Just When You Think You’ve Seen Everything

There are some people who should never be allowed within ten feet of a computer.

I went on a sevice call yesteday for a machine with a virus and after checking it a while decided it was too big a mess to try and fix at the customers location so I brought it into the shop.

This is without a doubt the biggest mess I have seen in years. I haven’t seen so much spyware and viruses and crap programs from the Interent on a single machine in a really long time. I had to pull the hard disk and put it in my test machine I have for this purpose. It’s an additional drive in that configuration.

For about an hour after the disk was detected my test machine went nuts in an all out war fighting a battle with the spyware and viruses trying to attack it. It was phenomenal. My test syetem survived and kicked ass. I have it in a way for this very purpose. Still, I was blown away. This machine was hijacked in every way conceiveable. Even after I put it back into the computer and was actually able to run it there were still all manner of things going on that needed to be ferreted out.

Sometimes you can just erase the whole thing and do a clean install but this is one of those where the customer has a ton of data, pictures and music, that leaves no choice but to disinfect the whole thing and thus preserve their data. Saving the data separately with the risk of reinfection leaves very few options. People go nuts if you trash all their data.

The bad part about this is there is no way to charge the labor hours at the normal rate to fix this big a mess. You could buy a whole new computer for the hours expended at the normal hourly rate.

Now that I got this out of my system I’ll get back to it. I’m posting this under the art category because this is more art than science.


3 thoughts on “Just When You Think You’ve Seen Everything

  1. cmaukonen

    One of the reasons I found myself getting out of consumer electronics repair. It got to the point where it was simply less expensive to replace the unit than repair it. I could no longer charge what I needed to for the repairs. Even though the repair itself did not take that long, quite often finding the problem did.

  2. cmaukonen

    When I was a service tech in the 1960s in Naples, a pretty well of guy brought in a Heathkit top of the line stereo receiver. He had attempted to assemble it himself with nearly disastrous results. Fix it he said, money no object. Just don’t let his wife know.

    It became my personal project. I wound up un-building it. Down to the last screw and nut. Then put it completely back together. Replacing damaged parts as needed.

    It took nearly a week to complete and test and align but worked flawlessly when I was done.

    One could not do anything nearly that exhaustive these days and charge what is needed for the task.

    Just saying.

    1. I know what you mean C. Fortunately, I don’t run into a disaster like this that often. You have to bite the bullet sometimes. That’s how you make it work and attract new business. I have the luxury of being on my own and get to make these choices. In a different setting the customer would be screwed.

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