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Tech Hardware:
When Creativity and Resourcefulness Make the Difference
Posted 30 months ago on 1/20/2018 and updated 9/16/2018
Take Away:

This article talks about a PC repair encounter where I needed to be more resourceful than usual to fix the problem.


When I was on a computer repair call for an old customer of mine, she said she had some viruses in her desktop computer. The customer went on to say a colored screen would pop up and say it was scanning for and finding viruses on the machine. From my experiences, I just assumed this would be another routine situation where I needed to restart the PC in "safe mode" to look in the "msconfig utility", since I couldn‘t access it in normal start up mode to find out where the meddling culprit virus was located. Then I would manually delete it, empty it from the recycle bin and restart the computer in normal start up mode and voila - no more virus!

It turned out to be a little more complicated since this particular PC would not engage "safe mode" after several attempts. Without that, I could not get the pesky malware out of the PC. Between not being able to access the "msconfig utility" in normal start up mode and "safe mode" refusing to engage, it appeared I was caught in a can‘t win scenario.

Fortunately, I had an ace up my sleeve. I had brought my troubleshooting equipment box with me as well as my laptop computer. First, I turned off the customer‘s PC and disconnected all wires. I then removed the side panel and connected my SATA data cable and AC adapter to the hard drive inside the ailing PC. I then plugged the USB end of the SATA data cable into my laptop. The customer‘s hard drive auto configured itself as a distinct drive letter on my laptop. Now I was able to explore the customer‘s desktop hard drive through my laptop and locate the annoying virus in one of the folders and remove it. After putting the customer‘s computer back together and rebooting, everything seemed to work fine as if the villain virus had never even been there to begin with.

When I go on a troubleshooting call, I can‘t always assume it will be the same old typical thing. Creativity and resourcefulness are tools of the trade. Without those two assets on your side, you may be unsuccessful in your attempt to resolve many "fix my computer" problems.


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