Tech support (NL2)

I spent a good portion of the morning working on my little brother’s computer. It was an unpleasent experience to say the least.

This all started when he wanted to start playing World of Warcraft again. It was locking up really often so I told him to upgrade his video card drivers. So he went back to his room, and came back a little bit later and said he couldn’t even get on the internet anymore. My first question was of course: What did you do to it? You see, us techies while even we think computers use dark magicks to operate, we know that most of the time when something breaks, it is the user’s fault.

He informed me he tried to upgrade his video drivers but that failed, so he tried to upgrade his other drivers, including his network drivers. So I tell him to run to the store and get me a soda and I will fix his computer.

My initial reaction when I sat down:

First thing I see is IE6 up on the screen… quickly hunt for Firefox, Chrome, hell, I would have taken Opera at that point. So I go to windows update to grab IE8, since he likes his IE I figure I would leave it and just update that. No dice, it looked like when he upgraded network drivers it crapped out and didn’t fully install them. So I check his windows version and again I am horrified. Windows XP SP1. Last time I checked it was 2009, not 2002. But ok I go to my room, hug my computer and grab SP2 and 3 and burn them to CD to install on his system.

I go back to his room, install SP2, only a little trouble, ended up removing most of his drivers and XP let it install. Then I attempt to get his network card back online, installing the newer drivers he downloaded. This is the first thing that works first try on his system. Now I have internet and a moderately updated system, I am starting to feel better about this. I go online to windows update, grab IE8 and start installing it.

Once again I get fun errors, it is having a hard time reading or removing a file (go go ambiguous error messages) so I wipe out all his temprary internet files, cookies, still no go. Remove his bookmarks and it works! Ok, now I have IE8, SP2, working internet. I install SP3 and it goes on without a hitch, ask him what video card he has so I can get the proper drivers… I get ATI’ from him. I ask what model? ‘Um, ATI?’ is his response. So now I get to pull the side of his case off to see what video card he has.

I don’t think it has ever been cleaned or blown out… I go out to the garage and turn on the compressor, blow out his computer get the model number and install it all.

That was pretty much it, couple other drivers got installed no problem. In the end there is a lesson for both types of friends, the ones who give tech support and those who recieve it. For those that give tech support, check up on you friend’s and family’s computers now and then, do the regular maintence or teach them whichever is easier. For those that recieve tech support, when you hurt your computer, you hurt your local techies, please, please, please keep things up to date and clean. If done incrementally over time, these updates do not cause these kind of problems, it is when you try and do ALL of them at once.