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What is the Computer Club Help Center?

The Help Center is a service provided by Sun City residents to members of the Computer Club. The volunteers of the Help Center offer assistance with computer “problems”.

What is a computer problem?

The help center volunteers, attempt to provide assistance for many computer devices. There are volunteers that are willing to help with cell phones, tablets, PC's, Apple products, printers and network equipment. Assistance with phones or tablets is typically a sofware or “operator” issue. Assistance with PC's or Apple's can involve software, hardware, networking or the “operator”. It is probable that one of the Help Center volunteers can help resolve or define the problem. If a problem is not resolved, we hope to define solutions that can be provided by local commercial services.

How to get help

The Help Center provides help in the Computer Club Annex or in your home. Bringing your device to the Help Center is preferred? Why? The Help Center typically has multiple volunteers. Volunteers are able to consult with other volunteers in the Help Center. Networking and printer problems frequently require a home visit. For home support it is necessary to come to the Help Center to register the support request.

What you should bring to the Help Center

If your problem is with a portable device (laptop, tablet, phone) or an all-in-one, bring the device and its power supply. For a desktop PC, the Help Center can provide a power cord, monitor, keyboard and mouse.

Satisfaction is not guaranteed, but....

The goal of the volunteers is to provide assistance that resolves your problem or leads to the eventual solution. Most of the time, the volunteers are successful. When we are not, please remember: The Help Center is staffed by Sun City volunteers who are sharing their time and knowledge with the intent of helping a neighbor.

Discussion

test208.180.123.222, 2019/07/30 14:40

I have a desktop computer with ssd 250gb installed. I bought a 1T ssd to replace it. Unfortunately I don't have the data transfer cable (I think that is what it is called). Can you help me with this? The amount of date to transfer is about 200GB. Thanks in advance. Cheers, Tom Leirer

phillip, 2019/07/30 15:27, 2019/07/31 22:29

Tom, The Help Center has the necessary equipment and will help you with migration of the data, cloning the old to the new, or adding the new drive to the system and using it for additional storage. Desktop systems frequently have room for more than one drive. If you want to keep both drives in the system there is usually a spare power connector but you may need to purchase a SATA data cable. Windows also has a feature that allows a second drive to be part of a “folder”, instead of a separate drive letter. “Symbolic Links” is the software feature that enables mapping a second drive into a folder. If you are able to bring the computer to the Help Center, one of us will help you with the process of identifying the “right” solution and completing the necessary process.

test74.196.114.104, 2019/10/02 18:22

I was in the black out last night in #4 and we had our lights come on and off at least 6 times. This morning when I turned on my desktop, it did not respond. It was plugged into a large surge protector so I am dismayed that this has happened. Can you help by at least looking at it before I am forced to purchase a new one? Thank you

phillip, 2019/10/02 19:02

If you can deliver the computer to the Help Center Friday morning, the Help Center volunteers will access the problem with your computer. If disconnecting or moving the desktop is not appropriate, you will need to come to the Help Center to create a support request.

test47.221.168.41, 2019/10/06 17:12

Greetings:

My late husband worked in the IT field. I have a box of power, USB, and parallel cables; numerous thumb-drives of all sizes; one or two external hard-drives; ink for an Epson printer; and, several boxes of labels if someone is willing to come pick them up. I live in neighborhood 5 off Dan Moody & Whispering Wind. Please email me or call me at 817-319-4340.

Thanks,

Linda Burke

test47.221.168.41, 2019/10/30 21:44

HELP!! I was trying to sync my phone and my laptop and got involved with moving things to the cloud, etc, etc, etc. Now I turn on my computer and I have a blank desktop and can't figure out how to get the stuff back on my computer laptop. The sync obviously didn't work either because my songs still aren't showing up on my phone. I was also trying to download or sync or transfer or whatever it is you do to get the pictures on my phone on my laptop. I'm about ready to “kill the cloud”. I hate it and I want it off my computer after I get everything back.

phillip, 2019/10/30 22:47

The Help Center is open Friday, 9AM to 12PM. Bring both items to the Help Center and one or more of us will discover if we can help resolve the problem.

test47.221.168.41, 2019/11/13 09:18

Phillip,

I have been out of town and just got back. I can't wait until Friday, can someone come to my house? I am even willing to pay to have someone come fix this mess! No matter what I try to do, things get worse. Now all of my icons have disappeared from my desktop.

phillip, 2019/11/13 12:21

What time?

test47.221.168.41, 2019/10/30 21:46

All of the items were picked up by Phillip and taken to the computer repair/service area to be used and shared where needed. Thanks for the interest.

test47.221.153.137, 2019/11/02 22:53

I have a Mac computer operating on OS X El Capitan and need a new printer. Just wondering if there is an HP that you would recommend. Does not need to be fancy. Thanks

phillip, 2019/11/03 01:22, 2019/11/03 10:37

I do not invest much time evaluating new products. My habit is to “google” for knowledge when asked about something that is beyond my recent experience. I do know that HP manufactures a lot of printer models with significant or subtle differences. My preference is a color laser printer/copier/scanner. Why? Years ago I tired of buying ink cartridges. Color ink jet products are less expensive, but may eventually equal the price of a laser product, depending on the amount of printing you complete. The ink modules for ink jet printers can get expensive. Suggestion… Google “Best ink jet printer value”. Here is one result: https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/337811/the-best-inkjet-printers. Here is a recent opinion from forbes.com about all-in-one products. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbes-finds/2019/10/29/these-5-affordable-all-in-one-printers-are-best-for-most-people/#3b69aef0666c . However, recently I helped someone setup a new 3 in one printer. The one issue I had with the device was: The control/display panel was VERY small. This feature contributed to the time (and squinting) required to complete the initial setup of the printer as a network device. After initial setup, control panel interaction is infrequent. If you connect to the printer with a USB cable, the control panel size may not be a concern.

test47.221.204.159, 2019/11/15 20:43

I have purchased a new printer and need to know how/where to take my old one. Any suggestions? Thank you, Helen Sherrod

test47.220.189.139, 2019/11/25 18:12

Is there an easy way to convert PDF files into either pages or Word for MAC. I found a site where they will open it, but if I try to save it as a docx it will not let me. Any suggestions? I assume this is because they discontinued ADOBE or something like that???

Thanks Debra

phillip, 2019/11/25 19:42

Debra, I did an internet search for “convert pdf to word”. This one looks interesting.. https://pdf2doc.com/. LibreOffice provides editing of PDF files with Draw. Open a pdf file, edit and save. Installing LibreOffice is not something I have tried, yet.

test47.220.189.139, 2019/11/26 01:45

Bold TextThanks for your help, Phillip, I will check out your suggestion & let you know how it goes.

Debra

Ok, I downloaded it, when I went to use it a warning came up saying it could damage my Mac & I called Apple & they said it is on a malware list for Apple. She told me to move it all to the trash & empty the trash. But I found out to right click & open the file with a compatible app such as books, preview (which was the one not working), Safari, or photos or whatever it brings up on the compatibility list- mine said word would open it on my computer so I did that & it worked. Now I just need to convert all my pdf files into word.

Debra

test47.220.170.182, 2019/12/01 16:28

I am looking to hire someone to help me move Lightroom from my old PC to my new of. Do you have any recommendations?

Thank you,

Charlotte

phillip, 2019/12/01 17:21, 2019/12/01 17:27

Charlotte, The Computer Club Help Center can assist. I am not a Lightroom expert, but… Lightroom appears to be an Adobe Product. Assuming the “License” is transferable, some interaction with Adobe may be necessary. Interaction with Adobe can probably be accomplished with email, chat or phone. I will assume there is data (including pictures) on the older PC that you would like transferred to the new PC. Once again the Help Center can assist. The Computer Club Help Center is open Tuesday from 12 to 3 PM. If you are a club member and unable to bring the PC's to the Help Center you can arrange for a house call. Club membership is a bargain. Never mind… It appears, Adobe https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom.html is an “internet” based product. No need for a license. It appears you should be able to “Login” to your Adobe Lightroom product from any computer. As to “other data” or applications the Help Center may still be helpful.

test74.192.140.202, 2019/12/04 18:08

My husband and I travel a lot and do not want to use hotel or public Wifi for banking. Is there a device that we can purchase so that we can have secure WiFi while traveling?

phillip, 2019/12/04 19:52

The simple answer is Yes. There is more that one way to address the subject of “secure internet access while traveling”. The first two concepts that come to mind are VPN (Virtual Private Network) and/or using your cell phone data service (via tethering). A good evaluation of these subjects as relates to the devices that you own or intend to use is not trivial. I did google “secure internet access while traveling” and found “stuff”, but have not found a good “cook book” article, yet. I am hoping there are other people in the community that have personal experience with the alternatives. If not, the Computer Club “Security SIG” leader will probably be more knowledgeable about alternatives. The Security SIG meets this Thursday, Dec 5 from 3 pm until 4 pm Sun City Activities Center Annex

test47.221.171.195, 2019/12/14 02:52

Thank you for trying to help us. I am ready to replace two old Apple's and am considering PC's instead of Apple on the basis of somewhat of a cost savings. both new will be laptops. We use computers for basic stuff; email, facebook, spread sheets, photo management, music, contacts, calendar, Word. I am using Word and Excel for Apple. and will continue to use those programs. We are not gamers, but do watch some video. There seems to be difficulty in transfering Apple files to pC, such as music, contacts, calendar, etc. That plus the learning curve required for PC use has me leaning toward just replacing Apple with Apples. Any thoughts?

phillip, 2019/12/14 12:31

Multiple thoughts and questions. Why do you want to replace your Apple products. Are they not working properly? Are they desktops or laptops. How old are they? If cost is a concern… I upgraded my mid 2011 Macbook pro with SSD(Solid State Drive) and the latest OS. A SSD (Solid State Drive) upgrade can provide a dramatic improvement in performance for less than $100. Newer laptops (PC or Apple) can be lighter and generate less heat. As to your applications and being used to the Apple way of doing things. Changing from Apple to PC can be a challenge. Thoughts… Not all the applications will be “difficult”. There are “free” applications on the PC that satisfy many requirements. For documents there is LibreOffice. A bit of internet research for “free software” will reveal a large rabbit hole. If “time is money”, you may want to try a PC in the Computer Club lab, to discover if the things you fear are interesting challenges or not worth your time.

test47.221.171.195, 2019/12/18 16:12

Thank for responding. Wife uses Imac all in one desktop, OS X; 10.6.8. Purchased in 2011. 4GB memory. I use MacBook Pro, OS Mojave 10.14.6. Purchased 2014. 8 GB memory. Screen somewhat cloudy and “splotchy.” I use Microsoft WORD and EXCEL for Mac extensively on laptop. One goal is to both of us with our own laptop, since we travel a lot and now have to share one laptop. I have looked into transferring apple apps (music, contacts, calendar, etc.,) and feel a little intimidated by time and effort required. I would not mind the learning curve of Windows, my main concern is my apps not transferring without being corrupted.

phillip, 2019/12/24 22:00

Sorry for the delay. I thought I responded to this last week. My recollection is: 1st… If you can, identify the applications or interactions that you suspect will be the “hard part” of migration from Mac to PC. I suspect, moving data may be the less difficult part of the process. There are plenty of “open source” and/or free software products that are likely to provide similar features but the “user interfaces” will be different. As with any migration, there will be “cost” and/or pain. Given that a “reasonable” laptop can be acquired for less than $500 and sometimes around $300, on sale, your tolerance for pain will be personal. Second suggestion. If you know which applications/functions you suspect are going to be most painful… Try a PC in the Computer Club lab and see if the pain is tolerable. If yes… Just buy 1 PC and see if it satisfies your partners requirements. If yes… Upgrade/repair your MacBook pro. If it does not have an SSD (Solid State Drive), upgrade it and get a new screen. SSD makes almost any older computer BETTER. But, if the PC for your partner likes the PC, invest some more time resolving the use cases that would make the PC good for you and consider buying another laptop PC. My shortlist for “free software” includes Libreoffice, Thunderbird (mail) and Gimp for photo editing. An internet search for “free software” will provide plenty of “I am not sleepy yet” material.

test47.220.157.78, 2019/12/27 17:07

I have a Mac computer about 8 years old running OS Sierra Version 10.12.6. Sometimes when I surf the internet a window will appear asking me to install the application. The application looks like a magnifying glass in a green circle. My computer will freeze and I can't get out of it unless a do a Conrol-Alt-Delete. Then it leaves a couple of things in my Application file. I delete those and empty my trash. I have pictures, but cannot seem to upload them for your viewing. I feel like it is some kind of malware and I need help getting rid of it for good.

phillip, 2019/12/27 22:50

As to an 8 year old Mac running OS 10.12.6. My bet is that it will “upgrade” to a more current OS, perhaps 10.15. An upgrade can be accomplished with an internet connection and I believe it is free. An OS upgrade may resolve more than one issue. As to the “green circle” and Control-Alt_Delete, I am going to suggest that you bring the Mac to the Help Center. Recently there have been volunteers in the Help Center that speak Mac more fluently than I. As to pictures, I suspect you mean “screen shots” of the “green circle”. In either case, bring the Mac to the Help Center. The next Help Center session will be January 7, 2020 from noon to 3 pm.

test47.221.137.250, 2020/01/17 14:18

Are virus prevention products worth the money? If so, would you recommend what you think best?

phillip, 2020/01/17 23:13

Today my opinion is: Not on my budget. My budget includes time and money. Why? My experience… Anti-virus stuff inflicts overhead on my devices. The FREE versions of Anti-virus tools have “worked for me”. As to Windows PC and my MacBook pro, I am using free or whatever comes with the system. Windows Defender has been OK for me for several years. Frequent updates, including anti-virus, are part of Microsoft overhead. However… The set of internet places I surf are probably less likely to be sources of malware and I have not seen a hint of an infected email attachment for years. Gmail may have something to do with that observation. As to PCs we see in the Help Center. We frequently uninstall AntiVirus tools, and leave the machine with Windows Defender installed and enabled. Our experience… It works. Its Free. Why do we uninstall other tools. Most of the time it is because there are multiple antivirus tools installed on a machine. Typically those tools do not cooperate and the result is often “slow boot” and “slow pc”. However, again, we do use a couple of tools to “disinfect” a machine. The free versions of Malwarebytes and SuperAntiSpyware have proven to be helpful when something “strange” is going on. When we use these tools we do not configure them to be part of system boot/startup. Anti-virus is one part of security. There are other essential thoughts, items 2 and 6 in the following link are often overlooked.: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daveywinder/2019/12/21/how-to-secure-microsoft-windows-10-in-8-easy-steps-microsoft-win10-security-tutorial/#478927a44ec9

test74.192.160.99, 2020/01/20 05:15

On a Windows 10 Home desktop, external HDDs & flash drives are not detected by the File Explorer or the Disk Management programs. The external HDDs & flash drives work fine on different PCs. I've uninstalled all the USB controller drivers. Didn't fix it. I've tried several other Google recommended fixes. None fixed it. Any ideas other than clean install?

phillip, 2020/01/20 10:37

Thoughts… Something is corrupted.. Do SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes report any issues? Is the registry “clean”? CCleaner can help with “noise” in the registry. “SFC /scannow” may detect and correct the issue. SFC (System File Check) is a command link tool. Start cmd as Administrator the do “SFC /scannow”. SFC an also be invoked from Hirens. SFC is not fast. Be patient. Next swing/try… In Settings/Update/Recovery, if there is a recovery point available, recover to “before” the problem started or “Restore and retain data”. “Restore and Retain” requires installation media, thumb drive or DVD “should” work. Other thoughts… I have observed that some BIOS's can disable/enable USB. Are USB devices detected in the BIOS? Can you configure and boot from a thumb drive in a USB port? You may need to disable UEFI (Secure boot) and enable Legacy boot. If you boot from a USB port with Hirens or Linux do the USB ports work?

test74.192.160.99, 2020/01/20 17:55

Thanks, Phillip. I'll try these.

test173.219.75.70, 2020/02/18 16:31

I need to add more memory to speed up my computer, it only has 4 megabits of RAM. If I buy it can someone there help me install it? If not where do you recommend I take it.Bold Text

phillip, 2020/02/18 16:53

Bring your computer to the Computer Club Help Center. It is open from 12 to 3 today. As to slow performance. It is not common for the root cause of poor performance to be “not enough memory”. The Help Center will help you determine the most likely cause or causes of poor performance. Often we resolve performance problems with system maintenance and adjustments. The most significant contributor to bad performance is “disk drives”. However, every computer and user can be different. The Help Center is a free service to Computer Club members.

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computerclub/helpcenter/start.txt · Last modified: 2019/07/13 20:52 by pb