Captains's Log, Stardate 64264.7.....
Star Trek references aside, we've repaired a lot of things that most other places won't touch. Here we'll document some of our more notable solutions as an example of what we can do. Any shop can wipe your drive and reload Windows. Not everyone can remove viruses and keep all your data and programs intact....we can. Where most places can only replace a motherboard, we can re-solder broken parts back on, saving you money on items you don't need.
Nov, 2011: Viruses and Blue Screens
Some viruses these days are relatively benign. They're mainly scareware that says your computer has so many problems in hopes that you will purchase their product. Others however are quite difficult to remove because they dig their roots into your operating system and once the infected files are removed the OS will no longer boot up. A common example we have seen lately is a blue screen of:
STOP 0xC0000135 The program can’t start because %hs is missing. Try resintalling the program
The virus changes a few points in the registry so instead of the normal file Windows needs called "winsrv.dll" it loads "consrv.dll" instead. When the virus is removed Windows cannot boot in normal mode or safe mode since it needs that file to boot. If you find yourself in this situation you need to correct the reference to the infected file. Boot up to any pre-installation environment and load up the SYSTEM portion of your Windows registry. Do a search for "consrv" and you should find entries under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet00*\Control\Session Manager\SubSystems. Simply change "consrv" back to "winsrv" and you should be set. This needs to be repeated for each ControlSet. While you are at it, make sure the file winsrv.dll still exists in the Windows\System32 folder. After that, boot back to Windows and run your cleaning tool of choice to remove any left overs. We recommend Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes Antimalware.
Feb, 2011: Component Level Motherboard Repair
Random lockups, different blue screens, shuts down. Does this sound like your computer? Take a look inside. Do your capacitors look like this?
The ones on the left are bad. If you look closely you can see one is swollen and the other has electrolyte leaking out. Either way, these little guys are here to provide extra power to your computer when it needs it most. If they're not working to their fullest you end up not enough power going to something critical.
Yesterday a client had a system with eight of these bad. The motherboard was close to $100. By replacing the capacitors not only did we save the cost of the part, we were able to get the system back to them much faster than waiting for shipping.
Dec, 2010: Saving A DVD Drive
Today a guy came into the shop with a laptop that wouldn't read any CD's or DVD's. He had spoken to Startech PC, paid for phone support from another company, gone to Discount Electronics, and talked with a few others as well. At each turn he was told he either needed to replace his CD drive or the motherboard on his laptop. We looked at it and right away found that the problem was simply an error in the registry. After removing the upper and lower filters for the CD drivers it was playing DVD's like new. No new drive, no replacing the motherboard; the guy was happy with the fix and glad he wouldn't have to waste time and money on shops that didn't know the difference between a hardware and software problem.
Nov, 2010: Rogue Anti-Spyware Thinkpoint (hotfix.exe)
This one shows up unexpectedly (as most viruses do) running a scan on your computer reporting any number of problems. Rest assured, this software is likely your only issue. Boot into safe mode and use System Restore to roll back the OS to before the infection occurred. After that, update and run antivirus and anti-spyware scans. Unfortunately we often find that if this bugger got on your system there's likely something else as well. After that make sure Windows, Java, and Adobe are all updated to prevent it from getting back on.