Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by Shirty, 26 May 2012.
^^ see rich is a hero too.
Craig is a hero,
Shirty is a hero,
All hero's who don't wipe....
It's like you know me or something
Just to finish this thread off, I managed to completely disinfect the machine and all was well in the world. Until I got a call from my folks where they described awfully virus-like symptoms with their PC, which I'll be looking at tomorrow.
And the cycle begins again
Ok so you say dont reinstall. Then how the hell can you run a business on your own when you have laptops and PC and no matter what you do some times you cant clean it up. I clean on most occasions then resell MWB so they rarely get reinfected with malware. But for example Ramnit - versions of this replicate and replicate and replicate to every damn file on the machine. It is a losing battle. I wasnt saying I just wipe the machine cause I cant be arsed with it. I love a challenge and if anything these jobs I like the most as others are just boring as I've done then a thousand times. Jobs where it challenges me are ace and I do spend time on them. But there is a fine like between sitting in the office sorting out one machine when I could be out there doing more jobs. Esp when the customers wants it back with in a day or two tops and just says there is nothing I want please just get it back to me quickly.
Reinstall is the last option but on some machines that are for example 5 years old infected to heaven and have nothing then need on it then a reinstall not only cleans it buy 99% makes it much faster and the customer is more than happy when they get it back as its faster for them.
So I wasnt saying that's all I do but sometimes its the only answer otherwise there would be no point me being in business if all I did was spend 3 days on a £40-£50 job when in that time I could have been out earning £300 odd quid. There has to be a balance.
If ifs not your job and your helping a friend then spend days on it that's cool I do that for friends. But paid work you have to decide.
Also if I do wipe then all data is agreed with the customer and I put it all back where it came from after reinstall. Plus its all up to date (as so many cant be arsed with windows updates) I reconnect the internet, printers, reinstall progs etc. I dont just wipe and return and leave them to fend for themselves I help them out back at site and sort it out with them.
Never had a dissatisfied customer since I started in 2009
All good if you're a pro - I work in sales and marketing! Only do it for the love
To be honest, If I took my pc to someone to get it fixed, and they just reinstalled the operating system and put all the programs back on it, I probably wouldn't take it back to them in the future, I just think its a bit of a cop out.
Anyone could do that - so its a bit of a cop out to charge for "fixing" a machine, when you are really just day 1'ing it. Obviously it works for you as you have your own business etc so well done for that.
As you have pointed out, ramnit is a pain and normally requires a flatten, but there is a bazillion that don't, and if your mentality is just to wipe and re-do, then you are never going to learn about these things, how they work, what they are doing and most importantly how to successfully remove them.
that's the whole reason for having a machine that is fully up to date, with external usb sata/ide connections. use that to scan the hard drives.
always delete all system restore points on a machine that has an infection by turning off system restore, and only turn it back on when you are sure the machine is clean.
run disk check, but use another machine to do that, it will fix mbr records as well as any other errors, and running sfc /scannow on the machine, I use malwarebytes antimalware as well as anti virus to run scans on the drive, it all takes time, but justifies £40-£60 charge.
reloading a machine I would do as an absolute last resort
The difference between fixing PCs in a business environment and fixing virus-infected PCs for family/friends is that in a business environment, you would have clean images for every type of PC, and you would also have centralised network storage (e.g. fileservers, FTP servers), so you wouldn't have to sweep the PC for any files, folders, preferences and applications, because these would be backed-up and available via the LAN.
If I'm perfectly honest, there are no losing battles. Reinstallation involves (if you do it properly) sweeping the system for files, making notes of the applications installed, downloading installers for those applications and returning the system to the exact same state minus the viruses.
This process will take a lot longer and will take considerably more effort than analysing the drive and removing the viruses (with the right tools and the right methods). You can hook the drive up as a secondary to a clean PC, scan the bejesus out of it using whatever tools needed.
That's the key - if the user doesn't need anything from the infected PC, then I'd agree that a reinstall is the best and quickest option.
Again, being honest, that sounds like you need to reassess your prices. £40-50 for a reinstall is peanuts considering the effort you're putting in. I don't really do private work any more now that I have a full 9-to-5 as a Linux Sysadmin but I'd charge extra for returning the system to the previous state, a "standard" reinstall would just return the system to an "out of the box" state.
Ultimately you should price depending on how much time you spend on the job, benchmarked on a "standard" hourly price. For example if a job takes you three hours, and you charge £15 an hour, then charge £45 for it. If it takes you longer, then charge more. I didn't really mind what I was paid because I was doing it for a bit of cash on the side for beer money, you shouldn't be selling yourself out if you're in it for business reasons.
I NEVER reinstall unless the customer agrees and it is the last resort. It takes ages to reinstall as you know and I would rather fix it and move on than reinstall. To reinstall I have already had to drive to the customer house, look at it, agree data to be backed up etc, take it home, work on it, reinstall everything, then drive back to the customer and reconnect printers and all. Do you think I would do that if I could just fix it there. I think not. I'll have my money for virus/malware removal thanks and move on.
I wouldn't waste my time I can get £50 for malware removal on site and then go to the next customer which is way more cost effective. But sometimes reinstall is the only way. Especially if the customer has had his friends brothers cousin look it, then his sister then he also had ago and now its knackered after several system restores and all sorts of crap they do to it before I even arrive.
And as far as anyone can reinstall a machine no they cant. Half of them dont have the disks nor the knowledge to find driver etc. And wouldn't even think about windows updates or any of the other stuff you have to put back on and update.
There is a shop near here that charges £40 to "reinstall your machine" all they do is shove in an os disk let it run then tell the customer its ready. Which of course its not! No drivers no nothing just a fresh OS. That's robbery that is.
CraigWatson - this is not a "business environment" its home users. I have worked in a business environment for many years and that is totally different kettle of fish. And as you said images for machines and all that. etc etc bla bla
Prices wise - I was merely stating a figure it is not what I charge for a reinstall. Re installation from scratch takes ages esp vista which I hate. 7 and XP can do in my sleep but I just hate vista it's an ar$e with updates.
I charge per job not per hour as customers would be watching the clock and its not fair. So I estimate the price before going out to the customer and if agreed then I go out. I dont charge peanuts - I didnt go to uni for 3 years and spent thousands of pounds to only charge £10 an hour. I might as well be on a till if I am going to charge something like that.
I offer fixed prices for many jobs for home users and per hour charges for businesses. This works better as often businesses want you for a number of hours to do a number of things where as home users just want the new printer set up for example.
margo - its not my mentality I was just saying sometimes there is no other option when you have spent a while on it already. Reinstall is the last resort but sometimes unavoidable.
Okie no need to be aggy!
hehe you don't have to justify your prices to me I don't pay them. just from your first post you imply that your go-to is to wipe and start again.
Do as you please anyhow, whatever you doing is obviously working as you got your own business!
Thankfully rarely do I ever remove virus' from desktops as I have moved away from that kind of work, so I don't know why I even stuck my oar in to start with
I was just saying mate, didnt mean to come across as aggressive.
I just do my best and everyone seems pleased. I treat my customers as I would want anyone to treat my own family. I don't rip people off if anything half the time I dont charge enough esp if the person looks like my nan or grandad. I feel like saying a hob nob and a cup of tea will do.
I've just noticed that most of the posts in this thread are by people using photos of themselves as avatars. Not that this means anything, I just thought I'd say.
IT professionals are so vain...
mine points at everything I say, so people can say, "good point"
This thread put a smile on my face. I find it incredible that so manay folk think it's better to spend a week or more removing every last trace of an infection when it can be done in an hour.
If I needed help with PC problems and took an infected PC into a shop, I would raather pay for an hour or two of work than a week of faffing araound. So what if the technician enjoys the battle, in most cases it's the customer who pays more when a job takes longer.
Personally, with my home PCs, I reinstall a couple of times each year, just beause windoze is so good at gathering crap that slows it down. Same reason I reboot every few weeks, windoze is not efficient if run for long periods - I'm just glad that I'm savvy ennough to NEVER get infected, I have AV packages on each system instead
Glad to hear that you got it sorted in the end...
I tend to try with Rkill first before running malwarebytes or superantispyware
The so called Metropolitan Police Virus caused a lot of concern and even geot a mention in our local paper
Hi Andy, how's business? (I say this as if I know you - I probably don't )
Still, good to see another Bit-techer from sunny Sarum!
I love met police! one of my favourite all time virus', and one of the few that rkill doesnt break. which makes it even more fun.
I have written an rkill on steroids script, i back engineered it and took out all the good bits and added my own bits and that's what I use to remove about 90% of virus' with hardly any input.
Separate names with a comma.