Laptop And Computer Repair
Tips and Tricks
Despite PCs and laptops becoming more and more reliable, as with all technology eventually some components are likely to fail over time. Some will be due to natural wear and tear (hard drives being particular prone to this as magnetic devices are known to have a limited life span) and other parts can wear out from repeated use (processors can eventually burn out and screens can suffer from "burn in" when continually displaying the same image on screen for too long.
So when they do go wrong you're faced with the decision of replacing them (either with a new or refurbished laptop), or getting them repaired. While getting your laptop repaired may not necessarily seem economical at first, especially with the low cost of laptops and netbooks these days, with the continual advances in laptop hardware and Windows it could simply be a case of more powerful laptops simply being too powerful for what many users need.
For those of you who use your laptops for casual gaming or have played older games on your laptop or desktop, as newer versions of Windows have been released or more powerful graphics cards have been released, you may have found that some of your favourite games simple cease to work. In fact, with most modern PCS despite the specifications exceeding the minimum requirements they refuse to run any of the earlier Sims titles and will only play The Sims 3. As a PC owner for well over a decade I have a large part of my software collection that simply won't work on my current system and even some applications that I prefer to use now experience problems.
Earlier versions of Microsoft Office operate differently to the latest editions and many users prefer the way older releases handle some functions but those tend to have issues when running under Windows Vista or above so there is some merit to using older hardware if it still does everything you need it to.
So once you've decided that you want to stick to your old laptop, what's the best approach? If you pick up any computer magazine or search online, you will find countless companies offering computer and laptop repairs. Certainly I've used many in the past. Most offer courier collection and return delivery, they'll assess your laptop for repair, give you a quote and then you can decide whether or not to go ahead with the repair - and here comes problem number one
Computer Repair Comic
While I'm certainly not going to group all these repairs companies together, once they have your computer, you are at their mercy. When you are without a PC and you desperately need it back, you will pay almost anything to get it back. Repair companies know this and can charge excessive amounts knowing that you would rather pay that to have your laptop repaired than their "consultation" charge and the return delivery charge and still be left with a faulty PC. Back in the days when laptops cost in excess of $1,000, I had to send one off for repair because of a problem with the motherboard overheating and while I was quoted around $100 plus the courier charge for the repair prior to shipping, once the laptop was in their posession the actual charge was over $400. As the laptop was my sole PC and used for work, I had no choice but to pay the charge to get it repaired.
Another horror story I experienced (a different company I might add) resulted in a company actually losing one of my computers in their warehouse and it took over a month for them to trace it and return it after charging me $150 for the repair... simply to replace a component on the motherboard that would have cost less than $5 and a few minutes work.
In contrast, physically taking your laptop into a local repair centre or store means that you can avoid any delivery / courier charges (which also ensures you have peace of mind when it comes to the risk of damage in transit), many will give you quotes either on-the-spot or after looking at the laptop, even if it needs to be left with them for a more thorough appraisal. While not every store is going to be perfect, you will certainly get a more personal service as many are smaller businesses dealing with local customers rather than those on a national basis, without compromising the quality of service.
Ultimately, if you want the confidence in knowing where your laptop is at every stage of its repair and to be able to see for yourself where it is being repaired and to know that you won't be charged for what you don't need, let alone avoid taking unnecessary risks, local is the way to go.
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