When you have a hardware error or just need some custom computer work performed it is sometimes easy to fall prey to a friend of a friend. You are afraid that the big box office outlets will be too expensive, (believe me, I have heard the crap they feed people in order to get them leave their machine for ransom, I mean repair), or they would just take too long and you go with someone you do not know. Unfortunately there are people out there that like nothing better to take your money with very little or nothing at all in return.
I recently encountered a client that performs professional specialized work that requires very specific hardware and software in order to function correctly. She needed some tune up work done to her PC and wanted a clone machine built that she could use in case of system failure. This client was referred to this computer repair outfit by a passing acquaintance, she checked out the website which looked legit and called the number.
The technician/owner arrived and took her PC back to his shop to do an image of her hard drive to put on a PC he was to supply to the end-user. During this process he states that the new hard drive was smaller than her original hard drive so he had to compress the image and he lost some of her data and programs, blah blah blah. He returns a Frankenstein PC box with a new hard drive and her original hard drive. It works about a week and then fails. This is where I come in.
I checked the PC out and found that not only would it not boot or return any video, one of the hard drives was not even screwed in or contained in a cage. I tried a couple of video cards and came to the conclusion that the mother board was bad. I returned the PC to my shop, retrieved her data from her hard drive, installed it in a loaner PC, configured it to run her profession specific software and hardware and she was functioning once again by Monday afternoon.
I then ordered a PC for this user from a major PC manufacturer designed to meet the end users very specific needs. We ended up with a 32 bit machine as opposed to a 64 bit due to one software program and Windows 7 Professional with XP Mode which I think is pretty wicked. More about XP Mode in my next blog post! We then delivered the configured box and the user is up and running on a new machine. We are also working on an XP spare for this client to use in case of an emergency.
My client then contacted the first technician to do a swap; she wanted her original PC back and she would then return Frankenstein JR but he became very agitated, told her basically that she was a liar and sent her a bill for $350.00. She is handling him in another way.
So folks, be wary about who you contract out your computer life too and please post any of your personal or professional IT nightmares made by IT people in sheep’s clothing. You may also contact me:
Harry McConchie, Systems Engineer, Carter Information Solutions
301-576-6456 or on the web at http://carterinfo.com