Tech Support Here. I’d Like A Few Words With You

Hi, tech support here. I’m the friend/relative who fixes your broken PC. I am part of an army of nerds that cleans up other people’s computer troubles.

The good news is I can probably fix your computer even though this is the first time I’m seeing your particular problem. It’s not that I know how to fix everything. I just know where the answers are. That’s the secret of the nerds!

Unfortunately I can’t find the answer unless I know exactly what the problem is. No abbreviating. No paraphrasing. I need the error message verbatim. Don’t leave stuff out. Let me decided what’s important.

Writing all that stuff down is a pain in the butt. Do it anyway. Trust me–you’re still getting off easy.

I have to research. I can’t unless I have real specifics. This is why computer geeks are often perceived as snippy. Put yourself in our scuffed shoes.

If your computer stopped right after you did something tell me.

One of my tech ‘suportees’ downloaded the ‘free Flash player’ from a porn site. It was the only way to get the free porn. Wow, how public spirited. I won’t be judgmental.

Yesterday my daughter’s computer lost Internet access after getting some Microsoft updates… except it wasn’t connecting to the Internet before the updates either. I discovered that by accident. It allowed me to say, “wait.” Sure enough today this problem fixed itself.

Speaking of my daughter, she knows I don’t snoop at her stuff. She’s a grownup and deserves privacy. However, understand we tech supporters can see pretty much everything on your computer including a list of the websites you’ve recently visited.

A friend’s teenage daughter decided she didn’t need my help when she found that out.

Sometimes problems can be solved by restoring. It’s a function built into Windows and brings your computer back to an earlier state. Documents remain untouched. Whoever’s responsible for that gets my undying gratitude. Of course if you tell me the problem started three months ago restore won’t help.

If you’re infected with a virus I’m going to recommend reformatting and reloading from scratch. Maybe I could clear the infection, but it’s painstaking work which will take forever with no guarantee I’ll fully succeed. Virus writers try and protect their work from my repairs and they’re much more computer savvy than I am. Reloading take a fraction of the time and I don’t need to supervise most of it.

I don’t have virus protection on my computers and I don’t get infected! Think about that a second.

Today most… no nearly all virus infections happen because you bring them in! It’s called social engineering. The virus writers convince you to do it willingly! Most computer users click on anything without understanding what they’re doing. You’re not doing yourself any favors.

Microsoft takes a lot of the credit here. Their methods of security have numbed users who just assume all clicks are good.

If you’re using a Mac I don’t want to hear it. OK?

3 Responses to “Tech Support Here. I’d Like A Few Words With You”

  1. Lee says:

    Been there often myself between family and work. Combofix (from bleepingcomputer.com) is a decent tool for cleaning up. Just typing the address gives a little satisfaction.

  2. Rod Richardson says:

    It’s your blog, so I won’t extol the virtues of the Mac (of which I’ve been a user for 23 years). Suffice it to say, I think that since you love troubleshooting so much, the Windows platform is perfect for that. But even if it were trouble-free, I know you’d be out there on the cutting edge of Linux all the more because there really is a wonderful satisfaction when you go full geek, learn something new and get it working just right… until you find out something else fun that you can do to improve your gear!

  3. KE4GNK says:

    Meh, Macs have their own issues. They just don’t talk about them as much. Just don’t make me use a pencil–I’m a computer geek.

    I get the worst of both worlds–Windoze at work, Macs at home, and the absolute toughest users in the world–Wife and Daughter…sounds familiar, huh, Geoff?

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