Go Back   Technibble Forums > General Computers > Guides, Tips and Tricks

  Technibble Sponsor

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #71  
Old 05-01-2012, 05:21 AM
gazza gazza is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 518
gazza can only hope to improve
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCX View Post
That said, if the computer (when running Linux) was having issues, how would you know it was memory, MOBO or CPU or any other piece of hardware that was failing just by using a live Linux CD? You can't, an experience technician can tell you that.
Linux crashes, so that's when you start checking hardware because you know it is not software related, so is that not a diagnosis?

I mean really mate get over it, every tech has there own way of doing things if you believe that you are doing the right thing by everyone, then keep on doing it.

I wonder how many customers have you flogged your diagnostic up sell to, have found nothing is wrong and six months later they have problems with a failing hard drive. There are no guarantee's! unless of course you have a diagnostic crystal ball!

Anyway what proof do you give the customer of these so called diagnostics being actually performed, unless you give a 12 month guarantee that there computer will not fail, I really don't believe you do anything more than what has been spoken about already on these forums.
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 05-01-2012, 05:28 AM
PCX's Avatar
PCX PCX is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,796
PCX is just really nicePCX is just really nicePCX is just really nicePCX is just really nice
Default

This is my last response to you as our argument is not adding to the thread as much as it is taking it off course. If you feel the need to get the last word in, feel free to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gazza View Post
Linux crashes, so that's when you start checking hardware because you know it is not software related, so is that not a diagnosis?
Lets just turn that around for a second, what if Linux does not crash? Understanding that Linux does not react and crash in the same manner as Windows does, I also understand that in many cases it will not crash at all due to hardware failure. So what do you do then? Do you assume that there are no hardware issues? Do you remember what assuming does?


Quote:
I mean really mate get over it, every tech has there own way of doing things if you believe that you are doing the right thing by everyone, then keep on doing it.
As mentioned before, this is not something I instantly knew to do. This is what I have learned over the years from working on thousands of computers, as well as learning from other peoples mistakes. There will be techs who will read your post, assume that you are right, then eventually figure out how wrong you were and how wrong they are. I try my best not to learn things the hard way if possible. I encourage others to consider doing the same.


Quote:
I wonder how many customers have you flogged your diagnostic up sell to, have found nothing is wrong and six months later they have problems with a failing hard drive. There are no guarantee's! unless of course you have a diagnostic crystal ball!
Diagnostics is free with every service, just like any other shop. The difference in my shop is that we actually run one. The reason why we can charge more, is because in the end, we provide a better quality service (for more reasons then listed on this thread) than other shops. In the long run, we save our customers more money and we decrease the chances of them losing important data in the future.

Quote:
Anyway what proof do you give the customer of these so called diagnostics being actually performed, unless you give a 12 month guarantee that there computer will not fail, I really don't believe you do anything more than what has been spoken about already on these forums.
We can print every diagnostics test that we run . . . can you?


NOTE: For those wondering about printing memtest86+ results, you can't. But if the memory does fail, you can then run the same tests in PC Doctor and then print the results from there.
__________________
_

Did you run a FULL diagnostic?

Are you tired of getting defective iPhone screens? Try eTech. We used to send back boxes of defective iPhone screens to WGP, now we rarely get them.

"The smartest and most successful people in the world are those who surround themselves with smarter and more successful people than themselves"

Last edited by PCX; 05-01-2012 at 05:46 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 05-01-2012, 05:51 AM
gazza gazza is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 518
gazza can only hope to improve
Default

If a live linux Mint distro loads and runs, video works, sound works and wireless, usb ports and ethernet works and does not crash over a period of 3 to 4 hours I think we can safely say that the computers problems are software related and not hardware related. Diagnosis correct?

As I said every tech has there own way of doing things, which we may or may not agree with, the tools we use we may not agree with, it is getting the right result for the customer that counts and if your way does that then good for you.

As I said I don't run diagnostics for every repair but I do run Passmark Burn-in Pro for 4 to 8 hours after I have fixed the problem, if the system passes then a report is printed and given to the customer, the testing and report is factored into my repair rates, it is not a separate charge. The results cannot be fudged and are listed in a manner that the average non techie person can understand.

Let's just leave it for now and enjoy your day.

Thanks,

Gary

Last edited by gazza; 05-01-2012 at 05:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 05-01-2012, 06:30 AM
gikstar gikstar is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Ventura, California
Posts: 889
gikstar is on the way
Default

Quote:
NOTE: For those wondering about printing memtest86+ results, you can't.
I keep a digital camera at the workbench and take photos of all of the error messages as they come up... this helps with things like memtest86+, defraggler - showing the amount of fragmentation before running it, and other messages that are just too long for me to write down.
I can also add those images into their client file on our server along with our dated worksheet.

On a different note:
Quote:
unless you give a 12 month guarantee that there computer will not fail
the word is "their" not "there"...

The only time we use a Linux Live CD is when we suspect that the a problem is software related rather than hardware related. Recently we had a laptop come in that would not produce sound in Windows, nothing we did would correct that problem. Running a Linux Live CD made it perfectly clear that it was not a hardware issue! Too bad it took us a while to decide to test it by booting with a Linux CD.

Last edited by gikstar; 05-01-2012 at 06:41 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 05-01-2012, 02:21 PM
PCX's Avatar
PCX PCX is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,796
PCX is just really nicePCX is just really nicePCX is just really nicePCX is just really nice
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gikstar View Post
I keep a digital camera at the workbench and take photos of all of the error messages as they come up... this helps with things like memtest86+, defraggler - showing the amount of fragmentation before running it, and other messages that are just too long for me to write down.
I can also add those images into their client file on our server along with our dated worksheet.

On a different note: the word is "their" not "there"...

The only time we use a Linux Live CD is when we suspect that the a problem is software related rather than hardware related. Recently we had a laptop come in that would not produce sound in Windows, nothing we did would correct that problem. Running a Linux Live CD made it perfectly clear that it was not a hardware issue! Too bad it took us a while to decide to test it by booting with a Linux CD.
I had thought about taking pictures myself, but since I already run PC Doctor, I might as well just print the results from there.

As for using the live Linux CD to troubleshoot software issues, that is a perfect example of how it should be used.
__________________
_

Did you run a FULL diagnostic?

Are you tired of getting defective iPhone screens? Try eTech. We used to send back boxes of defective iPhone screens to WGP, now we rarely get them.

"The smartest and most successful people in the world are those who surround themselves with smarter and more successful people than themselves"
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:02 PM
rsarceno's Avatar
rsarceno rsarceno is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 989
rsarceno will become famous soon enough
Default

It would be interesting to see a poll how many tech runs full diag on every computer they service.
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:08 PM
nightkingdoms's Avatar
nightkingdoms nightkingdoms is online now
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Arizona
Posts: 597
nightkingdoms will become famous soon enough
Default

I take pictures with my cellphone. I originally bought a 6 MP camera, got a new phone and it had an 8 MP camera. Needless to say I only carry my phone. lol Every report I can export and picture that I take gets attached to the support ticket for the call for future reference. Most of the pictures usually go into a folder on Dropbox with a link put into the ticket, though (I routinely delete any client pictures older than 6 months from Dropbox).

Anyway, as a person who exclusively uses Linux as their operating system (not dual boot) for the past 8 years, let me tell you: Linux does crash. It is far more fault tolerant than Windows will ever be because it was made for server environments and the entire point of the system is to keep it running as much as possible. You will have a huge set of log files if things start faulting, though.

If it doesn't POST and shows nothing on the screen, it's the power supply. If it POSTs without video, it's the video card. If you still have no video and it doesn't provide a beep code (otherwise, follow what the beep codes say), barebones it, reset the motherboard settings with the jumpers/switches, etc. to try to get it to work. If it works on your bench but not at the client's look for a short.

If you get video and it freezes on boot, it's the mobo. If you barebones it and it POSTs fine, troubleshoot what you disconnected one-by-one. Swapping RAM, resetting BIOS defaults, checking the heatsink, swapping out the CPU, etc. until you get it to POST or not. Most serious mobo/CPU/RAM issues will be readily apparent and you don't need a CD to diagnostics test to tell you it's probably a hardware issue.

I will say, however, that if I suspect that there's any problem with the hard drive I will do a backup of their data (not an image). Most of my work is on-site so I don't have hours to spend on preventative measures when the client isn't complaining of or having solid hard drive problems. But, what I have noticed myself doing lately more and more is checking the SMART data on a lot of the hard drives regardless of the issue.

As far as what to tell the client before their stuff dies completely or while I have it... I never tell my customers exactly what I think a problem is, I give them a range, usually from one extreme to the other. If they're having problems with their system crashing, I will tell them it could be anything from a simple virus that needs to be removed or a problem with the hard drive, mobo, processor, RAM or a combination thereof. (Yes, this usually gives them the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look. lol)

Then I paraphrase what it says in my terms: You brought me a faulty computer that is not working properly. Because it is not working properly and could have a mechanical problem, just turning it on or the diagnosis process itself could further damage the computer and keep it from functioning properly (such as a grinding hard drive).

I always tell them the worst possible scenario but I also tell them that once diagnosed and it looks like the estimated cost for repairs would exceed the cost of the computer's worth, I will let them know (not just do it like some repair shops lol). I have no problem letting my customer know that I don't know what's going on with their computer because you need to have a solid look at what's going on to be able to diagnose it. If they are adamant about a possible diagnosis right there, that's when I tell them the above with the extreme ranges -- because if you don't, I guarantee you that the day you tell them it's a simple virus, half their hardware is fried -- Murphy's Law hates us with a passion. lol

When I call them back to tell them what's wrong with it, they have already been prepared for the worst case scenario. You're either a) confirming it or b) giving them good news. 99% of the time the diagnosis you come up with is far better than the worst case scenario, however, if it is the worst, then you're not going to get the surprised client who thinks you broke it. And, with that 99%, they think you're a super tech because you "saved" their computer when they thought everything could be dead. I don't tell them this stuff to make me look like a hero or something, but to cover my butt... It's just an added benefit.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 05-01-2012, 07:17 PM
PCX's Avatar
PCX PCX is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,796
PCX is just really nicePCX is just really nicePCX is just really nicePCX is just really nice
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightkingdoms View Post
I take pictures with my cellphone. I originally bought a 6 MP camera, got a new phone and it had an 8 MP camera. Needless to say I only carry my phone. lol Every report I can export and picture that I take gets attached to the support ticket for the call for future reference. Most of the pictures usually go into a folder on Dropbox with a link put into the ticket, though (I routinely delete any client pictures older than 6 months from Dropbox).

Anyway, as a person who exclusively uses Linux as their operating system (not dual boot) for the past 8 years, let me tell you: Linux does crash. It is far more fault tolerant than Windows will ever be because it was made for server environments and the entire point of the system is to keep it running as much as possible. You will have a huge set of log files if things start faulting, though.

If it doesn't POST and shows nothing on the screen, it's the power supply. If it POSTs without video, it's the video card. If you still have no video and it doesn't provide a beep code (otherwise, follow what the beep codes say), barebones it, reset the motherboard settings with the jumpers/switches, etc. to try to get it to work. If it works on your bench but not at the client's look for a short.

If you get video and it freezes on boot, it's the mobo. If you barebones it and it POSTs fine, troubleshoot what you disconnected one-by-one. Swapping RAM, resetting BIOS defaults, checking the heatsink, swapping out the CPU, etc. until you get it to POST or not. Most serious mobo/CPU/RAM issues will be readily apparent and you don't need a CD to diagnostics test to tell you it's probably a hardware issue.

I will say, however, that if I suspect that there's any problem with the hard drive I will do a backup of their data (not an image). Most of my work is on-site so I don't have hours to spend on preventative measures when the client isn't complaining of or having solid hard drive problems. But, what I have noticed myself doing lately more and more is checking the SMART data on a lot of the hard drives regardless of the issue.

As far as what to tell the client before their stuff dies completely or while I have it... I never tell my customers exactly what I think a problem is, I give them a range, usually from one extreme to the other. If they're having problems with their system crashing, I will tell them it could be anything from a simple virus that needs to be removed or a problem with the hard drive, mobo, processor, RAM or a combination thereof. (Yes, this usually gives them the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look. lol)

Then I paraphrase what it says in my terms: You brought me a faulty computer that is not working properly. Because it is not working properly and could have a mechanical problem, just turning it on or the diagnosis process itself could further damage the computer and keep it from functioning properly (such as a grinding hard drive).

I always tell them the worst possible scenario but I also tell them that once diagnosed and it looks like the estimated cost for repairs would exceed the cost of the computer's worth, I will let them know (not just do it like some repair shops lol). I have no problem letting my customer know that I don't know what's going on with their computer because you need to have a solid look at what's going on to be able to diagnose it. If they are adamant about a possible diagnosis right there, that's when I tell them the above with the extreme ranges -- because if you don't, I guarantee you that the day you tell them it's a simple virus, half their hardware is fried -- Murphy's Law hates us with a passion. lol

When I call them back to tell them what's wrong with it, they have already been prepared for the worst case scenario. You're either a) confirming it or b) giving them good news. 99% of the time the diagnosis you come up with is far better than the worst case scenario, however, if it is the worst, then you're not going to get the surprised client who thinks you broke it. And, with that 99%, they think you're a super tech because you "saved" their computer when they thought everything could be dead. I don't tell them this stuff to make me look like a hero or something, but to cover my butt... It's just an added benefit.
Great advice and troubleshooting tips, not all of it is 100% but it does help to point someone in the right direction in many cases. Anyways, you sound like you handle things much the same way I do in the shop.

I did want to clarify something, Linux does of course crash just like any other OS, but as you said, its more tolerant. In any case, it makes a great troubleshooting tool.
__________________
_

Did you run a FULL diagnostic?

Are you tired of getting defective iPhone screens? Try eTech. We used to send back boxes of defective iPhone screens to WGP, now we rarely get them.

"The smartest and most successful people in the world are those who surround themselves with smarter and more successful people than themselves"

Last edited by PCX; 05-01-2012 at 07:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 05-28-2012, 07:24 PM
xxalle xxalle is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Macedonia
Posts: 6
xxalle is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Very interesting, to read about this.
Defenetly will use it in the future.
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 06-14-2012, 05:29 PM
the rescue tech's Avatar
the rescue tech the rescue tech is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pittsburg, KS
Posts: 33
the rescue tech is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Thanks for posting your process.
I appreciate the your thoughts and reasoning.
__________________
Bill Emmerling, CompTIA A+, Network+
the Rescue Tech, Inc.
Pittsburg, KS
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Technibble.com is based out of MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA.