Fixing my mom’s pesky PC

I knew it would be a 4 hour job going into this. She called me in a panic from work, saying all these alert windows were popping up and she couldn’t do anything. Sadly, I had warned her months ago that her work PC needed serious attention. I even took the time to write up an estimate for her boss, comparing the money he would spend at GeekSquad or another PC repair shop versus what I could do. Of course I come in at less than half. He then asks if I can guarantee my work. I told him absolutely not, especially not without actually seeing and running the PC first. Even GeekSquad won’t guarantee their work. With computers, anything can go wrong. Fast forward to this week and the panicky phone call. A fee was agreed upon, and I set out to fix this laptop. Upon booting, I get assaulted with Windows errors, spamware and adware running, tying up the quad-core processor like it was running 6 instances of Adobe Photoshop all trying to render at the same time. 3.5 hours, 469 individual malware entries, a few security updates, and reworking Chrome and Internet Explorer, I got the Lenovo running like a top. There were some bastard programs like Conduit and Iminent, plus two trojan viruses really putting the screws to this machine.
Now why would I charge my own mother to fix a laptop?

1. She doesn’t actually own it, it’s company property
2. Her boss thinks guilting her into calling me for tech support during my work hours is OK.
3. I told her I didn’t want her money. I want his.
4. #2 happens all the time.
5. She’s mortified to use his PC for anything she has to do, well, because porn.

I also strongly advised her to back up any important documents on a weekly, if not daily, basis. The laptop is not that old. But considering the strain it’s been under, it is a safe bet the hard drive will crash sooner than it should.

To help them understand what I actually did for 3.5 hours, I logged my every activity in a convenient spreadsheet printed to a PDF file. I realize average PC users take an IT tech for granted, “because they watched Bill from IT fix Sandra’s computer with a few clicks here and there” once. Thank God this laptop was running Windows 7 64 Bit. If it was running Vista I would have thrown it right in the garbage. I’m serious.

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