Dell Netbook (Inspiron Mini) with a virus

I received a very interesting call today.  This customer called in from about an hour away and said that he had a Dell Net book that he purchased from a friend and it had a virus.  He wanted to know if I could fix that.  So I met him for lunch at a local restaurant and we spoke about the situation.

To me it is important to fully understand how a computer is used by its owner before I ever touch it. I have a name for that conversation.  It is a “Free 15 minute consultation” even when that talk takes longer. This individual is retired and used it to access email.  He has had the laptop for 2 years.  He said he was using windows mail and that he liked to use the FireFox browser and did not want to lose his bookmarks.  He was also considering writing a book.  So he needed the Open Office suite to get it all down and then convert it over to PDF.

A net book from Dell, at least this one, is a very small computer.  So small it doesn’t even have an optical drive. There is no recovery CD shipped with these systems.  It is loaded on the internal drive as a recovery partition.  For any individual with a net book the question becomes, “Is it trash? and “Do I just need to buy another one?”.  And if you answered yes then you probably lost everything on that computer that was near and dear to you. Thats the beauty of what I do. I restore lost data on a daily basis. Whatever the reason your computer has failed my number one goal is to get your files back.

Lets look at the price tags.  You can buy a net book for roughly $250.  He said he got this from a friend.  He did mention the Geek Squad visit that he backed out of.  I don’t know exactly what the problem was there but I think it was a miss-communication over the cost they would charge to provide the solution.  That was last Friday.

He thought no one was open over the weekend (Midnight Tech is but he did not know that).  So he wanted to call today.  He found my business in the Verizon super-pages telephone book.

This gentleman most likely wants to spend less than $200 and thats good because I would not have charged that much anyway.  I am glad to have had the opportunity to look this guy in the eye and know that I am really going to be helping him out.  It will take me 2 hours he should have it back by Wednesday unless this needs a new hard drive or something along those lines.  From what I can see it is in pretty good shape.

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