Epson and HP printer support scam

Epson and HP are both sending unwitting customers who call their support phone lines to overseas scammers who attempt to convince them their “network has a virus” and extract money.   I have a client who has a broken automatic document feeder mechanism and this was blamed on the mysterious network virus.  These companies have horrible phone support historically and they have now gone from being unhelpful to actually destructive for the poor saps who call them.  I would applaud a class action lawsuit against this sort of behavior.   I have a feeling Epson and HP are not alone in this behavior.

Repair Tasks

I see a very annoying problem roughly once or twice a year where the Windows 7 scheduled tasks are corrupted.  You see the error when you attempt to open the Task Scheduler.  The usual instructions to fix it involves deleting most of the tasks and it’s very tedious.  I was at a doctor’s office today where we discovered the backup hasn’t worked in a year (check those backups!) for this reason.  The backup is a scheduled task, so it said “backup has not been set up.”  Some genius wrote a tool to fix the problem:

https://repairtasks.codeplex.com/

Didn’t have to re-create any tasks and fixed the problem in a few minutes.

Windows 10 File Sharing

Windows 10 updates often reset a file sharing setting called “Password protected sharing.”  This can interfere with small networks’ ability to share files without collecting accounts and passwords.  To fix this, go through the following simple procedure:

  • Right click on the Start button (Start button is in the bottom left)
  • Left click “Control Panel”
  • In top right make sure you have selected Large Icons or Small Icons so you see about 50 icons in the Control Panel window
  • Left click on the “Network and Sharing Center” icon
  • Left click on “Change Advanced Sharing Settings” in the upper left
  • Scroll down and left click on “All Networks”
  • All the way on the bottom, left click “Turn Off Password Protected Sharing”
  • Left click “Save Changes”
  • Restart the computer and try to access the shared files from the workstation again

 

Windows 10, one year later

Windows 10 is a solid operating system.  I like it and I use it on all my machines and there are no drawbacks compared to Windows 7 or 8.  The backup is better than Windows 7 (simpler and more reliable) and the speed is good.  The Start menu is almost the same as older versions of Windows.  You don’t need to touch the tiles, though the Weather app is nice.  Microsoft is pouring all their resources into making sure Windows 10 is a success.  Don’t be afraid of it!   If you hate Windows 10, it may be time to switch to Mac.

One possible pitfall for Microsoft is the forced updating in Windows 10.  Microsoft has very poor quality control and testing for their updates, so they break things once in a while, and Windows 10 forces those updates out.  They must improve this aspect of their system or people will defect to Macs, which have less problems.  Macs aren’t perfect and they are more expensive than PCs, but they are less trouble.

 

Windows 10 first impressions

I upgraded to Windows 10 on three old machines this weekend with no problems.  All drivers were built-in except for one nVidia video driver I had to download and install.  I like the new Start button / Tablet Mode and Action Center.  It seems to run well and looks good so far.

It’s amusing how deep they’ve buried Internet Explorer in the Accessories menu. Edge has an icon that looks like IE so people will reflexively use it instead.

This is the future of Windows – if you still hate it, you can use Windows 7 until 2020 or switch to a Mac.  Microsoft is betting the farm so I think Windows 10 will catch on pretty well in the long run.

Here’s a free download to get the beloved old Windows games back for you solitaire addicts:

http://winaero.com/blog/get-windows-7-games-for-windows-10/