IT support in Burnley – callout for The Victoria Residential Home on Thursby Road

IT Support in Burnley – Victoria Residential Home

I’m a bit late posting this one – the callout was for last Friday 22nd March. I got a call from a lady who works at the Victoria Residential Care Home which is off Thursby Road in Burnley. She said she couldn’t print from Microsoft Office since the day before and asked ‘how much?’ I provisionally said £20 but I couldn’t say for sure until I got there. It sounded an easy call out but there are often complications once you get to see the real situation! I got there at 2pm and discovered it was a terminal services setup although the client had no idea what Terminal Services was, just that she logged on to her PC and then logged on to something else. She was also newly employed so had inherited the setup from the previous employee.

Victoria Road Residential Home, Thursby Road, Burnley

Victoria Road Residential Home, Thursby Road, Burnley

I logged on to the XP system and her terminal services client, both where grindingly slow. After getting into Office 20010 and  opening a test document, sure enough, on after selecting the default printer and pressing print, it just got stuck and didn’t seem to print. At first I was thinking, ‘this is Terminal Services which means I don’t have admin permissions to do very much!’ I told her this but it meant very little. She did call head office in Leyland who told her anything on the TS side was managed by them and anything on the desktop PC was for her to have fixed.
Underlying problems? – why is the PC so slow and maybe that will tell me why TS is slow and that will help us print? Slow PC’s/Laptops are often slow because they are packed with viruses and spyware. Sure enough, no anti virus software and after looking in the Installed Programs in Control panel there where loads of casino, online gambling programs – a sure source of malware. I had a look in Task Manager and there it was, the CPU was constantly at 100%, another sure sign of infection. I found the process that was using all the resources, I forget its name – Google’d it and found it to be suspicious – checked with the client that it was nothing to do with her system (she called head office again) and then halted the process. Instantly everything worked faster again. Terminal services logged on nice and fast and I printed out a test page in TS. Results!
I found a program in Control Panel that had the same name as the process so I uninstalled it which stopped it restarting at the next re boot. Unfortunately, with her printing problem solved, that was as far as she wanted to take it. I managed to negotiate £30 for the hour and a quarter I had sat there listening to her describe the problem, ringing people and troubleshooting/fixing the issue but its highly likely her Desktop PC is still compromised – there was another process left after I uninstalled the offending program and its likely there are other virus problems with all those ‘inherited’ casino apps. I offered to come back and clean up her system and put some decent free antivirus/firewall software on the PC but she didn’t get back to me. It would have cost just £50 – a longer job but worth it considering the value of that PC and the other on site systems it supported. Oh well…