No doubt that future Cybergurus will come from those adept and creative at forming meaningful queries on the internet. This site has slowly wormed its way into my paranoid heart over the years. As a programmer, developer, IT Tech, and Networking (dare I even think it) Guru and general JOAT (Jack of all Trades, and master of some), I often find myself pondering the now age old question, "Knowing what I know about networking and computers, how do regular people survive owning a computer or manage to get anything fixed?". Those who also think of themselves as Gurus measure their own aptitude by 1: Being able to claim having forgotten more than they know. on the subject. 2: Questioning at times if they really know anything at all about the subject. and 3. Being able to know what they know, #AND# knowing what they don't know. The last one making them wisest of all.
Last but not least in this list of qualification is: Knowing where to look, and what to look for. Amazingly, a new friend of mine (my daughter's beau (read that... Suger Daddy) has been successfully running a business on a machine that has 1. No COA, 2. Never been backed up. 3. Recently was getting computer help from "Nerds in Bugs", 4: Was basically crying to my daughter for someone to help his FBI Moneypak Ransom infected machine that wouldn't do diddly squat, fighting off Nerds in VW Bugs" who wanted the big bucks for coming to his business and getting nowhere on the machine. And while my daughter bragged that "If my daddy can't fix it, no one can.", and I can claim, "I've never lost a patient yet." felt over the last almost 4 days now, that this was going to be my first patient loss. And I'm not out of the water yet; but, feel if I can get the damned license authenticated, we may be in the clear (but, swatting bugs for a while).
So, this guy is running a Windows XP Pro, because the software he runs cost him over $16k and he can't afford an upgrade which runs around $9K just so he could run it on a Windows 7 machine, with no guarantee it will run on Win 8!!! I'm clearly in the wrong business! Oh, that's right, I'm retired. Apparently running a Moneypak Ransom can net you around $3 Million, and many years in jail. I'm almost thinking it might be worth 5 years in jail for $3M; but, I would soil my White Hat, and I keep mine clean.
So, I was able to run a couple of prime software on his machine, and had to stop him from being overjoyed, as it was running XP pro, from a new COA (currently unauthorized) in Command Prompt... turned Repair Console, in ultra safe mode, with practically every parameter possible listed in the boot.ini because even the monitor could only work in /basevideo with no gui waving a white flag, which after Ransom looked good to him after a day of Nerds in Bugs only giving him a glimpse of his Desktop before it froze him out. And to be honest, that's all I got for two days too. With no backup, I was very careful, and after a day managed to grab a backup with FBI trojan still intact. Hey, at least I could hand it back to him the same way he gave it to me if I failed. I know that's better than what the Nerds in VW's could offer. After the guy who built his machine died, he's been using the Geeky squad for at least 2 years, and no one thought to get him to make a backup! o-O
I have to admit the dead guy made a great machine! And I'd pat him on the back if I'd have just seen a dang COA somewhere on the machine, yellow sticky note would have been fine. The owner? His answer to all my questions were: I don't know, I can't remember, and I didn't know that was important when it came to disks and documentation. We all know them right?
So... it was a nice break writing you to say 'Hey!'; and I just finished installing IE7 & IE8 so hopefully the machine will boot to safe mode now I've repaired it. (I hope).
And, if you don't hear from me for a while, I got it done, and I'll see you around the next time. Once my mother passes away, I might even get time to answer some questions. Gawd, I hope I don't have to post any questions; but, it's nice to see a good active community. Thank goodness the internet is like an Elephant; it has a long memory, and on the internet, even Windows XP Pro questions and answers are still valid 10 years after they were asked. Kudos to Bleeping Computers, and Kudos for the internet and it's elephantine memory, because for me... Windows XP is part of the "Forgotten more than I know excuse of a Guru I am at this moment. But, it's amazing how much I still remember. Haven't seen Windows 10 yet; but, so far... peeking under the hood of Windows 8, and using Windows 7. Not that much has changed... it's all Windows dressing.
BTW as a parting thought. Has anyone noticed how over the years we don't so much as fix the machines anymore as we do tell them to forget what is wrong, and more and more they can almost fix themselves? No? Yeah, me neither... but, it's getting closer and closer.
Chip as in Cyberchipz