When to Fix a Computer

Repairing computers can be extremely expensive. If you use services from Geek Squad, Office Depot, or Staples, you’re sure to pay a LOT of money. Is it worth it? For the most part, I don’t think so, but here are the few cases where you definitely should fix your computer.

  1. It is under warranty. Sounds like a no brainer and it is. If the system is still under warranty, you should get it fixed. Hopefully, you won’t have to outlay too much cash, but you’re likely to have to pay return shipping to a service center.
  2. Your hard drive failed and you don’t have a backup. Augh!! Prevent this nightmare by backing up your data to a cheap portable hard drive regularly. If your hard drive failed and you have no backup, how much is the data worth to you? Depending on how badly the hard drive failed, you could be looking at $200 to more than a $1000 to get your data back.
  3. You have a mid or high-tier system. If your computer is only a couple years old and has an Intel i5 or i7 processor, it is a good candidate for repair as long as it doesn’t cost too much, like a couple hundred bucks. If you think it is going “kind of slow,” adding ram or upgrading to a solid state drive are two ways to increase its speed.

Other than these three cases, just buy a new one. Computers are so cheap that a few hundred bucks is likely to get you something much nicer than whatever you have.

Fixing Old Computers

I know I just told you not to fix old computers, but sometimes you just go to. Maybe you’re fixing up old beat up systems for charities or libraries. Maybe you just don’t have the money to upgrade. So how do you fix a computer for cheap?

There are only a few parts you can really fix yourself on a computer…the RAM and the hard drive. Maybe a few more if you YouTube your problem. I fixed a power jack on an old laptop this way.

Search crucial.com for your computer to see what kind of RAM you can replace. For hard drives, search Amazon for 250GB hard drives. These will run about $25 or so. Good deals!

Lots of times, replacing a failed hard drive is all it takes.