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Why Spend so much time?

 
 
Lonny Bruce
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      03-24-2005
Hey I have a question.

I see and hear of techs who spend several hours, and sometimes even parts of
several days, trying to remove spyware or viruses. My question is, why?
Why spend so much time on this when formatting the drive and reinstalling
the OS is the quicker way to go.

It seems to me, admittadly not very experienced, that this is the more
effecient way to go. It gets your client up and running faster, and it is a
complete job, getting rid of the malware completely.

It is a challenge to try to remove a virus to be sure, and that has it's
attractions as a tech. I love a challenge and playing with computers. But
hours can be spent, and success is not assured.

I save a client's data onto my external hard drive, right in front of him,
with him telling me exactly what needs to be saved. Then I take the PC to
the shop and format and reinstall OS, loading drivers, updating OS, loading
other software of the clients. This is after a reasonable amount of time
has been spent trying to troubleshoot the problem, and perhaps trying some
obvious things to remove the malware. But all told, I don't spend more than
one hour of billable time trying to remove it. If still unsuccessful, then
I reinstall the OS. Am I wrong here?

BTW, I burn his data to a CD, telling him that the virus may still be hiding
in his data, and it is HIS decision whether or not he wants me to load his
data back on to the clean PC.

Any thoughts?

Lonny



 
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«BONEHEAD>>
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2005

"Lonny Bruce" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:AOC0e.20271$b_6.18305@trnddc01...
> Hey I have a question.
>
> I see and hear of techs who spend several hours, and sometimes even parts
> of several days, trying to remove spyware or viruses. My question is,
> why? Why spend so much time on this when formatting the drive and
> reinstalling the OS is the quicker way to go.
>
> It seems to me, admittadly not very experienced, that this is the more
> effecient way to go. It gets your client up and running faster, and it is
> a complete job, getting rid of the malware completely.
>
> It is a challenge to try to remove a virus to be sure, and that has it's
> attractions as a tech. I love a challenge and playing with computers.
> But hours can be spent, and success is not assured.
>
> I save a client's data onto my external hard drive, right in front of him,
> with him telling me exactly what needs to be saved. Then I take the PC to
> the shop and format and reinstall OS, loading drivers, updating OS,
> loading other software of the clients. This is after a reasonable amount
> of time has been spent trying to troubleshoot the problem, and perhaps
> trying some obvious things to remove the malware. But all told, I don't
> spend more than one hour of billable time trying to remove it. If still
> unsuccessful, then I reinstall the OS. Am I wrong here?
>
> BTW, I burn his data to a CD, telling him that the virus may still be
> hiding in his data, and it is HIS decision whether or not he wants me to
> load his data back on to the clean PC.
>


I agree with this... The hardest part is that most numnuts that have
spyware
are the same numnuts that don't have a clue where they put their software
CD's...

I try to get people to at least use an alternative to IE...*cough FIREFOX
cough*,

To the same extent, when I have the chance, I try to get some of my clients
to try linux... This being for the crowd that just emails and browses... I
have
about 3 converts...

I do a dual boot setup, and if they dont like it I just toss the linux...


--
<B0N3H3@D>
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein


 
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AG
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2005

"Lonny Bruce" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:AOC0e.20271$b_6.18305@trnddc01...
> Hey I have a question.
>
> I see and hear of techs who spend several hours, and sometimes even parts

of
> several days, trying to remove spyware or viruses. My question is, why?
> Why spend so much time on this when formatting the drive and reinstalling
> the OS is the quicker way to go.
>
> It seems to me, admittadly not very experienced, that this is the more
> effecient way to go. It gets your client up and running faster, and it is

a
> complete job, getting rid of the malware completely.
>
> It is a challenge to try to remove a virus to be sure, and that has it's
> attractions as a tech. I love a challenge and playing with computers.

But
> hours can be spent, and success is not assured.
>
> I save a client's data onto my external hard drive, right in front of him,
> with him telling me exactly what needs to be saved. Then I take the PC to
> the shop and format and reinstall OS, loading drivers, updating OS,

loading
> other software of the clients. This is after a reasonable amount of time
> has been spent trying to troubleshoot the problem, and perhaps trying some
> obvious things to remove the malware. But all told, I don't spend more

than
> one hour of billable time trying to remove it. If still unsuccessful,

then
> I reinstall the OS. Am I wrong here?
>
> BTW, I burn his data to a CD, telling him that the virus may still be

hiding
> in his data, and it is HIS decision whether or not he wants me to load his
> data back on to the clean PC.
>
> Any thoughts?
>
> Lonny


Because if I just remove the junk I don't have to worry about getting them
to find the CDs to restore their computer, IF THEY EVEN HAVE A CD.
Remember, lots of HP and Compost computers don't even have a CD to restore
from and now many of them are out of warranty and the CDs are not avialable
any more.
Also, even though I can boot almost any computer with a Knoppix CD and get a
person's files off of it, IF they are in the My Documents folder, it's still
a hassle to do that too.
I usually have three or four going at once so the apparent 10 hours, if I
spend that long, spent is divided up between several computers and
customers.
So that's why I might spend several hours on that type of task.
Also to a certain extent, when you have to format a computer the
virus/Trojan/spyware writers have won and I don't like to admit defeat.

AG


 
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Chris Evans
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-24-2005
I'll format and reinstall as a last resort, but don't you owe it to the
customer (who is paying good money) to at least give a valiant effort to
save all of his data, PLUS settings?

I can see giving up on a PC with little needed data and only a few programs
to install. Cheaper for the customer and they don't really lose anything if
you back up correctly. But in the time it takes to format, install the OS,
find and load drivers (tons of fun if the customer can't find the software
that came with the PC... there are a lot of them!), and reinstall all of
their programs, I would be done removing most of the intruders (we never get
all of the malware) and the customer will be receiving what they probably
wanted in the first place... their PC with their programs and settings, only
clean
To remove the nasties, you are running apps and utilities, aren't you? So
walk away and finish something else. I don't charge the customer for the
time I spend eating a sandwich or running a quick errand. And you shouldn't
have to babysit most apps.
Manual removal can be a drag, but like everything else, the more you do it,
the better (and faster) you become. Registry editing and command line
removal are a part of being a tech. The experience may be payment in
itself, if you don't want to sock the customer.
I just think it's ethical to exhaust most reasonable resources before
formatting and reinstallation. Some customers really appreciate it and are
willing to pay a bit more.

Chris
A+, Net+


"AG" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:42434025$0$70299$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Lonny Bruce" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:AOC0e.20271$b_6.18305@trnddc01...
>> Hey I have a question.
>>
>> I see and hear of techs who spend several hours, and sometimes even parts

> of
>> several days, trying to remove spyware or viruses. My question is, why?
>> Why spend so much time on this when formatting the drive and reinstalling
>> the OS is the quicker way to go.
>>
>> It seems to me, admittadly not very experienced, that this is the more
>> effecient way to go. It gets your client up and running faster, and it
>> is

> a
>> complete job, getting rid of the malware completely.
>>
>> It is a challenge to try to remove a virus to be sure, and that has it's
>> attractions as a tech. I love a challenge and playing with computers.

> But
>> hours can be spent, and success is not assured.
>>
>> I save a client's data onto my external hard drive, right in front of
>> him,
>> with him telling me exactly what needs to be saved. Then I take the PC
>> to
>> the shop and format and reinstall OS, loading drivers, updating OS,

> loading
>> other software of the clients. This is after a reasonable amount of time
>> has been spent trying to troubleshoot the problem, and perhaps trying
>> some
>> obvious things to remove the malware. But all told, I don't spend more

> than
>> one hour of billable time trying to remove it. If still unsuccessful,

> then
>> I reinstall the OS. Am I wrong here?
>>
>> BTW, I burn his data to a CD, telling him that the virus may still be

> hiding
>> in his data, and it is HIS decision whether or not he wants me to load
>> his
>> data back on to the clean PC.
>>
>> Any thoughts?
>>
>> Lonny

>
> Because if I just remove the junk I don't have to worry about getting them
> to find the CDs to restore their computer, IF THEY EVEN HAVE A CD.
> Remember, lots of HP and Compost computers don't even have a CD to restore
> from and now many of them are out of warranty and the CDs are not
> avialable
> any more.
> Also, even though I can boot almost any computer with a Knoppix CD and get
> a
> person's files off of it, IF they are in the My Documents folder, it's
> still
> a hassle to do that too.
> I usually have three or four going at once so the apparent 10 hours, if I
> spend that long, spent is divided up between several computers and
> customers.
> So that's why I might spend several hours on that type of task.
> Also to a certain extent, when you have to format a computer the
> virus/Trojan/spyware writers have won and I don't like to admit defeat.
>
> AG
>
>



 
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Adam Leinss
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-25-2005
"Lonny Bruce" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:AOC0e.20271$b_6.18305@trnddc01:

> Hey I have a question.
>
> I see and hear of techs who spend several hours, and sometimes
> even parts of several days, trying to remove spyware or viruses.
> My question is, why? Why spend so much time on this when
> formatting the drive and reinstalling the OS is the quicker way to
> go.


That doesn't work in a corporate environment where reformatting and
reinstalling would actually take longer then removing the spyware
(reinstalling all applications (if documented), reinstalling printers,
saving favorites, making sure all data is saved, etc).

And if it takes someone several days to remove spyware they are in the
wrong profession!

Ada
 
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juppi
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-25-2005
Pardon me for popping in here, but I think that exactly at that point
judjement from the technician has to come in here, and also co-operation
with the customer.

Since its the customers money the tech has to ask the customer what he
wishes, tell him/her whats required and let them make the decision to
reformat and re-install or to try and search for all spyware, trojans etc.

There are many variables in that process, sometimes it might well be faster
and also be cheaper to do the re-installing, particularly when you come to a
customer where there were "friends" trying to fix it for weeks and the box
is already near a standstill, has hundreds of viruses/trojans/spyware on it
and you can't really work on it anymore.

There might well be situations where a days work is well worth it, as the
customer has like yourself loads of software which he/she doesn't want (or
can't for whatever reasons) to re-install. There are of course various
things and methods which can be used, again - the tech needs to validate
which ones would be better to use in that particular case.

In a case like yours, with 78 different software installed it might also be
difficult for the tech to judge whether there might be conflicts occuring
between the different software, mistakes in the software setups etc.

juppi


"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> It can take 3 to 5 days to reinstall Windows on a computer with a LOT of
> software on it, and I'm talking about my OWN computer. I did an
> inventory, and I have 78 identified software package installed on this
> computer (the one I'm typing this post on). It took a couple of hours
> just to make the inventory.
>
> Now imagine that it's not your computer, but a customers, and he's paying
> $40 per hour for you to work on it.
>
> You don't know what he has on it, the hard drive is not well organized
> (data is .... everywhere), the customer is computer illiterate, and do you
> think that he has those 78 sets of CDs and/or floppies (by the way, 78
> doesn't include drivers for hardware, either internal or external (all 8
> of my USB ports are in use).
>
> How much are you going to quote the customer now?
>
> And this doesn't even begin to address settings and configuration, all of
> which will be lost, and backing up and restoring all of the data for all
> 78 of those applications, everything from E-Mail to Excel and Word
> documents to business cards (I use Cardscan) to Quicken and TurboTax.
>
> And when you get done, I guarantee you, you will have missed something. Or
> a whole lot of somethings. And "something" may be once in a lifetime or
> irreplaceable files or data.
>
>
> «BONEHEAD>> wrote:
>> "Lonny Bruce" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:AOC0e.20271$b_6.18305@trnddc01...
>>
>>>Hey I have a question.
>>>
>>>I see and hear of techs who spend several hours, and sometimes even parts
>>>of several days, trying to remove spyware or viruses. My question is,
>>>why? Why spend so much time on this when formatting the drive and
>>>reinstalling the OS is the quicker way to go.
>>>
>>>It seems to me, admittadly not very experienced, that this is the more
>>>effecient way to go. It gets your client up and running faster, and it
>>>is a complete job, getting rid of the malware completely.
>>>
>>>It is a challenge to try to remove a virus to be sure, and that has it's
>>>attractions as a tech. I love a challenge and playing with computers.
>>>But hours can be spent, and success is not assured.
>>>
>>>I save a client's data onto my external hard drive, right in front of
>>>him, with him telling me exactly what needs to be saved. Then I take the
>>>PC to the shop and format and reinstall OS, loading drivers, updating OS,
>>>loading other software of the clients. This is after a reasonable amount
>>>of time has been spent trying to troubleshoot the problem, and perhaps
>>>trying some obvious things to remove the malware. But all told, I don't
>>>spend more than one hour of billable time trying to remove it. If still
>>>unsuccessful, then I reinstall the OS. Am I wrong here?
>>>
>>>BTW, I burn his data to a CD, telling him that the virus may still be
>>>hiding in his data, and it is HIS decision whether or not he wants me to
>>>load his data back on to the clean PC.
>>>

>>
>>
>> I agree with this... The hardest part is that most numnuts that have
>> spyware
>> are the same numnuts that don't have a clue where they put their software
>> CD's...
>>
>> I try to get people to at least use an alternative to IE...*cough FIREFOX
>> cough*,
>>
>> To the same extent, when I have the chance, I try to get some of my
>> clients
>> to try linux... This being for the crowd that just emails and browses...
>> I have
>> about 3 converts...
>>
>> I do a dual boot setup, and if they dont like it I just toss the linux...
>>


 
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Adam Leinss
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-26-2005
"«BONEHEAD>>" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:HkL0e.24692$(E-Mail Removed). com:

> IN a corporate environment there shouldn't be any undocumented
> software apps.
> In a corporate environment you should have strategic backup and
> audit policies
> in place. In a corporate environment the PC could blow up or
> vanish into thin air
> and it should be replaceable with any another unit with little or
> no impact on
> data integrity. A disaster recovery plan should be the first thing
> you have set up.
> Or you could be out of a profession.


What world do you live in? Ideal? Yes. Reality? No.

Adam
 
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«BONEHEAD>>
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-26-2005

"Adam Leinss" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "«BONEHEAD>>" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
> news:HkL0e.24692$(E-Mail Removed). com:
>
>> IN a corporate environment there shouldn't be any undocumented
>> software apps.
>> In a corporate environment you should have strategic backup and
>> audit policies
>> in place. In a corporate environment the PC could blow up or
>> vanish into thin air
>> and it should be replaceable with any another unit with little or
>> no impact on
>> data integrity. A disaster recovery plan should be the first thing
>> you have set up.
>> Or you could be out of a profession.

>
> What world do you live in? Ideal? Yes. Reality? No.
>

I have low expectations of reality also...
BUT... when you are the master of your own domain, you make it
a practice to analyze the variables and remove the weakest links.
That being said, if you are stuck in a corporate environment that
hasn't implemented practices and procedures to prevent such fallibilty,
then you have only yourself to blame, for not speaking up and being
proactive.
I hold by the belief that the more problems that never happen, have a
direct correlation with my next paycheck.... There's your reality....

--
<B0N3H3@D>
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein


 
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returnoftheyeti@aol.com
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-26-2005
heh,
Reinstalling the OS is for wussies. It *can be* the fastest fix, in a
situation where its Moms computer, the OS is completely hosed because
timmy and jimmy installed Kazza, morpheus and Dad looks at porn all
day. Assume that this family has one printer and hasnt installed any
software that didnt come w/ their Compaq. Then yeah it can be faster.
But now assume that this familys Compaq came w/ MS Works and Sister
Suzy came home from college and installed a bootleg MS Office Pro .
Now mom is really used to paying bills in Excel and watching Powerpoint
Emails, but of course they don't have Office available if I do a
reinstall. AM I going to bootleg a $350 software package for them? I
dont think so.

It used to take me a long time to clean spyware. I got better at it.
I can get rid of the worst infection you have ever seen in less than 45
minutes. Even the virus/malware that replaces/infectes explorer.exe

I often compare replacing the OS to replacing an engine in a car. 99%
of the time it will fix the problem, but you just did a massive
overhaul to fix a oil leak.

BTW, Smackedass, not Everyone has spyware. I have no spyware. Stay
off the free porn sites and you too can be spyware free

 
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«BONEHEAD>>
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      03-26-2005

"smackedass" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:S3f1e.4702$(E-Mail Removed) k.net...
>
>> It used to take me a long time to clean spyware. I got better at it.
>> I can get rid of the worst infection you have ever seen in less than 45
>> minutes. Even the virus/malware that replaces/infectes explorer.exe

>
> Hmm...ya got me beat here. When I clean spyware, it takes me a bit
> longer.
> Sometimes, the computers are so hosed that it takes 15 minutes to install
> and open Ad-Aware. Sometimes I can't run any of the other spyware
> programs
> ( I also use Spy Sweeper, Spy Bot, Giant, Adware-Away) until Ad-Aware
> moves
> some of the "bigger"junk out of the way. I also do a general cleanup job,
> cleaning out the temp files, removing unused programs, etc. Then I get as
> many of the new spyware and virus defs that are available, install them,
> reboot to safe mode, and start plowing. I've finished up in as little as1
> hour, as much as 2.5, but never 45 minutes.
>
>> BTW, Smackedass, not Everyone has spyware. I have no spyware. Stay
>> off the free porn sites and you too can be spyware free

>
> I've never been to a porn site with this computer honestly. I do go
> to
> many, many sites. Just for giggles, after I read your post, I downloaded
> new AdAware defs, rebooted to safe mode, and removed 38 instances of
> spyware. Before I removed it, I was having no performance problems, but
> I'm
> glad it's gone.
>

What browser????

--
<B0N3H3@D>
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein


 
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