From the mailbox: Cleaned by a pro–Ripoff?

I had what was apparently a pretty bad infestation of spyware crud on my Win XP box. Aurora, Limewire, some other stuff. I couldn’t clean it out myself, gave up, and got a referral on a local tech guru.

He showed up, took one look, and said he had to take the system to the shop or I wouldn’t like the bill. I let him, and he brought it back clean two days later, with a bill for $180. Seems clean, and he added some blocking on installs, and updated my patches.

Was this pretty typical? I lost days here. Bill wasn’t bad, considering.

OK, so I’m still learning all this %$#!!

Typical? Sounds quite reasonable. Could have been much more expensive. You lost days, but saved money, because the tech didn’t attempt to clean the system in your office. If he had, he would have run a series of cleanup programs, some taking 15+ minutes to run while he attempted to look like he was doing something. For some items in the autoplays, he would have needed access to another computer to do searches for identification and for more specific removal tools that take out single programs–Aurora is one of those, that the general-purpose tools don’t take out.

Overall, it’s much easier to do this back at the shop, with reference materials handy, another PC for patch downloads, a high-speed internet connection for patch updates, and most important, the ability to walk away while the scans run, because you really do have to run multiple tools to clean up the mess. Onsite, you probably would have had to feed him lunch. Maybe dinner. Rented a room. Offsite, he could keep working on other projects, and not bill by the hour while he did other things.