This is one of the most vexing questions to consider when your computer malfunctions. There are many concerns and ultimately, only you can know what is best. This can understandably leave you feeling uncertain.
Lucky for you, we have some helpful tips that will make this difficult decision much easier.
An age-based rule of thumb
Consumer Reports says spending money to repair a computer five years old or older is not worth it. Laptops three or four years old are a toss-up. Anything under two years is generally worth repairing. We agree.
A cost-based calculation
Consumer Reports says if the repair exceeds half the cost of a replacement computer, don’t repair it. We agree that your money is better spent on a new computer; especially considering a new computer will often provide additional features or benefits your old computer does not. Examples might include better security, a faster CPU or a newer operating system.
A Windows-based suggestion
If your computer came with Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista, it’s time to replace it, even if you upgraded it to Windows 7. In terms of technology, these computers are downright feeble.
Laptop problems are unique
Generally speaking, desktops are much easier and less expensive to repair because they don’t require the extensive disassembly a laptop would. Desktop computer parts are often less expensive as well.
Laptops get bumped, dropped, sat on, and left in a hot car on a humid day. It just happens. This is what makes a repair decision more difficult for a laptop. Manufacturers rarely cover repairs caused by misadventure. If it is an Apple laptop, the decision is much more difficult because their part prices are so high. When this happens, we suggest contacting your insurance company to see it might be covered under your home policy.
Another uniqueness to laptops is that they typically use a much slower hard drive than a desktop. This is responsible for the majority of the slowness in responding to your input. These hard drives are also easily broken as they have many moving parts in them. We strongly recommend upgrading to a Solid State Drive. The speed increase is astonishing and since there are no moving parts, it is ideal for a laptop.
If the laptop is not too outdated, we recommend laptop screen repair replacement, keyboard replacement, memory replacement or upgrade and hard drive replacement or upgrade to a speedy Solid State Drive.
Replacing a DC jack requires special consideration. We will have an upcoming post on that subject.
Some folks choose to repair because they have a program they can’t replace or that won’t run on a newer version of Windows.
If you choose to repair your computer
Before any repairs begin, back up your data. If possible.
Ask these important questions:
Will they back up your hard drive before making repairs?
Depending on the size of the hard drive and the difficulty getting the data, some repair companies do this without your asking or they may perform a backup for an additional cost.
Does the repair company guarantee the repairs?
Computer Pros Today offers a two year labor guarantee on all hardware repairs, meaning we will fix it again, if necessary, for free during that period. Most parts we use are factory-warranted for three years. Some parts, like the memory we use, have a limited lifetime warranty by the manufacturer. Our guarantee is one of the best in the business.
How much time will it take to repair the problem?
Computer Pros Today carries a full inventory of computer repair parts. Most common repairs are done immediately.
Many retail-based repair companies have been known to sit on repairs for three weeks or more.
Can you trust the company?
Computer Pros Today is rated A+ by the Central Virginia Better Business Bureau. You can also see our customer’s comments on our website, Google, and other places.