To those that repair computers for a living..

April 26, 2010 at 14:46:21
Specs: Linux Mint 7/Windows XP.
Or are one man shops so to speak, how many customers do you average a day/week, and do you advertise on say Myspace, Facebook, or just do everything by word of mouth?. I'm curious so I wanted to ask.

See More: To those that repair computers for a living..

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#1
April 26, 2010 at 16:30:42
It's not for a living, but a 2nd income. Plus it also depends. Most of the time it's 1-2 machines per month (down from about 5-8/mo. in 2000). Around Christmas (last couple of years), things pick up slightly to around 5-6 for Nov./Dec (Christmas 2000 was my biggest month ever at 20 repairs/purchases). Then flattens back out. I service a somewhat "local" clientele, so Facebook/Myspace would be a waste of time, and too much risk for people jerking you around wanting something for nothing. Do a good job and treat people fairly & honestly; you'll get better results that way...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#2
April 26, 2010 at 19:54:42
About the same for me as for T-R-A. Nothing this month until today when 2 laptops showed up.

It's something I do to prevent someone paying $75/hour in hopes of saving a machine worth little.

Skip


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#3
April 26, 2010 at 21:19:29
For the moment I am making a living at it but I really do not qualify. I am not certified nor am I running a business. It is just a hobby that rather blew up in my face. Since Christmass I have had 47. Most are just cleanings, remove spyware/malware and bloatware. I have several more to get to yet. I am about a week behind. Some are asking me to set up remote connections so I can maintain their systems remotely but I don't really no much about that yet and I am leary of leaving them open to attack. I have a few that I make weekly rounds to their homes but they are close to home.

As for advertising everything is word of mouth. Apparently taking your pc somewhere to be worked on is very expensive. I am far from doing this for free but people keep telling me I am the cheapest they know of.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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Related Solutions

#4
April 27, 2010 at 02:27:48
It's something I do to prevent someone paying $75/hour in hopes of saving a machine worth little.

Precisely. Though if someone's machine is too far gone, I usually offer them a newer one for small cost. Last week had an elderly lady willing to give me $100 to get XP working on her 400MHz Pentium II w/64 MB of RAM. For $55 I got her a 1.7GHz with 512MB RAM (had a faulty HDD, so I used her 7GB from her old machine). Guess that's another point: never take advantage of a customers' lack of knowledge. You tend to sleep better at night...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#5
April 27, 2010 at 06:50:56
The amount varies, doing this part-time so to speak, I sometimes get 5 pc's a week, down to 1 a week at times, it varies on the seasons.

I advertise on craigslist locally and get great responses from there. I am told by many people my price is not enough, but I feel that I make it affordable for people that can't afford the high shop rates.

My clients range from doctors, insurance adjusters to the every day person. Word of mouth is also a big factor.
I try to do a thorough job and do guarantee all my work.

A satisfied customer means you may get plenty more clients.

I also have clients that I service once a month to keep their PC's running at their best potential.

It started out as a hobby 9 yrs ago and now keeps me quite busy, helps to pay my fishing expenses plus....LOL...you know what they say about owning a boat
Bring Out Another Thousand

My significant other and I love Grouper, snapper, amberjack, etc and go out as often as possible. It beats going out gambling ;-)

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#6
April 27, 2010 at 07:17:28
Likely,

You should look into using LogMeIn to remotely manage some of your customers computers. It's free (there is also a paid version) and it's 256bit encrypted. Set up an account and install a client program on each computer with your account settings and you can add them all to a list of computers that you can access just by going to the website and logging into your account. If they are leery about that, you can set it up so they must allow a connection each time you want to RD. Sounds like something that could be useful to you if it'll help make a little extra cash without having to leave home.

My name is JRComp, and I approve this message.


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#7
April 27, 2010 at 08:15:06
I have worked on a few computers for friends and family, and I would like to do more of it for extra income. Everyone I have helped has always been satisfied, and as others have remarked-they sometimes say that I don't charge enough(family and some friends were for free). As with Likely, I'm not certified, so I feel that I should charge somewhat less. I also like doing a good job and saving people money as well. One of my biggest concerns, though, is guaranteeing one's work. I agree that one should provide some sort of guarantee, but my question is: What is the best way to do that ? You cannot be sure if a problem which arises is due to the work you just performed, or something which was done by the client or something which just happened. Of course you want to give the customer the benefit of the doubt.

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#8
April 27, 2010 at 08:53:36
You cannot be sure if a problem which arises is due to the work you just performed, or something which was done by the client or something which just happened.

Luckily I have only had a few returns in the past. I do give the customer the benefit of the doubt.
I try to walk them through a solution on the phone, if that doesn't work (some people actually ONLY know how to turn on a PC and that's it at times LOL) they can bring it down and I'll see what the problem really is. Usually it only takes a few minutes to correct....UNLESS the client is overly excessive on porn surfing, which I must say I've worked with a few clients like that...in the porn case, I'll do a free adjustment once and then it's a pay per problem issue because they insist on over riding the warnings.

I had one guy that was obsessed with yahoo fantasy sports and continuously messed up his yahoo account....he wanted to send links to his buddies and when he messed his account, the links were not clickeable and it annoyed him to no end. Firefox & IE had the same problem. Any browser he used.

I would reset his e-mail and it worked fine for a week and then, VOILA, it was messed up again. After 3 times of bringing it to me, I figured out what he was doing to mess it up.

1- he was impaired (alcohol) when using his PC.
2- in that state, he would click on 'all new mail' thinking that it meant new mail coming in.

As soon as I set it back to classic mail, the problem was solved. The all new mail is horrible and has lots of bugs, but unfortunately yahoo trys to bombard the users with it.

OK, so then a month later, I'd get a call saying he couldn't e-mail links again, it was a problem with the above plus probably his memory LOL.
I finally mentioned to him to have someone else look after his problems.....he was a real head-ache.

Other than that, all is going well.
As far as hardware, if something goes wrong pertaining to some hardware I've changed, I gladly rectify the problem free of charge up to 6 months.

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#9
April 27, 2010 at 16:45:54
"You cannot be sure if a problem which arises is due to the work you just performed, or something which was done by the client or something which just happened. Of course you want to give the customer the benefit of the doubt.

Once you know your customers well enough, it'll be easy enough to determine. I always guarantee what I do for at least 90 days (usually 6 months), but if I wind up with a "problem-child" per se, I don't hesitate in informing them of that. It's only happened once, and had you known the customer, you'd understand. Fortunately (for me), she's in prison for murder now, so I don't think she'll be an issue...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#10
April 28, 2010 at 00:03:15
We talk about treating the customer well, this may sound like I don't care about them but it is far from it. I don't worry so much about them as the fact that I have no certifications nor some company I am working for to fall back on. While I have been working with these things for a few years now I have no real training. If I fix something and it something goes wrong it is all ME. I guess I may be a bit liberal when it comes to a guarantee, I had one yesterday that I built for a man 3 years ago. He brought it to me saying " It don't work anymore " after a look it was a bad stick of ram. All I charged him for was the part and I felt bad about that. At the same time though it only took about ten minutes to diagnose and replace. While it seems I am loosing on this deal after I built his system his sister asked for one and he bought two more for his kids. Both of those I have made a few bucks on.

I know if I am going to make this a business I will have to step up and charge more and, for the lack of a better phrase, become more forceful. I just see some of the business practices out there as shady and missleading but these are the folks making money. Hey I got school loans I am going to have to pay for someday I guess I had better get crooked. lol

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#11
April 28, 2010 at 00:49:51
I have a freind that pretty much works for himself just doing basic networking, repairs, file recovery etc. He started to drop off pamphlets one month the next month he was making $900 a week! Now he even offered me a job.. and hes been doing this for maby a year now.

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#12
April 28, 2010 at 19:57:00
" For the moment I am making a living at it but I really do not qualify. I am not certified nor am I running a business. It is just a hobby that rather blew up in my face. Since Christmass I have had 47. Most are just cleanings, remove spyware/malware and bloatware. "

Oops, forgot I had posted this, haha. Anyway that^ is pretty much what I want to TRY and make a living doing, (spyware/Virus removal, physical cleaning of inside of Desktops/Laptops, PC tune ups, and maybe even hardware upgrades), though I'd like to just deal with viruses/spyware/malware, etc. I mean, if I do the proper marketing (business cards, word of mouth, etc) do you think I could get enough customers to keep running, even if they're repeats?..

Or would dealing with only virus/spyware removal not be enough to bring in cilents when it comes to computer repair/support? (as most PC repair businesses I know that advertise do everything from networking, printers, hardware installs/upgrades, data recovery/backup, etc, and I'm sure they get a lot more customers due to the more services they offer).


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#13
April 29, 2010 at 07:46:29
I used to do a lot of fixing PC's from home. I did a lot of custom builds too. To be honest, I spent the first 10 years of my career in IT doing a lot of hardware both on the side and as part of my job. I got sick of it and don't any more except in very special cases.

At one point in time though, I averaged about 5 PC's a week (fixing) and probably 4 or 5 custom builds per month.

I knew what the going hourly rate at all the local computer stores was and charged enough below that to attract customers but not too much below it as I wasn't interested in working for next to nothing so I wouldn't cut my own throat. If memory serves me at that time and place, the average in-house rate per hour for most computer stores was $85.00/hour.

I charged $70/hour if I didn't know you and $65/hour if I did (ie: friend, family, repeat customer etc). Custom builds I just charged a flat fee after going through with the buyer what they wanted and giving them the list of parts/prices. So they knew ahead of time how much they were spending on equipment and what my fee was. Nobody complained and many kept coming back getting me to build them PC's.

You cannot be sure if a problem which arises is due to the work you just performed, or something which was done by the client or something which just happened. Of course you want to give the customer the benefit of the doubt.

The above statement makes no sense to me. If you're not capable of diagnosing a computer problem, then how the heck could you fix it?!?!?!

Hardware issues are hardware issues. Software issues are software issues. Virus/Spyware issues are........

As for me causing a problem...........brother, if you break a computer when you're trying to fix it. You need to STOP working on peoples computers because you're incompetent!

When I did a custom build, or repaired someone's PC. I made them go through the computer with me upon delivery so that they could see everything was working properly. I then had them sign off saying it was working properly on the invoice which listed everything, parts, labor, steps taken to fix etc etc etc.

That way if they had a difference of opinion with me if something went wrong a couple days later (and that happened more than once) I had proof it was working when I left.

In each case where something went wrong a few days later, I was able to prove it wasn't my doing and in most of those cases, refused any further business from those particular people. I won't deal with liars and cheats and in most of those cases, the client KNEW it was their fault or at the very least KNEW it wasn't MY fault. They were just hoping to rip me off and have their issue fixed for free.


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#14
April 29, 2010 at 14:10:47
'"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

'

T-R-A, does that mean that jboy has passed on?

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#15
April 29, 2010 at 15:25:35
"T-R-A, does that mean that jboy has passed on?"

Not in the physical sense (to my knowledge). But of course, as anonymous as we are all to one another...

But I have felt a sense of "loss" since he's been away from the boards. Felt it a fitting tribute to remember him in some way (especially since I find myself growing more "wry" on the boards as time passes). Of course, were he to show back up, I'd drop the signature immediately...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#16
April 29, 2010 at 15:32:15
I don't know. Most of the ones I have come back usually come with the statement " I don't know what I did but now it is doing this. Can ya fix it?". I have only had 2 that were really pushing that it was my fault or that I needed to fix it for free. The first I believe he tried to overclock without a clue so I reset the cmos and told him that the motherboard he chose to purchase as it was 50 some dollars less than another was not good for overclocking. He swears he didn't but all was fine after that so I don't know. The second was cut and dry a bad harddrive. He chose to save money by using his old drive. This is all well and good but everything dies eventually. I charged him extra to get rid of him after he insisted on taking the drive to someone else to prove it was still good.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#17
April 30, 2010 at 11:52:18
I'd say I use to fix or refurbish about 3-4 Macintosh's a week in the mid 90's through till the early 00's back when I was the senior mac technician for the company I worked for. Now-a-days and since the early-mid 00's there just hasn't been any Macintosh work. Ever since Steve screw-up Jobs killed off the Macintosh clones in the late 90's, the amount of Mac's I'd see in for repair declined steadily until they just stopped coming in. I ended up repairing only PC's in the very end. And even then the amount of PC's coming in slowed down because they became throw away items.

I also use to repair both on the side, but it's such a hassle and people think that you are their own personal technician. It got to be too much for myself without a parent company to work under, and I'm not a people type person. The money can be good, but you have to have both tech skills and good people skills to do that kind of work on your own.

As far as advertising, it was mostly word of mouth and that was more than enough to bring in lots of business since I was a technician for so long.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#18
April 30, 2010 at 16:09:52
I think it's safe to sum up:

A lot of us have a decent amount of repair/troubleshooting skills.

Few of us charge enough (for fear of overcharging or fear that the customer will just throw the machine out after seeing the tab). Most of us have or had customers that didn't really know what they're doing on a PC (sorry to offend anyone, but...), and have charged them more simply because of their lack of respect for their own data or hardware.

Computer repair/upgrade business is on the skids for the most part and has been since the late 1990's/early 2000's (just like the TV-repair business, though it took it about 40 years to die). And just like TV's, they've now become cheap enough to be considered "throw-away appliances", so there's little reason for the populous to upgrade or repair.

Looking over it, I don't know why I even started....

Definitely wouldn't look to get into it now....

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#19
April 30, 2010 at 23:54:51
I am seeing the same thing in general and I have not been at it near as long as others. Yeah my little home grown wanna be business is bloomin at the moment but I am sure it will be all but dead by the end of summer. I spent many years as a sheetmetal mechanic and loved the work. Some of those years involved with the union(never again) but mostly non-union. Between hurricane Ivan, which made every fool in town think he could be a contractor and the economy tanking after that led to me being laid off. At that time I had only really worked on my own stuff except for a few friends and family. I started looking into repairing computers for a living because I liked messing with them. In this area however in order to make a living at it or at least get a job at a large enough place to make a living at it you have to be certified or have a degree just to do simple repair work. I was going to a local tech school to atempt to get at least A+ certified and hopefully more from there. I was looking into cisco certification because they seem to feel the sun rises and sets in ciscos butt around here. Right after Christmas though I got so busy I had to take more time away from school so now I am looking into a couple online schools to try and get some software training. i don't do much "corporate" work. My last real employer gives me a couple bills a week to maintain his small network and an old friend that I worked for years ago whose business is just now coming back has asked me to look into doing the same for him. Other than that though I am not involved with the business world.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#20
May 1, 2010 at 18:33:05
Well, if I may ask this.. I know the repair side of things (PC's) has gone down hill because so many people usually buy Dell's, or etc, with warrenty's where if a hard drive goes bad or etc it can be replaced or it's cheap enough to just buy a new computer. But, what are your thoughts on the Virus/Spyware/Malware removal part of things?. I mean, is that still a strong industry?. (I don't know how many calls for viruses/spyware IT techs get a day/week but I figured I would ask).

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#21
May 1, 2010 at 21:18:14
"But, what are your thoughts on the Virus/Spyware/Malware removal part of things?. I mean, is that still a strong industry?."

I generally make it standard practice inform all customers that if the virus/spyware/malware is potent, they'd be better off with a re-format and reinstall. I don't fool with it much, simply because it becomes your problem if you can't remove it all. You could lose a lot of money/time servicing the same machine over and over....

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#22
May 2, 2010 at 01:20:16
Same here mainly because I am lacking in software experience. It is just easier for me to reformat to get rid of a virus. There are a lot of free programs out now to clean out the average Malware or spyware. If they are doing things with their computers that regularly gets them more infected than that they will stop bothering after a while. Funny thing is the "steady" money I get is to run updates, backups, and simple things like defrag. I look for and run updates once a week along with general maintanence and do a backup every two weeks on 21 computers. They are all identical and networked so I do it all from one computer. Every now and then one gives an error during the week but nothing to bad yet. Next month I have to change them all over from XP Pro to 7 Pro. So far really the biggest issue I have had with them is a few like to browse a lot so they get the occasional malware or just full of temporary files. I am thinking of setting up a vpn to do this all from home.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#23
May 2, 2010 at 08:56:18
Likely,

What software do you use to do Backups, and also the unattended remote access?.. (I know several people use LogMeIn Rescue or WOL). As far as Backups though, I'm not sure what to use II have a 250 gigabyte external hard drive, but, I doubt I could use that remotely).


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#24
May 2, 2010 at 11:53:06
I just use XP Pros built in remote desktop and the backup utlity. I back the data up to a server with 5 1.5tbs harddrives in raid 5. The only thing I am really backing up is like sales records and inventory. When I set up the network after each computer was ready I ghosted a complete image so I could restore all programs and settings an will again when I convert them to win 7.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#25
May 2, 2010 at 21:35:19
What software do you use to do Backups, and also the unattended remote access?.. (I know several people use LogMeIn Rescue or WOL).

One of the best pieces of remote access on the market right now is Team Viewer. It doesn't require any fancy work on your part, or the party at the other end. It all runs through the Team Viewer's servers so you don't need to establish a VPN or anything. I use it to connect to my father's PC whenever he has problems.

From my work to home, I use Putty on my office PC (the XP Pro PC) to establish an encrypted ssh tunnel to my UNIX box at home and then connect with RDC inside the tunnel. It's a little tricky to setup the first time but after you figure out how to make it work right, it does work well.

As far as Backups though, I'm not sure what to use II have a 250 gigabyte external hard drive, but, I doubt I could use that remotely).

If the drive is accessible across the network, there's no reason you can't backup to it.

I have a nifty little batchfile I wrote years back I use in conjunction with windows ntbackup. It does the following in this order:
1) map network drive to backup folder
2) perform backup
3) copy backup to remote backup folder
4) disconnect map drive


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#26
May 2, 2010 at 23:27:20
Hey Curt I've been using Team Viewer past couple days to work with a couple customers on their home pc's.

Don't know why I didn't think of installing it on one of the networked pc's at my old bosses place rather than thinking about a vpn. Duh

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#27
May 3, 2010 at 13:09:01
Well, I was looking for something similar to Instant House Call, where you direct people to said page and they enter in your user name, and on your desktop shows that a request for help or etc has been sent to you (almost like accepting a connection over Instant Messaging to view a picture or file transfer). No need to install software on the end users part. It's that simple. But, unfortunately, the licensing is a bit, too high for my taste (the free version works good). As for Team Viewer, is the 800 dollar license for the Pro edition (I think that's what it is anyway) worth it?.

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#28
May 3, 2010 at 14:03:20
I mean, is that still a strong industry?. (I don't know how many calls for viruses/spyware IT techs get a day/week but I figured I would ask).

The problem is this: back in the 80's / 90's with dumb filesystems, and single user Operating Systems, it was a simple matter more-or-less to remove a virus. All the virus could do was infect the MBR, or individual files, a simple removal was all it took for 99% of them. F-prot for DOS anyone?

Today. Modern filesystems and Operating Systems have gone down hill. Filesystems today have security features which(NTFS) havent worked for the user in a long...long... time, In fact they work against the user far more than for. A virus infects the system and changes all the file permissions, solution -> re-format. The Operating Systems of today also have so many levels of privilege, and over laying permissions as well, per account, that viruses get in there, disable the admin account, change all your privileges and pretty much turn the users computer into a rogue bot on the net. Solution in todays world? ->re-format / re-install.

It's just not worth it anymore, and it's not going to get any better.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#29
May 3, 2010 at 15:10:11
Outlander

You make a lot of claims about Windows based computers but I have to disagree with most, if not all, of what you've said.

Today. Modern filesystems and Operating Systems have gone down hill. Filesystems today have security features which(NTFS) havent worked for the user in a long...long... time, In fact they work against the user far more than for.

I'm not sure where you picked this misinformation up and to be honest, I suspect you made it all up as it's all pretty much dead wrong.

NTFS security works. More importantly, it's necessary in any work environment where you have sensitive data that not every user in the company needs to see. How do you keep Joe in the shipping/receiving department from browsing through the payroll information for all employees? Simple, you use file permissions. You set which groups/users have access to the payroll info and do not give anybody else access. Simple as pie. And effective!

How could you do that without these "security features which haven't worked for the user in a long....long....time"? Simple answer is, you don't.

The Operating Systems of today also have so many levels of privilege, and over laying permissions as well, per account, that viruses get in there, disable the admin account, change all your privileges and pretty much turn the users computer into a rogue bot on the net. Solution in todays world? ->re-format / re-install..

I've never heard of a virus that could rename the admin account. But I'll tell you what. Even if there is one, it wouldn't work on any domain I've setup or worked on simply because I, like any smart admin, rename the default administrator account and also create an admin level account (be it local or domain) for myself to work with. I never use the default admin account for anything and it's just there in case I mess up on my working admin account. I can login on the default admin account (under it's new name) and reset the password on the account I FUBAR'd.

Anyhow, there's a purpose to all the things you're going on about and if one knows how to use them properly, they work just fine. Just because you don't know how to use such tools correctly doesn't mean they don't actually have value and work.

As for having to reformat and reinstall because of a virus, I can't think of a single time I've had to do that because a virus made it necessary.....and I've cleaned a lot of virii and spyware in the last 15 years.


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#30
May 3, 2010 at 18:19:21
Not all Viruses/Malware need to be dealt with by reformating (Maybe browser Hi-Jacks but that depends), most can be removed by performing scans with better programs than the average anti-virus software (I know many people that use Avast/Norton and have gotten infected, and I've cleaned whatever has gotten them infected with a deep scan using Kaspersky and Malware Bytes). Now, if I'm wrong on that, please tell me.

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#31
May 3, 2010 at 18:30:44
Of course dealing with Viruses/Malware by reformatting is a last resort. Running scans using various programs in afe mode, or completely outside Windows using a bootable CD is another option, as is a repair install.

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#32
May 3, 2010 at 19:30:51
I very seldom format to remove a virus; no matter how difficult the removal is. Most of the folks I do work for (family) refuse to back up and saving data is important to them so I just clean up the mess. At prevailing labor rates, each one of these jobs should cost $1500-2000 but I get paid with experience. ;-)

Skip


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#33
May 3, 2010 at 23:52:57
I've got a couple virus removal programs that I paid for, one of them I know didn't work out to good. As I have stated before I lack experience software wise, for now, so I usually reinstall. I have been able to scan and pick up the viruses but getting rid of them fully I have had trobles with. I've only actually had two "customers" with viruses. I explained what I could do and that there would be no hard feelings if they would rather go to someone more well trained. One did and is still a customer the other said "just do what ya gotta do it's just for playing with anyway". He is also stiil a customer.

I don't have much experience with Kaspersky yet but I have been through norton and Mcafee and I run Malware Bytes on almost everything I touch at his point. I have also used many of the free anti virus stuff out there. I try to educate for the lack of a better term all my customers based on my experiences with these programs. In my opinion Norton is good but it's like throwing a drowning man a life jacket with fifty pounds of lead in it. If you can carry the extra weight it may save you. Mcafee seemed to work about 60% of the time, just my experience, and was a little bloated as well. My personal pc has been running Avg free for several years with no troubles but I am not a porn freak either and don't open email from places I don't recognize. That's something else I discuss with them.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#34
May 4, 2010 at 07:55:59
If anybody's interested.....

There are a few online antivirus scanners I use when working on an infected PC. Generally speaking, modern viruses first kill your antivirus software so using the one on your PC is usually impossible.

So what I do is boot into safe mode with networking and then run the following:

http://www.bitdefender.com/scanner/online/free.html

and/or (usually both)

http://housecall.trendmicro.com/

I haven't used Kaspersky myself yet but I've heard good things about it.

I always install and run Malwarebytes too. Between the online scans and Malwarebytes, I've cleaned a lot of bad stuff out of PC's including browser redirects.

It's also worth checking on Symantec's website for removal tools when you run into a virus the software can't clean but can name. Often they have something if the virus has been out long enough.

likelystory

It's not emails you have to worry about so much as it is attachments. I tell family, friends and clients (when I was still working on PC's on the side) to NEVER open an attachment they're not expecting......even if it's from family or a trusted friend. When they ask why, I explain that most modern viruses replicate themselves by going into your address book and mailing a copy to everyone in it.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of emails that are ostensibly from the post office, UPS or some other courier company saying they tried to deliver a parcel and nobody was home and to please click on the link. These are pretty obvious but it's worth mentioning to your clients that should they see anything like this, to delete without clicking on the link. No courier company does this. They leave a notice on your door. The post office is similar. While obvious, a lot of people get caught with these redirect nuisances.



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#35
May 4, 2010 at 09:12:50
I'm not sure where you picked this misinformation up and to be honest, I suspect you made it all up as it's all pretty much dead wrong.

Different points of view.

I started tech support during a time where security was handled by the user, or worst case by the OS. You MUST remember, there is no such thing as security except the security you make for yourself. Trusting a filesystem or OS to keep your sensitive files safe is like leaving a briefcase full of money out in the middle of the street with the lock combination set to "000".

A true professional never trusts the file system / OS to do his work for him. Trust me, the people that write these viruses now-a-days know the security features of NTFS/windows NT like the back of their hand, they know how all the features work better than M$ does.

And the last virus I delt with was a variant of the virus that pushes the fake "security tools" software onto peoples computers. It was forcefully pushed to my desktop from world.guns.r\_/ (mistyped the U so people don't click on it). It redid the admin account(yes I was logged in as admin) and even after removal the admin account was so screwed up that nothing could be copied, or saved between any media, including downloading anything form the internet. Solution was to delete the account, windows directory, and re-install. Bad stuff.

It's funny how you say all this transparent security is "good" but yet viruses and security breaches continue to mount. Before, when all this fake security didn't exist, things were alot more secure.

PowerMac 9600(1 ghz G4)
512mb RAM
50gb SCSI
ATi 9200 PCI


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#36
May 4, 2010 at 10:02:02
When booting into safe mode doesn't work, I have had success booting to the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows and running some of the antivirus/antispyware programs there. Here is a recent interesting review from Maximum PC Magazine .

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#37
May 4, 2010 at 10:47:47
Outlander, you're an idiot. And I do mean to be rude!

I'm not offering a differing point of view. I'm talking about fact that anybody who works with, or has worked with Windows based domains can verify.

You can shout the same stupidity over and over again at the top of your lungs but contrary to what you believe, repeating something over and over again does not make it true.

Windows NT based operating systems, and that includes NT 3.x, 4.x, 2000, 2003, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 have excellent security built into them.

I've worked intimately with all the aforementioned excluding Vista and 7 in the workplace as a domain administrator. I've also worked with Novell. They all have one thing in common, built in security that actually does work if you know how to properly utilize it.

I'm done talking to you. I don't get into mental masturbation and continuing any kind of a conversation with you would be that. You have a very small and closed mind and even if God Himself walked up to you and said it was so, you would still argue you're right. Therefore there is simply no point in continuing from here since you simply want to argue. You can respond if you want to but you won't get a reply from me....perhaps someone else will play your silly game with you.

Have a nice day....


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#38
May 4, 2010 at 16:36:22
I do usually try one of my live Linux cd's first to try and get online to use Trend Micro or one of the others. Usually by the time I see it there is no getting into safe mode lol. I think my brother believes his computer is much like a 1960's consol tv. If it aint right you kick it, pound on it, and scream at it a while before you let an expert look at it. He seems to be good for every new virus that comes out. I have to reseat everything first whenever he brings it to me.

I understand about the email Curt. I barely accept any attachments myself but it seems most of my clients are under the impression that every attchment they get is a full frontal nude shot of whatever superstar turns them on at the moment so they have to open it. I tell my friends and family (except mom and my brother) you get one virus removal after that take it somewhere else or I am charging $$$. As for browser redirects and stuff like that for me personally Malware bytes and CCleaner and hijackthis seem to be enough for me. I do also use Spybot search and destroy but I guess that program has fallen out of favor with many as I don't see it mentioned much anymore.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#39
May 4, 2010 at 21:01:46
Curt R > Outlander

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#40
August 9, 2010 at 05:49:56
When we originally started our company, we started out doing both computer repair for home owners and IT support for business. We quickly came to the conclusion that unless we charged a lot of money to fix issue it was not worth pursuing further. The cost of doing business and time spent on issue (especially if you have to go to someones house) comes out with very little profits. We spoke to a lot of shop owners and most said that after all their costs they came out with very little money left over. And a few even admitted that their not making any money at all and take a little loss each month. How they are still in business I dunno.

We also did a survey of around 2000 people and asked what they do when they have computer problems. 68% of them said they go to friends, because its free. So we dropped our home side of the business and focused on supporting business customers and have never looked back.


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#41
August 19, 2010 at 11:49:50
Well, my main thing I'm hoping to get up and running is a web portal type site I've been working on. It's basically a few different sections, but each section contains links to free tech support forums and the occasional paid PC Repair, tips on staying safe on the internet, etc. I've been thinking of also adding a paid support option for virus removal (even though I've already linked to sites that have free tutorials such as this one, bleeping computer, etc).

Helpful tips before getting started: http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...


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#42
August 31, 2010 at 03:09:51
I do maybe 2 computers a month, mainly as a side gig. It's just fun and I love the challenge of diving into a complete mess and cleaning it up.
Facebook and the like I would never waste my time with, people go there to blab about (who cares what) and their computers probably crash after the fact,,,ha ha
I tell my coworkers at my job, and I have some business cards that I made.
Besides, you do know it is against the law to operate without a license, making money-so let's keep this on the downlow people...

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#43
August 31, 2010 at 16:20:08
Are you freelancing?..

Helpful tips before getting started: http://www.computing.net/howtos/sho...


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#44
July 19, 2014 at 10:28:18
... still not dead (yet - honest!)

Site has definitely changed, a lot more functionality (but a lot less actual activity, so it would seem)

Ah, well, plus ├ža change.

Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real.

message edited by jboy


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