Who can you trust

  brindly 17:52 04 Jul 2011

I have a SONY VAIO Desk top all in one VGC-2VS. It had been having a few glitches recently; like PINNICLE not responding a couple of times which is irritating and some web pages that wouldn't move to a second page and generaly slowing down so i thought i would take it to our local IT shop for a tune-up and some extra RAM. When i got it home the first time, plugged in and started up this message appeared "NTLDR is missing press ctl-alt-delete to re start" and nothing, so back it goes. Then i get a phone call saying something about needing a complete re-install and an extra £40. I reluctantly agreed because he told me using my recovery discs wouldn't work. Get it back home second time, nothing only a different message. Back it goes and they say it will take more than a few minutes to fix, they will let me know when it is ready and they will bring it back and install it. Sorry this is so long, coming to the good bit now. back it comes, he sets it up switches on and low and behold I have a bog standard computer, they have removed everything SONY VAIO that was on the machine which is why we paid a premium price for it. It will be much faster now he said, of course it will it hasn't got anything on it. I have lost the ability to play and record TV/Video and many other nice technical attributes. I have given them one last chance to restore my machine to it previous operating system or its off to the Small Claims Court. They call themselves experts!The irony is it wasn't that bad.

  brindly 18:13 04 Jul 2011

Just to add to my story, my analogy is: I gave them a LEXUS and they returned a FORD FIESTA. No dissrespect to Ford Fiesta.

  Forum Editor 18:59 04 Jul 2011

This is a classic example of what can happen when you entrust a computer to a local computer shop. Some of them are excellent when it comes to repairs, but many are not - a lack of proper communication can mean that you end up like this.

It's difficult to offer any helpful advice because in the end this comes down to a matter of who said what - your small claims court action might not go the way you would like if the shop puts up a defence.

You say that you have "given them one last chance to restore my machine to it previous operating system or its off to the Small Claims Court." Are you saying that the shop installed a different version of Windows?

Have you tried using the restore disk that came with the machine?

Before you take this any further along the court route we should explore the problem a little further.

  ams4127 20:46 04 Jul 2011

I agree completely with FE's knowledgeable reply. I doubt you would achieve anything by going to court.

If you have the recovery disks then use them. That will put the machine back to the condition it was when originally you got it, together with all the extra software which Sony installed. The Sony manual will tell you how to do this.

You don't say what operating system you have. If it is Win7 and they did a clean install for £40, I would be very worried indeed. It also worries me that a computer repair shop should blithely say that "The recovery disks wouldn't work".

Methinks I smell a rat!

  spuds 22:29 04 Jul 2011

When people mention 'tune-ups', this can leave all types of surprises, and the quickest and simplest remedy is perhaps a reformat by the person doing the tune-up. Something perhaps the above average computer user might know how to do already!.

If it was a complete reformat, then the likelihood of the computer being returned to its original, is going to be very unlikely. Suggesting that you are going to the small claims court might be a non-event!.

We use to have a local 'expert' who did 'reformats' or 'tune-ups' on a regular basis, charging £60.00 a time. He, his family and his business have since gone to pastures new!.

Fortunately I and my neighbours now have on call a local chap who does 'computer work' at quite a number of schools in the area. Self taught, reliable, honest and very cheap. You cannot ask for anything better.

Perhaps also worth mentioning, that I once took a computer to PC World for one of their Computer Health Checks. To this day, I still don't know what they did. But as it was a free special warranty offer, when they took over the defunct Tempo's warranties, I'm not complaining. At least they didn't reformat the computer!.

  brindly 08:49 05 Jul 2011

The windows is still XP but they say they say now they have done a "System rebuild" which I never gave consent for, they told me they would have to do a re-install which i took to mean back to wher it was when it was new, as with the recovery discs. It was only after four seperate failures to boot up that i discovered they had removed all the SONY programs, as I said; a premium computer to a bog standard one. I had extra RAM and an internal battery along with the Tune-up for £140 then when that failed they wanted another £40 for the re-install, they settled for £20.ams4127 you say "I doubt you would achieve anything by going to court." Thats defeatist if I might say, no offence meant but we have to stand up for something. I have used the court before and had success. I was in business when I was younger and i know it takes many years to build up a good reputation and five minutes to get a bad one and that can be more expensive than settling. I did some work for a business and they delaid payment for several months, excuse after excuse so i served them with the summons and they paid up immediately. Another time i was an expert witness and the person won her case, some months later the firm went out of business necause it got reported in the local press. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I think my analogy still stands.

  proudfoot 09:24 05 Jul 2011

If you made Recovery Discs on first boot up or the Recovery Partition is not corrupted you should be able to get the PC back to factory settings whether the C drive was formatted or not. This is no consolation if you have lost work/data etc. I always store all my work, data, emails etc on an external hard drive and I make regular backups of my system and programs to my external HD, I use TrueImage though there are very good free D/L versions of imageing software.

  brindly 10:52 05 Jul 2011

Thanks for that St clares. Yes I made recovery discs as advised when i bought the computer and have used them once some years ago and as you say everything goes back to new. I also back up my data so not too much was lost in that respect, some emails and maybe some music. I am not sure what they have done, its all about terminology. Tune-up, re- install, operating system rebuild???. I also smelled a rat and so recorded my conversation with them when i collected the computer the second time, he made some claims that turned out to not be true, like, yes all your original programs are on there, the one's you used. When I installed some of my own software it didn't work and my SONY handicam which i used with PINNICAL wasn't recognised even though it uses a dedicated SONY connection, NERO 7 wouldn't burn and the curser went behind the platform. I have lost the media controls on the keyboard, didn't go any further so don't know what else doesn't work.Oh yes and they changed the configuration of the HDs from two to one. The D drive held some VAIO media things like recorded films and video, as i say i just don't know what they did. They have promised to get it back by down loading all the original SONY VAIO files that were loaded on it yet one of their excused was the HD disc was breaking down? so how is it working now??? I did actualy ask a tekky in PC World if the recovery discs would work, he seemed to think no problem.Being a not too tekky person I have to rely on advice because I didn't understand some of the reasons they were giving but there is one that didn't sound right.

  proudfoot 12:23 05 Jul 2011

I realise it is annoying but if you can get most up and running it might not be worthwhile persuing them in this case. I recemtly restored my PC back to factory settings as it was almost 4 years since purchase. I may be wrong but I think it did a quick format of the C partition before the install.

  brindly 16:28 05 Jul 2011

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go to court if they can get everything i used before working. I know there were many programs i never used since i had the computer and I could have removed them but i wasn't sure this would not interfere with the other programs. I have just had a call from them, it seems now they do want the recovery discs.What can this mean?It’s the principle that if you claim to be an expert and advertise as such; you should be able to carry out the basic jobs and not expect you client to shoulder the anxiety. It definitely didn’t do what it said on the tin. Thanks everyone for your interest, I will bring you upto date when I know more.

  woodchip 17:23 05 Jul 2011

Do not let them have the recovery discs, you will not get them back

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