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Realistic time to diagnose a PC


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#1 mfletcher855

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 05:53 PM

Hey guys just wanted some opinions on the length of time it takes some techs or users to diagnose their ailing PC. Sometimes it takes me 15 minutes amd other times it takes me hours....

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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:19 PM

So, you think you are unusual ?  Not !

 

This is like asking 'How long is a piece of string?'. Sometimes the problem is immediately obvious, sometimes not. It also depends on who you are doing it for. Probably if it is for yourself you would be willing to spend more time, if it's for a paying customer the question is how much are they willing to pay.

 

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#3 zainmax

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 06:44 PM

Absolutely agree with the previous answer on this part where was said.

"It depends entirely on how much is paid for."

And that's the only, why is needed to do such a things at all. Only if somebody wants to pay, else not needed never.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:02 PM

mfletcher855, you answered your own question based on direct experience.

 

Contrary to popular opinion, professional computer technicians (as individuals, not a pool) do not know everything there is to know nor have they encountered every problem there is to encounter.  That makes any time estimates with regard to repair, at least before some direct observation and diagnosis has occurred, well-nigh impossible.

 

I always tell my clients that any estimate I give is truly a guesstimate of the SWAG sort until I've seen the machine and, will openly admit, sometimes afterward.  The difference between someone who does this for a living and your random person on the street is far more about educated guesses and excellent research skills based on what one does, and does not, know.

 

When you add in the fact that most clients (I do on-site support) do, "Oh, while you're here, I forgot about . . .," type requests, and usually more than one of them.  Then you're sometimes faced with, "Well why did it take this long when you said it would take about . . .?" questions which you answer honestly with, "The originally requested service did take . . .  You also asked for things X, Y, and Z after I arrived, all of which you witnessed being done and all of which add time."  I've been very lucky that most of my clients already realize when they're adding things on and when they're around to "watch the magic happen" don't question anything about the additional time.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#5 mfletcher855

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:30 PM

Thanks for the quick replies... Its not always black amd white....but an ocean of gray area... i am a new technician trying to understand some time management skills in a sense. I hope there are more replies because all of your input is invaluable to newbs lile me.

#6 Just_One_Question

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:35 PM

Somewhat of a stupid idea, but I've always thought about it being cool if there was a low-quality computer repair shop which emphasized entirely on speed of repair. This means that when you bring in a computer and the problem is software-related, they don't even log it on, just straight up re-install Windows. If the problem is hardware-related, they buy the new part from whichever one is most usually bought for that particular device (to ensure compatibility, but not necessarily best value or highest quality). If the problem was software and you brought in your computer pre-noon, you get it the same day; if hardware and you brought it in pre-noon - the following working day. Cheap, fast and uneventful, but kinda sloppy and unthoughtful. I came to this idea when I realized that, by fuzzy logic, about 75% of the time that is spent on repairs by computer guys is on diagnostics and in the end they still bring you back your PC with a re-installed OS and haven't gone the distance to retrieve the traces of your old files if your HDD has gone bad (common problem in the industry), but hey, what can you expect for $10 - at least it would be better if it didn't take a week. What do you think? 'Fast food' computer repair shop...:)



#7 mfletcher855

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:41 PM

That is hilarious hahaha... 😂😂😂

#8 Just_One_Question

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 07:50 PM

I...I was actually serious on that one.:lmao:



#9 mfletcher855

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:03 PM

:grinner: 

I...I was actually serious on that one. :lmao:

 

My apologies.... :grinner:



#10 zainmax

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Posted 24 August 2017 - 08:10 PM

Personally, I do not think that any industry wants to make a bad product.
Therefore, it is completely unreasonable to assume that any cow boy will do something better than the specialists have done.
Each computer is the best one, what is possible to achieve with this structure and any speedup programs are just one way of making money.


#11 rp88

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 01:19 PM

Post #6 Ofcourse a user can also make a system image of their system as they like it, then apply this sort of fix themselves, unlike paying a shop to do it that will be free (barring the cost of the media on which the image is written)and it will be quicker as they don't have to find time to go to a shop or wait for other customers to have things fixed before theirs is. If you've made your own image of your system and installed programs and keep personal files backed up on external media this isn't a bad way to fix things, although it makes sense not to do this when the fix is relatively simple.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#12 mjd420nova

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:24 PM

Having been in the occupation for 45 years, I have to admit that I still learn something NEW everyday.  I haven't seen everything and still run up against a tough one almost weekly.  I average around 4 client calls a day, some days are quick, up to 8 calls but then I run across one that takes two days to figure out.  Having a parts bin that is loaded with the most common replacements in order to diagnose the origin of the fault.  Software is the big grey area, so many things can get sent of into nowhereland with just one faulty digit in the registry or a newly load program changes a parameter to run but doesn't change it back when exiting.  I do routine service on wire rewinders at a wire mill, a saw controller it a saw mill or an infra-red inspection of an 80 MW generator and a 250 KV substation.  Down manholes, up power poles and in some nasty places like under a glass or silicone furnace.  I much prefer to knock on doors and crawl under desks but the clients are as diverse as the industries they work for.  Working with some manufacturers to service their gear when they have no field service of their own represents a huge learning curve to prevent looking like a dummy in front of the user contact.  I have been tempted a few times to throw up my hands, pack my tools and run screaming from the site.  One instance of a fild inspection of the end turns inside an 80 MW generator while running revealed a pair of coils that were 20 degrees C above adjacent coils in that phase.  I was asked how long before it failed and had to confess that I didn't know.  When the load was reduces to 50 MW they asked me to go back inside and I refused.  Less than an hour later as I was leaving the site, loading my gear in the car that the coils burned out and fried that unit.  I now place my limit at 10 degrees.  Lesson learned.



#13 britechguy

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:58 PM

Working with some manufacturers to service their gear when they have no field service of their own represents a huge learning curve to prevent looking like a dummy in front of the user contact.  I have been tempted a few times to throw up my hands, pack my tools and run screaming from the site.  One instance of a fild inspection of the end turns inside an 80 MW generator while running revealed a pair of coils that were 20 degrees C above adjacent coils in that phase.  I was asked how long before it failed and had to confess that I didn't know.  When the load was reduces to 50 MW they asked me to go back inside and I refused.  Less than an hour later as I was leaving the site, loading my gear in the car that the coils burned out and fried that unit.  I now place my limit at 10 degrees.  Lesson learned.

 

            While I try to do some homework before showing up at a job where very little information is available I also make clear to clients that for esoteric applications the learning curve is part of the job, and billable.

 

            For your example on the field inspection, I find it criminal that those in charge of the unit itself did not have the answer to the question they asked you to answer themselves.  That passes over into criminal negligence, as far as I'm concerned.   It's a perverse real life example of something akin to a very long ago Saturday Night Live skit where the world ended up with a nuclear meltdown because those running the plant could not agree on how to interpret the warning, "You can't put too much water in a nuclear reactor."  [Think emphasis on strictly "can't" versus on "too much"].  Those operating such things should know, in the very fiber of their beings, what Within Normal Limits (WNL) actually means in context.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#14 mjd420nova

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 08:44 PM

In that particular case with the generator, Infra-red scanning was just in its beginning stages with a  man portable instrument.  If you consider 40 pounds portable.  No one knew what the results would be as it hadn't been tried before.  That learning curve was quick and thankfully no one was hurt.  The process continued for two years as each of the ten generators was inspected and the coils built new and installed.  The winders were bound by contract that wasn't complete until I scanned each unit and gave it my blessing.  Many coils had burned out and damaged the laminated core stack.  Those tests were unreal as the core was wrapped with three winds of cable and the cable fed from a second generator at 3,500 volts at about 10 MW.  Like a three turn primary with the core as a single turn secondary.  It got hot and very hot where any laminations were damaged.  Imagine a 60 cycle hum that shook you to the bones.  That was thirty years ago and the units have been running perfect ever since.  Infra-red is some pretty cool stuff once you understand it.






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