Broken Computer

Broken Computer? Do These Things Before Taking It to the Shop

Try as we might, we can’t prevent all computer issues from occurring—for instance, there’s not much that we can do if a stick of RAM dies, at least, not remotely. However, if you’re stuck with a broken computer and need to bring it in for repair work, there are a few things we recommend you do.

Pick a Provider You Trust

The hard truth of the matter is that some places are just a better option than others when it comes to your hardware repair needs. There are, of course, differences in the quality of services rendered, but also in how these services are rendered. For instance, it is important that you take the provider’s privacy policies into consideration. Just consider how much data you’re handing over to your provider in the hopes that they’ll keep it secure.

Before you entrust your technology to just any repair service or maintenance provider, do a bit of research and ask a few questions. For instance, what kind of privacy policy do they have? What—in detail—do they do to ensure your data remains secure, and if your data happens to be leaked, what measures will be implemented to mitigate the damage? You need to be confident that your provider is going to provide their services responsibly.

Maintain a Data Backup (Just in Case)

Okay, just to be clear: there is generally a very, very small chance that a repair shop will cause data loss. Saying this, very, very small isn’t zero. This is just one more reason that a data backup is so crucial. Disasters can come in all shapes and sizes, and accidental or unavoidable data loss during maintenance would qualify as such. Abiding by a BDR (backup and disaster recovery) strategy can mitigate the negative effects of these circumstances.

If Possible, Remove or Protect Your Personal Data

Without questioning the overall trustworthiness of any business or organization you choose to work with, there’s once again a non-zero chance that there’s a less-than-scrupulous employee there who might be tempted to take advantage of the data on the device being repaired. If you can, it is always better to remove this data before handing the device over, although storing the data in an encrypted state is also advisable. That way, even if your data is accessed, it won’t do the person responsible any good.

Retain Your Software Keys

Software is critically important for your productivity, so you’ll want to also have the ability to—just in case the repair process removes it—reinstall the software you rely on. To do so, you’ll need to have the software keys to activate it. Keeping these keys will therefore be a form of insurance for everything, from your productivity software down to the operating system itself.

Just in This Case, Make Your Device Easily Accessible

This is the one exception to our typical rule, as you don’t want the support professional to have any more difficulty than they already will have in dealing with the issue. To do this, they’ll need access. Removing the password requirement to log in will help.

On a related note, you might consider writing up a brief description of what the user is experiencing and providing it along with the device. If your device is in a condition that allows it, you can have a file containing this information display upon startup by saving a copy ro the Startup folder (found here: %appdata%\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs\startup\)

Things Break, So It Pays Off to Be Prepared to Fix Them

With what amounts to a guarantee that things are going to break at some point, it only makes sense to be fully prepared to deal with this outcome. The above list is a great starting point. Working with an MSP can make all of this (and more) far easier to manage.

An MSP (or managed service provider) like us can not only assist you in obtaining hardware maintenance services, we can remotely monitor it to detect software and hardware issues and resolve any issues we can preemptively. Working with us could be the difference between an extended downtime incident and a slight hiccup.

Interested in learning more about the benefits to be had from a managed service agreement? Give us a call at 651-234-0895 today!

remotely monitoring

Looking In at the Benefits of Remotely Monitoring Your Business’ Technology

For small businesses with limited budgets and workforces, getting the type of maintenance needed to keep complicated pieces of machinery and technology in tip-top shape seems like a tall order. Sometimes it might be a budgetary issue, where it costs too much to hire in-house staff to handle this burden. Other times it might seem like you just can’t find any talent in your location. Thanks to modern technology—remote monitoring and management technology, in particular—you are no longer stuck by these limitations

We would be poor technology consultants if we told you that not having the resources to properly care for your technology is a good excuse. Thanks to remote technology, this type of maintenance is easier and more accessible than it has ever been before. Here’s what you can expect when you work with Point North Networks for remote monitoring and maintenance services.

Improved Accessibility

If nothing else, RMM tools promote accessibility for small businesses by breaking down the barriers of entry that have traditionally stopped them from leveraging this type of technology. By this, we mean things like price and talent pool. For price, RMM services fall into the operational costs category, meaning that they are the equivalent of a monthly payment compared to adding additional salaries to your expenses. As for the talent pool, since the majority of services can be administered remotely, physical location is not as much of an issue unless you need on-site maintenance.

Proactive Maintenance and Monitoring

It’s not easy to run a business while also keeping an eye on all of the little things that could go wrong at any moment, be it hardware hiccups or security discrepancies. When you implement RMM services, you have your outsourced provider keeping a close watch on your network for all of those small things that might fly under the radar normally. When your network is monitored in this way, we can catch small issues before they spiral out of control.

Prompt Resolutions

Sometimes issues need to be resolved quickly, and in these situations, you cannot wait for a technician to travel to your office. Remote desktop solutions allow technicians to remote right into the system itself, see the issue first-hand, and resolve the issue quickly and efficiently without the need for an on-site visit.

Implement a RMM Tool Today!

Ultimately, RMM services are incredibly beneficial for all businesses, big or small. They save time, money, and resources that you can then spend elsewhere for your business, such as growing your customer base or innovating with new ideas or services. Point North Networks, Inc., can provide your organization with remote monitoring and maintenance services; all you have to do is reach out to us at 651-234-0895.