Whatever saves me time and headaches is what goes down.
Save your Windows install with 6 hours of work? How much are you going to charge them?
Wipe it, reinstall it, hook it up in 2.5-3 hours for 125?
I'll take plan B. When doing PC repairs, you can only charge so much when there are $400 boxes on the market, and sleep well at night.
Depends. If they know you charge 50 an hour, and they say "I dont want a reinstall", thats their problem, so long as you explain how long it could take. I dont mind spending 6 hours on a fix at that point.
As for the guy wondering if there was anything else he could have done, you could have pulled the drive, put it in an external enclosure, and scanned it from a different computer. Or you could have tried the command-line version of ClamAV. Or a boot disk with an AV on it.
If a user has a lot of programs installed and things set up exactly how they want them, sometimes they are willing to pay to have it cleaned up instead of wiped. Plus, depending on the problem, it could be easier just to get rid of a few problems than to reinstall Windows and have to install and configure every single program to the customer's preference. Wiping and reinstalling is rarely the best option for dealing with most standard computer issues, save for the most serious cases where a system can't be cleaned up within a reasonable amount of work.
I've recently done a few years of PC repair myself, and Ill say this hold true but also people get attached like crazy to their PCs. I've done close to $300 in repairs on sub 1GHz PCs, even after specifically telling them they should just go buy a new $400 PC and I would help them transfer their files that could be recovered and reinstall their apps for $50 (total!)
I keep a few .exe programs in my USB drive:
Anymore that are free and can boot off a USB drive that I should add?