Firstly, let me state I enjoy my geek status. I like the fact that some of my friends and family rely on, and hopefully value my support and assistance when it comes to all things tech. Whilst stopping short of giving my life meaning it does give me a warm fuzzy feeling when my nearest and dearest are tech enabled because of my actions.
When you go into PC World (or other Microsoft Certified high street tech store) with an issue, the solution is often a Nuke and Pave. A full wipe of the hard drive, and re-installing the OS and transferring personal data from back up. Depending on how good the back ups are you may lose data you will definitely lose £100 as they charge you for 15 minutes work.
I hate this.
I like to try and fix the problem rather than deleting it. For the most part on the Windows side I was successful. However, it is stressful being an amateur (self taught) tech guru. Here are a few tips to make your tech guy relaxed.
This is vital. The more regularly you back up, the less data you will lose, even if the guys at PC World have at your machine. But from a “Tech Guy” standpoint a good backup is great in case I mess up. I am a amateur, I am not perfect. Your backup is my safety blanket.
Offer Tea (or drink of choice):
Second on the importance list. A thirsty tech guy, is a irritable tech guy. Also (and I speak from experience) if I’m spending eight hours removing 82 trojans from your PC so that you can salvage your data and you don’t give me a drink. The nuke and pave “I can’t recover it” solution will soon be arrived at.
Don’t blame me, It’s not my responsibility:
You have asked me to (or I said I would) look at your machine. I am probably your friend/relative. I will try to best of my ability and knowledge to fix it. However if I’m not able to or as part of me fixing it, it goes wrong. I need to know I will not be blamed for the next fifteen years. I will already feel worse than you do.
Don’t Expect it to be completely free:
I will, provide my time and “expertise” for appreciation, sexual favours and Tea. (not all at the same time unless I’m very lucky.) However to fix your issue You may need to purchase a component or a piece of software. I will try to use free (open source) alternatives, but I do not have a “special place” to order stuff from where the “tech pixies” pay for stuff.
“It’s Not Perfect” (but it’s mine)
I will try to make every effort to recover your machine to where it was before the issue. In doing so I may have to delete things, move shortcuts, destroy saved games. Small sacrifices necessary to get your machine working. It may not be perfect, but it’s working.
I will leave you with instructions for general maintenance or guidelines after the fix. This is so you don’t repeat the same mistake again.
Do what your tech guy has told you. Everyone wins.