SSDs: Instant Computing

It used to be cost-prohibitive to purchase an SSD (Solid State Disk), but with recent innovations and an increase in production, it is finally a viable (and valuable) upgrade. An SSD can provide numerous benefits, not the least of which being speed. Since SSDs have no moving parts, they operate on a near zero-latency basis. This means instant response when you click an icon, open a program, or copy data. They are also capable of higher data transfer speeds—meaning less waiting across the board, from startup to shutdown and everything in between. SSDs are highly shock-resistant, which makes them ideal for use in laptops, where mechanical hard disk failure is a common problem due to mobility. SSDs are much more efficient as well, leading to increased battery life and less heat production. Since they still cost more and have less capacity than their traditional counterparts, it’s best to use an SSD as a system drive with a second traditional drive for storage.

Don’t just go out and buy any SSD and put it in your system however, since a low quality product will cost too much and provide little performance gain. A bit of research pays off; Intel and Kingston make top-tier SSDs, and anything containing the SandForce controllers (Corsair, for example) will operate at very capable speeds. As of this writing, ComputeRx uses the Kingston enterprise line of SSDs, as we’ve installed over a thousand of them in systems since 2011 without a single failure. The KC100 and KC300 series are the most reliable drives we’ve tested, and have speed to match any other drives on the market. The cost for a 120GB drive comes in at less than $100, and will provide a productivity increase (think; all of your employees have computers that wait on them, rather than the other way round!) that will pay for itself very quickly.

The only real downside to an SSD-equipped computer is that you’ll find your patience level with non-SSD equipped computers will plummet. Fortunately, any standard hard disk drive can be replaced easily with an SSD to realize incredible performance gains.

Reliability and Speed!

Two reliable and Fast SSDs

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Posted in Hardware, HDD, Solid State Disk, SSD, Upgrades | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Malware: A Quick Guide to Detection and Removal

It has been a while since I posted a summary for malware removal.

Here are some steps in general you can take if you suspect there is malware on your computer:

1.) Download Malwarebyte’s Antimalware and run the free version to scan for general malware.
Remove anything you find. You can remove/uninstall the program when it’s finished.

2.) If you are paying for antivirus software on your home PCs, stop. Microsoft Security Essentials offers good protection, and is free–even in a commercial use environment on up to 10 computers.
Make sure you’re running scans regularly, and paying attention to any alerts that pop up.

3.) If you still have a problem, download and run the TDSS removal tool from Kaspersky labs.
If the tool either fails to download or run, you have a rather nasty rootkit–you’ll need to call someone for help.

4.) A word about Windows 8–it has free antivirus/spyware built in (Security Essentials is integrated). If you’re paying for it, you really shouldn’t be–even in a commercial environment.

I hope this helps. Malwarebyte’s Antimalware takes care of most threats that have made it past your antivirus scanner. Prevention is better than cure. I’ve written about proactive methods to avoid infection here.

Posted in Antivirus Software, Internet Security, Malware Infection, Malware Removal, phishing, Security, TDL4, TDSS, Virus Detection, Virus Prevention, Web Browsing, Windows 8 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments