Why pay someone to fix your PC or MAC when you can do the computer repair yourself, right? Well, if you know what you’re doing, this might be the way to go. Especially if you have built your own computer, learning simple DIY computer fixes will enhance your knowledge.
But, however tempting it is to save money, there are times when you should make your life simpler and turn to your local computer repair experts before you make the issues on your computer worse.
Before You Attempt a Computer Repair
- Backup your files: If your files are still intact on your computer, thank your lucky stars and immediately save your files on to an external hard drive or an online backup program. If you don’t have access to either, at least get a flash stick, or thumb drive, and save the files that you care about the most.
- Work in ‘Safe Mode’: Before you start troubleshooting, put your computer in Safe Mode. If this mode isn’t a startup option when you boot the computer, simply press the F8 button on your keyboard as soon as you turn on or restart your computer.
- Run antivirus and anti-malware programs: Sometimes malicious intruders like viruses, worms, malware, spyware or botnets are the culprits behind your computer problems.If you don’t already have an antivirus and anti-malware program on your computer, call the computer repair experts to see which they recommend. Download the programs on to a flash drive from a computer that works. Plug the flash drive into the computer that doesn’t work and install the programs onto the computer that’s giving you trouble. Then perform a full scan of your computer.Before you use the flash drive again, make sure it’s virus-free.
- Take notes: Record every blip, abnormality, message that pops up and the steps that you take as you attempt a computer repair. This information lets you tell help desk agents and computer repair experts exactly what happened before the problem occurred and the events that took place as you worked on the computer. If you don’t end up needing extra help, the records that you keep will help you know what to do if the problem happens again.
- Resist the urge to erase the hard drive: Wiping your hard drive has a dire consequence – the loss of all your data. If you are at your wit’s end and can’t fix your computer on your own, keep in mind that the solution may be as simple as running a comprehensive anti-virus scan and speed up program at a computer repair shop.
Go to Computer Repair Experts When…
If you’re losing sleep over your computer problems or nothing seems to work, take your computer to shop. There’s no shame in this. Think of the experts as surgeons who have the tools, experience and knowledge to heal the inner workings of your computer.
After the experts have an idea about what’s wrong with your system, get a cost estimate. If the cost of the repair is 50 percent (or more) of the original price that you paid, you may be better off with a new computer, especially if there is any physical damage.
Zac Cramer is the founder of Happy Hamster Computers. Happy Hamster, Portland Oregon’s largest independently owned computer store, fixes more than 3,000 computers a year and provides awesome support to businesses throughout the community.