I’ve just fixed a server with my business card.
I’m sure I have made comments along the lines of “if you know someone with IT problems they only need my business card” during my 60 second BNI slots, although that’s usually covered by my memory hook: “Don’t just press any key, press the HDG key!“
I just never thought it could be that simple. Of course, it isn’t quite that simple, but the story goes like this…
We have an HP ProLiant ML110 G7 server on the bench that belongs to a client. Rather than them suffer downtime I swapped out their drives to a replacement server over the weekend, so that I could contact HP at a less hectic moment.
The server was freezing during boot up, at the “Power and Thermal Calibration in Progress…” stage. The usual diagnosis steps got us nowhere, so I popped along to the HP Online Chat. As the person at the other end described various parts of the system, I thought he was directing me to the little “System Maintenance Switch” – a set of dip switches for various tasks. But no, the next instruction took me by surprise:
“Slide a credit card or similar size card between the motherboard and gasket. Then try turning it on.”
I inserted a business card, pushed the power switch and muttered “yeah, right!”
And sure enough, it booted up.
As it happens, that means it needs a new motherboard but as we support a few of these servers out there, I will remember that emergency fix tip for the future!
In the meantime, HP will be here tomorrow to install a new motherboard. Now that’s service.
Not too long ago, I had the (dubious) pleasure of taking two laptops apart for the same reason. On both of them I needed to replace the cooling fans.
The first was a joy. An old Acer laptop – flip it over, four screws and all the useful components are easily accessible via one panel.
The other, an HP, was an absolute nightmare to work on. Apart from removing the keyboard, screen, DVD drive, great chunks of the case had to be dismantled and the whole motherboard removed. All so it could be flipped over to reach the necessary components.
But it could have been even worse, I suppose. As laptops become smaller and sleeker, they become harder to repair, if not impossible. Perhaps the worst culprit of this is Apple, who now solder and glue some of their components in. Either that, or use their own proprietary screws.
There is a slow but constant shift towards disposable IT hardware, where things are either impossible or just plain uneconomical to repair.
Setting up your new PC is so easy, isn’t it? It should be, but more often than not it is time consuming, complicated, boring and frustrating. So, here are 5 reasons to call HDG in to set up your new PC in Kent…
Oh, the excitement of opening that box and finding a brand new PC inside. The rush to set it up, plug everything in and turn it on. And we’re online!
If only. Something will be missing or we’ll have forgotten a printer lead or wireless adapter. Then we cannot get the wireless to work – I’m sure that password is the right one – and I’d really like to copy all my old documents over. We’d really like to get on with eating and drinking to excess, as is the Christmas tradition, but the kids just won’t leave us alone until the PC is ready.
Of course, what we should have done is get HDG to set the PC up for us before Christmas. All set up, tested and ready before it got wrapped.
Do we need all this software? Do we have to register everything and why does it keep asking me questions? New PCs are always full of junk, software you don’t need that will take up space, slow your PC down or worst of all, stop something you want to use from working. But how do we know what to remove and how to get rid of it.
Finally, we’re online. Off to the web we go. And “this site needs X to display properly.” Windows doesn’t know how to display this document. This website works better with that browser. Arggh!
HDG know how to clean your PC install without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. They will download and install the most up-to-date versions of all the most important bits of software you will need, so you will be ready to put your PC to good use.
So we’ve got your PC all set up and everything is great, apart from that annoying little “you should create your recovery media” pop-up every time you turn it on. And we all know we should create that media, but we haven’t got 3 blank DVDs handy. And the shops are shut. Or we do have the discs, but we haven’t got the special pen to write on them. So we promise to do it tomorrow. But we don’t. So every day we turn on the PC, we dismiss the message and promise that we will create the media soon.
Right up until the day that the hard drive fails, and the manufacturer wants £90 for a set of recovery discs. And that’s when we wish we had created them.
Well, that’s one of the things HDG do, they create the discs, label them and give them to you to keep somewhere safe.
It’s a brand new PC, we don’t have to worry about updates?
Sadly in the time it takes for your PC to reach you there will almost certainly be a whole heap of updates to apply. Time consuming and bandwidth heavy, just when you’re trying to enjoy your new PC is will be asking to restart, download another patch and do it all again.
When a new PC leaves the HDG workshop, we make sure there are no updates necessary.
Our friends told us that we can use free antivirus, but then the box the PC comes in says we get 90 days of protection with product X. Then, in the shop, they tried to sell us product Y. But everyone says X and Y are really slow so we should use Z. Help!
HDG will recommend the best security software for your needs, whether that be a free option or something far better value than what the shop offers. Plus, they will throw in a years’ free online backup to protect all that lovely new stuff you’re going to create.
Just 5 reasons to call HDG in to set up your new PC this Christmas, or any other time of the year!
For a brief moment the other day I almost changed my opinion on Blackberrys. I was setting up a new Torch for a client and I caught myself thinking “oh, this is actually quite a nice phone…”
I got over it though.