Current List of Services Provided by the Northwoods Computer Guy.

Backup, Networking, New Computer Setup, New Computer Shopping, Tune-Ups, Virus Removal, Data Recovery, Email Help, Hard Drive Erasing, Hard Drive Data Mining, Hardware Installation, Printer Help, Technology Consult, On-Site Repair, Business Services, Video Game System Repair, Education, NonProfit Services, Remote Assistance, Remote Access Setup, Remote Access Networking, Internet / WIFI / Router Troubleshooting, Custom Ethernet Network Cabling, Hardware Troubleshooting, Tech Support, Personal Tech Shopping, Upgrade Recommendations, Laptop Screen Repair, Data Entry, Free Estimates….. I’m sure there is more I can do!  Just ask! 😉



Superheroes need it, police rely on it and everyone that uses a computer should use some form of it. In the world of mainframes and microchips it’s called data backup or data recovery and it can mean the difference between a slight computer setback and living through your own electronic apocalypse.

Let’s face it; our computers are a bigger part of life than ever before. We shop, work and play using computers. They’ve replaced stereos, encyclopedias, even the mailman. They’ve become journals, photo albums and canvases for our art.

But computers aren’t perfect. Files become corrupt, motherboards malfunction, CPUs call it quits taking our precious data with them.

The best defense is data backup software. Backing up data is vital for businesses; lost information can cause a major crisis or worse, lead to business failure. Individuals who don’t backup computer data run the same risk. While this may not cause financial ruin, it can certainly be frustrating and even heartbreaking. So why do so few of us practice data backup?
Here are the common excuses:

“I’m too busy to backup my computer.” We are busy, work, family and friends fill our days and leave us little time for boring things like computer maintenance.

“I don’t know how to backup data.” Like preparing for a natural disaster, most of us understand how important data backup is, but don’t know where to start.

“My computer won’t crash.” You’ve had your computer this long and haven’t had problems so far why worry about computer backup now? Think about it you wear your seat belt even though you don’t expect your car to crash everyday. Data backup is about protecting your data’s future, but with computers, it isn’t if you crash, it’s when you crash.

In today’s high-tech world of sneaky spyware and venomous viruses, you are in more danger of data loss than ever before.

Like tires on your car, the electronic circuits your computer rides on will eventually wear down and blow out. When this happens, you can either grieve at your loss or simply restore your data with data backup software.

Northwoods Computer Guy offers different options for all your back up needs, Contact us for more information.

Source: Beauprez, Jennifer, The Denver Post: Experts fear ‘digital Pearl Harbor’.


A computer’s Basic Input-Output System (BIOS) (pronounced “bye-ose”) is embedded software on a motherboard that will control attached hardware. It provides an operating system with information about hardware, and is designed to support a specific range of components. Problems with your BIOS can effect performance on your computer so if someone may have helped you update the BIOS a while ago, or maybe the BIOS has never been updated since you purchased your PC years ago. The answer to your problem might be an updated version. But first you must determine if you need to verify version numbers and whether an update is necessary. Not all BIOS updates are necessary, but for the hardware enthusiast, obtaining the latest BIOS may equate to better performance. BIOS updates may be released to fix existing bugs, add support for new hardware and standards or add functionality. The BIOS itself is typically an EEPROM, or Electronically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, that is programmed with “firmware” and has the ability to save small amounts of information specific to user configurations. BIOS components are often soldered to the motherboard and therefore not serviceable by the user. Still some of these can be inserted into a socket, allowing its replacement. All BIOS components are serviceable via a firmware upgrade that is known as “flashing” this process is called “updating the BIOS”. The process itself is fragile since any power fluctuation during a flash may irrevocably corrupt a BIOS’ firmware.

Computer Networking

Computer networks for the home and small business can be built using either wired or wireless technology. Wired Ethernet has been the traditional choice in homes, but Wi-Fi wireless technologies are gaining ground fast. Both wired and wireless can claim advantages over the other; both represent viable options for home and other local area networks (LANs).
If your business has more than one computer, chances are you could benefit from networking them. A local area network (LAN) connects your company’s computers, allowing them to share and exchange a variety of information. While one computer can be useful on its own, several networked computers can
be much more useful.

Here are some of the ways a computer network can help your business:

  • File sharing: Have you ever needed to access a file stored on another computer? A network makes it easy for everyone to access the same file and prevents people from accidentally creating different versions.
  • Printer sharing: If you use a computer, chances are you also use a printer. With a network, several computers can share the same printer. Although you might need a more expensive printer to handle the added workload, it’s still cheaper to use a network printer than to connect a separate printer to every computer in your office.
  • Communication and collaboration: It’s hard for people to work together if no one knows what anyone else is doing. A network allows employees to share files, view other people’s work, and exchange ideas more efficiently. In a larger office, you can use e-mail and instant messaging tools to communicate quickly and to store messages for future reference.
  • Organization: A variety of scheduling software is available that makes it possible to arrange meetings without constantly checking everyone’s schedules. This software usually includes other helpful features, such as shared address books and to-do lists.
  • Remote access: Having your own network allows greater mobility while maintaining the same level of productivity. With remote access in place, users are able to access the same files, data, and messages even when they’re not in the office. This access can even be given to mobile handheld devices.
  • Data protection: You should know by now that it’s vital to back up your computer data regularly. A network makes it easier to back up all of your company’s data on an offsite server, a set of tapes, CDs, or other backup systems.

Of course, this isn’t a complete list; once you have a network, you’ll probably find many other uses for it. And once you get used to the benefits of a network, you’ll never look at your computer the same way again.

Computer Setup

Back when the first personal computers first hit the market, those powerful machines were for the most part prohibitively expensive, making computer technology for the home inaccessible to all but the wealthiest of individuals. In a relatively short period of time, however, this situation has changed dramatically, and the falling prices of computer technology, coupled with vast increases in computing power, have combined to make personal computers affordable for virtually every family.

Even if the price of computers and computer technology has come down, however, these machines still represent a significant investment, in terms of both time and money, and it is therefore important for new computer owners to get off to the right start with their new PCs. How that new computer is set up in the beginning can have a profound impact on its usefulness down the road.

The Northwoods Computer Guy can pay you a visit and help you setup your new Desktop or Laptop computer and devices to help make this process quick, easy, and painless.

Computer Tuneup

Do you need a computer tuneup?
You take your car in for an oil change every 3000 miles, have its tires rotated and get the engine tuned up from time to time.
Yet while we all make sure to maintain our vehicles, most of us don’t bother to perform similar tasks on our personal computers,
even though we may spend more time in front of our PCs than we do in our cars.

Let’s face it; more and more our lives are dominated by computers. Studies show that more and more people spend time on a computer than time spent doing anything else apart from sleeping.

If you think about it, it is completely true. Think of all of the hours spent at work at a computer. Think of all of the time you spend at home in the evenings and weekend on a computer, checking your e-mail, watching online videos or chatting with friends.

What is a computer tuneup?

Well, it is a pretty broad term for any number of things that will help insure that your computer is performing at the ability that it should be performing at. The Northwoods Computer Guy can get your computer up and running quick again in only a few hours!

Just as you cannot put a price on your own health, don’t put too low a price on your computer’s health. A computer tune up can really keep your computer working – and your life in order.

Computer Virus Removal

Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with computer operation.

A virus might corrupt or delete data on your computer, use your e-mail program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk.

Computer viruses are often spread by attachments in e-mail messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is essential that you never open e-mail attachments unless you know who it’s from and you are expecting it.

Viruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files.

Computer viruses also spread through downloads on the Internet. They can be hidden in illicit software or other files or programs you might download.

So you think you might have a Computer Virus? First of all, do NOT panic!!

This is very important. Having a virus basically means that there is a program on your computer that doesn’t belong there. It’s this simple, so really there is no need to panic. In fact, a panicking user can be much more dangerous than any virus! Users often cause more damage while attempting to exterminate a virus than the virus itself could ever have caused.

Bring your computer into the office at Northwoods Computer Guy and have our professionals get that virus off your computer and clean up any left covers it may have hidden behind it.

Has your computer also been slowed down or crippled by Spyware, Malware, or Adware. The professionals at Northwoods Computer Guy can rid your PC of all these problems and you will be amazed at how fast your PC can be again!

Data Recovery

Data recovery is the process of salvaging data from damaged, failed, corrupted, or inaccessible secondary storage media when it cannot be accessed normally.

Often the data is being salvaged from storage media such as hard disk drives, storage tapes, CDs, DVDs, RAID, and other electronics.

Recovery may be required due to physical damage to the storage device or logical damage to the file system that prevents it from being mounted by the host operating system.

The most common “data recovery” issue involves an operating system (OS) failure (typically on a single-disk, single-partition, single-OS system), where the goal is to simply copy all wanted files to another disk.

The second type involves a disk-level failure such as a compromised file system, disk partition, or a hard disk failure —in each of which the data cannot be easily read.

Depending on the case, solutions involve repairing the file system, partition table or MBR, or hard disk recovery techniques ranging from software-based recovery of corrupted data.

A third type involves the process of retrieving files that have been “deleted” from a storage media,
since the files are usually not erased in any way but are merely deleted from the directory listings.

The initial diagnostic fee at the store for hard drives is $49.99

  • Data recovery for hard drives starts at $199.99 but depends on the difficulty or severity of issues found.

The initial diagnostic fee at the store for flash media is $24.99

  • Data recovery for flash media less than 32 GB starts at $99.99 (including diagnostic fee) and $149.99 for over 32 GB.

Because we want to be thorough in our recovery, timing may vary, but we will be in contact with you throughout the process to ensure you are well informed. You can generally recover data on PCs, external hard drives, disks, CDs, or flash media (memory card or USB flash drive) cards.
*There are various instances in which data can be lost or damaged such as accidents, natural disasters, power surges, malfunctioning devices, or viruses. It’s important to remember that laptop hard drives are especially vulnerable if users are always on the move.

Email Help

Email, e-mail or electronic mail is the transmission of messages (emails or email messages) over electronic networks like the internet.

I guess this dry definition is not what you’ve been looking for. And indeed, it doesn’t say or mean much, not to me either. This “transmission of messages” could be anything. But don’t let that intimidate or confuse you. Email is as simple and straight forward as letter writing, and don’t let setting up your email intimidate or confuse you!

With a quick visit from your Northwoods Computer Guy you can have your email setup and be ready to Send and Receive messages from your friends and family!

Hard Drive Reformat

It’s no secret that after years of use your computer doesn’t run like it used to.
Research shows that Windows slows down over time as new software, hardware, and configuration settings are added.
In addition, spyware and viruses can multiply and destroy your system in minutes. After days or weeks of computer problems, it’s time to reformat your hard drive and start with a clean slate.

Many computer experts recommend a hard drive reformat at least once a year. Reformat the hard drive to clean out the Windows registry and remove any problem-causing files, and a Reformat the hard drive to return your computer to its original configuration, and reinstalling Windows and other applications after a reformat of hard drive may repair previously unfixable problems.

Format my drive before I toss it out?

Many people think that when you format your computer you destroy the data. If fact, you do not. All you do is remove the directory structure. The data still exists. A recent study of 129 old hard drives (many of them formatted) revealed more than 5,000 credit card numbers, medical correspondences, personal pictures & movies, bank account information, and other types of confidential data.
So what do you?

Well before you give your old computer to a family member or friend, or toss that old PC or old hard drive in the garbage, have your drive cleared by the Northwoods Computer Guy.

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There are a lot of different options when it comes to upgrading your computer!

With Expansion Cards, you can get better video quality, faster networking speeds and even more USB ports.

If your computer is running slow, freezing or crashing, it could mean that you need a memory upgrade.

Did you just get a new Digital Camera and the pictures you are taking are really starting to fill your hard drive up? You might just be a prime candidate for a new hard drive.

You have mastered the art of burning your own CD’s and now you are ready to try out DVD’s… That has optical drive upgrade written all over it.

Whatever the reason, whatever the want, If you want your Hardware installed and configured the right way everytime, visit the Northwoods Computer Guy.
Questions about what you need? Your Northwoods Computer Guy can even find the perfect part for your computer, order and install it for you! Keeping your computer up to date has never been so easy!

Printer Help

In computing, a printer is a peripheral which produces a hard copy (permanent readable text and/or graphics) of documents stored in electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper or transparencies.

Many printers are primarily used as local peripherals, and are attached by a printer cable or, in most newer printers, a USB cable to a computer which serves as a document source.

Some printers, commonly known as network printers, have built-in network interfaces (typically wireless and/or Ethernet), and can serve as a hardcopy device for any user on the network. Individual printers are often designed to support both local and network connected users at the same time.

In addition, a few modern printers can directly interface to electronic media such as memory sticks or memory cards, or to image capture devices such as digital cameras, scanners; some printers are combined with a scanners and/or fax machines in a single unit, and can function as photocopiers. Printers that include non-printing features are sometimes called Multifunction printers (MFP), Multi-Function Devices (MFD), or All-In-One (AIO) printers. Most MFPs include printing, scanning, and copying among their features.

Printers have so many more features than they used to and the Northwoods Computer Guy can help you set up your new printer so you can get the most out of your new or existing printer!

Technology Consultation

Technology is constantly changing, and keeping pace with its rapid advances can be difficult. Your Northwoods Computer Guy can serve as your mentor
to get you from where you are to where you need to be.

For your business the Northwoods Computer Guy will help you receive maximum benefit from your technology investments. Once your company has achieved full use of your new information systems and processes, your staff will be more productive and your company will provide a higher quality of customer service.

For your home the Northwoods Computer Guy will help you organize your technology and help you find the devices and software to help make your computer more productive for you!