General Question

lookingglassx3's avatar

Will a computer technician look at my files while fixing my laptop?

Asked by lookingglassx3 (2111 points ) August 27th, 2011

My laptop was working fine yesterday. I went out for a bit, but when I came back it just wouldn’t turn on (if anyone knows any reason why this may have occurred advice would be appreciated.) So the thing is, I’m reluctant to get it looked at. I have some personal files on there which are for my eyes only. They’re not bad, but I’d be so embarrassed if anyone else saw them. My laptop won’t turn on so it’s not like I can save the files to a memory stick either. Would a technician be interested in looking at my files, or would he just aim to diagnose the problem?

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15 Answers

Bellatrix's avatar

They possibly will. I guess it depends on what you have called the files (do they sound juicy and interesting?) They are probably busy and don’t have time to go ‘looking’ for material but if it is there and obvious, they will probably look.

My ex used to repair video cameras and it was almost guaranteed that if a video camera or a video player was going to fail, it would be when the home movies were in them. Those who repair these sorts of things have seen all sorts of things. I can’t say whether your ‘content’ would be worse than normal but as long as it isn’t illegal, don’t worry about it.

RareDenver's avatar

Maybe, I gave a hard drive to a guy once to recover data after a major fuck up, when he returned the saved data on a new hard drive he commented on the fact he liked some of my music.

flutherother's avatar

I would doubt it, they work with personal files every day. They will be too busy sorting the problem. It won’t mean anything to them.

silky1's avatar

Worst scenario yes.

ragingloli's avatar

Yes. Last time I had my PC at the shops, after I got it back, the recently open files in media player were hentai anime (that is anime porn for those who were just born).

Kayak8's avatar

@ragingloli or for those who were born more than 45 years ago . . .

jca's avatar

Look at it like this: They see everything, so whatever you have is probably not so incredibly shocking to them. They’re professionals. It’s like going to the doctor. Yes they will see your naked body, but they see everyone’s naked body so yours is not such an exception.

poisonedantidote's avatar

As someone who fixes computers for people from time to time, I would suspect they wont look. Personally I would not look as I have seen it all before, not only that, but I really don’t want to spend any more time on your machine than I have to. You should be more concerned about credit card details, bank statements, and passwords, there is no profit in looking for your home made porn, but there sure is in looking for card details.

If you have to send the computer away to a manufacturer for repair, they wont look guaranteed, they have a million computers to fix, and your one has to be fixed now.

Cruiser's avatar

Try removing the battery and booting off your power supply.

XOIIO's avatar

I am a compter tech and I only look if its a file recovery, because you absolutely have to. The only time I would look when I wasn’t is if it was some C-cup blonde 18 year old who said not to look because f the dirty pictures she has

lol

john65pennington's avatar

Remember back in the days when you took your photos to a drugstore to be developed? Did you ever wonder if your photos were looked at by everyone? Same situation applies here.

I say that the workers time will have something to do with whether or not your photos will be observed. If the worker is busy, probably not. If the worker “just happens” to see an interesting photo, he will probably look for more.

I do not believe rules exist for “look or no look” in this situation.

filmfann's avatar

Not the documents, but probably some of the pictures and music.
They will justify it by saying they were testing the computer, but really they are bored and nosey.

blueiiznh's avatar

Although they should not, you always need to plan for the worst.

I suggest going forward you use encryption technology on your hard drive and set some folders to require a passphrase.
Copy them off to an external usb drive that is encrypted also to help keep them for your eyes only.

The only time I have ever looked is when I am trying to clean disk space out. Pictures do take up a bit of space and inquisitive eyes do sometimes open files.

Use it as a lesson learned.

_zen_'s avatar

Or for those with a life.

jerv's avatar

That depends on who it is.

Some will just check to make sure your computer doesn’t have any child pornography on it and call the cops if it does, some will get bored and look through your pictures or music, and some won’t even bother with your documents at all since those files have no effect on the computer’s operation. As for stuff like spreadsheets or Word docs, those are rarely interesting to anyone, so I wouldn’t worry about those.

Personally, the only times I’ve ever had any interest in the documents on any computer I’ve fixed were;

1) When my scanners showed that there were infected documents (often MP3 files from a peer-to-peer network, go figure.)
2) When the hard drive is full enough to have very limited free space, in which case I am only really concerned with folder sizes, duplicate files, and “temp files” and really don’t give a shit about what those files actually are.

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