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Prepare Your PC For Your Windows 10 Upgrade

Windows 10 is launching on Wednesday and if you plan on updating your OS as soon as it launches then there are a few things you have to do first. Whether you’re doing an upgrade or a clean install you will definitely want to make sure that the transition is smooth. In order to make sure that happens, here are a few things you should do to prepare.

Upgrade or Clean Install?

The first thing you have to do is you have to take into consideration the following:

  • What operating system are you currently using?
  • Which data do you want to preserve?
  • Are you currently suffering from a lot of bugs and errors?

Only Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users will be able to an in-place upgrade. This means that you won’t have to migrate your data and reinstall all of your programs. Such is not the case for the few remaining Vista users and the ever faithful Windows XP users. These people must do a clean install.

If you’re using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 then the next thing you need to consider is how willing you are to deal with extended downtime. If you use your computer for business or your free time is limited then you might not have the option of having your computer unusable for more than an hour. This makes upgrading the better option over a clean install.

However, if your system is unstable and experiencing a lot of slowdowns and crashes then the best option is to wipe everything and start from scratch. Your current installation of Windows will be the foundation for your upgrade to 10 and there the potential to run into driver incompatibilities already exists, even with a clean install.

Prepare Your Computer for Change

If you’re going with an upgrade then there are a few things you’re going to have to do.

  • Clean Out the Junk: Clean out temporary files and other nonessentials using the Disk Cleanup tool. This is also a good habit to have if you want to improve stability and performance.
  • Update Drivers: You’ll want to update all hardware drivers to their latest versions, even audio drivers. The newest versions of your hardware drivers will be more compatible with Windows 10. Carrying over old drivers could cause compatibility or stability issues, causing your system to revert to an inferior universal driver for that particular hardware.
  • Check for Viruses: Each new versions of Windows comes with better security than its predecessor, but it still can’t hurt to clear out any remaining bugs.
  • Install Updates: This is crucial, especially if you don’t do auto-updates already. Updates can include compatibility and security patches, but stability patches are important during upgrades.
  • Run Dusk Optimization: This is especially important if you are running Vista and Windows 7. Disk Optimization (or Disk Defragmentation on Vista and 7) will clean up how data is stored on your main drive. This will, in turn, increase processing speed for finding things when they are needed.

Even if you are doing an upgrade over a clean install, it could still benefit you from following these tips of a clean install. If anything goes wrong during or after the upgrade then doing this could save you some frustration.

  • Take Inventory: Make a list of all the applications and peripherals you use in addition to the hardware components you have installed. Once you know what you’re running find the installation and driver discs that came with what you bought and gather them together.
  • Copy Installation and Driver Files: Download copies of all your installation and driver files for items that didn’t come with a disc. This includes free any and all free programs that you use. You should also do a search for newer versions of installation and driver files that you do have on disc and making sure you have your key handy.
  • Collect Your Product Key Information: Make sure you have all of your product key information for your purchased applications that came with your system. If you can’t find your physical copies of this information then you can look up the info in the program itself and write it down.

Back Up All of Your Data

Whether you’re doing a clean install or an upgrade you should back up your system. All user accounts and files in user-specific folders should migrate safely across operating systems should the backup be successful. You can create a complete system image, which will save exact copies of the drive you backup as a single file, or you can back up individual files and folders. When upgrading to 10, creating a system image of your main drive and saving it on another storage option should be all you need to cover your bases.

Know What Programs to Deactivate

This is a pretty simple, small step and is only necessary for users doing a clean install. You need to make sure you deauthorize access for any application that limits the number of computers that can use the program at one time. Calling into customer service to fix these issues works, but a couple minutes of work can save you a lot of frustration in the long run.

If you run through all of these steps, whether you are doing a simple upgrade or a full clean install, then you should be all ready to go. Remember to make a recovery drive once your new system is up and running. Preserve your fresh start, just in case you need to repair your Windows 10 installation later on.

Content originally published here

What You Need to Know About HD Monitors And Rentals

Do you still rent or own a low resolution or “standard definition” monitor? By now most people have heard of HDTV or even UHDTV (Ultra High Definition) because the majority of the television displays owned or displayed today are high-def.

However, when it comes to monitors, users often overlook what the resolution of their screens are. This is probably due to the fact that monitors are often times used for business purposes, where the importance of high definition can be overlooked.

What a lot of businesses fail to realize is that a monitor is a window to your product and your brand. A monitor rental allows you to display marketing advertisements about your company, your brand, and your product. In addition to that, you can also throw up videos on a monitor or demonstrations, which can really draw the eye of potential customers.

High definition (HD) is a broad term, encompassing the sizes of slightly varying native resolutions. Most commonly found resolutions that are considered HD are:
1280×720, or 720p
1920×1080, or 1080i
1920×1080 Progressive, or 1080p
3840 × 2160 for Ultra HD  (4K)

Now you’re probably wondering what the “p” and “i” after the resolution count are, these are Progressive and Interlaced scanning. Which is better? Progressive is known to have a faster, more crystal clear picture and is also much less prone to screen blurring.

Nationwide HD Display Rentals Delivered Locally from Rentacomputer!

Renting a monitor for your event is the perfect marketing tool. An HD monitor allows you to display bright, crisp images and video that are a real eye catcher at any event. And if you truly want to stand out, don’t just go with one or two HD monitors, why not rent an entire HD video wall?! An HD video wall is truly a sight to behold and will definitely give your event an added look of professionalism and that “wow” factor that will truly set you apart from the competition!

If you’re looking for HD monitors to rent for your next presentation, convention or training session, the Tech Travel Agents with can help you out with a rental of nearly any quantity! Rentacomputer also rents other displays such as LED, LCD and plasma.

Wait What!? How Long Will Windows 10 Support Last!?

Breaking news: Microsoft has announced how long support will last for it’s upcoming Windows 10 operating system. Yes, before the OS is even out, Microsoft is predicting when its support will run out.

According to Microsoft, mainstream support for Windows 10 will run until October 13, 2020! Extended support will last even longer, until October 14, 2025.

If you aren’t planning to upgrade to Windows 10, you might reconsider knowing the it is available as a completely free download!

It’s good to know that the operating system, which sets out to connect your gaming world, via Xbox One, to the real world, will allow support for at least the next 5-10 years. The Windows 10 iteration of the Xbox app lets users post status updates, manage friends lists, and even stream Xbox One titles to their computer. This application will be handy for those Xbox One users whose hard drives are nearly full.

With all of this talk of support for Windows 10, you’re probably wondering how long the earlier editions of Windows will be supported. You’ll be glad to know support, at least for the more popular operating systems, won’t be going away anytime soon. Here’s a quick recap on how long each current OS will be supported:

Windows Vista, April 11, 2017
Windows 7, January 12, 2020
Windows 8, January 10, 2023

Finally, don’t forget to upgrade to Windows 10 on July 29 of this year!

Content originally published here

The Best Tech 2015 Has To Offer (At The Moment)

Here we are, halfway through the year 2015 and our tech is better than ever with assisting us with our everyday lives. We now have smartphones with apps that can track our fitness, help us find answers to our everyday problems and keep our lives organized. But among all of these tech tools, I definitely have five favorites for you.

First up is the Amazon Echo, a voice assistant much like what is built into your smartphone. The unique thing about his black cylinder is you can talk to it hands-free when you’re doing your daily activities around the house. All you have to do is say its name, Amazon decided upon “Alexa”, and then a command. You can ask “her” to look up just about anything on the web like sports, news, weather, geography, facts, unit conversions, or anything in Wikipedia. You can even ask her to tell a joke or reorder something you periodically order on Amazon. Perhaps the greatest part of Alexa is her ability to play music with Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc. Just say: “Alexa” followed by any album, band, song, or genre and she’ll play it on her rich-sounding Bluetooth speaker.

Perhaps the most groundbreaking tech improvement to be brought into 2015 is ResearchKit, a software toolkit that lets researchers write iPhone apps for medical studies. Before this software, scientists were unable to use the data that our fitness trackers enabled in our smartphones take daily. With ResearchKit, scientists can potentially unlock and analyze this data and draw conclusions about medicine and health, all without violating anyone’s privacy. As the phone owner, you have total control over how much data you want to share and which studies you want to join if any. The best part about it is that even though it’s made by Apple, it’s open source. That way Microsoft, Samsung, Google, and anyone else are all welcome to incorporate it into their software and devices. Apple doesn’t make a dime but provides a priceless resource for medical discovery.

The next best gadget to be pushed in 2015 has to be the Apple Watch. Though it wasn’t the first smartwatch of its kind, Apple was the first company to create a media storm with it’s seemingly novelty device. But much like their iPod and iPhone, Apple found a way to make their unoriginal product seem like their own. They found a way to fit nearly an entire smartphone onto your wrist–and make it sell. So now with the Apple Watch you can check Twitter, news, weather, calendars, and other small amounts of information without having to suffer the embarrassment of pulling your smartphone out. While the Apple Watch is quite the technological feat, third-party app developers are continuing to struggle to adapt their applications to fit onto your wrist. Like most Apple products, improvement with time is promised.

Two of the best smartphones this year were definitely the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4. While Samsung’s latest Galaxy brags an attractive display, svelte metal body, fingerprint reader and mobile payment system the LG G4’s camera outperformed every other smartphone’s camera on the market. So there you have it, for the most attractive display go with the Galaxy S6, but if you want an amazing camera buy the LG G4.

So there you have it, the latest and greatest tech to grace the year 2015.

Content originally published here