Broken Laptop?

Broken Laptop

We can fix that! Well…maybe not the one in the picture

But, if you have a cracked screen or your power jack isn’t working anymore, we can help! Are you having a heat issue and it keeps overheating? We can replace the fan too!

Give us a call anytime at(386) 742-4782 or stop by booth 90 in the Corner Shops Mall of the Daytona Flea Market on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and let us take a look at your laptop or desktop. There’s no diagnostic charge. Many times we can have your PC back to you the same day!

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Back-to-School Tax Holiday!

Back-To-School

Come visit us at the Daytona Flea & Farmer’s Market in booth #90 of the Corner Shops Mall AIR-CONDITIONED building and pay NO SALES TAX on eligible items this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! All refurbished laptops and desktops will also be 10% off!

We know times are tight, especially when taking advantage of the sales tax holiday on clothes and other school supplies. We offer free layaway with easy bi-monthly payments. And, as long as you put the computer on layaway before Sunday you can take advantage of the Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday and NOT pay 6.5% sales tax!

We sell refurbished laptops and desktops. Our laptops start at just $159.99! We also offer one, two, and three year extended warranties that can be serviced nationwide and are transferable.

We know that you have a lot of choices when it comes to purchasing a refurbished computer. We also know that there are a lot of shady companies selling used computers. When you buy from us you can be sure that you are purchasing a computer with an operating system licensed to that computer, with a restore partition or the disc needed in case you need to restore your computer to original factory settings.

If the computer you are looking to buy is running Windows 7 Ultimate and the product key on the computer is for Windows XP, Vista, or 7 Home Premium, chances are that computer is loaded with COUNTERFEIT software. At some point Microsoft will flag that counterfeit product key and your computer will be unusable. Or it may be set to never receive an automatic update, putting you at a higher risk for malware. Don’t be afraid to ask the person you are buying from about the software, restore partition, restore discs, and product keys BEFORE you hand over your hard earned money. Some of the so-called “computer experts” will tell you that what we are saying is not true. They’ve even emailed US and told us this isn’t true. Don’t listen to them. Don’t even listen to us. Go see what Microsoft has to say. Learn more athttp://www.microsoft.com/en-us/howtotell/Hardware.aspx#PCPurchase

We also service and repair any laptop or desktop, including Apple. Virus/Spyware/Ransomware removal is only $30 and (depending on the severity of the infected computer) can usually be done the same day. We can also replace parts of your laptop you probably didn’t know could be fixed — such as the front bezel, mouse, keyboard, dc/power jack, DVD drive, and more.

Do you have a Windows XP machine and you want to upgrade it to Windows 7? We can do that! For $99 we will upgrade your software from Windows XP to Windows 7, give you a product key and a license for your software, and give you a REAL Windows 7 disc in case you ever have to reload your software. We are a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher. Come visit us and find out how that sets us apart from the other guys.

We are located inside the Corner Shops Mall #90 (see map in our pictures) of the Daytona Flea & Farmers Market located at:

2987 Bellevue Ave
Daytona Beach, FL 32124

Corner Shops Mall #90, right next door to Bill’s Tasty Smoked Meats and across from Park 38 Ltd Vintage Jewelry in the bright orange booth on the corner.

We are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9am to 5pm. Give us a call at (386) 742-4782 we will be happy to answer any questions.

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Protect Yourself From Piracy

We have found that software piracy is a big problem within the flea market. So much so, it’s the reason we opened our booth in the first place. 

We were visiting the flea market in March 2014 as customers. There were several places selling and repairing computers, and because this is our business we are always looking at what other businesses are doing that seems to be working. How is there pricing? What do they offer? Etc.

We would look at the computers they were selling and see that it has a Windows XP Certificate of Authenticity (COA) but is loaded with some version of Windows 7, most often Windows 7 Ultimate. And when we questioned it we received varying responses ranging from them trying to explain that it is legitimate but unable to provide a COA or a copy of the software to just walking away from us and refusing to answer. At that moment we went to the office to find out what booths were available for rent and we opened the following weekend.

This weekend we learned that one of the computer vendors in the market is selling “lifetime” Symantec antivirus subscriptions for $30. This is not something Symantec offers on the consumer level. Buyer beware!

A fellow vendor brought a computer to us that was loaded with malware. The first thing we noticed is it was running Windows 7 Ultimate. The computer came with Windows 7 HP and had a restore partition…at one point in time. About 6 months prior he brought it in to have one of the computer vendors repair…the same one who walked away from us when we questioned having a way to restore our computer if we had a problem…and he reloaded it with a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate which had the Windows Update service removed from services. Had the software ever actually made contact with Microsoft through Windows Update the computer would have been flagged as counterfeit. This left our fellow vendor without important security updates. Remember when Microsoft warned people about the security gap in April? Yeah…our fellow vendor never received the IE fix update because he wasn’t receiving updates. We explained the problem to him and ordered the correct restore discs for his computer and got him running again.

And that’s how one vendor treated another vendor? Someone they see every weekend. How do you think they’re going to treat you??

Our goal is to help you avoid being taken advantage of by creating an educated consumer. Stop by our booth, we will never pressure you into a sale or service, and we don’t mind spending the time to talk to you to help you protect yourself when making future purchases.

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IRS Email Scam

 

BEWARE!

If you get an email that looks like it is from the IRS, DON’T open it!

The New York State Police warns that it’s actually a virus, and one that is costing people a lot of money to clean up their systems.

The IRS website warns that they will never initiate contact with you via email.

Once the email, which does bear the IRS.gov domain, is opened it will open a series of error messages. It will then asks the victim to make a purchase as a part of the program to help clean up the computer. This is a ransomware style virus. Although the program you are asked to purchase will clean up the computer, our experience has been that you will receive another message a few months later claiming you have been infected again and that you need to pay a whole new fee to “remove” the problem. The sole purpose of this scam is for the scammers to make money.

If you receive the email immediately forward it to phishing@irs.gov.

The IRS website has a whole list of things you should look out for, including bogus emails, faxes and even letters in the mail.

Email Attachment Security Tips…

There have been a number of nasty viruses just this year. A lot of these viruses were transported or replicated from PC to PC using email attachments. If you’re paying attention, a lot of these viruses are very easy to spot. Most times the files are executable files, but not always. Some attachments contain macros (simple programs that run within other programs, all the titles in Microsoft Office use macros).

If you’re not sure how to identify file extentions it’s ok…we will explain it for you now.

A file extension tells your operating system how to treat a particular piece of data. You’ve probably seen files with extensions such as .doc, .xls, .txt, and .mp3. When you open a .doc or .txt the operating system looks at the extension and then knows to open the file using your default program for documents and text files.

Hackers will use all kinds of eye-catching ploys to get you to open their emails and open and run their virus. Most antivirus programs will stop you, or at least warn you, about these high risk attachments. The problem is, on average 10 to 20 new viruses are written and released every day and you can’t count on any antivirus program to protect you 100%. That’s why it is so important that you scrutinize every email, even from people you know. If their email account has been compromised it could be sending the virus to everyone in their address book. If you aren’t expecting an attachment, even from a friend, don’t open it until you confirm with them that the attachment was sent by them.

Some of the more common file types used to hide viruses include:

.scr – Windows Screen Saver – USE CAUTION if you receive a screen saver via email. They can contain worms or viruses
.pif – DO NOT OPEN! This is most likely a virus. Clicking it will run a program or code that can mess up your computer.
.exe – executable file – a program that contains a virus, Trojan horse, or worm
.pps – MS PowerPoint (can contain macro virus)
.zip – Zip (compressed) file
.vbs – Visual Basic script
.bat – Executable MS-DOS batch file
.com – DOS executable command
.asp – active server page – internet script
.doc – Word document (can contain macro virus)
.xls – Excel file (can contain macro virus)

This is in no way a complete list, just an example of some of the ways hackers will try to trick you. Just because an attachment has one of these extensions it doesn’t mean the file is a virus, but it should send up some red flags. Stay on your toes and don’t fall victim to a hackers deceptive trap.

The Importance of Backing Up Your Data

Not too long ago we had a customer who was having problems with their computer and stressed the importance of saving “everything” on their computer. We explained that although we will try every means possible, there are times where you just cannot salvage data. A lot of time was put into saving the data; however some files were just too damaged and would not open. We felt great about how much we were able to do for the customer. We explained that there some of the data was just too damaged, but we salvaged about 99.8% of the times they did have. They were very relieved.

So it came as a bit of a shock when the customer came back in the following day screaming about files that were “important” and no longer there. They were so upset they threatened a lawsuit stating that they didn’t think there was a judge around that wouldn’t award them money for their lost files.

I’m not sure if they ever contacted a lawyer, we never heard from one. We never contacted our attorney either; we were hoping that the law would be on our side and that it is the customers’ responsibility to backup their data.

If your information is THAT important then you really NEED to backup your data on a regular basis.

We see failed hard drives all the time in our shop. It is a very common problem. What we never see is someone who comes in with a backup of their files.

 

How should I backup my data?

 

Thankfully the days of the floppy disc are long behind us! There are several options available to the regular home user these days.

Backing Up to CDs or DVDs

Depending on the amount of data on your computer this can be time consuming. CDs hold about 700 MB of data and DVDs hold about 4.2 GB. A double layer DVD will hold about 8.4 GB. Blu-ray discs hold almost 25 GB of data and a double layer Blu-ray disc will hold almost 50 GB. The advantage to this type of backup is being able to keep multiple copies and keep them in a different location that your computer in case of fire or theft.

External Hard Drives

Because you can purchase 1 TB and higher drives this is becoming a much more common way of backing up data. Particularly with a desktop computer, because you can schedule backups with your backup software and leave the computer connected and it will backup your data when you are sleeping or at work.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Just like the drive inside your computer, the drive inside the unit is a hard drive and it is prone to the same problems as your desktop computer. Because it is smaller and lighter than your computer it can easily be pulled by a pet or a child yanking on the power or USB cable.

USB Flash Drive

Even though these files have grown in size and popularity over the years, we do not recommend this as a reliable method to backup your data. They are designed for temporary storage. If you are going to keep anything important on here it is highly recommended that keep those files in at least two other locations (your desktop or laptop AND as part of either an online backup, external hard drive, or CD/DVD backup).

Online Backup

Online backup services are gaining in popularity. Although most charge a monthly or yearly fee, some offer a small amount of storage space at no charge. Overall, this is a great way to backup your data. Not only is your data stored in a location away from your computer in case of a catastrophic loss due to fire or flood, but the company will also protect themselves by having their own backup systems in place.

The down-side is they have your data. Even though the company you choose will have privacy policies in place and your data will be encrypted, you may not be comfortable with someone else having access to your banking, tax, personal and business data.

Options for Businesses

For business networked computers we would recommend either a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Discs) or a Network Attached Storage. For the normal home user these options are not only more complicated to setup, but are more costly.

The Bottom Line

No matter which method you choose, definitely choose something. And if you really want to be safe it probably isn’t a bad idea to copy your most important data to CDs or DVDs and stash them someplace like a safe deposit box.

No one likes to hear that all of their data is lost.