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The Geek Squad troubleshooting guide looks to be pretty out of date.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 The references to using STAR for all operations make it at least six months out of date (that’s about the new check-in utility PHOENIX was flopped out).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.