Operating Systems

We cover a large range of operating systems ranging from Windows XP to Windows 7. We also cover Microsoft’s Server range from Windows Server 2000 to Server 2008 and its various derivatives. Here you can find information on Windows XP and later Windows versions, but if you would like to know more about Microsoft’s Server range please feel free to contact us.

Windows 7

At the end of 2009, Windows 7 was released. So what to make of it?

Windows 7 is Microsoft’s replacement for Windows Vista and Windows XP, and comes in the following flavours:

Starter
Home Premium
Professional
Ultimate

So is Windows 7 better than XP or Vista?

In our opinion, the answer is a qualified Yes.

If you have Windows XP, and your machine is less than 4 years old, and you have a decent amount of RAM memory (or can upgrade), then it might well be worth upgrading. If it’s older though, or the memory is small and can’t be increased, or if it’s a slow processor, then it’s probably not worth it – you’d be better buying a new machine.

If you have Windows Vista, then unless it’s a very slow machine (for example netbook or low power laptop), then it is almost certainly worth it.

It doesn’t necessary do more than Vista, but it does most things faster on the same hardware, and in a better, more user-friendly way.

Certainly, for all our clients who are purchasing new PCs, we are recommending Windows 7 (remember to get Windows 7 Professional if you are connecting to a Windows Server network).

For business users who prefer to stick with Windows XP, there are still ways to purchase new PCs with XP loaded. For more information, or to find out how to (or whether you should) purchase Windows 7, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Windows 10

We wrote a blog post reviewing Windows 10 a few weeks after it was released, our post covered a few important aspects of the operating system such as:

  • User Experience
  • OS Security
  • General Functionality

We also gave you an insight on disabling Microsoft’s way of improving the accuracy of future products and updates to Windows 10, which was essentially a keylogger. However, there’s a few things about Windows 10 that probably has our less tech savvy customers scratching their heads in confusion.

Start Menu not opening

Some users who have upgraded to Windows 10 have reported the start menu not opening at all, this can be fixed. If you give us a call we can help you out, but if you’re ‘technically gifted’ then take a look at this post and follow the instructions.

Windows Store & Music Player crash

These apps may crash, don’t worry. This isn’t just happening to you, in fact, this is quite common with Windows 10 machines currently. Windows Store has only been reported to crash when you are downloading something, so if it’s crashing when you’re not downloading something and lots of other apps are crashing you may want to downgrade your operating system. We can do that for you, get in touch with us today!

INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error

This is a bigger and more complex issue that some users are experiencing with Windows 10, generic troubleshooting can solve this issue but it’s all trial and error unless you have recently installed new hardware, in which case try taking it out and trying to boot your PC up again. If you’re unsure of how to resolve the issue, we can always help you out. Call in or drop your machine off in store and we’ll take a look at it.

Office documents do not open

Users have reported that their office documents are not opening when using Windows 10, this can be fixed via the command prompt. However the command used to fix the problem is very intricate, and only applies to the following errors:

  • Word experienced an error trying to open the file

  • This Excel file is corrupt and cannot be opened

  • The application was unable to start correctly, PowerPoint found a problem with the file or PowerPoint can’t read this.

Start > CMD

Enter the following command

icacls “%programfiles%\Microsoft Office 15″ /grant *S-1-15-2-1:(OI)(CI)RX

office documents do not open windows 10

You should then see a success message, and your Office documents should open once more.

The Blue Screen of Death

Like every Windows OS, there is always the possibility of a sudden BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) sometimes the error will cause your computer to force a reboot and remain stuck in a reboot loop. If you encounter a BSOD, don’t panic. Our team of IT professionals will be able to fix it for you, call in for a quote!

Any other questions/problems?

Any other questions or issues relating to Windows 10, we’d be more than happy to help you. Get in touch with us and we’ll get to the bottom of your issue and resolve it for you.

Windows Vista

In January 2007, Microsoft released Windows Vista.

The latest version of Windows is Windows 7 which has superseded Windows Vista. It is possible to upgrade from Vista to Windows 7, but not necessarily always recommended unless you have a good reason.

Most new PCs are offered with either Vista or Windows 7; we recommend opting for Windows 7. For business users who prefer to stick with Windows XP, there are still ways to purchase new PCs with XP loaded – for more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Windows XP

Windows XP is still used in 2016

Windows XP has been superseded by Windows 7 for new machines, but there are still many machines out there running XP.

We recommend most Windows XP users download and install Service Pack 3. This should be done automatically if you have a broadband connection, and Automatic Updates is turned on (do this from Start / Control Panel / Automatic Updates).

In some situations, installing Service Pack 3 and/or Internet Explorer 8 can cause problems (ie Internet Explorer stops working). You can usually use System Restore to get back from this situation – it’s worth checking that this is switched on before starting a large update or program/application install.

If you prefer a bit more control over what is updated on your computer, then leave Automatic Updates turned on but select the option to “Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them”. This way, you can click on the yellow shield that will appear in your system tray in the bottom right of the screen (or go to windowsupdate.com), and instead of selecting Express Install, choose Custom Install, and see what’s being put on your computer.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Macintosh

Apple’s range of Mac computers covers laptop, desktops and servers, all of which run the current Macintosh operating system, Mac OS X. The iPhone and iPad use a separate operating system called iOS.

OS X is based on UNIX, and has been the Mac’s primary operating system since about 2001 (the server version was launched in 1999). Prior to OS X (“OS ten”), there was a different OS now called the “Classic Mac OS”, which started life in 1984, and ended up with version 9 (“Mac OS 9″ or “Mac OS Classic”) around 2000.

Although the majority of Tabard IT clients use Windows-based PCs, Rufus Chapman has been keen Mac user for 25 years since using the Mac Plus, and provides support for Tabard’s Mac users.

Small Business Server

What is a server?

In the context of computer networks (ie ones that are linked), ‘Server’ is a generic term meaning any PC which offers up information or services – for example; files, email, databases, anti-virus protection etc.
In large networks, servers usually do only one specific job, but in smaller networks, servers often have several functions combined onto one piece of hardware, a trade-off between cost and availability. Small Business Server Standard is an example of this type of approach.

Why use one?

Some businesses start with one or more PCs, linked together to share a broadband link. As the business grows, it becomes a requirement to share files between users – for example for accounting packages such as Sage or Quickbooks, or for a filing system containing documents used by more than one person/PC. One of the users’ PCs may be designated as the ‘server’, storing these shared files. The other workstations access these shared files.
As the requirement to share information grows, and the number of people and PCs grow, it gets harder to manage this sharing of files and keep the PCs organised and backed up; the next step is often to upgrade the network to incorporate a dedicated server, using a specialised operating system.

Advantages

A file server can store and share business files, allowing only those permitted to see the files), also making backing up much easier.
An email server allows users access to email, calendar and contact information, sharing this access across the business (remotely if required), keeping mobile devices in sync. It is also more easily backed up than using individual workstations.
Security is inbuilt into a proper server – the workstations, users and access permissions are controlled by the business through the server. Most shared standard PCs do not have this ability.
An antivirus server can control all the attached workstations, ensure regular scans and updates are performed, and report on workstations with problems.
Remote access to resources, if required, is simpler to set up than with separate PCs. Individual workstations become commodities – they can be moved around, used by different users, replaced and upgraded much more easily than if they were also being used to store information.

Disadvantages

A server in effect puts all your eggs in one basket, something which traditionally most businesses don’t want to do. Proper backups and redundant equipment where necessary can be put in place to get around this. Again, it is a trade-off between cost and availability.
The increased cost is usually an issue for most businesses, and the initial outlay for a typical new server installation would probably start around £3000, but should be looked at in the context of a 5-7 year lifespan, along with the increased flexibility a server affords. The complexity of the network increases in terms of regular administrative requirements: backup, security, updates, maintenance. But this can be controlled by taking out a maintenance agreement – something that Tabard IT is happy to provide.
Next Step

Some of the first things a business should be looking at when considering expanding the computer network are:

How many users in total are likely to need access to the network?
Are they based in the same location, or are there multiple sites?
Is remote access to email, calendar and contacts information important to your business? Do you have mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, Blackberry etc) that need to be connected?
What is your IT budget for the next few years going to be?

Contact Tabard IT

We can help with all of the above questions, and identify the costs involved. We will help you specify your requirements, price them up and procure, set up and implement the whole thing, and go through the new setup with your users.
We can maintain your system, ensure it is backed up, up-to-date and secure. And as you grow, we can grow your system with you. If you are interested in any of these points, please call us; we will organise to visit your site(s), discuss your requirements and provide a no-obligation proposal with recommendations.

Website Design & SEO by netsixtysix.co.uk | Sitemap