We are often asked to diagnose and repair problems with computers, which have only just been collected by the customer from other local computer shops (with limited experience or knowledge of configuring operating systems in English), or one-man band “knows a lot about computers” techs, who have never worked professionally in the IT industry.
Usually, the computer has had a “cracked” illegal copy of Windows and/or other software (often Microsoft Office) installed. Whilst this might appear to have been a great deal for the customer, saving them lots of money, it potentially opens up a huge number of problems in the long-run. The bodge-it technician who installed the software sits smugly knowing that either the customer is unlikely to return to complain about illegal software which they agreed to have installed, or, by the time that problems start to occur, longer-term, Bodge-it Bob will have moved to another location to mess-up a new set of customer computers.
The original source of the pirated software is likely to have been obtained from a location on the internet of high risk. Even a single click on that type of website can drop multiple forms of very serious malware, many of which can disable onboard protection, and System Restore.
Installing cracked software, involves running executable files from dubious, unknown sources. Potentially giving these sources access to information on your hard disk, and control over the operation of your computer.
Not having a genuine license for Windows, often prevents updates (including critical security patches) from being installed, opening the door even wider to potential threats. The actual cost of a genuine Microsoft license key and installation media, is often much less that you might think and saves money in the long-run for the above-mentioned reasons, as well as reducing the need for your computer to go into the repair shop for clean-up.
We have genuine license packs available for all versions of Microsoft Windows, at our shop in Mollina - feel free to drop in for a chat
This article was originally published in Inland Solutions Magazine, August/September 2013 edition