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Ariane DeVere
Does anyone have a tame IT whizzkid who I can borrow?? 
5th-Feb-2015 08:02 pm
Benedict - Metro
My laptop is a mess. I imagine that it has downloaded something very dodgy, and consequently it barely works. Currently it won't download anything - not even legal programmes from Microsoft, or Skype, for example. Skype itself refuses to work. Internet Explorer suddenly ceased working several months ago, and Chrome is erratic. I logged out of my Hotmail account yesterday and now when I try to go to Hotmail, it goes to the sign-in page but then just stays as a white blank page on Torch, and Chrome shows my inbox but won't let me click and open any emails. I'm having to access it either at work on on my phone. Tumblr images mostly don't load - both photos and animated gifs. Youtube plays the sound but the picture freezes on the first frame. Generally the computer is knackered, and it's only 2 and a half years old.

I'm far too old and pathetic to even know where to start getting it fixed. The last time I got in an 'expert' from the Yellow Pages for my old PC, the guy simply restored everything back to its factory settings, and I would hate to lose some of the programmes I've got, like the lovely old keyboard-friendly Media Player Classic which I use to do transcripts (the newest version which they gave me at work is rubbish in comparison); and I'm really reluctant to simply buy a new laptop because of what I've heard about the horror which is the newest version of Windows.

So I was just wondering whether anyone out there has a trustworthy IT expert who might be able to hack into my laptop remotely and have a jolly good tinker around and sort it out. I would pay for their services - I'm not asking any special favours here - but haven't got a clue where to look for someone.

If anybody has any suggestions of a trusted person I could get in contact with, I'd be very grateful! If you prefer to PM me rather than comment publicly, please do so. I just hope that I don't lose Livejournal any time soon!!

Many thanks.

Ari x

ETA: In the end I gave up and bought a new laptop!
5th-Feb-2015 08:09 pm (UTC) - What kind of laptop is it?
Obviously a Windows machine and not a Mac, but can you give me some more details? What version of Windows do you have? How old is it?

Have you tried running CrapCleaner and Malware Bytes (both good programs that clear your system of stuff) and your virus scan? (Preferably the Security Essentials from Microsoft, as it's free.) When's the last time you cleared your cookies?

Angie, who had a stint for about a year as a first tier IT Tech phone support person
5th-Feb-2015 08:33 pm (UTC) - Re: What kind of laptop is it?
Hi Angie!

It's a Windows 7, bought in around June 2012.

I tried downloading the programs you suggested but, like other programs, neither of them will load when I click on the .exe icon. They try, and then I'm told that the files are corrupted.

Being a complete ignoramus, I didn't know anything about clearing cookies but have just done that and have got Hotmail back!! So that's something, and thank you for that.
5th-Feb-2015 10:01 pm (UTC)
You haven't specified the type of computer it is (other than the fact that it is a PC, rather than a Mac) but, just using Mac as an example & then I will return to PC -- Mac uses Apple Care for its customers while the Computer is under warranty, but even after the warranty expires, you can call Apple Care with a question(s) and they will answer for a set amount (~$29/per call) albeit the last time I did this, they didn't actually charge me, but that's the general idea.

So, if you have a Dell, for example, perhaps you could call up Dell and see if you could get some sort of similar help from the company (or whatevertheheck your computer actually is.) Not that this is a guarantee, but it's a possibility that perhaps you haven't come across, b'c you just didn't call once your warranty expired.

Just a thought. (Hopefully you don't have a Dell, only b'c I did have Dell computers for about 12 years, and I constantly had problems with them and instead of changing the type of computer I used, I just spoke to customer service people for hours and hours and hours of time.) Or rather, I did change to a Mac a number of years back but prior to that, I stuck with the Dell for no good reason...
7th-Feb-2015 01:07 pm (UTC)
It's a Medion Akoya, which I bought because a friend's husband had one and I borrowed it while I was staying with her. I loved the feel and width of the keyboard, and it's been really good until recently. I've no idea whether Medion would help if I contacted them, but it's a helpful suggestion, and thanks for that!
(Deleted comment)
7th-Feb-2015 01:11 pm (UTC)
Sadly I don't know anyone whose computer I could borrow, but I'll look into getting a hard drive if only to try and save Media Classic and a couple of other trusted files which I don't want to lose. Thanks!
6th-Feb-2015 04:03 am (UTC)
Eech, it's extra tricky when you can't even download anything :-(

Ultimately you may have to take your computer to a shop - that's probably the safest bet - but you'd have to ask around to find someone who's reputable. Sadly, the one local company I really trust doesn't do online repairs. Maybe you could call your local Better Business Bureau and ask for local computer-support companies that have a good record?

In the meantime, one possibility is to run a free online scanner to see if you can restore a bit of functionality in the meantime. There aren't many free online scanners left anymore (most of the companies that used to offer them have switched to scanners you have to download and install), but you could try ESET's. It's a reputable company and they make a decent for-purchase anti-virus product:

ESET - http://www.eset.com/us/online-scanner/

You might also give F-Secure's online scanner a whirl. That's a product I haven't tried personally, however I did a spot of Googling and found that their downloadable for-profit version was reviewed by PCMag, so I trust they're not bogus:

F-Secure - https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/labs_global/tools-beta
7th-Feb-2015 01:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'll give those a go. My internal scanner keeps insisting that everything's fine!
6th-Feb-2015 01:19 pm (UTC)

So sorry, it can be a real disaster to have the beloved setup so ill. Honestly, it does not look very good. Usually, I would wipe out the system and reinstall everything.  This is the only way to ensure the bugs are gone, and systems tend to get messy with time and need a reset. This is also what you'll get from any sane IT expert. There might be a chance that it can be untangled in a fairy tale way, but it's rare.

If you want someone to login remotely, you'll need a program, like Teamviewer, to let the person connect to your laptop. If your.exe file do not open, a local expert is your only option. I would recommend you to find someone to look physically at the patient.

In any case take an external USB drive and copy everything of value from the laptop as long as it is still alive. Backup for the worst case.

Sorry, I can't be of real help as I am not in your local radius. I'd drop by for a cup of tea and an autogram on a transcript. ;)

7th-Feb-2015 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thankfully all my important files and docs are on Dropbox. And you're probably right - I may have to resort to dragging the monster off to a shop somewhere. It's just that it's so big - not so much a laptop as a Great Dane - that it's an effort to lug it down the stairs!

But I might need to delete all the porn fic from it first ... ;-)
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