Microsoft Support Scam

Please share this. This is a great example of a popular scam going around, and one that’s been going around for years. This can pop up at just about any time and has happened to me. It’s not a virus or someone hacking your computer, it’s just a very aggressive website.

Let’s take a look, at why it’s a scam even though it clearly says Microsoft Support.

  1. Wrong phone number. This is easy to look up, it took me about 2 seconds to see that Microsoft’s real phone number is 1 (800) 642-7676.
  2. Windows doesn’t have a “registration key”. It has either a Digital License or Product Key.
  3. This website tries downloading a file titled “This computer is BLOCKED.html”. Why would a file need to be downloaded to your computer when you didn’t request it?
  4. Even if your Digital License or Product Key was invalid, entering it into a website won’t do anything. For Windows activation, you enter it into a sub-section of the Control Panel or Settings depending on the version of Windows, not a website.
  5. The majority of the text at the top middle doesn’t make any sense. Again, there’s no such thing as a “registration key” and if your Product Key was blocked or invalid, a website wouldn’t notify you, Windows itself would. It also wouldn’t say that the key is illegal, it would simply say invalid. Microsoft doesn’t judge your Product Key as to whether or not it’s legal, it just says whether or not it’s valid for the copy of Windows you have installed. This box then goes on to say that “This window” is pirated, sending viruses and hacked. How would that browser window do that? That would only happen if that website was compromised. Instead, they probably mean “This copy of Windows”. Poor use of English, that’s another sign of a scam.
  6. There’s 2 references of the website here on the screen, “http://144.202.12.167”. Microsoft wouldn’t use an IP address as a website, they would have their own .com associated with support. A .com is called a domain and it is an extra cost that isn’t totally necessary, especially when you’re a scammer and have ads redirect people to a scam IP address.

Finally, the last mark of a scam; the phone number. ANY time you see a phone number pop up on your screen, consider it a scam, especially if you didn’t solicit it. Don’t call the phone number. If your computer was in fact sending out viruses or participating in a botnet or anything else illegal, your ISP would very likely shut off your Internet and send you a warning letter. If you think your copy of Windows isn’t Genuine or legal, there’s several ways you can check, outlined in this website: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/how-learn-copy-windows-7-windows-8-activated

News/Updates on Facebook

It’s been over 2 years since I’ve posted on here. Wow, time flies. Just in case anyone looks at this section of my website, don’t think I’m not active. I just tend to lean towards Facebook for news and posts rather than this. To check out the latest info I’ve talked about, go here: https://www.facebook.com/NatesComp/posts/

2016 Updates

I’ve gone through most of this site and updated content on pages including information, recommendations and prices. I tried to make things clearer and more concise to understand. Let me know what you think or if you have any questions!

Yes, upgrading to a SSD is safe.

People sometimes ask me about SSD’s and their longevity. Typically, I only recommend products and parts that I’ve personally tested or use, I don’t like to try new things at someone elses’ expense. These days, I only recommend Samsung solid state drives because I’ve been using one for almost 3 years and their software and features are pretty great for the price. So when I saw this article about SSD torture testing, I was intrigued;

http://techreport.com/review/27909/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-theyre-all-dead

Looking at their results, the two Samsung drives, a regular and a Pro model were tested. The regular model lasted until 300TB worth of writes. The Pro model lasted about 2400TB worth of writes. So, what does this mean? Well, in the almost 3 years I’ve had my Samsung SSD, I’ve written a mere 20TB with countless Windows re-installs, game installations, projects, virtual machines and other usage that typical users wouldn’t encounter.

For sake of argument, let’s take the figure of 300TB from the regular model Samsung drive (even though mine is a Pro model). At my current everyday heavy useage, it would take me 41.25 years to reach 300TB writes. Think about that for a bit. Chances are, you won’t even have an SSD for longer than 10 years at most. I’ve had mine less than 3 and am thinking about an upgrade, not just in size but in speed. Even if you used the computer 4x as much as I do, chances are, you still won’t see the death of your Samsung drive.
Another interesting figure to note, my SSD currently has 1.5 years of what’s called power on hours. That means, in total, my drive has been on/running for 1.5 years straight.
Needless to say, I will continue to recommend Samsung SSD’s. If you don’t have one, get one. It will be THE BEST money you’ve ever spent on a computer.

Community Page

I’ve started work on a page to showcase local businesses that I’ve used and some information about my experiences with them. More businesses will be added soon:
http://natescomp.com/community/

More website updates

I figured with my advertisement in the latest CIA publication, I would do some cleaning and re-organizing of some pages on here. I’ve been working on the About Me page a fair bit. Check it out 🙂

ASUS eeePC Cleaner Script

The last few days I’ve been working on refurbishing an older eeePC. This netbook has a 4GB SSD drive in it and while Windows XP will install, it will quickly fill up the drive with update and other temporary files. It becomes an issue when you’re faced with a lot of updates and there just isn’t enough room to extract them all. I looked online and came up with a batch script that will clean temporary folders and Windows Update folder as well. This will allow you to install several updates, restart, run the script and continue to run updates without running out of drive space.

Enough blabbering, here’s the code:
@echo off
echo Cleaning eeePC... Code mashed together by Nate Rowe www.natescomp.com
net stop wuauserv
del "c:\windows\softwaredistribution" /q /s
del "c:\windows\temp" /q /s
del "c:\documents and settings\%USERNAME%\local settings\temp" /q /s
rd "c:\recycler" /q /s
net start wuauserv

Stick that in Notepad and save it as a “whatever.bat” file. Run it and you should be good to perform more updates 🙂 Hopefully someone gets some use out of this, I know I did.

*EDIT*
I forgot to mention that this script is for Windows XP. Windows Vista and 7 (and 8) have different user directories as well as a different location for the recycle bin. But, if you’re faced with a 4GB drive to install on, chances are you’re not going to be using Vista, 7 or 8 🙂

*EDIT 2*
If you’re looking at gaining more free space back, have a look at the Windows folder on your system drive. Inside there are folders that start with a $. They’re generally created as backup files for Windows Updates. I’ve deleted all of mine on the netbook and gained back almost 700MB with no ill issues. I’ve also deleted the “ie8” and “ie8updates” folder from the Windows folder. These were created when updating from IE7 to IE8 on Windows XP. After deleting them, IE still runs fine (not that I’d use it :D).

Happy New Year!

Yea, it’s belated but I’ve been pretty busy. Right now I have plans on fixing up this website which would include new prices for services and the ability to take payments directly on this site via Stripe. I’ll be working on updating things over the next couple of days, in-between helping customers 🙂 The new year is starting off busy!

New Prices for 2013

Starting with the new year, I will be implementing new prices to reflect my growing customer base. Now, I’ve always put my prices to be what I find morally fair and agreeable even for those on a tight budget because I understand what it means for money to be tight. However, with taking on more and more customers with a more diverse range of issues to solve, I am finding myself with a growing need to invest more in repair & diagnostic tools. This combined with rising utility costs shows me that I need to raise the cost of my services.

This doesn’t mean that I will start charging what the big businesses charge in Moscow or Pullman. We all have personal opinions and while I keep business and personal things separate, I personally feel that big business computer repair costs are outrageous. You won’t see me charging $80 an hour or $160 to remove a virus and take 2 weeks to do so. I do understand that they have insurance, building rental, employees and overhead which all adds to the cost that you pay. I pride myself on fast turn around and affordable service.

Back to the new prices, I haven’t set them in stone yet. I’m researching fair prices for individuals and I’m going to take a long look at what I offer, what others offer and come up with a good balance that should be fair for everyone.

Recommended Parts

I just added a new page of info on the recommended computer parts that I both trust and use in personal and customer builds. Check the page out!

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