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6 Reasons The Guy Who's Fixing Your Computer Hates You

By my calculations, about 96 percent of all computer repairs are done, not by the local computer guy or the Geek Squad, but by The Friend Who is Good With Computers. Often that friend is nothing more than an average computer user who knows how to look up error messages on Google, but it doesn't matter -- once they become known as TFWIGWC, they will get the call every time something goes wrong. And they will fix it, probably for free, because TFWIGWC pities you.

Still, any time a bunch of TFWIGWCs get together and share their computer repair horror stories, you learn that there are certain things their "customers" do that make them want to ram their head through a wall.

So, before I touch your computer, friend who may or may not do me a favor in return for this free repair job, here's what you should know:

#6. Future Computer Problems Are Not Automatically My Fault

This computer is yours. You know exactly who has used it. It is in its current condition without any outside interference, especially from me. I, on the other hand, am about to spend several hours of my own time trying to get it back into the condition it was in before you or someone you love screwed it up. So, two months down the line if I get a call from you, saying, "That program you installed messed up my computer." I will beat you until it causes hydrogen fusion. Or at least I will imagine myself doing it.

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This is how it's gonna go down, chief.

See, the vast majority of the computers I fix are broken because of some bullshit the owner has installed, like Weatherbug, or some program that changes their cursor into an amusing animated kitten. Or, they've been playing some online flash game that just funnels in malware as fast as their connection and processor will allow. While fixing your computer I will explain all of this, and talk about how an entire industry of malicious free downloads thrives purely because so many Internet users are trusting souls like you. You believe all men are good at heart, especially on the Internet, so no amount of antivirus warning popups will convince you that the people distributing "Wild Bill's Poker Roundup" for free want anything but the best for you.

So, I go through and strip out the malware and toolbars and Trojans, then install protection like Malwarebytes or something like it to help block this type of deceptive shit in the future. Then, two months later, I get that call:

"Yeah, I don't know what you did to my computer when you were here but it's so slow now that I can mow the lawn waiting for it to check my email. I need you to undo whatever you did."

At this point I will drive over, again, imagining myself slamming the owner's dick in his own laptop. Five minutes after I arrive, this exchange will occur:

"Wait, where's Spybot? The program I told you to leave on there?"

"I uninstalled that. It was messing up my computer. It wouldn't let me play any of my games."


But at least you have this fake scanner.

Yes, it was Spybot. Not the programs that I told you would cause the exact problems we're looking at right now, you impossible dipsh- "Wait, where's the antivirus?"

"Oh, I got rid of that, too. My cousin was downloading music, and it wasn't letting him open the files, so we had to get rid of it."

"Sure, sure. Now, this is going to seem like an odd request, but for this next step, I'm going to need you to take out your dick, and lay it on your laptop's keyboard."

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Anywhere around the "G" key will do just fine.

#5. Expect One More Person for Dinner

"Wow, I didn't think it would take that long," you'll say as I'm into hour two, removing eight months' worth of stupid bullshit from your hard drive. "Is it going to take much longer?"

Yes. It's going to take much longer. Much, much, much longer. Probably. See, the thing is, I have no way of knowing how long it's going to take me to find the problem. That's why before I came over here, I canceled all of my plans for the rest of the day.

Getty

The only reason I'm not punching you in the neck right now is because I know this ignorance isn't your fault. Despite owning a computer and probably using one at work, much of your knowledge comes from Hollywood, and Hollywood hasn't got the slightest goddamn clue what they're talking about. In movies, everything from hacking the Pentagon to creating Kelly LeBrock can be done in one flurry of keystrokes.


Oh, that reminds me, we're going to need some bras.

In real life, the same symptoms could be the result of any of three billion different problems. Especially when the symptom is that the computer is "slow." Or when the thing you're complaining about only happens once every two days, and never when I'm around. If it's a result of the malicious software and other bullshit I was just talking about, remember that it's specifically designed to be hard to remove.

Half the time I'm going to wind up Googling for other people who've had the same problem, because none of the standard spyware removal tools will do it. Half the time, my search will take me to a message board and I'll find this:

________________________________

User: ComputerGuy

Posted: 8.1.11, 10:24 PM

Subject: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don't Detect It

Body: (Exact description of the same problem we're having)

_________________________________

User: Admin

Posted: 8.1.11, 10:36 PM

Subject: Re: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don't Detect It

Body: (Request for more information, OS, HijackThis logs, etc)

_________________________________

User: ComputerGuy

Posted: 8.2.11, 8:15 AM

Subject: Re: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don't Detect It

Body: Never mind, I fixed it.

_________________________________

User: Admin

Posted: 8.2.11, 8:29 AM

Subject: Re: Trojan, Malwarebytes and Combofix Don't Detect It

Body: Issue resolved. Thread locked.

_________________________________

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OK, try it now.

You might notice me becoming steadily more frustrated as this process repeats itself eight or nine hundred more times. And you're making it worse by being the kid in the back seat who's constantly asking, "Are we there yet?!" I want to make it clear: I have no problem whatsoever bending you over my knee and spanking your ass until you shit blood. Go find a movie to watch, and I'll let you know when it's fixed.

#4. Assigning Blame Is Not a Priority

The subject of who is to blame for your screwed up computer is sure to come up. There are a couple of reasons -- one, some people, usually douche bags, live in a world where everything is somebody's fault. The computer can't just break. Somebody has to have broken it. Nothing "just happens," right?

But other times it's just that whoever's computer I'm working on wants to make sure I know that they didn't screw it up. It's, "I told my son not to install that Firefox thing." Yes, Firefox broke your computer, not the 27 "free screensavers" websites that each came with their own toolbar, or the hundreds and hundreds of sketchy porn sites.

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"Yeah, but you were shopping on eBay the other day!"

But the focus here should not be on blame -- I don't want to hear how stupid your wife is. It needs to be on repair and preventative action, so that we don't have to go through this again. And by "we" I mean "I." And, the thing is, there's a good chance you're not going to want to hear why your computer is actually in this condition. At least not from me. Let me talk to your son in private, and you'll be a much happier person. I've tried the direct route with parents before about their teenage son's porn use, and how he's not old enough to know to keep to the reputable porn sites, and it never, ever ends well.

"Bobby?! He wouldn't do that. He's a good kid."

"Yep. He's also a teenage boy with a volcano full of dick-related hormones that require an outlet."

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"OK, what's the cup fo- OH MY GOD!"

"I know my son, and he wouldn't. Maybe a hacker did it."

"Yes. A hacker, out of the blue, decided to break into your computer and place temporary files onto the system in the hopes that a repairman would see them and then report them to you. Evil hackers have it in for your son, and this is by far the best way to do it."

But even that isn't as bad as when there is no kid involved at all. Then I have to figure out which spouse has the poop fetish. Saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can cause an instant rift in a marriage. But saying nothing at all means that the activity will continue the second I pull out of their driveway. And a month later, I'll be getting the blame for the computer's relapse. "You know, eBay sure does have a lot of popups for shemale porn sites these days."

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