What's Your Computer Fixing Method?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Brandonn2010, Dec 13, 2011.

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  1. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    I was interested to hear what programs you use to fix peoples' computers, now I want to know your routine? Specifically for fixing computers that are slow and may have occasional errors and crashes, since this seems to be what most friends and family ask me to fix.

    Usually I:

    1. Scan for malware with MBAM and HitmanPro. Usually it just finds some adware and seemingly inert infections.

    2. Update Windows fully.

    3. Update programs like Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, etc.

    3. Use CCleaner to remove junk files, remove obsolete registry keys, and uninstall preinstalled programs and unnecessary programs.

    4. Run the sfc /scannow command if they are having errors.

    5. Defragment if needed with Defraggler.

    Now I will probably run the Windows All-in-one program as well.

    What is your routine? Because mine could probably use improving.
  2. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    May 11, 2011
    Identify the problem
    Fix the problem

    works every time
  3. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    Depends on how bad the problem is, but I have to confess, my usual solution is to wipe the machine clean and reformat, or if one exists, restore an image. I honestly never spend much time trying to fix things. It's often quicker and better to redo from scratch.
  4. CloneRanger

    CloneRanger Registered Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Jeez, how helpful :(
  5. PoetWarrior

    PoetWarrior Registered Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    Yep, that's my approach. In fact, I usually install a clean image every six months on my personal computer just to be safe.
  6. guest

    guest Guest


    I tell them: "because I know how to clean/organize and keep my room cleaned/organized doesn't mean that I will clean/organize your room. And the same goes for your computer. If you don't know how to deal with your computer issues, find a computer school near you".
  7. wtsinnc

    wtsinnc Registered Member

    Oct 3, 2008
    I keep no irreplaceable data on my OS drive so unless the fix is easy and I can be assured that no malware remains, I wipe the drive and restore an image.
    Add a few applications and I'm back in business.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  8. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    I don't generally fix other peoples' computers, unless outside family member's and even then usually only if it's minor stuff. As for my own family machines, if it's something I can identify and address without something else breaking in the process, then that's the approach, otherwise I restore an image, as they are all imaged.
  9. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

    May 11, 2011
    It's hard to say honestly. There are so many programs for different routes. And computers can have so much wrong with them.

    If it's a virus I usually just run RKill and MBAM but it depends on the type.

    If I can't figure out the problem and I might try MemTest86+ and CHKDSK. At that point if one of those is messed up I tell them to contact the manufacturer.
  10. Ranget

    Ranget Registered Member

    Mar 24, 2011
    Not Really Sure :/
    i will gather Logs First using OTL and DDS
    then try using automatic Cleaning methods regarding Malware removal

    if nothing works i will try manual removal if it seem to complicated i will get help on some sites

    then nothing work reformat
  11. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

    Nov 6, 2009
    Rescue CD
    On-Demand Scanners
    Fix errors, if any
    Maintenance if necessary
    Google if all else fails
    Recommend disk imaging
  12. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Hmm. I know format and reimage/reinstall works for us on this forum, but what about average users who need their PC fixed? If you asked someone if they had an image of their computer they wouldn't know what you were talking about. It also doesn't help if they had Office or some other program preinstalled that would be lost.
  13. guest

    guest Guest

    Speaking about problems on my personal machines: my setups are so stable that problems only happen when I change something, so the problems' origins are usually very easy to spot - which consequently make them very easy to fix.

    Also, I regularly make full images of my systems with the help of a great freeware called EaseUS Todo Backup Free, so if I can't fix a problem, I just restore the latest image. I also employ several other data backup strategies (offline and online/on the "cloud").
  14. The Hammer

    The Hammer Registered Member

    May 12, 2005
    Toronto Canada
    Which takes longer identifiying or fixing?:cautious:
  15. siljaline

    siljaline Registered Member

    Jun 29, 2003
    Some great reading posted right here on the Forum.
  16. noblelord

    noblelord Registered Member

    Aug 19, 2009
    My best tip for "speeding up" a computer for someone who has filled it with crap and then wonders why it takes two hours to boot is to time the startup of the machine, with them sitting next to you. After working on it for half a day, they will invariably insist it is no quicker than it was before - until you time it booting, show them the decrease in startup time, at which point they will cease moaning and work out how not to give you the money they half-promised you when they asked for help.
  17. ams963

    ams963 Registered Member

    May 3, 2011
    Parallel Universe
    if it's malware related I use various diagnostic tools to gather logs .....and then use:
    Emsisoft emergency kit
    F-secure easyclean
    Norton power eraser

    if nothing helps........I restore an image......or for relatives who have not backed up pc I just format and reinstall os........and advise them to use imaging tool from then on........
  18. jdd58

    jdd58 Registered Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    Sonoran Desert
    I also like to use OTL. What is DDS?
  19. MrBrian

    MrBrian Registered Member

    Feb 24, 2008
    Download DDS
  20. Kinda of :D
  21. pidbo

    pidbo Registered Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    I've fixed quite a few computers for people, maybe when they have allowed virus or trojans onto their machine or other problems and no two situations have been the same to fix. The main drawback about being seen as the pc "expert" is that you will eventually be despised, not trusted and even hated, whether you fix the pc or not it's almost always a lose-lose situation.
    When the people first hear of you, (usually through friends) and are in the middle of a crisis they are desperate for you to come round straight away. They hang on your shoulder all the way through the work and question your every move and turn, to the point that you can't even think straight anymore. If the pc is unfixable there and then, because of a hardware fault (for example), you then are regarded as a failure or a nuisance. Often, even when you do succesfully fix the problem they will say to you at the next fault they get "It wasn't like that until you came round that day to look at my pc" The only way I will help anyone with a pc these days is after telling them directly " I am promising nothing, it probably won't work and it may even make it worse" at the outset because otherwise you will never live up to their expectations whatever you do.

    What I advise you to do is read a lot, on the net, go to various forums and look at what other people are doing about their problems. Remember that there are all sorts of operating sytems, hardware and software configurations etc, so as far as fixes go, "One cap does not fit all". No one on a forum is going to tell you how to simply fix a pc, it's asking the impossible but you can glean good information sometimes by keeping your eyes and ears open and doing research even when it's not needed by you at that time.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  22. Keyboard_Commando

    Keyboard_Commando Registered Member

    Mar 6, 2009
    Boot Disk -- it's surprising how many people don't bother making one - they can almost always resuscitate a PC.

    Event Viewer -- my first port of call if PC boots. Can find the exact problem with a bit of detective work (thanks to Google)

    Sardu - UBCD - Hiren's boot CD - and various other live CD's, anti virus, etc -- If a PC OS seems infected or just seemingly beyond repair ... I use these now. Much safer and offers better chances of saving anything you can't afford to lose. They each have so many useful tools to rescue a PC from what appears to be a disaster situation. Almost any tool that will be mentioned here you can find in these free all-in-one tools.

    Regular imaging is ultimately the ideal solution. I use Macrium free and it does everything I want. Imaging at least once every week/ 2 weeks.
  23. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

    Jul 22, 2006
    In many cases it is a waste of valuable time to try to fix a PC, if the problem(s) are caused by Malware.

    1. Boot the PC from some sort of Live CD (i.e., Parted Magic) recover any critical data to a USB Flash Drive, USB hard drive, CD's/DVD's.

    2. Wipe (zero write to all hard drive sectors) the entire hard drive.

    3. Partition the hard drive, format the hard drive, Install the OS, Update the OS and Install the necessary software (including Security software).

    4. Image the hard drive so that any future problem(s) that are caused by Malware may be quickly and easily corrected.
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