Terms & Services
Further Services & News
Tune Up & Security Check
Hard Drives & Mains Power
Email Problems
Home/Small Business Network
Helping You Avoid Scammers
Free Stuff & More
My Mystery Shopper Services


Computer hard drives may last 7 to 10 years, but a small percentage don't even make it out of warranty, and others only last a few years!

A PC may need one or occasionally two hard drive replacements during its life.

Notebooks are even more vulnerable to drive failure due to overheating, especially if the machine is used on the lap or soft furnishings which blocks vital air vents!

The drive may start making clicking noises that it didn't make before.

Startup may be slow, opening programs or files may be slow and you may see error messages including Stop Errors or the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death".


Shut down your machine immediately and don't use it.

I can backup your data, documents and photos, even if the operating system is non-booting, while the drive still has a little life left, and if necessary by removing the drive and placing it in one of my own machines as a slave drive.

Absolutely don't run hard drive error checking diagnostics nor any disk defrag program until a data back up is completed.



Power problems are a major cause and often overlooked aspect of computer ownership. A power surge can damage any appliance but the most frequently affected items seem to be computers, broadband routers, satellite TV boxes, circuit boards to alarm systems, central heating boilers and freezers.

Teignmouth and Dawlish are furthest away from the power source and voltages here seem to fluctuate widely during the winter months of high power demand especially in the late afternoon.

It is highly recommended that you buy for your notebook a surge protector which neatly fits between the plug lead and the charger unit and Amazon have been selling these (pictured below)for just a few pounds and it will give you protection when visiting other premises.

Pictured from left to right Surge Protector for Notebook, Surge Protector for Desktop PC and any other attached devices, Power Conditioner and an UPS.

For your desktop or notebook and broadband router I recommend a quality branded surge suppressor such as the Belkin available from Amazon and most electrical shops for around £20.

Always buy one that has two lights. One shows that power is present and the other that the protection circuit is still working. A device without such a light is useless. Keep the device within sight and regularly check it's ok. If the protection light is out replace the unit immediately.

If you keep getting through these devices you might want to consult an electrician!

Always ensure that devices attached to the computer such as a printer or router are also powered through the surge protector.

At this point it should be mentioned that some devices do not co-exist well together on the same power strip. PCs and TVs are one example where interference can occur.

Absolutely to be avoided is using an electric paper shredder anywhere near a PC that's switched on. Rumours are that the PC's hard drive can be starved of power during motor spin up of the shredder. Personally I won't use a shredder if there's a computer on.

Commercial computer rooms and data centres use specially conditioned power supplies but in a home environment you can still clean your supply by using a mains conditioner for about £25.

Lastly, there is the Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) of which there are two kinds. An ordinary UPS at around £60 and a True UPS at around £1000.

There are plenty of Internet sites which will explain the difference. Basically, these units provide power, typically for about 10 minutes after a power outage, enabling the user to save their work and shut down the computer in an orderly fashion.

Belkin Surgemaster surge protector

Belkin surge protection for laptops/notebooks

Mains Conditioner


It is generally
accepted that
there are
10 forms of

Electromagnetic Pulse
such as from a
nuclear explosion
is omitted from
the list!