A customer reset their Win8-era, Celeron-N, HDD booting laptop today

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,239
5,384
136
I've known them and their computer for quite a few years and it's always been slow (and they're mostly fine with that... dear lord, I would have at least put an SSD in it!), but I had to laugh today when it became my job to reconfigure this laptop and I noticed that Toshiba's default apps include the 'Toshiba Eco Utility'... did anyone at Toshiba try using this laptop with the processor running at its normal speed, let alone with their 'Eco mode'?

This video is a fair representation of my feelings when waiting for this laptop to finish just about anything:

 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
23,011
5,083
136
Last time I was forced to use a PC that booted off an HDD it was close to intolerable.... I actually thought something was wrong/broken.

The reverse however is that many otherwise dog-slow and obsolete computers can have literally years of new life breathed into them with an SSD upgrade.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
55,526
5,522
126
Windows is terrible anyway when it comes to installing/updating software. I have no idea what takes so long. It's probably Clippy hand selecting the drive location for each bit in the update.
 
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Reactions: Ajay and Captante

Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
11,218
5,033
136
I've known them and their computer for quite a few years and it's always been slow (and they're mostly fine with that... dear lord, I would have at least put an SSD in it!), but I had to laugh today when it became my job to reconfigure this laptop and I noticed that Toshiba's default apps include the 'Toshiba Eco Utility'... did anyone at Toshiba try using this laptop with the processor running at its normal speed, let alone with their 'Eco mode'?
I had a side hustle for a while fixing/updating customers PC as a test to see if it would make a good stand alone business. So, I started out doing 'house' calls to get it going. OMG! Nothing like doing a virus scan from boot on a very slow 5400 rpm spinner (it was so full of viruses/malware that I couldn't get rid of them all, even using safe mode/deletes/regedits). Then when I present the bill the customer doesn't understand why they have to pay me for sitting around doing 'nothing' for three hours :rolleyes:. I've never since even touched a freaking old ass laptop.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,239
5,384
136
I had a side hustle for a while fixing/updating customers PC as a test to see if it would make a good stand alone business. So, I started out doing 'house' calls to get it going. OMG! Nothing like doing a virus scan from boot on a very slow 5400 rpm spinner (it was so full of viruses/malware that I couldn't get rid of them all, even using safe mode/deletes/regedits). Then when I present the bill the customer doesn't understand why they have to pay me for sitting around doing 'nothing' for three hours :rolleyes:. I've never since even touched a freaking old ass laptop.
Rookie error my friend :) It's highly unusual I spend any more than two hours on-site, anything time consuming and thumb-twiddling like virus scans, disk checks etc are either left to run when I leave or (if that's not a viable option) I take the computer home so I can leave it running stuff while I go do other things.

I still occasionally get caught in the kind of trap you mention though, I've had it once with this customer's laptop before where I got caught needing to do a reboot, 3 updates to do and at least 20 minutes wasted staring at the screen and trying to will it to finish quicker. I think it was more than 20 minutes but it felt like an hour.

Though I bet I'd be a lot richer if SSDs hadn't ever existed; these days rebooting a machine is no big deal, in the old days it was a regular calculated risk in how long it was going to take before it's usably fast again, and the minimisation of unnecessary reboots while testing was an important game to play.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
21,175
17,898
136
Celery with a mechanical hard drive?

What kind of cubicle masochists do you work with?

I had to stop and help one of our construction bigwigs a couple weeks ago. His 7-8 year old cheap laptop was on the ropes. He used to joke about it needing a USB hand crank, but seemed proud of his suffering. Asked if there was anything faster than his chip, I told him a Dorito would be faster. Got his 70GB profile and data archived finally and swapped it out with a new XPS. Dude practically wept when he started using it.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
19,798
2,707
126
So, I started out doing 'house' calls to get it going. OMG! Nothing like doing a virus scan from boot on a very slow 5400 rpm spinner (it was so full of viruses/malware that I couldn't get rid of them all, even using safe mode/deletes/regedits).
Oooff that brings back some memories. I used to do that and install home theater equipment and have no desire to do so again. One particular story involving an incredibly slow laptop - a couple was fighting. She was on the stairs and he was behind me so I was right in the middle of them. My task should have been done in 5 min but the damn Celeron POS took 20min. Long enough for her to start crying and him to say "I don't love you anymore"
 
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Reactions: nisryus and Ajay

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,248
7,690
126
I did an upgrade on an "important work laptop", from Win7 64-bit. to Win10 64-bit, because Win7 was EOL, and this important work software said that they needed to upgrade.

I charged them $100, to both backup (before and after the in-place upgrade), and to perform the upgrade. I could have easily put in an SSD part-way through, and made my life a lot easier, but they were adamant that they didn't want to spend the money.

It was a Brazos-based laptop with a HDD. Sigh. 7 hours. Good thing that they dropped it off to me.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
21,175
17,898
136
Oooff that brings back some memories. I used to do that and install home theater equipment and have no desire to do so again. One particular story involving an incredibly slow laptop - a couple was fighting. She was on the stairs and he was behind me so I was right in the middle of them. My task should have been done in 5 min but the damn Celeron POS took 20min. Long enough for her to start crying and him to say "I don't love you anymore"

Yikes. I had a couple welcome me in, get me situated where the office was going, then left to go upstairs and argue (loudly) over why he found a dildo in the dish drying rack.

Another time someone answered their door holding a huge trash bag of cannabis clippings, tried to blame the funk on his wife's love of obscure potpourri. I was like "They sell dead skunk potpourri? Huh."
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
53,248
7,690
126
I thought the E350 was weirdly slow with Win10 and a decent SSD! I checked in various ways to make sure there wasn't a fault causing the poor performance.
The E350 (and other Brazos) APUs processed 64-bit code at half speed (*), as it was primarily intended to run 32-bit code, and didn't have the proper chops to run 64-bit at full speed (*).

Meant to say performance, not speed. The APUs clock speed was unchanged, running 64-bit code, but I think that the double-pumped the ALUs, etc., to make them do 64-bit ops, at the cost of additional clocks.

Maybe I just should have said that the E350 was "optimized for" 32-bit code.
 
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Ajay

Lifer
Jan 8, 2001
11,218
5,033
136
Rookie error my friend :) It's highly unusual I spend any more than two hours on-site, anything time consuming and thumb-twiddling like virus scans, disk checks etc are either left to run when I leave or (if that's not a viable option) I take the computer home so I can leave it running stuff while I go do other things.
Well, I was a rookie when it came to the business side of it. That system was a business laptop with proprietary info on it so I couldn’t take it home. Hence the eye roll, I told him that if I had to stay then I would charge for the full time I was there and that it could take a while. Anyway, I got sick of people who would balk at paying standard rates (which I disclosed up front) for PC repairs where I took their totally hosed systems and returned to them something that ran as good as new (or better in some cases). Decided that this wasn’t going be a viable path for me and dropped it. Meh.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,239
5,384
136
Well, I was a rookie when it came to the business side of it. That system was a business laptop with proprietary info on it so I couldn’t take it home. Hence the eye roll, I told him that if I had to stay then I would charge for the full time I was there and that it could take a while. Anyway, I got sick of people who would balk at paying standard rates (which I disclosed up front) for PC repairs where I took their totally hosed systems and returned to them something that ran as good as new (or better in some cases). Decided that this wasn’t going be a viable path for me and dropped it. Meh.
One of my customers keeps going on about how they want me to sign an NDA, I say sure, then I don't hear more from them on that point until next time they repeat their request :)

Thankfully I get very few customers who take the piss (wrt what you were saying about complaining about rates given up-front). I had one recently, and despite the fact that he acted like a complete ass throughout the situation, I resolved to still try to do my best for him (notions of professionalism and all that). He pulled shit like when I asked him how long I could have the laptop for, any deadlines etc to investigate a problem, and he said ten minutes. I rolled my eyes in a "seriously now" way, and eventually got him to agree to two weeks. Later, he then claimed he never said two weeks and only ten minutes (yet you let me take away your laptop, you fuckwit?!?). I should have taken my wife's advice and told him to pick his unfixed laptop and get out of my hair forever there and then, but I believed that he'd stop being an ass once I had completely fixed the problem. He didn't stop of course and started quibbling costs again, despite me charging a price that was less than the maximum he stated he was willing to commit to (another agreement he claimed never happened). I told him to take his laptop and leave. Hopefully he won't have the gall to contact me again.
 

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