Why Spend so much time?

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Lonny Bruce, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Lonny Bruce

    Lonny Bruce Guest

    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
     
    Lonny Bruce, Mar 24, 2005
    #1
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  2. Lonny Bruce

    «BONEHEAD>> Guest

    "Lonny Bruce" <> 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
     
    «BONEHEAD>>, Mar 24, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Lonny Bruce

    AG Guest

    "Lonny Bruce" <> 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
     
    AG, Mar 24, 2005
    #3
  4. Lonny Bruce

    Chris Evans Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:42434025$0$70299$...
    >
    > "Lonny Bruce" <> 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
    >
    >
     
    Chris Evans, Mar 24, 2005
    #4
  5. Lonny Bruce

    Adam Leinss Guest

    "Lonny Bruce" <> 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
     
    Adam Leinss, Mar 25, 2005
    #5
  6. Lonny Bruce

    juppi Guest

    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" <> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
    news:...
    > 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
    > $40 per hour for you to work on it.
    >
    > You don't know what he has on it, the hard drive is not well organized
    > (data is .... everywhere), the customer is computer illiterate, and do you
    > think that he has those 78 sets of CDs and/or floppies (by the way, 78
    > doesn't include drivers for hardware, either internal or external (all 8
    > of my USB ports are in use).
    >
    > How much are you going to quote the customer now?
    >
    > And this doesn't even begin to address settings and configuration, all of
    > which will be lost, and backing up and restoring all of the data for all
    > 78 of those applications, everything from E-Mail to Excel and Word
    > documents to business cards (I use Cardscan) to Quicken and TurboTax.
    >
    > And when you get done, I guarantee you, you will have missed something. Or
    > a whole lot of somethings. And "something" may be once in a lifetime or
    > irreplaceable files or data.
    >
    >
    > «BONEHEAD>> wrote:
    >> "Lonny Bruce" <> wrote in message
    >> news:AOC0e.20271$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...
    >>
     
    juppi, Mar 25, 2005
    #6
  7. Lonny Bruce

    Adam Leinss Guest

    "«BONEHEAD>>" <> wrote in
    news:HkL0e.24692$:

    > 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
     
    Adam Leinss, Mar 26, 2005
    #7
  8. Lonny Bruce

    «BONEHEAD>> Guest

    "Adam Leinss" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "«BONEHEAD>>" <> wrote in
    > news:HkL0e.24692$:
    >
    >> 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
     
    «BONEHEAD>>, Mar 26, 2005
    #8
  9. Lonny Bruce

    Guest

    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
     
    , Mar 26, 2005
    #9
  10. Lonny Bruce

    «BONEHEAD>> Guest

    "smackedass" <> wrote in message
    news:S3f1e.4702$...
    >
    >> 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
     
    «BONEHEAD>>, Mar 26, 2005
    #10
  11. Lonny Bruce

    AG Guest

    I'm thinking of installing AdAware and Spybot on a thumb drive to speed this
    type stuff up. Haven't tried it yet but it's going to happen next week.

    AG
    "smackedass" <> wrote in message
    news:S3f1e.4702$...
    >
    > > 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.
    >
    > Sincerely,
    >
    > smackedass
    > >

    >
    >
     
    AG, Mar 27, 2005
    #11
  12. Lonny Bruce

    «BONEHEAD>> Guest

    "AG" <> wrote in message
    news:4246b92a$0$71594$...
    > I'm thinking of installing AdAware and Spybot on a thumb drive to speed
    > this
    > type stuff up. Haven't tried it yet but it's going to happen next week.
    >
    > AG


    As per a previous post, I have an awesome boot CD that contains
    mcafee and fprot antivirus, plus the ISO has all our other tools,
    (adaware, spybot, spyware blaster, firefox, etc.) ...
    If your interested, I will send a link to it...
    ()...

    Using an ISO tool I update all defs and latest versions about every 2
    weeks...


    --
    <B0N3H3@D>
    "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert Einstein
     
    «BONEHEAD>>, Mar 27, 2005
    #12
  13. Lonny Bruce

    AG Guest

    Please do. The email address on this post is real, if only checked once a
    week or so.

    AG
    "«BONEHEAD>>" <> wrote in message
    news:Ngz1e.14932$...
    >
    > "AG" <> wrote in message
    > news:4246b92a$0$71594$...
    > > I'm thinking of installing AdAware and Spybot on a thumb drive to speed
    > > this
    > > type stuff up. Haven't tried it yet but it's going to happen next week.
    > >
    > > AG

    >
    > As per a previous post, I have an awesome boot CD that contains
    > mcafee and fprot antivirus, plus the ISO has all our other tools,
    > (adaware, spybot, spyware blaster, firefox, etc.) ...
    > If your interested, I will send a link to it...
    > ()...
    >
    > Using an ISO tool I update all defs and latest versions about every 2
    > weeks...
    >
    >
    > --
    > <B0N3H3@D>
    > "I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." Albert

    Einstein
    >
    >
     
    AG, Mar 27, 2005
    #13
  14. In article <>,
    says...
    > 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).


    It always depends on how badly a PC is infected and what systems you have
    in place for disaster recovery. I managed 500 PC's at a hospital. With at
    least 400 of them if anything went wrong I had things set up so I could
    just blast the Ghost image back onto the machine and have it back up and
    running in minutes. The other hundred were more personalized and I had to
    make specific judgements based on the situation. I had standardized
    images for various configurations but sometimes people had very specific
    software requirements that would require lengthy configurations after
    installation.


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


    The process I use generally takes at least 3 days to complete for a
    heavily infected PC. Naturally I am not sitting in front of the PC the
    whole time but from pickup to delivery is usually about 3 days. Since I
    am not always right there when it finishes a scan there is lots of time
    when the PC is just sitting there waiting for me. But it is not cost
    efficient for me to stick around the shop all day just to click the mouse
    every hour or so. I have not had a single customer complain that it takes
    so long. By the time they call me they have gotten accustomed to not
    using their computer anyway and they are just glad to get it working
    again.
     
    Grant Robertson, Apr 18, 2005
    #14
  15. In article <AOC0e.20271$b_6.18305@trnddc01>,
    says...
    > 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.


    You have to make a judgement call based on what the customer has on the
    PC and how easily it could be reinstalled. I think you are doing them a
    disservice stopping at the one hour mark without considering what may
    need to be reinstalled. I have had many customers complain about other
    technicians who 'fixed' their computer by just reinstalling Windows.
    These people had to spend days or weeks reinstalling all their software
    and trying to get it configured right.

    I do a complete reinstall only as a very last resort. About the only time
    I recommend it now is when the customer has added almost no software to
    the original factory install and they have the easy restore disks. A
    couple of times customers have tried to do the restore disks and botched
    things up so they didn't have anything to save. In that case a complete
    reinstall is all you can do.

    While the goal of having a finished PC that is completely free of malware
    is laudable, it is not very realistic. Most customers are going to
    reinfect themselves with at least a few things within a week anyway. Even
    if you leave them with several scanning utilities. So doing a complete
    reinstall in the name of achieving a completely clean PC is not really as
    effective as it sounds.
     
    Grant Robertson, Apr 18, 2005
    #15
  16. In article <uLP8e.8124$>, eelder1
    @tampabay.rr.com says...
    > I disagree. I start by checking msconfig for some uninvited guests and
    > uncheck them. I then delete the System Restore volume. I then run
    > Webroot Spysweeper which has more than 80,000 Spyware signatures. I
    > reboot and run Spysweeper again. That's all it takes.
    >
    >


    Maybe I'll take a look. But how can you be positive you have gotten as
    much as you can without running several other trusted scanners?

    P.S. Some of the things I do aren't necessarily just spyware scanning. I
    always take a pre-service image then run SpinRite to ensure a clean read
    of the HDD. SpinRite can sometimes take over a day to work it's magic. I
    don't delete the temp folders or System Restore before scanning so I get
    an accurate count of the things that were on the customer's PC. If I can
    honestly tell them a really big number then it scares them into safer
    practices.

    I boot into safe mode, install and run PestPatrol, AdAware, Spybot S&D,
    and Bazooka. Then I boot into Safe Mode with networking, update each
    utility and run the scans again. Then I use MSConfig to turn off anything
    I don't recognize as safe, boot to normal mode and run all the scans
    again. Then, I reboot, use MSConfig to turn everything back on but don't
    let it reboot after that and run all the scans yet again. Then before
    rebooting I use MSConfig to turn all the iffy stuff that is left back off
    again and reboot into safe mode. Then I turn off System Restore. Then I
    do a search for every folder named Temp and empty them out unless it is
    obvious they are for something important. Then I clean out the IE cache
    and history. (I need to learn where the FireFox cache is located.) Then I
    go through everything listed in MSConfig and research it on the web
    getting rid of everything with a bad reputation that the customer didn't
    say they wanted to keep.

    Believe it or not I usually get a few more things with each and every
    scan. Only after I can scan with every one of the utilities and come up
    with absolutely nothing do I think I am finished. After I feel the PC is
    as clean as I can get it, I upgrade to SP-2 if necessary and apply all
    the latest patches.

    All this takes quite a bit of time and I don't wait around for each scan
    to finish but rather let the PC wait for me to come home again. So it
    ends up taking about 3 days to a week depending on the PC. Once I deliver
    it I spend about an hour or so teaching them how to update and run their
    scanners as well as how to avoid more trouble on the internet.

    For all this I charge a flat fee of $99. It is a bargain for them and
    they know it. But I just don't think I could get anyone to spend more
    than this just for spyware cleanup in an age of $499 PC's. Never mind
    that a $499 PC is a piece of crap. Only people with lots of seriously
    important data that they are afraid they have lost will pay more than
    $100 just to clean off a PC.

    Anyway, we should probably take this conversation over to
    alt.privacy.spyware since it has drifted way off the path to A+
    certification.
     
    Grant Robertson, Apr 19, 2005
    #16
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