April 9th, 2003 11:52 AM
I have this happen on a regular basis.. And if the people Ask we are obliged to tell them.. or atleast show them a copy of the instructions that are given to our techs regarding what they can look at freely on a customers machine with out prior consent.. Which is next to nothing..
But If you don't ask, or the Repair Centre dosen't display some form of privacy statement, you just won't know and they will assume that you don't care either. And if the center has no policy or treats your request as a joke.. Contact the manufacturer and find anothre repair center.. This is assuming a major manufacturer ie IBM, Dell, H/P..
Sorry but no comfort.
"Consumer technology now exceeds the average persons ability to comprehend how to use it..give up hope of them being able to understand how it works." - Me http://www.cybercrypt.co.nr
April 9th, 2003 02:30 PM
i bought a computer from a major chain store (already mentioned above) where i used to work. It was supposed to have 32 MB of video RAM automatically on the Mother Board, but this one only could be configured to 8 MB. The techs had incidentally fixed it under "warranty" service, but had replaced it with a lower end motherboard. no AGP slot, no 32MB RAM, and none of the other goodies that are supposed to come with it. ... Needless to say, that customer got a new computer, and I bought the old one for like 200 bucks.... I guess the point i'm trying to make is make sure that you get at least the same specs from your computer when you get it back. Tech Service Depots are out to make a profit, and if they notice that you only do word processing and email and probably won't miss your extra 32 megs of video, they may not give it to you.
i\'m starting to think that i\'m bound to always be the first guy on the second page of the thread.
April 9th, 2003 11:46 PM
If possible, do all your own repairs / upgrades
Computer says no
April 10th, 2003 12:01 AM
OK well if you "blew up your system" and are "taking it to the repair shop" Then it is a hardware issue. Which means you are just swapping out parts. If you "blewup" the OS then why dont you fix it yourself. Changing you passwords on local accounts isn't going to help you. You have to give the PC shop a password to log into the system that has administrative priledges so...... as an admin they can "do anything" What OS was it 95/98/ME sorry you are SOL.... no security protection at all Is it W2K maybe a little. XP Pro.... try EFS.... Encrypted File System.
As for everything else. If you dont want someone to see it don't put it on you PC and let you PC out of your control... If you are giving up control REMOVE ANY INFORMATION YOU DO NOT WANT ANY ONE ELSE TO SEE. then of course of they really wanted to they could always to a data recovery on the HD and get all that information back too... But most likely you are not under FBI investigation so that won't happen...
So in the long run.... let me give you a peice of advice.... 80-90% of the system have pron on them.... How do I know. Use to do support for companies National Conventions.... we use to work on upto 800 laptops in a weekend.... didn't search them all but.... You get the idea.... We decide it was one of those lowest common demoniation things..
My other Computer is a 4000 node Beowulf Custer
April 10th, 2003 02:44 PM
This type of paranoia made me learn everything I could possibly learn about home computers and the guts of the system. Because of this I spend probally $300-400~ or so over the course of the year upgrading misc parts, breaking and fixing internal componets. But all in all now I know how to build my own pc from the ground up, which I am doing at the current momment.
Also if you are new to hardware, pulling the hard drive out is not that big of a problem, just a matter of undoing some screws, pulling some wires and placing the cover back on.
You might want to ask how long the repair takes, or schedule an appointment, then when the time comes take it the shop, and if it takes an hour or two he probally won't have enough time to do any snooping unless he is really fast about it.
Like other people said snooping does happen so be paranoid. Now I must correct some of you, deleting files will and is not problem for most people to recover, even after you reformat there are ways to recover files from the hard drive. The only true way to get rid of the files is to overwrite them, so its a good idea to defrag often right after clearing some files.
There are several websites I encourage you to visit if you have some questions first off a small community but growing....
www.digitalferret.com visit the forums they are real nice there and several of them have YEARS, and I mean since early 1980's experience working with PCs.
Another one for useful guides and what not is www.extremetech.com
Some people prefer www.tomshardware.com but I do not like the website.
Feel free if you have any questions to ask me and if you want to build your own pc check out www.pricewatch.com and my favorite website www.newegg.com
April 10th, 2003 04:06 PM
You could add some baselining software to your system next time such as Redhand www.redhand.com this comes in two versions single user and network user. So that you can audit your machine before and after. Or you could run a file search for anything that has been altered after the date you sent the machine for repair. Removing the hard drive could possible invalidate the warrentee so is unadvisable. And encrypt the system and pw protect what you want hidden. Hope this helps.
[pong][gloworange]665[/gloworange] Next door to the [glowpurple]devil[/glowpurple][/pong]
April 10th, 2003 04:39 PM
The only other thing that i don't think has been said is that if you are sending the pc back to the manufacturer take out any personal additions, ie i bought mine from Msquared but have since added parts to it. When the motherboard blew it was still in warranty so i called a guy out for free. He noticed that i had added 128 Mb of RAM and warned me that if i had sent it back to be repaired i would probably of lost the RAM as when they were changing the motherboard everything would have been out on the desk and to put it back again the origional sales invoice would have been followed which obviously didn't include my extra RAM.
April 10th, 2003 06:01 PM
As a tech just like the type your describing, I'd have to agree fully with the - either NO HDD or one with a default install of your OS and let them take care of the rest.
It's waaay too tempting to go through users files and such. As has been stated; I'm not paid enough to guarantee anything, I can't say installing trojans ever crossed my mind, but the possibility is definitely there. I'd like to thank you for brining this up, as I hadn't thought of it this way before. You see, where I work, we do work for a lot of doctors offices, so this sort of thing is out of the question, as getting caught would get me fired in a second with possible criminal charges, and I had a tough enough time getting this job
Normal repair shops like the others in town, however, would probably have no real reason not to swap out parts randomly and go through clients data. It would have to be tempting for any goofball who wanted to hack or something to inocently set up netbus and a script to email him ip info.
Thinking about this stuff makes me glad I can do my own stuff, i.e. if I can't fix it, it's not reasonable to fix...