You can use Snipping Tool in Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10 to take a screen shot, or snip, of any object on your screen, and then annotate, save, or share the image.
You can capture any of the following types: Free-form Snip. Draw a free-form shape around an object. Rectangular Snip. Drag the cursor around an object to form a rectangle. Window Snip. Select a window, such as a browser window or dialog box, that you want to capture. Full-screen Snip. Capture the entire screen.
After you capture a snip, it’s automatically copied to the Clipboard and the mark-up window. From the mark-up window, you can annotate, save, or share the snip. The following procedures explain how to use Snipping Tool.
Make sure your hands are CLEAN and DRY. Remove any metal rings, watches or bracelets you may be wearing. Touch the metal casing to eliminate any static charge, then unplug the computer from the electrical outlet. You can also use an antistatic wrist strap if you prefer.
Open the Case
Check the user’s manual, if necessary, to determine how to open your particular PC case. Most cases have a latch or sometimes they are held in by 2 screws. Once inside, let’s identify the Hard Drive we want to remove before donating the computer. Here are a couple photos to help you identify your hard drive.
Disconnect the Hard Drive
Next, let’s disconnect the hard drive. Unplug the hard drive from the Wide and flat IDE ribbon cable (or thin and compact SATA cable) and power cables. Grab the plastic IDE/SATA cable connector with your thumb and forefinger, and gently pull until the connector breaks free from the drive. The power cable can be difficult to remove if the connector is fitted tightly. Pull straight out to make sure you don’t bend any of the pins when disconnecting the cables.
Here’s a photo of the connector cable you will have to remove from the hard drive…
Remove the Hard Drive
The Final Step is to remove the hard drive. If the hard drive is fitted in a metal cage, locate and remove the screws that are holding the cage in place. Hold your hand under the cage to catch it if necessary. Once the cage is free, remove the small screws on either side of the hard drive to remove it from the cage. If the hard drive is connected directly to the computer case, simply remove the screws on each side of the hard drive and slide it out of the case. If you see a plastic light blue caddy on each side of the drive (as commonly found in Dell PC’s) squeeze both ends of the blue rails towards each other, and then at the same time, pull away from the the case and the drive should slide out. If it is an HP PC, then it may have a green plastic tab that must be lifted to let the drive slide out from the drive cage. HP’s Hard Drives usually only have one tab to lift for the drive to become free to slide out.
We suggest smashing the hard drive you removed with a hammer until the internal parts are broken. This takes a LOT of force to do. This will ensure no one else can copy your data off of the disks inside.
If the old computer is still usable, consider donating it to a non-profit for them to repurpose it for someone that needs it.
If the computer isn’t usable then take it to your local recycling center.
If you know how to maintain your server, with just a little time, you can get the most performance for your investment and significantly extend it’s life. Servers can be maintained easily to reduce server outages.
How Servers Work
A server is a standalone computer that provides data and other services to one or several other computers on a given network. The main benefit to a server is that it allows centralized management and monitoring of network access and network data, and servers can have power, hard drive and processor redundancies that are typically not available in a PC.
Common Types of Servers
A central storage for files, which can be accessed by client computers
A server that responds to security authentication requests (logging in, checking permissions, etc.) within the network. A domain is a concept where a user may be granted access to a number of files, folders, network locations with the use of a single username and password combination and can prevent certain users from accessing other private files.
Remote Desktop (Terminal) Server
A Remote Desktop Server (or Terminal Server) provides secure remote access to office and line of business applications to employees or contractors from one centralized server, instead of having each client computer running software. This makes deploying software and adding more employees very scalable and cost-effective.
Stores and shares websites over the Internet; many individuals and small companies rent web server space from other companies, but for large companies that experience a lot of traffic, a dedicated web server makes sense.
10 Tips to Maintain your Server
Some people may be intimidated at the thought of maintaining a server. In reality, maintaining a server is much like maintaining a PC. For those who want to automate this function, be alerted to issues, and get regular reports, you can outsource it to a trusted Managed IT company. Read What are Managed IT Services? to find out more or here’s the list to do it yourself.
1. Verify backups are working.
Before making any changes to your in production server, be sure that your backups are working. You may even want to run some test recoveries if you are going to delete data. Don’t forget to try a restore an old version of a file in case you overwrote one accidentally. While focused on backups, you may want to make sure you have a good backup and recovery solution.
2. Check storage usage.
Don’t use your server as an archive solution. Delete old logs, emails, and software you don’t need. Keeping your system free of old software and data & limits security risks. So, it’s best to regularly scan the server and remove old files and old version of your software. A smaller data footprint could mean faster recovery depending on your backup and recovery solution. If your usage is exceeding 90% of disk capacity, either reduce usage or add more storage. As your server reaches 100%, it will stop your entire operation, computers freeze, database tables can get corrupt and data can be lost.
3. Check RAID Alarms.
If you are using RAID (and you should be), check that your RAID’s error notification system is configured properly and works as expected. Most RAID levels tolerate only a single disk failure. If you miss a RAID notification, not replacing a failed disk quickly could turn into a complete server crash. For those who want to be proactive, RMM (remote monitoring & management) services offer email or text alerts and automatic issue resolution if the server experiences unusual activity, and can address many of the items on this list.
4. Update the OS.
Updates for Linux systems are released almost daily, and weekly for Windows. Many of these fix important security issues. At Boost IT, we update systems daily (sometimes even more often). If you do not have a management service or auto-updates enabled, be sure to review your OS for any critical security updates. Get on the mailing list for your OS so you know when critical security patches are released.
5. Clean your server.
Use compressed air to remove dust and debris from inside the server once a quarter. Don’t touch any of the components inside but make sure that all dust has been blown out. Also, make sure the server is stored in a well ventilated and cooled area. Servers can run hot, especially during peak periods.
6. Check application updates.
Most security issues we investigate are due to outdated web applications, such as Java and Flash Player. After you have updated your OS, be sure to review the installed web applications and update them as well.
7. Check for hardware errors.
You may want to review the logs for any signs of hardware problems. Overheating notices, disk read errors, network failures, data not replicating properly, could be early indicators of potential hardware failure. Hardware errors are rare but important since they are indicators of issues that will be very costly if not addressed.
8. Check server utilization.
Review your server’s disk, CPU, RAM and network utilization. If you are nearing limits, you may need to do hardware upgrades to your server or migrate to a new one. The longer you wait, the more time consuming the migration to a new one will be.
9. Review user accounts.
If you have had staff changes, client cancellations or other user changes, you will want to remove these users from your system. Storing old sites and users is both a security and legal risk. Also, change passwords for accounts that may have been given out to contractors.
10. Check system security.
Make sure that you run security tools on your server at least quarterly or monthly monitor it to ensure it’s secure. Be careful which ones you download and make sure they are from a reputable company. Regular security checks in combination with our managed security service serve as a check on system configuration, OS updates and other potential security risks. I suggest this at least 4 times a year if you go it alone, but preferably monthly.
By following these 10 steps on how to maintain your server, the server’s life will be extended by many months and even years. Contact us if you need more information or specifics on the tools available. Managed IT & Security tools change regularly so the best tools to use can vary depending on timing and your needs.