10 Minute Presentation

This text was taken from a slideshow presentation I created for my BNI group:

I’m going to talk about one thing I specialize in:

Virus Removal

This is by far the most common and prevalent problem

This will affect everyone at some point, even if you’re protected!

First: Some Statistics

Eugene Kaspersky of Kaspersky Labs reports they successfully process 125,000 samples of new malware per day.

That’s up from 70,000 last year,

and 35,000 the year before

Some are benign, and do nothing but replicate themselves

Many Steal Passwords

As you log on to your banking site, your ID and Password are transmitted to a server the author can access

Others are used as bots in DDOS attacks

DDOS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. Typically this means he who has the most bandwidth wins.

Let’s say for example an attacker wants to take down Bank of America. B of A has multiple data centers, geographically located, and a LOT of bandwidth.

However, when you add tens of thousands or more computers with broadband connectivity, and instruct each of them to simultaneously blast Bank of America with malformed garbage inquiries, they don’t stand much of a chance. Your request to access your statement will be lost in a mix of garbage, and the site will effectively be down!

Some of today’s viruses are very high tech, elusive, and nearly impossible to remove.

Many use root-kit technology, which means they install themselves as a part of the Windows operating system itself and are fully activated before Windows even boots!

They are able to hide their registry entries and their files, so searching within Windows shows nothing out of the ordinary.

As they are activated before Windows starts, and are in fact “running” programs, they are able to detect and prevent access, even by Anti-virus software.

Some viruses completely delete the files and registry entries for essential Windows services. They will first remove Windows Defender, the Windows Firewall, and Windows Update services. This leaves you wide open, and vulnerable to additional attacks.

I use special Boot  CD’s, which boot a self contained Linux and/or Windows Portable Edition Operating System from the CD. They do not involve the hard drive, and as such do not start the viruses themselves.

This special Operating System runs completely from the CD and your computer’s RAM memory, NOT THE HARD DRIVE!

Once this special Operating System is loaded, it can then:

READ your hard drive with an Anti-virus program,

identify the files and registry entries, which are not hidden because the virus is not actively running to hide them,

and completely remove them!

It may, however, be too late as the damage to Windows may already be done.

I can usually find the files and registry entries for most of the Windows services

Windows itself can recover many missing files

But other related registry entries that are missing or damaged may be nearly impossible to identify

If the damage has been done, you may need to:

Revert to the factory installed image

Reload Windows from scratch

Upgrade to the latest version of Windows

Purchase a new computer

If disaster has struck, first:

Don’t take matters into your own hands!

If you have not overwritten your hard drive with a reload, I can save your data

If you’ve already reformatted your hard drive:

I “MAY” still be able to recover some of the data!

Protect Yourself BEFORE It’s Too Late!

You should check REGULARLY to ensure your Anti-virus program is Active, and Up-to-date

Most Anti-virus software will tell you this right up front when you open the program

You should also check the Action Center or System Information from the Control Panel

This will show you the status of your Anti-virus, Firewall, Windows Update, and Windows Defender

Of course, I can take care of this for you!

I can remotely verify the status of these applications and ensure they are operating properly and up to date

If your computer is behaving strangely,

giving pop-ups and warning messages,

Or you find essential Windows services are not running, will not start, or repeatedly stop,

Call me IMMEDIATELY!

In these situations the only thing I can do remotely is verify the status of your services

UNLESS…

You have my BOOT CD!

I have given each of you a copy of one of my Boot  CD’s (Blog readers can download a free copy from boot.irwinelectronics.com)

These are NOT licensed for general distribution!

However, as used for emergency recovery situations by my clients only, they should be OK.

These CD’s are designed to connect directly to me when booted, so I can scan and hopefully recover everything

But for you, they will allow Internet access if your computer won’t boot properly or connect to the Internet

You can also check your e-mail and run many of the included tools if you’re so inclined

Remember, Irwin Electronics is here to help!

I’m just a phone call away, and happy to answer your questions

I offer free diagnostics, so it doesn’t cost anyone a thing for me to look at their system remotely

I’ve compared the rates both the national chains, and independent providers charge

I charge $75 per hour, and ALWAYS include a cap

Many services take hours to complete, and it doesn’t make sense to rack up the bill every hour until the repair is done, especially on an older system!

Here to Save You Money!

It’s kind of a strange thing for an IT company to say, but you already know how I feel

I’m sure that if I can save your old computer, speed it up, and make it run like new, you’ll be happy

That means you’ll likely refer me to your friends…

Which  means enough business to keep me IN business!

That’s all folks!

Posted in BNI

Christmas List

What’s on your Christmas list? What about your son or daughter? Did you know Irwin Electronics can do more than just repair computers? We can build custom computers too! We add more vendors and distributors to our list all the time. We can get awesome deals on electronics. If you need a custom desktop, let us know what the intended use will be, and who it’s for. We can design it for you, and build it. If you know what you want, like the latest Geforce or Radeon graphics card, we’ll be sure to include it, and at the best price possible. If you need a small form factor desktop for general use, we’ve got you covered. Those same great deals extend to laptops, too. We can also upgrade old computers. Are you on a tight budget, but need something to do email or Facebook? Do you have an old dinosaur in the closet that doesn’t work anymore? If your needs are simple, we may be able to bring new life to that antique. We prefer Microsoft Windows, as that’s what we are most familiar with, but Windows is not cheap. Did you know there are FREE operating systems that give you a similar desktop, and the same web browsing capabilities? Ubuntu Linux is well known, and very powerful. If your computer is quite old, Ubuntu may not run any better than Windows. There are many other distributions that will work well on even the oldest computers! Memory is one of the lowest cost, and best upgrades. You’ll get the most bang for your buck by replacing the memory in that old relic. Did you know Windows XP does not fully configure itself for memory over 512MB? You may have upgraded to 3 gigabytes of RAM, but if you did not properly tune the registry, you’re not making the most of it! If we lost you on the technical jargon, have no fear. We’re here to help you. That’s why we want to know what your needs are, and what old equipment you may have. You would be surprised what we can do on an extremely limited budget.

Our deals are not limited to computers. If you need a new printer or router, we can help you there as well. Perhaps you need a new television. It wouldn’t hurt to call us for a quote. While we do not stock equipment for sale, we can still use our buying power to get the same great deals. Let us know your needs, and give us a couple of hours to shop around for you, at no cost to you. We will call you back and let you know what we found. If you like the price, we’ll take care of everything. If you can find a better price, please let us know where you found it! You have nothing to lose. Our goal is to save you money. What other computer repair company does that?

A big part of our referral based marketing is networking. We belong to several networking organizations, and have established contacts in nearly every field. Perhaps you want a complete home theater system to go with that new TV? We know someone who does that. Do you want to remodel a room to make a true theater? We know someone who does that too! As your IT solution, we need to have all these contacts, but you do not have to be a business to take advantage of our services. Of course, if you are starting a small or home-based business, we are your complete IT solution. We will help set up your computer network. We can leverage our business partners to build a complete home office. We will assist with all your computing needs, servers, network, data storage, and offsite backup. How merry would your Christmas be to have a new home office, with all new equipment? We can make that happen! All it takes is one simple phone call to Irwin Electronics at 480-382-4761. Tell us what’s on your Christmas list, and let’s see how we can help you.

Posted in BNI

Boot CD

We had a great idea, but the execution is proving to be a little more difficult. As they say, the devil is in the details. Many of our clients call us when they have a virus, or blue screen, that prevents their computer from booting properly or connecting to the Internet. Often they have deadlines and must get online to complete a project, or even send a few e-mails, before we can work on their computer. This also means we cannot remote control their computer to resolve the issue without driving to their location. The idea is to distribute a boot CD ahead of time that will load a Portable Edition of Windows. This will allow immediate Internet access for our customer. The CD would include our remote control software, so with a few clicks, we can log in and resolve the issues. The second piece of the equation is what limits us to a Windows based product. Most any Linux boot CD would allow the Internet access, and give us a variety of tools to eradicate viruses and spyware. However, we would not be able to load our remote access tool without a little more custom programming. At Irwin Electronics, we are experts at computer hardware and virus removal. We are not experts at programming, or writing custom software. We are attempting to create a free solution from the variety of tools available for download. Windows PE based solutions appeared to be the best option as they are free and legal. Many Enterprises use them for just this type of task. The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows, UBCD4Win was the perfect solution. However, after extensive building and testing, it appears our Remote Control software does not work as expected in a PE (Portable Edition) environment. Hiren’s Boot CD is another possible option. The problem with Hiren’s is the legality. Yes, it is available as a free download for anyone. Most of the tools included are free, open source, utilities so there is no problem with that. Hiren’s however, does not use a PE version of Windows. That means our software should work perfectly, but if the Windows operating system is not properly licensed, that could spell legal issues for us. Since this is a limited use system used to remotely resolve issues, and not to be permanently installed on any computer, we may be covered. Remember, we are Microsoft Certified engineers. We would not want to endanger our certifications, licenses, or company. We want to work with Microsoft, and remain in their good graces. Microsoft does not endorse, nor support, any of these portable versions of their Operating System. There is no way for us to contact Microsoft and receive authorization for any of this. Of course, we could always hire a programmer to create a custom solution, but that’s an expense we are not willing to pass on to our customers. We are all about saving you money. We look for solutions to give our customers the best service, at the lowest prices, without sacrificing quality. We do have a working product now, but it needs a little more testing before we release it. If it passes our tests, we will distribute copies to our existing and new clients. We will also have an image available for download on our website so potential customers can burn their own copy, just in case they need it in the future. We will post the information on our website as soon as it’s available. As “Your IT Solution”, we offer much more than computer repair. We can recommend solutions for all your IT needs! As always, our initial consultation and diagnosis is free. Call us today at 480-382-4796 with any questions or concerns. We want you to be a satisfied customer for life, and recommend us to all your friends. We believe the best way to build a business is with honest, dependable service, at the right price. We would rather have 10 customers at $70 than 2 at $200. Many IT companies will tell you that you must be on a monthly maintenance plan in order to provide the necessary updates to your equipment. We have plans like that too, but we configure your software to update itself automatically. Many people cannot afford a monthly plan, and are not interested in that. We work for you, on your terms. If you just need a onetime fix, we’ll be happy to assist you. We are confident that you will return to us with all your future IT needs.

Posted in BNI