Avoid the Geeks!!!

A week ago, I rambled on and on (and on and on) about the seven days of pure hell that I had just gone through. This piece of self-deprecation resulted in quite a few responses, public and private, and I’d like to thank those people who offered words of support (and a screw you to those who weren’t so positive).
To recap, besides a car accident and freak hamstring injury caused by my dog’s idiocy, I dropped my laptop at Black Sheep Coffee. After learning that it would probably take over three weeks just to get an estimate of the damages and that it likely would cost over five hundred bucks, I opted to purchase a new laptop. The fine folks at the Geek Squad were supposed to copy over 60 gigs of audio, video, and picture files (along with articles for Prime, Etc. and this website) to my new computer, but the prematurely-balding moron only copied a handful of items from my desktop.
The story doesn’t end there. After my appearance on KRRO last Wednesday morning, I took my old computer to PC Fixer at 15th and Minnesota. I asked them to see if the laptop could be salvaged, and regardless, I wanted a written estimate for insurance purposes. I also requested that they take a look at the hard drive to see if there was any possibility to save my old data.
Instead of three weeks, they had an estimate for me within two hours. The only damage to the old computer was to the monitor, and they actually had the part in stock for less than half of what my pals at the Geek Squad told me. There was also no damage to the hard drive. I told them to fix that sucker up, and I’d use it as a second computer in my bedroom.
Late that afternoon, the work was completed, and I happily picked it up. I headed over to the scene of the original crime, Black Sheep Coffee, and proceeded to fire it up.
Immediately, I had a clue that my problems were not quite over. The system loaded up fine, but it didn’t look right. My background had defaulted back to the generic Gateway logo, and only about half of the desktop items loaded. Any program I attempted to open would go through the install process…and my worst nightmare seemed to come true as all of the My Documents folders were empty.
But something not only confused me but gave me a little bit of hope. If I clicked on My Computer and looked at the details of the folder, the size of the drive was approximately as it was before my problems began. My hard drive had almost 90 gigs of data.
Yet the majority of this material could not be found. I looked everywhere, and clicked on seemingly a million folders to see if somehow everything had been moved somewhere. Nothing.
After a phone call to my pals at PC Fixer, I took the computer back to their store. Analyzing the hard drive, they found that indeed the material was still there. After one attempt to move everything back to their original spots failed, the entire hard drive was moved onto a remote server, and manually moved back to my computer.
Finally, the machine is up and running as good as it ever has. All of my rare Replacements, Dylan, Wilco, and Jayhawks concerts are ready for me to archive on CD and DVD (which I will be doing real soon). Same with my assassination attacks on public officials and weather practitioners, the couple of dozen of tracks I’ve bought from Itunes, and the photos I’ve taken at concerts, family gatherings, and tawdry barroom gatherings. I’m almost a happy camper.
Before leaving PC fixer for hopefully the last time, I asked my new best friends what went wrong. How and why did this happen? It seems that for some strange reason, my least favorite Geek Squad counter person sabotaged my computer. Instead of performing the duties he was contracted to perform, he did just barely enough work to justify the charges I had already paid. He then somehow created a hidden admin account that contained the folders in question. This account showed up nowhere; only an expert like my new best friends at a real computer repair shop could possibly find them.
Here’s my tip to anybody and everybody. If you can possibly help it, don’t use Geek Squad for any non-warranty work. I understand more than anybody that there are advantages to the convenience of taking your problems to Best Buy, but computers are tricky pieces of hardware. Who would you rather have work on the expensive items you own – educated experts who have devoted their career to working on computers, or barely-above minimum wage glorified clerks who are just trying to get through another day at their dreary job. I think the answer is obvious.


Anonymous said…
post your tale here:

Anonymous said…
And why would you take your computer to Best Buy to get fixed?

Scott, I thought you were smarter than that!

Lay off the Windsor!
Anonymous said…
you can now run windows on a mac, the ones with the intel chips anyway, should've got one of those!
Anonymous said…
If you own a MAC, why would you want to run Windows on it? That's like buying a Ferrari with an electric motor.

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