This is a list of frequently asked questions. Please read through these to see if your question may already be answered here.

You may also call us at:  (760) 299-4104
A:Absolutely. We're proud of the work that we do and our record of integrity, dependability, quality, timeliness, and trust. You can read our testimonials page for more information. You can also check out our reviews on Yelp.

A:No. We differ from big chain "geek" service providers in some important ways:
  • Typically, their charges are higher than ours, and often much higher. Other than some "loss leader" products or services, their pricing is often 20%-50% higher than ours. We don't believe in promoting deceptive loss leaders - we believe in quoting fair prices that work for you and for us over the course of a fruitful long-term relationship.
  • With us, you aren't playing roulette and getting some random geek-of-the-week. We are owner operated, and you will get access to the same consultant each time you need help.
  • We have decades of experience not only with technology, but with small business operations. We are professionals who will treat you with respect and always listen to your needs. We take quality of service very seriously.
  • We are charter member of the Consortium of Independent Computer Consultants, which is committed to the highest levels of service and integrity. The Consortium includes more then ten independent consultants in Southern California who work together to constantly improve and serve the needs of our clients.
  • Computer Problem Solvers does more than fix computers and remove viruses. Unlike the geeks, we can offer a variety of specialized consulting needs for small business, including graphic design, website design, and more.
A:Regular business hours are from 9 am to 5 pm., Monday - Friday. We are available at other times and days on an appointment basis.
A:We provide several different types of service modes in order to accommodate the needs of all of our customers:
  • On-Site (Mobile) Service
  • Drop-Off Service
  • Remote Service
  • Managed Service

With our on-site service, we will come to your place of business or your home to diagnose your situation, perform installations, and fix problems. Often, we will recommend that we take your equipment back to our shop rather than work on it on-site, as this is a more economical solution (in other words, you don't have to pay us to "babysit" the equipment while lengthy operations take place. To set up an appointment, contact us.

With our drop-off service, we provide a convenient way for you to bring your equipment to us. Bringing your computer to us is your most cost-effective solution to computer care, because we offer our carry-in customers basic diagnostics at no charge, and provide a fixed price for all common types of projects such as performance tune-ups, virus removals, and hardware repairs.

Our service office is located at the juncture of Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Olivenhain, and Cardiff. Our address is 4407 Manchester Avenue, Suite 101. This is just south of Encinitas Boulevard, across from the Harvest Ranch shopping center.  Click here to view a map of our service office location.

With our remote service, we can diagnose and fix many problems without requiring either an on-site visit or a dropoff. We can safely and securely connect to your computers and help you to pinpoint problems and even visually step you through activities and procedures. In "help desk" mode, you contact us when you need help and we work interactively together. In "remote maintenance" mode, you grant us access to work on your equipment without your interaction or even during non-business hours when everyone has gone home. The choice is yours. When you are ready for remote service, contact us for an appointment and then follow the simple instructions on the remote help page. Setup takes less than a minute. Some services can be charged at a flat rate, and others on economical 15-minute time increments.

With our managed service offering, we provide contracted services tailored to your unique situation. Unlike most managed service providers, our focus is on the small office / home office market. Consequently, our contract offerings are generally inexpensive. In effect, managed services is the IT equivalent of health insurance: you pay a predictable monthly fee so that we can keep your systems healthy and operating at peak performance, rather than paying unpredictable fees whenever things inevitably break. Although managed services will save you money in the long term, the most important benefit is that your systems are always operating efficiently and predictable - a characteristic that is particularly critical to successful business operation.

A: Computer Problem Solvers primarily services the North County Coastal area. For service outside our immediate area, contact us.
A: Absolutely! We can do everything from upgrading memory to replacing broken screens. If you laptop is sluggish or shutting down unexpectedly, or the display goes blank, we can diagnose the problem and fix it.
A:No, normally we only sell new computers and parts. We may occasionally sell factory refurbished parts, such as for parts that are no longer manufactured and not available as new. If this is the case, we'll let you know.
A: A computer virus is a program – a piece of executable code – that has the unique ability to replicate. Like biological viruses, computer viruses can spread quickly and are often difficult to eradicate. They can attach themselves to just about any type of file and are spread as files that are copied and sent from individual to individual.

In addition to replication, some computer viruses share another commonality: a damage routine that delivers the virus payload. While payloads may only display messages or images, they can also destroy files, reformat your hard drive, or cause other damage. If the virus does not contain a damage routine, it can cause trouble by consuming storage space and memory, and degrading the overall performance of your computer.

Several years ago most viruses spread primarily via shared files, but the Internet has introduced new virus distribution mechanisms. With email now used as an essential business communication tool, viruses are spreading faster than ever. Viruses attached to email messages can infect an entire enterprise in a matter of minutes, costing companies millions of dollars annually in lost productivity and clean-up expenses.

Viruses won't go away anytime soon: More than 60,000 have been identified, and 400 new ones are created every month, according to the International Computer Security Association (ICSA). With numbers like this, it's safe to say that most organizations will regularly encounter virus outbreaks. No one who uses computers is immune to viruses.
A:A worm is a computer program that has the ability to copy itself from machine to machine. Worms normally move around and infect other machines through computer networks. Using a network, a worm can expand from a single copy incredibly quickly. For example, the Code Red worm replicated itself over 250,000 times in approximately nine hours on July 19, 2001. A worm usually exploits some sort of security hole in a piece of software or the operating system. For example, the Slammer worm (which caused mayhem in January 2003) exploited a hole in Microsoft's SQL server.

Worms use up computer time and network bandwidth when they are replicating, and they often have some sort of evil intent. A worm called Code Red made huge headlines in 2001. Experts predicted that this worm could clog the Internet so effectively that things would completely grind to a halt.

The Code Red worm slowed down Internet traffic when it began to replicate itself, but not nearly as badly as predicted. Each copy of the worm scanned the Internet for Windows NT or Windows 2000 servers that do not have the Microsoft security patch installed. Each time it found an unsecured server, the worm copied itself to that server. The new copy then scanned for other servers to infect. Depending on the number of unsecured servers, a worm could conceivably create hundreds of thousands of copies.
A:A Trojan is a piece of code that performs unexpected or unauthorized, often malicious, actions. The main difference between a Trojan and a virus is the inability to replicate. Trojans cause damage, unexpected system behavior, and compromise the security of systems, but do not replicate. If it replicates, then it should be classified as a virus.

A Trojan, coined from Greek mythology's Trojan horse, typically comes in good packaging but has some hidden malicious intent within its code. When a Trojan is executed users will likely experience unwanted system problems in operation, and sometimes loss of valuable data.
A:You must remember that there are very many things that can go wrong with your computer and a virus is not always to blame.

The only way you can know whether or not your computer is infected is by using the appropriate diagnostic tools. No antivirus scanner is perfect, and this is why we have a large array of tools at our disposal to help pinpoint and eradicate infections on your computer.
A:Spyware apps sneak onto your machine when you download many file-sharing services, open infected e-mails, or click on dubious Internet pop-up ads. They can manipulate your system, record your habits, and steal your passwords and credit card numbers. Depending on their degree of aggressiveness, they can steal your privacy or even your identity. And they can be terribly difficult to remove.