This is why I use a Mac!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dontwalkhand, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I recently had the "pleasure" of having to service a client's Compaq Presario CQ-62 laptop. It had files on it to the MAX, and the hard drive only had about 1GB remaining.

    The ORIGINAL plan was to just install MS Windows 7 on top of the old Windows installation, and let the old installation go to a "Windows.old" folder, that way I could just drag out his files....That idea would not work, as he filled up his hard drive to the max! (GAH why do people do this?)...So I knew what I had to do, and had two options, reinstall Windows, or remove the virus. Either way, I had to back up his files, so here I go...

    Since the PC DOES NOT have FireWire, or Target Disk Mode of any kind, I had to do things the excruciatingly long way.

    I had to pull the hard drive out of the Compaq, and plug it into a unit made by DriveWire to my Mac...which was USB only. Then I proceeded to copy his stuff to an external hard drive (which was also USB only) that was provided by the client...a Seagate FreeAgent. This took FOUR HOURS....time that could have been used to you know...ACTUALLY WORK ON THE COMPUTER.

    Let's pop the hard drive back in the computer and boot her up. Let's see, no files, but a full hard drive? It turns out the virus decided to "Hide" all of his files in Windows, so no average user would know how to get to them. So I had to go to Folder Options, then for some reason, the View tab....then select show hidden files, then proceeded to unhide all of the files...ANOTHER HOUR.

    He had a Trojan that called up a fake anti-virus called "Win 7 Antispyware 2012"...So I went ahead on my Mac and looked up the instructions on Google to remove this. I was told to download a "remover" for which I did, and I followed all of the instructions to the letter.

    FOUR HOURS LATER...AGAIN...The scan finished, but ONLY at the very end did it say, the Free version of this software can only DETECT but not remove. So wait a minute? I have already wasted 9 hours on this computer....for $80 :(.

    I found another piece of software, called Super Anti-Spyware, and ran a scan, and then went to sleep, woke up in the morning. It found A LOT of infections, so I had it removed, and good to go. Internet worked again, and it looked like I didn't have to reinstall Windows. I returned the laptop to the client, and collected my money.

    Fast forward to New Years Eve at around 5 PM, I receive a text stating:
    "Virus Still Here. What should I do?"

    I had installed Microsoft Security essentials, which looked eerily like that fake Anti-Virus program, so I could see why he was alarmed. I texted him back saying "What exactly is happening? There is a new Anti-Virus program i put on, Microsoft security is not a virus, it is the new anti-virus software"

    So he didn't respond, I thought it was all A-OK, until morning of New Years Day (The client has no respect that this was a holiday, and decided to text me this:)

    "It is the same thing as before. No internet with message to purchase 2012 antivirus package. Please repair"....I was steamed, as this was a day that I was supposed to spend time with my friends, family, and girlfriend. I was steamed at the fact that he had no respect that this was a holiday.

    I responded "I have made sure that it was gone after three to four hours of work, is there another computer on your network, or an email with a virus?"

    He responded a couple hours later "Not that I am aware of. Please fix it."
    Then a second text message stated "I went to gmail and it happened shortly after"

    I responded "Did you have an email in your gmail account that could have caused this? I know I have had it running for over six hours with no issues at all"

    He responded "I don't know. What do you suggest?"

    What I don't get is two did the virus come back so fast? And why do clients not seem to think that the people who service them have lives as well? So now it looks like I am supposed to drive over an hour just to fix his crap for free. UGH..

    ....FML....And this is the EXACT REASON why I use a Mac! And hopefully this gives those Windows fanboys who come here to bash some insight! I don't know what to do, but the good news is that, I did not go out to the client on my holiday. :mad::apple:
  2. ThomasBoss macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    It's only a matter of time before we start getting those awful viruses too...:(

    Being a previous Windows user, there is an excellent anti-malware program called 'Malwarebytes' that IMO is better than check it out if you ever need to clean viruses again.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    4000 days already passed without one, and the "market share argument" doesn't really apply.
    The Mac OS X Malware Myth Continues
  4. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    The good news is you have some choices.

    Based on your post perhaps you would be much better at repairing Macs.

    In today's economy most people are happy to have a job.

    Posting on a Mac forum about your blatant distaste for Windows reveals more about you than anything else.

    Remember it's just a computer. Not everyone has the patience.

    I happen to prefer Macs, but for a far different reason. I also use PC's and find both platforms quite useful.

    Finally let's not forget the PC you worked on was obviously a mess. That's a reflection of the user. Given a Mac, he or she could have also made a mess of it.

    It's as easy as that :)
  5. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
  6. markjamrobin macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
  7. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    Yes. It's one of the original and most trustworthy pieces of anti-spyware software. Highly recommended.
  8. markjamrobin macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
  9. Invincibilizer macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2011
    There are plenty of bad problems with Macs, don't let this one scenario sway you in one direction. It would be foolish to have this one experience and immediately think that Mac is better than Windows7.
  10. Takashi macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2009
    You don't have much respect for yourself and your client. If you don't like your job, then quit and go somewhere else. As funny as it might seems, if apple dominate the world, computer techs like YOU will be out of a job as your services are no longer required.

    Windows fanboys do not care of what you do nor how good macs are. They do, however, ask for professional service just like what you would expect when you walk into a family restaurant. I guess there are bad computer techs out there waiting to vent on their client's misfortune.
  11. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Malware really does suck, but it's easy to avoid most of the time. In this situation, a Mac would have made things easier, but that doesn't mean things like simple backups are not needed. He filled the drive too far(as you said only 1GB remaining). Just doing a target disk mode doesn't necessarily work just because it's a Mac. Hardware can fail at which point you'd be reaching for the backup anyway.

    Remember when Apple removed firewire from the old macbook figuring it was no longer needed and everyone got mad? You cannot count on Apple here either. So far thunderbolt target disk mode hasn't been so great (google it). The point being the Windows vs Mac debate has become silly, because there's simply no panacea for computer headaches. Even the silly concept that PCs require regular hard drive formatting relative to Macs is false. When you zero out a drive it checks for bad sectors. It's not performed to remove malware. Also many people use firewire drives. Those die quite often when the drive itself is still fine, meaning you can't access them via firewire anymore, but you can pry open the case and mount the physical drive elsewhere assuming a single drive unit.
  12. markjamrobin macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2012
    I agree, every thread about something like this ends with people trolling and flaming about mac vs. pc. ALWAYS!!!
  13. Invincibilizer macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2011
    Gotta love the -4 on this post.

    I'm preaching the truth, if MacOS is so good how does Windows stay maintain an 80% marketshare. The numbers don't lie and you know it.
  14. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    Hint: Marketshare is not necessarily related to quality ;-)

    M$ sells their OS to multiple OEMs and burdens what is actually a nice OS with lots of dirty hacks so it will run software that is probably older than you from the sounds of things ;)
  15. ibuyufo macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2007
    Sorry to say but Mac$ have their own problems too if you were not so blind it by it. If you run something and authorize it to run whether it's a virus or not it'll do the same thing as if you were running it in windows 7. The issue is not the computer or the OS but the user. A lot of people will open an email and see an attachment thinking it's from their friends and not be too suspicious of the contents but if they were to dig deeper they would see that the email had been spoofed. A large part of these infections come from email attachments and then there are those infected files that have been passed on by sharing.
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I dunno man, a 2010 era Macbook isn't going to provide you with Firewire either. Just USB. Plus, since you took the route of pulling the HDD out of the computer, it should transfer everything over without any trouble at all.

    Total time spent so far: < 30 minutes setup.

    ... wait ...

    Reinstall HDD. Wipe Windows. Another 45m, assuming it takes a long time due to the crappy specs of the CQ-62... but still, mostly waiting.

    At this point we can copy back individual files over a network, or if we thought ahead, just keep what we wanted in a "save" folder on the HDD while we nuke the rest.

    From the sound of things, you just don't deal with Windows PC's enough to know how to properly nuke the OS from orbit when things go wrong. What took you hours to try and fix should have taken no more than an hour of your time.

    But the same can be said for a mac.. do you realize how long it takes for someone to just learn how to install a program on OS X when they've never used a mac before?

    Seriously, chill out. At least you could remove a Windows laptop hard drives. Imagine what your life would have been like if someone brought a macbook air in with 1gb of free space and a horrible virus.
  17. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    In my experience installing is rather easy. I help my neighbour with his old PC. He complained it was awefully slow and/or a virus was on it.
    There was no Virus but he wasted a lot of money on the newest Norton Internet Security for a really old PC with 256MB RAM that just couldn't handle that software. Also he installed every freakin software there was on some trial DVD he got, I assume when he bought th computer.
    He had no clue about doing anything but using Word, a bit of Excel and writing E-Mails but he thought it a good idea to install some 50+ applications.
    I installed a free low weight AVG sold him 512MB RAM and killed off anything he didn't recognise and suddenly his daugther could play sims on it again.

    That wasn't the only time I found a computer where the owner just kept installing all kinds of nonsense and is suprised it doesn't work very well anymore with 20+ apps/services running in the background doing whatever.
    If anything I think installing should be much more difficult. Or there should be a limit and you have to solve a complicated riddle for every additional app.

    The problem is not the OS it is always the users. Some always seem to find the ways to mess up anything.
    What seems to work very well is if people really only use and it and never install anything. I only get asked to install this or that and there rarely if ever is any problem not even with malware if you spend a few minutes on giving them the basic advice on brain 2.0 malware protection.
  18. ThomasBoss macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    The guy who said that OS X isn't better than Windows & that macs have problems too is absolutely correct & it's probably the fanboys who thumbs him down. They both have their problems, none are 'hassle free' - just because the commercials say so doesn't make it true

    I don't agree with the whole 'If OS X is better why is Windows 80% market share' point though.

    A) PCs are (generally) cheaper than Macs, not everybody wants to spend $1000+ on a computer

    B) Windows runs on many different brands of hardware...Dell, HP, Sony, Acer, etc. OS X runs on one. Of course it's going to have a higher market share!
  19. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Yup, it all comes down to personal preference. I like OSX and Macs because they're better in various aspects. That doesn't mean windows is bad, in fact I found win7 to be an exceptional OS that's very stable and user friendly.

    I use the platform that best suits my needs, both have their good and bad points. I just feel OSX has more good points then bad points.
  20. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    It certainly does not maintain it by being the best OS.
    It does it by dominating the enterprise market.

    On my windows systems a dead HD can mean the systems out of action for at least a full day, on my Mac systems Time Machine reduces that to way less than 2 hours (personal experience on 2 occasions).

    Not hating on Windows, it`s a good OS with many solid features but the user experience and recovery procedure is still too clunky when things go wrong.
  21. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    You want to get the clients laptop back and get a free program called combofix, you can google it, its a very easy program to use and by far, at least in my experience, the best I have used so far in removing malware.

    As a general rule of thumb, I will never spend more then three hours working on a clients pc to remove a virus/malware. Three hours x whatever your billable rate is, is about the max you can charge a client for this kind of work, beyond that, you might as well backup their data, format and reinstall. This is the model that I use which makes sense to me and fair to my clients.

    The thing you have to realize about malware is that in most cases, its not easy to get rid of and even when you think its gone, sometimes its not. I have had great success with combofix, I run it multiple times and sometimes even follow it up with a scan or two using malwarebytes. You have to tell your clients though that you have used your best efforts to remove it and that it should be gone, but if they see any odd activity after you have returned their pc, to let you know, and to tell them that a full format and reinstall may be necessary. I have had instances where infections are so bad that even running combofix from safe mode can't clean the pc and a format and reinstall is my only option.

    Here is the legit link to download combofix:
  22. v654321 macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    Vilvoorde, Belgium
    I don't get these kind of posts.

    You initially simply plan to reinstall Windows over an existing installation and keep all data there while you know there's a virus. It's a well known fact that even by applying virus "removers" it's always best to do a clean Windows reinstall to make sure there's a fresh and clean set of Windows files being used.

    You look up on the Internet on what to do with "some" sort of virus and you install crap software. That on itself can even make things worse.

    You deliver the laptop back with the assessment that all infections were removed using one bit of software and that simply the Internet worked again.

    If you receive a virus infected computer (regardless of whether it's Windows, Mac, ...) you:
    - back-up the data (not the full hard disk) in off-line mode
    - run a virus scan with known good software on that off-line data
    - you wipe the original HD and do a fresh Windows install
    - you install proper AV software (there's very good free software available)
    - you copy back the data
    - you run a final scan

    Being pissed off because the clients asked you to fix it after having returned a non fixed machine is not justifiable. The client paid for it and expects it to be fixed. The fact you only requested a very limited amount of money is a nice gesture but doesn't mean the client cannot expect a properly fixed computer. If you know your price doesn't cut the work that you spend (or spent) on it, then increase your price or don't take such work.
  23. Ccrew macrumors 68020

    Feb 28, 2011
    I guess I'm the only one reading his initial post thinking "he's doing this for money and just arbitrarily downloading things from the internet trying to resolve it?" without having the proper tools with him nor a protocol of which tools to use.
  24. lippyt macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2010
    I agree with this reply and the others in this thread which have a similar tone. I'm not sure what kind of professional-client relationship OP has, but it is greatly questionable and I believe many of us put his professionalism into question (yes OP, you have the right to post your woes here, but you aren't earning yourself a favor doing so.)

    If it were contractual that OP goes over to fix the client's computer it is his duty to do so, there's no difference if the client was a windows or mac user, savvy or ignorant.
  25. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    Network externalities and switching costs - once one product dominates the market people invest time and resources in acquiring and developing for it - so switching gets expensive and thus the dominate player stays dominant. Since so much more is developed for the dominate player than others people gravitate to it as well, strengthening its position.

    Better truly is the enemy of good enough in such cases.


    You don't do backups? You don't image regularly (such as with Ghost)? There are equivalents to Time Machine for Windows.
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