Palm Desert Computer Repair

Palm Desert Computer Repair

If you are in any of the cities surrounding Palm Desert and need computer repair, call Rouzell Enterprizes, Inc.

Diligently working toward becoming your Palm Desert SEO Expert; Rouzell Enterprises is a Palm Desert based company providing compassionate care to people who use computers. This includes computer repair and computer support, also computer training and network support, and social media training and support. If you have any need for SEO, or help with computers, networks, or social media, one call to Brian Rouley at Rouzell Enterprises is all it takes to get the help you need.

Backup Irreplaceable Data Rewrite

About eighteen months ago, I started working on an article about backup strategies for computer users. A few months after I put the finishing touches on that opus, it was published in the Quorum Magazine. That is a little-known publication put out by our local chapter of the CAI. Local means Coachella Valley and CAI means Community Associations Institute. Neither of those facts has much to do with what I am about to say. What I am trying to say here is that I’ve done this before and it is worth doing it again, with new emphasis provided by recent events. If the CAI is still running the data-backup technology I installed for them, they are about as well protected from data loss as any business in this valley. The only company I know of that has better protection is Rouzell Enterprises, Inc. Yes, that's me.

Recent events, as mentioned above, include two computer thefts and one computer crash, along with just some strange behavior that is causing some anxiety. The first three result in irretrievable data-loss, while that last one presents a challenge, but will be resolved. Here’s the thing; data backup should be one of the first few things you install and configure on a new computer. Very few computer users will not create data that is irreplaceable. I’ve met a few myself, but I’m on the other side of the spectrum, with tens of gigabytes of data that is important to me. My stuff is protected at least two or three different ways and I’m going to share with you three strategies I use for this process. Each has its merits and each has its cost and return on investment.

Whenever I talk about data backup, I talk about return on investment. It only takes a moment to draw the analogy to data restoration. There is no other purpose to backing up your data, except certainty that you can retrieve it when necessary. This is the bottom line, right in the middle of this article. That being said, here is method one - synchronization.

After a brief review of cloud-based backup services, including well known names like Mozy and Carbonite, I settled on SugarSync. You may already know why, based on the name. The biggest names in online backup are focused on ease of use, “set it and forget it” installation and configuration. For me, I chose synchronization, so I get backup and restore. In essence, that is what happens - my data is backed up to the cloud, then “restored” to a directory on another computer. Actually, there are three other computers. The likelihood of data loss is further reduced by the fact that each computer lives in a different environment. One is at home, one in my office, one is in a home office in another city and one is a laptop. The chances of all four computers being lost, stolen, or dying simultaneously are pretty slim. Even with all of that certainty in my case, I’ll tell you about method two - disk image backup to a local external drive.

I’ve backed up each of my computers (at least once) by creating an image of the entire drive, which creates a file to be stored on another disk. Given that hard drives today hold hundreds or thousands of gigabytes of data and I only have tens of gigs to preserve, there’s plenty of room for this method. I’ve been through a few computers in the last decade and I have images of those drives stored somewhere on other drives. For this, I use a product called ShadowProtect desktop, made by StorageCraft. It’s not cheap, but it’s easy to understand and run and it can be used for continuous incremental updates. The only drawback here is that you really should store your backup drive in a location other than right next to your computer. One of the victims of computer theft had his backup drive stolen along with his primary computer. He will not be restoring his lost data from that drive.  That’s the problem with local backup. Which leads us to method three.

You can get a 16 or 32 GB USB drive with a backup program built into it. This handy little gadget provides the simplest method of protection. You plug it in, answer a few questions, and in a few minutes you’ll have all of your important documents in your hand. The downside is, it is a handy little gadget, which means it’s very easy to lose. You must now protect it with all of the fervor commensurate with the value of the data on it. That means lock it in a safe, or at least keep it as safe as you would your car keys or your wallet. In other words, know where it is and don’t misplace it. Lose this little gadget and your backup strategy is pointless.

That’s it for now. I could beat this up a bit more by telling you how hard it is to put a dollar value on photos and documents you’ve created and stored on your computer. But, I won’t. I’ll simply repeat the basics here. Start backing up your data as soon as you realize it is valuable to you. Use one of the three methods mentioned here. Get a USB drive, use disk imaging software, or subscribe to some online backup service. Just do do something before your computer is lost, or stolen, or simply dies from any number of unnatural causes.

Warning - Phishing Hole Open

Twitter version: When malware creators learn to spell, we'll have to become more vigilant. Don't click that lnk! Proofread for clues. BR

Yesterday, I saw an email from "" with the subject line: "Brian Rouley sale bil 1308838083" - telling me that my account would be "debited of $436.00 USD" - with other non-sensical details. Like the numbers did not add up, the columns were not aligned and a return address in the header of - which did not match the From: information in line one. Enough said?

You know (if you know me), it's never enough. Don't click the link, don't send a reply, don't even think about clicking any of the live hyperlinks in this message. There is no bill (or bil), your account will not be debited for any of the four different dollar amounts (also malformed - 416.00$                 1              414.00$ ) and there is no tracking method or profile for you to manage. It is all bogus and almost clever, given that most people will want to know where they've inadvertently spent over $400 on something they don't remember. You didn't, so don't go looking for trouble.

Lucky for us, the email has enough evidence to convince even the casual reader that it cannot be real. Without the spelling errors, there are still many incongruities (there's a $10 word I've never used before...) to clue in even the least vigilant reader t0 the idea that whoever sent this email must be a moron. Clicking the links or looking for a way to avoid the "debited of" penalty will be an expensive move at this point. Blacklist the sender, trash the email and move on with your day.

That's all for now. Later today, I'll post the full content of the email and provide a link to it, so you can see for yourself how bad it really is!

MouseHelp at

Nothing new, everything still keeps changing!

So, now that my business volume is nearly overwhelming, I'm going to have to try so much harder to keep up with advances in technology, while trying to keep so many old computers running for my clients. Old computer today is defined as anything not running Windows 7 - (by my reckoning). Malware writers are making progress too. There have been at least a dozen cases of infections I've had to clean up in the past several months. It is almost not worth it anymore, good computers can be had for around $500 these days. A nasty infection can set you back a couple of hundred dollars and you are still left with an old computer. Data backup is getting better, though, with more choices for taking disk images, so you can get that total restoration of data with programs and settings in place.

I am posting here now, because apparently, you must now have a blog, a facebook page to be found, and a twitter account to be followed; so I am guessing that HTML email newsletters are so "last decade" by now? To me it seems to be a simple choice of push versus pull. If I send you my newsletter via email, you don't have to find my blog, or go to facebook or twitter to see what I've been thinking.

Here is the text of my most recent, as yet, unsent, newsletter. When I figure out how to make my posts more entertaining, I'll add the images and graphics to make these things stickier. Thanks to Linda Jeffers for the last push I needed to get started here.

____ Newsletter Text Follows _______

Today we will discuss virus protection, contact management, newsletters and SendOutCards. You'll find useful links for all topics, either in the articles or in a list elsewhere on this page.
There have been some particularly nasty viruses going
around lately. Many hours of support time (and expense)
are due to what seems to be an increase in the number of
attacks on Windows workstations.
Contact management, although worth every effort you make
to perfect your lists, can be time consuming and
frustrating at times. We'll look at a few tools,
tips and tricks to help tame this burdensome beast.
Newsletters (like this one) and SendOutCards are
two completely different ideas about maintaining
contact with your clients and prospects. Staying
in touch with the people who keep you in business
and those who will become your new business has
never been more important than it is today.
This link to my website's "Resources" page will
take you to a long list of links to useful information
about all of the above and so much more.

Here are the steps to making sure you have a virus:
• Your computer reports some sort of "malware"
• You panic and click the "Please Save Me" link
• Now you have the virus for sure - AARGGHH!
• Did you just give them your credit card number?!?
• Yikes!
The nastiness of the new virus going around is that it reports
that you have a virus. Then, if you believe the hype, you
click on the link that offers to save you and you activate
the infection. Since they have led you to believe that they
are now going to help you solve the problem, you may be willing
to give up the one thing they really want - your credit card
information. By the time you determine that no matter what or
where you click and no matter how long you wait for their "virus
scan and repair" activity to complete, nothing good is happening,
it is already too late. You may want to call your bank or credit
card issuer first. Report the fraudulent activity that may be
coming soon. Then call me.
Free virus protection is available from Microsoft; however,
you may wish to consider a full Internet Security package.
The full package will allow you more flexibility in configuration
and you will definitely learn a bit more about firewalls, and how
many ways you need to protect yourself from the evil-doers out
there in the wilderness of cyberspace. One such full package
vendor - the one I've been using for over 5 years now - is AVG.
Check their website for pricing, then call me for discount pricing
and expert installation and configuration services.

Contact Management - Worth the Effort
How many ways are there to manage this data? I use at least three, Outlook, Cardscan, and online services. OK, that last one was plural, so I use more than three.
With Outlook, you almost can't help but start to learn the importance of managing your contacts. You quickly realize that the more data you put into each item, the more you will get out of your database. Then you discover that there are other places where your contact list might be useful - we'll discuss two of them here, later. After you've typed in the information from several dozen business cards - especially if you've done so many of them in a batch operation - you start to think, "There must be a better way to do this."
Enter CardScan - a handy, somewhat expensive gadget that will read the information from business cards, put the data into the correct fields for you, and build a handy little database on your local computer that you can synchronize with Outlook and your PDA or Smartphone, and it will create an online version of that exact same database; making your contacts available to you from any computer that has internet access! Long sentences are almost a trademark with me. But, in that last case, I wanted to make the point that this little marvel of technology does a whole lot of wonderful things for you.
That's all I am going to say here. Call me for a demo, and I'll show you CardScan and a few things about Outlook. Until you see CardScan in action, no amount of description here can possibly do justice to the wonder of technology that just works for you.