Sunday, October 25, 2015

How not to ask for help

I'll get the occasional email asking for help, sometimes asking to call, I've probably done it a dozen times, and once even paid international long distance rates to help out a stranger, for free.

This email exchange happened the other day, and in case you weren't sure, this isn't how to ask for help, I've hidden the persons name and phone number, because I'm sure they were having a bad day, and we all need more forgiveness.

I also had to censure some of the email since I don't want this blog to be considered "explicit".

To: mc (that's me)
From: (withheld, let's call them "jb")
Subject: Ntldr missing....PLEASE help sir
Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:28 PM
jb: I'm just a step away from getting thin right

10:38 PM mc: ? Where are you in the process? Have you already made the boot disk downloaded from ? Try the YouTube videos on the page to see if they help.

10:54 PM jb: I'm stuck..... And I am utterly lost.... (505) 306­#### J## B#########. Need help lol

10:54 PM jb: I have indeed made the boot disc but getting problems

10:55 PM mc: Don't see the list of 10 options?

10:56 PM jb: No sir

10:56 PM mc: USB?

10:57 PM jb: Yes....complete mayhem

10:58 PM mc: My recommendation on USB is try a different USB stick, not sure why but even I have not gotten it to work on some models, but then works fine on others

10:59 PM mc: And if you have watched YouTube video , do; I think it describes it better than the screenshots

10:59 PM mc: I meant to say "haven't"

10:59 PM jb: If we could talk I could explain

10:59 PM jb: I don't have another USB stick

11:00 PM jb: (505)306­####

11:01 PM jb: XP Dell Dimension A02BIOS

11:01 PM mc: It's 11 o'clock at night here, the rest of the house is asleep. The good news is your data is likely still there, you can get to it by using a live Linux CD or attaching the hard drive to another computer. I will probably still be up for awhile but otherwise this is going to be a tomorrow thing

11:10 PM jb: Ok. Thank you. Just not sure what to do... this is my daughter's computer and she's in the fifth grade and for whatever reason this machine got screwed with and her homework assignment is locked inside the machine a friend of mine sent me a link to make the memory stick boot and it didn't work I got stuck so I thought I'd email you because your information was in there not trying to keep you awake I'm here in New Mexico an hour ahead of you so it's 12:09 a.m. right here but if you feel like getting hold of me tomorrow I would really greatly appreciate it

11:11 PM jb: Is there a sea lion to Mandeville make this work right now possibly

11:12 PM mc: What was that last part?

11:12 PM jb: C: line command

11:13 PM mc: Oh lol What is it doing right now if you boot up without the USB? Ntldr is missing ?

11:14 PM mc: And I assume you have access to another PC to make changes to the USB?

11:14 PM jb: Yes

11:15 PM mc: Oh hey, Hirens boot CD includes my ntldr fix, and they might have an easier way to make it than I do

11:15 PM mc: I'm going to Google Hirens right quick (although I'm always a little hesitant of download sites)

11:16 PM jb: Yes

11:17 PM jb: I am poor and only have this machine.....geez man

11:19 PM mc: Oh... Wait let me back up a second. Do you only have one machine at the place, and it's broken?

11:23 PM mc: If you get to the point of using Hirens, this looks like a legit download: And I believe this is the info on putting that ISO onto a USB:­on­usb­disk Why use Hirens? If following my instructions can't get the USB to get you to the 10 choices

11:23 PM jb: Yes. Xp on a Dell Dimension 3000....only computer in the house besides a droid

11:25 PM mc: Okay, I had started with the assumption that you had already tried to make the bootdisk but were having trouble. If you can't make the boot disk, the troubleshooting steps you could do otherwise is unplug everything USB and try booting PC

11:25 PM jb: You s##k

11:25 PM mc: Even try unplugging the USB keyboard

11:26 PM jb: No help at ALL

11:27 PM jb: All you have to f****** do is call me. And you'll understand what I'm going through Jesus Christ man

11:27 PM mc: It's possible this error can come up if a USB drive is plugged into the PC that isn't set to boot, and the PC is rebooted; that's why I'm telling you to unplug everything USB and try rebooting

11:29 PM jb: Already f****** did that did and its not working if you were to call me it would take like two minutes to figure it out cuz I could explain it to you why would you even put your name and email address out there if you don't really want to help it is beyond me dude this could be taken care of like 20 minutes ago

11:30 PM jb: It's not like I would call you again once the problem is fixed is this machine is never hooked up to the internet or anything this thing would go for another 40 f****** years without a problem

11:31 PM jb: I've unplugged everything dude seriously

11:32 PM mc: There's nothing else you can do tonight then. Not without another computer

11:33 PM mc: You can probably search Craigslist for a local person who fixes PC's for cheap, or if you can go to another place and make the USB stick there and bring it back

11:34 PM jb: I have a laptop

11:34 PM mc: I would recommend stopping right now, getting some sleep, and take the machine somewhere in the morning where you can get help for it.

11:39 PM mc: If you have access to another machine and want to keep working on this, try the Hirens links I sent you earlier.  But I recommend you stop, and look at it tomorrow. Good luck! No need to contact me further, you have the information and someone who can see the machine would be a better option for fixing it than me.

11:41 PM jb: How about you go F##K yourself

I was never sure if he did or didn't have access to a second PC.

1 comment:

cycomer said...

I have never had a person or company I found on the web get back to me as fast as you did every time. Wow. Why did he think a phone call was going to magically fix it? You went above and beyond. That would make me want to shut down the site and set up a troll help support site just to mess with people.