Frequently Asked Questions



Q:How do I keep my computer running smoothly?
A:A few general maintenance things you can do to enhance the longevity of your computer include running scan disk and disk defragmenter once a month (these can be found by going to the start menu, choosing "Accessories" and "System Tools"). Also, make sure you have up-to-date virus protection like Norton AntiVirus. Also keep a bit of free space on your hard drive. Having 20% of your hard drive free is a good idea.

Q:My computer keeps freezing. What can I do?
A:Run fewer programs. In Windows, you might have a lot of programs that run when the computer starts up. Removing programs you don't need from the Add/Remove programs utility in the control panels may help free up some system resources.  Other things that can cause computers to freeze are hardware conflicts, viruses and age. IT Solutions for Home specializes in troubleshooting performance issues on computers, so feel free to give us a call.

Q:How do I know what operating system I'm running?
A:For PCs, right-click on the "My Computer" icon and choose "Properties". Your operating system will be visible in that window (along with the amount of memory you have).

Q:Can my computer handle the latest operating system?

A: Windows 8 requires at least:

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with support for PAE, NX, and SSE2
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Q:Can IT Solutions for Home help me set up my home office?
A:Absolutely. I have lots of experience setting up home offices and can offer our expertise in acquiring the equipment you'll need and organizing your office.

Q:I'm getting error messages. How do I get rid of them?
A:Sometimes error messages will point you in a specific direction, other times it will just give you a useless code. When you get an error message, write it down. Sometimes, the knowledge base at can help you track down the source of those error messages. Other times you might be better off calling a service technician like the friendly ones at IT Solutions for Home, depending on the severity of the problem.



Q:Can I share broadband access with my other computers?
A:Yes. There are various ways to accomplish this, and we can help you figure out the best method to fit your needs. Sharing broadband access means that each computer in your home can access your single cable or DSL line and experience the Internet at blazing-fast speed.

Q:Can I use one printer for all my computers?
A:Yes. You can share a printer as long as your computers are connected with a local area network set up.

Q:How can I transfer files between my computers?
A:Once again, setting up a local area network is the answer in allowing files to be transferred between computers.

Q:So what's a local area network, then?
A:A local area network (LAN) is simply a group of computers that are "linked" together under a workgroup or a domain. A LAN can facilitate file and printer sharing as well as application hosting and a variety of other useful tools, depending on the situation.

Q:Is wireless networking right for me?
A:Typically, anyone can benefit from wireless networking. The question is if it is cost-effective or not. If you have notebook computers on your LAN, then wireless networking is certainly the way to go since you can access the Internet from multiple locations in your home. However, the larger the house, the more difficult it is to carry the signal throughout. Additionally, some cordless phones and microwave ovens can interfere with your signal.
IT Solutions for Home can offer a consultation to see if wireless networking is a good option for you. Feel free to give us a call.

Q:I have a large home. Will wireless networking work for me?
A:Sometimes, range can be an issue when providing wireless Internet access. Fortunately there are other options to improve that range, such as wireless signal boosters, sector antennas and repeaters. Also, wired methods such as phoneline networking can help get your out-of-range computers connected.



Q:How do I know if I need more memory?
A:Adding memory to a computer is one of the easiest ways to improve its performance and avoid freezes or crashes. Typically, if you have less than 1 Gigabyte of memory, it is a good idea to upgrade. If you work with images, music, video or gaming on your computer, it is a good idea to have as much memory as possible.

Q:Can I add a CD-RW/DVD Drive?
A:All you need to add an extra internal drive is a slot on your computer to install it. Even if you don't have that, you can use an external drive.

Q:How would I go about upgrading my computer? What kinds of upgrades are available?
A:Typically, you can upgrade any part of your computer. Some are easier than others, though. For instance, upgrading the memory is a relatively cheap and simple procedure, but upgrading the processor is not. You can also add ports to your computer to increase the amount of available peripherals. For a desktop computer you can usually add FireWire and USB 2.0 ports, optical drives such as CD-RWs and DVD writers, SCSI adapters and even a second hard drive. Notebook computers are a little trickier, but there are usually external hardware options that will do the trick.



Q:Can you train me on using a particular software program?
A:Absolutely. IT Solutions for Home have experience with a variety of computer applications. We can help you with everything from the basics of working with your operating system to creating a dazzling PowerPoint presentation to managing your ACT databases.

Virus Protection and Security


Q:How do I keep my computer free of viruses?
A:One of the best preventive measures you can take is to install a reliable anti-virus program and make sure you keep it up to date. A good anti-virus program will automatically scan incoming and outgoing email, monitor your computer as soon as it starts up, automatically download virus definition updates when you have an Internet connection established and scan your computer once a week for infections.
There are a variety of free and commercial platforms available for you to install. We do remind you that you get what you pay for, though, so be vigilant. Make sure that your anti-virus software is doing its job.
In addition to having up-to-date anti-virus software, there are a few other things you can do to keep free of viruses. Since most viruses are transmitted via email, be very careful in opening attachments. If you are not expecting an attachment, verify with the sender that it is ok to open. Also, scan any file that you download from the Internet, especially if you are using peer-to-peer applications such as Kazaa or Bear Share.

Q:Do I need a firewall?
A:If you have broadband Internet access, a software or hardware firewall is always a good idea. There are a handful of good utilities available, both as licensed software and as freeware. Keep in mind that you may have to do some configuration depending on how you use your computer.

Q:How do I keep hackers out of my computer? How do I protect my personal information?
A:To keep hackers out and your information private, employing a good firewall is the first step. Also, using secure passwords can help keep the thieves at bay. When creating passwords, try to use a combination of letters and characters to make it harder to crack. Also, when entering sensitive information, such as a credit card number, into a website, make sure that you are using a secure browser (look for a padlock icon in the lower right hand corner). There are a few software packages available, such as Norton Internet Security that do a good job of protecting you as well.



Q:My printer won't print. What do I do?
A:Check the obvious culprits first: make sure all the cables are connected, the drivers are installed, the printer is turned on and there is paper in the tray. Then check the print queue to make sure no documents have returned errors. As a final step, try unplugging your printer and plugging it back in to clear its memory. If none of those work, you might need some more in-depth troubleshooting, which IT Solutions for Home is happy to provide.

Q:What is a multi-function printer?
A:A multi-function printer can allow you to scan, fax, copy and print via one machine. There are many different varieties to choose from, depending on your needs. Typically, the higher-end models work just as well as having a separate scanner, printer and fax machine, so they can definitely save you money as well as valuable table space.