"Can I speak to you a moment?" I am immediately on guard. This permissive request usually means, I want to take up lots of your time and start as quickly as possible.
There's a move to another more up-to-date computer, with the same Microsoft operating platform, together with all the old programmes, and it is not going smoothly. Pictures have been uploaded onto the newer computer, into a favoured programme, one which is no longer supported by the creator. While the pictures show up in the programme, there is no sign of them either in the 'My Pictures' folder (there isn't such a folder and there should be - odd) or anything linked to the programme being used. Also, the pictures have been deleted from the camera memory card. Perhaps I can undertake a recovery operation on the memory card, at least.
Inevitably all this means much searching, and I know that it is easily a good few hours of my patience and time that is being sought. An hour in, I decide that I just have to get on with my own tasks and I suggest that we are now at the point where a re-install of the operating system is required....." Please, take a note of the directions for the re-install on this laptop," I request, "and make a copy the software folders you want to re-install afterwards"
'There's a hole in my bucket...how do I do it' situation developing. I go out, by now, needing to clear my head. When I return I hear that it can all be left for the time being. Why? It's worse than I thought, I have to explain how to back up the files and folders. I will find the re-install instructions that are on the laptop for printing off. Hopefully, it will work.