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Common Faults with Laptops

Common Faults with Laptops

If you like many people have become dependant on your laptop for work, school or play you will know how irritating it is to have you laptop go faulty because of either wear and tear or accidental damage. Laptops have become very popular for the simple reason that you can carry them around with you.

The main components of a laptop are the LCD display, random access memory (RAM), battery, keyboard, and hard drive. Other than the LCD display, the other parts of a laptop can easily be replaced.

Common Laptop Hardware Problems

Here is a list of common problems laptop users experience:

  • Broken case as a result of a drop
  • Laptop Overheating – The production of heat can be the cause of computer shutting down unexpectedly.  Some laptops automatically shutdown when excessive heat is generated to protect the computer.  May also be related to a fan failure.
  • Damaged LCD screen or does not display the image properly – The screen may look distorted or some of the pixels may not display properly indicating damaged pixels.
  • Failure of the backlight – a faint image on the LCD screen is a key clue
  • Sticky or broken keys on the keyboard – spilled beverages
  • Loose or broken LCD hinge
  • Damaged USB ports – improper insertion of USB devices into the port is the major source of damage
  • Hard Drive failure – malfunction are usually caused by vibration and shock associated with the portable nature of how laptops are used

Laptop Repair Solutions

Many of the problems listed above can be repaired for less than the cost of a new laptop! If you are handy, replacing a keyboard, a hard drive or adding memory to a laptop is not difficult. If you don’t feel comfortable performing these tasks, then we can help with the repairs / upgrade at reasonable prices but stay away from retail stores because guess what … they will try to sell you a new laptop.

Recent Laptop repairs that we have completed:

Below you can see a laptop that experienced problems with constantly shutting down without warning, this is a sure sign that it is overheating and can be caused by the cooling fan being faulty or blocked. In this case the fan was blocked with dust which was preventing air flow to cool the processor.

In the next pictures below you can see a laptop that had Coca Cola spilt on the Laptop Keyboard, this caused the input key to be very sticky and in most cases unusable. Fortunately it did not go any further than the keyboard and was a simple case of replacing the keyboard. You will notice that the screen has been removed also this is because we replaced the screen at the same time and although the owner never said we believe a temper tantrum was performed on the screen as a consequence of the Coca Cola spillage. :)

Backup 14 Terabytes of data

How do you backup 14 terabytes of data?

A client of ours recently approached us for some guidance on how to backup all their data from numerous external HDD’s and data stored on the local computers. The obstacles we faced our 14 terabytes of data and increasing, data stored on different devices and computers and nothing is backed up.

On first inspection of the external HDD’s three of them were old Omega and Seagate that varied between 200 gigabytes to 500 gigabytes, these had been stored and not been used for at least three – four years, alarm bells start ring!!! So firstly we needed to establish if these worked and the data was not corrupt. Fortunately all of them worked and all data was safe, then we had to check the newer external HDD’s ranging from 1 Terabyte – 3 Terabytes again these all worked and although the data was stored all over the place with no order we proceeded to make our recommendation.

Of course with such large amounts of data storing it in the cloud was not an option because of expense and time, so the option we proposed is two NAS drive (Network Attached Storage) don’t get me wrong this option is going to be expensive to achieve with the hardware that is involved and work to set it up not to mention there needs to be two of everything.

We could have chosen two pre-built NAS already assembled with drives installed but we wanted a specific amount of storage with at least 32 terabytes and from what we have discovered not many companies offer this kind of configuration and if they were to modify the specification it would be double the price of our suggested configuration.

So down to the nitty gritty, we opted for the Synology DiskStation DS1813 with 8 drive bays, this would allow us to configure the DiskStation with 8 x 4 Terabytes = 32 Terabytes. We needed one large logical disk with fault tolerance per unit so we opted for a Raid 5 Configuration. This was not an easy decision as it takes a whopping 10 terabytes away from the original 32 terabytes leaving a logical disk of 229367 Gigabytes or just under 23 Terabytes.

Product Features:

  • 211.88 MB/sec Writing, 352.39 MB/sec Reading
  • Four LAN Ports with Link Aggregation Support
  • Scale up to 72TB with Synology DX513
  • Expandable RAM Module (Up to 4GB)
  • CPU Passive Cooling Technology & System Fan Redundancy
  • VMware®, Citrix®, Microsoft® Hyper-V® Ready
  • High Availability and Automatic Failover by SHA
  • Powered by Synology DiskStation Manager (DSM

So bearing in mind that it took nearly 5 years to accumulate 14 terabytes of data which will now be transferred to one of the NAS and with an additional 9 terabytes free space this should allow for further data to be added for at least three to four years.

So one NAS will be used to transfer all the data into one central location, for easy access to historical and current data and one NAS will be used to backup the data stored on the first one. With the NAS drives being able to be networked both units can be stored at different locations, which means we have now provided them with a means to recover lost and deleted data, fault tolerance on the hardware and a means of recovering data should one unit have a disaster.

For the software to manage the backups we will be using Symantec Backup Exec Small Business Edition, firstly it will backup over the network and secondly it will backup individual workstations and thirdly it will backup multiple locations, this is ideal for our purposes as there is no Server to speak at the location other than a basic domain server (SBS Essentials)

 

The DC3217IYE our smallest computer project.

The DC3217IYE our smallest computer project.

Another one of our clients who run a respite care home wanted a computer to show presentations videos to residents, staff and board members but did not want a full computer that was going to take up space. Rather they wanted it to be hidden, small and compact with the least amount of disruption during installation.

After doing some research we came across the DC3217IYE, at first I didn’t think much of this unit whilst reading reviews and it’s specification. Firstly it has some downsides like no sound card only two USB ports and if you want Wi-Fi you need to purchase the upgrade version. However if this unit was to be hidden away and it uses HDMI to connect to a Television it doesn’t really need  sound built in as the HDMI sound driver takes care of that. Two USB ports posed no problem either if you purchase a Wireless Keyboard and Mouse as it only uses one USB port leaving one free for an external HDD.

The Unit comes with a mounting a kit so that you can mount the computer on any modern flat screen TV and it’s very quiet in fact there is no noise from it all. This computer is very fast when it boots up and is a dream to work with, the unit comes with Windows 8 but seems pointless to me unless you have a touch screen, so we ordered it without any OS as the client has a site licence for Windows 7 and it installed like a dream. One thing I should mention is that if you intend to install the OS yourself make sure you have an external CD Drive.

This computer is ideal for schools, board rooms, display stands in fact anywhere you want small, fast and easy to transport with all the power of a full size computer then this unit is what you want. With an i3 Intel Processor, up to 8GB’s memory and SSD Drive this computer will handle anything you can throw at it.

This was another interesting project which the client had a specific criteria and need that we were able to provide a viable solution and a cheap one too with the DC3217IYE costing under £300.

 

 

Part 4 of our Custom Built Computer

Custom Built Computer which we have named Hercules: Conclusion and thoughts.

Now you have seen the critical components of what’s inside our clients custom built computer you should have a good idea of the planning and quality this build is. There are more parts and numerous software goodies that came with the motherboard and Graphics Card but we’ll save that for another article.

Our client has been using the computer for over two weeks now and is absolutely thrilled with it’s performance, although it has to be said the client was more impressed with the fact their IPhone could connect to the computer via Bluetooth tut!!

We have provided the client with exactly what they asked for plus a few additional features they were not expecting, the storage space should last a good few years to come and the upgradability of the computer is second to none.

See some pictures of the finished product

Total cost for Hercules the custom built computer was nearly £3,300 so it’s not your usual desktop computer. The total weight of the computer when we finished was nearly 90ibs and took two people to lift it in to it’s new home. This kind of computer we built for our client is usually used for serious gamers who play high end games but we adapted it to the clients needs. It was a really good interesting project something if we are ever approached with again we would certainly relish the challenge.

Some pictures of the computer in the studio of our client:

Video of our Custom build


So I hope you enjoyed our article and come to read our latest article on the smallest computer we have fitted which is the size of a small CD case. Click here

 

Outsourced IT Support Services Manchester North West

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Outsourced IT Support Services Manchester.

Finding a reliable, effective IT Support Service isn’t always easy. There are many companies out there on the internet that offer a similar range of services and knowing which one to choose can prove to be a difficult task.

So what makes us stand out from the rest?

Our IT Department are one of few companies in the UK that can offer their clients a truly ‘Unlimited’ One-stop Onsite and Remote Outsourced IT Support Services Solution. We truly believe that we can offer you a service which will never be bettered by any other IT Company in Manchester. We are the IT Company you always wanted, but thought you could never afford.

Our IT Department specialise in Supporting the IT Networks of SME’s in Greater Manchester and the surrounding areas. Our clients have a Network size of between 15-50 Pc’s and a minimum of one servers.

What services do we offer our clients?

Unlimited Remote and Telephone Support – Over 85% of IT related problems are fixed by our exclusive remote support software.

Unlimited Onsite Visits – Because we are a Manchester based company, we can offer our clients a fast onsite presence.

A range of IT Support Services – Over the past 20 years we have developed a range of technologies which complement our IT Support Services. These solutions include cloud based technology, Virtualisation Solutions, Online Backup, Advance Network Monitoring and many more.

Project Management and IT Consultancy – We are experienced in every aspect of project management, from Office moves and server upgrades to Hosted Migration and the implementation of SAN Solutions. There is nothing we haven’t done, or cannot do.

Contact us to find out more.

If you are looking for Outsourced IT Support Services in Manchester then we are the company to talk with. Visit the contact us page and request a call back today, or we can arrange to come and see you.