Question: Do I get a computer repair or replace my computer?
Answer: Today things in the computer repair world are a lot different than they were a few years ago. When I bought my first computer, an IBM 486 PC with Windows 95, it cost me well over $3000. If something went wrong with it, or I needed an upgrade, I was happy to pay $100 or so for a computer repair, most people, at that time, were also happy to pay a reasonable amount for a computer repair. As time has gone on, everyone has got a computer, but the computer manufacturers still want to sell new computers. To entice us to replace our computers, the price of a new laptop or desktop computer has been dropping consistently for many years. It has got to the point now, that you can pick up a pretty good laptop, or desktop computer with the latest operating system, for as little as $200. The build quality has suffered, cutting manufacturing costs by using cheaper components is how they usually do it, but at that price what does it matter?
Now, if you have a problem, with your existing computer, that requires a computer repair that is going to cost $100 or more, you may be thinking that you may as well just go and buy a new one for $200 – Very true! Here’s a few things to take into consideration. If you only use your computer for browsing the internet, doing some online shopping and watching Netflix, then getting a computer repair may not be the best option, just get a new one and start back up where you left off. If, however, you use your computer for working, you may have many different programs that you use, multiple documents and files that you need, installed printers and networked drives etc… Computer repair may seem more like a good idea. Although you could get a nice new computer for $200, the time it may take to get everything set back up could be a lot, it could also be expensive if you need to get a computer repair person to come and set it all up for you. You would need to back up your old files and documents, transfer them over to the new computer, re install any programs that you have been using (that may also require you to repurchase some of the programs). You may also run into issues if your new computer has a different operating system, some programs may not work at all, plus you have to learn a new operating system. Hands up anyone that upgraded from Window 7 to Windows 8 and enjoyed it – I’m sure there aren’t many hands in the air! Once you have done that you will need to reinstall your printers and re network all of your shared drives, job done! Suddenly getting a computer repair doesn’t look so bad does it?
You may need to get a computer repair company involved even if you do buy a new computer, especially if you have important files or photos on the old one and it doesn’t boot to the operating system. As long as the hard drive is still functional it can be removed and the files recovered and transferred to the new computer, although that’s not difficult to do, many people would need a computer repair company or individual to do it for them. That make another very important point, BACK UP your files often, having them on more than one drive will significantly improve you chance of avoiding serious data loss. There is some great free software to automate your backup process here.
So, although that cheap new computer seems attractive, just bear in mind what it is going to take to get you fully back up and running!