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RESCUECOM Issues Annual Top Five Computer Problems Report

-- 'Problems with Windows' identified as most frequent complaint

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Problems with Windows continues to be the number one complaint among computer users, according to the second annual "RESCUECOM Top Five Computer Problems Report," an annual study determining the most frequently identified computer problems of home and business users. Hardware problems, slow computer, Internet connectivity problems and data recovery/backup rounded out the top five problems reported to the company's 1-800-RESCUE-7 call center.

"It's important for RESCUECOM to consistently evaluate trends among computer users," said David A. Milman, founder and CEO of RESCUECOM, an independent national computer repair and technology services company. "This year, we're continuing to see Windows-related issues with great regularity, with an increase of 12 percent from last year and now accounting for more than 22 percent of calls to our call center. We've also noticed a clear increase in hardware problems, attributed in part to the growing use of laptops, which are generally less stable than desktop machines."

The percentage of computer users reporting hardware problems increased to 18.1 percent in 2006, up from 15.2 percent in 2005. This was followed by "Problems with Computer Speed" (viruses or spyware) at 13.7 (down from 16.4 percent a year ago), "Internet Connectivity Problems" at 13.4 percent (a 22 percent dip) and data transfer or failure issues, at 12.3 percent.

The RESCUECOM Top 5 Computer Problems Report is an annual review of problems identified by home and business computer users who call the 1-800- RESCUE7 call center for computer and technology support services. 2006 data was derived from more than 5,000 call records.

In addition to identifying the top problems, for the first time this year's report provided insight on the different experiences of desktop and laptop users. Among the most striking contrasts is the significantly higher percentage of hardware problems experienced by laptop users (29.2% versus 15.9%) as well as the nearly double percentage (20.8%) of laptop users needing assistance with data recovery and backup versus desktop users (10.7%).

Also noteworthy is the relatively high percentage of desktop users experiencing internet connectivity problems and computer slowness due to virus/spyware compared with laptop users. Because most desktop computers are constantly linked to the Internet, there is an ever present danger of picking up malicious viruses.

"You don't need to be surfing the 'Net to get pulled under a nasty tidal wave of viruses, spyware and malicious programs that can cause serious damage to your computer," Milman said.

The following chart includes data from the 2006 and 2006 Top Problems reports.

* Top Problems Reported to 1-800-RESCUE-7 in 2006 and 2005 % of % of Desktop Laptop Calls Calls % Calls % Calls PROBLEM (2006) (2005) (2006) (2006) Windows Problems 22.3 19.5 23.6 20.8 Hardware Problems 18.1 15.2** 15.9 29.2 Slow Computer (Virus/Spyware problem) 13.7 16.4 16.2 6.9 Internet Connectivity Problems 13.4 17.2 14 6.9 Data Recovery/Backup 12.3 10.6 10.7 20.8 Other 20.2 20.8 19.6 15.4 * Top Problem percentages determined from sample of more than 5,000 callers to 1-800-RESCUE7 during similar 30 day periods in Fall '06 and Fall '05. ** In 2005 study, a separate category called "Printer Problems" was included. This was replaced with the broader "Hardware Problems" in 2006 (2005 data was recalculated to ensure apples to apples comparison).

While many of these problems do require expert assistance, often individuals can fix the problems on their own or take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place. With that in mind, RESCUECOM has issued a series of New Year's Computing Resolutions to help avoid each of the top troubles:

1. Windows problems (22.3 percent). Problem: Windows won't start or is running poorly. RESOLUTION: Sometimes a simple fix is in order - checking all your connections or restarting your computer. If these do not work, a much more serious problem could be at play. Always download available updates from Windows and keep the latest versions of anti- virus software loaded on your machine. 2. Hardware Problems (18.1 percent): Problem: Often peripheral items, such as a printer, an iPod, or a digital camera, are not working correctly. RESOLUTION: Know your devices. Take the time to read the manuals and know how to troubleshoot common problems, such as a paper jam in the printer. 3. Slow computer resulting from viruses or spyware (13.7 percent). Problem: An unprotected computer can pick up a virus on-line in as little as 15 seconds. RESOLUTION: Buy the latest versions of anti-virus programs for your computer. If you use free versions, consider investing in a comprehensive protection program. 4. Internet Connectivity issues (13.4 percent): Problem: Occasionally a lost connection can cause temporary problems getting on-line. RESOLUTION: Check all your connections, then unplug your modem. Wait 30 seconds, and reconnect the modem. If that doesn't work, consider re- installing your Internet Service Provider (ISP) software. 5. Data Access/Failure/Transfer calls (12.3 percent): Problem: Failure to back up your personal or company's data can have disastrous results. Fortunately many RESCUECOM customers have heeded our previous RESOLUTION: invest in a daily or regular data back-up option. External hard drives are excellent suggestions and off-site data back-up solutions protect you and your information against natural disasters as well. About RESCUECOM

RESCUECOM provides fast and flawless on-site computer repair and support, 24/7/365. All local RESCUECOM franchisees offer guaranteed results and on- site, emergency one-hour response service with or without a contract, providing the industry's fastest response and easiest relationship.

RESCUECOM services everything from home computers to super computers, wireless Internet to global networks, hardware to software, e-mail to ERP. In addition to one-time, on-site solutions for virtually any computer problem, RESCUECOM provides comprehensive, ongoing IT management services for businesses.

RESCUECOM has been recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 as part of the "Franchise 500," as one of the fastest growing franchise companies in the United States. For more information, please visit http://www.rescuecom.com/ or call 1-800-RESCUE7.


CONTACT: Thomas J. McFeeley, Environics Communications, +1-203-325-8772,
[email protected] for RESCUECOM

Web site: http://www.rescuecom.com/

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