Tech support hell (in Off-topic)

AdminJonathan November 8 2005 11:49 PM EST

One of my neighbors was having some computer trouble. Seems that he had comcast cable and no hardware OR software firewall.

He's a nice guy, so I went over to see if I could help. He'd spent literally almost 3 hours with comcast tech support before calling in the big guns. He thinks the tech support woman had him delete things that Windows wanted to keep around, because his system feels even less stable than when he started.

Anyway, what made me post this is, he's running...


Holy crap. I thought all those things had been shot by now.

First thing I did was install zone alarm so at least he wouldn't get insta-pwned anymore. Rebooted.

It was dead as a doorknob. No mouse even. Three finger salute doesn't work. Nothing.

I think you could hit F8 or something with those old DOS-based windows to get them to prompt before loading stuff, but it's not worth it. I'm going to burn a knoppix CD tonight to rescue his files onto a usb drive, then install a spare windows 2000 license I have for him. (Yes, it's legit.)

Windows ME. Shudder.

Bootsanator November 8 2005 11:55 PM EST

I used to have Windows was AWFUL...poor poor neighbor

Adrian Exodus November 9 2005 12:03 AM EST has no tech support they have a high-schooler with a 3 ring binder of a faq...
I know its not my computers fault(because I've tried 3 different computers now)
I know it's not my modems fault(cause now i have two of them the second one was free cause they are idiots)
I know it's not my splitters fault(because i have to many to count and i tried them all and in every combo i can think of)
so it's either the line to the house which i can't fix or it's their service...which they can't seem to fix...and if i felt like sitting on the phone for 3-4 hours (per session) i would call comcast back up and try to fix it again, but i hate phones, i hate ppl, i hate bad tech support, I hate Comcast!....or something :P

Special J November 9 2005 12:19 AM EST

Tech support ->

Unplug the modem from the outlet and let it power down

Me ->

I did that already

Tech Support ->

Do it again

Me ->


Adrian Exodus November 9 2005 12:24 AM EST

hehe yeah they had me do that a few times and then hmm can't really remember but i think it was something with the mac adrress asked me if it was set to default i said yes then they said ok now lets reset it to default...or something like that.

Tezmac November 9 2005 12:54 AM EST

"Tech support ->

Unplug the modem from the outlet and let it power down "

I hear ya on that.

They came and installed it at my house, not that I needed their help, and there was actually something rattling around inside the modem. I kept telling them something was wrong, it only took them a week and a half to figure it out.

CoolWater November 9 2005 1:15 AM EST

I'm not sure what exactly is wrong with Win ME but I had 10 computers setup with ME and had no problems at all. But they are now XP.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] November 9 2005 3:16 AM EST


Claire and I built her folks a tiny comp (really no more than a glorified CD player / Word processor from old junk I had lying around (I'm somewhat of a hoarder). It's got either 95 or ME on it, can't remember which.

But it's stand alone...

I had a long running argument with some guys round here, "Use the free version of Zone Alarm, it's great!" they said. "Don't support home networks so Claire can't use the internet with it as my comp is the gateway..." I replied. "Yes it does! I've got it working!". "Nope..." And so on...

In the end, I just ordered the pro version, which does support home networks and it all works fine! :)

I can never remember whether it's F4 or F8 to bring the prompt up, I usually end up mashing both on various loading screens and restarting the machine a couple of times before I get it! ;)

PoisoN November 10 2005 4:29 PM EST

That's an international problem :) if you know what you do, better ask right trough for the high level support. And I've learned that newsgroups or a forum is most of the time a good service alternative.

People want a cheap provider -> cheap support.

Btw. Windows 98 was stable(as a windows system could be) for 4 years here. With ME they introduced a restore function, wasn't it helpful? And there is a "safe mode" which could help too. Never mind. Backup and delete the system ;-) and put firefox(+the common stuff to protect the pc from its owner) on it.

Grim Reaper November 10 2005 5:39 PM EST

Am I the only one with the unlimited license/highest upgrade for zonealarm.....

InebriatedArsonist November 10 2005 6:22 PM EST

Me: I'm getting ping times in the 1500-2000 millisecond range.
ISP Tech: What's ping? Is that bad?

DrAcO5676 [The Knighthood III] November 10 2005 9:42 PM EST

Yeah I know how that went, I had ME awhile until my boot drive just started to dissapear. I tried to work it out but ultimately had to wipe the drive and install XP Pro. Ohh well, what are we gonna do but burn ME!

BrandonLP November 10 2005 9:46 PM EST

"Am I the only one with the unlimited license/highest upgrade for zonealarm....."

Probably the only person brave enough to post about a cracked version.

Special J November 10 2005 10:02 PM EST

I use a hardware firewall, well if I choose to turn it on.

I have *NEVER* had a reason to use a firewall, I don't open email attachments or download warez, keeps me fairly safe. Added to that; I use Firefox to surf, Adaware, spybot, hijackthis and codestuff starter to eliminate startup programs, along with teatime from spybot to avoid issues with reg editing malware.

All of that takes maybe 15 minutes a week of my time.

Adrian Exodus November 10 2005 11:09 PM EST

no firewall?? hmm <evil grin>

that means port 139 and 445 are open? nah back in the day they would be but unless your isp sucks and they left them open for you...or you took the time to tweak them yourself, but you do know that many open ports with out firewalls can be taken advantage of from the outside, with out user help or a pre-installed adware/spyware.

Special J November 10 2005 11:46 PM EST

yup, every port is open, and monitored by the on board forceware firewall, but no traffic is blocked.

I have *never* had an issue.
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