Karen’s Best Buy saga

By | May 21, 2011
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Karen and the Best Buy saga
In January I purchased an ASUS laptop. I installed SUPERAntiSpyware and MS Office 2007. Late March I started having problems opening PDF files. When I tried to open the Adobe program I got a “fatal internal error” message. When I tried to uninstall and reinstall Adobe I got a “**APPDATA** file missing” message. Since I had six months free Geek Squad I contacted Geek Squad chat line. After running two software diagnostics I was told it was a hardware problem. I took it to Best Buy/Geek Squad. That person also ran some tests plus a virus detection program and determined my wireless wasn’t working and it needed to be sent out for repair. When I went to pick it up I asked the agent to please test it for me before I took it home. The wireless was fixed, however, the other problems were not. He suggested the problem was my SUPERAntiSpyware program (he had never heard of it). He assured me they would immediately fix the machine. Five days later I called and was told the wireless was fixed and they were now running diagnostics. I asked if the “fatal error” problem had been fixed. He tried opening Adobe and guess what? “Fatal Internal Error” message. He then told me that it was not a hardware problem, probably a virus and possibly caused by my SUPERAntiSpyware program (which he had never heard of). He said they will have to reformat the hard drive. My question: have you heard of SUPERAntiSpyware causing this type of problem? Thanks, Karen

Our answer
We are sorry you had so many problems, Karen. There are two solutions to your PDF problem that we can think of quickly:

1. Apparently a file is missing in the Adobe uninstaller. As always, the quickest and easiest fix for this is to reinstall the program – in this case Adobe’s PDF reader. What this does is reinstall all the files including the missing ones. In the best case, this would fix the problems you had opening PDF files; in the worst case it would allow you to uninstall Adobe without an error message.

2. You could download another free PDF reader and associate PDF files with it. That why when you clicked on a PDF file it would open in the program you downloaded instead of Adobe. Of course the first solution is the recommended solution, but this would be another way to solve your problem. There are a number of free PDF readers available, including Evince and Foxit Reader. There are many more. Use care with Foxit Reader; from time to time it’s been known to bundle unwanted software with it.

We couldn’t have made up a better story to illustrate the utter incompetence of Geek Squad employees. Almost nothing they told you has any basis in fact. First of all, an “APPDATA” is an application error – APP meaning application. It would never be a hardware problem. Then the story about running a virus scan and finding out you had a wireless problem is ludicrous. And sending it out for repair? Anyone with the slightest bit of experience could have replaced your laptop’s wireless card in less than 15 minutes. But they “sent it out for repair”. We doubt there was a wireless problem beyond the fact that whoever this was couldn’t get it to connect to whatever wireless network he was near.

Then Geek Squad further shows their ignorance by blaming it on SUPERAntiSpyware – claiming it is a virus or allowed viruses on your computer. First of all, as the name SUPERAntiSpyware indicates, it’s not an antivirus; secondly, all he had to do to find out about SUPERAntiSpyware is google it. It would have taken him all of 10 seconds to find out that it’s a very highly rated antispyware program.

Cnet Reviews of SUPERAntiSpyware

ghacks review of SUPERAntiSpyware

While no one is going to stick their neck out and say SUPERAntiSpyware is the best antispyware program (opinions differ), everyone agrees it’s among the best. What’s the best? It depends on who is doing the reviewing. It protects all of our computers – and has for almost 2 years.

We’ve received many emails from folks who’ve used Geek Squad. And from what people have told us, it appears that Geek Squad’s standard fix for almost everything is to format and reinstall Windows. This, of course, will fix any software problem. It’s something anyone with about an hour or so of time and a Windows installation disk (or a computer manufacturer’s recovery disk) could do at home. Of course when you do this you lose all your programs and settings, plus all the files, documents and photos you had on your computer – unless you had them all backed up. And if you kept a good image-based backup, you could simply use that to fix your computer – with all your programs and files intact. It wouldn’t surprise us any if Best Buy used the ASUS recovery disk or partition to restore your computer back to the way it was the day you bought it. You could have done this yourself in about an hour.

It looks like you suffered a lot of inconvenience and lost the use of your new computer, unnecessarily, for quite a while. It’s a really good thing you had the “free” Geek Squad for six months, and didn’t have to pay for it. Well actually you paid for it with all the time and inconvenience. It’s sad that people take their computers to Geek Squad and trust them to fix their computers; so many of their technicians are poorly trained and not very knowledgeable about computers.

3 thoughts on “Karen’s Best Buy saga

  1. Teresa McGinnis

    I just wanted to say that I use superantispyware & have for quite awhile…I love the way it finds spyware, malware & etc on my computer…I have that plus malwarebytes & I use them both…Karen it’s too bad that they gave you the run around…some people would rather blame something like that then take the blame themselves…or in your case it was the computer itself….Have A Great Day Teresa

  2. Joy

    This reminds me of my experiance with the Geek Squad. I took my system into them and was told I could have it the next day. TWO WEEKS later I got it back and it was so corrupted that I couldn’t use it. I had to do a controled crash and start all over on my own. I put a stop on my check and they were none to happy about it. I later took it to another repair place and they “tweeked” it so it was working perfectly for another year.

  3. judy

    I have quit bothering to call Microsoft,computer manufacturers or any others . It seems they all went to the school that says totally re-format the computer to fix any and all problems. If I can’t find the answer on the web and fix it myself then I take it to the shop to have it worked on.


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