LEAKED: Geek Squad's Troubleshooting Manual

UPDATE: 5 More Geek Squad Manuals

Here’s the manual the Geek Squad uses to troubleshoot your computer when you bring it to Best Buy.

Most of the stuff is pretty basic, “check for distended capacitors,” “check for dust,” “Run PC Doctor,” “check for viruses and spyware.” The manual seems to be from 2004.

As to the concerns raised by the former Geek Squad City insider, there’s definitely no section advising employees to use superglue.
The page on solving problems by formatting the hard drive and reinstalling the OS specifically warns that this is a last-resort option. So if employees are committing these computer sins, then they’re not doing it by the book.

As an introductory primer on fixing your own computer, it’s not bad. Good to give to your clueless parent. After all, why pay some kid working on his GRE $59 to troubleshoot your computer when you can DIY? And for more advanced problems, you may want to either have your computer manufacturer look at it (assuming it’s still under warranty), or take it to your local, independent, repair shop. — BEN POPKEN

Download Geek Squad Troubleshooting Handbook (PDF)

UPDATE: A current Geek Squad employee responds to this manual, inside…


Anonymous Geek Squad insider writes:

The Geek Squad troubleshooting guide looks to be pretty out of date. I’ve been a CIA for the last six months, and at no time was this manual ever available to me. The precinct doesn’t even have access to PC Doctor, as far as I know. The references to using STAR for all operations make it at least six months out of date (that’s about the new check-in utility PHOENIX was flopped out). The blurry-ass pictures of the forms are very up to date, though (I imagine they were linked from the PDF to an external source).

Command line functions are now executed through the MRI safe mode (boots off the CD) and are fairly automated. Simple hard drive diagnostics are run at the window, now, using BARDS ( Basic Assessment and Recovery Diagnostic System) instead of powering on and hoping we don’t kill it.

Only a few of the agents I worked with were comfortable with the Voltmeter.

Let’s see… A recent Geek Squad directive came down forbidding us to work on 98 machines.

Virus and Spyware removal is more automated using LASER (Ludicrously Automated Simple Eradication Removal? I don’t know. Geek Squad is full of tongue-in-cheek bordering on really stupidly named things), or more often now the hated hated hated outsourcing engine Agent Jonny Utah (a Point Break reference? Come on!). AJU is fire and forget deal where the computer is hooked up to BBY’s intranet and remote controlled by black ops agents (I believe somewhere in India, goody). Work is double-checked by Post Op Agents working out of Minneapolis or somewhere, I believe. It works about 50/50.

Comments

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  1. scoobydoo says:

    It’s very basic, but I guess it gets the job done.

    It would be a better help if they didn’t write it pretending it was an operations manual for James Bond.

    The whole superspy show they put on is pathetic. Just do the damn job and play secret agent in your spare time.

  2. PlasticGnome says:

    That guide is from when Geek Squad first merged with Best Buy. Since then they have provided much betters tools instead of a disc just full of free Apps.

  3. tvh2k says:

    “Check Google.com (or Google Groups) using the SU error code to find the fix workaround.”
    Haha so true — and non-techs always wonder how we “know what all those stop codes (or ‘funny numbers’) mean”.

  4. The Unicorn says:

    Anyone else notice the “burn or eat after reading” tag that’s in the bottom-right corner of every page? Looks like someone didn’t follow the rules…

  5. NeoteriX says:

    DMCA violation letter in 5… 4… 3… 2…

  6. axiomatic says:

    Wow.

    Sophomoric at best. Well you get what you pay for. ;-)

  7. Bay State Darren says:

    Consumerist, did you not learn anything from the Walmart slideshow affair? NeoteriX is right about the impending takedown order. So everyone, start downloading/hosting this now before it’s too late. (Note to Geek Squad lawyers: I’m not gonna make a copy of this manual, so please don’t sue me.)

  8. macinjosh says:

    @scoobydoo:
    “It would be a better help if they didn’t write it pretending it was an operations manual for James Bond.”

    Evidenced by the filename. :) (Unless someone else named it that.)

  9. internettrader2196 says:

    I worked for Best Buy before and after its conversion to geeksquad. This manual was recommended as a guide in June/July of 2004. Geeksquad tried to make a “cookie cutter” system that would fix all PCs, no matter what the cause. If this manual really worked, we should all just make computers/robots to fix our computers, right?

    I turned in my keys to the geeksquad car over a year ago, but this manual is for sure an item that is no longer used. I think it was designed for management so they have some sort of idea if their tech guys are doing what they are supposed to do, because they sure as heck don’t know what they are doing. I suppose that is important, because when I left the company they had hired a new “geek” whose previous job was a Dominos Pizza manager. Pretty awesome, eh?

  10. Nicholai says:

    @macinjosh: yah, what the hell is with the “eat or burn after reading” thing?

  11. ddfall says:

    “After all, why pay some kid working on his GRE $59 to troubleshoot your computer when you can DIY?” I work for the Geek Squad part time. I agree that not every technician is A+ certified, etc. but calling us kids that need a GRE is an insult to most of us. I have 3 degree’s from a major Texas university and many years of experience. I may be a minority but you don’t see me calling bloggers/journalists sophomoric kids that don’t like to get their facts completely straight now do you? Or worse? That manual is basically just for people who just stated on how they want things done at the Geek Squad to try to keep things uniformed across the company. I can honestly say I’ve never needed it nor ever will. Just remember, all large companies have their faults and that doesn’t mean everyone that works for them is an idiot…

  12. Lewisham says:

    @ddfall:

    Dude, to be honest, if you have “3 degree’s” (sic) wouldn’t you have a better job?

    And wasn’t one plenty enough?

  13. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @ddfall: And what exactly is wrong with working on your Graduate Record Examination? It’s not an insult to say that Geek Squad employees are preparing to go to grad school.

  14. nofx1510 says:

    I use to work for GeekSquad and that manual is more then 3 years old. Ways I can tell are that the Diag is now 69 no longer 59 and the check in sheet is about 3 years old that is sampled in there. After working for Geek Squad only 2 problems really ever arise from them. 1) Half of the repairs have to be sent to the service center which means that I have to put faith that they will do the job right and at times they dont. 2) Not everyone knows what there doing fully. I was between the ages of 16-17 when I worked there and did I have any degrees, no, but I sure as all hell can fix a computer better then anyone I know. I had 40 year olds who worked there ask me questions. But that will happen with all major companies, theres alot of spots that need to be filled and some get filled with the people who are a few chicken nuggets short of a happy meal. Also at the store that I worked at we would repair close to 300 computers a month, thats one store out of close to 900, you think that somewhere at sometime someone is not going to mess up. People who rip on Geek Squad shouldn’t because they have never worked for them, just because one person does something extremely stupid doesn’t mean that everyone who works for Geek Squad and Best Buy are stupid. And about the comment on the superspy crap, I hated the tie, I hated the suit, I hated the shoes, I hated the badge, so on and so forth. I wore it because I was getting payed more then any kid In my Senior class. If your wondering why I quit, it was management at Best Buy, not Geek Squad.

  15. MonsieurBon says:

    Methinks he thought GRE = GED?

  16. ddfall says:

    Best Buy / Geek Squad’s my Part Time side job. I’ve got another full time job as a Manager with an international company. I work there to help out, for spending cash, and for the discount.

  17. ddfall says:

    @MonsieurBon: I do think you’re right. I miss-read. Guess that’s what happens on 4 hours of sleep in 4 days. lol.

  18. Twitch says:

    tell me again why people do business with these morons?

  19. SimonGodOfHairdos says:

    @ddfall: If you have three degrees, then why don’t you know when not to use apostrophes?

  20. formated4tv says:

    As a Firedog for Circuit City (our version of Geek Squad), this whole guide is pretty funny, especially when I think back to the fact that I was hired because I already knew about computers, and never saw ANYTHING about training.

  21. brucifer says:

    I really don’t think being a manager at Domino’s would dis-qualify someone from being knowledgeable enough to fix a computer. Where was I working before I got my first “tech job”? A car wash. Granted, I’ve worked in computer security ever since, but everyone has to start somewhere.

  22. gorndog says:

    So now that I have the manual, can I now charge people $300 for the 30 minutes it takes to re-image a hard drive?

    I was looking at becoming an OnForce.com independent service provider, but the workorders I was offered were pretty puny (e.g., worked out to $30/hour, or less if needed to travel). The concept with OnForce is that you as a buyer of service can choose how much you wish to pay and can choose which technician you want to come out and do the work. So if you only want someone with an MCSE, or only want technicians that get the highest feedback/rating, you have that option.

  23. capitalass says:

    @SimonGodOfHairdos: Well, he did get those degrees in Texas. Maybe he meant the third degree.

    I just received postdoctoral training in biochemical neuropsychopharmacology at Harvard, but I’m not sure that I will not make the cut to be part of the geek squad. I may just apply to be an Apple genius. I heard they take folks with just one advanced degree there. Still, if I was real smart like dd, I would be purdy offended too.

    @MonsieurBon: While ddfall may have misread Ben’s remark about the GRE, I have a feeling that he interpreted what Ben meant to say, correctly. He’s a bright one.

  24. lore says:

    Hey, at least the manual stipulates that if you can fix the problem in less than 5 minutes, fix it and send the client on their way. They’re not as money-hungry as one would think.

  25. Jeruvicious says:

    I’ve worked for the Geek Squad for almost two years now, and what I never realized before I started there is that the vast majority of our clients don’t know the Start menu from a hole in the ground. This “guide” is nothing more than an extraordinarily vague overview of what we should do. Anyone who knows anything about computers has no need for our services, just like anyone with a wrench and a pan can change the oil in their car. LASER (our automated spyware eradication system) makes our jobs a bit easier when working on 10+ units at the same time, but most prefer to do repairs manually. As for the outsourced Agent Jonny Utah, my precinct has not used them in months due to the 70-80% failure rate. As for pricing, yeah, it’s a bit extreme. But again, such is the sacrifice for working for a major corporation. Our customers simply cannot do what we do, however simple it is. How many of you readers do all your own repairs, but weren’t trained in computer repair? Hell, I have an art degree. As for the local shops, by all means, use them. I recommend ours all the time for repairs we cannot offer. Don’t let a 3 year old document written Buy a guy in a suit at corporate dictate your view of an entire entity without first meeting the individuals involved.

  26. youngatheart says:

    lore,
    Like this will ever happen

  27. youngatheart says:

    To quote every Techie and computer geek —DIY and RTFM !!

  28. geel says:

    Any one got any clear black forms ??

  29. I_Like_Pie says:

    So I guess that this confirms that they wouldn’t configure ndiswrapper for my old laptop running Mandriva?

  30. SmarterThanYou says:

    I_Like_Pie, yes I would. Just because you have some random distro on your lappy that a manual that is 4 years old doesn’t cover doesn’t make you smart, it makes you a guy who likes pie. I would fix it, but only because you are dumb enough to bring it in for repair. -Agent SmarterThanYou

  31. MarahMarie says:

    I got a flyer this Sunday from Best Buy bundled in my Sunday newspaper. Prominently displayed in the upper left-hand corner of one of the first pages, inside of a bright yellow box, was this pertinent reminder:

    “Let us install an anti virus program on your new PC for you for only $50!”

    How difficult, folks, is it to install *anything*, including an anti virus program, on your PC? In my case, I use nothing but free programs on my PC, and never pay a dime for software–ever–so it is twice the ripoff.

    I’ve been keeping up with The Consumerist’s excellent reporting on recent and long-term problems at the Geek Squad and I have to say however valuable and true to certain principles they were once upon a time, since they got bought out by Best Buy they are nothing but an expensive, time-consuming waste of time. People should stay far away from them.

    I understand some people know nothing about their own computers–that even installing programs might be too hard for them though that is hard for me as a self-taught girl-geek to grasp–but even if you barely know how to power your computer on and off, you’re still better off asking your geeky friend from work to help you, or looking up how to do computer things yourself on the Web, or at worst, bringing your PC to a local computer shop with a good reputation. I would never, ever, ever, bring any PC of mine or my friends within 50 feet of a Geek Squad!

  32. mac-phisto says:

    @MarahMarie: i do not work for gs & this is by no means me sticking up for the geek squad, BUT installing anti-virus is actually a big reason i get called out to ppl’s houses. even though every av product i have ever installed explicitly tells you to make sure that all other av products are uninstalled (or at the very least, disabled), NO ONE seems capable of following those simple instructions.

    esp. aol users.

  33. MarahMarie says:

    Are the people who ask for your help capable of installing other programs on their PCs? If so, installing an anti virus program is no harder for them. In these days of installers with executables that do all of the work for you, how hard is it to download the program or run it from CD, and follow the prompts as the installation chugs along?

    Do you charge people $50 for your anti virus installation help? If you’re well-versed enough you know you can install it from the command line so you don’t have to wait for prompts to finish it, as the program basically installs itself.

    I believe in doing good for people who need help with their PCs, so I would never charge anyone for anything as simple and perfectly mindless as an anti virus installation. The most I might ever charge them for is completely cleaning a computer out i.e. removing all spyware, adware, viruses, trojans, unwanted hijacks of the toolbar, etc., and only because it takes a bit of time to find and remove everything on a really infected computer, not because it’s so difficult.

    I give advice away for free and my help, too, whenever I can, so I just can’t rip people off for such basic things the way Geek Squad does.

  34. SmarterThanYou says:

    What you fail to realize MarahMarie, is that this isn’t your average person coming to us. You might be more than capable to fix somthing, but there are many that do not. Does it cost us $39.00 to install an optical drive? No, but there is a premium for knowing what you are doing and not voiding a warranty. Your ability to replace a drive for a friend while voiding any warranty they might have is what I define as “ripping people off.” We get paid very well hourly to do a job that might be easy for you, not for them. If it was, they wouldn’t be here. We don’t cold call people and ask for the business. They come to us for help. Nothing in life is free… well, your ability to void a warranty comes free of charge. -Agent SmarterThanYou

  35. MarahMarie says:

    I had to go to work, where I don’t rip people off for a living, for a while, so that’s why I’m pretty late replying to your comment. I think you are being very defensive and suggesting I said things things I did not say. I complained about one thing only: GS charging $50 to install anti virus software. I mentioned in my first comment that I *know* some people don’t know how to install software, but I also mentioned they might save money by looking up on the Web how to install such programs, or asking a geekier friend for help, or else bringing the PC to a local shop with a good rep for installations and repair.

    I did not get into the hardware side of it. You insinuate opinions of mine that I never voiced. I wasn’t even thinking about the hardware side of it, but I will think about it now just for you.

    I’ve been reading The Consumerist’s posts about Geek Squad for the last few weeks, and reading all the comments, many from disgruntled and ripped off customers, employees and ex-employees. I know that GS under staffs and overworks most of their crews. I know that they charge outrageous money for software installation and repairs. You have to understand as someone who uses nothing but free software, gets computers, monitors, keyboards, audio equipment and other tech goodies for free from friends, and gives help away for free on my website, the very thought of how much they charge for simple *software* installations and repairs outrages me. I’m not going to change my mind about that, no matter how you try to twist my words around.

    As for the hardware side of it–replacing HDs, CPUs, RAM, whatever–I personally would not bring my PC to GS for such things based on my opinion of their understaffed and overworked crew and their outrageous prices for the software issues. It offends me to give my money to a company so willing to take advantage of people’s ignorance and lack of power.

    Nor would I “void your warranty” by attempting the repair myself. I don’t do hardware. I’m the software and Windows geek, while one of my friends can repair software *or* hardware (he has every cert you can imagine, has never screwed up any of our computers, and is also a programmer). I have another friend who does most of my hardware swaps and replacements for me; he’s also handy to have around for BIOS issues.

    Is there anything else? Please, bring it on.

  36. Qcanfixit says:

    I’ve been fixing/upgrading computers since, the first Pentiums came out I remember when I couldn’t wait to get home and install my Pentium over drive chip into my 486 motherboard OK, now that I’m dated, I also can be severely immature at times, it’s my alternative to snorting coke.

    Let me tell you; I would be embarrassed to work with these guys, they suck, they’re slow, and I agree the secret agent thing is for 8 years olds, it’s almost as bad as the MAC genius theme. someoen here said some of this stuff was when they first merged with besy buy, but working data recovery, I’ve found thier so called utility cds, in otehr people laptops, and thier tools are mimimally decent at best,

    now, heres the thing, someone else mentioned that you would get bad service because they rush through and dont really care, my thing is yerah I agree with that, but they are also so very slow, so what are they rushing to? if you just sit and watch these guys they rush back and forth and do NOTHING

  37. ithinkasarealist says:

    This whole topic is pretty useless, since you can basically boil it down to the way Capitalism works. If the world worked the way each person suggests GS should, then no one would make any money and we would basically be a communistic society, where everything is shared and nobody makes more than another.

    Case and Point… Most people go to the mechanic and pay them at least $65 an hour to do something everyone should be able to do. Why don’t anyone of you complain about automechanics ripping you off, shouldn’t they offer you free advice and free service or tell you how to change your head gaskets? What about doctors, shouldn’t they treat you for free or let you know what it is you have (disease or sickness wise?). For some, services such as this are known as “convenience fees”…

  38. mac-phisto says:

    @MarahMarie: hey, i agree with you, but there’s some merit to the other side of the argument as well. i’ve encountered two types of ppl in my freelance exploits: ppl who have no idea what that big “e” is for on their desktop, & ppl who don’t think it’s worth their time figuring out what to do.

    inevitably, the guy who can’t figure even figure out how to go on the internet is going to keep me occupied for an hour or more asking questions about how to do everything, which is fine, but he’s going to pay for it.

    the guy who can’t take 20 minutes to install a program (assuming it will take that long), but just wants everything to work obviously values his time at a higher rate than i do, so he’s going to pay for it.

    i don’t think i’m screwing anybody. i used to do this stuff free or for gas money, but then i recognized that my time was worth more than that. & i started noticing that my free time was being reduced significantly by my free help time. so now i charge – exactly 25% less than the squad & firedog. i even tell customers that if they think they can do better, “call the geek squad”…thanks guys!

    @SmarterThanYou: are you serious? you mean you can install an optical drive w/o voiding a warranty? W-O-W!!! the question is, can you install an optical drive w/o wiping the HD? it seems from my encounters that is the fix-all for virtually everything at the squad.

    last year i saw a few hundred computers in my free time – you know how many times i had wipe a HD to fix something? exactly ZERO times. you know how many GS-wiped drives i encountered in that same time? about a dozen. keep up the revenue stream…errr…good work!

  39. MarahMarie says:

    @SmarterThanYou:

    This is why Geek Squad sucks:

    http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/geek-squad/insider-sec

    Reading that update was just the antidote to your company-line prattle.

  40. arcadinagal says:

    Objectively the GS is a stab at meeting a need and of course making a buck. I’m sure there are some GS stars, more GS that are ok – get the job done and some that screw up. Course one isn’t going to hear about the first two.

    My question is are they enticed to sell?

    I have to laugh at the $50 to install an anti-virus. While at first it does sound outlandish, if things go wrong with the install, they really, really go wrong. Several years ago I though we were going to end up replacing a computer when my husband switched from one av to another. A friend of mine had something similar happen. Both of these men have 20+ years behind them as software/computer engineers! Too smart can be just as dangerous as too dumb in this case. It took almost a week for both computers to get back to the running state and both men were near depression. I do think my husband managed to get a new disk out of all this (not needed). A very fustrating experience (for me).

    Another question… would you rather deal with a “geek” or product support if things should go wrong? One, you have to hope there is no language difference and two the level 1 phone support can be rather amusing if you are not the one dealing with them. I can almost see the check list in front of them. Plus if you call back you have to go through the same checklist

    I’m actually returning to the business because I do find a need and have a lot of friends and associates urging me to do so. I’m getting tired of my current profession (real estate agent) being ripped to pieces for ripping people off. I’ve worked d*mn hard for all my commissions and have spent many work hours with nothing in return. Yes, we do get lucky… but that is few and far between. Yes, there the bad apples out there (and they do keep gettin richer and richer..).

    Oh well, I’ve just killed my last hour of idle phone time…

  41. Techwood says:

    Interesting how many users have commented that people should just do things themselves and spend the time to research the right way to deal with their computer issues. Unfortunately this is unrealistic. If I’m an accountant, figuring out tax returns is my bag – and that’s what i’m going to do to earn money. I’m not going to save any money or make any money spending half a day or more reading up on malware & related computer security protection.

    If you’re in business to do something – there are costs.

    I along with my partner own a small technology centre – it’s a combination of a computer store/service bench, with an Internet cafe and classroom for training. Our rates for many things are lower than BB/GS or the box-store contractors. However, $50.00 for an install is actually pretty fair if you look at the reality of what is being done. It’s simple economics for a computer business, just like any other business. The tech spends 20 minutes installing our Internet Security suite (We are a Grisoft AVG reseller). After that, we spend 15 minutes (that’s usually a minimum) with the client teaching them the basics of how to use the Anti-Virus, Firewall and Anti-Spyware. We explain what each is – what “Questions” the software may pop-up dialog boxes for (e.g. XYZ application is requesting access to XYZ port on XYZ address) and how to answer them. We also provide them with our own documentation on general computer security/information theft, etc. We teach them about quarantines, file deletion, what to do when something can’t be deleted. If the customer has a question 2 days or a week later relating to the security suite we’ve installed, guess what – someone spends time on the phone answering that question. I estimate that the average install/support process uses up an hour of our time. So $50.00 is a pretty sweet deal.

    We have invested what I estimate to be about $10k in training and development time to be able to understand malware, system security, IP based networks, etc. and train the technician to deal with the basics, and a senior technician to deal with things that need more advanced training. This doesn’t include the on-going costs in time for us to stay current in our field. We pay our technicians $15/hour. We pay another $7 per hour in various government fees, benefits, etc. to have that technician work for us. We have to pay people to handle customer billings, answer phones, do the books/taxes, represent us legally, provide a roof over our store and bench for the technician to work at, insure our facility, provide phone/internet service/web site, electricity, heat, marketing/advertising, and in general stay in operation.

    Not to mention we pay for a wealth of software licenses, hardware devices, etc that go with the territory of operating a computer business in such a way that we can still be in operationg tomorrow, next month, next year.

    So that $50 is a very small price to pay when everything goes right with the install. It’s a freaking fantastic deal when everything doesn’t go right (e.g. you have to install a bunch of patches to get the installer to work, the customer uses limewire and constantly has issues with spyware that your staff need to assist them with on the phone, etc.)

  42. xboa2000 says:

    SmarterThanYou:
    How do you void a warranty by installing an optical drive? I’m not saying that’s impossible, I just want to know how you can be that damn stupid. I’m not bashing Geek Squad, I’m going to apply to my local Best Buy, but maybe your opinion of a few neckbeards with decent computer knowledge is a bit high.

  43. SmarterThanYou says:

    I am not saying that you will damage somthing and void the warranty. I am saying just the act of adding a part to a computer by someone other than an authorized repair location. I am positive that the majority of people who own a computer can for sure do the job, but is voiding the warranty worth it. And to the guy who says we wipe hdd’s, he is wrong. And to everyone who has said that an antivirus install is $50, you are wrong. It is $29. All software installs are $29 except software suites (adobe CS, Office, etc). Please check things out before running at the mouth all. Thanks.

  44. HD-Wizard says:

    I am a fully qualified electronics engineer. (That’s like an IT dude but a hell of a lot smarter!!). I’ve designed and built computer systems, PC cards and perhiperals from scratch.

    Apart from normal electronics designing and building, I’ve also worked in what is termed 3PR here in the UK. I was once contrated by a 3PR company that fixed computers for Monkey World, er I mean PC World, to resurect 2,000 “Dead” hard drives. It took 13 weeks to do and I managed to fix 2 out of 3 drives.

    I’m also a rare thing in the computer world, a hard Drive specialist engineer. I own four factory hard drive controller card E2PROM setting/resetting rigs. This runs thjrough the task 0 and task 1 pins on the IDE connector, which are not used/connected on PC IDE controller leads.

    OK 2 out of 3 HD failures are due to the onboard E2PROM, into which the manufacturer puts the info about the HD’s platter, head numbers, tracks, etc. that POST reads is placed. These E2PROMS have a habit of forgetting/being corrupted their data. Power spikes cause this.

    So on a faulty HD the computer is fired up, POST looks at the E2PROM on the HD and if the data within is wrong, either refuses to acknowledge that the drive exists as valid media or becomes confused.

    A HD repair rig will give two reports on a faulty drive, one is what the drive believes it is and the other is what the drive really is when tested by the rig for tracks, heads and other info such as date of manufacture, serial number, interleaving, etc.

    The E2PROM can then be corrected, the drive can have its interleaving changed or reinforced, even its capacity changed, set to favour WIndows or some other non descript low level format, etc.

    Also the Hot Test sector can be defined and the Hot Test can be enabled or disabled.

    HD repair rigs are very powerful (expensive) tools intended for the gods to play with and go far further than software only packages can go.

    A list of standard E2PROM errors on certain manufactured drives.:-

    Seagate: Have a habit of reporting that there are 2 fewer heads than reality.

    Quantum: Have a habit of reporting 1 less head than reality and track numbers default to to 204 for some reason. Fireball 20 Gigs and upwards do have a nasty habit of actually catching fire whilst freaking out.

    Samsung: Will default to a Type 1 10 Mb. if the E2PROM is corrupted. Some other makes will do this.

    It is possible to swap a working controller card from a head crashed drive of the same make but different capacity, tell the E2PROM on the card its new assignment and end up with a reliable working drive again.

    I’ve also managed to hook up a HD to a Sinclair Spectrum back in the middle ages!!

    I also know that replacing C27 on Apple Power Book power supplies with a 10uF cap fixes the soft start.

    Also that BIOS originally stood for Built In Operating System as on the cover of the 1982 IBM Built In Operating System Manual for PC assembly language programmers. God know who or when it changed to Basic Input Output System, which is wrong anyhow, but popular??

    I know more about HDs than networks.

    HD Wizard.

  45. Anonymous says:

    having worked for geeks squad in the recent past, I can tell you that these manuals are very old. However, the squad still is rather pathetic. Management there is horrid. They would rather hire a salesman and teach them to be a tech then the other way around. That just normally doesn’t work. If we did not have at least 12 computers hooked up to the dreaded AJU (Agent Johnny Utah, the remote desktop to someone in India that very rarely worked) we would get in trouble. If we took more then five minutes on the counter with someone, we would get in trouble. If we changed an internet explorer setting and didn’t charge you for it, we would get in trouble. The whole process there left a very bad taste in my mouth, and I can honestly say now it is one of the worst experiences of my life. However after having worked there and seeing how bad it is, I now own my own computer repair company. So at least it gave me the courage to start my own and do something better for the world of non-technical users.