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does geeksquad provide good service?

Old 05-09-06, 01:00 PM
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does geeksquad provide good service?

im having serious computer trouble right now: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread....2&page=1&pp=25

[recap of that thread: i got bombarded with spyware and popups basically over night....downloaded and installed windows XP SP2 as recommended....had to then restart my computer and now it only loads my wallpaper...nothing else...]

and im basically freaking out. im on a different computer right now (hence i can post) but i dont know much about computers to be able to fix my problem. so im considering going to geek squad - is that a good idea? are they good? are they a ripoff?

i feel like i just lost my computer and all my files.

Old 05-09-06, 01:05 PM
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Haven't used the Geek Squad, but I'd bet there are a number of local computer shops in your area that fix spyware/malware problems for a nominal fee.

As a sidebar, I bet the majority of your files can be saved. However, you can always just wipe the HD clean and reinstall Windows....

Last edited by Pointyskull; 05-09-06 at 01:07 PM.
Old 05-09-06, 01:06 PM
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Before you call GeekSquad I'd run Microsoft's LiveCare webproggy.

http://safety.live.com/?s_cid=sah

I've had excellent results with it finding and cleaning machines.
Old 05-09-06, 01:13 PM
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absolutely not
Old 05-09-06, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
Haven't used the Geek Squad, but I'd bet there are a number of local computer shops in your area that fix spyware/malware problems for a nominal fee.

As a sidebar, I bet the majority of your files can be saved. However, you can always just wipe the HD clean and reinstall Windows....
i cannot afford to lose some of my files...
Old 05-09-06, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kantonburg
Before you call GeekSquad I'd run Microsoft's LiveCare webproggy.

http://safety.live.com/?s_cid=sah

I've had excellent results with it finding and cleaning machines.
how do i run a program when my computer wont even load! all i get is my wallpaper and its just stuck like that. nothing else.

im using a different computer right now.
Old 05-09-06, 01:21 PM
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Are you able to take the hard drive out of yours and stick it in the one you're currently using as a slave drive and take the files then re-install windows on your original machine?
Old 05-09-06, 01:22 PM
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i doubt it since this is a laptop.
Old 05-09-06, 01:27 PM
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You can get notebook drive to regular IDE connector adapters:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16812203012

Or just get one of these 2.5" enclosures:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...o.x=17&Go.y=29
Old 05-09-06, 01:40 PM
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Will it start in safe mode?
See http://www.microsoft.com/resources/d....mspx?mfr=true
Old 05-09-06, 01:58 PM
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nope. gives me a black page with the words safe mode all around.
Old 05-09-06, 01:59 PM
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"Reboot with F8 into safe mode"

That being said, I had the same problem with my bro-in-laws SP2 upgrade.

Can you boot from your original CD and do a reinstall with-out formatting?
That could get your PC running where it was.
Then either move your files someplace else and format, or do a windows updat, installing everything BUT SP2, before installing SP2. This last part may or may not work. I actually had to install a copy of XP with the SP2 built-in in order for his sytem to recover.

Last edited by jon-w9; 05-09-06 at 02:03 PM.
Old 05-09-06, 02:07 PM
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STAY AWAY from Geek Squad. They screwed up my sister's laptop that forced me to do clean re-install the Windows.
Old 05-09-06, 02:45 PM
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I would only use Geek Squad or Geeks on Call as a last resort. Prepare to pay through the ass for crappy service.

Do you have any friends or family that work for a company that has internal tech support? Many of these guys moonlight and could possibly help you out for a small fee.

Do you go to a college? Maybe their tech support staff can assist.

Check a local newspaper for a local computer repair guy or shop and give them a call.

What you need done is very simple for anyone in the business.

1. back your data files off the old hard drive
2. re-install windows

You need to make sure that you have your windows CD and CD-Key info ready for part 2.



If you wanted to try and "fix" it completely on your own. I would suggest a complete re-install of windows (without formatting the drive as stated above to preserve your data).

The windows install should be smart enough to see you have a couple of profiles on the machine and preserve them. You might even want to change the default install directory to \windows2 or something like that.

I would still feel more comfortable with it if I could get the data off before doing anything.

A 2.5" USB enclosure and another computer to connect it to is the easiest - first hit on Google - $11.50

http://www.coolerexpress.com/me930.html


Or if you have some computer ability (or a friend that does), make a BART PE boot disk and use it to copy the files off to some other source (either another drive or via network to another computer).

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/

Once the data is clear - wipe the drive and reload windows.


It is possible to un-install SP2, but not the recommended way to go for long term stability of windows.

http://support.microsoft.com/KB/875350

read under recovery console to remove SP2


You most likely have an antivirus program or firewall or something of that nature loaded on the machine that is not SP2 compatible.
Old 05-09-06, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
...downloaded and installed windows XP SP2 as recommended....
hmm - I wish I had read that other thread before now. It is fairly common knowledge NOT to install XP SP2 when your machine is infected with something. When SP2 was first released, there was a good bit of press on this fact.

You should still be able to get the data off without any problems with the right tools, but I think it's a lost cause to try an recover that windows install.
Old 05-09-06, 03:01 PM
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well i wish i knew htat before i installed SP2

i still cannot access ANYTHING so backing up my files is impossible at this point. ill stay away from geek squad but i dont really know anyone in the business...ill have to call around i guess.

i dont mind reinstalling windows and starting over but i really want to recover at least SOME of my data and files.
Old 05-09-06, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
If you wanted to try and "fix" it completely on your own. I would suggest a complete re-install of windows (without formatting the drive as stated above to preserve your data).

The windows install should be smart enough to see you have a couple of profiles on the machine and preserve them. You might even want to change the default install directory to \windows2 or something like that.

I would still feel more comfortable with it if I could get the data off before doing anything.

A 2.5" USB enclosure and another computer to connect it to is the easiest - first hit on Google - $11.50

http://www.coolerexpress.com/me930.html
can you explain a little more what that does and how it works? thanks.


Or if you have some computer ability (or a friend that does), make a BART PE boot disk and use it to copy the files off to some other source (either another drive or via network to another computer).

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
that one too.

Once the data is clear - wipe the drive and reload windows.


It is possible to un-install SP2, but not the recommended way to go for long term stability of windows.

http://support.microsoft.com/KB/875350

read under recovery console to remove SP2


You most likely have an antivirus program or firewall or something of that nature loaded on the machine that is not SP2 compatible.
what is the difference between reformatting my HD and reinstalling windows?
Old 05-09-06, 03:32 PM
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This device http://www.coolerexpress.com/me930.html

Will allow you to physically remove the hard drive from your laptop (these days that is not too hard for many popular models) and install the hard drive into this device.

This device will then let you connect to the USB port of a working computer and it will allow you to copy files from your hard drive to that working computer. If that working computer also has a CDR drive, you can then burn you files to CDR

If you don't mind spending a little bit of money, it could be time for a hard drive upgrade Buy a larger drive and install it in your laptop, then use the old drive and this enclosure as your new 'backup' system

BART's PE http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/ will allow you to build a CD-Rom that contains it's own little version of windows. This little windows is usually enough to run the computer so that you can copy files to a network location or install another hard drive (or USB memory key or something) and copy data to it. It is windows that runs from a CD-Rom (no matter the state of your hard drive) to allow you to do a limited set of things to help with disaster revcovery.


Formatting the hard drive - seemingly removes all data from the drive (well not really, but it seems like it does) - so if you format, consider all data on the drive removed.

Re-installing windows - just reinstalls the windows operating system (and will wipe out any applications you had installed) but will leave your data files alone.

When you install windows, it gives you the option to format or to leave the file system intact and just install over the existing install.
Old 05-09-06, 04:01 PM
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damn that seems complicated for me...id rather let a professional do it.

two questions:

a) how much should i expect to pay for someone to fix this mess?

b) how much should i worry about that person being able to access any of my personal information off my computer?
Old 05-09-06, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
b) how much should i worry about that person being able to access any of my personal information off my computer?
I have personally met someone who works in a computer repair shop, as well as his coworkers, who take at least mp3 files from computers they work on. If they take/look at more, I don't know. I wasn't around the guy long enough to ask.

Much of what I know about computers has come from this site, helping me through fixing my girlfriend's computer. A lot of it sounds difficult, but is really quite easy.
Old 05-09-06, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 4KRG
hmm - I wish I had read that other thread before now. It is fairly common knowledge NOT to install XP SP2 when your machine is infected with something. When SP2 was first released, there was a good bit of press on this fact.

You should still be able to get the data off without any problems with the right tools, but I think it's a lost cause to try an recover that windows install.

I was really surprised that people in that thread suggested preventing future problems and THEN fixing the current problem. Talk about ass backwards.
Old 05-09-06, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
I have personally met someone who works in a computer repair shop, as well as his coworkers, who take at least mp3 files from computers they work on. If they take/look at more, I don't know. I wasn't around the guy long enough to ask.

Much of what I know about computers has come from this site, helping me through fixing my girlfriend's computer. A lot of it sounds difficult, but is really quite easy.
i bet they steal porn too
Old 05-09-06, 04:41 PM
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frankly i dont care if they steal some mp3s or whatever...i just dont want them to be able to access and use my personal information.
Old 05-09-06, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by atari2600
damn that seems complicated for me...id rather let a professional do it.

two questions:

a) how much should i expect to pay for someone to fix this mess?
I charge $100/hour as my preferred rate (meaning you are not a pain in my ass and I can stand to talk to you) It goes up from there depending on how much I dislike you

Depending on the speed of your machine, this could be 2 hours worth of work (maybe more)

I expect you to have your CDs ready as well. If not there are more charges


b) how much should i worry about that person being able to access any of my personal information off my computer?
Worry a whole fucking lot and that still isn't enough

You may want to make them sign some sort of privacy agreement if you have anything you are legally worried about on there. I have one client that has some very exclusive sensitive information related to 3 major oil companies on his machine, I have signed such an agreement with him.

What could you possibly have?

SSN and identity information? Sounds like you weren't protected enough anyway and the spyware probably jacked all that info and sent it to the mothership already

If you want to keep private information private, buy a second computer (or a separate hard drive) and NEVER connect it to anything but itself. Otherwise, you are at risk.
Old 05-09-06, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by El Scorcho
I was really surprised that people in that thread suggested preventing future problems and THEN fixing the current problem. Talk about ass backwards.
Well, they are not entirely wrong for all cases, just this case.

Updating is standard practice in the case of a MS related exploit in the form of a worm (like Blaster to name one).

However - the proper protection from re-infection is just to unplug the network cable until you can remove what is already there. Then patch offline with something like Autopatcher

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showforum=89

or run windows update from a secure position behind a properly configured firewall.

In this specific case, you MUST remove the spyware before doing anything, especially XP SP2.

But eh, what the fuck do I know, everyone is a computer expert these days and I usually just keep my mouth shut to avoid argument. I kinda feel sorry for atari for some reason after reading the first thread. My answers might not always work, but very very rarely will I ever leave you worse off than when we started


Atari - post up the make and model of your laptop. If it is a Dell, I can post pictures on what to do and how to do it. Or if you can post some good pics of your laptop (all sides), I can most likely circle in red the screws you need to removed to pop the drive out. It is REALLY easy to do once you know what it is that you are looking for. The USB enclosures pretty much all work the same, I can post pics of how the drive goes in one of those as well. Then you just copy the files you want to a working machine (hopefully with a CDR drive). If you have your windows CD, it is fairly easy from there. The only trick is to make sure you have internet access and the network card driver on CD (if not built into XP already).

I know it sounds like a lot, but it isn't really.

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