I suppose you eventually develop either a thick skin or a seventh sense. The last two days have produced a couple of instances where a client would have saved themselves money and me time and temper if only they had told me the truth from the outset. I always ask for a bit of history if a machine I have not seen before is presented to me for repair - it can often save hours of digging about in the guts of the thing looking for clues; but these two - well I leave it to you to decide if I was being fair or not... Madhine one - about 120 miles (190 kms) away so it was a remote access job and set up so I could get on with it while my client was away on his happy holliers. No access - the thing was not even logged on and I had only accessed it a day or so before. Phone call to Portugal - can you get a neighbour to go in and check that both the PC and the router are running and showing pretty lights? Reply comes back - it is all working properly and the neighbour who claims to be IT savvy says 'it is alright'. No it isn't because I cannot 'see' it on the remote access listing of PCs I look after. Another call to Portugal (this is getting expensive) - has he any idea why this should not be working? Nope - no changes made since the last access and "it was working when I left it". I've heard that one before, peeps, and did not believe it then. Oh no. He rings me back asking if I have any ideas - right says I, "lets start at the basics. Have you had any changes to the wiring done?" "Nope", says he. "What about any new phones?" "Nope," says he again and then goes quiet. "Are you still there" "Yes - and I have just had a thought", he says. "Would the change to BT broadband (another ISP) make any difference? I arranged for the changeover to be made while we were away to make it easier" Your imagination might do justice to what was said after that, but then maybe not. Machine two - I was on site with this one as I had been accused of deleting all the emails - the whole lot, and all the folders too. I had been assured that no files of any sort had been changed or removed, and it had happened all by itself when she (the user) wasn't looking - so it must have been me the day before, mustn't it? When setting up a new machine I usually create an email folder in My Documents and reset the email store folder in Outlook Express to point to this instead if the silly place MS insists on hiding the default folder. This also makes backing it up that much easier too. This machine is some 5 years old. One guess allowed about what I found in the recycle bin - yerp, you guessed it. "Oh", she says "I was just clearing out a few folders and wondered what that was....." Well now she knows and might be a bit more careful next time about clearing out files she knows nothing about...and fat chance she will ever understand that she is responsible for all my hair falling out. Clients? Who needs them!