Archive for the Category ◊ Live OneCare ◊

Stay Away from Staples Easy Tech for Computer Service
Friday, April 10th, 2009 | Author:


I was working on a customer’s computer today that was taken to Staples for a “tune-up” service. For whatever reason, the customer did not feel comfortable with any further service, and she brought the computer to my shop. Apparently it needed a new fan. Thankfully a customer of ours is a friend of hers, and they recommended bringing it in here.

Like always I clean out every computer carefully with compressed air. While having the machine open, I do a full inspection of all the guts of the computer and make sure all parts look ok, and seem to be working as they should. This computer was very dirty inside, and had never been cleaned out, and apparently they had put in a new modem for her. Also, there was an old post it note sitting in the bottom of the computer???

After cleaning the machine, I install a new fan, and it is working great, can’t even hear it when turned on. Then I thought I would take a quick peek to make sure the computer was cleaned up and things were in tip top shape.

When the computer booted it had several errors about files it could not find. There were way too many processes running and obviously if there was a cleanup, I don’t know what was cleaned up. Staples sold her Windows Live OneCare and it was installed, and of course they charged her for that too.

There are several issues that I have here. First of all Staples is a great store for Business and stationary supplies, but they are not a computer repair company, even though they market it like they are the computer gods that will make all your problems go away.

Secondly, they sold her software that is not longer being made, and soon will not be supported by Microsoft. That Anti-Virus is terrible, and they still sold it to her and charged her for it. I blogged about it recently:

My last rant is about what they promise, and what they did. If you read the promo below, you will see that system was supposed to be cleaned out, clutter removed, and the performance of Windows optimized. None of that was done and a lot of important little things were missed including spyware and adware.

I feel that this customer was ripped off, and all they wanted was to make as much money as they could without really doing anything of any value for the customer. This makes me very angry, if you could not tell!

Interestingly, this is not the first time I have seen this happen. I had another customer a few months back who had a VERY similar experience. This customer took the computer into Staples computer repair department, and ended up bringing it to me to be fixed. Staples messed things up big time, charged a lot of money and could not fix it properly. They brought the PC over to my shop and I got that computer running the way it should have been.

I want to bring this to your attention so you, your family or friends do not use this service and get ripped off. I take pride in my work and the computer repair field. I hate to see companies giving our industry a bad name and customers getting such bad service.

Here is a copy of what was included in their promotion. This was printed in Staples Flier, PC magazine, and other websites :

Bring your personal computer into your local Staples store, through April 4th, and receive a free tune-up ($29.99 value).

From PCMag:
The Staples PC tune-up, conducted by certified in-store technicians, addresses the most common issues impacting computer performance by:

Cleaning out system clutter and eliminating unnecessary files


Optimizing platform Windows performance


Organizing files on hard drives by defragmenting files


Suggesting low-cost ways to upgrade disk storage and memory


Identifying security vulnerabilities such as outdated virus definitions, the absence of firewall software, and lack of e-mail filters


Customers will receive a full Tune-up report that includes a comprehensive system analysis, a detailed list of services performed, and suggestions for further improving performance. With the free PC tune-up, customers can identify ways to extend the life of their current computers with low-cost performance upgrades.

If you think I am the only one not happy with Staples Easytech service. Read this horror story.


Microsoft & Security Software – Another Gilligan’s Rerun
Saturday, February 21st, 2009 | Author:

Microsoft Drops Live OneCare Security product and will offer new free version of some new revamped security software. This is like seeing a rerun of Gilligan’s Island for the 15th time.

Like Gilligan’s Island, this is funny, predictable, entertaining, and always a catastrophe brewing. But the software is not really going to help keep your PC secure. Microsoft has tried to make Antivirus security programs for many years now, and each time, they have failed.

They have tried the free version, the pay version and the part free, part pay version, since back in the early 90’s. They all have been lousy programs that do not protect your computer well.

I have been a strong advocate against Window’s Live OneCare for a long time now, and Microsoft has announced that they are dropping the retail security software in June of this year.

The not surprising news is that they are coming out with a free program code named “Morro”. Microsoft has hired a guy from McAfee to oversee their Security Research & Response Team.

Microsoft has bought out many little Antivirus security companies that made good software, and then ran the products into the ground only to end up with watered-down, poor software.

I would strongly suggest not using this free product when it becomes widely available. It will be cheap and appealing to save a few bucks. However, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for!”

Remember, with Internet security, you pay $35-$60 a year, which is about $3-$5 a month, for peace of mind, safety, and keeping your computer and information protected. That is not a bad investment.

I still stand by Trend Micro Internet Security. Trend by the way, did not get the best review from PC World recently. The problem with the PC World review is that there is no comparison or discussion about how well the product performs. How easy is it to uninstall or troubleshoot a problem you might have? How easy is it for the average user to understand and use? How much does the program slow down the computer, and how much memory do you really need to run it?
Another issue I see is that PC World accepts advertising, and oddly enough there is not a lot of Trend Micro advertising in that magazine.

With the computers that come in the shop, I see fewer problems with Trend. I have tried them all, and sold both McAfee and Norton/Symantec, and I still feel Trend is one of the best products available, with everything considered. I have run AVG Free, F-Secure, Kaspersky, Panda, and they all have issues. There is no perfect product out there, but I do still highly recommend Trend.

Internet Security Tips

Whatever program you use for Internet Security, make you do the following:

  • Have good, current version of a paid-up Anti-virus/Internet Security program
  • Have it turned on and receiving automatic updates of the virus definitions
  • Have it set to automatically perform a full scan of the computer weekly
  • Make sure your Microsoft Windows updates are turned on (you can find the settings in Control Panel>Automatic Updates)

Here is a good article on the new Microsoft Free Antivirus that is coming soon: