How To Fix the Windows 8.1 Black Screen Issue

November 21st, 2013

Correcting the black screen problem after upgraded to Windows 8.1 (aka Windows Blue):

Entering Safe Mode in Windows 8.1:
Hold down the power button to shut off the computer.
While the computer is off, hold SHIFT and tap F8 rapidly. While tapping F8, hit the power button to turn on the computer.
Open ‘Advanced Startup Options’
Choose ‘Troubleshoot’
Choose ‘Advanced Options’
Choose ‘Startup Settings’
Click the ‘Restart’ button
Once the computer restarts choose a Windows 8 ‘Safe Mode’ Option

Fixing the Black Screen:
From the ‘Start’ screen type ‘Device Manager’ to launch a search
Select ‘Device Manager’
Expand ‘Display Adapters’
Click on each entry and click the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard
Check the’Delete the driver software for this device’ box
Click ‘OK’
Reboot normally


BackgroundContainer.dll “not found” – How to fix

October 21st, 2013

On startup in a Windows PC if you get “The specified module not found … BackgroundContainer.dll”, this is what to do step-by-step.

The error is most likely caused by a computer virus infection so you must clean your system first…

1. Download ComboFix: ComboFix from Bleeping Computer and save it to your desktop.

2. Restart your computer in ‘Safe Mode’ (hit the F8 repeatedly as soon as the computer starts and select “safe mode with networking”

3. Run ComboFix in ‘safe mode’ (if you are on a Windows XP computer it may prompt you to install the Windows Recovery Console, this is normal) and let it finish all 50 stages.

4. After ComboFix has finished scanning restart your computer normally.

5. Download AutoRuns AutoRuns from Microsoft Technet (it is in a .zip file)

6. Extract AutoRuns from the .zip file to your deskstop and double-click autoruns.exe, this will launch AutoRuns.

7. In AutoRuns, select the “everything” tab in the main window, then go to “File” / “Find” and enter BackgroundContainer.dll in the dialog box.

8. Right-click on the BackgroundContainer.dll entry that AutoRun finds and select “delete”

9. Restart your computer.

This should resolve the annoying BackgroundContainer.dll startup error. Good luck!


Blue Screen error stop 0x50 FIXED – aka the “Blue Screen Of Death”

August 10th, 2011

I did a computer repair in Lakewood Ranch today where it was crashing on startup with a Blue Screen (BSOD) error: STOP 0x00000050 PAGE FAULT IN NON-PAGED AREA. The page fault error told me that it was most likely a memory issue. Memory errors can be caused by either bad RAM modules or hard disk errors, I would have to check both and since RAM is easiest to diagnose I began there.

I booted the PC using a diagnostic boot CD and ran memtest to check the RAM for errors. The RAM was error-free after the first 4 tests run under memtest so I went on to the next step of the repair process which is to attempt to get to the Repair Console (aka Recovery Options) so I can run chkdsk to check for file system disk errors.

Click Here For A Step-By-Step Recovery Console How-To

First I attempted to access the Windows Recovery Options by starting the computer and hitting the F8 key then selecting “repair your computer” but it froze up with a Blue Screen error. I next attempted to access the recovery Options by booting off the Windows DVD and that too gave me a Blue Screen error. At this point I wanted to see if the computer could run any Windows at all. I booted off a bartPE bootdisk and that too crashed immediately so this laptop was not going to start with any variation of Windows.

I next booted the computer using my diagnostic boot CD and ran a disk diagnostic which discovered a bad block at the beginning of the drive. I then processed the disk using a program which reconditions the disk by detecting and repairing all bad blocks. After the disk was reconditioned I rebooted the computer and Windows automatically launched chkdsk which repaired multiple disk errors in the file system. I then rebooted off of the Windows installation DVD and launched startup repair in Recovery Options. Once startup repair finished I was able to start Windows successfully multiple times and I then ran an aggressive disk defragmentation (defrag) to optimize the disk and test the fix.

The computer was running and starting up with no problems. The client was pleased with my work and that made me happy.

I’m a geek, I love fixing computers.

Call Manasota Geeks at 941-518-3079 if you need a computer geek in Sarasota, Bradenton, or Lakewood Ranch FL.


Recovery Console in Windows Vista and Windows 7

August 10th, 2011

The XP Recovery Console is now known as the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Recovery Options.

The Windows Recovery Options tools are:
Startup Repair
System Restore
System Image Recovery
Window Memory Diagnostic
Command Prompt

To get to the Recovery Options in Windows Vista and Windows 7:

Method 1:

1. Reboot your computer and repeatedly hit the F8 key.

2. Select “Repair Your Computer”.

3. Choose your language and keyboard settings and then click Next.

4. From the System Recovery Options menu, select one of the repair tools to run it.

Method 2:

1. Insert the Windows install DVD and turn on your computer.

* Note: If your computer is not configured to start from a DVD disk, check the user manual that came with your computer.

2. When prompted, press any key to start Windows from the installation disc.

3. Choose your language and keyboard settings and then click Next.

4. Click Repair your computer.

5. Select the operating system that you want to repair then click Next.

6. From the System Recovery Options menu, select one of the repair tools to run it.


Live and Streaming TV and Movies Online

August 6th, 2011

Netflix

Netflix

Hulu

Hulu

Justin.tv

Justin.tv

Justin.tv
ABC Full Episodes

ABC

FOX Full Episodes

FOX

CBS Full Episodes

CBS

FOX
NBC Full Episodes

NBC

MSNBC Live

MSNBC

CNBC Live

CNBC

NBC


Sarasota Computer Repair – Manasota Geeks

August 5th, 2011

Manasota Geeks provides on-site desktop and laptop computer repair. We fix computers in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Lakewood Ranch.  Yes! We service both PCs and Macs.  Manasota Geeks offers guaranteed computer virus removal with the friendliest geeks in town.

Sarasota Computer Repair - Manasota Geeks

Computer Problems? We Come To You!


WE ARE PLEASED TO SERVE YOU.
CALL: 941-518-3079

Our professional computer geeks will come to your home or place of business and solve all of your computer problems.  Our service area covers Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Ellenton, Palmetto, Parrish, Sarasota County and Manatee County.  Manasota Geeks is the first choice for Sarasota laptop repair, desktop repair, mac repair and virus removal.  Call now: 941-518-3079


How to recover from a crash using Microsoft Windows.

August 1st, 2011

If you’re using your laptop or desktop Windows computer and it locks up (freezes, stops responding) the following steps should help you recover from the crash. These steps work with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The first thing you should try is to end the program which has caused the freeze. You can do this by using a program that comes with Windows called Task Manager. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL (press Control, Alt and Delete at the same time) and Task Manager should open. Task Manager shows a list of all running applications. Look for any programs that say “Not Responding”. If any program is labeled “Not Responding” in Task Manager, Right-Click on the program in Task Manager and select “End Task” from the menu. This should close the running program. If a popup windows asks you to “End Now” or “Wait for the program to respond”, choose “End Now”. (You may lose any work you had open in this application).

If Task Manager isn’t working and you have no other way of closing the frozen computer programs then you should attempt to shut down the computer. To shut down when the computer is not responding, hold the power button in for about ten to fifteen seconds and the computer should power down. (You will lose any unsaved work you had open).

If the previous steps didn’t work, the last resort is to unplug the computer from the wall plug. (You will lose any unsaved work you had open). Once the computer has powered down you should be able to turn it back on and resume using your computer.

If you are still having problems with the laptop or desktop computer you should call Manasota Geeks at 941-518-3079 for an appointment to have an expert computer repair technician come to your home to fix your computer problems.

Manasota Geeks offers Lakewood Ranch computer repair, Bradenton computer repair and Sarasota computer repair. Computer problems? We come to you! Call Manasota Geeks Now: 941-518-3079


Enable HDMI Audio in Vista and Windows 7

February 5th, 2011

Make sure your computer is connected to your HDTV via an HDMI cable before you begin these steps.

1. Right-Click on the Sound Icon located in the lower right corner of your desktop
(the icon looks like a small speaker).

2. Left-Click on Playback Devices from the menu:
enable hdmi audio output

3. Now the Sound Window will open, make sure the Playback tab is selected.

4. Right-Click on the HDMI Output playback device.

5. Left-Click on Enable from the drop-down menu.
HDMI audio in windows vista and windows 7

That’s it, you should be enjoying HDMI audio from your computer to your TV.


How to Secure Your Wireless (Wifi) Home Network

February 2nd, 2011

Here we will explain how you can secure your wifi network from hackers and people stealing your bandwidth. Wireless Networking (Wi-Fi) has made it so easy for you to use your computers, laptops, netbooks, iPads, mobile phones, video game consoles, and other wireless devices anywhere in your home without needing networking cables but the biggest issue with wireless signals is that others can access the Internet using your broadband connection if your network isn’t secured.

Here a few simple steps to secure your wifi network:

Step 1. Open Your Router Settings Page

First you need to access your wireless router’s settings, usually you can do this by typing in 192.168.1.1 into your web browser and then enter the correct user name and password for the router (usually admin / password or admin / admin). This is different for each router so please refer to your router model’s user manual.

Here are direct links to the manufacturers’ support sites of some popular router brands:
Linksys (now Cisco), Cisco, Netgear, Apple AirPort, SMC, 3Com (now HP), Belkin

Step 2. Create a unique password on your router

Once you have logged into your router (step 1) you should change the default password of the router to something more secure. You can change your router’s password from the administration settings on your router’s settings page. The default values are generally admin / password or admin / admin.

Step 3. Change your Network’s SSID name

The SSID (or Wireless Network Name) of your Wifi Router is usually set as the brand name of the router (e.g., linksys, cisco, smc). Changing the SSID name of your network is always a good idea because you will always be certain that you are connecting to the correct Wireless network even if there are multiple wireless networks in your area. This setting is usually under the basic wireless settings in your router’s settings page.

Step 4. Enable Network Encryption

In order to prevent others from using your wifi internet connection you need to encrypt your wireless signals. To enable encryption on your Wireless network, open the wireless security settings on your router’s configuration page. Choose WPA or WPA2 encyption (we don’t recommend using WEP encryption) and enter a passphrase that will be used to access the secured wifi network.

Step 5. Connect to your Secure Wireless Network

Once you have enabled the security settings in your wireless router you need to add the new settings to your computers and other wireless devices so that they all can connect to the secured wifi network. You can select to have your computer automatically connect to the network so you won’t have to enter the SSID (network name) and passphrase every time you connect to the Internet. Your wireless network will now be a lot more secure and intruders may have a tough time intercepting your Wi-Fi signals.


Manasota Geeks can come to your home or business in the Bradenton and Sarasota areas to setup and encrypt your wireless network. We will ensure that your wifi network and your internet browsing are secure.


Verizon FIOS Email Settings

February 2nd, 2011

Verizon FIOS email settings:

Username: your main email account (do not include the @verizon.net)
SMTP (Outgoing) outgoing.verizon.net
POP3 (Incoming) incoming.verizon.net
Server Requires Authentication

 

These settings will work with Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, Windows Live Mail or any other email client program.


Top 10 Computer Tune-Up Tips

October 9th, 2010

1. Keep Your PC Up-To-Date.
It is recommended to have Windows update download and install updates automatically.

Access Windows Automatic Update Settings by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Updates

—————————————–

2. Keep Your Computer Free from Viruses (and other unwanted software).
It is very highly recommended that you have an anti-virus suite installed. AVG Free Anti-Virus is a highly rated anti-virus suite and best of all it is free!

AVG Anti-Virus Suite Website -> http://free.avg.com/

—————————————–

3. De-fragment Your Hard Disk Regularly.
De-fragmenting your hard drive will speed program load times and help your computer run smoother.

Access Windows Disk Defragmenter by clicking:
Start – > Programs – > Accessories – > System Tools – > Disk Defragmenter

—————————————–

4. Backup Your Computer.
Whether you decide to backup your important files to an external hard drive or to an online backup provider, it is highly recommended to perform regular backups to protect your precious data.

—————————————–

5. Keep Your Desktop and Hard Disk Tidy.
Windows includes a simple tool to keep your computer’s desktop and hard drive clean from unnecessary files.

Access Windows Disk Cleanup by clicking:
Start – > All Programs – > Accessories – > System Tools – > Disk Cleanup

—————————————–

6. Be Cautious Opening Suspicious Links or Email Attachments.
Many viruses are spread through web links and email attachments. Always exercise caution when clicking on unknown links online or opening suspicious email attachments.

—————————————–

7. Uninstall Programs That You Don’t Use.
Many programs will actually slow your computer down by loading themselves every time you turn on your computer. If you don’t use a program, uninstall it.

Access Windows Install/Uninstall Programs Tool by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP) OR Programs and Features (Windows Vista and Windows 7)

—————————————–

8. Scan Your Hard Disk for Errors.
Your hard drive may have hidden errors that are causing you computer to crash or run slower than it should. It is recommended to scan your hard drive for errors monthly.

Access Windows Disk Check Tool by clicking:
My Computer -> C Drive (Right-Click and choose “Properties”) -> Tools -> Check Now

—————————————–

9. Avoid Using Internet Explorer Whenever Possible.
Internet Explorer web browser is the most vulnerable and least efficient browser on the market. Consider using an alternative web browser for a better, more secure web browsing experience.

Use Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera, or Safari instead.

—————————————–

10. Use A Firewall
A firewall is a program that puts a protective barrier between your computer and the internet. Windows includes a robust firewall that can help protect your computer if it is enabled.

Access Windows Firewall by clicking:
Start -> Control Panel -> Windows Firewall

—————————————–

If you are having computer problems that the tips above can’t solve then maybe you need professional service from Manasota Geeks computer repair. “Computer Problems? We Come To You!” Manasota Geeks offers expert service at great rates. We also offer remote computer support. Call now for fast, friendly service: 941-518-3079


Fake Anti-Virus Popups – This Is A Virus

September 26th, 2010

I get a lot of experience removing computer viruses as a computer repair technician but rarely do I get to see a virus actually infect a computer “in the wild”. Two days ago my main computer, which is a fully updated Windows 7 PC with up-to-date antivirus, was infected by a drive-by virus (specifically the very nasty TDSS rootkit virus). The following is how the virus infected the computer and how I removed it.

I was downloading a file from Megaupload and another browser window popped open and started playing a video. The popup browser windows looked innocent enough but when I went to close it a warning dialog telling me to install up-to-date antivirus software immediately showed up in my system tray.

The best thing is that the warning misspelled the word Unauthorized as Unauthosrized:
fake anti-virus warning popup

Then I started getting a fake Windows Security Center window warning me that my computer had no anti-virus software installed:
fake security center popup

The virus begins with a trojan virus that installs itself into the c:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp directory. The trojan then downloads many more infected files including a rootkit that is set to install itself as soon as you reboot your computer.

Here is the actual trojan file that installed itself:
popup virus identified

I immediately ran a full scan using Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware which detected quite a few infected files (including the persistent TDSS rootkit) that the trojan attempted to install onto the computer.

This is what Malwarebytes detected and removed:
anti-virus popup virus removed

After I ran Malwarebytes I rebooted the computer, ran Malwarebytes again (it caught a few more infected files that tried to re-install themselves) and then I ran a full scan using AVG Free Anti-virus.

If you follow the above steps immediately after an infection you should be able to remove this virus with no problems.

Good luck!

 

Improve Computer Performance With Disk Defragmentation

August 28th, 2010

This easy preventative maintenance tip can goes a long way when it comes to improving performance of your Windows-based desktop and laptop computers. All Windows operating systems come with system tools that you can use to help keep your pc running at its best. One such tool is the Disk Defragmenter (defrag) which works to optimize fragmented files on the hard disk drive.

Fragmentation describes the state of your hard drive when files are divided into small pieces and scattered around the disk randomly. Fragmentation occurs naturally over time just by doing basic tasks on your Windows PC.

A fragmented hard drive can slow down the speed of your computer. Running the Disk Defragmenter will optimize your computer’s hard drive by unfragmenting the data files.

 

How to Access the Disk Defragmenter program:
In Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 you can access the Disk Defragmenter program through the following steps:

Click Start, select Programs, select Accessories, select System Tools, click Disk Defragmenter.

In the Disk Defragmenter tool box select the hard drive you want to defragment. A graphical interface will show you the progress as you run Disk Defragmenter.
The Disk Defragmenter program can take anywhere from several minutes to several hours to finish defragmenting your hard drive. If the process is going to take an extended amount of time, it is recommended to start the Disk Defragmenter and let it run overnight.

 

Tips for Getting the Best Results:
— Make sure that you have no applications running when you start the Disk Defragmenter, also be sure to turn off your screensaver.

— Run “Disk Cleanup” to remove unused and unnecessary files.
To access “Disk Cleanup”: Click Start, select Programs, select Accessories, select System Tools, click Disk Cleanup

— Run the Disk Defragmenter at regular intervals.

 

Manasota Geeks News

August 25th, 2010

Manasota Geeks is pleased to announce our newest member, Todd. He is a CompTIA A+ certified computer repair technician. Todd is very friendly, knowledgeable and ready to help fix your computer problems.

Bradenton computer repair, Lakewood ranch computer repair, Sarasota computer repair and Sun City center computer repair…Manasota Geeks!


Fix Windows Hibernation (Sleep Mode) Freeze

August 25th, 2010

Does your Windows computer freeze or have others problems coming out of sleep mode or hibernate? I have found an easy fix for this bug. The fix has been tested to work in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The sleep mode freeze bug is caused by Windows power management settings (specifically the balanced mode and the power saver mode). This fix will immediately correct the hibernation issues and your Windows will be able to enter and exit sleep mode successfully.

To access power settings in XP: Go to Start/Control Panel/Performance and Maintenance/Power Options

To access power settings in Vista and Windows 7: Go to Start/Control Panel/System and Security/Power Options

In Power Options choose “change plan settings” then “change advanced power settings”. Scroll down and select “processor power management” then “minimum processor state”. Set both ‘on battery” and “plugged in” to 100% then hit “apply”.

You are done! Your computer should come out of hibernation just fine now.


Fix iPad Wifi Problems

July 6th, 2010

If you are experiencing wireless connectivity issues with your iPad there are a few things you can do to fix this problem:

1. Update Your Router’s Firmware. Before attempting to connect an iPad to a home network, make sure that you have the latest version of the firmware to ensure that the router is functioning at full capability. Go to your router manufacturer’s webpage and check the ‘support’ section for Firmware updates.

2. Change The Router’s Location. If your router is positioned within close proximity to equipment that could be causing interference (microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors, wireless keyboards, Bluetooth devices) try moving the router to another location to prevent interference.

3. Set Your Router To Operate On One 802.11 Standard. Most current routers support not only 802.11n, but 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g as well. Set your router to operate exclusively on the highest standard available (n=best, g=better, b=good, a=fair) and do the same with all wireless devices on your network. The iPad ships configured for 802.11n, so you should have your router match that if possible.

4. Change Your Router’s Security Encryption. Try changing to a different WPA or WPA2 encryption setting and see if that makes any difference in your connectivity. Apple also recommends that you use the same security settings across the entire network.

5. Rename Your Networks. Apple suggests that users rename their networks if they are having connection issues. “Create separate Wi-Fi network names to identify each band. This can be done easily by appending one or more characters to the current network name. Example: Add a G to the 802.11b/g network name and an N to the 802.11n network name.”

If these suggestions don’t work for you Manasota Geeks can help. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment. 941-518-3079

 
 

CCleaner – Free Windows Optimization & Cleaning

June 30th, 2010

CCleaner is a free system optimization, privacy and cleaning tool.
CCleaner automatically removes unused and leftover files from your Windows computer – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history which is very helpful for privacy concerns. CCleaner also has a fully featured automatic registry cleaner.
CCleaner is FREE, fast and contains NO Spyware or Adware!

Ccleaner Free Windows Optimization
Manasota Geeks Recommends CCleaner – Click Here To Download CCleaner
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

Ccleaner cleans the following:

 
  Internet Explorer
Temporary internet files, history, cookies, Autocomplete form history, and index.dat.
 
  Firefox
Temporary internet files, history, cookies, download history, and form history.
 
  Google Chrome
Temporary internet files, history, cookies, download history, and form history.
 
  Opera Web Browser
Temporary internet files, history, and cookies.
 
  Apple Safari Web Browser
Temporary internet files, history, cookies, and form history.
 
  Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files and Log files.
 
  Registry Cleaner
Advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more. CCleaner comes with a comprehensive registry backup feature.
 
  Many 3rd-party applications
Removes temp files and recent file lists from many programs including Windows Media Player, eMule, Google Toolbar, Netscape, Microsoft Office, Open Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Photoshop, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more.
 
100% FREE
CCleaner is freeware.
 
 

AVG Free Anti-Virus

June 28th, 2010

Manasota Geeks recommends AVG Free Antivirus.
AVG Free is very efficient, it scans all incoming files for viruses and best of all…it’s FREE!

There’s no need for a separate anti-spyware, AVG Free has it included.

AVG Free Antivirus
http://free.avg.com/

** Uninstall any anti-virus programs on your computer before installing AVG Free. **