Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Computer Help Desk

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.

Get started now!

See “Preparing for a Service Call” before calling.

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, you should be aware that it may be more economical for you to purchase new hardware and have me transfer the programs and data than repair older systems.

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

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Phone Support

Phone support available

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

I can quickly determine your technical comfort zone and configure my responses accordingly.

We can troubleshoot your problems, determine possible solutions then you can try those options out.

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.

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 having been freshly restarted*.
  • Programs unrelated to the problem should be closed.

*If you're unable to start the computer I'm unlikely to be able to help you over the phone. Call to arrange for either in-shop service or an onsite visit.

See “Preparing for a Service Call” before calling.

Contact me for phone support during regular business hours.

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Email Support

Email support available

Email support is preferable where you are at distance 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

I need you 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.

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.

See “Preparing for a Service Call” before sending your email.

  • Existing clients may email with your questions.
  • New clients living outside of Greater Victoria, please see the requirements for new distance clients.

If email support cannot resolve your issues, an onsite visit may be required.

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Onsite Services

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 and how to implement the necessary fix.

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.

Onsite services is only available in Greater Victoria.

Contact me for phone support during regular business hours.

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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 Windows Basics and Computer 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.

There's also over 60 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
The Blanched Soldier

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

Details Ready?
Call now!

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Updated: August 27, 2018