Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
March 13, 2020
Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers trick you into paying for unnecessary technical support services. You can help protect yourself from scammers by verifying that the contact is a Microsoft Agent or Microsoft Employee and
that the phone number is an
official Microsoft global customer service number.
Remove ALL power - check and reseat the memory - actually remove and replace - do not
just snug. Memory could be the problem so if you have more than 1 stick swap them in and
out to see if the problem follows one stick or try new memory.
We can analyze the minidumps if you make them available from the SkyDrive or other file
sharing sites (such as MediaFire). If you have problems uploading the minidumps copy
them to the Desktop or the Documents folder and upload them from there.
Check and reseat all cards, memory and cables (on both ends when possible) actually remove and
replace - do not just snug. On a laptop about all you can do is reseat the memory and possibly check
the contacts/connection to the hard drive. Memory could be the problem so if you have more than 1
stick swap them in and out to see if the problem follows one stick or try new memory. Antivirus/anti-
spyware/security programs have been known to cause or have a role in this issue.
Most general fix is updating drivers, BIOS, and low level chipset drivers and other control software. Also check cabling to hard disk.
Here are some methods to possibly fix the blue screen issue. If you could give the Blue Screen
info that would help. Such as the BCC and the other 4 entries on the lower left. And any other
error information such as STOP codes and info such as IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL or PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA and similar messages.
Memory testing methods are in the section following these driver update methods.
This is my generic how to for proper driver updates :
This utility makes it easy to see which versions are loaded :
DriverView - Free - utility displays the list of all device drivers currently loaded on your
system. For each driver in the list, additional useful information is displayed: load address
of the driver, description, version, product name, company that created the driver, and
For Drivers check System Maker as fallbacks and Device Maker's which are the most
current. Control Panel - Device Manager - Display Adapter - write down the make and
complete model of your video adapter - double click - Driver's tab - write down the
version info. Now click UPdate Driver (this may not do anything as MS is far behind
certifying drivers) - then Right Click - Uninstall - REBOOT this will refresh the driver
Repeat that for Network - Network Card (NIC), Wifi, Sound, Mouse and Keyboard if
3rd party with their own software and drivers and any other major device drivers
Now go to System Maker's site (Dell, HP, Toshiba as examples) (as rollback) and then
Device Maker's site (Realtek, Intel, Nvidia, ATI as examples) and get their latest
versions. (Look for BIOS, Chipset and software updates at System Maker's site while
Download - SAVE - go to where you put them - Right Click - RUN AD ADMIN - REBOOT
after each installation.
Always check in Device Manager - Drivers tab to be sure the version you are installing
actually shows up. This is because some drivers rollback before the latest is installed
(sound drivers particularly do this) so install a driver - reboot - check to be sure it is
installed and repeat as needed.
Repeat at Device Makers - BTW at Device Makers DO NOT RUN THEIR SCANNER -
check manually by model.
If you update drivers manually then it is a good idea to disable Driver Installations in
Windows Updates, this leaves Windows Updates ON however it will not install drivers
which will usually be older and cause issues. If Updates suggests a new driver then
HIDE it (Right Click on it) and then go look for new ones manually if you wish.
Memory tests do not catch all errors such as mismatched memory (possible even for sticks
that appear to be identical) and when faster memory is placed in system behind slower memory.
So it is best to also swap sticks in and out to check for those even if all memory tests fail to show
To test RAM check here - let it run 4+ hours or so. <-- best method www.memtest.org
For the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.
Start - type in Search box -> Memory - find Memory Diagnostics tool at top of list - Right Click -
RUN AS ADMIN follow the instructions