Understanding the truth: Here are the top myths about computers

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 12/17/18

There are many myths out there about computers and technology, but here are some of the most rampant ones I’ve come across over the years of working in the industry:

 

You can buy cheap computers if you don’t do much: I hear this all the time from customers. They say they don’t do a lot on the computer (maybe just check emails and simple web browsing) so they say they’re okay with buying the cheapest computers in the $200 - 300 range.

I call this a myth because even simple web browsing can be noticeably slower on a cheap slower computer. And in the future, it will become even more noticeably slower and you’ll likely want/need another computer. If you can’t afford a new computer in at least the $500 range, consider a refurbished computer from a local reputable company in the $300 range.

A new computer will be faster than an old computer: This is totally dependent upon the specs of the two computers and the condition of your old computer. A new computer can certainly be slower than a computer purchased years ago. This is usually more of the case if the old computer had a much higher price than the new computer. I suggest contacting a local reputable company for an evaluation and their suggestions before purchasing a new computer.

You lose your files if your computer won’t start up: Many times when your computer crashes and won’t work, your files are still intact and can be recovered by a computer tech.

So don’t just throw out a crashed computer. There are times when the entire hard drive fails and nothing can be saved, but if the files are important, it’s well worth the small investment in having a computer tech try the recovery.

Everything unusual is a virus: If something isn’t right with a computer, many people quickly blame it on a virus. It could be something unwanted that was downloaded, but it may not be a true virus. These days we see more adware and junk than true viruses. Though they may all look and feel the same to you, those classified as adware and junk are typically downloaded with a user’s permission, although trickery is often used to get that permission. Furthermore, a computer can act up from some other software or hardware issue.

You must regularly run the defragment utility: Since Windows Vista, the Disk Defragmenter utility is supposed to automatically run. So unless you’re running Windows XP or earlier, you shouldn’t have to worry about regularly defragmenting your hard drive(s). If you’re curious, perhaps open the utility every so often to ensure it’s been running.

You must regularly clear your temporary files and browser cache: In the earlier days of computers, it was common to regularly delete web browser cache and other temporary files, since hard drives were much smaller and the build-up of files would negatively affect performance. However, with modern computers, this type of cleanup typically isn’t needed but maybe every couple of months since it doesn’t give you much or any noticeable improvement in performance.

Deleting icons and files will speed up your computer: Although a desktop cluttered with icons might be an eyesore, deleting just the shortcut icons wifi do nothing to help speed up your computer. The same applies to files and documents you’ve downloaded or created, unless by chance you have so many they’re completely filling your drive. Consider putting your efforts into uninstalling unused programs and removing programs from the Windows startup.

Emptying your Recycle Bin permanently deletes the files: As you likely know, deleting files or documents sends them to the Recycle Bin, so you can recover them later if you made a mistake or changed your mind. Every so often you might empty the Recycle Bin, thinking you’ve permanently gotten rid of them. Although Windows itself won’t let you see or open those files or documents anymore, they may be recoverable for some time after with the right tools.

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