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Just a quick note to let clients know that if you are still running Windows 7 or 2008 server, we cannot be responsible for the security of your network.  The risk of ransomware is real, and we’ve heard many horror stories of companies that have been breached.  Being able to apply security updates to your computers is one of the key defenses you have against this risk. 

In accordance with our policies, we reserve the right to invoice for technical support of software that does not have vendor support.  As a courtesy, we will extend free support for 15 minutes, after which we will request approval to bill for our time.  We do not wish to impose hardship, but aged software and hardware does require more time to support than modern software, and we must balance this against the need for security.   Read more...


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With work from home, we’re noticing an increase in the number of machines being shut off when we are trying to install updates.  Please remember to log off and leave your computers turned on and connected to power when we prompt you for updates.  

Thank you for your cooperation.  Read more...


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As a reminder to what we advised last month, we’re putting a stop to SpireTech support for Win 7 machines on July 1st.  Congratulations to those of you that have successfully eradicated these machines from your networks.  However – in a review today, we see that approximately 10% of machines are still running Win 7.  We’ve now got 30 days to get rid of the rest of them.  While we don’t want to create unnecessary hardship for clients that may be stressed due to COVID-19, we still need clients to make an effort to replace the remaining systems. 

Win 7 machines can be slow, insecure, and time-consuming to support.  If your network gets breached due to outdated software, or you call us for support on a Win 7 system, we reserve the right to invoice for time beyond 15 minutes of support.   Read more...


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Windows 7 is reaching the end of its life and support on January 14, 2020. It’s now time to plan your upgrade to Windows 10.

What’s happening to Windows 7?

Windows 7 (as well as Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2) will no longer be supported by Microsoft after January 14, 2020. This means there will be no more software updates or security patches. Continuing to use the operating system could make you out of compliance with industry standards. Microsoft customer service will also no longer be available for Windows 7.

Unsupported operating systems are often targeted by cyber attackers specifically because they no longer receive software updates or patches to fix flaws and vulnerabilities. By continuing to use Windows 7 past its end of support, your PC will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

Your organization may also be out of compliance with industry or legal standards if you continue to run on unsupported software or operating systems.  Read more...


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Update: Microsoft has stopped deploying build 1809 due to reports of lost data. At this time there is not a new release window. More information can be found at this link.

Microsoft Windows runs 87% of the world’s computers.

Windows 10 is the latest version and keeps evolving to bring you the best experience when it comes to your phone and PC.

In October 2018 the latest update to the popular software is rolling out and there are even more changes. But which features are really worth your while and which are just fluff?

Here are five of the most exciting Windows 10 features new in October.

Dark Mode

One of the most simplest yet biggest updates to Windows is Dark Mode.

But why is dark mode so popular? There are three main reasons.

One reason is a dark screen will extend your battery life, which is always welcome. Another reason is that less blue light has been proven to help your sleep cycle.  Read more...


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Computer technology is no longer a new frontier. In fact, over 85 percent of households in America have at least one computer.

With this tech being so accessible, it’s easy to feel like a computer whiz. However, there are tons of simple, time-saving daily tips and tricks that you may be missing out on.

Did you know that you can privately browse the Internet or save your laptop’s dying battery in the nick of time? And it’s easier than you think.

Curious to know more? Keep reading.

We’ll review some computer tricks everyone should know in 2018. Let’s get started!

1. Scrolling Shortcuts
If you’re perusing a long web page or document, scrolling can get tedious. This is where handy scrolling shortcuts come in.

To scroll down, press the spacebar. To scroll up, press the shift key and the spacebar at the same time. Simple computer tips like this will save you a surprising amount of time and energy while working and browsing.  Read more...


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used with permission from Microsoft, by Elana Pidgeon

Did you know there’s a new feature in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update to help you easily find what matters to you across your devices?

It’s called Timeline, and it lets you go back in time to past activities you’ve worked on across your devices, so you can jump back into them like you never left. So, if you’re looking for a specific document, image, or video you worked on yesterday or a week ago, Timeline makes it even easier to find what you’re looking for. You can even pick up what you were doing on your iOS or Android device on your Windows 10 PC when you’re ready to get back to it.

Here’s what you can do with Timeline:

  • Go back and forth in time. Easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.*
  Read more...

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Microsoft released their latest update to Windows on April 30th and will be pushing it out through windows update starting May 8th.  This is the most recent major update after the Fall Creators Update was released last October. Spire Tech strives to be proactive with our VIPsupport clients, so we will be conducting testing, before deploying this update, both for general installation problems and issues with software that was previously identified as problematic with the Fall Creators Update.

Once testing has been completed by our technicians we will determine a schedule to roll out the update to our clients.  Managed Services clients who wish to get more information about their update schedule are encouraged to contact their Technical Client Manager (TCM).

With the new update comes new features that Microsoft believes enhances the Windows 10 experience. To hopefully keep from overwhelming you, here is a selection of 3 new significant changes.  Read more...


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Microsoft regularly releases annual updates to their current operating system, this year it is known as the Fall Creators update (Build 1709).

As more machines are being updated with this release SpireTech’s support specialists have noticed a trend in calls reporting Windows 10 system instabilities.

Some of the concerns that SpireTech is aware of include:

  • Update causes Remote Desktop (RDP) to stop functioning
  • AutoDesk software becoming unstable after the update and frequently crashing
  • Various printer vendors are working to update drivers to support Microsoft’s changes
  • Microsoft .Net Framework packages have become unstable and seem to be causing software crashes
  • Microsoft Office365 Users have reported being unable to install some other software applications if the Office suite software is running at the time

SpireTech’s VIP Managed Service customers, who have their patches managed by Spire, don’t need to be concerned about these issues as this update patch will be deferred until it can appropriately be applied.  Read more...


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The Windows 10 Start menu has a new look from previous versions. Specifically, it uses tiles when pinning your favorite apps to the Start menu for quick access. Here, we’ll explain how you can customize your Start menu: pinning and removing apps from the Start menu and resizing and rearranging pinned tiles.

To access your Start menu, hit the Windows key on your keyboard, or click the Windows icon in the lower left corner of your screen.

On the left side of the Start menu, you will see a list of all apps installed on your machine. At the top is a list of your most frequently used apps, and then an alphabetical list below. On the right side is the panel where pinned apps appear as tiles.

 

Pinning Apps to the Start Menu

To pin app to your Start menu for easy access, find the app in the list on the left side.  Read more...

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