Saturday, 7 December 2019

Speed Up Your Windows 10 System

By being around for 4 years now since its release, Windows 10 proves that it is unquestionably a proficient operating system from Microsoft. Compared to previous versions though, updates are now mandatory. You can always pause them, but keep in mind that they are important for the system to keep running smoothly.

While the actual update itself can cause lag, they won’t take eternity to finish. Unless you’ve delayed your updates far too long. These updates are the ones that address system bugs and errors that can cause your computer to slow in its performance. Along with start-up apps and temporary files in your system, there are other things that cause slow computer performance. Here’s what you can do to fix them.


If your computer has a few “extra” software, uninstall them. You can download for free or buy just about anything on the web, including software. But if you don’t use them often, it’s better to just remove them. You may have also noticed these extra programs when you first purchased your laptop or computer. These vendors partner with other software companies. But sometimes, they are unnecessary as well.

Redundant programs take up space on your hard drive and can reduce performance. To check your installed apps go to 'Control Panel'>'Programs'>'Programs and Features'>'Uninstall a Program'.

Right-click on any programs you no longer need and select 'Uninstall'. Windows 10 will ask for permission to make changes to your system. Click 'Yes' to continue.



In order to show everyone it is superior, Windows 10 has impressive graphics and animations. They do look great but they can be inessential when it comes to performance.

To take your PC back to basics, open the Windows menu and search for 'System', then go to 'Advanced Settings' tab and select 'Performance Settings'.

Under the 'Visual Effects' tab, click the radio button for 'Custom'. From here, you can uncheck the tick boxes next to any visual affects you want to disable. Click 'Apply' to confirm your changes.



The same goes for transparency effects.

To disable transparency effects, open the Windows menu and type 'Make Start, taskbar and Action Center transparent'. This will pull up the 'Color' Settings. From here you can choose to switch off transparency.

You can also change the default app mode here between 'Light' and 'Dark'. This won't affect your system speed, but may make your Desktop easier on the eye.



If real speed is what you’re after, you can choose to upgrade your RAM.

Your PC's overall speed can be hugely improved by increasing the amount of virtual memory (RAM). Windows 10 requires a minimum of 4GB to run smoothly, although this does not take into account resource hungry applications such as video games.

The easiest solution to this is to install more RAM. Your PC has a certain number of RAM 'slots' into which you can insert chips. To determine the type of memory your machine uses, open Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del), then click 'Performance'. The system will display any memory slots in use as well as the type use e.g. DDR4.



If you don’t mind spending a bit more for optimum speed, get yourself a Solid State Drive (SSD).

SSDs (Solid State Drives) use Flash memory, the same kind found in USB sticks. They allow for much faster access and writing times then traditional mechanical hard drives which use magnetized disks.

SSDs do cost much more per GB than regular hard drives, but if you're are willing to pay the cost, you'll notice a huge improvement in boot time, files access times and overall system responsiveness.



And last but certainly not least, run routine maintenance.

Windows 10 has a built-in utility which performs routine system maintenance tasks such as defragmenting the hard drive, scanning for updates, and checking for malware.

These tasks usually run in the background while your PC is idle but if you have noticed an issue with system performance you can run maintenance manually if you wish.

To get started, open Control Panel, select 'System and Security' then choose 'Security and Maintenance'. Click the arrow to expand the maintenance options. From here you can select 'Start Maintenance'. Close and save any open files before going ahead.



So basically, every part of your computer needs care and attention. There are things you can buy to make your computer faster, and there are also those that you can do yourself. If you happen to run into problems with your hard drive, address it with You can also click here for additional information.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Data Recovery Services Expert Publishes Blog Posts On Computer System Care

In a recent blog post, Irvine, Southern California's Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses tips and tricks to keep one's computer - whether desktop or laptop - well cared for and maintained to ensure the longest life possible. One of the long term killers of many computer systems - particularly desktop computers, which can last for extremely long periods of time - is poor maintenance. Poor computer maintenance can also contribute to the possibility of physical hard drive crash and full hard drives, which can typically only be addressed by professional hard drive data recovery specialists with access to a clean room.

In the post, "Are You Destroying Your Computer", HDRG talks about how it is quite easy to keep a computer clean with the correct tools. One of those tools, a computer technician's best friend, is a can of compressed air. While people tend to use these to blow out the interior cabinet of desktop computers, one of the tricks that many people do not know is that compressed air can also help a lot when it comes to laptops.

"Most people do not consider that compressed air can be critical for laptop maintenance, mainly because the heat driven by these devices has a higher potential of hurting the electronics within the system than with a desktop," said Maureen Davies, spokesperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. "Additionally, laptop computers have a variety of ports that are continually exposed to the elements, including dust and dirt which can easily hurt connectivity. Users are encouraged to not only blow out vents with compressed air, but also ports such as USB and HDMI, which can also get clogged up."

Another point the blog post stresses is the fact that laptop computers are often extremely fragile over time, particularly when the system uses a classic spindle and platter HDD drive. The issue here is that these drives were not really initially constructed to handle a mobile computer's daily movements, and they do have a high potential of failure, even with what seems like careful use.

"Older laptop hard drives are something that HDRG sees a lot of, whereas there tends to be a lot fewer requests for SSD data recovery," said Davies. "The best advice we really can provide is to try to keep the system cool whenever possible, and if the disk light indicator is flashing, ensure the system is in a stationary place."

On the desktop side, compressed air plus a good vacuuming once in a while can do wonders, particularly as many desktops are on the floor or hidden away where dust can gather at high levels. Desktops run hotter than laptops, but most store bought computers have enough fans to properly move air through even a partially clogged system. Meanwhile, self built systems should always have at least one case fan added in order to move air.

Fortunately when it comes to desktop computers, it is rare for all major components to fail, which is different than laptops. The power supply, as an example, tends to be a common failure for desktop computers. These units can additionally be subject to power surges, which can not only weaken, but destroy them.

"With a desktop, by far the most common failure computer repair companies and data recovery services see is power supply failure," said Davies. "Fortunately, these repairs are usually easy enough that almost anyone with a screwdriver can perform them."

In the end, today's computer systems are built to last a lot longer than those even 10 years ago, but maintenance should never be neglected. Part of a smart computer maintenance program also includes, of course, backing up important files. When backups are available, failures won't be so stressful.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Easy Ways To Fast-Track Your Windows 10

Among all the Windows operating systems that Microsoft has released, Windows 10 is by far the most capable and competent. Debatably. But it truly is a notable and impressive operating system from Microsoft. Do note that it will take up much space and other things on your PC or laptop. But Microsoft always has succeeded in making operating systems efficient. More so with the Windows 10.


Some time ahead, you will feel your computer slowing down. A lot of things can cause it to slow down. But the good thing is that along with it are the fixes and other things you can do to turn things back to how they were, and even make the speed faster.


Who knew restarting your computer can actually be a good thing? If your computers are constantly on and working, the actions that were started before will still continue. This can actually slow down the computer.

You can fix this issue by shutting down your PC each day once you have finished using it, by clicking on the Windows button and selecting the 'Power' button.

Make sure to close any running programs and save your work before you do so. If your PC has slowed down to the extent that you can't display the Windows menu, manually hold down the Power button until the computer is fully powered off.



It’s no news that Windows 10 has constant updates. These updates are aimed at fixing errors and issues within. These updates can be minor while others can make major changes in order to give you the best user experience.

If machine performance is lagging, open the Windows menu and type 'Update' in the search bar and click 'Check for Updates' to access your settings.

If a major update is available, then make sure to save and back up your personal data before continuing. Your PC may need to restart several times to apply all available updates. If it's been a while since your last update, make sure to click 'Check for Updates' again after restarting to make sure no more are available.


Major updates can take time. If you are going to have a busy week, make sure to pause the updates. But always remember to check back for updates.


Have you experienced starting your computer and opening a browser only for it to open slowly (more like lagging) and you having to wait for a good couple of minutes? This is because some applications and programs installed on your computer run right after turning on your computer. This causes lower speed and efficiency.

To check your startup programs, open Task Manager (Ctrl + Alt + Del), then click the 'Startup' tab. Pay close attention to the 'Startup Impact' values for each program e.g. 'High' as this is a good way to spot apps that are likely to slow your system down.

To prevent a program from launching on login just right-click and choose 'Disable'.



Another thing you can do is have a Disk Cleanup. This is actually an embedded tool by Windows to help clean out temporary and unnecessary files that can collect in your computer overtime such as thumbnails.

Click the Windows menu and type 'Disk Cleanup' in the search bar to get started. The utility will offer you a choice of files to remove. Simply mark the check box next to each option. Click 'Clean up system Files' to begin. Disk Cleanup will calculate the amount of space you will save.

This is also a good opportunity to delete any files on your hard drive which you no longer need. An easy place to start is your 'Downloads' folder.



A fast computer is synonymous with faster work done. If you are fixing errors in your computer, remember that your hard drive needs the same treatment as well. For lost data, our team at can assist you. Click this link if you are using Mac.


Easy Ways To Fast-Track Your Windows 10 was first published to


Saturday, 30 November 2019

How To Prevent Windows 10 Updates

Updates are important for your computer to run smoothly and efficiently. Updates are designed to not only keep your device and its programs to their latest versions. In addition, they are developed to fix errors and address issues on your computer. But updates can sometimes take a long time to start and finish. And in case you haven’t noticed, Windows 10 has an update almost every week. Sometimes less almost every less than a week if that makes sense.


One simply can’t stop Windows 10 from updating. It’s just a fact. However, you can delay it. Here’s what you can do.


Pause the automatic updates. A few years ago, this option wasn’t available. To attempt to stop an update from installing on that day, all you can do is assign a time for it to make the changes. But now, we finally have that saving button.

Click the Start menu, then the Settings cog. Now go to 'Update & Security', click 'Windows Update' on the left-hand side, then click 'Advanced options'. Under 'Pause Updates', toggle the switch to 'On'. This will pause Windows updates for 35 days, but you’ll need to download the latest updates once that period is over if you want to pause further updates.

You can also choose to defer feature updates by up to 365 days and quality updates (which contain important security fixes) by up to 30 days. Once these periods are up, you’ll need to download updates before you can defer them again.


Meter your WiFi connection. This will tell Windows that your data is limited. And Windows won’t let you update with an unstable or limited connection.

This is another simple thing to try. Click Start, then click the Settings cog. From here, click 'Network & Internet', then click 'Wi-Fi' in the left-hand column, then the name of your Wi-Fi connection. Scroll down to the 'Metered connection' section and toggle the 'Set as metered connection' switch to 'On'.

This tells Windows 10 that you’re on a limited data plan, with the result that it won’t automatically push updates to you (although you can still manually install them). However, if you’re on an Ethernet connection this method won’t work, so you’ll have to try one of the other methods in this guide.



Prevent maintenance from proceeding if the installation hasn’t started yet. Otherwise, don’t. It can harm your computer.

Once an update has started installing, you shouldn’t stop it – doing so can be potentially dangerous for your PC. However, if Windows 10 has downloaded an update but hasn’t started installing it yet, you can still stop it.

In the Windows 10 search bar, type 'Security and Maintenance', then click the first result to bring up the control panel window. Click the 'Maintenance' title to expand it, then scroll to the 'Automatic Maintenance' section. Click 'Stop maintenance' to halt the update.

If you change your mind and want to restart the update, simply click 'Start maintenance'.



You can also choose to toggle off Windows Updates service.

In the Windows 10 search bar, type 'Services'. Right-click the top result and select 'Run as administrator'. Scroll down the list until you reach the Windows Update entry. If the 'Status' column says "Running", right-click the Windows Update entry and click 'Stop'.

Now, right-click it again and click 'Properties'. In the resulting menu, under 'Startup type', choose 'Disabled', then click 'OK'.

This will prevent Windows Update from automatically installing updates. If you still want to prevent automatic updates but want to give yourself the opportunity to install updates manually, select 'Manual' from the drop-down menu instead.



You can do the same thing for Group Policy.

This involves a getting your hands a little dirty, but is easy enough. Type 'gpedit.msc' into the Windows 10 search bar and click the first result. Now navigate to the following path using the left-hand pane: 'Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update.' In the right-hand window, double-click 'Configure Automatic Updates'.

This will open a new window. In the top-left corner, click 'Disabled', then click 'Apply' and 'OK'. This will prevent Windows 10 from automatically downloading and installing updates, although you can still manually look for updates by opening Windows Update.



It can be frustrating sometimes when your computer is having a Windows 10 update while in the middle of a task or two. Everything slows and lags like there’s no tomorrow. But we always have to keep in mind that our PCs and laptops need these updates. And we can always delay them. If your hard drives matter to you, keep them in good health. If you run into problems, seek expert help. They can always aid you.

How To Prevent Windows 10 Updates was initially published on HDRG


Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Data Recovery Services Provider Publishes Blog Post On Freeing Up Data In Windows 10

In a recent blog post, Irvine, California's Hard Drive Recovery Group discusses tips and tricks to free up disk space in Windows 10. A second blog post discusses the Family safety parental controls in Windows 10, a common way to restrict children from reading or viewing adult material. These posts and others demonstrate the company's dedication to customer education particularly when it comes to the Windows 10 operating system, which remains the most popular OS for laptops and desktop computers across North America.

In the post, "Steps On How To Manually Free Some Space In Your Windows 10", HDRG talks about some simple searches any user can do to determine where there are storage shortfalls in the system, which lessens the need for data recovery. By "sorting files by size", as an example, it is quite simple for the average Windows user to simply delete excessively large files, such as video or large photos, and free up a good amount of disk space.

"While using File Explorer is extremely common for heavier Windows 10 users, many folks do not understand that it is the most powerful and transparent way to look at a hard drive available," said Maureen Davies, spokeperson for Hard Drive Recovery Group. "This is really not that advanced of an application, and it provides more information about a file system that simply is not available elsewhere."

HDRG also references another space-freeing technique in the post, namely to attempt to eliminate programs and games that are rarely or never used. Applications tend to fill the majority of space on a typical Windows drive, and many are installed as a batch or attachment to other programs. As a result, many people do not see how many apps are actually installed and are taking up space. Video games with high definition graphics tend to take up the largest amount of space in this category.

"While a lot of apps are not longer that big of a deal in an era of multi-terabyte hard disk drives, one of the major space hogs tends to be high end video games," said Davies. "Some of these games can install hundreds of gigabytes of space, so if they are not being played commonly, they can virtually take over a hard disk drive."

In a second post entitled "Protect Your Family With Windows 10", Hard Drive Recovery Group describes how to set up parental controls on a Windows 10 machine by setting up individual users. Once individual users are set up, including the "child users", it is very simple to set up controls over access to the web or specific files.

"Although the need to sign into a Microsoft-specific account does create a variety of privacy issues, the exchange is of course that a child will be blocked from viewing adult oriented material," said Davies. "Most parents tend to think that the reward is worth the risk, particularly as children need this protection."

Another excellent feature of Windows 10 enables a parent to limit the amount of screen time a user can have on a machine per day. This is particularly important in a world where children constantly move from smart phone to tablet to PC while avoiding physical activities.

The "recent activities" area of the Family Safety Center provides a great way for parents to monitor exactly what web pages, apps and activities their children are seeing. It's a great way to understand a child's computer usage on a specific level.

"Windows 10's parental features can be particularly key for parents that are not always around," said Davies. "In a society where both parents generally have to work, it's nice to know that Windows is watching your children's computer activities."

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

How To Deactivate Push Notifications In Your Browsers

Browsing the web can both be delight and a nightmare. It is a delight because you will always have answers for your questions. The internet is a gold mine of information, after all. You’ll always see what you are looking for and more. But sometimes, it is a total disaster. One thing, you’re just surfing the net and the next, a pop-up video shows up along with a series of notifications. You didn’t want to do away with them so you closed the website only to find out that you still are receiving pop-up notifications. Sounds familiar? Say hello (or not) to push notifications.

Push notifications are messages that a website sends you in order to engage you with them. Their goal is to inform you of all things new about them so maybe you’ll take interest. For example, subscribing to a newsletter from a blogging site. You can get them even if the website that sent it to you is not open in your browser. They won’t have access to any of your contact details. However, they are still annoying especially if you are busy with working on a task or several. Getting us informed is well-appreciated. But definitely not when we are sent a ton of notifications.

Thankfully, you can disable them in your browser. Here is a guide to help you go through the process.


For Chrome, the most widely used browser, click the three vertical dots located under the X or close button of the browser.

Hit the menu button — aka, the three vertical dots in upper-right corner — and select Settings. Then, scroll to the bottom of the page and click Advanced. Next, click Content settings within Privacy and Security and select Notifications.

If you want to disable all notifications, toggle the slider beside, “Ask before sending.”


Once you have a website that you want specifically blocked, locate it in the Allow column, and choose to Block it or Remove it.


For Mozilla Firefox, click the three vertical dots to start.

Click the Menu button — aka, the three vertical lines — and select Options. Next, go to Privacy and Security, scroll to Permissions, and click the Settings button to the right of “Notifications.”

Here, you can choose which websites can and cannot send you notifications.



For Microsoft Edge, first, you need to open the browser and go to the Menu. Unlike Chrome and Mozilla, the menu is signified by three horizontal dots, not vertical.

First, launch Microsoft Edge and click the Menu button represented by the three horizontal dots in the upper-right corner. Then, follow your mouse to the bottom of the list and click Settings. Scroll to the bottom and hit View Advanced Settings. Once there, click Manage, which is located within Website Permissions.

On the resulting page, you can toggle which websites you want to receive notifications from



For Safari, open the browser and open Safari.

First, launch Safari and click Safari from within the application menu bar. Next, click Preferences and select the Notifications pane, which will bring up a list of websites you currently receive notifications from.

If you want to disable push notifications across the board, highlight your selection and click Remove All in the bottom-left corner.



Push notifications are good for websites. But for us users, they can be simply distracting. Fortunately, there are ways to manage them in our browsers. However, if you are experiencing issues or problems with your computer, better consult with a professional. Our experts at can help you with all things hard drive and recovery. You may click this link as well, for more info.

The blog post How To Deactivate Push Notifications In Your Browsers is republished from


Saturday, 23 November 2019

How To Turn Off or Mute Your Windows Notifications

Notifications are there for a reason and that is to let us know of meetings, upcoming events, new emails, installed applications, updates, and more. They help you get more organized and up-to-date. However, if you have been using Windows 10, you’ll know that the notifications can sometimes be overwhelming and distracting.


If you get a lot of emails every day and you have of apps, tendency is that you’ll get a lot of notifications as well. Even clicking an ad through a web page will prompt your anti-virus or web security to tell you not to proceed. Fortunately, notifications can be turned off or managed in the settings.


To turn off notifications, open the Windows Settings.

Open the Windows Settings menu by pressing the Windows Key and I or alternatively search for Settings in the Windows search bar and click the corresponding result.



Click on Notifications and Actions option.

Click Notifications & Actions in the left-hand menu. This will take you to a screen providing access to all of the settings related to notifications and the Action Center.



Click the same option under System.

Click the System icon, then select Notifications and actions from the left-hand menu.



Editing the Quick Actions will let you edit your Action Center. You can remove or add an icon according to your liking.

If you want to change the quick actions or all the actions that appear in your Action Center, you can click “Edit your quick actions.” This will open the Action Center in an editable mode, alowing you to make whatever changes make sense to you. These aren’t technically notifications, but you can choose to remove them to clear up space on your action center and keep only the abilities that you really use. To change what quick actions you see, click on the “remove” icon or select add. Click “Done” when you’re finished.



Turn on or off the toggles that you’ll see in the Notifications.

Look for the Notifications subheading, where you will see a number of toggles for various types of notifications. The following is a list of the settings you can toggle on this screen:

  • Get notifications from apps and other senders
  • Show notifications on the lock screen
  • Show alarms, reminders, and incoming VoIP calls on the lock screen
  • Hide notifications when duplicating my screen
  • Get tips, tricks, and suggestions as you use Windows

Turn them off as you need. If you don’t want any, just make sure they are all toggled off. You’ll need to install the particular app you want to view notifications for if it’s not already built into your system, and you can receive a notification first before an app will show up in the list.



If there are notifications you don’t want turned off, you can always mute them instead with the help of Focus Assist.

Open up the Action Center by pressing on the Notification icon on the far right-hand side of the Windows taskbar, or by pressing the Windows key + A



You will see the crescent moon icon that says Focus Assist.

Click on the moon icon, to enable Focus Assist. Here, you can turn Focus Assist off, turn it only for the priority list, or allow only alarms to pop up.



Here you can prioritize, set alarms, and be more specific with time.

You can further customize Focus Assist by editing your priority list and by optimizing your automatic controls. This will let you change times and priority levels for when you do and don’t want notifications enabled, be it during a more specific time or even when you’re playing a game.



Prioritization, organization, and customization can be key to a smooth workflow. Don’t let other issues like storage and hard drive problems get in the way. Visit to know more. This site can also assist you.

How To Turn Off or Mute Your Windows Notifications is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Speed Up Your Windows 10 System

By being around for 4 years now since its release, Windows 10 proves that it is unquestionably a proficient operating system from Microsoft....