August 2010 Overview

August turned out to be a very busy month this year with varied problems besides the usual virus and spyware infections so common these days.

Several things to be said for the month to make things easier on both yourselves and repairers such as myself you might call when you have a problem.

Before you call to arrange a service call on your computer, restart every device, not just your computer, so that includes modems, printers and any other devices. Some devices such as printers often do not power off entirely with their on/off switch, so make sure you turn them off at the power point and wait at least 30 seconds before powering them back on. So shut every device down through the correct procedures, then turn them off at the power point, then turn them all back on in sequence, first with external devices such as modems and printers, and finally the computer. Once everything is powered back up, if you can reproduce the same problem or error, then you need to take the next step and call to arrange an appointment. More than once a month this is the fix I use to resolve a problem I'm called to, which means an expense that some people could avoid by simply starting with the basic trouble shooting procedure of restarting their systems.

Each external device can be thought of as a separate computer, each with their own ability to encounter a random one off problem which requires nothing more than restarting to resolve. In typical situations power failures in the home do this on a somewhat regular basis, but sometimes, power failures come further and further apart, meaning we need to power them off manually occasionally.

Additionally if your system is producing a specific error message each and every time, have this information readily available, either copied down, or on the screen in front of you. Again, several times a month, I arrive at a customers home to find a common enough problem, with a specific error message, which could have simply and quickly been resolved over the phone, but since that error message wasn't reported accurately during the initial call a service call had to be made which resulted in an unnecessary charge.

One final thing to always keep in mind, its often very hard to estimate the time which might be required on site to resolve an issue, this is becoming frequently harder when additional work is planned, but not discussed at the first phone call. So if you have a printer you want hooked up, or a second system cleaned up, please mention it when you call so that additional time can be allocated to your service call. I take pride in being one of the few PC repairers who not only show up on an arranged day, but in most cases within an hour of arranged times. This is becoming increasingly difficult when additional services are required, but never mentioned until I arrive on site. With the increasing demand on my time, such unexpected additions will most likely end up requiring a new service time to be arranged, which will again add unnecessary expenses in additional service fees to your final invoice.