The Computer Buzz
||February 14th, 2008|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
When your PC gets sick
"It won't turn on, it won't turn off, can't get on the Internet, can't get my E-Mail, won't open attachments, the screen is blue, the screen is black, it takes forever to boot, it's making funny noises, it turns itself off, my icons are gone, It says I have a virus, my home page is a porn site," and our favorite, "what does it mean when smoke comes out of the top?"
We're often asked whether we do "on site" service. The answer is, sure we do - but do you really need it?
Unless a problem is network related, it's usually far less costly to have the work done at our shop. Servicing/repairing a PC usually requires running scans for mal-ware, file repair, diagnostics software, and the download of operating systems, programs and drivers updates. While these functions run at our shop, the technicians can be working at other tasks.
PC diagnostic, repair and update programs might require six hours of "run time" but only an hour of "tech time." A customer would pay only for the "tech time" in our shop. On site (at your place) the technician gets paid for the entire time. That's why "Geek Squad" and other on site repair services are so unbelievably expensive.
More than half the problems that we solve are software related. If yout PC has a hardware problem it is usually the power supply, hard drive or RAM.
If the PC is completely dead, it's likely power supply. The usual cost for power supply replacement is $35 for the power supply and $30 labor.
If the PC turns on but won't boot to a Windows screen, it could be the hard drive. Hard drive replacements cost $60 to $100 and about the same in labor.
RAM very seldom goes bad, but we often see PCs that are "RAM tight". They don't have enough RAM (memory) to run efficiently. These PCs are slow to boot and often freeze or crash while running. XP systems need to have at least 512Mb, 1.0Gb is even better. Vista PCs need at least 2.0Gb of RAM. A RAM upgrade, including labor, typically costs $50 to $75.
To find out if your PC has enough RAM simply turn it on. When it finishes booting to your desktop, press the ctrl, alt and del keys simultaneously. Now click the performance tab on the "task manager" box. If your PC is using half your available RAM, you need more. If your PC is using more than 300 Gb of RAM at start-up, (700Mb with Vista) you need a system "clean-up".
Norton Internet Security is a resource-sucking nightmare. If you have it, we strongly recommend you delete it, even if you just bought it. Norton's web sight has a removal tool to help you purge your PC of this vermin. When Norton is gone, go to WWW.free.grisoft.com and download the AVG anti-virus and spy ware programs. Your PC will thank you.