Monthly Archives: January 2017

Some Ways To Easily Find Your Computer Serial Number

How many times have you called tech support for a problem you were having with your Windows computer, only to have the technician ask for specific information?

Such as “what is your computer serial number”?

So you quickly scramble to try to look at the back of the computer, only to realize you need a moving crew to reach the computer. Instead, you open Windows System Information Tool, scroll up and down only to find….it’s not there!

Uggh, why do computers have to be so difficult when were in a hurry?

Instead of getting frustrated next time, here are two tips for finding your computer serial number quickly.

Windows Tool For Finding Computer Serial Number

One thing that I like about running a Windows operating system, is the assortment of third party tools that are available.

Such as SIW (System Information Tool), also known as the Swiss army knife of Windows utilities.

SIW provides a wealth of information about your Windows system, including the computer serial number.

Just download the portable SIW tool (no installation required) to your desktop, then extract the zip file – siw_portable.zip to your Desktop.

Once the contents of the zip file are extracted, open the folder, named SIWPortable…

…and double click on the executable file, which will create a second folder, also named SIWPortable.

Inside that second folder, double click on the file SIWPortable.exe to run the portable tool (yes I know, a little convoluted, but it’s better than installing more stuff on your computer).

When the tool opens, in the left navigation pane, scroll down to the Hardware section and click on System Summary to display your computer serial number.

As you can see, not only is the serial number displayed, but almost every piece of information about your computer (which will come in real handy during support calls).

Using The CMD Prompt

If you are more of a tech geek, and like to use the cmd prompt to find information about your computer (as well as execute commands), you are in luck.

Just open up a command window , and enter the following command at the prompt:

As you can the wmic command, (with the correct parameters) quickly shows the computer serial number. As a matter of fact the wmic is very powerful and can display more information about your computer using the following command:

wmic csproduct list

For more system information on what the wmic csproduct can display, simple use the help function with the command:

wmic csproduct /?

So the next time you need to cough up your computer serial number in a hurry, just use one of the two methods shown above with out getting frustrated at the tech support person!

Know More About Computer Problem Tips

It’s been estimated that over 60% of all computers have some kind of spyware installed and most of their owners are unaware!

If you are tired of your PC running slow and filling your screen with those nasty pop-up then you will want to read the 10 warning signs listed below. Afterwards check out my “action plan” and what you can do to rid yourself of your spyware infestation.

1. Browser Hijacks – When I used to get a call from a customer saying that their homepage had suddenly changed, without them doing anything, I knew to bring my anti-spyware fighting software. Malicious programmers love to change your browser settings to transfer your homepage to their “client’s” websites.

2. PC is Crashing – Without warning, your PC starts crashing, freezing or locking up, but you haven’t added any new software or updated anything recently.

3. Pop-Ups – You open your browser to visit your favorite blog site then “WHAM!” You are suddenly drowning in pop-ups! Your screen is full of brightly colored lures to porn, gambling or gaming websites. You click on the “Close” or the “X” to shut it down…uh, oh something is downloading to your machine!

4. Strange Favorites – You notice that there is a strange looking icon in your favorites. You click on it out of curiosity. You are caught in a webring of girly webpages…drat it, you’re at work!

5. Strange Icon on Desktop or in Systray – You know notice a “winking” red light on the bottom-right in your Systray display. It says you have been infected. You hurriedly click on it to see what is wrong. Then a pop-up appears that says it is downloading an “anti-virus killer”…uh, oh.

6. Strange New Files Appear – You are poking about in your files and you notice that some odd, spyware-killer software has a folder on your hard drive. Where did that one come from?

7. Strange Emails – While searching for a note you dropped to the boss, you notice that you have lots of strange emails in your “Send” folder. You didn’t send them, especially the ones in a foreign language.

8. Strange Toolbars – You open up your browser and now you have 3 toolbars instead of just one. What gives? When you try to remove, or change the settings, they keep coming back no matter what you do.

9. PC Runs Sluggish Or Slow – Granted your computer may not be the newest kid on the block but lately it has been moving slower than the Street Dept fixing a pothole. It takes several minutes for it logon and go out on the web. And it takes forever for you do to the simplest things anymore.

10. Hard Drive Is Running All The Time – You have noticed that your hard drive is running all the time now. Even when nobody is on the machine! You can see the activity light blinking away and you can also hear the drive being accessed. Huh?

Action Plan – What to do next…

– Download from the Net or buy a good anti-spyware software package. For free try Ad-Aware or SpyBot’s S&D. Or use SpySweeper if you need an industrial strength cleaner.
– Scan your hard drive and follow any instructions on removing items.
– Install a good personal firewall program to slow down pop-ups and other nastiness.

Some Tips To Keep Your Files Secure

We are currently living in a connected world. Everywhere you go, you will most likely have access to a computer with an Internet connection.

The computer is used for various things from completing a school assignment to banking. It is therefore, extremely crucial to keep all your files secure in order not be have your personal information compromised.

Here are 5 tips on how you can keep your personal information and files secure.

Tip #1:

When using the Internet, always use a difficult to guess password on all websites. Avoid using a single combination of username/password for all websites.

If your password is too easy to remember, then it is probably not good enough.

Use Password Manager programs like KeePass to keep track of your passwords so that you do not have to crack your brain in order to memorize all your username/password combinations.

Tip #2:

Always make sure your computer itself is password protected. There are ways to configure your computer to auto login or remove the login functionality but you must never do this!

Your computer is the gateway to your personal information and access to the Internet.

Tip #3:

Use encryption software to protect sensitive data. Keep all your sensitive data in one main folder and use a software like TrueCrypt to create an encrypted volume.

We must protect our information from all eventualities. With encrypted volume to store all your sensitive data, even if you lose your laptop, your data will be safe.

Tip #4:

Always keep your firewall and anti-virus software up-to-date. Choose to auto-update so that you do not have to worry about scheduling a time to manually update it.

The computer firewall protects you from hacking attempts. You should also not visit suspicious websites or click on suspicious emails unless you are sure of the source.

Tip #5:

There are many public places offering Internet access. While this may be convenient, do not use such facility to access your private or sensitive information. Do not even open up your personal file using a public computer because you will not know if the computer has been compromised.

Use these 5 tips to keep your files secure. There will be moments where you are tempted to ignore these tips out of convenience. But always remember the value of your personal and sensitive information. Once they are compromised, the repercussions may be really damaging.