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MacBook Pro boots up showing a folder with a flashing question mark

This dreaded flashing question mark inside a folder means that the startup disk is no longer able to find a Mac operating system to boot from. There are a few things you can try to do to fix this yourself.

Reboot MacBook pro and then hold the Command (⌘) and R keys on your keyboard to startup from the macOS Recovery. I did this and was able to go through disk diagnostics telling me that there were some disk errors. I proceeded to fix what I could but found that on subsequent reboots to macOS Recovery showed different partition errors. Sometimes the disk utility completed successfully but other times it would stop repairing even if left overnight.





If you did have a failing disk drive, the marked errors would be consistent and multiple passes will bypass these marked errors. I had erratic results however which led me to believe it may or may not be a bad disk. The next investigation should be to look at the disk drive connections to the SATA controller.

Open the MacBook pro and take a l…
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Troubleshooting Microphone Problems using Fortnite on PS4

My son has been playing the popular game called Fortnite www.epicgames.com/fortnite/ on PlayStation 4 for many months now. There is social component to the game where a team of players collaborate by using their headset and microphone in their party/group chats. One day, the microphone on my son’s headset stopped working in Fortnite.  The troubleshooting that father-son had to go through to fix the issue is worth blogging about because I couldn’t stand seeing him get declined from Battle Royale party invites and just playing the game solo which isn’t as fun. For a few days, he would FaceTime his friends on our iPad so that they can talk on the side while playing Fortnite on PS4. You probably won’t want to go through that scene as well so I thought it’s time to put in some of the troubleshooting skills that we are so good at and put that to good use so that others can benefit from our experience. Here are 4 phases you will likely go through to try and fix this.

1) The first thing that…

3 Apps to Monitor and Control Your Kid's Mobile Usage

If you are like most parents with young kids, you will most likely have run into issues prying mobile devices and tablets away from your kids’ hands. In my house, my kids are only allowed to use these devices on weekends and only for a maximum of 2 hours. This is easier said than done however and they end up sacrificing quality time on their other activities so that they can get back to whatever it is they do on these devices. I heard at the school of a mobile app that they used widely to curb these addictions with kids and technology and thought about trying it out. The app was OurPact. I have other devices to manage however so I had to hunt around for others. The apps listed below allows for a trial period which then converts to a freeware license with a limit of 1 device that can be managed indefinitely. Here are the top 3 that I am using for both my iOS and Android devices:

• OurPact
• Kidslox
• Qustodio

 The setup was fairly similar among these apps, with a parent and child compo…

Moving to a Different Hosting Provider

For close to a decade, our web hosting provider was with 110mb.com and byethost.com. This provider offered free hosting using MySQL and WordPress which was more than enough for our blog. However, a security flaw in one of the WordPress updates caused our site to be blacklisted on the internet and which resulted in getting our subscription revoked. We were provided a backup of the MySQL database and all the WordPress web server files, and then called it quits.

Using blogger.com seemed to be a good fit but we couldn’t restore the blog contents easily. Hunting around the internet, we found 000webhost.com which offered the same services as byethost.com. Tried it out a few months ago and have now just recently restored all the blog contents from a few years ago. We are now under way to getting all the pages back the way they were so stay tuned and thanks for checking back in with us.

Merry Christmas.

Cleaning Code-Injection Malware on Thanksgiving Weekend

I just finished removing a code-injected malware that blacklisted a website with security providers like Google and Symantec, and it had to be on this Thanksgiving Long Weekend. Nothing makes me more sick that having to deal with this type of cleanup but it has to be done. Our whole household is already sick with cough and flu so this adds to the fun.

I noticed the infection by constant emails from my service provider that my quota was getting exceeded. I know the site is popular but couldn’t be that popular. When I tried to get to the site using Google Chrome browser, I received a ominous red splash screen letting me know that there is malware on the site and that I should only continue if I understood the risks. Fortunately, I had the site registered with Google Webmaster Tools and was able to get a sample of the suspicious code injection. I also ran http://killmalware.com/, http://www.siteadvisor.com/sites/aminsolutions.com, and http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/ against the website to a…

What To Do When Web Reputation Filters Block Your Websites

I was surprised to see the pop-up message below when querying some of my websites at Best buy. The Web Reputation Filters used there says that my websites hosted on 10.179.104.111 are controlled by group or individual known to be malicious. I was blocked from opening my website. This isn’t good and I thought about doing the following to mitigate this serious outage.

1) Contact my web hosting provider to explain that their Web servers are on a bad block of IP addresses and let them sort it out with Web Reputation Filters.
2) Ask my web provider to move me to more reputed web servers on different IP blocks.
3) Contact Best buy support and ask them to unblock the IP or domain used by my provider, or have them fix the WBRS rating assigned to my provider ‘s domain.
4) Make immediate WordPress backups of my websites and start shopping around for different and reputable web hosting providers.

I haven’t decided yet but am leaning towards option 4. Your thoughts?

IT Support, Do You Need It?

This is a guest post written by Muhammad Azam and he is known for his expertise in technology and IT support and solutions. If you are searching for reliable Manchester IT services or IT solutions for your business then read his blogs. 
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Businesses always need better ways to reduce their operational costs, without compromising the effectiveness or quality of work that is being done. Businesses today are driven by profit and every decision that is made is for increasing the profits and to make better use of company’s resources. In this era, new and unique ways are being developed to help businesses overcome hurdles and reduce the running cost of the businesses. Outsourcing of operations is one of the most unique and most reliable ways to do so because with the help of this method, a business can easily reduce its work force and the cost associated with employing such a work force. Whether it is the finance department or the IT department, services are being outsourced to companies al…