Jeffs Reviews

I review computer hardware and software, consumer electronics, kitchen gadgets and tools. Almost all I know about computers comes from hands on learning on the internet on my own, no classes or college in computers. I have built a few computers on my own and do all the work for all the reviews I write, contacting the companies myself and asking for things I am interested in purchasing myself. I work hard to bring you my opinions of the things I review and hope you enjoy my writing.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Computer Problems

I found out why my computer would not turn on correctly:

The image you see is a burned out chip on the circuit board of a hard drive, notice burn at center of large chip along pins. I was using the old 20GB hard drive as a memory page file for image editing so I did not use my regular C drive and could have a very large page file.

I went to start my computer and would get through part of bios, those lines of text about your computer when you first press the power button, and it would go to a blank screen with the blinking cursor. This blank screen with blinking cursor means the computer will not bootup completely for some reason or that it is booting up but you are not getting any video. In my case I was not booting up because this drive was causing the system to not go to the other drive for the Windows startup.

I started with basic troubleshooting and eliminated items in the computer one by one to make sure they were not causing me problems and this was one of the first to try. Once I disconnected the drive it would start up just fine and a quick inspection of the drive showed the burned out chip on the drives backside.

I do remember smelling something odd, that hot electronics smell, the other day but dismissed it when everything ran fine that day, but not the next. Now I know what I was smelling and everything is fine once again with my work computer.

Lesson learned: don't ignore that smell and when you troubleshoot a computer, disconnect everything not required for bootup to start with basics and work from there.

Scammers Beware, I am on to you!

A few times now I have wasted the time and possibly saved someone else some hassles with these scammers. It's fun for me. It may not be for you if you fall for it.

I have had two separate people, maybe from the same place but who knows, call me saying congrats you have won millions of dollars, or a bunch of trips or a car. It doesn't matter what they promise you've won its always the same. You have to give them some money in order to get your money or other winnings.

It's always a scam, so do not believe them. No matter what if you have won something, they should send it to you free of charge. If it is a legitimate business or organization that has entered you in their lottery or whatever and you have won you will get your winnings without any fees, costs or anything from you. No matter what do not send them money, do not give them account numbers or any information about your banking or your social security number.

Any legitimate organization will not need to know anything from you except where to send it, your home address. They will not need bank information, that's up to you. They will not need anything from you except an address of where to send the money or check. They should want a picture of you getting the money, that's how lotteries and winning works. They get publicity and want it, if you win something big and they don't want the publicity they are scammers.

I love wasting their time by letting them get through their big talk of how I won millions or those fancy trips and then when they ask for things like what bank I start asking them for their information. Of course they won't give me anything except a PO box and a phone number as well as a reference to a website that could be anyones.

When I start asking them for a physical address to give to the FBI or FTC they quickly start in on the back pedal and how they do not need to give out that information. If I wanted to pick up the check that would be out of the question as well, "we do not do that". Because they do not want me to see the banks of phones with people trying to rip off others who are just honest working people.

Do yourself and your family a favor, if someone calls and tells you you won something, tell them to send it, but do not give them anything they do not already know about you. If you won something from someone and it is real, they will send it without you having to pay anything. If there is a fee, a payment for insurance or taxes, then it is a scam.

Winning stuff does happen, but you do not have to pay anything to get it.

Taxes may have to be paid but that is up to you, not the organization giving out the winnings.

Always be suspiscious of any calls saying you won, and give them no information they do not already have.