Blog Archives

Conserving battery power

Conserve your laptop, tablet or smartphone’s battery power by keeping Bluetooth turned off whenever you’re not using it. It will also keep your device more secure from potential hackers!

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Easily re-using a drive from a older PC

Any hard drive from a computer (even a laptop) can be easily transferred into a USB Drive Enclosure like the one shown below:-

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This one is for a desktop hard drive (3.5″) – whether an older IDE one or a newer SATA. It can be bought from any Maplin (or PC World) for about £30-40. Those for a laptop hard drive (2.5″) are usually cheaper and have the advantage of not (usually) requiring a power socket connection.

After connecting the power and drive connectors, you simply pllug in the power and a USB cable, simply plug it into any PC. Within a few minutes, it will show up in Windows as a new drive – just like a USB memory stick – with a drive letter like E, allowing you to access  the files.

As it’s come from a Windows PC, you’ll need to look for your Windows profile – which will usually be under the “Users” directory.  Then look for the directories which contain your files such as Documents, Music or Pictures.

Laptop – “First Aid” if you get water on it !

laptop sustaining water damage

If you accidentally spill some liquid on your laptop, you need to IMMEDIATELY disconnect it from any power by:-

  • removing the mains lead from the laptop
  • removing the battery

Read the rest of this entry

Monitor problem – what you can check before calling support ….

The first thing is to check if the fault is with the monitor – or your PC.

This is important because – if it’s the cable or the monitor, it can be easily replaced yourself without too much expense (possibly just £10 or £15 – or even £0 which is perfect!).

Here’s how to see if the monitor or the video cable is the problem:-

1. Monitor is receiving power – either a green/blue or amber light. *
2. Cable is securely attached to the screen – tighten the thumbscrews if necessary.
3. Cable is securely attached to the back of the PC – tighten them if necessary.

below is a VGA connectorVGA connector

4. Ask a friend / colleague if they have a similar cable (blue is VGA, white is DVI and black is HDMI).

5. Ask a friend / colleague if they will let you borrow their monitor – to see if it is at fault.

If you still see nothing on screen, the fault is likely with your computer itself. It contains a video card (either built-in) or slotted in which may be faulty and need replacement. Or there could be a more serious problem with the circuitry inside your PC which may make it not economical to repair.

* an amber light can mean one of two things – it’s in “power save mode” or not connected to the PC. In power saving mode, usually pressing the space bar on your keyboard (and/or moving the mouse) will restore the screen to life.

* If not connected to the PC, usually it will show the words “No connection” but again these words may not be visible if the monitor’s gone into “power save” mode so you may wish to do the above first to check.

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