modern systems, especially with rampant hacking and identity theft. With his business: His Computer Company, Inc., owner / technician Dennis Nothdurft tries to educate and help his customers understand how to protect themselves online. He also tries to curb their frustrations when their computer starts running slower.
His work, Nothdurft said, depends on the problem the user is having. “Lots of times it will be virus problems or adware, or the software has gotten corrupted through even simple updates from Microsoft.”
Nothdurft recommends wiping and reinstalling Windows every six months to keep it running like new. Nothdurft goes this extra mile for his customers. He backs up their software and scans the data to make sure that it is not infected with viruses, spyware or malware. He says many of his customers then say their computers work like brand new. “And there’s the proof.”
Maintaining a healthy computer is also about prevention. Nothdurft says there are obviously hardware issues with RAM and motherboards, but the way people access the internet can also become a problem.
“You really don’t want to use Wi-Fi. [It’s better to] have a direct connection.” He warns there are special devices out there that allow “the bad guys” to hack into Wi-Fi. He says when there is a direct connection into the wall “you’re not even out there.”
He tries to educate his customers because they might not be aware [especially seniors] of what’s going on. “That’s why there’s so much identity theft because people are just sitting down the block and stealing your identity.”
Other problems Nothdurft deals with have to do with power issues and updates. He had a customer in Fort Lauderdale with a Lexmark printer and a Dell computer that was running Windows 7. The computer went through a Windows update and all of a sudden the printer wasn’t working. He was able to correct that for the customer.
Another problem can be with power outages.
“If the power goes off, it will corrupt software, especially if there is no AVR [automatic voltage regulator].” He warns that the surge strips people buy at stores are mostly for lightning strikes, not for power surges that happen through FPL. The AVR and, if possible, a battery back-up system will help extend the life of a computer as well as prevent data loss.
Nothdurft can also work on data recovery to a point. “The key [with data recovery] is that there are two different types of symptoms. If you lost your data because you deleted it, we can get 90 percent of it back.”
But he does say if the hard drive is making noise, then it is likely starting to fail. At that point, it might need to be sent to a “cleaning room” where the drive can be rebuilt, which is very costly.
That’s why it is good to back-up important data. Nothdurft looks at computer systems like cars. “Every once in a while with your car, you have to change the tire. So every once in a while, you have to do maintenance on your computer, believe it or not.”
Nothdurft makes most repair calls between Delray and North Miami but has gone as far north as Fort Pierce.
Nothdurft’s approach to a customer is to make a suggestion and explain why the work should be done. “I don’t pressure sales or anything like that.” He gives his customers the information, and it’s up to them to take that information and run with it.
For more information, call 754-214-1293.
His Computer Company is a New Pelican advertiser.