What is this 'malware' you keep telling me I have?

The answer to this question is frankly too long and complicated to include in the FAQ. However, to gain some more insight you can read my blog post on the topic of malware

Why is the warranty only 24 hours when you have cleaned infections off my PC?

This just boils down to one thing: I am unable to control what any one person does online! Malware can be acquired in many ways: piggyback installs on downloaded software, sneaky files embedded in websites, unknown attachments in emails, viruses packaged with pirated software or movies… the list goes on. These infections can happen fast, and easily, by simply missing a checkbox or visiting the wrong place. Because I can’t control where you surf and what you download, I cannot guarantee that your computer will stay infection-free with normal use! I do offer 24 hours from the time of pickup just in case I did miss an infection (it hasn’t happened yet).

How do I know you'll find all of my files when you do my backup?

The vast majority of computer users (myself included) only save their files in Windows default locations. Documents to “My Documents”, pictures to “My Pictures”, and so on. When I am doing a Windows reinstall, I back up all of the default user folders under each profile on the PC. For the regular user this is all that is needed, as files will always save to these folders by default. IF you do manually save files to a location other than your user folders (like the root of C, not a topic to cover now) it is your responsibility to have these files backed up on your own or advise me of their location before I begin work on your PC.

Why don't you reinstall my Office and third-party software?

No PC repair shop does this – at least not without charging an extra fee. The reason is simply that it’s impossible to have copies on hand of every licensed program in use today, and we don’t have your license keys either! There is no way to retrieve installation files for your software from your hard drive, and no reliable way to retrieve license keys. When you buy software, it’s very important to keep your install discs, downloaded copies or download links, and ESPECIALLY licensing information for as long as you intend to use the software! We do offer reinstallation of third-party software for an extra fee, provided you have all of your install media (or download links) and licensing information.

Why do repair people keep telling me my computer needs to be wiped and reloaded?

It does seem this way! The most common complaints coming through my door are things like “it’s really slow”, “I can’t load any websites”, “I have tons of popups”, or “there’s this scanner that says I have 3785 issues”. These complaints all have one thing in common: MALWARE! Often, by the time a user notices popups, fake virus scanners, or a general slowdown, the PC is so infected that reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows is the fastest and least costly method for your PC to be promptly repaired and returned. I don’t always have to wipe your hard drive – sometimes I am able to clean all the infections manually, and sometimes I see a PC with a different issue altogether (like a hardware failure). Don’t worry, if I DO need to wipe your computer due to infection, I back up all of your files to my server first. I can even reinstall your software IF you have kept your installation media, download links and license keys.