I can’t even begin to count how many times it has happened to me. I start on a computer repair that looks pretty simple and it turns into the never-ending nightmare.
My technical manager, Jim Singleton, ended up on one of those a couple nights ago. It was a blue screen error that just didn’t seem to respond to anything normal. Running Vista 64 bit Home Premium, it was an error with the IA drivers – the ones that handle the hard drive. He started on it at 6 pm on Tuesday. At 7 am (can you believe it), he contacted me to see if I had any ideas. 13 straight hours of “Let me try this…”, “Well, maybe this…” and all the reboots, tweaks, eeyuck. 13 straight hours. That’s dedication. Actually the client definitely needed it back quickly. He’s a DJ and all of his music was on that computer – and a blue screen in the middle of a show just doesn’t cut it.
Seriously, when the tech manager runs out of ideas, there’s only one thing left to do – reinstall. My normal rule of thumb is to work on it for a couple hours. IF I don’t have results at that point, then reinstall operating system. But that isn’t to say that I haven’t taken a run at a computer repair for hours on end. You get the pc repair to the point where you think, “One more tweak and it should go…” and nope, didn’t do it. Then one more, and one more, and etc.. ad nauseum. Pretty soon you’ve gotten 5 or more hours into the computer repair STILL with a non-working computer.
Rule of thumb for computer repair – 2 hours. Set your timer. After that – reinstall. At least at the end of 5 hours, you’ll HAVE a working computer. Isn’t always easy to do that as you know you’ll end up having to reinstall programs, move settings, make computer backups and all that, but you DO know you WILL have a working computer. And that’s the real goal.
Home users? If you have a computer problem, do a google search on the problem. You might strike it lucky and find the solution. Even techs use the web to find solutions. It’s almost a given that if you have a problem, someone else has resolved it before and LIKELY will have shared the solution somewhere. No sense going it alone if you can lay hands on that info with a quick search.
If you as the computer user get in over your head – call for help before you make it worse. Most techs have been doing computer work for years and can quickly resolve an issue for you. Many times when end users get in panic mode, they make the problem worse by installing the first “software fix program” that they run across and that, all too often, ends up causing more issues. Or trying registry hacks that really should only be attempted by someone with some skill under their belt. It only takes one mistake in that registry to render your computer completely inoperable. In fairness, a lot of registry stuff won’t cause a complete failure, but there are locations that WILL bomb out that computer – and turn a routine cheap fix into a “We’ll HAVE to take it with us” overnight repair…
Call Lizardwebs at 919.404.9327 for fast reliable service!