Epson Workforce Failure

I’m pretty unhappy with Epson printers right now. My printer was bought new in June 2017. The extended warranty expired in June 2019. Now it’s October 2019 and it’s non-functional. Classic situation where the warranty expires and the next day it falls apart.

Epson WF-3620 with error 0x97 on screen.
Epson WF-3620 with Error 0x97

There is very little information available about the 0x97 error. The best I can find is that it refers to an unspecified hardware error. I decided to turn this around and make it an opportunity to publish my experience. When my new printer gets here I’ll share what decisions I made and why.

Rated Highly

Platform rating

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.

Proverbs 22:29

An actual screenshot of my platform ratings which I am very thankful for. Thank you to every customer whether I was hired via a platform or it was a direct private service.

D-link and Comba Routers Storing Passwords in Plain Text

The vast majority of people never think about updating the firmware on their home routers. For ordinary users the best brand to buy is Netgear because the routers can be setup to auto-update at the time of installation.

Getting the complete settings of the router is possible for the aforementioned model by simply accessing the ‘romfile.cfg’ file. No authentication is needed and the WiFi password is stored in cleartext.

Bleeping Computer

Contact me to schedule a PC Check-up updating the firmware in your home router can be one of the items fixed while I’m on-site.

Windows 10 Upgrade

computer running windows 10

Retail support for Windows 7 is ending in January 2020. This means that your Windows 7 computer will no longer receive security updates from Microsoft. It does not mean that your computer will stop functioning in January. So if you want to keep using your computer just as you are then there is nothing for you to do.

Windows 10 on Old hardware

However, there may be advantages to upgrading Windows systems, Windows 7 and older. No payment to Microsoft is required to upgrade if you are upgrading a system with a valid Windows license. With very old Windows OSs you might run into incompatibilities with modern websites and software. If you are willing to deal with slow performance, upgrading can allow an old computer to surf modern websites. The laptop pictured originally had Windows Vista (circa ’06 – ’09) installed and it accepted Windows 10 quite well even though it does run slowly.

Before doing the upgrade there are some caveats, the first being that since we are working with old hardware the customer has to accept the possibility that hardware failure could occur at any time after a successful upgrade. The second is that the upgrade might fail due to incompatible drivers, etc. In this instance I would quit the installation, reinstall with the original OS, and return it to the customer. For almost all computers running Windows 7 the upgrade is encouraged and can happen smoothly. For older computers (Windows XP/Vista) I would ask the customer to name a specific task that they can’t do now. So that a successful upgrade could be tested and verified.

Going to the Repair Store?

Desktop PC sitting in the passenger seat of vehicle

Call the Repair store to You!

Next time you are having computer problems before you pack the computer into the car contact me first. I offer free preliminary troubleshooting by phone. I work exclusively on-site at your home or business. During the time that the computer is being driven across town, vibration and the risk of dropping the computer can cause greater harm than your original problem. A technician at the computer store is also limited to troubleshooting a computer as a standalone object.

If you are having trouble printing are you going to pack the computer and the printer and all of the cables to the store? You don’t have to do that! With any problem that involves more than one device it’s always better to leave everything in place as it is and allow me to see the problem in exactly the same way that you the customer see it.

Tracking down an intermittent problem is a classic example. Your Internet goes through periods of being unreliable. You first call your service provider and they swear that the service coming into your house is 100% working. Then you take the computer to a friend’s house and it works fine over there too. It can be worse than catching a ghost! I have the capability of verifying every component from your ISP’s modem through the cables you use (or WiFi) to the router and to your computer.

See you soon!


cabling tools

These are a couple of brand new homemade ethernet cables. It is the kind of cable you use to connect a computer to a router. I used one cable out of my truck stock and left it with a customer when I was connecting their printer, so I made a couple more.

Ethernet patch cable
Ethernet cable made to order

If you are having problems with your Internet, could it be a bad cable? Call me to have the cable tested and know for sure. Maybe you have a damaged wall jack? I can fix that too!

Ethernet Wall jack

Free Advice and Troubleshooting

Lucy answer booth

I recently helped a lady, Vanessa(not her real name), who was having difficulty with her home Internet service going in and out. At the time Vanessa didn’t know whether the problem was her computer or her Internet provider. I called Vanessa and listened to the symptoms she was experiencing and gave her some suggestions on how to troubleshoot the problem.

Then about two weeks later Vanessa calls me and we talk about what she has discovered. The information she has confirms to me that the problem is indeed with her Internet provider and not her computer. So I give her more advice about how to work with customer service to get the best result.

In this instance, it wasn’t neccessary for me to ever go to her house. All Vanessa needed was some direction and advice about how to test her own Internet service and I didn’t charge her for the help.

I’d like to offer this same service to everyone. If you have a question or want advice about any problem you’re having I am available as a source of information. Contact me via the links below.

Email me:
Call or text me via my listed phone number.
Google profile:
Message me via Facebook:
Facebook Profile:

Process of a New Work Order

blank work orders and notes

How many times has your computer not been working properly and you call for help from a friend named Jason. Jason comes over, spends a couple of hours working on it and leaves saying that it’s been fixed. When he leaves you go and check on the computer and it seems to be working much better. Even though this arrangement will work many times, I think there is a better way. If you are paying money for a service the customer deserves a detailed explanation of the work completed.

In the attached photo the work orders on the left has space to write a description of the problem and below that space for a description of the resolution. The most satisfying work orders I do are ones where there is a defined problem and when I leave there is a defined resolution that fixes the issue. A vague description such as “The computer is running slowly” can have many causes but when I leave it is my goal to find the specific problem and write that clearly on the work order. On the right of the photo is a page of my notes from a past work order. I write notes minute by minute as events happen, so that I can explain what I did and when.

I would also like to say that all of the work I do is guaranteed. That means the customer never pays if I am unable to fix the described problem while I am on site. If the same issue returns within 30 days after I leave I’ll come back at no charge.