The Computer Buzz
||March 18th, 2010|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
Why Does PC Repair Take So Long?
Home, business, school, it doesn’t matter. Everyone needs to get his or her PC back ASAP. For many years we bragged about our fast turnaround on PC repairs while scoffing at PC Club, Comp USA, PC Ware, Circuit City, Gateway Country Stores, Best Buy, Fry’s, Staples, and others whose repair time ranged from days to weeks. One or two days was our standard turnaround time and our customers loved it.
We try to diagnose the problem and estimate repair time and cost when a PC is brought in. We can often perform one day or even “while you wait” repairs or upgrades on components like video, sound, power supplies, RAM and optical drives. Even hard drive replacements and reformats are usually only a 24-hour turnaround. But for PCs requiring virus scans, the repair process takes at least two days and can stretch to more.
Computers that are suspected of “malware” infection must go through a scanning process. While the scanning tasks are mostly automated, it is still a lengthy multi-stage process. Here’s how it works.
First the hard drive is removed and hooked up to one of our Virus-scan benches. We have fifteen tech stations; seven of them are dedicated scan benches. We check the hard drive to be sure it has enough space to proceed and then scan the drive using the Panda virus-scan. Next the hard drive is moved to another station where Kasperski virus-scan is run. With the viruses eliminated we now run Scandisk to repair windows and Defrag to structure the files.
The hard drive is then put back into the customer’s PC. We now check the to see if the PC has enough RAM to run efficiently, (1 – 2Gb with Windows XP, 2 to 4Gb with Vista or Win 7). We then download the latest Windows OS updates. If there is an active virus scan program on the hard drive, we update its files and run it. If there is no active anti-virus program, we install AVG 9.0 (Anti Virus Grisoft) and Malwarebytes and scan from each program. If the scans give us a green light, we function test the PC. After testing the OS, optical drives and Internet access we check the start-up menu and eliminate un-needed background applications.
The average wait time for an available scan bench is about 8 hours and the scanning process itself takes 8-10 hours so a basic hard drive clean-up with no complications takes two days and cost $90.
If complications arise, time and costs can increase. A heavily infected PC, corrupt Windows, Windows registration issues, a failing hard drive, and a host of other unforeseen software and hardware problems can add hours, days and dollars to the repair process. When complications arise, the customer must be contacted with enough information to make informed decisions as to how to proceed. This can create more delays.
The best way to be sure your PC will never be down for more than a day is to maintain an external, up to date clone of your working hard drive. Ask us how.