[kwlug-disc] [way OT] how to de-virus someone's windows box?

Chris Frey cdfrey at foursquare.net
Mon Jul 19 17:13:13 EDT 2010

On Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 08:51:22AM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   it's not the re-install that worries me, it's that, once you sort of
> offer to help someone with their system and the process is underway,
> you kind of have a moral obligation to finish it and, if things don't
> go well, you're stuck with salvaging it.  sort of, "you break it, you
> fix it."
>   so i'm willing to offer quick, superficial advice, but i just don't
> want to get sucked in to a re-install and reload data and reconfigure.
> i just don't like windows enough for that to be appealing.

Honesty might work here.

Present the possible solutions to the user.  Say that they can try the
cheap method, and buy some $50 antivirus software, and hope that it works,
or they can take the correct method, and reinstall Windows.

If they select the reinstall method, tell them that you are willing to
teach them how to do it, for free, *once*.  After that, you will charge
them your normal hourly rate.  They will make notes on how to do it,
and they will do all the steps involved, from backing up their own
data, to clicking all the mouse buttons.  You will not touch a single disk or
mouse button.  This is so that they actually learn how.

If that sounds like too much work for them, this is a perfect time to
explain that this is why you prefer not to work with Windows.  The pain
is too much, and it is recurring pain.  They can look forward to doing
all this again, eventually, until the reinstall process is burned into
their muscle memory.

Sort of "tough love" for the computer set.

For family, this might not be so great, since people often want to
do things for family out of the goodness of their hearts.  But for friends,
this is actually being generous, giving free teaching time, teaching
them how to fish, etc.

- Chris

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