Should I repair my computer?
My family members ask me all the time whether it’s worthwhile to repair computer, buy a new one, or just get a tablet. Computers are expensive, so it’s definitely a worthwhile question to ask. We need to know the facts, though. Sometimes repairing your computer is not a cost-effective solution. In this article we are going to take a look at a few key points and discuss each, to help you decide whether to repair your PC or purchase something else.
E-Waste is a term that’s used to describe the waste we create from electrical components – otherwise our tech gizmos and gadgets. E-waste has become a serious issue in the past 20 years. Most electronic devices are designed to be replaced after a few years. Technology moves so fast that businesses design and create electronic devices to be replaced rather than upgraded. I get why companies like Apple and Motorola design devices like cell phones to be disposable. It’s very hard to predict the future in tech. Futurist, an industry created to analyze trends in data to determine what the future will look like, are themselves often wrong.
Despite how much access we have to big-data today, our picture is far from complete. Any opportunity we have to eliminate some e-waste is probably a good thing. Use your cell phone a year longer than anticipated. Don’t jump on that new TV, and most importantly, spend money on a good computer rather than buying a budget machine so it lasts longer.
I know I went off on a bit of a tangent here, but e-waste is a huge issue that affects the entire world. Before you decide to trash your PC, give some serious thought about having repairing your computer first. If you weigh your options and decide that it’s still time to buy a new PC, consider selling your old one instead of disposing of it. Other people are more than happy to fix it and resell it, or at the very least, break it down and recycle it properly.
If you decide to repair your PC, do your research and hire a good, quality technician. If you decide to sell your PC instead of repairing it, sell it to a reputable company with a good history of treating your information with care. Privacy is a serious concern that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Here’s a good example. A few years back a lawsuit was filed against Best Buy because the FBI paid a lot of money to Geek Squad techs to actively snoop on customers. The FBI encouraged Geek Squad techs to look through customer’s personal information on their PC for any data that might look potentially illegal. First, this is a huge violation of the law. It circumvents the search warrant process. Even worse, it’s an active drag-net operation by law enforcement to actively persecute people without cause. If that isn’t bad enough, PC repair techs do this on their own. I personally knew multiple Fire Dog technicians, when Circuit City was still in business, that made a point of searching through every customer’s PC for personal images. These techs literally had hard drives full of very personal images and movies that they stole from customers computers.
It doesn’t end there. I worked with another technician in a fortune 500 business where a desk side support analyst stole very personal images from a user’s assigned PC and distributed them throughout the company. Unfortunately, this person was never caught despite multiple warnings. My point is that you should take your privacy very seriously. Simply deleting information off of your computer doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone. In fact, it’s very easy to recover. Make sure that you choose a company to either repair your laptop or sell your laptop to wisely. Make sure it has a good reputation. Not all pc repair people are as malicious as those that I just mentioned. A good computer repair tech will take your privacy very seriously.
Cost Vs. Benefit
Before you repair your laptop, decide whether it’s a worthwhile investment. I know this can be a difficult decision to make. So, let’s run through this a little. How old is your PC? Is it only a year old? Is it 5 years old? That can make a big difference. A year-old PC, depending on its symptoms, can still have a lot of life in it. More often than not when a computer dies it is because of a cheap part, like a hard drive or stick of RAM, is going bad. If your PC is not old, it might be worthwhile to repair it.
How expensive was your PC? An expensive computer from four years ago probably has enough horsepower that it’s more worthwhile to repair that computer instead of replacing it. On the other hand, if you only spent a few hundred dollars on a laptop, it’s hardware might be very outdated. Consider what you need a computer for, though, too. If you play a lot of games then a four-year-old PC isn’t going to cut it either way. It’ll be more worthwhile to upgrade it for the graphics card alone. If you only search for things on Google, watch YouTube videos, or look at Facebook, maybe it’s worthwhile to sell your old PC and get a good Chrome Book.
What symptoms does your computer have? If your PC isn’t turning on at all, that could be a serious issue. On the other hand, if your computer is only freezing randomly or giving you a lot of blue screens, that could be a sign of a bad hard drive or the software is simply corrupt. Depending on how it's failing, it might be worthwhile to repair your computer, and if not, at least you can sell it to a reputable company.