Absolutely YES!

You know your password, it is very unlikely that you will forget it. But what happens when you don’t notice cap locks is on or your fingers are on the wrong keys and you type it in wrong three times? You are locked out.

I have had people come in to the store I work at and ask if we can recover locked passwords for their PC. The answer is NO.


“But I know there is a back-door program that you can use to get in. My friend told me about it.” Techs do not have a back-door program and  will not use illegal hacking software to recover your password. They want to keep their jobs.

If you do not have a password recovery disk the tech will suggest wiping your computer back to factory specs. This will erase all your files, including your pictures, your resume and that best selling novel you have been working on for the last four years.

If you do decide that I am wrong and that it is acceptable to get your friend to download one of the many password cracking programs available on the web try to make sure it isn’t malware that is going to infect your machine. If someone asks you to pay a lot of money for the program or to make your data accessible after you use the cracker, you have been had. Turn off your machine and take it to a certified tech.







The best time to make that Password Reset Disk is when you first get your computer but you can do it any time.

Creating a Password Reset Disk:

  1. Plug a flash drive into one of the USB ports on your computer.
  2. In the Search box on Windows 10 type in Create Password Reset Disk.
  3. Click on the link to the Password Reset Disk in the Control Panel and follow the Wizard instructions.

I advise not going too cheap on the flash drive. It doesn’t have to be super expensive but you do want a drive that will last. Some really cheap flash drives degrade, the drive becomes unreadable and the data is lost.

Create Password Reset Disk Windows 10




A recovery disk is absolutely necessary. Windows computers no longer come with the Windows Operating System (OS) disks but you can create your own recovery disks. This is a backup of your Windows Operating System that can be used to restore your Windows in the case it gets corrupted or taken over by malware.

How to Create A Windows 10 Bootable USB Drive

Before you start you need a flash drive or external USB drive with at least  16 GB of storage space. Don’t go cheap when buying the flash drive (also known as a USB drive, pen drive, or thumb drive). You want to make sure that when you need it the program is still on the drive. Cheap drives can degrade over time and become unreadable.


Making a recovery disk is easy with Windows 10.

  1. Insert the flash drive in one of the USB ports on your computer.
  2. In the search box type “create a recovery drive”.
  3. Click on the link  “Create a recovery drive: Control Panel”. This will take you to the Create recovery process wizard.

DO NOT select  “Delete the recovery partition from your PC”.

If something happens to your Windows, you can use the recovery disk to boot your computer.

Microsoft Support Create A Recovery Drive








Backing up your computer is absolutely necessary.  If you can’t afford to lose a file, back it up. See my blog BACKING UP YOUR COMPUTER.


There are many hardware choices for backing up your files. I like External Hard Drives because of their large capacity. For partial backups, USB Flash Drives are convenient and portable.

Backing up to The Cloud has the advantage that it is offsite. It won’t be lost if disaster strikes your house or office.


External Hard Drives

  • These connect to a USB Port.
  • Can be used on Windows PCs and Macs.
  • Capacities from 500 GB to 4 TB (4,000 GB).
  • Good for backing up all your files.
  • Many have automatic backup software.

USB Flash Drives

  • Connect to the USB Port.
  • USB A Flash Drives can be used on Windows PCs and most Macs.
  • Micro USB Flash Drives can be used on Android Smart Phones and Tablets.
  • Lightning USB can be used on iPhones and iPads.
  • USB C can be used on MacBooks and 2017 MacBook Pros.
  • Be sure to get the one that fits yours device.
  • Capacities from 4 GB to 128 GB.
  • Good for saving your most important files.

The Cloud

  • This is a server bank of the corporation giving the service.
  • The Cloud is someone else’s computer.
  • Don’t put anything out there that you would not want your mother to see.


PC Magazine Best External Hard Drives of 2017

USB Flash Drives

What is the Cloud and Where Is It?




IT IS ALL GONE! This wasn’t suppose to happen to me!

Backing Up your data is very important. In Tech Support we have a saying, “It isn’t  IF your hard drive is going to fail, it is WHEN will it fail”.

I advise making more than one backup. If something happens to one backup, you will have the second.

The general rule is keep 3 backups: Grandfather, Father, Son.

  • Grandfather is the oldest backup.
  • This is the backup that you overwrite.
  • The Father backup then becomes the Grandfather.
  • Make sure all your backups are good before overwriting.
  • Overwriting a good backup with a corrupt file is not a good thing.

Storing Your Backups

  • Don’t keep you original and backups on the same computer.
  • If possible, keep one copy in another location, like your work.

What Should I Back Up?

Files that are important to you. Examples:

  • Photos
  • Documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • XML files

Backing Up Program Files

You cannot backup program files without special software. You need Image Software to back up your whole hard drive.

Keep your original install disks or download keys in a safe place. You will have to reinstall your programs.

Backup Your Computer Password

Make a Reset Password Disk for your Windows computer. Most people skip this when first setting up their computer. Microsoft does not keep track of passwords. There are very few legal ways to find lost passwords. If you forget your password, you have lost the contents of your computer.

How To Create Password Reset Disk Windows 10


How To Create Password Reset Disk Windows 7


What is Imaging Software

Best Imaging Software

PC Magazine Best Backup Software of 2017



flatbed scanners


This is a scanner that does not have a document feed. Photos or documents have to be put manually on the scanner glass.

Flatbed scanners are best for photo scanning.  Scanners with document feeders can damage old photos.

Basic hardware is the same for most scanners. Higher prices are usually based on the software included. Software like Digital ICE allows you to correct dust and scratches when scanning.

MAIN CONSIDERATION: Get a scanner that has enough resolution to do what you need.


There are three basic models of Flatbed Photo Scanners to choose from.

  1. Photo, Document, Film and Slide Scanners.
    • Pros:
      • Come with build in software.
      • Software corrects fine lines and dust.
      • Scans photos.
      • Converts negatives and film to printable format.
    • Cons:
      • You are paying for the software.
      • Better the software, higher the cost.
  1. Photo and Document Scanners.
    • Pros:
      • Lower cost.
    • Cons:
      • Cannot make corrections to before scanning.
      • Need additional software to do corrections.
      • Cannot scan negatives or slides.
  1. Printer Scanners
    • Pros:
      • No additional cost for scanner.
      • Only need one machine not two.
    • Cons:
      • Resolution may not be sufficient for photos.
      • Cannot make corrections before scanning.
      • Cannot scan negative or slides.

What Resolution Do I Need?


  • Can be scanned at 600 dpi (dots per inch).
  • Higher resolutions will give crisper images.
  • Higher resolutions take longer to scan.
  • Higher resolutions create large files.
  • You may run out of space on your hard drive.

Film negatives and slides:

  • Use 2400 – 4800 dpi.
  • Higher resolution required as negatives have more detail than photos.



PC World Preserve All Your Precious Images The Right Way


Lifewire Understanding Printer Resolution Print quality and Detail

PC Magazine Flatbed Scanner Definition



You have decided that the best printer for you is a Laser Printer. Now you have to decide Monochrome or Color.

  1. Monochrome Lasers

What is  a Monochrome Laser?

It uses only black toner. All color images will be printed in gray scale.


  • Only one toner cartridge to replace.
  • Black Toner is less expensive than color toners.
  • Usually smaller footprint than a color printer.


  • Sometimes you want some color in your printing.

2. Color Lasers

A Color Laser uses four toners: Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow.


  • Adds excitement to your documents
  • You have the choice to use color or black only.


  • Color Laser printers cost more than Monochrome Laser printer.
  • Color toner is more expensive than black.
  • Color printers tend to be large.

If you do not do a lot of color printing, don’t let the cost of the toners put you off.

I bought a color laser 8 years ago. My daughter told me I was crazy. The cost of the color toners would be more than the price of the printer. I still am working with the original color toners. Zero money spent on color toners.


PC Magazine Best Laser Printers of 2017

Techwalla Definition of a Monochrome Laser Printer





In my first blog on printers I recommended getting a Laser Printer rather than an Ink Jet. There are circumstances when you have to go with an Ink Jet. If you are printing brochures or pictures using glossy paper Ink Jet is your only choice. Your brochures need the vivid colors and absorption properties of ink over toner.


There are two types of high yield Ink Jet printers to choose from.

  1. Those using regular Ink Jet Cartridges.
  2. Ink Tank Ink Jet Printers.

High yield Ink Jet Printers are expensive: $200 – $500. Don’t let the initial price be the major consideration.  Like Lasers, the lower cost of inks makes the overall cost of these machines much lower than the printers that are less expensive up front.


The first type uses regular looking ink cartridges, like the Canon Maxify printers or many of the Epson WorkForce series.  The advantage to these printers is that the inks are easy and clean to change. You will get 1,000 – 4,000 per cartridge for a cost of $25 – $50.


There is a new player in town called the tank printer. You buy the inks in squeeze bottles. You just pour these  into the tanks on the side or front of the printer.  Examples are the Canon MegaTank  refillable printers and the Epson Expression EcoTank printers.According to the manufactures one bottle of ink will do 4,000 – 11,0000 prints for about $20 – $26.


The bad part is that if  you aren’t careful using the bottles when filling the tanks, it can be messy. The pro to the tank printers is that the inks are inexpensive and extremely high yield.

The caveat is that if you buy a high yield printer, you should be planning on doing a lot of printing. High yield cartridges and tanks dry up just like regular inks if they aren’t used.


PC Magazine Canon Pixma G4200 MegaTank Review

PC Magazine Epson Expression ET-2550 EcoTank AIO Printer


Types of Printers

There are two basic types of printers for home printing: Ink Jet and Laser printers.

My Recommendation

If you aren’t planning on printing photos I recommend a Laser printer. The overall year-to-year cost of toner is lower than inks for an Ink Jet printer. As well the print quality is higher for a Laser printer.

If you want to print your own photos, Ink Jet is your only choice. Be warned though printing photos on your Ink Jet printer is expensive. This includes the cost for both the inks and the photo paper. It is much cheaper to take your pictures to a photo developer.

Considerations Before Purchasing Your Printer

There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of printers.

  • Ink Jets are good for photos, Lasers are not.
  • You can find Ink Jet printer for under $50.
  • Laser printers cost at least $150.
  • One toner cartridges does 5-10 times more pages than the equivalent costing Ink Jet inks.
  • Ink Jet inks will dry up if you don’t print at least once a week.
  • Laser toners are dry powder and last for years unused.
  • In general Lasers take up more self space than Ink Jets, especially if you want a copier on your machine.

People frequently buy Ink Jet printers because of the low initial cost of the machine.

Remember you will be paying $100 for inks at least every 2 months whether you use your printer every day or just once a month. (For more information check out  Consumer Reports: The Cost of Ink).

With your Laser printer you will be spending $100 on toner once or twice per year.



Lifewire Printer Buying Guide

PC Magazine Best Laser Printers of 2017

123Cartridge How to Choose A Printer