The one thing I have learned about this field is, with certain notable exceptions, to never trust the symptom the customer tells you. And mpt to think about it too much untill you actually see what is going on. You all know what I mean: "I need a new mouse". Which of course means you need to teach the customer how to reboot his computer. Well, this customers has almost no computer skills. I was at his house yesterday and got to see first hand. Customer: "He logged into my machine." Translation: "he told me some buttons to press over the phone". The criminal never actually remoted into his machine. Two hours of scanning and consulting/questioning later, I finally figured out what had actually happened. The criminal had him open up his event viewer. Then go into filter and turn off Errors and Alerts. But at this point the customer had such a hard time following and kept asking the criminal to repeat himself because of his accent that the criminal got frustrated and hung up on him! HYSTERICAL!!!
You know what was coming next. "Look at all the errors I fixed for you. May I have your credit card to pay for what I just did for you?"
And yes I got paid and got my hand shaked. He has a failing hard drive too: he had bazillions on atapi red marks in his event veiwer. Since the computer is about 11 years old, customer and his wife want XP, and I can still do that, its looks like I will get a new computer build out of this, "eventually".
Thank you all for the tips and moral support!