what i have come to realize while fixing brother's girlfriend's computer

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by eva01, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #1
    I really hate windows.... this is a vent because of how upset i am

    so i have been working on this Dell POS for about a week now. Originally she couldn't connect it to the internet due to problems. So i ran adaware, spybot, antivirus and the such. Found four viruses over 200 spyware/adware and this is without updated definitions. This is well over a month olds definitions.

    So then i have to stop things that were starting up that were viruses. Do that. Two of them don't work to stop them.

    Get the computer connected to the internet, download updates for all programs, download firefox, download AVG free antivirus. Run everything Hundreds more spyware. 99 viruses. And now running AVG again a second time has 19 viruses. And every time i run adaware i get new spyware and adware. This is getting ridiculous.

    So now firefox is getting popups, unders, new tabs, shifting size, moving on monitor. Annoying as all hell. Don't know what to do about that. Tried to reinstall IE6. wont let me says it is in use and needs a reboot. Also windows update webpage wont work. IE freezes everytime i try to go there.

    Here i am on this ****** XP SP 1 computer and i can't even friggen update to SP2 -_-


    SOOOOOOOO ANNOYING. This is why i left windows. Why am i helping this girl out, i have no idea.

    If anyone knows how to fix the popups and unders and new tabs and everything else with firefox please let me know.

    Thanks for letting me vent -_- POS windows ><!!! at least my apple keyboard and mighty mouse get recognized which surprisingly so does the right click on the mighty mouse.

    And new IE pages keep opening even thou i don't have the program running. Also ads show up on the desktop, look like flash things and i don't know what is causing them :/ this is so frustrating

    and then next week i need to fix a second computer of hers -_-

    And this is my longest post ever O_O
     
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #2
    I just don't help people with their PCs any more... ever.

    And I take particular pleasure from refusing to help people who once asked me what kind of computer to get and pooh-poohed getting a Mac.

    Seriously, helping people like that is making a rod for your own back.
     
  3. ibook30 macrumors 6502a

    ibook30

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    2,000 light years from home
    #3
    I've been there - ran spybot on a machine for an old girlfriend, found over 400 items! After that the machine ran- but not well.

    Good reminder why the mac experience is soooooooo much better ! Sorry to hear all the frusteration- hope she appreciates you for what you are doing !
    I will edit if I can find any tips and tricks to get the nasty pop ups to go away.
     
  4. eva01 thread starter macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #4
    at least i am getting paid for this. I think i may charge 50 a comptuer :p i need the money -_-
     
  5. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #5

    I agree completely.
     
  6. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Fought this battle many times myself.

    Wipe and reinstall usually takes care of all of these kinds of issues. You can slipstream XPSP2 onto a CD and have it installed from the get go. Yes, it means reinstalling apps and docs, but is usually MUCH faster and actually works.

    The best approach I have used is to:
    Purchase a new hard drive and external USB enclosure.
    Replace the existing drive with the new one.
    Place the old drive in the USB enclosure and place on shelf.
    Install XPSP2 on the new drive.
    Install Anti-Virus and Anti-spyware and Firefox.
    Connect the external USB drive.
    Migrate "safe" docs. MP3's, JPEGS, ...
    Install other needed apps.

    Or, you could just tell her to buy a Mac Mini and jump stratight to migrate documents.

    B
     
  7. StealthRider macrumors 65816

    StealthRider

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    Yokosuka, Japan
    #7
    Format C:\

    No, really!
    Wipe it clean, and start over. She'll wonder how you got it running like it's new...haha.
     
  8. eva01 thread starter macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #8
    this is really getting painful. I don't know if she can afford an external HD or anything and i have no idea where her CDs are for windows. So i can't resort to formatting yet
     
  9. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #9
    I agree. I've never seen a more compelling reason to reformat if you find the disks. If not, you could try for a flavour of Linux. :p

    As the family IT serviceman, I completely feel your pain. At least you're getting paid though. :p

    Most recent dilemma was when the ol' man rang me up telling me how his computer froze. I was at work so couldn't go around to his place to help so I thought I'd try out my phone support techniques. Putting on my strongest Indian accent, I asked how far he got starting it up - pulling the power and rebooting. Well, I get my pictures but everything's frozen. Okay, so maybe shut down and start again. I hear the Windows generic logging out sound... Hmm... So I ask him how he got that sound? His reply: oh, I'm just shutting down. Erm... How can you log out if everything's frozen. Oh, the keyboard's still working. Hmm... Okay, why? How long since you've replaced the batteries in the wireless mouse?...

    Some people shouldn't be allowed to use computers. Most people shouldn't be let loose on Windows. :eek:
     
  10. fklehman macrumors regular

    fklehman

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Location:
    Newark, DE
    #10
    I had to use a workroom last year with a POS Gateway in it, and that damn thing was always loaded with viruses like a stray cat that wanders into your house with like 12 bloated ticks hanging off it. SOOOO slow, and popups always doing what they do best--popping up. If you let the computer go idle for more than 20 minutes IE would spawn all these popup ads that were just larger than the screen so that the X to close the window was inaccessible; when that happened I had to just restart the thing. One was always of a cartoon Santa pooping down a chimney, I have no idea what they were selling. I used to run Spyware Lite and find 40-50 trackwares/spywares every time, and you always knew when the computer needed it becuse you'd move the mouse 2 inches across the screen and the hard drive would thrash for like 30 seconds. What a POS.

    My wife, who hates all computers, bought a Compaq laptop that she hates because she hates Macs more. What a tower of unassailable logic. I told her before she bought it that I wouldn't be lifting a finger to solve all her problems because I don't know jack about them, and she said ok. Now she's up to her ears in software she doesn't understand and hard drive thrashing, etc. and she screams at it all the time. And it will randomly hibernate and it takes like 2 minutes for it to wake up. But some people are just incredible--she still woudn't buy a mac, even after all that, even after I've offered to help her set it up and everything. She even has an iPod but won't get a mac. You just can't convince some people.
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #11
    Yup, back in October I did that, tried to help a friend with her POS Windoze machine. Finally we did resort to the ole wipe-and-format routine and although it was time-consuming as all get-out it DID solve the problem. Fortunately she had her original install disks that had come with the machine and then she also had the upgrade CD that came out when XP was first released. We had to sit through the installation of WIN ME -- Agggh! -- and then through WIN XP, then through SP2..... Sheesh! Fortunately she was giving the machine away so she wasn't interested in reloading any of her other software, or we'd have been there for hours more.

    Then this past weekend I had to install 1 GB RAM in another friend's machine.... Guess my tinkering with Windoze days aren't quite over yet!

    OTB
     
  12. maestro55 macrumors 68030

    maestro55

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Location:
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    #12
    I hope you meant 50 an hour!
     
  13. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #13
    Or if you really want to not reinstall, do the following:

    1) Install Unlocker, which is a program that "unlocks" the item from use (i.e., you are playing an MP3 in iTunes and want to rename the MP3, you can't because it's locked by iTunes. Unlocker lets you rename it.)

    2) after installed, download all the latest spyware definitions, and latest anti virus software, as well as Ad-Aware SE, Spybot Search and Destroy, and an awesome program called CrapCleaner (CCleaner). Install a firewall as well, such as ZoneAlarm Free.

    3) Disconnect computer from internet, boot into safe mode.

    4) a| run an anti virus scan - b| run spybot - c| run ad aware SE - d| run crap cleaner

    5) boot into regular windows without internet, and do all the scans again.

    6) open up firefox and set it to not run javascript or anything like that, and NO COOKIES

    7) download Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta and set real time protection on. Do a scan.

    if all works, the computer should be better...
     
  14. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #14
    In Windows XP, for the upgrade discs, you can install directly from it and insert the ME disc to prove you own it, and then it installs...
     
  15. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #15

    Sheesh, I forgot how much of an ordeal it was. Never, ever again. I swear, if Apple start going down this road I'll just pop over to Cupertino and throw some hands. I reckon i could beat up Jobs pretty quick but Ive could take some help.
     
  16. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #16
    Shoot, wish I'd known that at the time! Oh, well.... Actually, it was kind of funny seeing the WIN ME screen again after several years! We were both just glad to have gotten everything cleaned up and to have finally exorcised her machine of whatever was in there. Nasty stuff.... As I said, she gave that machine to a friend (that person is not real computer-savvy, so I hope she doesn't get into a situation with lots of viruses/trojans, etc. I reminded my friend to be very emphatic with the girl: first thing, install and run some sort of AV program before venturing out on the internet. When we cleaned up the machine, rather than reinstall Norton, we simply ran Trend Micro's free AV sweep to ensure that the machine was free of viruses, so that this way the person getting the machine had the option to purchase whatever AV program she wanted. My friend's subscription to Norton had just run out.

    This friend, by the way, is the one responsible for my switch to the Mac. She had complained for a while of all her problems with her PC, then her brother convinced her to buy an iMac. She emailed me all enthused and excited about the iMac and about the OS. Curious, I looked online to see what kind of machine she'd gotten, and then a day or two later when I was at the local shopping mall, I made it a point to stop in at the Apple store. I was having some problems and frustrations with my own PC (no viruses or trojans, thank God, just hardware issues and annoyances with the virus protection program and with ZoneAlarm), so I pursued this whole thing a little further and came across MacRumors.... the more posts I read, the more intrigued I became. A couple more visits to the Apple store, and the next thing you know I, too, had a gleaming white iMac sitting in front of me.... :) The rest is history...

    OTB
     
  17. greatdevourer macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    #17
    Dude, I get the same every time I have to check up on my mother's machine. Updating system. Updating virus libraries. Scanning for virii. Scanning for adware. Scanning for adware with another antiadware. And another. Rebooting. Updating again. Nightmare
     
  18. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    Reality
    #18
    I have come to the same conclusion.

    My daughter, raised on a Mac, decided she wanted a Windows PC so she could be "like everybody else". :rolleyes: Naturally, she ended up coming to me twice the first year she owned it to ask me to resolve various problems. The first time it took me hours and hours talking to various tech support lines to find out why she couldn't connect to the internet. The second time she actually needed to get a PC expert to help her because she was experiencing weirdness like the "Find..." not working at all.

    Now, here's the kicker. My sister-in-law has a hand-me-down Windows PC that she's had several problems with, not the least of which is logging onto the internet. Of course, she doesn't have the install discs. I've tried fixing the problem without success, and the computer is so messed up that my sister-in-law has decided to just buy a new one.

    I've tried, three times, to get her to consider a Mac. No dice. She wants a Wintel POS. I know when she buys it she will ask me to help her connect to the internet, and will call me every time thereafter she has a problem.

    And my response will be: sorry. I will tell her about the problems my daughter has had with Windows, and how all I do is get frustrated trying to fix something that I warned her about. I will try to explain to her once more that the problem is not the computer, it's the operating system. I will advise my sister-in-law that, rather than have me run into a problem and end up saying, "I told you so!", I would rather that she have someone else work on her PC.

    I'm not trying to be mean, but Jesus, I've got better things to do than rescue people who've ignored my advice.
     
  19. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #19
    My boss (after giving me some friendly ribbing about my new powerbook) pulled out a 'shiny new Dell laptop' for his in-laws and said the following:

    "Yeah, it's great. With this new laptop I'm hoping I won't have to be their tech support lapdog any more. I'm hoping this will take care of all their problems they've had with their old machine."

    I just smiled but thought "don't hold your breath."

    An exaggeration:

    "Fire! Fire! Quick...throw some kerosene on it!" :D
     
  20. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #20
    Did you Throw up in your mouth a little™?
     
  21. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #21
    I recently installed System Mechanic 6 on my girlfriends machine, only it couldn't finish a lot of tasks because her HDD is full. So she tries to burn a DVD, only they seemingly have no files on them after. Plugging in any USB/Firewire drive brings up a plethora of errors.

    I like your rant but its just another brick in the wall. There are too many problems with Windows, nay, 99% of Microsoft's products.
     
  22. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #22
    Couple morethoughts on this issue:

    1) System Restore? http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/systemrestore.mspx. Can you roll the system back to an earlier time where the problem was not there. This sometimes works.

    2) You might also be "lucky" and find that there were no physical XP discs. Some brand name and clone boxes put all the XP install info on the HD. Look for an i386 folder. Sometimes there's a routine to burn them to CD-R.

    B
     
  23. Seasought macrumors 65816

    Seasought

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    #23
    A little? I'd say that's an understatment. :D

    I can't believe how incredibly ugly PC laptops are now in comparison to Apple's. I stood, staring at a co-worker's Dell (who shares an office with my boss) and apparently had a visible grimace on my face. "What's wrong?" He asked. I quickly realized my mistake and wrote it off as something else.

    At least two guys I work with love the Powerbook though, they keep asking me questions about it and I get a "Oh neat" on a regular basis when they walk past my desk.
     
  24. TodVader macrumors 6502a

    TodVader

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #24
    hahaha, that is funny! That's just typical PC user problems. Stores actually make them pay for service when they go get servicing for problems like this. My dad once did without asking me first and it was such a stupid problem:eek: ... Cost him 60$!!!:mad:
     
  25. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #25
    My sentiments exactly.

    As for me... this way I have got my dad, my mum and my grandma to switch, just by telling them they'd have to look somewhere else for tech support.
     

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