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Old 08-06-2008, 02:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Computer problem opinion, please look

Ok this is an interesting story.
I had a custom computer built a little whiles back.
It worked fine for a year and then something went wrong, i took it back to the creator and he said that it was overheating, he replaced the heatsink on the cpu and put anew fan on my video card.
I get it back and it starts freezing up after 3 hours. Eventually it goes to a blue screen that says hardware or software failure and windows never boots, just continues to loop from the blue screen to windows bootup.
I bring it to another technician, he says it was an illegitimate copy of windows replaces it and installs a bunch of new drivers.. charges me 256.00 .
Which is well worth it if the computer continued to work, however, after a good 5 days of using my computer it begins to freeze up again.

All that i downloaded was bittorrent and two cd's from a private site, firefox, mixcraft( a free trial from download.com) and aim.
He fixed it he says by installing S&D and removing 30 counts of spyware and offers that was the reason it was freezing. He charged me 90 to remove the counts and reinstall "corrupted drivers".

Does it sound like hes bs'ing me? The same problem has happened and he says it does not fall under his warranty since i dloaded the problem. But the same screen occurred even after he fixed it.

Thank you for your time i understand it was a lenghty read.
Respectfully,
Stamati Filacouris
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Old 08-06-2008, 02:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

Wow first off find a new computer tech to build your systems and a new computer tech to diagnose your problems.

Lets start off by first tackling the issue of the 'over heating.' If the computer worked for a year w/o overheating, then suddenly 'started overheating' - the issue isn't heat. Unless a fan died or slowed down, your issue is hardware/software related, not a thermal issue. So your building tech doesn't know squat. Secondly did he serioiusly install a pirated copy of windows? If so that is another strike against this guy - hope you didn't pay him.

Next is the first computer tech saying that it was windows causing these issues. I am 99.9% positive it was something you downloaded or a hardware issue, NOT because it was a bad copy of the OS. So this guy duped you into spending 300 on a new OS when in fact he probably did that because he didn't know what the real issue was. Secondly i question if he really used another copy of windows, because a new CD of XP would have probably cost a decent amount, then installing the OS and apps he would have probably charged more. So double check your Windows key.

While I agree downloading spyware and virus's could cause your problems, to say it is because of bad drivers is kinda BS. Either you need to install a good AntiVirus / Spyware application, or you need to replace something within your computer. I don't know your downloading habbits so i can't say for sure, and who's to say this guy really found 30 spyware (which is a freaking lot for 5 days unless you are constantly downloading nastygrams)? Did you see Spybot S&D scan and show these items?

Here is what i think you should do...
1) find a new tech - there are a ton on this website, find one locally if needed
2) download all OS security patches and updates, get a good AV and anti spyware app and have those things scan daily.
3) stop downloading stuff for a week or two, see if your problems subside. If you don't have any issues then continue on downloading whatever you were downloading, then if it stops working you know the issue is YOU not the computer
4) if you don't download anything for a few weeks and your computer craps out, you know it is a hardware issue and you will need to give us the specific error code to diagnose the problem.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

Thank you very much for your response.
I believe there was a fan problem on my video card, that caused overheating he claimed.
He works for my father as his network technician so he wasn't some random off the street help.
As for installing a new OS, i was fairly sure that could not possibly be the problem, he just could not find out what wasn't working. The night before it froze up i ran norton antivirus, i ran it 3 times a day?
I ran the check one last time and went to bed. When i woke up the screen was frozen and then after restarting manually it would not boot back up.

He gave me the windows booklet with everything in it, you still think i should check to see if the key is valid?
I will look for a new technician on these sites, I know enough about a PC to understand when someone is bs'ing.
He just pinned it on something i downloaded to evade his warranty and pin me with another charge.

30 counts?
all i downloaded was firefox, aim, mixcraft, and 2 CD's.
It was a private server i downloaded it on as well, 30+ counts of spyware on those?

I am debating calling him and telling him we are not going to pay him the 90 dollars and we want our computer back, if not we will file a report with visa and tell them even after he fixed it the same problem occurred and it was never fixed properly.
What do you think?
I really appreciate all of your time responding, any help is great.

Thank you all,
Stamati Filacouris
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

No worries, it was just more my opinion then anything. I don't mean to bash your dad's computer guy either, I just find more often then not my clients 'computer guys' are just a friend that knows how to install windows. They rarely have any qualifications, degrees, or certifications. I think people should go to a certified/qualified technician before ever letting them touch your computer, much less paying them for the job.

It could of been your fan, but it worked for a year and was fine. Then he replaced the fans and it still didn't work - which leads me to believe heat wasn't the issue. Also heat issues like a GPU or CPU overheating is usually indicated by random freezing - but after 3 hours of work i doubt it is heat. THe CPU will usually overheat right away (within a minute or so) if the fan has gone bad. The fans are also easily tests - as you can physically see/hear them running. Anyways long story short, the one tech replaced the fans and it still freezes - hence why i don't think the fans were the original issue.

I'm not saying it isn't a legitimate copy, but if you look at a retail CD of XP it will run you around $139 - and normally Tech's charge more then the 117 he charged you for the labor of a total system wipe and reinstall. Get where i'm coming from?

With the spyware - i'm just really suprised he found 30 spyware files and you only had it working for 5 days. I've cleaned off computers that didn't EVER run spybot for say 6 months and i rarely found computers with 30 spyware files on them. I'm just saying these two things add up to me not trusting the guy that is working on your computer. Your computer, your choice, but if it were me i'd find a new tech.

What does his warranty say? Do you have that in writing? Does he even offer a warranty? I only give a 14 day warranty on labor, and if the user does something (like a software install) that can very easily void your warranty - double check your paperwork and his company information.

It is a bit too late now, i'd get your computer back then debate the issue of why the computer keeps crapping out. More than likely he probably doesn't have a warranty, or if he does it is VERY limited and it wouldn't be worth fighting about, pay the 90 dollars, cut your loses and find a new tech.

Do what i outlined earlier, scan for virus's AND spyware daily. See if your problem persists, If it starts locking up again then we need to look elsewhere for a resolution since someone already wiped the drive and you are still having issues.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

Most common causes of the BSOD (blue screen of death) related to hardware:

Hard drive malfunction
Bad RAM
Video Driver or other driver error/corruption

Those are what I have come to find out. If you see the blue screen and error message, normally it gives a code which can be used to track down the exact or general region of the cause. I do not know what "CDs" you downloaded, but if you used Bit Torrent to download stuff, there is a small chance that you got spyware. Spyware can cause your computer to slow up and freeze, but it CANNOT cause your computer to give a Blue Screen with a hardware related error message.

If you can reproduce that blue screen and write down the error code(s) we can point you in the right direction.

Also, you should never have a tech do a repair until he runs a diagnostic and gives you the analysis and cost quote first. Then if it sounds reasonable, he can do the repair. That is how I do repair work. I offer a free diagnostic, find the problem, tell them what it is and how much it will be to fix.

EDIT: After reading your posts, you never said whether it was XP or Vista. I have experienced Vista BSOD's for general hardware failure related to the Windows Updates failing, which could be why it will work for a few days before dying. It is still not your likely cause of this issue.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

Quote:
Originally Posted by surgeVel View Post
Most common causes of the BSOD (blue screen of death) related to hardware:

Hard drive malfunction
Bad RAM
Video Driver or other driver error/corruption

Those are what I have come to find out. If you see the blue screen and error message, normally it gives a code which can be used to track down the exact or general region of the cause. I do not know what "CDs" you downloaded, but if you used Bit Torrent to download stuff, there is a small chance that you got spyware. Spyware can cause your computer to slow up and freeze, but it CANNOT cause your computer to give a Blue Screen with a hardware related error message.

If you can reproduce that blue screen and write down the error code(s) we can point you in the right direction.

Also, you should never have a tech do a repair until he runs a diagnostic and gives you the analysis and cost quote first. Then if it sounds reasonable, he can do the repair. That is how I do repair work. I offer a free diagnostic, find the problem, tell them what it is and how much it will be to fix.
Excellent advice. Also go into your system properties, then to the advanced tab and click the settings button under startup and recovery. Uncheck the "automatically restart" button so that you can read the BSOD error message IF that occurs again.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

Or if it is BSOD on boot up every time, hit F8 at the first screen that comes up (the Intel/Asus/MSI/Biostar or whatever brand motherboard logo will be there) and it will give you a list of boot options. Choose "disable automatic reboot after system failure" and it will reboot to let you see the full error message.
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

Thank you so much guys, i forgot to mention i unplugged my video card and went on board video and the bsod didnt go away.
Im going to go get it tomorrow and do what you all said, his warranty was never written on paper or i never received any paperwork of that.
He charges a 40 dollar down payment to get a diagnostic.
Guy's most likely a crook, I suppose since i am of this age he felt like it was easy prey.
He called me initially for the actual reboot of windows, but when he fixed the spyware problem he never called.
Also how did he get to the home page to run the S&D?
It would not turn on for me in anything, safe mode, previous settings etc.
Is there an area on the forum for technicians where I might be able to find someone locally?

I will follow your advice and continue to update this thread as everything occurs, I appreciate all of your help and hope you can continue to work with me to resolve this issue.

Thank you very much once again,
It's a weird feeling receiving honest computer help after dealing with a man such as him.

Best Regards from New York,
Stamati Filacouris
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer problem opinion, please look

I am truely sorry you've had some bad issues/advise from your computer techs. There are a TON of fully capable tech people on this forum to help you out. I would just suggest doing one thing at a time. Get the computer back, pay your tech, then go from there. DOn't download anything (esp bit torren) for a good two weeks or so (i mean unless there is something you CANNOT work without). If your computer works fine, then move onto the next step of downloading what you had before. Beware if you do this you really really really really need to pay attention to what you download and when you do so. Create a paper log if needed. Then when the computer starts acting up take step back and diagnose the problem, see what you've downloaded and go from there.

I don't know what you mean by the home page, Spybot S&D is an application (free) that will erase spyware, so you just download it, install, and run it. If it isn't in your programs then he may have installed it elsewhere, or run it from his computer and connected to yours.

Not sure where you are located, perhaps put it in your profile then when an issue comes up, see if we can help online. If you can't do it yourself then ask if anyone locally could help you out. If you are in Missouri I'd be glad to help. You also have the option of having someone help you remotely (essentially taking over your computer and diagnosing/fixing the issue while you sit there and watch). This usually takes some trust though and you may want to develope a repore (SP*) with someone here before going to that extent.

We are here to help you.
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