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Red Light, Green Light, Warning Signs

How many of you ignore red or amber warning lights when they appear on your car’s dashboard? Based on what we see in IT, most of you probably ignore them. When you see a red warning on your computer screen, it could be a security alert or a malfunction.

I recently got a red warning when I tried to print a document. When I looked, the system was objecting to my print parameters. I was trying to eliminate the margins so that I could fit everything I wanted on the piece. In this case, I was able to add some instructions to override the printer’s setting; it’s something I’d bet a lot of you have done.

Other types of warnings can’t be circumvented. In our next example, a client got a new computer but didn’t pay close attention to a OneDrive warning about synching files between his old computer and OneDrive. Typical OneDrive accounts provide a terabyte (1 TB) of storage space. It sounds like a lot of room, and we keep throwing stuff there. However, there is a finite limit on how much you can store. And just as with your hard drive, you need to have space available to be able to manage files. That’s one reason OneDrive and your computer’s hard drive can’t sync.

Microsoft is pretty good about giving you a heads-up on problems, but you need to be proactive, too. In the lower right corner of your computer screen, OneDrive users can see an icon for their drive on their service tray; it should be a blue cloud, and you should monitor that corner of your screen – just like you check your dashboard and mirrors when driving your car. When there’s a problem with OneDrive, you’ll see a red indicator. You can right click on the icon to see what the problem is.

In this client’s case, they missed the warning as they were transitioning to a new computer. When they started to use it, they were missing six months’ worth of files because unbeknownst to them, the synching stopped. Fortunately, they were able to recreate the lost files, but it cost considerable time and money.

It goes without saying that the earlier you catch a problem, the faster and easier it is to fix. Sometimes, it’s an administrative issue, such as a problem with your account. Signing in to your account may point you to a few steps. Sometimes, it can be as simple as just signing in.

But other times, you may have run into a complicated technical issue, and that’s where you need an IT professional’s help. We have seen just about all OneDrive problems known to the world, and we have tools to get to the heart of your issue. Depending on the problem and your comfort/skill level with technology, we get you started on the solution, work with you at various stages of the solution, or fix it for you.

Taking a few steps back from the crisis stage, you can prevent a number of problems by properly setting up OneDrive on a new computer. We can verify all systems are working as they are supposed to. We can do this in one of two ways: 1.) access your new computer remotely once you take it out of the box and get it online; or 2.) take delivery of your new computer, start the setup with you on the phone, ship it to you, and finish the setup remotely.

No matter what we do for you or how we do it, we will remind you: red light, green light. If you can get into the habit of checking the status of apps on your service tray, you need our services a lot less often. Call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us if you have a problem or want to take a step to avoid one.

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