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Happy Bokeh raining Day

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We Eat Light

F.A.Q. This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.
Why do you use multiple scanning programs?

I have found that one program is not sufficient to find all of the possible problems on the machines. Even using three different programs, there will be malware that will need to be manually checked for. A current example of this is the malware programs that alter your DNS settings or add scheduled tasks to your computers task scheduler.

Isn't Spybot a poor scanner?

Originally, Spybot was a top program and may well be again. There are however several important reasons to use Spybot search and destroy. One is the ability to imunize the system against known problems. Another is the advanced functions they give you access to. These advanced functions display in a single place the Active X components, The Browser Helper Objects, System Process, Winsock modules and the startup commands executed at every boot.

Why do you check the device table?

Problems can be identified by looking at the device table for devices that have yellow or red marks. Determination should be made if the problems are expected or new. A failing device could be a symptom of many problems, malware, bad device drivers, failing hardware or even an improperly plugged device.

My Anti-Virus does not show a date, what do you do?

Some programs report the last date update ran as well as the virus definition version, while others report the virus definition date. We look at the version and last update date if the virus signatures do not have a specific date. We also, if permitted, execute a local update of these definitions. Some programs are controlled by server policies and do not allow us to do a manual update. In this case we are executing the update and push to the clients at the server.

I have the Adobe full version, why do you update it?

Adobe is constantly releasing updates and newer versions. If you have an old version of the reader, it should be updated to patch security holes as well as compatibility with new functions. If you have the full version of Adobe (reader and creator / writer) then there are two functions that can be performed. One would be to patch the full version with all security updates and another would be to load the latest reader version. By having the newest reader, you can support the latest functions offered by Adobe, yet you can still create PDF files with the original full version.

Can I delete the temporary files myself.

The standard safe areas, yes. There are a few other areas that only a technical person should do. You can go into accessories, system tools and run the program 'disk cleanup'. For clients, I check every option except deletion of office installation files and the compress old files option.

You could also go into the control panel and internet options to delete your browser history, cookies and temporary files. However, the %temp% area as well as the temp directory in windows and the old installation files in windows should be left to a qualified technician.

What if I don't want every station handled the same way?

We can set up a set of processing rules for your office. Although too many special rules may incur addition charges, we have not encountered this yet. Most requests are to check compliance with various corporate policies when processing the stations maintenance.

Can I give you specific tests to perform?

Yes. If this is a quick request, no additional charges will be incurred. Some of these requests have been: Please list the speed and memory on each machine, Please make sure 'my documents' are redirected to the network drive for all clients, Please extract all Dell service numbers from the machines. Another interesting request was to judge the original install date of the PC's based on file and folder dates. Lastly, locate the PC's remote access port and IIS ports for disaster preparation. (Symantec PC anywhere as well)

How will I know if I have any problems?

We bill the workstation maintenance after it is completed. We do this electronically by email. In this email we point out the problems we found as well as any recommendations for your systems. These recommendations can be software removal, software installation, and hardware replacement of peripherals as well as the PC.

Do you make changes at your discretion?

To a degree, yes. An example of this is a station where three toolbars such as Google, AOL and Yahoo exist. It is unlikely that a user purposely downloaded all three and likely it was the result of taking the default install options in programs that push these in your face. Products like Sun's JAVA and Adobe's reader give you this 'enhancement' and you must uncheck the 'free' option to stop the toolbar installation. If there is any questions, we leave the questionable items alone and wait for a response. We raise the problems found at the time of billing.

This is also where rules come into play. A client may state that no employees are to have AOL, MSN, Yahoo or any instant messaging programs. There should not be any toolbars, peer to peer sharing (file stealing) or games installed. Given these rules, we will remove the offending programs and report that action

Do you maintain copies of the results?

We keep complete spreadsheets of every maintenance cycle for as long as you remain an active maintenance client.

Do I need to sign any contracts?

No. However, if you need proof for an agency (SEC) that routine maintenance and monitoring is being performed, we will be happy to issue an agreement in writing.

What is the cancellation procedure?

Anytime after the first three maintenance cycles. Since the initial setup and maintenance is at least three or more times longer than routine maintenance, we request you complete at least thee full cycles before cancellation.

Can you do my home machine?

There is a minimum monthly charge for our maintenance service. If you are currently a client with several office machines and have a problem on a home machine, we can cover it. If this is the first time and you do not have an account with us, standard hourly rates apply.

Do I need to leave the machines on for you to do maintenance?

This depends on your network setup and PC. If you have a server covered by us and your stations support wake on lan, we can turn on and off the PCs as needed for service. If you do not have a server and are using a peer to peer network, we may be able to configure your firewall to allow us to turn on the PCs.