Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Computer Help Desk

COVID-19 Notice

Onsite & in-shop services have been suspended until further notice. I will work with you to resolve issues while keeping us both safe.

Phone Support | Email Support | Getting Prepared

Virtual help desk services

What Services Are Available?

Help Desk services are personalized help with computer software and hardware issues, usually by telephone.

Whether it is resolving a problem configuring a document or troubleshooting unusual behaviour, I can usually help.

Business Hours & Rates

See Business Hours & Rates for details about regular hours, billing practices and payment options.

Clients may be charged for the time required to research your issue in preparation for either telephone or email support.

Get started now!

Supported Operating Systems

Most of my clients are running Microsoft Windows but I can provide help with Mac, Linux and OS/2 computers.

Dealing with network issues including wireless connections generally requires onsite service.

I can also help with smart phones and tablets. I'm more familiar with Apple's iOS but can work with Android or other smart devices onsite or if you bring them to me.

While I can work with and help you upgrade older (legacy) computers, purchasing new hardware may be more economical.

  • Older computers, peripherals and devices tend to take longer to service. They respond and boot up much slower than newer equipment.
  • Your support options may be limited for obsolete items.

I can transfer your programs and data to the new system, advising you about software which needs to be upgraded or replaced.

Return to top

Phone Support

Phone support available

Phone support is preferable in many circumstances because you can get immediate answers to you questions.

  • I can quickly determine your technical comfort zone and configure my responses accordingly.
  • We can troubleshoot your problems, determine possible solutions for you to try out in realtime.

However, some time might be required for me to do further research before returning your call.

The Right Solution Depends Upon You

Remember, I can't see your computer so I need you to describe what you're seeing accurately.

If we determine that phone support cannot resolve your issues, an onsite visit may be required.

What About Remote Access?

Many companies offer to remotely repair your computer.

Not only does that leave your computer vulnerable, but the necessary settings leave you more susceptible to being hacked or scammed.

Is Your Computer Ready?

You'll need to be ready to make changes to your computer following the instructions I provide over the phone.

  • Your computer should be on but freshly restarted.
  • Programs unrelated to the problem should be closed.

See Getting Prepared for details.

Contact me for phone support during regular business hours.

Get started now!

Return to top

Email Support

Email support available

Email support is preferable where you are located outside of Greater Victoria or if my work schedule is inconvenient.

Turnaround is usually within one business day.

Preparation Takes Time

It takes time to research a problem and prepare an answer based upon the information you've provided to me in your email.

Describe the Issue

You need to describe the issue you're having accurately. Make a note of any error messages or other indications of what the problem is, including what you were doing when the problem occurred.

The more detailed your information, the more likely I can provide a reasonable answer quickly.

A screen capture of the issue or error messages is very useful.

How Technical Are You?

If I'm unfamiliar with you and your technical knowledge or your computer and software, I may spend more time providing basic instructions (I cannot assume your knowledge or experience levels).

I may also provide more than one solution if I'm unsure which one will provide the results you're seeking.

Get started now!

  • Before calling or emailing me, review “Preparing for a Service Call.”
  • Existing clients may email with your questions.
  • New clients living outside of Greater Victoria, please see the requirements for NEW distance clients.

Return to top

Onsite Services

If email or phone support cannot resolve your issue, an onsite visit may be required.

Onsite services is only available in Greater Victoria.

While phone or email support may be quicker, sometimes the issue cannot be resolved by either method. In many cases it has more to do with knowing what to look for. Once diagnosed, I can usually fix the issue.

When onsite I have much more information available to me and can often quickly diagnose a problem and provide a solution because of my familiarity with computers and operating systems.

However, I cannot bring have all my tools and resources and may not foresee the necessity for specific resources. I may need to take the computer back with me and repair it in-shop.

Contact me for phone support during regular business hours.


Getting Prepared

I can't see your computer so I need you to describe what you're seeing accurately.

Computer Terminology

Using proper terms to describe specific tasks and locations on your computer will make the session go much quicker.

You might wish to review basic computer terminology and Windows terminology.

Have You Restarted Your Computer?

Simply restarting your computer resolves many issues.

These quick fixes eliminate the most common issues with starting your computer.

What if Your Computer Can't Start?

If you're unable to start your computer, I probably can't help you over the phone. Call to arrange for either onsite or in-shop service.

There's also over 80 pages of helpful resources on this site that can help you to resolve many issues yourself.

Gathering Information

Before contacting me, you'll need to gather some information about your computer.

The details needed and how to locate them are contained on my Preparing for a Service Call page.

Don't Assume

I'll need to know as much detail as possible about the problem including

  • all the software that was running when the problem occurred;
  • what hardware is affected; and
  • if the problem is random or occurs every time.

If I am able to duplicate the problem on my equipment it will be easier to fix.

Determining the answer is often a process of elimination.

…[W]hen you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
— Sherlock Holmes

As we eliminate possibilities, we narrow the investigation until only one possibility is left.

Details Ready?
Call now!

Support Resources


Return to top
Updated: June 8, 2021