My Computer Has Been at the Repair Shop For 3+ Days; Is This Typical?

I took my computer to the repair shop on Thursday morning of last week. I explained my problem to the guy (slow performance, frequent crashes, innumerable pop-ups, etc.). The guy mentioned viruses and trojans and said he’d let me know.

On Friday, I gave him another call. He said “we’re working on it.”

It’s now Monday. Does it normally take this long for a repair shop to do its job? You’d think that they’d have called and asked for more money (over and above the deposit/retainer I paid) if their employees were spending this long on it.

So, yeah, do computer repair shops usually take this long to do their jobs? How long is a typical repair?

The problem is that you interpreted “we’re working on it.” as “we’re working on it.” and not, as it probably meant, “we’ll get around to it when we finish this round of Unreal Tournament”.

Realistically, there’s no way to know how long it will take. They may have a lot of work in queue. It’s summer and their technicians may be taking long weekends.

If these guys are professional, they should have said something like “Here’s your receipt. We’ll get to it by such-and-such a date. At which point we’ll call you with an estimate.”

However, two working days is a ridiculously short time to get impatient unless you’re paying for expedited service. I wouldn’t think a week or even two weeks would be that out of line.

It depends on so many things: how backed up they were to begin with (did you ask?), how bad things are (it sounds like spyware and/or viruses to me), and whether anything else was wrong. If Windows got screwed up, as it well may have, they possibly will have to format and partition your HDD, & reinstall Windows. Then you will have to reinstall all your programs and files. You did back them up, right?

I don’t think, therefore, there is any “typical” time. If it were me, I’d keep bugging them (squeaky wheel…), and ask for specifics on what they have found and what they are doing.

Finding a reliable repair place is about as dicey as finding a good doctor or contractor. :slight_smile:

Hope it works out. When you get it back, be sure to use a good antivirus program and a few antispyware programs, download updated data files frequenty, and run them 2-3 times a week.

And obey the three most important rules of computing:

  1. Backup
  2. Backup
  3. Backup!!!

Sadly, no. But we only use the computer in question for surfing the internet at home, so if our files are shot then it’s no big loss. My copy of The Great American Novel that I’m working on is stored here at work.

You might recall that there’s been this thing called a ‘weekend’. Your machine has been there 2 working days, not three. Further, some of the hardware-related tests they may be running can take a long time - 12 hours or more. Even a virus scan can take a day if you have a LOT of files. What should happen is that the technicians start a test on your machine and move on to the next machine. Periodically they will look at your machine to see if it’s finished the current test; if they are deeply involved in someone else’s machine they may not notice for some time. A week is entirely reasonable.

Thanks, Quartz. I guess my expectations were too high. I thought it was going to be a simple matter of them running “Trojan Zapper 5.4” and I’d be on my way by that afternoon.

I work as a Computer technician at a small company and I deal with infected computers all the time. My advice? Be patient! Disinfecting a computer can be an extremely time consuming procedure. Three working days is the norm for heavily infected machines.

Here’s what we do:

-Most computers we get are so screwed that they can only be booted from Safe Mode. So, I boot from Safe Mode and install and scan the computer with Lavasoft’s AdAware. This usually cleans the computer enough to allow normal booting.

-Then I boot normally and install Microsoft Antispyware (which cannot be installed in Safe Mode) and Spybot S&D. I then connect to the internet and update all three antispyware programs.

-If the computer doesn’t have a network card, I have to open it and install one for the purpose of downloading updates.

-Once the antispyware programs are updated I reboot the system in Safe Mode and run full system scans with all three programs. Depending on the number of files and the computer’s speed, this can easily take more than three hours.

-When these scans end and I am still in Safe Mode, I install and scan the computer with HijackThis. By now, the computer is usually 100% spyware free, but some times I need to edit the Registry by hand. For example there’s a nasty spyware that hides the Wallpaper and Active Desktop tabs from the Display Properties menu.

-Then I boot normally and I install and update an AV program, usually Grisoft AVG Free. I reboot at Safe Mode once more and perform a full scan. Again, this can take quite a lot of time.

-Finally, I install Service Pack 2 and all Windows updates from Microsoft. That’s when we can give the computer back to the customer.

This procedure can take 1-2 full days if and only if:
-All AV/antispyware software and Windows updates installs without gliches
-There are no hardware problems
-We are not too backed up with other computers

If problems of any kind occur, fixing the computer can take a week or more.

Hey, Dog80, if you ever leave Athens and come to the US, be sure to let us all know, as you’ll be the first one we take our boxes to for help!

I’ve waited up to two and a half weeks - I know someone who waited at least 2 months (out of the 6 months she’d owned it, she might have had it for a month and a half intermittently. The rest of the time it was in the shop, but two months was probably the most consecutively). At that point, she was ready to just ask for a new computer since it was under warranty, all she’s had are problems. Then again, her parents could have been not cheap and bought her a reliable brand name computer and one that wasn’t a floor model.

Dog80, try avast’s free antivirus. I’m pretty sure it works better then grisoft’s avg.

Oh, yea. I’d give it at least a week before asking questions. Especially if you have an older slower computer. Spyware scans/virus scans are dependant on number of files, speed of harddrive, amount of ram and in my experience heavily dependant on CPU speed.