Can You Fix My Laptop?

at risk
Creative Commons License photoOpens in a new tab. credit: booleansplitOpens in a new tab.

A couple of weeks ago my wife was visiting her parents and got to talking to her sister. My wife mentioned that I recently had a bunch of trouble with my Windows Vista laptop and finally got it mostly straightened out. This promoted my sister-in-law to ask if I wouldn’t mind fixing her old college laptop. My wife brought it home for me to take a look at.

The laptop has long been replaced by a Windows XP desktop for playing games, using iTunes, and general internet surfing. The laptops role was simply going to be for nothing outside of web surfing and word processing. Back in college my sister-in-law went to insert the power adapter and found that the plastic housing that holds it in place was broken free and laying inside the case.

Being aware of what the problem was, I ordered the new $4.00 part online and waited for it to arrive. The following day I got to talking with my father, who coincidentally just repaired a similar problem on my brothers ex-girlfriends computer. Having experience with this issue, he offered to take care of it for me.

I happily accepted his offer and moved to the cleaning stage when he was finished with it. At some point in time a virus infected the computer and my sister-in-law asked that I take care of it for her. Before being stuck in a closet, the computer was looked at by someone else. This became apparent when I logged in and found virtually no personal data on the PC. It seems that this person felt that deleting anything non-critical would rid the computer of the virus.

Once I got a few things straightened out, I loaded Malware BytesOpens in a new tab. and ran a scan. The results showed a couple of Trojans and a mess of registry infections. Those were taken care of by the software and the next step was to load the free version of AVG Virus ScannerOpens in a new tab. and take a peak at what it could find.

Before long I had the computer up and running like it should. While the deleting of so many files may have possibly solved part of the problem, I think its a shame that they were removed prior to scanning for infections.

While the old Gateway SB1200 is obsolete, its running smoothly now. I can only hope that the next time a computer problem pops up, my sister-in-law will ask me to take a look at it before someone hastily hacks away at files in attempt to solve the problem.

What was the last computer
problem that you took care of for someone?


Hi There, My name is Walt White and as the name of this blog suggests, I am a Pennsylvania resident. In addition to having numerous hobbies that I discuss on my blog - I’m also the father of three little girls and a pitbull.

7 thoughts on “Can You Fix My Laptop?

  1. I hate when relatives want me to fix their pc’s. I have logmein installed on ALL their computers and on my iPhone. I can fix anytime, anyplace, anywhere. But yeah, I hate it.

  2. I feel your pain. Sometimes I hate dealing with PC issues. People get so much junk installed on them. I recently helped my ex girlfriends mom via remote help with MSN and they have so much junk. People download these stupid games and screensavers then wonder why windows runs slow or they get a virus.

    I wish more people would just buy a Mac for their daily needs and bypass all of this crap. A computer that just works and less than a 1% of getting a virus!

    Windows is so insecure and so problematic. I have to rebuild my XP dev box every year to stop slow downs. Once I get my image set up with all my dev tools on it to run with VMWare on my Mac, I will copy that for a back up.

    At least you saved them from the Geek Squad.

  3. The last computer problem that I had to fix was to replace the defective hard drive from my wife’s Macbook. I also just got a call from my Dad last night about his business computer.

    It never stops… I guess that’s what I get for being a computer programmer. Hmmmm… Maybe I will tell peope that I do something else.

    Keep up the great work Walt!!!

  4. GPK3,
    I mind don’t fixing them most of the time. My sister-in-law is the type of person that will do whatever she can to help you out in a bind.

    I used to hate getting calls from friends with infected PC’s. One friend in particular had his system so jam-packed full of junk that fixing it was a lost cause. Reformatting was the only option, in my opinion.

    I cleaned it out the best I could and when it got worse a few weeks later, it was all my fault.

    I never thought about installing LogMeIn on a few of the more problematic PC’s, I might just have to give that a try.


  5. My favorite is dinner with mixed company and someone finds out I’m an IT guy and the following bombardment of questions. Round robin style from the whole table.

    It’s awesome. Not like I’m at dinner trying to pound this beer to forget the day.


  6. A few days ago I was called by a relative saying internet was broken. After spending a whole evening fixing it the following seemed to have happened. The ISP had a outage during the day and her 16y old son decided to reset the two routers instead of the ‘normal’ – remove the power cord and place it back procedure if there seem to be some internet problems – (which usually does the trick btw)
    sigh…everything was set back to fabrication settings…

  7. I don’t have any problems fixing my family’s computers, if they they dont mind to wait.My household is a busy(3 kids five and under)so if they don’t care that it might take a couple of days then bring that sucker on over….

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