Fixing Windows Boxes

Discussion in 'Community' started by OutThere, Sep 2, 2003.

  1. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Anybody else here who finds themselves fixing peoples PCs? Its somewhat ironic, "Macs are such pieces of crap. Hey can you fix my computer, it died."
     
  2. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #2
    I just move into college today and already I fixed my roommate's HP laptop, had to do a reinstall on my friend's Compaq laptop, set up all three of my suitemates' computers (Dell, Gateway, and Sony) to use the school's new DSL connections and do a virus cleaning on the Sony. As soon as I walked through the door I had two of them say "Are you our roommate? Do you know a lot about computers?" At least my roommate is cool about my PowerBook, as soon as he saw it was an Apple he started gushing over how amazing the G5 is and how his friend has an iBook and aske if his HP was okay for a computer. I felt bad to say he'd be better off tossing it over the balcony, so I just said it was pretty good. It's an Athlon XP, at least. I also had to help my girlfriend set up her iMac because AOL screwed up all of the network settings on her computer so it couldn't find the ethernet connection. I swear, I spent all day doing all that and didn't finally get to settle in and unpack until about 3 hours ago. I swear, I should get an on campus job to just go from room to room and fix all of the computers. It would be easy money, but I know I'd go crazy like last time. I used to fix all of my friends' computers and even ended up with an unofficial PC repair company, but after a year of that I got so incredibly sick with PCs that I just threw away my Gateway and got my Apple. It's just seriously a real bitch to fix PCs every day.
     
  3. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #3
    When my freinds ask me if I know what is wrong with their PC I just tell them it's not a Macintosh
     
  4. britboy macrumors 68030

    britboy

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #4
    Unfortunately, yes. My family, in-laws and friends are constantly asking for help with their computers. Most of the time it's something simple, like faulty RAM or just a program installed badly. It's fun at times, because whilst they're sat there next to you, watching how you're 'fixing' the computer, you can tell them about how much better a mac is :)

    Is it perhaps true that those who use macs are often more comfortable with computers? Maybe so, as most have to know how to use both platforms....
     
  5. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816

    XnavxeMiyyep

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #5
    If you want to get a friend or family member to switch to Mac, just refuse to fix their PCs.;)
     
  6. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Location:
    Chi Town
    #6
    [rant]The PC (old, with win 98se) I'm using (I promised not to call it stupid today while I was begging it to work) is always a blast when you want to fix things.

    Sometimes, at startup, you'll get a windows protection error or a fatal error re. some VXD file, and there's really not a whole lot you can do.

    You can restart until it works...You can wipe the drive and start it over. Fortunately, we have two drives, because over the summer, my dad and I must have reformatted the C: drive and reinstalled windows at least 50 times.

    It's doing something new now! When you put in the restore disc after your protection errors and other such preventions-of-startup, it looks for a file that doesn't exist. Yep, and when you prompt it to open the .exe file that actually does the restore, it refuses.

    Every now and then you get lucky and it says ok and you can reformat. And reformatting is so buggy, too. It's very hit and miss and takes a while to get it to perfection...And it could easily just all coming falling apart the NEXT DAY.

    Well, I thank goodness it is working right now...I guess it's my fault. You see, Office only installs properly if it is installed before my ethernet card driver. However, when my dad was working on it yesterday, he accidentally only partially installed Office, leaving off front page which I wanted, because I don't like constantly transferring my files into IE to look at them: I'd rather it be built in...Anyway, it's my best substitute to my Mac which is packed away 1000 miles from here...Well, I was going to uninstall the ethernet card driver, reinstall office, and then reinstall the driver. Well, I just removed the device in the system control panel, restarted, and because Windows LOVES to do things for you, it found a new device and reinstalled the driver! So I put in the driver CD and told it to uninstall the driver. Then I restarted and it reinstalled it again! I had the driver CD in the drive, so I thought that it might have grabbed the driver from there...I took the driver CD out, and the system started crashing. When it did work, I realized I was wrong. No, of course it remembered the driver. So now, I'll just be inconvenienced because I'm afraid to install Office now--it might crash the computer because of a conflict. And I'm afraid to work around it--because I KNOW it might crash.

    Win 98 is so hit and miss. It would be one thing to fix something logically. This is a crap shoot.[/rant]
     
  7. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #7
    Hence my 'sig. It was always the case in Middle/High School when I was starting to like Macs, and only not having one due to lack of money. I'd suggest someone buy an iMac or PowerMac, and they'd buy a Gateway or Dell, then call every three days to fix it. Then I re-tell them what they should have bought, and some times they listen, some times they just laugh for liking Mac. Well they still call, and I still fix, $25/hour, in a low competion market can make a killing.

    TEG
     
  8. crenz macrumors 6502a

    crenz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #8
    Well, this time it would be different. You'd be out all day, earning good money repairing other people's PCs. And when you return home at night, you know your Mac works :D.
     
  9. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    #9
    I work on other peoples pc's on the side. I don't mind too much, though. I usually charge them for the effort. My opinon is it they think I'm too expensive, take it to Best Buy to be fixed. That will cost them about $70 an hour. I am much cheaper than that.
    The worst problem I had was a computer running W98, that would lock up when using the brand new U.S. Robotics modem. It worked flawlessly in W95, but it did not like W98. So we went and bought a $20 cheapie modem, and it worked fine :rolleyes:
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #10
    I'm the guy all my friends and family go to when they have a computer problem. I always say "you should've bought a Mac", but no one will listen. Sometimes it's about the price or some specific piece of software, but usually they just give some lame excuse about how everyone uses Windows. Most of them like the interface but won't switch. My stepmom even said she "didn't want to be weird".

    My favorite is when they call Apples "toys", then talk about how they won't buy one because it won't play their favorite game. :rolleyes:

    I usually just smile smuggly as I'm fixing some random error.
     
  11. rhpenguin macrumors 6502a

    rhpenguin

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #11
    Welcome to my life. Its what i do for a day job. Then at night i bother people on the phone...

    w00t for me!
     
  12. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #12
    Dude, just go into the device properties panel of system properties, and uninstall the ethernet card....not that difficult :rolleyes:
     
  13. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #13
    I'm gonna take the PC A+ Certification *just* to repair windows based computers.

    The test I hear is easy, but it allows be to make lots of $$$$$ :D
     
  14. tazo macrumors 68040

    tazo

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    #14
    lol if you're a teenager than you are already the IT department for your family most likely :D :cool:
     
  15. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #15
    I was the unofficial IT person for the entire dorm last year, it seemed. This year, however, I just tell them how to do it so they can attempt to fix their own computers because if they see me fix it 5 times before, they need to learn on their own how to do the work. I already have two people who are switching soon because the network the school installed over the summer is a real pain in the ass and for some reason it's a bitch and a half to get XP to work with it, but when I plugged in the ethernet cable to my PowerBook it was online instantly.
     
  16. Mac til death macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Location:
    Memphis
    #16
    Believe me, I hear that exact thing ALL the time. People want to bash me for using a Mac (especially people from church, those giving the stupid comments don't have a clue...), but some are pretty cool about it. The College Pastor at my church owns two Sony Vaio's... a laptop and a desktop... He's now trying to sell his desktop and get a Mac.

    I took my 12" powerbook to church tonight to record and edit some sound, and while I was getting some video from several different people of their trips to Africa.... Anyway, a guy came up to me and was saying something to the effect of "is that a Mac? I would never want that..." anyway... he stood dumbfounded as I was showing some people their video in Final Cut Express. I'm sure he was thinking of how much greater his Toshiba is running Powerpoint. :)

    Anyway, People are always asking me about computer stuff and for some reason have this mindset that Apple makes second rate computers. They'll just never learn... Maybe Apple would be more credible if they came out with a commercial with a blond reject saying, <stoned voice>"No, Dude Get a... wait wait... uhhh... what were we talking about?"</stoned voice>
     
  17. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #17
    When it comes to fixing WinTel boxes I recommend using a double-barrel with scatter shot at point blank range.

    Unless it has Linux on it, then it can live.
     
  18. Powerbook G5 macrumors 68040

    Powerbook G5

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    St Augustine, FL
    #18
    Dropping it from the third floor balcony doesn't hurt, either. It can be quite stress relieving.
     
  19. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
    Location:
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    #19
    I make money off fixing computers. It's become my part-time job. It all started when one time I offered to help take care of a virus problem, and the guy (my dad's friend) REALLY REALLY wanted to pay me. He payed me the equivalent of $120 for about 10 minutes of work. While the virus checker (which I downloaded off Download.com) was scanning the disk I just told him I had to go eat lunch so I just left and came back in 30 minutes, told him everything was OK, set up his email program for him, and I was off with $120.

    Ever since, my parents have spread the word and I get 'orders' almost every weekend. Of course, it's good money and easy work, but it's not fun. Definitely not what I want to do for a living.

    Anyways, with this 'job', the money from being bus-monitor for my school bus (I know, it's corny, but it pays pretty well), and my other 'job' of editing and making DVDs out of people's home videos, that G5 is not looking so out of reach anymore. :D

    edit: Oh, and of course, I tell every person who's computer I fix to get a Mac. :p:D



    irmongoose
     
  20. rhpenguin macrumors 6502a

    rhpenguin

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    #20
    Both tests took me a total of 20 minutes. Got damn near perfect on each...

    But as for maknig lots of money, what dream were you having?
     
  21. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #21
    Horror in Public schools!!!

    This has to be my worst brush with fixing PCs ever.
    I recently got a job at a computer store, and they do service on both PCs and Macs.
    They recieved a call from a school disctrict needing windows updates for all their wintel boxes. So I get dragged along to help with the large number of machines.
    When we get there we have to update 30 wintel boxes in a computer lab. Of course all hell breaks loose. First we had to uninstall Norton Antivirus on all of them, and a few of the boxes held on to the program creating alot of headaches with removal. Then we had to use windows update to get these machines up to spec. They had not been updated since they were bought which was in 1998. So each one of them takes their turn blue screening and freezing. Some updates themeselves froze up and blue screened, forcing more restarts. This process was continued on 30 machines. We just walked around the room constanly rebooting 30 machines which kept crashing, finally after all of them were updated they had to be checked one more time for updates which caused IE to freeze up at least twice forcing more reboots. Meanhile 4 HDs died, and we still had 4 more schools to do. We ended up spending 4 hours with 3 guys doing just that lab. We would not finish until 6:30 PM after starting at 9 in the morning. And still we had to go back the next day to finish up machines. I really should have filmed this experience because you would laugh ur a$$ off watching all these machines bomb.
     

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