What would YOU do??

Oren

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,863
34
48
56
NE NJ
I'll try to make this short.

Computer professional. Familily and friends calling me because Symantec, AOL, etc aren't helping them, but charging them. And (god knows what they did/"remote assistance") but when I diagnose it, it's "disaster recovery".

They (family/friends) want to pay me, but I can't/won't take that.

Now, throughout the family, people want me to go work on their machines.

Today, 260+ infected. Most adware. 20 or so Trojans. I couldn't even boot up.

3 hours... and I have it down to TWO programs that are using ALL (100%) of CPU time. Both are useless, so tomorrow I'm going there to tackle them.
 

semipenguin

Cheeseburger Connoisseur
Oct 11, 2008
24,893
9,023
168
51
Janesville, MN
Ever see a computer fly out a 6th story window? :scratch:

It's supposed to be a nice day in New York tomorrow :)
Posted via Mobile Device
 

ProperModulation

Green Type of Tube
Oct 11, 2008
2,612
90
48
California
1. reload each machine from scratch and make am image of the hard drive. In my opinion, this is the only way to deal with a virus infection anyway. and make sure to install Microsoft Security Essentials.

2. store the image for future use

3. tell your relative that the only thing you will do to fix their infected computer in the future is to re-apply the image you just created. then give them some pointers on safe-computing.

I take this approach because it is easier for me, and it puts the burden on them to change their bad habits or deal with re-installing all their apps after I apply the known-good image. I find that most infected computers have file sharing software installed, so tip #1 might be to knock off all the illegal downloads! I never even try to diagnose anything. If I see infections, it's time to reload or re-image if I have an image for that machine.

Just my opinion... :)
 

Oren

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,863
34
48
56
NE NJ
1. reload each machine from scratch and make am image of the hard drive. In my opinion, this is the only way to deal with a virus infection anyway. and make sure to install Microsoft Security Essentials.

2. store the image for future use

3. tell your relative that the only thing you will do to fix their infected computer in the future is to re-apply the image you just created. then give them some pointers on safe-computing.

I take this approach because it is easier for me, and it puts the burden on them to change their bad habits or deal with re-installing all their apps after I apply the known-good image. I find that most infected computers have file sharing software installed, so tip #1 might be to knock off all the illegal downloads! I never even try to diagnose anything. If I see infections, it's time to reload or re-image if I have an image for that machine.

Just my opinion... :)

But wait.

This was EXACTLY what I dealt with tonight. There were NO XP Restore Points. NO backups. The "downloads" seem to come from Facebook (4+ people use this PC). TOMORROW I have ditch two processes that utilize 100% of CPU time. It's one thing after the next.

AND the boot-up time is RIDICULOUS. It's loading at least 10 programs in the taskbar, and it goes ON AND ON...

It's a MESS!!!!!!!!!!

:mad:
 

memebag

Top Brass, ADVP
Oct 11, 2008
17,407
5,814
168
Lake Huntzing
Are you asking for technical advice or personal advice? Technical: Clean out the crap. Personal: Set boundaries.
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
149
63
Louisiana
I have been dealt the same fait as you. Long ago I started building PC and of course over the years I have build machines for a lot of family/friends because I could do it cheaper than they could go buy one. Little did I know when I was going this I was setting myself up for phone calls all hours of the night and day. Even those that know I work on computers call and this goes with family and friends. I use to try my best to help everyone. However at some point I had to make a hard decision. If I wanted a part-time side job then this was it, but I'd have to start charging because my time is valuable too. So, to say you won't charge it just silly. What I found is that once I started telling them that if I was going to have to come over after work or on the weekends, I had to charge them. Many of them I just had to tell them NO! I made it known by doing this that I was no longer willing to be at everyone beck and call. Eventually the calls quit, well except for my sister and honestly she calls me so rarely I have no issues with that.

LIke mem said, it is all about boundaries! You clearly don't have very good ones and folks are taking advantage, plus your good nature you don't want to charge, but is your time not worth anything? I know mine is!

IN regards to all these trojans and other virus issues. There are several programs out there that my IT guy has found and it will clean up most of that mess. There are some that normal spam and anti-virius programs can't clean, because it often times makes them inoperable. I can get the name of them if you'd like.
 

Casual Fan

Surprisingly nice
Oct 14, 2008
19,016
3,028
163
Roanoke, VA
Bitch, bitch, moan, moan. How bad it is to be needed by others. How awful it is to have one's opinions and talents respected. What a lonely place that must be.

Be happy and give all you can.
 

ProperModulation

Green Type of Tube
Oct 11, 2008
2,612
90
48
California
Bitch, bitch, moan, moan. How bad it is to be needed by others. How awful it is to have one's opinions and talents respected. What a lonely place that must be.

Be happy and give all you can.

at some point you are being taken advantage of rather than respected. That's why whenever I would work on computers for family or friends I would make them sit with me and learn a bit about what I was doing and how to keep it from happening again.
 

Casual Fan

Surprisingly nice
Oct 14, 2008
19,016
3,028
163
Roanoke, VA
at some point you are being taken advantage of rather than respected. That's why whenever I would work on computers for family or friends I would make them sit with me and learn a bit about what I was doing and how to keep it from happening again.

You're right and I agree with your approach. It's the whole teach a man to fish concept. I just also think that people should realize that it's a blessing to share your skills with others.
 

Evil_Ernie

Smell my finger
Oct 11, 2008
2,319
1,573
118
54
Hell
Tell them it's time to switch to a Mac. :D

...and to stop looking at pr0n like hyson said. :rofl2:
 

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
149
63
Louisiana
Bitch, bitch, moan, moan. How bad it is to be needed by others. How awful it is to have one's opinions and talents respected. What a lonely place that must be.

Be happy and give all you can.

To be needed is nice, to be taken advantage of not so much. there is a huge difference!

You ever get calls a midnight when you just got to sleep because a web site won't open up or what program was that you recommended for me to burn CD's again? My computer won't come up can you come by in the morning! It saying I got a virus again, I forgot to renew the subscription and I know you told me I'd have too, but I just didn't do it.

The premise of your comment is nice, unfortunately most folks don't have good boundaries and they don't care about yours. If you appreciate me and respect me so much then why not call me at 10 in the morning and when I do come over, don't act like it is my fault that you don't know what you are doing, sit down with me and I'll show you, but no you aren't paying attention because you think you can just call again. Also never offer to pay me even though I'd likely refuse it, because that would just be the nice thing to do.

Your reality isn't mine that is for sure! Premise is nice though! Sometimes you have to set boundaries yourself and then get ugly if necessary to enforce them. I am very happy with my firm boundary and playing the shame game don't work on this old dawg!
 

jef

Power Pig, Hello!
Oct 12, 2008
3,849
185
63
Ran across this today as I was poking around some various blogs I read... it's not scientific, and probably pretty much mostly anecdotal (even admittedly so by the author), but is pretty apropos for this discussion:

Computer Frustration Nat Friedman

Quote near the end:
"Not only am I contacted daily, everybody expects the help that I provide to be free. Why is it that most people feel that computer people love to work on computers, therefore, they do not mind helping me just this one time for free? If they experience an electrical issue, or clog their toilet, do they expect the electrician or plumber to fix their problem for free? No they gladly pay them and move on."

And thats another difference. I don't know anyone who expects a completely free brake job from friend/family (even if you just buy lunch for the guy), but wouldn't think twice about getting a virus infestation cleaned up for free. Maybe they think it's different because techs aren't getting "dirty" - who knows.

My rules are:
- I only always help my Mom. (edit to say that she is a total computer-phobe, and she still manages to have fewer problems than people I know who think they know it all. Helping Mom is a pleasure, because she listens to my advice.)
- I sometimes help my siblings/siblings-in-law, depending on what it is, and how bad it might be. (This includes a few close friends.)

As someone said, it's all about boundaries. I will offer to help make sure they don't get ripped off and I will offer pointers to tons of self-help - but I won't fix anything that I think will take more time than doing an OS reinstall.
 

Oren

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2008
1,863
34
48
56
NE NJ
DAB, you're right.

In this situation, they WANT to pay, but for family and friends of the family I don't know what to charge, so I'm in a "don't worry about it" mode.

Tomorrow I have to go over there again for an hour or so to finish up. The PC is now in a usable state though, whereas when I first saw it, it wouldn't boot to the desktop. A lot of the work I'm doing involves modifying the Windows registry; something that I would never involve others in, for obvious reasons.

Tomorrow is just a matter of using msconfig, deleting unnecessary programs, and basically cleaning up this machine and making sure her security settings are up to par.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DAB

DAB

Mod Emeritus
Oct 9, 2008
9,434
149
63
Louisiana
DAB, you're right.

In this situation, they WANT to pay, but for family and friends of the family I don't know what to charge, so I'm in a "don't worry about it" mode.

Tomorrow I have to go over there again for an hour or so to finish up. The PC is now in a usable state though, whereas when I first saw it, it wouldn't boot to the desktop. A lot of the work I'm doing involves modifying the Windows registry; something that I would never involve others in, for obvious reasons.

Tomorrow is just a matter of using msconfig, deleting unnecessary programs, and basically cleaning up this machine and making sure her security settings are up to par.

Well Bless you Oren you are a good guy!

You know bro it isn't that folks don't appreciate that we do what we do and when someone offers to pay I generally never take it, but there is just something about them doing that which makes me feel they appreciate it.

Sounds like you've just about got this one taken care of! I have enjoyed this topic though because we all have our ways of dealing with this sort of thing.

I still take care of a few folks when they need me, but I had to get off the merry go round in terms of just any and everyone calling like it had turned into.