Preventative PC Maintenance for the Home
* Price per computer. Service billed monthly, Carbonite backup billed yearly. No contract, cancel any time.
Geek on Speed Dial = Unlimited Remote Service and Reduced Prices
My Preventative PC Maintenance Program begins with what I call "Geek on Speed Dial," which entitles you to unlimited remote computer services to answer any questions you may have, fix any small issues that crop up and assist you with Windows or software features. I am so confident in my ability to maintain your machine that if you need service at any time during your subscription I'm only a phone call away. You are also welcome to call me any time if you have any questions, need me to show you how to do something, or for any other reason you may encounter. In the event that I am not able to solve your issue remotely you also receive 25% off my normal on-site and in-shop rates as a perk for being part of my Preventative PC Maintenance Program.
Optimization and Clean Up
Computers require routine maintenance, just like a car or any other machine. I have found that few people perform this critical maintenance that, left undone, causes slow performance and poses the risk of permanent data loss. This is the primary feature of my Preventative PC Maintenance Program, and covers items such as:
- Hard drive defragmentation to ensure fast access to your programs and files.
- Cleaning of temporary Windows files to decrease clutter and avoid a full hard drive.
- Removal of temporary internet files to keep internet browsing fast and clutter free.
- Check hard drive for errors to ensure your hard drive is operating at peak efficiency.
Free Anti-Virus Software
My Preventative PC Maintenance program comes complete with antivirus software based on the powerful Kaspersky platform, immediately saving you at least $39 per year. The advantage of utilizing the included antivirus software is it's programmed to alert me of any threats found so I can take action to remove them for you.
- Antivirus software included - saving you at least $39/yr.
Additional Scans + Faster and Easier Repairs
Unfortunately, a single antivirus program, regardless of what it is, will not keep you completely protected. Computer viruses are designed specifically to get around top brank anti-virus software. For this reason, I will also be running periodic scans with a number of other powerful tools that are designs to pick up trojans, worms, rootkits and viruses that may have slipped by the primary protection. In addition, since my tools will already be on your system, I will not have to figure out how to get them onto your system. This results in a much faster and painless repair.
- Scans with additional tools designed to pick up any threats that may have slipped by the primary protection.
- Faster, more painless repairs since my advanced, powerful tools are already on your system.
System and Hardware Usage Monitoring
Running your computer harder than it was designed for will wear parts out quickly and will lead to slow and sluggish system performance. Fixing problems caused by worn out parts is far more expensive than adding parts that could remedy the situation. Catching high usage conditions early allows us to take inexpensive measures to alleviate the problem before an expensive system crash. I have alerts built into the Preventative PC Maintenance program that let me know important system information such as:
- High hard drive usage that will cause a hard drive to fail, resulting is loss of your pictures, music, documents and everything else stored on the computer.
- Low disk space that causes your computer to run incredibly slow.
- High memory usage that will also result in slow system performance and causes other parts of the computer to work harder.
- High CPU usage that generates unnecessary heat, resulting in slow performance and the possibility of the CPU failing.
Error Tracking and Monitoring
Any time Windows and other software do anything they track information in a place called the Event Viewer. Most of the items in the event viewer are just routine entries and mean nothing; however, certain events can precede hard drive failure and other system crashes. I have alerts in place that immediately notify me if one of these system critical events is logged.
- Ability to preempt a system crash by picking up the symptoms before the computer crashes.
Windows periodically releases updates. These updates are released to patch up holes that have been exploited by viruses to hack machines, fix bugs found by other users and add new features to the Windows environment. These updates are vital to ensuring a reliable, consistent and secure PC, but some of the updates have been found to cause problems on certain computers. I will proactively monitor the updates your computer downloads and selectively install the updates that will not negatively affect your computer.
- I will proactively monitor and install only the Windows updates that will not interfere with your computer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
A Real-Life Demonstration:
I had this service running on a business client's server and one Friday evening I received an automated email alert letting me know that the server restarted uncleanly (ie. shut down without the normal Start->Shut Down process), then I got another email that let me know the server had been offline for an extended period of time. Curious as to what had happened I fired up my iPhone app to see if I could diagnose what had happened. Sure enough, the server was offline. This could mean the server just lost an internet connection (ie. the internet went down at the business), but other computers were still online, so I knew something was up.
As soon as I had a moment I drove over to the business to get my hands on the server to diagnose the problem. When I arrived, the server had indeed crashed. I worked on the server Saturday and Sunday and was able to get everything working before everyone arrived for work on Monday.
How would this situation have been different if I wasn't remotely monitoring the server?
- No one would have known the server had an issue until Monday morning.
- I would have gotten the frantic Monday morning "We need help NOW" call.
- I would have shuffled my schedule to be able to get them up and running.
- The business would have been completely shut down while I spent the entire day, maybe two, working on the server.
Even as a residential client without a server, I hope you can see how valuable this type of service is for you. Having the ability to monitor error logs, scan for viruses, maintain your backups and track the performance of your computer means you can rest assured that your computer will run as well as is can, for as long as possible.
Is this service secure?
Yes. It uses a similar level of encryption to online banking, so the remote connection to your computer is very secure and can not be exploited.
Can I use my computer while this service is running?
Absolutely! All of the services run in the backgroud and should never interfere with what you are doing.
Does my computer need to stay on all the time?
Not in most cases. If the computer is off during scheduled maintenance it will attempt to run again later. If it fails to run a number of times I will be alerted, so you can expect a phone call from me to check in.
The "Offline Notifications" feature requires the system to be on all the time. It can not discern between you shutting the system down and the system crashing. This is generally a feature requested on file servers.
What are the requirements for this service to work?
- You must have an active internet connection.
Can I use your "advanced, powerful" tools?
I would strongly recommend against it. These tools are like giving you a toolbox and saying, "fix your car engine." It can certainly be done if you have the knowledge, but if you lack the knowledge you will likely make a huge mess - one that may be unrecoverable. My tools are the same:
- They are not intended for every situation.
- Due to the severity of some infections, some of the tools actually break things intentionally that will need to be fixed later.
- If you just click the "remove all" button, some of these tools can crash your system. It takes knowledge to know what to remove, what to disinfect, and what to leave alone.
Bottom line, please don't. If you've ever had to fix problems left by someone else before actually starting to work, you can understand where I'm coming from on this.
Do you have access to my personal Carbonite data?
No I don't. I am able to see when the last backup was done and the subscription expiration date, that's it. Your data is safe.
Error log examples - these go totally unnoticed but are VERY important.
The event viewer in Windows captures all the events that happen on the system. Most of them can be ignored, but certain events can be a precursor to a pending system crash - caught early I can either fix the problem or make sure you have a good backup of your data.
Too many of these in a series can indicate an eminent hard drive failure - I hope you're backing up often.
This can be the result of a virus attack or simply a corrupt driver - either way it can prevent your devices from working correctly and need to be addressed.
If you're using Microsoft Security Essentials and these are listed it could mean a virus has hijacked it, causing it to be unable to update the definitions.
The fine print.
This program is designed to provide peace of mind by taking care of the preventative maintenance that is required to keep your system running optimally, as well as alert me if a problem exists or may exist in the future. The built in alerts are not foolproof and do not guarantee that a problem can be detected before rearing its ugly head. I can guarantee, however, that I will do my best to detect these issues and will do everything in my power to resolve these issues as quickly and painlessly as posible.
Hardware and installation is not included. If a part need to be replaced or upgraded, the cost of the part and the installation are not part of the program. That said, however, the Geek On Speed Dial option entitles you to reduced rates.
Peripherals are not covered. Problems with a printer, scanner, camera or any other device that plugs into the computer are not covered under this program. I can, and will, provide limited remote support for peripherals with the Geek On Speed Dial option, but the devices themselves are not covered.
Network support may or may not be covered. If you're having troubles using the internet, connecting to your network, having intermittent connectivity issues, or any other network related issue I will try to diagnose the issue as part of the Preventative PC Maintenance Program. If it turns out that the problem is caused by a virus or a setting on the computer it will be covered, but if the issue resides with the router, modem or other peripheral if will not be covered by the Preventative PC Maintenance Program.
Have other questions?
If your question wasn't answered here, please feel free to Contact me. I don't bite, I promise.