How much would someone have to pay you to spend 24 hours constantly monitoring their computer? How much would they have to pay you to carry it around everywhere you go for 36 hours straight just to see if it might require your knowing touch at 12:15a.m., 3:19a.m., and again at 5:26a.m.?
Believe it or not, 36 hours is the average amount of time it takes to perform even the most simplest of software repairs. For instance, in order to correctly re-install an Operating System, there is much work to be performed and much time to be spent. The first task would be to backup all of the user’s data. Depending on how many GigaBytes of data the user has, this simple process can take six to ten hours. Then, once the data is backed up, the hard drive would need to be properly erased (zeroed out). Again, depending on the amount of data on the drive and the erasing method employed (secure versus quick and non-secure), this process can take anywhere from three to 48 hours. Keep in mind that during both of these processes – the backup and the erasing – one must stay vigilant for errors, and any user intervention. And if power to the computer is lost, you’d have to start the erasing procedure all over again.
Once the backup has been performed and the drive erased, now comes the fun part – reinstalling the Operating System. If done properly, you should allow this final process a minimum of 24 hours. This is especially true if there have been many updates to the Operating System, as compared to the date of the media you used for installation. In other words, say if you reinstall your Operating System by using a Windows XP Service Pack 1 disc. Then it would take you a minimum of 24 hours to install all of the updates and two Service Packs in order to get your computer current to Windows XP Service Pack 3. Otherwise, if the updates are not brought current, you run the risk of being vulnerable to security leaks which the updates protect against. If you’re running Windows 7 and you do not have the latest Service Pack 1, you are vulnerable to security holes which hackers would love for you to never patch up. Further, unless you’ve anticipated all of the drivers your computer will need and have downloaded them beforehand, you are going to need to hunt down the driver for each piece of hardware on your motherboard. If you do not, you will notice that you may not even be able to get on the internet in order to download those you need. Hopefully, you will have allocated another hour or two to find the correct drivers, pull them all together and install them.
If you’ve gotten a better idea of how long it takes to do something as simple as reinstalling your Operating System, THAT’S GREAT! Generally, most Computer Techs charge under $100 to do this. But even if they charged more, depending on the work being done, they would be receiving somewhere close to Panama’s minimum wage. At Punto G
, we charge $45 to install an Operating System. Because of our professional integrity and high work ethic, we also perform numerous other safety tweaks which most users never even notice – such as configuring your browser so that it’s more secure when you’re surfing. Therefore, when the amount of time spent on your computer and the level of your Technician’s knowledge and skills are takeninto
consideration, you’re actually paying us less than $1.25 per hour to reinstall your Operating System to manufacturer’s standards. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s more than a fair price.
So, the next time you need work done on your computer and you want it done in a rush and feel our, or any other technician’s, fees are expensive; I would challenge you to consider the amount of time it will take to perform your repairs and divide that by what you are being charged. If you did so, I wholeheartedly believe you could never again view your Technician’s labor rates in a begrudging light.